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'K2' Overdose Spike Does ‘Stress the System’ for Responders


A high number of possible synthetic marijuana overdoses in an extremely short period of time stressed emergency services in New London.

"It wasn’t no high. It was something that rushed you so quick before you know it, you shaking you on the ground, and doing all kinds of flopping around," said a man in New London who described his 'K2' overdose experience.

The man, who wanted to remain anonymous, described his overdose experience with synthetic marijuana – also known as K2 – from years ago to NBC Connecticut.

"You pass out, you black out, you don’t know nothing," he said. 

Lawrence + Memorial Hospital’s EMS and Emergency Management Coordinator, Ron Kersey, said the hospital has seen about 14 possible K2 overdoses in New London between Wednesday and Thursday. 

"Any time you get a spike like this, it does stress the system a little bit," Kersey said.

Kersey said the stress means he has to pull other crews from their communities in order to increase his staff.

The reaction to K2 differs from patient-to-patient, Kersey added.

"Some of them came in as seizures. There were unconscious victims that were breathing just fine, but unconscious," he explained.

Other patients can be violent and bite, scratch or fight responders, said New London Fire Department Battalion Chief Thomas Curcio. That’s why he sends extra people – five or six individuals – on these type of overdose calls.

Responders don’t know what chemicals are used in different batches of K2.

New London Police Chief Peter Reichard said he has officers out in neighborhoods trying to find out where the K2 is and who is selling it. He said in the warmer weather, he tends to see more problems with synthetic marijuana.

Many of the possible overdose calls Thursday were outside and several were in the area of Hobron Street, Montauk Avenue and Bank Street, said Battalion Chief Edward Sargent on Thursday. Many patients were homeless, he added.

At L+M Hospital, recovery coaches with the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery are helping K2 patients get treatment if they want it. So far they put one person in detox.

“He was just ready for a change. He was obviously hurting,” said Jennifer Chadukiewicz, the emergency department recovery coach manager.

Her coaches help connect addicts to resources in the community.

Los Imperios in West Hartford Faces Extension to Suspension


Los Imperios faces an extension to the suspension of its entertainment license.

West Hartford suspended the restaurant's entertainment license for 15 days following a hearing about the restaurant's disturbance violations on July 17.

On Friday, police said Los Imperios now faces an additional 30 days to its more than two-week suspension. However, the restaurant will be provided a hearing before the extension. 

The suspension of the restaurant's entertainment license includes putting an end to the music but still allowing alcohol.

The town adopted an ordinance last October which requires businesses to turn off the music at least a half hour before they close.

But police found that a DJ at the restaurant played music past the allowable time for the entertainment ordinance.

Additionally, police said a least two fights broke out between Los Imperios patrons, and while the victims reported to officers outside the restaurant, employees did not report the incidents to police. 

West Hartford police said the owner of the restaurant and his attorney presented nothing at the first hearing concerning a plan to prevent further disturbances inside or immediately outside Los Imperios. 

Mary Alice Sullivan, a West Hartford resident, said the real boom begins every night when she's trying to wind down.

“It's very loud and that shouting sometimes it sounds kind of violent,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said the sound that comes from the Los Imperios restaurant and night club has kept her up for years and is convinced suspending the restaurant's entertainment license won't change a thing.

“Music is not the problem, I never hear any music at all what I hear is people coming out from the party continuing right on the street,” Sullivan said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

90 Taken to Hospital After Chance the Rapper Concert


Police in Connecticut made 50 underage drinking referrals and medical staff transported over 90 patients to hospitals, many for severe intoxication, during a Chance the Rapper concert at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford Friday night.

Police said around 21,000 people attended the event, which had a special detail focused on underage drinking enforcement, sponsored in part by an “Underage Drinking Enforcement” grant by the state Department of Transportation.

Most people charged with underage drinking were issued a promise to appear summons.

Friday’s crowd was mostly fans in their late teens and early 20s and there was a great deal of tailgating, partying and heavy drinking, police said. Many of the medical transports were for underage drinkers who suffered severe intoxication.

A Lady Antebellum concert is scheduled for Saturday, and police remind parents to be aware of the atmosphere at some concerts so that parents and children can talk about making responsible decisions.

Those who received referrals will appear at Hartford Community Court on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Photo Credit: Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

Baby Burned After Falling Against Dutch Oven at Rocky Neck


A 17-month old boy was taken to the hospital after being burned at a campsite at Rocky Neck State Park in Niantic Saturday morning.

According to state Environmental Conservation police, the boy fell against a Dutch oven his family was using to cook breakfast. East Lyme Emergency Services responded around 9:30 a.m. The child was taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London with moderate but non-life threatening burns.

The family is from Middlebury.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Neighbors Concerned About Potential Lake Compounce Expansion


Neighbors are concerned by what Lake Compounce is planning to do with the land south of the park in Southington.

“We hope that it stops, like we hope they say no and there doesn’t need to be development there,” Aericka Khongdy of Southingon, said.

In an application with the town, Lake Compounce explained it could use the land to potentially expand the amusement park, add more parking, or create a picnic area.

For now, the park would like to remove 61,000 yards of dirt from the property it now owns off of Mt. Vernon Road.

“Their plan is to really flatten all that out. So that will bring the noise to us,” Chitpraseuth Khongdy of Southington, said.

Without a natural buffer, people who live on nearby Panthorn Trail say hearing louder screams and sounds from the rides is just one concern.

They also worry about the effects on property values, the well water supply, and flooding in the area.

In a statement, Lake Compounce spokeswoman Sara Frias wrote in part:

“We will do everything in our power to limit any inconvenience for those who live close to the park.”

Frias went on to say only that the land is being prepared for future development.

“It’s hard to believe they’re going to spend all that money and resources and not have a game plan for down the road. That’s what makes us nervous,” Chitpraseuth Khongdy, said.

During the public hearing, an engineer says the park bought the land to prevent more residential development there which could have stopped future fireworks shows.

As of now, the chairman of the planning and zoning commission says they have put the application on hold to give the park more time to talk with its neighbors.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

2 Dead, 2 Hospitalized After Drug Overdoses in Norwalk


Two people are dead and two more were hospitalized after drug overdoses in Norwalk Saturday morning, and all of the incidents may be linked to crack cocaine laced with an opiate, according to Norwalk police.

Police said emergency crews responded to three separate overdose calls between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. The first was on Quaker Road, the second on Suncrest Road, and the third on Perry Avenue.

Two of the patients died and the third is in the hospital, police said.

Laer, around 1:40 p.m., crews were called to the Garden Park Motel at 351 Westport Avenue for another suspected overdose. A male victim was transported to the hospital.

None of the victims have been publicly identified.

Norwalk detectives and the Crime Scene Unit are actively investigating each case. Detectives are awaiting lab results of evidence found at each scene, but preliminary investigation suggests that the overdoses were caused by crack cocaine laced with an opiate, police said.

There have been a total of eight overdoses reported in Norwalk this month, police said.

Anyone with information should contact Norwalk police at 203-854-3111. Anonymous tips can be left by calling, through the Norwalk police website here, or by sending a text with the subject “NPD” to 274637 (CRIMES).

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bicyclist Seriously Hurt After Colliding With Pickup


A bicyclist was seriously injured after being struck by a pickup in Westport Saturday morning.

Police said the accident happened on Roseville Road near the McDonald’s entrance. The cyclist suffered serious injuries and was taken to Norwalk Hospital for treatment.

The driver of the pickup was not hurt and is cooperating with police.

The Westport Police Accident Reconstruction Team was called in.

Roseville Road is closed between Colony Road and Post Road East while police investigate.

Missing South Windsor Woman Located Safe: PD


South Windsor police have located a 24-year-old woman who was reported missing after being last seen on July 12.

Police said early Saturday that Jordan Christine Galvin was last seen around 1 p.m. at her home in South Windsor. Saturday evening police said that Galvin had been located and she was safe.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police Department

Bloomfield Home Damaged by Kitchen Fire


A Bloomfield home was seriously damaged by a kitchen fire Saturday afternoon.

Fire officials said crews responded to a home at 107 East Harold Street Saturday afternoon. No injuries were reported, but firefighters struggled to fight the fire due to the hot weather.

It took around 30 minutes to put the fire out. Fire officials said the home is currently uninhabitable.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Yoga on LaSalle Draws Thousands to West Hartford Center


A group of yoga enthusiasts shut down part of West Hartford Center today for a special event.

Members of 45 yoga studies in the greater Hartford region gathered to meditate on mats in the middle of LaSalle Road. Organizers said the event grows by 300 to 400 people each year. More than 2,200 participated Sunday.

“I think it works because people want to gather. They want to be together celebrating their practice and being outside on a beautiful summer day,” explained Andrea Miller of West Hartford Yoga.

Now in its seventh year, Yoga on LaSalle draws many repeat yogis looking to connect with their community outside of normal classes.

“It’s an amazing feeling and when we all are in synch with our poses and our asana and we’re doing our yoga even to meditate on the ground there’s nothing like it,” said Rosanna Singer of Berlin.

“It’s wonderful. It’s wonderful to enjoy and experience this,” added Jodi Greene of Wolcott.

The class lasted for just over an hour.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

13-Year-Old Boy Injured in New Haven Shooting


A 13-year-old boy was shot in the leg in New Haven Saturday, and police are asking the public to come forward with information to help them find a suspect.

Police said they were called to the area of Shelton Avenue and Ivy Street around 3 p.m. The victim was found nearby on Bassett Street. He was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and police say the injury was not life threatening. The victim was alert and in stable condition.

More details were not immediately available.

New Haven police are investigating and have reached out the public for assistance. Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call police. Tips can be made anonymously by calling 203-946-6304.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Flames Break out at Vacant Home in Hartford Overnight


Investigators are trying to figure out what sparked a fire in a vacant Hartford home early Saturday morning.

Crews were called to the 600-block of Garden Street just before 3 a.m. The first fire crews on the scene were met by flames coming out of the back of the home’s roof.

“They made a quick stop initially on an interior attack, within 10 minutes our attic actually became fully involved,” said Deputy Chief Harry Tulier, Hartford Fire Department.

Flames shot into the night sky, out of the roof of 612 Garden Street. Although no one lived at the house, the fire scared the next door neighbors out of bed at 3 a.m.

“It was right close to us, like it was coming towards us on the third floor,” said Aneudy Rosario.

Rosario said the fire was so close they could smell the smoke inside their apartments and feel the heat when they stepped outside.

“I never want to see it again. I never want to see that again. It was scary,” said Rosario.

Fearing the flames would spread, ten people in three apartments evacuated the building next door and stood across the street for an hour-and-a-half.

“They kept telling us to move back, move back, move back. So, that’s how we ended up here,” said Rosario.

The unstable conditions inside forced crews to evacuate and fight the fire from two ladder trucks instead.

“Once we transitioned to a defensive attack we had it knocked down within 14 minutes,” said Tulier.

Crews were able to keep the flames from spreading to nearby buildings, but, stubborn hot spots kept crews on the scene for three hours, shutting down the road from Capen to Westland streets.

Authorities believe the fire started on the third floor. The cause remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: Contributed Photo

6 Exposed to Large Amount of Chlorine at Darien Country Club


Several people were transported to the hospital after being exposed to high levels of chlorine at a Darien country club.

Darien police said that at least six people at the Country Club of Darien were exposed to a large amount of chlorine when a power outage caused the release of the chemical into the pool. The pool was cleared and the people exposed were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

More information was not immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Body Recovered From River in Norwich

8 Dead, Dozens Hurt After Texas Smuggling Discovery: Police


Eight people are dead and another 28 are hospitalized after being found in the back of a hot tractor-trailer in San Antonio early Sunday morning, police and fire officials say.

San Antonio Chief of Police William McManus and Fire Chief Charles Hood held an impromptu news conference at about 2:40 a.m. local time, where they confirmed that at least 38 people who were being trafficked into the United States were found in the back of a tractor-trailer parked in a Walmart parking lot on the city's southwest side.

"We're looking at a trafficking crime here this evening. The Department of Homeland Security is involved; homicide will work with them to determine the origin of this horrific tragedy," McManus said.

McManus said a passenger in the truck asked a Walmart employee for water. The employee then saw a number of people in the back of the truck and called police.

"The truck was loaded with people," Hood said.

Officers arrived at about 12:30 a.m. to find eight people deceased and dozens of others suffering from heat stroke or dehydration.

"There are a total of 38 in the incident that we know of so far. Eight are deceased that are on the scene still. Twenty have been transported to area hospitals, a number of those are critical, a number of those are very severe," Hood said. "So that is a total of 20, so that's priorities ones and twos. Another eight were transported that were not as severe that just need to be re-hydrated."

Hood said many of the survivors had heart rates over 130 beats per minute and were hot to the touch. He said they had no water and that the air conditioning in the truck was broken.

It's not clear how long the people had been in the truck or how long they had been without air conditioning and water.

Hood said EMS transported patients ranging in age from young children to adults in their 30s to seven different area hospitals, including sending a large number downtown.

Police said while reviewing the store's surveillance video they noticed a number of cars had arrived at the store and left with some of survivors. The store's surveillance video is part of the ongoing investigation, McManus said.

"This is not an isolated incident. This happens quite frequently. Fortunately we came across this one. And fortunately there are people that survived," McManus said. "It happens late at night, under darkness. Anybody who sees anything like this, people getting transferred out of the back of a trailer ... to another vehicle, they need to call."

McManus said the truck driver, who remained at the scene and is in police custody, is expected to face state and federal charges. The survivors, McManus said, will be investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The temperature Saturday in San Antonio reached 104 degrees and the heat index was likely closer to 110. Temperatures inside a vehicle can increase by 20 degrees more than the outside temperature in as little as 10 minutes, after an hour that temperature can be 43 degrees higher. Heat stroke can be fatal at when the body reaches 107 degrees.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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GOP Legislative Agenda Stalled Amid Ideological Divides


Despite having control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, Republicans are struggling to pass major aspects their legislative agenda and face many issues that interfere with the party's ability to govern, NBC News reported.

In Congress, Republicans face differences within party on health care reform, a dynamic that threatens to intrude on other major issues like the federal budget. At the White House, President Donald Trump has been fixated on investigations, leaving him an ineffective chief spokesperson for the party and their ideas.

Party unity on key issues has proven elusive for a party with widespread ideologies, ranging from northeast centrists to religious conservatives, fiscal conservatives and small-government libertarians.

That dynamic has stymied the GOP on health care, an issue that appeared simple for the past seven years on the campaign trial and when Trump promised it would be done "on day one."

Photo Credit: Alex Brandon/AP, File

Rookie From New Jersey Wins 2017 World Series of Poker


A recent Temple University graduate took his place atop the poker world early Sunday by winning the world's biggest poker tournament — and hauling in $8 million.

Scott Blumstein, a native of northern New Jersey who lives outside Atlantic City, took down the last two competitors at the final table of the 2017 World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas. He held a commanding lead going into the final night of play that started Saturday evening, and was one of more than 7,000 that started the tournament.

The 25-year-old, who was described by Poker News as "an East Coast tournament grinder," entered the night with a commanding lead. A grinder is a player who spends a lot of time at the poker table and who considers poker a career.

The win "changes my life," he told ESPN, which broadcast the event.

"I'm really happy with how I played tonight," Blumstein said. "Really happy with the result, really happy with the deuce, because I was playing good, but I'm pretty tired of poker at this point, honestly. To have to go back and battle pretty deep-[stacked] again, I wasn't looking forward to it."

Entering Saturday, Blumstein had 226 million chips, compared to the second-place chip-holder Dan Ott's 88 million and Benjamin Pollack's 45 million.

Ott is also a Pennsylvanian who hails from Altoona. Pollack is a French poker professional.

Despite the win, Blumstein isn't getting overly confident just yet.

"If you had to ask me, probably the two guys I would least want to get three-handed with," Blumstein told ESPN. "But with that being said, I have a lot of chips and I'm confident we're going to go home, work on some three-handed poker, and come back ready to play tomorrow."

Blumstein graduated from Temple three years ago with a degree in accounting. According to his Twitter account, he's a "professional liver."

He'll likely be a professional poker player for the considerable future. 

The $8.15 million isn't be his first big score in a poker tournament. He won nearly $200,000 in a tournament at the Borgata in Atlantic City last year.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/John Locher
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Norwalk Man Charged with Selling Crack Cocaine


Norwalk police have arrested a man accused of selling crack cocaine within the city and are looking into whether the suspect has any connection to five drug overdoses within 24 hours Saturday.

Eric Frank, of Freedman Drive in Norwalk, was arrested Saturday after an undercover officer set up a controlled buy. According to Norwalk police, when Frank showed up to the arranged location officers tried to detain him, but Frank struggled violently, at one point kneeing an officer in the groin.

Police eventually contained Frank and found 3.53 grams of crack cocaine on his person. The drug was tested and came back positive for the presence of cocaine and Fentanyl.

Officers also seized heroin, PCP, marijuana and digital scales from Frank’s home.

Police said that they are looking into whether Frank is connected to five overdoses that occurred in the city within 24 hours of each other Saturday, but it is unclear at this time if the incidents are connected. The cases remain under investigation.

Frank was charged with assault on a police officer, interfering with a police officer, criminal attempted escape, possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, and other drug-related charges.

He was held on a $50,000 bond.

Anyone with information on the overdose cases is asked to contact Norwalk police at 203-854-3111. Anonymous tips can be left by calling, through the Norwalk police website here, or by sending a text with the subject “NPD” to 274637 (CRIMES).

Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department

Onboard Navigation System Helps Police Find Confused Driver


A car’s emergency assistance notification system helped Connecticut State Police locate a disoriented driver after a crash off I-691 early Sunday morning.

State police said that they received a call from the SYNC system around 3:38 a.m. reporting a Ford Fusion had crashed. Troopers got in touch with the operator, who said he was involved in an accident on Interstate 95 and that he was bleeding. However, SYNC reported that the crash was in the area of Interstate 91 and I-691.

A few minutes later a friend of the driver also called reporting the crash, stating that the driver should be traveling in the area of I-91 and I-691.

Troopers searched the area and eventually found the car 100 feet into the woods off I-691, near exit 8.

The driver was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Police said this is a good example of why drivers should let someone know where they’ll be traveling, especially late at night. Because of the onboard emergency notification system and the friend’s call, crews knew the correct area to search and found the driver within 20 minutes.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

2 Stabbed Outside New London Bar


New London police are investigating after two people were stabbed outside the Y-Know Café on Bank Street early Sunday morning.

Police said that they responded just before 2 a.m. and found two victims. One victim had been stabbed in the torso and the other had a slash wound to the face.

Both victims were taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital for treatment, where at last check they were in stable condition.

New London police are investigating the incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact the New London Police Department's Detective Bureau at 860-447-1481. Anonymous tips can be sent via New London Tips 411 system by texting NLPDTip plus the information to Tip411 (847411).

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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