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Bus Carrying Tobacco Workers Crashes, 21 Hospitalized


Twenty-one people were taken to the hospital after a crash between a bus carrying tobacco workers and a pickup truck in Suffield.

The head-on crash happened just before 6 a.m. Tuesday on Mountain Road.

There were 20 people on the bus and one person in the pickup, according to Chief Art Groux, of Suffield Ambulance.  All were transported to area hospitals in Connecticut and Massachusetts with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries, he said.

A small fire was extinguished by the first arriving police officer, Suffield Fire Chief Chuck Flynn said.

All of the victims were able to get out of the bus on their own, according to Flynn.

Mountain Road remained closed between North Stone Street and Phelps Road.

Photo Credit: Suffield Police

Florida Teen Wins $500 a Week for Life Playing $1 Scratch-Off


With the odds of one-in-five million against her, an Orlando teenager took a chance on Florida lottery scratch off ticket and scored a weekly pay day. 

Daniela Leon Ruz, 18, won the top prize in the state's new $500 A Week for Life game after purchasing one $1 ticket at a Publix grocery store, the Florida Lottery said. 

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Ruz chose to receive her winnings in weekly payouts totaling $26,000 annually before taxes instead of taking the one time lump sum of $410,000.

The annual payout is guaranteed for 20 years, meaning the teen’s family would still continue to receive her winnings even if something should happen to her before that time.

The $1 scratch-off game launched on July 3, 2017.

Photo Credit: Florida Lottery

Microsoft Paint Is 'Here to Stay,' Despite What You Heard


Despite nostalgic articles and disappointed tweets mourning the end Microsoft Paint, the apparently beloved application is not going anywhere.

The application, which has been featured on every Windows release since 1985, was listed as "Deprecated" in the company’s Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

While Microsoft did not say specifically that MS Paint would be removed, the company defined features and functionalities that are "Deprecated" as those that "are not in active development and might be removed in future releases."

Outcry from users and coverage by news organizations about the loss of the classic image-editing application prompted Microsoft to set the record straight.

"MS Paint is not going away. In addition to the new 3D capabilities, many of the MS Paint features people know and love like photo editing and 2D creation are in Paint 3D - the new app for creativity, available for free with the Windows 10 Creators Update," a Microsoft spokesperson said.

"In the future, we will offer MS Paint in the Windows Store also for free and continue to provide new updates and experiences to Paint 3D so people have the best creative tools all in one place."

On Monday, a blog post shared by Windows Experiences acknowledged the "incredible outpouring of support and nostalgia" around the application.

"MS Paint is here to stay."

Photo Credit: Microsoft

Man Walking Along I-95 Struggles with Troopers: State Police


Connecticut State Police have arrested a man accused of walking along Interstate 95 and struggling with officers who responded to remove him.

Police said that 34-year-old Travis Simmons, of Bridgeport, was walking on the shoulder of I-95 north near exit 27 in Bridgeport Monday around 2:45 p.m. According to police, Simmons was aggressive with officers and refused orders to move out of the area.

Troopers deployed a stun gun but it was ineffective. After a struggle, Simmons was taken into custody and transported to Bridgeport Hospital for evaluation.

One officer suffered minor injuries during the struggle.

Simmons was later taken to Troop G in Bridgeport and charged with reckless use of a highway by a pedestrian, interfering with an officer, and violation of conditions of release.

He was held on a $10,000 bond and is due in court Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Man Threatened Victim's Family After Sexual Assault: Police


Norwalk police have arrested a man accused of sexually assaulting a juvenile victim then threatening to kill the victim’s family.

Carlos Olivera, 40, of Norwalk, faces charges of fourth-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor, unlawful restraint, and second-degree threatening.

According to police, Olivera sexually assaulted the victim, then threatened to kill the victim’s family if the victim told anybody.

Olivera was known to the victim, police said.

He was held on a $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 2.

Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department

West Hartford Police Investigate String of Suspicious Fires


West Hartford police are investigating a series of five suspicious fires along Park Road and New Britain Avenue overnight.

Crews responded to five fires overnight Tuesday between 2:15 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. Investigators said they appear to have been intentionally set.

The incidents are as follows:

  • A dumpster fire at 280 Park Road at 2:16 a.m.
  • A recycling bin fire at 566 Park Road at 2:21 a.m.
  • A garbage bag on a porch on fire at 198 Park Road at 2:25 a.m.
  • An American flag on a porch on fire at 2:28 a.m.
  • A garbage can on fire on New Britain Avenue at Hollywood at 7:42 a.m.

Hartford police also responded to several similar incidents in their city overnight.

Anyone with information on any of these fires should contact West Hartford Police Detective Andrew Wamester at 860-570-8883.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Marine's Son, 4, Breaks Down During Stepmom's Heartfelt Vows


A Marine’s 4-year-old son became overwhelmed with emotion and burst into tears as his new stepmom read her vows to him and his father.

Emily Newville, a Senior Airman, and Joshua Newville, a Marine Corps. Sergeant, both who are stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Burlington County, New Jersey, were married on Saturday in upstate New York.

During the ceremony, Newville read a special set of vows she wrote for Joshua's son, Gage.

Gage, overcome with emotions, begins to cry and wraps his arms around Newville as the adoring crowd looked on.

"You have helped make me into the woman I am today, and I may not have give you the gift of life, but life’s surely gave me the gift of you," Newville says in her vows.

The emotional scene, which was captured on video, quickly went viral and captured heart across the country.

Newville told "Today" show reporter Sheinelle Jones that the moment Joshua asked her to marry him, she thought of Gage.

"I couldn’t be more thankful of how we’ve gotten to know each other," Newville told Jones in an interview Tuesday.

Joshua said it means a lot to have someone like Newville "who is willing to love your child as if they were their own."

Photo Credit: Jessica Husted Photography
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Thief Stole Package from Vestibule of West Hartford Home


A West Hartford resident is hoping the public can help him identify the suspect who stole a package from the vestibule of his home on Vera Street Sunday.

The resident said the theft happened around 2:30 p.m. Sunday. West Hartford police confirmed they are investigating the incident.

In home surveillance video, a male suspect can be seen riding up on a bike, opening the vestibule door and grabbing the package.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect in the video should contact West Hartford police.

Photo Credit: Contributed

'Burrito of Awesomeness': Aurora Timelapse From Space


NASA Astronaut Jack Fischer captured this timelapse video of the aurora borealis while aboard the International Space Station. The video, taken 250 miles above Earth and at a speed of 17,500 mph, was posted on Fischer's Twitter account July 21. 

"People have asked me what a 'burrito of awesomeness smothered in awesome sauce' is … Well folks, it looks like this … awesome sauce is green," he tweeted.

Aurora borealis is the result of collisions between the Earth’s gaseous particles and matter released by the sun’s atmosphere, according to NASA.

New Haven Police Arrest Man in Shooting of 13-Year-Old


New Haven police have arrested a man accused of shooting a 13-year-old boy in the leg over the weekend.

On July 22, police responded to the area of Shelton Avenue and Ivy Street for a reported shooting. When they arrived they found a 13-year-old boy suffering a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the leg nearby on Bassett Street.

On Tuesday, police arrested a suspect, identified as 21-year-old Charles Worthington, at his home on Lilac Street. He was charged with first-degree assault, carrying a pistol without a permit, and risk of injury.

New Haven police are investigating several recent shootings, including one that took the life of a 14-year-old boy. On Monday members of the community voiced concerns about the recent violence. Police have been actively investigating the incidents.

“As a result of these recent shootings the New Haven Police Department has deployed multiple additional resources to the areas which are being affected by this violence. Although this may help reduce the probability of additional shootings, it is imperative that the community step up and work with Police to bring justice to the victims of these horrible incidents. Now is the time for the community to take charge and to join us at the NHPD in a way that it has not done before. This violence must stop immediately,” wrote New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell in a statement Monday.

Anyone with information on any crimes should contact New Haven Police. Anonymous tips can be made by calling 203-946-6304.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/ New Haven Police Department

'Lady Blue Eyes' Barbara Sinatra Dies at 90


Barbara Sinatra, the fourth wife of legendary singer Frank Sinatra and a prominent advocate and philanthropist for abused children, has died at 90.

John Thoresen, director of the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center, says she died Tuesday of natural causes at her Rancho Mirage, California, home.

A former model and Las Vegas showgirl, Barbara Sinatra was a prominent Palm Springs socialite in her own right before she married Sinatra in 1976.

They remained wed until his death in 1998.

Together they founded the center that bears her name.

The nonprofit has provided therapy to more than 20,000 young victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse since opening in 1986.

Thoresen says Sinatra remained active at the center until recently, raising funds and visiting with the children.


Mosquitoes in Four Towns Test Positive for West Nile Virus


Mosquitoes trapped in Greenwich, South Windsor, Stratford, and Westport have tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to state officials.

Mosquitoes in West Haven previously tested positive for the virus in June.

The mosquitoes were trapped as State of Connecticut Mosquito Management Program. The West Nile virus season typically begins in late June to mid-July and continues through September.

Residents should take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites, such as covering bare skin and wearing insect repellent, especially during dawn and dusk hours.

Most people who are infected with West Nile virus show no symptoms, but less than one percent can develop serious, sometimes fatal neurological illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

West Nile virus has been detected in the state every year since 1999. Since 2000, there have been 131 human cases of West Nile in Connecticut and three fatalities.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Agriculture Station, Department of Public Health, Department of Agriculture, Department of Pathobiology at the University of Connecticut are all involved in the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program. There are 91 mosquito trapping stations across 72 towns throughout the state.

For more information about West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website here.

Car Damaged by Gunfire in Meriden


Meriden police are investigating after a car was found damaged by gunfire on Sherman Avenue Tuesday afternoon.

Police said they received a 911 call around 1:15 p.m. from someone who reported that their car windows were smashed on Sherman Avenue near Center Street.

Investigators said it appeared shots were fired into the car. They believe the incident happened sometime in the last 12 hours.

Police said they were in the area late Monday night for a report of shots fired, but nothing was found at the time.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

New Haven Unveils Family Immigration Emergency Guide


It has been five days since mother of four Nury Chavarria decided to defy a deportation order by seeking sanctuary in a New Haven church.

“I made this decision because I want to stay near to my family, to be together,” she told NBC Connecticut Saturday night.

For immigrant families in the Elm City fearing separation, they now have a new guide for “what to do when deportation threatens.”

“This handbook is complete with practical, legal and emergency tips and referrals for recent arrivals,” Mayor Toni Harp (D) said at a press conference unveiling the “Family Immigration Emergency Preparedness Guide.”

One page describes how to recognize different law enforcement agents and another section remind people they have the right to remain silent when speaking with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“These family preparedness suggestions are meant to keep families calm in the face of such uncertainty,” Harp said.

The handbook encourages families to select a “standby guardian” for their children.

“Somebody they have a connection, somebody with whom they feel safe,” Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families Joette Katz said.

President Donald Trump has said the focus should be deporting the bad guys, immigrants with criminal records.

DCF is caring for 4,300 children, Katz said, adding that number could grow greatly under the Trump Administration’s immigration policies.

“Imagine 22,000 children are at risk if in fact their parents are deported for no reason other than their status,” she said.

With her city in the national spotlight because of Nury’s story, Mayor Harp had a message for immigrant families.

“In this city we will work to make new residents feel welcome, safe and secure no matter where they used to live,” Harp said.

The emergency preparedness guides will be available for pick up at New Haven schools, libraries and City Hall. The plan is to translate it in Spanish and also make it available online.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Video Purportedly Shows Dr. Taking Cash for Prescriptions


A federal judge in Bridgeport on Tuesday ruled Norwalk physician Dr. Bharat Patel will continue detention at a federal prison in Rhode Island.

The decision came at a bond hearing for the 70-year-old physician from Milford, weeks after he was one of two doctors charged in a federal criminal complaint that accuses him of writing illegal prescriptions, money laundering and more.

Also in court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Kale presented a 12-minute video clip of what appears to show Patel writing prescriptions to a confidential source and seen handing over what appears to be $100 bills for five separate scripts.

The video, according to federal agents, was obtained in March 2017. Regarding that clip, Judge William Garfinkel announced, "it does show a stunning callousness and disregard for the law,"  prior to making his decision.

"If he were to be convicted, and facing possible consequences, he could be spending the majority of his remaining years in prison," the judge added.

Patel’s attorney Dan Wenner argued that the 70-year-old physician should be released on a $1.2 million bond package with equities from properties owned by Patel’s friends and family.

In court, Wenner responded to the video shown, stating "a lot of content was reflected in the complaint. We are certainly not here to dispute the claim. Keep in mind, the dangerousness to a community standard, in terms of bail is not designed to punish Dr. Patel on past conduct. He is not a risk or danger to the community. Dr. Patel’s ability to commit the crimes he’s accused of doing is dependent on having a prescription pad." 

"If he doesn’t have prescription pads, there’s no way he could continue whatever kinds of crimes the government is accusing him of," Wenner said.

Reiterating to the judge, Wenner said his client would not be a danger to the community, nor would he be considered a flight risk.

The prosecutor and Patel’s attorney worked their way through his financial assets, retirement package from John Hancock and the amount the other doctor in the case charged in the criminal complaint provided Patel every month: $10,000.

Kale also announced in court that a grand jury was taking place on Wednesday.

Garfinkel addressed his concerns regarding allegations made against Patel’s wife. A prosecutor last week stated in open court, that Patel would leave prescriptions for his patients, after hours in the liquor store she once owned in the same Norwalk strip mall. This same claim Patel’s brother denied to the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters.

In court, Garfinkel announced his concerns about Patel’s wife and either potential involvement or willingness to look the other way.

Patel’s family and friends did not wish to comment to NBC Connecticut after court. Wenner did not wish to comment after court, in addition to what he put on the record at Tuesday’s bond hearing.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Alfred Angelo Attorney Says Dresses Stuck in California Port


For hundreds of brides and bridesmaids statewide, the now-bankrupt Alfred Angelo has clients’ money and their dress.

The company’s bankruptcy filing lists 277 creditors in Connecticut, and according to an email between one of those clients and the company’s attorney, Patricia Redmond, dresses shipped after June 24 are stuck at the port in California and will not arrive to its customers.

Alfred Angelo recently sent its bankruptcy notice to its creditors. Doing so imposes an automatic stay against most collection activities, which means creditors cannot sue or demand payment from the company. The case has to go through its respective process, which will likely take at least six months.

In the meantime, those affected can file a claim through the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, where Alfred Angelo is based. The court has one general case for Alfred Angelo customers and another one for those specifically affected in the northeast.

In the email correspondence, the company’s attorney suggests affected customers take advantage of both cases.

Redmond said a claim status update will likely be available early 2018.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

CT Responds to NTSB Report on Westchester Train Crash


The findings of the report into the Valhalla train crash that happened more than two years included some areas where Connecticut could end up being a focus.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that driver error was the primary factor in the collision and explosion with an SUV at a railroad crossing that led to the deaths of six people, including the driver.

One of the other main findings related to the design and implementation of the electrified third rail that provides power to the line. Investigators found the very design led to it coming in contact with the SUV, and exploding, leading to images seen around the world of the charred and smoldering train car connected to the automobile.

In Connecticut, Metro-North tracks are not powered by a third rail, but are instead powered by what’s known as a “catenary system.” That complex arrangement of wires and cables above the tracks in Connecticut was installed in 1907 and only routine maintenance had been provided up until the 1980s.

State officials told NBC Connecticut that catenary system is in the midst of an upgrade, which is expected to be complete by next summer.

On issues with railroad crossings, and making sure they are clearly marked and up to date, Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Commissioner James Redeker said in a statement, "CTDOT and Metro-North have worked to make every crossing as safe as possible, with lights, signage, gates and other warning devices. Ultimately, it is up to drivers to be aware of their surroundings as they approach a rail crossing. The train always has the right of way at a crossing."

The NTSB also recommended that Metro-North needs to conduct a risk-assessment along its tracks and railroad crossings.

Photo Credit: AP

Chipotle Says Norovirus Outbreak Due to Lax Sick Policy


Chipotle Mexican Grill said Tuesday that the recent norovirus outbreak in a Virginia restaurant was due to a lax enforcement of the company's sick policy, CNBC reported.

"We conducted a thorough investigation, and it revealed that our leadership there didn't strictly adhere to our company protocols," CEO Steve Ells said, adding that the restaurants should have been more aware of employee health issues.

Last week, tests confirmed that a customer who ate at a Chipotle in Sterling, Virginia, contracted norovirus. The Wall Street Journal reported that 133 diners reported being sickened as well, though their cases were not confirmed as norovirus.

It has been about two years since an E. coli outbreak rattled the food chain. In Oct. and Dec. 2015, at least 60 people were infected with the illness after eating at locations across the country. At least 22 people were hospitalized.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images, File

Sharks Surface at U.S. Post Offices With Forever Stamps


While many Americans have been glued to the TV this week to celebrate the mystique of sharks, they can now honor the ocean predators at the post office too.

The new Sharks Forever stamps debut Wednesday, the U.S. Postal Service announced in a statement. "To celebrate the wonder of sharks," the USPS said, the stamps will feature five species that inhabit American waters: the mako, thresher, great white, hammerhead and whale sharks.

The USPS said the campaign is also an effort to drum up support for the protection of marine life.

"While sharks may be scary to some, the prospect of a world without sharks is truly frightening," said USPS Executive Vice President Jeffrey Williamson. "We hope the stamps unveiled today help highlight the need for shark conservation and a greater respect and admiration for these incredible animals."

New York-based artist Sam Weber illustrated the striking images for the stamps. The USPS said he used real photographs of the beasts for reference.

The mysterious image of the great white is based on a photograph by Norb Wu, Central California's KSBW reported. The underwater photographer told the station he snapped the photo off Mexico at Guadalupe Island, a world-renowned spot for sharks.

The issuing ceremony for the stamps will be held Wednesday morning in Kentucky at the Newport Aquarium, which has been celebrating Discovery Channel's infamous Shark Week with special events. 

“This Postal Service initiative is a great thrill for conservation-minded shark lovers everywhere,” said Nicholas Whitney, a senior research scientist at the aquarium. “It should inspire everyone to support science-based management of these animals so that we can have sharks forever in our oceans, as well as on our envelopes.”

Photo Credit: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images, File

Widow of NYPD Cop Slain in 2014 Gives Birth to Child Through In-Vitro


The widow of a New York City police officer who was shot and killed in an ambush attack has given birth to a baby girl through in-vitro fertilization, the NYPD said. 

The birth comes about 2 ½ years after Det. Wenjian Liu was killed in a Brooklyn shooting along with his partner. 

Pei Xia Chen, who goes by Sanny Liu, gave birth to the baby girl, named Angelina, on Tuesday, according to the NYPD. She was joined by Det. Liu’s parents, Wei Tang Liu and Xiu Yan Li, at Weill Cornell Hospital.

Chen gave birth to her late husband’s baby more than two years after his death. Liu and his wife had always planned to have children, but those plans were tragically cut short when Liu was fatally shot alongside Det. Rafael Ramos as they sat in their patrol car on Dec. 20, 2014 in Bedford-Stuyvesant by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who fatally shot himself in a nearby subway shortly after the ambush.

The night her husband was killed, Chen requested that her husband’s semen be preserved, so that she may one day have his child, the NYPD said. The night after his death, she had a dream that he was handing her a baby girl.

“I got pregnant through the [in-vitro fertilization] procedure,” Chen said. “And I told my friend, ‘It’s going to be a baby girl.’ My friend said, ‘No, you haven’t even checked the sonograms,’ but I was right.”

Chen said she can’t wait to tell her daughter that that her father was a hero, and to introduce her daughter to the NYPD, which she refers to as her “big blue family.”

Photo Credit: NYPD/Getty Images
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