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Instructor Dead, 2 People Injured in New Milford Plane Crash


One male flight instructor is dead and two other people have been injured after a small four-seater plane carrying three people crashed at a small airport in New Milford, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration said a Cessna C-172 that left Danbury Municipal Airport crashed at the end of runway 17-35 at Candlelight Farms Airport in New Milford at 9:47 a.m. 

Police said the man who died was an instructor, a female who was onboard has critical injuries and LifeStar flew her to Hartford Hospital. A man who was in the back seat was also injured, got out of the plane and walked 300 to 400 yards to a house and asked the residents to call 911. An anbulance responded and transported him to Danbury Hospital. 

The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the crash.  The NTSB tells NBC Connecticut that an investigator is on the way to the scene.

This is the seventh airplane crash in Connecticut this year and the fourth fatal crash.

A 63-year-old pilot, Mark Stern, died after a plane crash at Danbury Municipal Airport on July 30.

Dr. Joseph Tomanelli, a Cheshire doctor, was killed in a plane crash at Meriden Markham Airport on April 24 and his son, 21-year-old Daniel Tomanelli, was seriously injured.

A student pilot, 31-year-old Pablo Campos Isona, of East Haven, was killed in a plane crash in East Haven on Feb. 22.

Check back for updates. 

Victim Robbed by Masked, Armed Man in Mansfield


A masked man with a weapon robbed a 66-year-old Berlin man in Mansfield Thursday night and police are trying to identify a suspect. 

Police said they received a report just before 8:30 p.m. of a robbery in the area of Fern and Scrotton roads and the victim said an armed and masked man approached him and demanded money. 

There was a struggle and the robber took money. Then the robber ran off toward Scrotton Road and left in a vehicle, police said. 

Anyone with information should call Detective Crevier at 860-896-3233 or Troop C 860-896-3200.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Videos Show Robbers Steal ATM from Guida’s in Middlefield


Masked robbers stole an ATM from Guida’s Restaurant on Route 66 in Middlefield and police are trying to identify them. 

State troopers responded to Guida’s Restaurant just after 2:30 a.m. Wednesday for a commercial burglary alarm and the front door of the restaurant had been broken off the hinges and the wall next to the door was also damaged. 

Surveillance footage shows a white 1995 to 2002 GMC Savana Van with stolen Pennsylvania registration plate YSG7232 pull up to the front door and two males dressed all in black clothing with black masks get out and wrap a chain around the handle of the front door. 

The video also shows the driver accelerate and pull the front door off. Then two of the robbers wrapped the chain around the ATM while the driver accelerates the van again, pulling the ATM out of the restaurant, according to state police. 

The robbers then picked up the ATM and put it in the van, took off. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Troop F at 860-399-2100 or text TIP711 with any information to 274637. 

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Steamroller Hits Person in Hampton

Suspected Driver Charged in Danbury Fatal Crash


State police have arrested a man accused of getting into a fatal crash while fleeing from police in Danbury on Dec. 1, 2016. 

Police said Ricardo Andre, 33, of Danbury, was fleeing from a Danbury police officer when he got into the crash that killed 26-year-old Tiffany Fitzgerald.

He has been charged with first-degree manslaughter, first-degree reckless endangerment, operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol and other charges.

Police previously charged Danbury police officer Jamie Hodge, who they said was following Andre. 

Officer Hodge was in uniform while working a private duty job on Dec. 1, 2016 when he noticed what he believed to be a stolen vehicle.

According to a state police investigator, Hodge jumped in his Chevy Tahoe and followed the stolen SUV at a high rate of speed before losing sight of it.

The stolen SUV hit a utility pole on Mountainville Road and rolled over several times. Fitzgerald, a passenger in the SUV, was thrown from the vehicle and later died from her injuries.

Andre was not seriously injured.

After a months-long investigation, state police determined Hodge endangered the lives of others by driving recklessly while pursuing the stolen SUV.

He was charged with reckless driving for using his personal vehicle to chase a stolen SUV, according to state police.

Now charges have also been filed against Andre and bond was set at $750,000.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Man Charged in Attempted Robbery at Southington Gas Station


Police have arrested a Hartford man accused of threatening and attempting to rob an Exxon gas station in Southington in April.

According to Southington police, on April 23 suspect Dallas Bailey, 36, entered the gas station to order cigarettes and gas and then demanded the gas station clerk give him money from the cash register. When the clerk refused Bailey indicated that he had a gun hidden in his pocket.

Bailey reportedly fled the scene when he saw another car pull into the gas station. The clerk followed Bailey and observed him pull out of the gas station in a white Nissan Altima with a female in the passenger side.

A short time after the incident, police found the car in Hartford and further investigation determined Bailey as the suspect in the case. He was arrested Thursday and appeared in Bristol Superior Court.

Police have yet to identify the female in the case.

270K Central Americans Could Be Sent Home by Trump Admin


José Palma fled from El Salvador to Lynn, Massachusetts, as a last hope. After his family was displaced from their farm by a bloody civil war, he crossed the border at age 21 and did any work he could get — as a dishwasher, a deliveryman, a factory worker — to try and rebuild his life.

In 2001, he received temporary protected status, giving him the right to stay and work in the country legally. He earned his associate’s degree and found a job as a paralegal. But under the Trump administration, those rights are in jeopardy.

Now, he is one of many TPS holders lobbying the Department of Homeland Security to renew his legal status — or push Congress to come up with a long-term solution for people like him.

“The end of TPS would destroy the life we’ve been building up for the past 19 years and give us an uncertain future,” he said. “Fighting to maintain our legal status is fighting for the future of our families, for the future of our children.”

TPS, a temporary humanitarian designation, protects people from countries in the midst of natural disasters or civil war until they are able to return home. Honduras received TPS status in 1999, after Hurricane Mitch, while El Salvador received it in 2001 following a series of deadly earthquakes.

In total, experts say there are roughly 265,000 immigrants from these two Central American countries living in the U.S. with TPS protection, forming about 80 percent of all TPS holders.

Other countries that currently benefit from the program include Haiti and Nicaragua. Three West African nations — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — were protected by TPS until their status was terminated in May.

As the TPS designations for Honduras and El Salvador come up for renewal early next year, Sharon Scheidhauer, a spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Custom Services, said in a statement that DHS “will review conditions in these countries and determine” what decision is warranted.

But former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has already made several indications that the future of the program is uncertain under the Trump administration, particularly when it comes to TPS designation for Haiti.

Before becoming the White House chief of staff, Kelly announced that Haiti’s designation would be extended for only six months, rather than the more common 18-month extension.

He later told the Miami Herald that immigrants protected by the program “need to start thinking about returning.”

His comments came as the Trump administration has been trying to deliver on a campaign promise of stricter immigration enforcement. Orders of removal and voluntary departures are up 30 percent. In addition, Trump has proposed limiting legal immigration, based on a new system that would cut the number of visas issued by half and set new requirements. 

For Sonia Paz, returning from Los Angeles to Honduras would mean giving up the ties she’s developed to the United States since arriving in 1985, and saying goodbye to her three adult children and seven grandchildren, all of whom are U.S. citizens.

“My kids don’t have any family except for me, and I don’t have anyone except them,” she said. “To have to disappear from their lives, that would be a disaster.”

And it would also mean facing the threat of violence in a country that’s been ravaged by gangs. Two of her brothers have been shot and killed by gang members since she came to the U.S.

Like her, many “tepesianos” — as they’re known in Spanish — arrived in the United States during the 1990s seeking refuge from political upheaval and the aftermath of civil war.

“It’s still so violent there. When people go back from the U.S., the first thing they [the gangs] do is threaten those families for money,” she said. “My family could get kidnapped, or I could get shot.”

Eric Olson, the deputy director of the Latin American program at the Wilson Center in D.C., said that conditions in the region are so unstable that deporting current TPS recipients would be like “pouring gasoline in a fire.”

“You’re putting people in a situation where things could only get worse,” he said. “These are countries that face tremendous challenges in terms of crime, in terms of violence, in terms of a lack of economic opportunity.”

At a Miami summit in June, the presidents of Honduras and El Salvador urged Vice President Mike Pence to push for a TPS extension for their respective countries, arguing that tepesianos are tax-paying, law-abiding immigrants who have integrated into U.S. society.

Trump himself has brought up the gang responsible for the region’s rampant violence, saying at a speech in July that MS-13 — a criminal gang formed in Los Angeles with ties to El Salvador — has “transformed peaceful parks and beautiful quiet neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields.”

And while Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited the region in July in an effort to coordinate enforcement with governments there, the administraton may end TPS status despite the violence.

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Ill., said that he fears for current TPS holders after a meeting between Kelly and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Kelly, at the time still secretary of Homeland Security, said he was not sure he would extend the program, according to a July 12 statement from Gutierrez.

“I think we have to prepare for the worst and get ready to fight mass deportation,” the representative said.

And that’s exactly what people like Evelyn Hernández, a TPS holder living in Los Angeles, are aiming to do.

As an organizer with the Central American Resource Center in L.A., Hernández is working with a multi-ethnic coalition of immigrant groups to raise awareness about the role and contributions of TPS holders, she said.

“We will meet with whoever we need until we find someone who wants to listen to us, who wants to speak for us,” she said.

The groups are targeting members of Congress to express support for TPS renewal or to take legislative action to reform the program independently of the Trump administration, ideally granting permanent residency.

They’re also working at the local level. The town boards of Cambridge, and Somerville, Massachusetts, have both passed resolutions urging DHS to extend TPS protection.

Cecilia Menjívar, a sociology professor at Kansas University, said that one of the main arguments for preserving TPS is the economic and social impact that immigrants have, particularly in areas with large Central American populations.

A May 2017 survey by Menjívar of 2,000 Salvadorans and Hondurans protected under TPS found that 80.3 percent pays income taxes, with nearly 30 percent volunteering in civic organizations, committees, or community groups.

A report from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco said that ending TPS for Honduras and El Salvador would result in a $6.5 billion reduction to social security and Medicare contributions over the next decade, in addition to a $42 billion reduction in GDP.

In addition, Menjívar said, the termination of TPS status would force these immigrants into the shadows, making them lose their health care and ability to drive and forcing them to search for under-the-table work.

Doris Meissner, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute in D.C., said that while the U.S.’s foreign policy interests in Central America may complicate the decision, Kelly and Trump have made their views clear.

“The prevailing view with the administration is that the enforcement of these immigration laws had been weak and insufficient,” she said. “The statute does not envision anything like the kinds of duration that had unfolded in the cases of these long-held TPS.”

Congress, meanwhile, will likely be debating the immigration sections in an appropriations bill before it could take legislative action to renew or reform the TPS program, Meissner said.

Still, Hernández said that’s not deterring her or other members of the campaign.

“I will fight however I can for staying here,” she said. I’m not just going to be home crying and depressed. I have to fight to find a way to keep my documents.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Martin Pineda/CARECEN-LA
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Emaciation, Spoiled Food: Puppy Mill Problems Persist


Susan Franz’s kennels landed on the Humane Society of the United States’ “Horrible Hundred” list for the third time this year after an inspection found a multitude of fleas and a dog with a crusted lesion on her neck and red, inflamed skin on her rear legs. Four dogs listed in her records were nowhere to be seen. One was dead, Franz said, and the others had been “donated,” the report said.

Franz’s Belton, Texas, business was among 55 repeat offenders in the 2017 report, intended to warn the public of problem puppy mills and puppy dealers in the United States.

Earlier inspections of the kennels turned up a dehydrated puppy and piles of abnormal looking feces on the floor of one kennel that were crawling with worms, according to the Humane Society.

A woman who answered the telephone at the number listed for the kennels hung up and a message seeking comment was not returned.

Five years after the Humane Society’s first report, it continues to find horrendous conditions across the country — emaciated dogs with open, festering wounds, rats feces in food, and puppies with mange. Its “Horrible Hundred” is not meant to be comprehensive, but to expose conditions prevalent among disreputable dog breeders and brokers.

The Humane Society publishes the list each year to draw attention to the persistence of problem, but this year the task was more difficult than in the past. In February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture removed thousands of animal welfare inspection reports from its website, citing privacy concerns and litigation.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said it has reposted many of the inspection reports, except those that contain personal information that is protected by the federal Privacy Act. Only reports involving individuals or homestead businesses have not been restored, said Lyndsay Cole, a spokeswoman for the inspection service. She said the USDA did not know how many reports had been reposted versus how many had not.

“They put a tiny sliver of the inspection reports up in a difficult search format,” countered John Goodwin, the senior director of the society’s Stop Puppy Mills campaign, who accused the USDA of protecting breeders who had abused or neglected animals.

This year’s report was compiled from state inspection records in those states that inspect puppy mills, USDA records preserved before the agency removed them, court records, consumer complaints, investigator visits and media reports, the Humane Society said.

It showed Missouri topping the list for the fifth year with 19 kennels followed by a three-way time among Ohio, Kansas and Pennsylvania, each with 12. Last year, Iowa had the second largest number of kennels, then Kansas, Ohio, Nebraska and Pennsylvania.

But if the USDA has made it more difficult for the public to obtain inspection reports, progress in curbing puppy mills has been made in cities and towns across the country, Goodwin said. Two hundred and fifty-one local governments have outlawed the sale of commercially raised puppies in pet stores, up from 100 at the beginning of last year.

Opponents of the legislation — who argue such laws could shut down businesses — have backed state-wide laws pre-empting such local laws. Arizona and Ohio have approved pre-emption laws, though they are under appeal, Goodwin said. 

Goodwin noted that of the top 25 pet retailers, only one, Petland, still sells puppies, and it questioned the USDA’s decision to remove the inspection reports and called for a balance between privacy and transparency.

“As a responsible pet store chain, Petland has established buying standards that are based on inspections conducted and reported by USDA inspectors,” its president, Joseph J. Watson, wrote in a letter to the USDA in February. “Petland stores are required to obtain USDA inspection reports for every puppy that originated from a regulated kennel. Access to reports via the (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) website is critical in this effort.”

Dog sales make up less than 2 percent of the pet industry’s $70 billion yearly business, Goodwin said.

Puppy mills typically keep their dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary kennels, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. To maximize profits, female dogs are bred repeatedly with little time to recover between litters and they are killed when they can no longer reproduce, it says. Puppies often arrive at pet shops or in new homes with diseases ranging from parasites to pneumonia, it says.

Many people do not know that the mother of a puppy bought in a pet store is trapped in a cage at a puppy mill, according to Goodwin. And dogs ordered online sight unseen were also likely born in a puppy mill. He recommends adopting a pet through a shelter or a rescue organization or if bought from a breeder, insist on seeing how the mother dog lives. Reputable dealers want to screen potential buyers to make sure their puppies are going to good homes and so do not sell them in stores.

There could be up to 10,000 puppy mills in the United States, although an accurate count is difficult because breeders often operate out of view and with no oversight, the ASPCA says. Some 1.8 million puppies are born in such conditions each year, according to estimates.

Many of the puppy mills are in the Midwest, especially in rural areas where family farms have been devastated by industrial agriculture and some have turned to breeding dogs to make a living.

Missouri is centrally located and has more than 100,000 farms. In the 1980s, most of the dogs were being raised in chicken coops because the chicken business had been taken over by conglomerates, Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation. In the 1990s, the same situation occurred with hogs. The problem has been hard to tackle because many kennels are hidden away, according to the alliance.

Missouri has made progress in eliminating more than half of its puppy mills — from 2,000 kennels in 2011 to 800 now, according to the alliance. There are 50,000 fewer breeding dogs confined in puppy mills as a result.

The drop was a result of the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act, passed in 2011, which increased the standards of care and for the first time gave the state’s attorney general the power to prosecute kennels, according to the alliance. A special unit was established in the Attorney General’s Office, the governor appropriated an additional $1.3 million and the number of inspectors was increased from seven to 18.

The state began requiring continuous access to water and the outdoors for the dogs, hands-on veterinary exams, improved floors and space requirements that at least double the federal standard, according to the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Facilities with violations are inspected more often, and those with substantial and ongoing facilities are to be closed.

But now the alliance and other animal welfare groups are gearing up to fight any rollback of regulations. As Gov. Eric Greitens reviews all regulations with the goal of eliminating those that affect businesses negatively, they are urging the public to oppose any repeal of ones governing puppy mills.

“We know the dog breeding industry is committed to repeal of regulatory protections,” Kathy Warnick, the president of the Humane Society of Missouri, said in a statement on the group’s website. “Many caring, passionate Missourians and animal welfare organizations worked very hard for years to put into place regulations protecting the thousands of dogs in breeding facilities.”

The governor’s office did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The USDA enforces the federal Animal Welfare Act, passed in 1966 and most recently amended in 2008, and which sets basic standards for animals bred for sale. The Humane Society and other animal welfare groups have criticized the standards for being so minimal that licensed dealers can keep hundreds of dogs in small, stacked cages with no exercise as long as they are provided with basic provisions such as food and water. They want breeders to be required to provide more space for the dogs, regular exercise, better veterinary care and the removal of wire floors in the cages.

Last year, the USDA revoked the licenses of seven puppy mills that had appeared in past “Horrible Hundred” reports, but the Humane Society called such revocations rare. More than two dozen of the problem puppy mills identified in its last few reports have closed, but it charges that many puppy mills are never inspected at all and others are protected by inspectors who fail to record violations accurately.

An internal audit at the USDA in 2010 indeed found that its own enforcement process was ineffective against problem breeders and dealers. Its inspectors took little or no action against most violators, relying instead on educating them about the regulations, a strategy that seems not to have worked. The audit noted that from 2006 through 2008, when 4,250 violators were re-inspected, 2,416 had repeatedly violated the Animal Welfare Act.

In addition, the USDA inspection service leveled minimal fines even after Congress had tripled the maximum penalties allowed, and it reduced the fines awarded to encourage violators to pay rather than demand a hearing, the audit said.

And some large breeders circumvented regulations entirely by selling animals over the internet, the audit found.

After the audit, the inspection service created standard procedures for all inspectors to follow, hired a kennel specialist, and sought stiffer sanctions in cases involving problematic breeders or dealers, it said. It revised the definition of retail pet store to ensure that animals sold over the Internet and by phone- and mail-based businesses are better monitored for overall health and humane treatment, it said.

Photo Credit: Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Early Apple Crop Ready for Picking at Lyman Orchards


Almost overnight a new batch of tasty apples popped up at Lyman Orchards.

Jayme Amarone and her family just had to get their hands on the harvest making its appearance about a week early this season.

“The macs are small so it's perfect for the kids so they cannot leave half of the apple uneaten” Amarone said.

“Early apples like this in August, people are looking for that fresh apple,” John Lyman, Executive Vice President of Lyman Orchards said.

Lyman said timely rains and a not-so-hot summer made for a sweet apple recipe that's now drawing out customers for a fresh bite.

“They've had apples all winter and spring but they were last year's crop now they have this year and they're really excited about that,” Lyman said.

“We did the sunflower maze and then we went over to the pears but they weren't quite ready yet,” Jessica Budrie said.

Budrie said the ripe apples were a welcomed pleasant surprise.

“Online we only saw peaches and nectarines, so I was excited when she said apples because I want to make an apple pie,” Budrie said.

The apples that seemed to pop up overnight are only the first of the orchard's 28 varieties, which can be picked through late October to early November.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

New School Bus-Routing Software in Groton Helps Cut Costs


A new school bus-routing software is being put into effect in Groton, and the hope is to make the routes more efficient while saving the district money.

The software is able to map out the most efficient routes, which should allow Groton schools to eliminate two buses without making the trip any longer for students.

Groton parent Lauren DeBarros said she likes the sound of the software.

“If there’s something that happened I would like to know if my kids are going to be late or where they’re at,” she said.

That should be made even easier. The district told NBC Connecticut that the new technology can specifically target which stops a bus hasn’t picked up at yet, so the district can text parents if there’s a delay.

But Superintendent Dr. Michael Graner said the biggest feature is being able to efficiently map bus routes for the district’s approximately 5,000 students.

Graner said through a study, the district learned that many routes finished in less time than they were allotted. With the program redesigning the routes, the district was able to eliminate two of its buses, which cost $58,000 each to operate.

“We’re actually pretty confident we can, maybe not this year, but certainly next year, eliminate more buses,” Graner said.

With a tight budget, Groton schools have been hard-pressed to make significant cuts.

“I definitely think that if it cuts budgets here, there’s going to be room for money to go other places that the school definitely needs,” DeBarros said.

With military families coming and going at random times throughout the school year, the program can quickly add or drop students from routes.

Graner said children should not be on the bus any longer than they’re used to, especially because parents with students attending regional magnet schools outside of the district will be asked to bring their student to a hub.

Graner explained that the district just added a new assistant transportation coordinator to help with the program. Her salary should be in the $40,000 range – less than the cost of using a bus.

The district also said eventually the software will be used to allow parents to track their child’s bus route in real time.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Cromwell Man Charged with Threatening Court Employees Online


A Cromwell man has been arrested on threatening charges after police say he made comments calling for the killing of judges and court employees on his Facebook page.

Edward Taupier, 52, of Cromwell, was arrested Friday after an investigation into comments he posted online between December 2016 and January 2017.

According to the arrest warrant, the investigation began when a judicial marshal from the Judicial District of Middletown reported concerns about a particular individual’s posts on Facebook.

The comments were posted to a Facebook profile for Edward Taupier, and made threatening comments against judges and court employees, sometimes naming specific people.

The warrant states that the poster was complaining about a custody dispute and other run-ins with law enforcement and court officials. The posts included comments like “Kill court employees and save the country,” and “this is why we need to start killing judges.”

Investigators allege that the posts, which threatened the Cromwell Police Department, called for the killing of judges and court employees and the burning of the courts, were written in a way that advocated and incited violence against persons and property.

Taupier's attorney Norm Pattis argues that his client was simply venting frustrations and while the speech may have been "ugly," he was not actually threatening anyone.

“It is a sad and traffic example of law enforcement overreaction to a man’s heartbroken frustration with the family court system,” Pattis said over the phone to NBC Connecticut.

Pattis added that his client already has a similar case before the state Supreme Court right now and that they intend to fight both cases on First Amendment grounds.

Taupier was charged with first-degree threatening and inciting injury to persons or property. He was issued a $200,000 bond and scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 14.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Driver Trying to Flee Police Drags Officer with Vehicle: PD


A New Britain police officer was dragged by a driver trying to flee a traffic stop Friday afternoon, according to police.

According to New Britain police, two officers stopped a vehicle on Long Street in New Britain. During the interaction, the driver tried to flee and dragged one of the officers with the car, police said.

Both officers suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Police caught up with the driver on Route 72 near exit 1 in Plainville and took him into custody.

He has been identified as 33-year-old Pedro Maldonado of Bristol.

Traffic was backed up in the area during the incident.

No other information was immediately available. Check back for updates.

Patient Missing from New London Treatment Facility: Police


A Silver Alert has been issued for a woman missing from a New London treatment facility.

Twenty-five-year-old Megan Scanlon was reported missing Friday afternoon. She is described as around 5-foot-2, 108 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

She was last seen wearing a purple scrub shirt, blue scrub pants, and orange Croc-style shoes. Anyone with information on her whereabouts should contact New London Police at 860-447-5269.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

‘iCan Bike’ Teaches People with Special Needs to Ride Bikes


About 30 kids and teens put the peddle to the metal at the “iCan Bike” summer camp in Niantic.

The program, hosted by the East Lyme Parks and Recreation and The Miracle League of CT, uses adaptive training bicycles and a specialized program to teach people with special needs how to ride a two-wheeler and become independent riders.

"Her cousins would go riding and she'd want to go with them. And she’d quickly get frustrated and couldn’t do it,” said Veronica Dastas, of Waterford, about her 8-year-old Amanda. “So now I think she'll be excited she can go with them."

Amanda told NBC Connecticut that she plans to ride her bicycle down to the ice cream shop and get some chocolate ice cream.

The Miracle League of CT also announced plans to build a Miracle League field in East Lyme. It's a special, rubberized sports field accommodating to wheelchairs. It'll be the first one in southeastern Connecticut.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Trump May Roll Out Probe Into China Trade Practices: Sources


President Donald Trump may roll out a long-expected initiative to investigate China's trade practices on Monday, with emphasis on alleged intellectual property theft, two administration sources told NBC News.

Alleged intellectual property theft by China has been an issue of particular concern to Silicon Valley.

If Trump announces the investigation, it would come at a time Trump and members of his administration have called on China to do more to rein in North Korea amid recent intercontinental ballistic missile tests.

Trump said Friday that he planned to call Chinese President Xi Jinping that evening.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

NJ Boy Who's Losing His Sight Is Made Honorary Fire Chief


On Friday, a New Jersey fire department surprised a young boy whose vision is deteriorating by naming him their honorary fire chief.

Four-year-old Jackson Mitchell of Wildwood Crest, New Jersey, has a hereditary disease that degenerates his eyesight and progresses quickly.

He wears fire engine-red glasses to help him see, but he has no peripheral vision and no vision at all after sundown.

“He could wake up tomorrow and not be able to see a thing,” his mother Christy said.

However, Mitchell, whose father is an injured fireman, dreams of becoming a firefighter.

“If you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he wants to be a fireman,” Christy said.

Seeing Mitchell’s passion, the Wildwood Fire Department allowed him to participate in their first-ever cadet firefighter program, made for 10- to 17-year-olds.

“He’s a ball of fire,” Brian Cripps of the Wildwood Fire Department said.

When his mother asked if he could take a ride in their fire truck—she was astounded at what happened next.

Mitchell was brought to the station where he received a customized helmet and badge emblazoned with his name. He repeated phrases after the firemen for an official swearing-in ceremony, and then it was official — he was dubbed the honorary fire chief of the Wildwood Fire Department.

“They went above and beyond because that wasn’t what was expected,” Christy said.

“We just had to make it happen,” Fire Chief Daniel Speigel said.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

Guam Governor Says Trump Called, Assured Island Is Safe


The governor of Guam said Saturday that he spoke with President Donald Trump amid heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea, and was assured that the people of the U.S. territory in the western Pacific are safe, NBC News reported.

"This isn’t the first time that we’ve had threats lobbed against our island, but this time, knowing that we have a president and a White House and a military that is watching out for us gives me a great deal of comfort," Guam Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo said.

Calvo said he was called by White House chief of staff John Kelly and Trump Saturday morning local time and "both assured me that the people of Guam are safe."

North Korea threatened to fire missiles near Guam amid a war of words between the isolated regime and U.S.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Tassanee Vejpongsa

Bristol Man Charged with Attempted Murder


A Bristol man has been charged with attempted murder in connection with the shooting in July 2016.

Police said that Keith Gainey, 28, is accused in a shooting on Davis Drive on July 11, 2016.

According to police, a 33-year-old woman was found lying on the ground in the area of 262-264 Davis Drive shortly after midnight that night. She was rushed to Saint Francis Hospital for treatment and ultimately survived.

Gainey is charged with criminal attempt at murder, first-degree assault, carrying a pistol without a permit, reckless endangerment and unlawful discharge of a firearm.

He was arrested Friday night without incident and held on a $750,000 bond and is due to appear in court Monday. 

Photo Credit: Bristol Police Department

Manchester Car Audio Business Damaged by Fire


A car audio business in Manchester was heavily damaged when fire broke out in the vehicle service area Friday night.

Fire officials said that they responded to Extreme Audio and Performance at 277 Broad Street around 10:30 p.m. When they arrived they found heavy smoke pouring from the roof line and flames visible through the windows.

It was after business hours so nobody was in the building at the time and no injuries were reported.

The main bulk of the fire was in the vehicle service area, which suffered extensive damage. The showroom area suffered some smoke damage. The building did not have sprinklers.

Manchester Fire Rescue EMS and the Eighth District both responded to fight the fire.

The cause remains under investigation. The business is closed until repairs can be made.

LifeStar Responds to Crash on Main Street in Ellington


One person was airlifted to the hospital after a motorcycle accident on Main Street in Ellington Saturday, according to emergency dispatchers.

The crash occurred on Main Street near Maple Street.

LifeStar confirmed they were called to transport one person to Harford Hospital. The road is closed while police investigate.

The state Department of Transportation reports that at least one other vehicle was involved.

No other details were immediately available.

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