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Hunger Strike Continues Outside Northwestern Hospital


More than a dozen protesters continued a hunger strike Monday morning on the steps of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago to fight for fair treatment of undocumented immigrants in need of organ donation.

A group of 14 protestors hasn't eaten for a week in response to what they say is Northwestern's refusal to add their undocumented family members to organ transplant lists. About 40 others have been picketing but have not joined the hunger strike.

The 14 on hunger strike say they need kidneys or livers.

According to a researcher at Rush University Medical Center, David Ansell, 20 percent of the organs donated in this country come from uninsured people and only 1 percent of the people who wind up getting organ transplants are uninsured, the Sun-Times reported.  

That's not fair, said the sister of a Mexican immigrant who needs a kidney, and who, by virtue of being undocumented, is also uninsured.

"If you're not a citizen, you could still donate," Osbeidy Rivera said, "but when it comes to people who don't have documents, they don't want to help them. It's sad."

The group said they are not leaving until they get a face-to-face meeting with hospital administration. Until then they'll stay on the sidewalk and continue consuming only liquids like water, V8 and Gatorade. 

In a statement released late Monday, Northwestern officials said all prospective candidates for organ transplantation are evaluated "against a rigorous set of standards" and that "U.S. citizenship is not among them."

“Our multidisciplinary teams of clinicians and social workers review a host of determining factors that might forecast an individual’s chances for a successful surgery as well as their means for long-term stability with a transplanted organ," the statement continued. "Our processes follow policies compliant with federal regulations. ... We believe such careful and meticulous standards ensure fair and equitable evaluation of everyone seeking transplant and allow us to ensure the greatest opportunities for viability of patients with donated organs." 

Photo Credit: NBCChicago.com

Pedestrian Hit By Dump Truck in Bridgeport


A pedestrian is in critical condition after being struck by a dump truck this morning on Old Town Road in Bridgeport.

The pedestrian was struck at 8:18 a.m. in the area of Sunnydale Road and the truck was traveling eastbound, according to police.

No charges have been filed. The police investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's Full Statement on Suspensions


Below is Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig's statement on the suspension of Alex Rodriguez and 12 other players as a result of MLB's Biogenesis investigation.

Major League Baseball has worked diligently with the Players Association for more than a decade to make our Joint Drug Program the best in all of professional sports. I am proud of the comprehensive nature of our efforts - not only with regard to random testing, groundbreaking blood testing for human Growth Hormone and one of the most significant longitudinal profiling programs in the world, but also our investigative capabilities, which proved vital to the Biogenesis case. Upon learning that players were linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, we vigorously pursued evidence that linked those individuals to violations of our Program. We conducted a thorough, aggressive investigation guided by facts so that we could justly enforce our rules.

Despite the challenges this situation has created during a great season on the field, we pursued this matter because it was not only the right thing to do, but the only thing to do. For weeks, I have noted the many players throughout the game who have strongly voiced their support on this issue, and I thank them for it. I appreciate the unwavering support of our owners and club personnel, who share my ardent desire to address this situation appropriately. I am also grateful to the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society and our club physicians, who were instrumental in the banning of amphetamines and whose expertise remains invaluable to me. As an institution, we have made unprecedented strides together.

It is important to point out that 16,000 total urine and blood tests were conducted on players worldwide under MLB Drug Programs in 2012. With the important additions of the hGH testing and longitudinal profiling this season, we are more confident than ever in the effectiveness of the testing program. Those players who have violated the Program have created scrutiny for the vast majority of our players, who play the game the right way

This case resoundingly illustrates that the strength of our Program is not limited only to testing. We continue to attack this issue on every front - from science and research, to education and awareness, to fact-finding and investigative skills. Major League Baseball is proud of the enormous progress we have made, and we look forward to working with the players to make the penalties for violations of the Drug Program even more stringent and a stronger deterrent.

As a social institution with enormous social responsibilities, Baseball must do everything it can to maintain integrity, fairness and a level playing field. We are committed to working together with players to reiterate that performance-enhancing drugs will not be tolerated in our game.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Baseball’s New Storm


Fifteen years ago this summer, Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa put on the greatest show in baseball, slamming homer after homer, as far as the eye could see.  
But the sunny season of Mark and Sammy turned out to be an illusion.
Now, another storm bodes for baseball, with news Monday of a hall-of-shame list of suspensions – led by New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who reportedly is expected to appeal his penalty in the long-brewing performance enhancement drug scandal.
The suspension of 13 players raises many questions. But one rises above the rest: How could anyone be so stupid?
How could anyone even think of dabbling in banned substances after the sickening circus of McGuire, Sosa and others testifying before Congress in 2005? After the Hall of Fame ballots that go unmarked, year after year, for McGuire, Sosa and other tarnished superstars – including all-time home run leader Barry Bonds? After the doping stories that long dogged – and eventually brought down – disgraced cycling champ Lance Armstrong?
Rodriguez is displaying an Armstrong-like arrogance with his reported plans to play as he appeals his suspension. That's his right. But he risks further sullying both what's left of his reputation and the game that made him rich, if no longer beloved. The next time he steps onto a big-league diamond, Rodriguez will do so as an accused cheat.
Part of baseball’s allure, from its earliest days, has been offering an even playing field, a place where talent and hard work can make you the idol of millions. But too many times, for too many periods, that’s proven an illusion, too.
The National Pastime didn’t even begin to earn that vaunted nickname until 1947, when Jackie Robinson broke the insidious color line. Thanks to the recent movie “42,” new generations of fans have seen how Robinson began to redeem and reshape the game – one, that in its latest state of dishonor, doesn’t seem worthy of his legacy.
Robinson wasn’t a major home run hitter, but his hard-fought greatness was no illusion. He scrapped his way around the diamond, one base at a time – driven by pride, a love of game and a burning desire to prove the foolish bigots wrong.
Baseball, once again, has something to prove. The All-Star game at Citi Field, bookended by the coming of New York Mets fireballer Matt Harvey and the solo victory lap of Yankees fireman Mariano Rivera, helped fans forget about the game’s latest troubles, at least for one night. The July 16th contest also provided showcases for Detroit Tigers Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis, who gave the quote of the season when he declared the real season home run record is the 61 dingers slammed by Roger Maris in 1961.
“The chase in '98, at the time, was one of the most exciting things in all of sports," said Davis, who was 12 during the tainted summer of Mark and Sammy. “It was obviously disheartening to find out down the road what came out about all of that.”
Thanks to this latest, perhaps most disheartening doping scandal of them of all, it might be too late to ever fully restore fans’ faith. Sadly, we can believe everything we’re reading about Rodriguez, who once showed the potential to become the best to ever play the game. But the even sadder truth is we can’t always believe everything we’re seeing on the field.

Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

37 Arrested at Underage Drinking Party in Southington


Police arrested 37 people when they raided an underage drinking party in Southington late Thursday night, despite several people trying to evade law enforcement by running inside and turning off the lights.

Police responded to 46 Pheasant Run at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday after receiving a report of an underage drinking party and saw several people run into the house and turn off all of the interior lights, police said.

As officers checked the house, they found drinking games, opened and unopened beer cans and opened and unopened liquor bottles, police said. 

Of the 37 people at the house, 34 were between 18 years old and 20 years old and three were under 18.

All are Southington residents, except one New Britain resident and one Waterbury resident.

The three juveniles were also issued infraction tickets for violation for possession of alcohol by a minor.

Photo Credit: NBC Philadelphia

Man Arrested For Making Bomb Threat at Bradley Airport


Connecticut state troopers took a man into custody after he told TSA agents he had a bomb while being screened at Bradley Airport this afternoon, a Transportation Security Administration spokesperson said.

"At 3:12 p.m. ET, a male traveler who was passing through the security checkpoint at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., claimed that he had a bomb," TSA said in a statement.

According to state police, Jordan Rickard, 26, of Charlotte, N.C., was chosen for additional screening while walking through the security checkpoint. When TSA asked Rickard if he had anything in his pockets, Rickard replied "Yes, I have a bomb," police said.

TSA officers contacted state police troopers, who took Rickard into custody.

The security checkpoint was closed for about 25 minutes and screening was suspended, according to Kevin Dillon, airport director at Bradley. The terminal was never evacuated, Dillon said.

Rickard was traveling with his girlfriend, but she was not arrested, according to officials. Police are interviewing her as well.

Rickard did not have any type of explosive device, according to Lt. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police.

He is facing several charges and will be held on bond to appear in Superior Court, Vance said.

The airport is back to running normally. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Chevron Pleads No Contest, Will Pay $2M After Refinery Fire


Chevron USA pleaded no contest to six misdemeanors and agreed to pay $2 million in restitution and fines on Monday – one day shy of its one-year anniversary of the Bay Area refinery fire last August.

Chevron entered the plea in Contra Costa County Superior Court after charges were filed by the California Attorney General's Office and the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.

In a statement, District Attorney Mark Peterson called the labor and health code convictions a "historic resolution."

MORE: 210 Arrested at Chevron Refinery Protest

The charges were labor and health code violations (PDF) and included failing to correct deficiencies in equipment and failing to require the use of certain equipment to protect employees from potential harm.

No one died in the Aug. 6 fire at the Richmond, Calif. refinery. But thousands of people went to the hospital, many complaining of respiratory problems when a flammable fluid was vaporized and "engulfed" 19 Chevron employees at the time, prosecutors described. Investigators blamed it on a corroded pipe.

After the agreement was announced, Chevron also issued a statement: "We are committed to continuous improvement in process safety and reliability at the refinery."

MORE: Richmond Files Lawsuit Against Chevron For Alleged Negligence

In a separate email, Chevron spokeswoman Melissa Ritchie said that these charges are separate from the city of Richmond's lawsuit filed last week regarding the same fire.

In that civil suit, filed Friday, the 39-page complaint accuses the oil company of "willful and conscious disregard of public safety." It alleges the explosion and blaze at the California Bay Area refinery resulted from "years of neglect, lax oversight and corporate indifference to necessary safety inspection and repairs."

RAW VIDEO: Chevron Refinery Erupts in Fire

Regarding the criminal case in Contra Costa County, part of the agreement requires Chevron to inspect every piece of pipe that might be subject to sulfidation corrosion and requires the company to make "substantial changes" to its business practices.

Specifically, Chevron pleaded no contest to charges including: Failing to correct deficiencies in equipment and continuing to use equipment which was outside acceptable limits, failing to prevent non-emergency personnel from entering emergency area, and failing to implement injury prevention program. Also, the company was convicted of two violations of negligent emission of air contaminants.

PHOTOS: Chevron Refinery Catches Fire

Of the $2 million Chevron was ordered to pay, $1.28 million are considered fines, $575,000 will go to Cal/OSHA, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the California Department of Justice. Chevron will also be required to contribute $145,000 to Richmond BUILD, a public-private partnership helping train workers in renewable energy fields.

NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez  contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Jodi Hernandez

Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Buys Washington Post


Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos purchased The Washington Post Company's newspaper publishing business with a pricetag of $250 million, the company announced Monday.

The announcement was made during an abrupt staff meeting Monday afternoon, ending a four-generation ownership streak by the Graham family. No layoffs are planned, according to the Post.

“[We] decided to sell only after years of familiar newspaper-industry challenges made us wonder if there might be another owner who would be better for the Post ... Bezos’ proven technology and business genius, his long-term approach and his personal decency make him a uniquely good new owner for the Post," the Post Company's chairman and CEO Donald E. Graham said in a statement released Monday.

The Post reports few people were aware of the "sudden and stunning" sale. Graham, whose family has owned the paper for more than 80  years, reportedly hired investment firm Allen & Co. to "shop the paper" -- half-dozen potential investors were considered in the process.

Bezos -- who has never operated a newspaper -- has reportedly asked the Post's publisher Katharine Weymouth, its president and general manager Stephen Hills, its executive editor Martin Baron and its editorial page editor Fred Hiatt to remain in their current roles. 

"For me, this is very emotional," former executive editor Leonard Downie said. "It is the end of an era in terms of the Graham family's involvement with the paper. They made it what it is today."

In a statement, Bezos said he will remain in Seattle and delegate day-to-day operations to current, local managers.

"I have a fantastic day job that I love," 49-year-old Bezos said.

But the Bezos-Graham relationship may not be as unexpected as initially thought -- Graham reportedly advised Bezos on featuring newspapers on the Kindle, Amazon.com's popular e-reader. Bezos started the website as an online bookstore 19 years ago with a $300,000 loan from his parents. The retail company has come a long way since -- ringing up an astounding $61 billion in sales last year, selling anything from clothing to electronics to home goods and everything between.

Weymouth, who has held her post for five years, reduced staff, shut bureaus in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago and eliminated Sunday's Book World section in an effort to cut costs and turn profits.

The Post has suffered a 44 percent decline in operating revenue during the past six years. Print circulation fell 7 percent daily and Sundays during the first half of 2013, according to the release.

The sale includes the Express newspaper, The Gazette Newspapers, Southern Maryland Newspapers, Fairfax County Times, El Tiempo Latino and Greater Washington Publishing. It does not include Slate magazine, TheRoot.com and Foreign Policy, which will remain with the Post Company, according to a release. The company will also keep certain real estate assets, including the newspaper's downtown D.C. headquarters building.

As part of the sale, the Post Company will be changing its name.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Curiosity Rover Celebrates Year on Mars


Confirm that life could exist outside Earth. Check.

Explore the ancient geography of Mars. Check.

Become a social media powerhouse. Check.

NASA's Curiosity -- and the humans who make her work -- have racked up several accomplishments during the rover's first Earth year on Mars.

After traveling more than 300 million miles in eight months, Curiosity blazed through Mars’ atmosphere Aug. 5, 2012, before gently coming to a rest on the red planet at 10:32 p.m. Pacific time. She had to decelerate from 13,200 mph to just under 2 mph in a matter of minutes.

The landing was NASA's seventh on Earth's neighbor; many other attempts by the U.S. and other countries to zip past, circle or set down on Mars have gone awry.

Photos: Curiosity Lands on Mars

Among Curiosity’s goals are determining if life ever existed on Mars, characterizing the climate and geology of the red planet and preparing for human exploration.

Since landing, Curiosity has traveled more than a mile along the Martian surface (pictured below) and gathered "incredible data" along the way.

She’s determined that Mars is a suitable home for life, found evidence of an ancient streambed, learned radiation could pose health risks for future human explorers and discovered major environmental diversity just in the landing area alone.

But it hasn’t been all work and no play for Ms. Curiosity.

She’s achieved four Martian "mayorships” using the social media check-in app FourSquare, kept 1.3 million Earthlings updated via Twitter, and has taken plenty of photos – including one famous “selfie."

So, what’s next for NASA’s most advanced rover ever sent to Mars?

The 1-ton Curiosity will trek toward the foothills of Mount Sharp, an 8-kilometer trip that is expected to take the slow-moving rover several months to complete, said Rick Welch, a NASA JPL engineer who has been working with Curiosity for eight years.

Because Curiosity can’t explore every interesting rock she sees along the way, four stops have been factored into the trip, Welch said.

When she gets to the foothills, Curiosity likely will find lots of layered material, Welch said. Newer material layered atop ancient material will give Curiosity a peek into Mars’ geological history.

Orbital data of the foothills suggests there also may be clay in the area, and where there was water, there may have been potential for life, Welch said.

While Curiosity is paving the way for manned missions to Mars, Welch said a timeline for such a milestone is still hazy.

“People talk about all the time but it’s very, very expensive,” Welch said.

“We have a constant human presence in the orbit around the planet, [so] it’s part of the natural evolution to go to a planet,” he added.

Designed and built in Pasadena, Calif., Curiosity will continue to explore the red planet for a Martian year – about 687 Earth days – and will endure at least one Martian winter in the process.

Science fans can join in Curiosity's anniversary week celebrations by visiting NASA JPL's website, where they'll be greeted by a festive rover lighting her own celebratory candle (pictured below) and multimedia "presents."

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Faulty Radios Pose Problems for Waterbury Police


Waterbury police radios have been malfunctioning since the department upgraded the system a few months ago, and some worry this will interfere with officers' ability to do their job.

“It could be catastrophic to the officers and to the public,” said Jeff Hamel, vice president of the Police Union.

Officers haven’t been able to clearly communicate with dispatchers, so if they are on a dangerous call, it might be tough to get backup when time is of the essence.

“If the officers not safe obviously the public's not safe,” Hamel said.

The union sent a letter to the Waterbury Police Chief, asking that officers patrol in pairs until the radio problems get fixed.

“We want to protect our people,” Hamel said.

Deputy Police Chief Chris Corbett said two officers are always sent to high risk calls, and the department had a few backup call systems in place.

“It is serious it’s a high priority for us,” said.

Corbett said the goal was to make sure the radios stopped malfunctioning and that the department had been working with a contractor to resolve the issue. He said there had been significant progress in the last few weeks.

“I’m confident the system will be 100 percent,” Corbett said.

Police department officials could not provide a specific time frame as to when the radios will be fixed, but said repairs are almost done.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Waterbury Surveillance Cameras Installed but Turned Off


Businesses in Waterbury are asking why surveillance cameras aren’t working downtown.

In February the city said the new crime-fighting tools would be running in a matter of weeks, but months later, that still isn't the case.

Over the last few months, the city has put up fourteen cameras on downtown buildings, but business owners say none of them work.

“I see them yes, but they don't work,” said Corinne DeSantis. She was waiting for the camera across from her salon on Grand Street to turn on.

“A month ago, Fine Craft Jewelers was robbed. A guy went in there to look for a ring,” DeSantis said. She said working cameras could have made the culprit think twice about targeting the stores here.

DeSantis and others wanted to know why the cameras weren’t running yet. The mayor announced changes were on the way in February.

Waterbury police admitted the process had not been easy.

“We had to put it up to bid... find a vendor to supply us then install them. We also had to find appropriate locations for them it was quite a process to map it out,” said Deputy Chief Chris Corbett.

Right now the final and fifteenth camera was getting set up. Once that happened, it should be a matter of weeks until the Waterbury Police Department started to monitor all of them 24 hours a day. “This is going to be very important to safety downtown,” Corbett explained.

Police will keep the video for 20 days, and they can rewind it to track down possible culprits. Something business owners said was critical. “I think more people would want to come down it would feel safer,” Corinne DeSantis said. She explained it would be better for them and their customers.

Police said all cameras should be working by the end of August.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

How Conn. Judges Manage Social Media


Our social media footprint can say a lot about us: what books we read, which TV shows we watch, even which politicians we like.

But if your job relies on proving you are impartial, your online accountability is everything – and impartiality is crucial for judges.

“We are to avoid impropriety and appearance of impropriety,” said Judge Barbara Quinn, Chief Court Administrator for Connecticut.

Facebook, for instance, has forced most of us, including judges, to reexamine what it means to be a "friend." Is it that childhood buddy, or the possibly hundreds of random people you’ve never met that send you a friend request?

“A judge could accept friendship offers on Facebook from anybody and not automatically cause concern. They would probably still have to be in the case. On the other hand, judges don't want to be put in that position,” said attorney Jim Bergenn.

“It’s not that you leave your First Amendment rights at the courthouse door when you’re appointed, but you’re no longer the same as a private citizen,” said Judge Quinn.

And on social media, that includes not just your comments or posts, but to whom you give the Facebook thumbs up.

This year, Connecticut judges were asked not to "friend" attorneys or law enforcement officials that appear before them, or make comments about any case, even those not in their courtroom.

So, is being on social media worth the potential headaches for judges?

“Many have decided that it is not,” said Judge Quinn. “It all harkens back to our need to be impartial and for people to perceive us to be impartial,” she added.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

A-Rod Booed in Comeback Against White Sox After Suspension



Alex Rodriguez stepped up to the plate greeted by a standing boo-vation and blooped a single in his first at-bat of the season.


Hours after Major League Baseball suspended the New York Yankees star through the 2014 season in the Biogenesis drug case, Chicago White Sox fans got their say Monday night.

And, boy, did they let him hear it.

They jeered him during pregame warmups and introductions, and they really tore into him when he walked to the batter's box leading off the second inning.

On the third pitch, Rodriguez dunked a hit into shallow left field. He made it to third base with no outs, but was stranded.

Rodriguez flied out in his next two at-bats and then took a called third strike in the eighth inning while fans chanted "Steroids! Steroids!" He also handled a few grounders at third base as Chicago snapped a 10-game losing streak with an 8-1 win over the struggling Yankees.

At 38 and coming back from hip surgery, Rodriguez said he's fighting for his career.

He did not deny using performance-enhancing drugs in a news conference at U.S. Cellular Field after the punishment came down, and he said he will talk about whether he used PEDs at another time when he is more free to speak.

He did, however, dig in for a battle, saying no one else will defend him unless he stands up for himself. Then, he took to the field, batting fourth against the White Sox.

"There's nothing about it that's been easy," Rodriguez said. "All of it has been challenging. I'm sure there's been mistakes made along the way. We're here now. I'm a human being. I've had two hip surgeries. I've had two knee surgeries. I'm fighting for my life. I have to defend myself. If I don't defend myself, no one else will. There's a process. I'm happy with the process. In due time, hopefully whatever happens, happens."

The Yankees are hoping something good happens with him on the field. They're out of playoff position and desperate for power, especially their third basemen — the players they've had playing that spot this season had a combined 32 RBIs, fewest in the majors according to STATS, and were hitting .215 with four homers.

Rodriguez, with 647 career home runs, arrived at the ballpark in a dark gray Cadillac around 3:10 p.m. CT and waved when a fan shouted "A-Rod!" on his way into the stadium.

In the clubhouse, his locker was jammed with the usual clothing and equipment, and there was a scouting report on his chair.

It all looked so ordinary, yet there was nothing ordinary about this day.

The three-time MVP was one of 13 players disciplined on Monday, one of the biggest mass suspensions in the history of the game.

All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games each. Rodriguez, however, got 211 games, due to start Thursday.

He will appeal his suspension, and that means he will likely be able to play the rest of this season while his case winds through arbitration.

Prior to his first game since last Oct. 18, Rodriguez signed autographs and drew a crowd — of both fans and photographers.

Rodriguez said "a lot" went into his decision to appeal his case but added "I'm not going to get into any of that today."

"What we've always fought for was for the process, and I think we have that and at some point we'll sit in front of an arbiter and give our case," he said. "And that's as much as I feel comfortable telling you right now."

Asked if he denies using PEDs, Rodriguez said, "Like I said, we'll have a forum to discuss all of that and we'll talk about it then."

If he hasn't used PEDs since then, why not say it?

"There's a lot of things that have been thrown to the wall, and I think when the time is right, there will be an opportunity to do all of that," he said. "I don't think that time is right now. And I don't want to interfere or get in the way of anything that — with the process."

On Friday, Rodriguez hinted that the Yankees did not want him back and were trying to avoid paying him the $94.5 million they still owe him through 2017.

Union executive director Michael Weiner said those comments were probably out of frustration and that Rodriguez would probably agree they were "counterproductive."

Weiner also said he and Rodriguez have talked since then — but not about those comments.

"But I would guess that all things considered, and having thought about it a little bit, he's probably not very happy with those comments," Weiner added.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, brushed off a question about his comment on Friday, saying "Today is another day, and I'm focused on what my job is and my responsibilities to the New York Yankees and to the fan base of New York."

He thanked the fans, media, people from the Dominican Republic and Hispanics "all over the world" for the support.

Whether he has the Yankees' support is another issue.

"If I'm productive, I think they want me back," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez batted .120 (3 for 25) with no RBIs last postseason, including 0 for 18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handers.

"It's been a long time for me, and the last time I was on the field it wasn't pretty," he said. "I was horrific."


Photo Credit: AP

Body Found Might Be Missing New York Man


A body has been found in the area near where a New York man disappeared after attending the annual Lobster Feast in Essex over the weekend.

State police have not positively identified the person found on Monday, but believe it is Richard Cianflone, 29, of Valhalla, New York, who was reported missing on Saturday night,

State police said they received a call from a Port Chester, New York man reporting that his friend,  Cianflone, was missing.

The two men were in Essex for the lobster feast and ended up at the Griswold Inn with several friends. That is where Cianflone, known as Ricky, was when he was last seen around 11 p.m. on Saturday, state police said.

Cianflone‘s cell phone company determined through a “ping” that his cell phone was just off the shore between Rackett Lane and Benson Lane in Essex as of 11:18 p.m.

The state police dive team searched the Essex South Cove, Connecticut River and the Essex Marina by boat and Troop F Major Crime detectives conducted interviews.

The State Police K-9 unit conducted tracks from Cianflone's vehicle, but did not find anything. The dive team and K-9 teams resumed the search this morning.

Some of Cianflone‘s family members made the trip to be in Connecticut as police continue the search.

State Police also sent a reverse 911 call to Essex residents to alert them that Cianflone missing and provided a description: 5-feet-6 and around 170 pounds, with a medium-stocky build, brown hair and hazel eyes.

He was wearing blue jeans, a brown T-shirt and blue canvass Converse sneakers.


Photo Credit: Family photo

Gas Station Clerk Charged With Sex Assault


A gas station clerk in West Haven was charged with sexual assault this morning, accused of making advances toward a customer, kissing her and grabbing her breast.

Police said Ameshkumar Patel, a clerk at the Shell Gas Station at 444 Saw Mill Road, came out from behind counter and began flirting with a female customer this morning.

Then, he followed her outside to her car and suddenly kissed her firmly on the mouth, police said.

The woman pulled away and told him to stop, but Patel kissed her on the cheek as she got into her vehicle, according to a news release from police.

Before the woman could drive away, Patel reached into her vehicle's open window and grabbed her firmly by the breast, according to police. 

Patel, 49, of New Haven, was charged with sexual assault charge. He posted bond and is due in court in Milford on August 20.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police

Motorcycle Driver Seriously Injured in Litchfield Crash


A motorcycle driver was seriously injured after colliding with an SUV in Litchfield Monday night, police said.

The crash happened around 6:30 p.m. just outside the Village Wine Cellar at 189 West Street, Route 202, according to police.

LifeStar was called to the scene and the motorcyclist was airlifted to the hospital. Police said the driver's injuries were serious and potentailly life threatening.

Road closures and detours were in effect throughout the evening.

The investigation is ongoing. No additional details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Respond to Shooting in Hartford


Police are investigating a shooting on Mather Street in Hartford.

The shooting happened just after 11 p.m. Monday near the intersection of Richard Weaver-Bey Way.

It's not clear how many people were involved or how serious the injuries were.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Amber Alert Issued After Deadly House Fire


Officials have issued a statewide Amber Alert for two children, after their mother's body was discovered inside a home that burned to the ground in Boulevard.

Sheriff's officials have identified the victim as 44-year-old Christina Anderson of Lakeside. Officials determined she had been murdered.

A child's remains were also found on the property, according to the sheriff's department. Investigators haven't released that child's identity or cause of death.

They also found a dog that had been killed, according to officials.

Deputies were called to the 2000-block of Ross Avenue in the unincorporated community of Boulevard around 8 p.m. Sunday. Firefighters from CalFire and Pine Valley also responded.

Deputies obtained a search warrant around 5 a.m. Monday to search the property for other potential victims, according to spokesperson Lt. Glenn Giannantonio.

Officials are searching for suspect James Lee Dimaggio (pictured below) in relation to the incident. He owned the home that burned down, and sheriff's officials said he had a "close platonic relationship" with Anderson.

They are also looking for the victim's two children, 8-year-old Ethan Anderson and 16-year-old Hannah Marie Anderson (pictured below.) Officials think they could have been abducted by DiMaggio.

The three may be traveling together in a 2013 Nissan Versa with the license plate 6WCU986.

If you see these people, do not approach them and call 911. Anyone with information on the suspect or people should call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

Booking System Outage Delays Flights Across US


Numerous domestic and international airlines experienced delays Monday night into Tuesday morning on flights out of the United States as a result of a digital reservation booking system outage, airport officials said.

The SABRE reservation system used worldwide for check-ins, online booking and reservations went out about 8:40 p.m., causing backups at Los Angeles International Airport by about 9:45 p.m., among others across the country.

At least 17 flights at LAX were delayed up to 45 minutes, LAX spokeswoman Nancy Castles said.

About 50 Alaska Airlines flights departing from Seattle were delayed by an hour, airline spokeswoman Bobbie Egan told the Associated Press.

Passengers of American, American Eagle, Alaska, Frontier, JetBlue, Virgin America, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, British Airways, WestJet and LAN Fiji Air were at risk of experiencing continuing delays, and airport officials urged travelers to check with their airlines for flight updates.

The SABRE system’s restoration began about 11 p.m.

Details of the cause of the outage were not immediately available.

Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Falls Fire Blazes Through Cleveland Nat'l Forest


A fast-growing wildfire in Cleveland National Forest has forced evacuation of communities in Riverside County and Lake Elsinore Monday, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Dubbed the Falls Fire, the blaze was reported about 10 a.m. near Ortega Highway (SR-74) at Decker Canyon, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

It grew from 175 acres at 3 p.m. to 500 acres about an hour later, officials said. The blaze had scorched 800 acres by 4:30 p.m. Shortly before 6 p.m., forest officials said the fire had consumed 1,200 acres. By 7 p.m., it had scorched 1,500 acres.

About 265 firefighters were battling the blaze. Two firefighters and one civilian received minor injuries, officials said.

Photos: Falls Fire Burns Near Homes

Mandatory evacuation orders remained in effect late Monday for Decker Canyon. Evacuation orders were lifted from the Lakeland Village area in Lake Elsinore, and Rancho Capistrano, fire officials said.

An evacuation center has been created at Lakeside High School in Lake Elsinore.

The fire came dangerously close to homes, frightening some residents who decided to stay in the evacuated areas.

"There was about a 50 foot wall of flame coming right towards us," said homeowner Edgar De La Cruz. "And next thing you know, the wind died down and it gave the helicopters a chance to do what they do."

Temperatures in the area reached 93 degrees Monday evening with wind gusts of 9 mph, according to the National Weather Service. Humidity in the area hovered around 29 percent.

Photo Credit: Jacob Rascon
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