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First Human Case of West Nile This Season


A Stratford resident who became ill in July is the first human case of West Nile virus this season.

The resident is between 60 and 69 years of age and became ill during the last week of July after being bitten by mosquitoes, according to the state Department of Health.

The person was not hospitalized and is recovering, according to health department officials.
Symptoms of the illness included joint and muscle pain and diarrhea and lab tests confirmed the presence of antibodies to the virus.

"If you’re planning to spend time outdoors this Labor Day weekend, it’s very important that you take steps to protect yourself from mosquito bites,” Department of Public Health veterinarian, Dr. Randall Nelson, said in a statement. “Using insect repellant, covering bare skin and avoiding being outdoors during the hours of dusk and dawn are effective ways to help keep you from being bitten.”

Since June 27, the state has identified West Nile virus positive mosquitoes at trap sites in 16 towns Branford, Bridgeport, East Haven, Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Groton, Manchester, New Haven, Norwalk, Plainfield, Stamford, Stratford, Wallingford, Waterford and Westport.

The highest numbers have been found in coastal towns from Greenwich to Branford and in central Connecticut in Glastonbury, state officials said.

Dr. Theodore G. Andreadis, Chief Medical Entomologist with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, warned that the presence of West Nile virus could continue through September and expand to more communities.

In addition to West Nile virus, mosquitoes with eastern equine encephalitis virus have been identified in the Pachaug State Forest in Voluntown prompting the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to close part of the forest to recreational activities and two camp grounds there.

Dump Truck Rips Down Wires in Manchester


A dump truck with its bed up ripped down utility lines along North Main Street in Manchester.

The truck was driving away from a construction site around 12:40 p.m. on Thursday when the truck bed began pulling down cable and phone lines, witnesses said.

The wires were pulled from homes for a 700-yard stretch of North Main Street, according to Manchester police. Officials classified it as an accident.

According to Connecticut Light & Power, electrical wires were also torn down and 12 homes lost power for 2 hours. Power was eventually restored at around 3:00 p.m.

Phone and cable crews also responded to the scene to begin repairing some of the damage, but several homes remained without phone or cable service Thursday night.

Photo Credit: Linda Carrol

WATCH: Shark Chases Stingray


A hammerhead shark chased a stingray off of Anclote Key, near Clearwater. Shortly after the chase ensued, the stingray became the shark's meal.

Car Slams Into Home in New London


A woman driving with a young child in her car drove into a home in New London Thursday night, according to police.

Firefighters responded to 182 Vauxhall Street after police received numerous 911 calls at around 7:56p.m.

Police said the car's hood was lodged into the living room of the three family home.

The woman and child were taken to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Officials said building inspectors were called to the scene and condemned the building until the structural integrity of the building could be evaluated.

24-year-old Fabiola Belidor of New London was cited for operating with a suspended license and failure to stop at a stop sign, said police.

Mom of Formerly Conjoined Twins Ready for Future


The parents of a pair of conjoined twins separated in Dallas over the weekend say they're thrilled with the surgery's successful results.

Owen and Emmett Ezell are stable, though they are still getting help breathing. Doctors at Medical City Children's Hospital say the brothers are the third set of conjoined twins it has treated in the last 10 years. Their separation surgery was the first the hospital has performed.

Their mother, Jenni Ezell, said she's "just ready to rejoice" now that the procedure is done.

"This is Emmett — he has a little more hair at the moment — and this is Owen," she said of her infant sons. "He's more of a baldy at the moment."

The six-week-old twins were surgically separated on Saturday, in what doctors say was a nine-hour operation. Doctors are cautiously optimistic about the brothers' futures, during which they will have at least two to three more surgeries.

Their parents are focused on smaller milestones.

"I look forward to holding them for the first time," Ezell said. "That will be a huge moment, taking them home."

The future didn't seem so bright early on, when the couple found out the twins were conjoined.

"We didn't think they had a chance," Ezell said. "We thought they were not going to make it at all, so we decided to abort. It was the hardest decision that a mother has to make about her babies, so we came down here."

But when doctors at Medical City told her in March that the boys had a chance, they decided to continue with the pregnancy.

"At that point we were just floored," Ezell said. "I could not contain my joy."

A fetal MRI was taken right around the time.

"Our doctor did tell us, 'Guard your hearts. It's not going to be an easy process.' It was really hard to not be really excited, though," Ezell said.

She said it's hard not be excited now more than ever.

"I'm already planning their first birthday parties, so just all the memories of childhood and giving them a good childhood -- I just can't wait," Ezell said.

Doctors have not yet set a release date for the twins, so their parents are balancing time between their children at home and the hospital.

Photo Credit: Medical City Children's Hospital

Social Media Abuzz After Nicolas Maduro Misspeaks


Social media users are abuzz following a gaffe in which Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reworked a biblical miracle to include the multiplication of penises.

During a speech on education Wednesday, the South American leader misspoke while referencing the passage where Jesus multiplies loaves of bread and fish, using the Spanish word for "penises" (penes) instead of the Spanish word for "fish" (peces).

The slip-up was made as Maduro outlined plans to expand education, saying in Spanish that his government would "go in school by school, child by child, high school by high school, community by community — to embed ourselves in there. To multiply ourselves like Christ multiplied the penises — sorry, the fish — and the bread."

Twitter users spread the word using hashtags such as #EpicFail and posting memes quoting the botched phrase (see below).

The speech was made Wednesday morning from Miranda state, and it marks the second time Maduro has made a mistake during a speech, according to the Latin Times. On Aug. 10, Maduro incorrectly pronounced the Spanish word for "millions," making it a feminine noun instead of a masculine noun, the online publication reported. In Spanish, all nouns are assigned a gender.

Maduro was elected president of Venezuela on April 14 following the death of President Hugo Chavez. As vice president and Chavez's hand-picked successor, Maduro had been appointed acting president following the announcement of Chavez's death on March 5.

Below are some of the reactions on Twitter:

See video of Maduro's gaffe below:

More Weird Stories:



Woman Offers Rare Stamps for Hit on Husband: NYPD


A Brooklyn woman allegedly used a $60,000 stamp collection in an attempt to pay an undercover cop to kill her husband, police say.

Elena Adams, 57, was arraigned Friday on criminal conspiracy and criminal solicitation charges. Police say she gave a rare stamp collection and jewelry to an undercover NYPD investigator as payment in a plan to kill her husband.

The woman allegedly arranged a meeting Thursday with a person she thought was a hit man, police say. She allegedly told the undercover cop that her husband was hiding money from her and that she was the beneficiary on a life insurance policy he took out when they got married 20 years ago, prosecutors say.

The woman allegedly planned to have her husband killed after they had lunch Sunday at a restaurant in Sheepshead Bay. She wanted her husband to be hit by a car while the couple was crossing the street, police said, so it looked like an accident.

She was arrested Thursday as soon as she got out of the car where she allegedly planned the hit.

Adams, who has no criminal history, was remanded on bond. An order of protection was taken out for her husband.

She is being represented by Marty Lentz with the Legal Aid Society. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Philly Officer on Horse "Rear-Ended" at Red Light


A Philadelphia Police officer from the city's mounted unit was rear-ended at a red light at Rising Sun Avenue and North 9th Street in North Philadelphia.

"He was actually stopped at the red light when he was rear ended, him and his horse, by a 1996 BMW," said Chief Inspector Scott Small.

The impact caused the officer to fall off the horse and land on the street.

"He appeared to be a little groggy, a little disoriented," said Small, who said the officer also suffered minor injuries to his legs and arms.

The officer, a 17-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police department, was wearing a helmet. He was taken to Temple University Hospital be to checked out.

The horse also suffered injuries his legs, but was standing as police drove him away from the scene of the crash.

The driver of that BMW, a 60-year-old man, stayed on the scene. Police say he did not appear to be impaired and he's currently being questioned by officers.

Witnesses who saw the unusual accident are also talking with police. "It's just unusual where a police officer in uniform on a horse, doing his job, gets rear-ended and struck by a vehicle," said Small.

The horse was taken to Northeast Police Stables, where a veterinarian will be called in to check out the horse and provide any necessary treatment.

Philadelphia's mounted police unit was disbanded in 2004 for budget reasons after 32 years.

The program was revived in 2011 after the police department launched a campaign to raise $2 million dollars.

"They patrol on the streets, they patrol on the sidewalks, they patrol off road and they are assigned pretty much everywhere in the city, especially in the high crime areas," said Small.

Contact Lauren DiSanto at 610.668.5705, lauren.disanto@nbcuni.com or follow @LaurenNBC10 on Twitter.

Photo Credit: NBC10 Philadelphia

Two People Shot in Derby: Police


Police are searching for two suspects after two people were shot on Anson Street in Derby on Thursday.

Officers were at the scene of an unrelated accident on 6th street around 4:45 p.m. on Thursday when several gunshots were fired on Anson Street nearby, according to police.

Officers arrived on Anson Street to find one person suffering a gunshot wound to the upper torso.  That victim was taken to the hospital.

Around 5:15 p.m., police were called to Olivia Street for a report of a second gunshot victim.  According to officals, the victim was shot at the Anson Street scene and left the area after being hit by gunfire.

Police said the second victim suffered a superficial wound to the abdomen, and was transported to the hospital to be treated. 

Both victims are listed in stable condition, police said.  The identities of the two victims have not been released.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Suspect in ESCU Student's Murder Due in Court


The man accused of killing his girlfiend, a student at Eastern Connecticut State University, is due in court today for a pre-trial hearing.

Jermaine Richards is accused of killing Alyssiah Wiley, who disappeared on April 20 and was found dead in Trumbull nearly a month later.

A 12-page affidavit released after Richards was charged reveal a tumultuous four-year relationship between the two.

The last time Wiley was seen was when Richards dropped her off at a Dairy Queen in Willimantic.

Phone records confirm that Wiley texted friends saying, " I had to get out of that car," referring to Richards' vehicle.

Wiley also texted friends that night, asking to get drinks but was not heard from again. A search started after the Eastern Connecticut State University student never showed up for a sorority meeting or class days later.

According to the documents, Wiley tried to break up with Richards over Facebook in early April.

Richards allegedly did not like this idea and told a friend, "She doesn't know who she's messing with. ... Man, I'm going to get rid of her. "

When the friend asked him how, Richards replied, "Trust me, I'm a nurse."

Police also said Richards' cell phone led them to the body. Police were able to ping Richards' phone in the wooded area in Trumbull where Wiley's body was discovered.


Photo Credit: Facebook

Fire Captain Pulled Gun on Co-Worker in Fire House: Cops


A New Haven fire captain accused of pulling a gun on another fire captain is due in court today.

Police said Captain Richard Rife, 47, of North Haven, was involved in a argument with acting fire captain, Lt. Frank Ricci, at the Lombard Street Fire House.

Lt. Ricci called police to report that during the argument, Rife pulled a handgun from a holster and displayed it to him and to other firefighters at the fire house, police said.

Both Captain Rife and Lt. Ricci were on duty at the time of the incident.

Rife was charged with reckless endangerment.

He was released on a written promise to appear in court on Aug. 30.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Autopsy Done on Villanova Student, Other Tests Still Out


The Delaware County Medical Examiner has completed an autopsy on an 18-year-old Villanova University student found dead in a dorm room.

Kinara Patel, a sophomore business student from North Jersey, was discovered around 10 a.m. Thursday morning inside Sullivan Hall on the university's main campus in Radnor Township, Pa., according to officials.

The medical examiner's office says the autopsy was completed Friday, but the results are pending as they await other testing like toxicology to come back from the lab. Authorities are investigating whether alcohol played a role in Patel's death.

Radnor Township Police Lt. Andy Block says investigators believe Patel died overnight after spending a night out with friends in Bryn Mawr, Pa. Her body was discovered by a friend.

"You're done with a class. You see people everyday. Then all of a sudden something like this happens," said Tim Leyden, a friend and classmate of Patel.

When asked if police believed the teen was drinking in a bar Wednesday night, Lt. Block said that was one possibility police were looking into.

There were no signs of foul play, indications of suicide or any underlying health problems that could have contributed to the teen's death, police said.

In an email message to the Villanova University community, Vice President for Student Life Fr. John Stack called Patel's death "tragic."

"All of us here at Villanova are saddened to learn of this tragedy and extend our deepest sympathy and prayers to family and friends of this student," Fr. Stack said in the short message.

Nearly 100 people gathered at St. Thomas of Villanova Church Thursday night to pray for Patel and her family.

Patel's death comes just three days after undergraduate classes for the Fall 2013 semester began.

Sullivan Hall is a residence building reserved for 400 sophomore students on the school's Quad section, according to the university's website. The dorm is co-ed and sexes are split by floors.

Founded in 1842, Villanova University is a Catholic university with an undergraduate and graduate enrollment of more than 10,000 students.

Its campus stretches into two townships -- Lower Merion and Radnor -- in both Montgomery and Delaware Counties, respectively.

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Gloria Allred, Accusers Celebrate Final Day


On San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s last official day in office, some of his accusers, as well as high-profile attorney Gloria Allred, celebrated the city official's resignation.

TIMELINE: Mayor Under Fire

Allred was joined by 67-year-old great-grandmother Peggy Shannon, nurse Michelle Tyler and Marine vet Katherine Ragazzino.

Filner accuser Peggy Shannon said she does not regret coming forward about Mayor Filner and what she described as unwanted sexual advances that occurred while she worked as a volunteer at City Hall.

“It has been a difficult few weeks but I have persevered,” she said.

On Monday, Shannon said she was in the same room with the outgoing mayor.

“My heart stopped and I was very upset but I turned away until he went upstairs,” she said. “I was a victim but now I’m a survivor.”

Allred decorated the table with flowers and balloons bearing the message "Filner Finished" and "Goodbye Bob." She also carried several gift bags containing what she called parting gifts.

They included a wallet card listing the rules of sexual harassment and a mirror so he can see who is really to blame, she said.  She also offered a farewell card saying goodbye to the mayor and telling him she would see him at the deposition.

Allred was referring to the deposition for a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by her client Irene McCormack Jackson, the mayor's former communications director, who accused him of making lewd comments and touching her inappropriately.

“I’m thankful he decided to resign,” said Marine Katherine Ragazzino.

The wounded Marine met with Filner along with vocational nurse Michelle Tyler to seek help with an ongoing issue with Veterans Affairs. It was during that meeting that Tyler alleged Filner offered to help only in exchange for a date.

Since coming forward, Ragazzino said she had a positive, productive meeting with the VA arranged by Congressman Scott Peters’ office. She said Friday that her issues have been resolved.

“I still strongly encourage my fellow veterans to seek assistance,” she said.

By 5 p.m. Friday, Filner will no longer be mayor. San Diego City Council president Todd Gloria will step in immediately as interim mayor. A special election to determine a new mayor is slated for Nov. 19.

Meanwhile, sources close to Filner tell NBC 7 he’s attending continued, intensive therapy on a weekly basis to help with his undisclosed behavioral issues.

Fatal Shooting in New London


A 29-year-old man was killed in a shooting in New London and police are looking for the shooter.

The victim was found at 9:02 p.m. in the street at Connecticut Avenue and Prest Street, suffering from gunshot wounds and was rushed to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11 p.m.

He has been identified as Jesus Pinero, whose last known address was in Norwich.

One resident reported hearing seven to eight gunshots.

"I heard a few pops and then I heard "Ahhh," Terra Smith, of New London, reports.

An officer rushed to Pinero's side.

"He was moaning that he was in pain and the police officer was comforting him, telling him to lie down, not to move," Smith said.

Pinero was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police do not think this was a random act of violence and said they believe the victim was targeted.

"It was very silent. There wasn't any yelling or screaming. It was just a very seemingly calculated hit, it didn't seem random," Smith said.

Police blocked off an area around the size of two city blocks and towed away an SUV with New Hampshire license plates. A Jeep with bullet holes was left at the scene.

Police said they believe Pinero knew the shooter and was the intended target.

Police ask anyone with information about the fatal shooting to come forward and call the New London Police Department, Investigations Division at 860-447-1481. All calls are confidential.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woman Stabbed in Hartford


A woman stabbed another woman in an apartment in Hartford this morning, according to police.

Police said two women got into a fight inside an apartment building on Evergreen Street and one stabbed the other.

According to investigators, the two have an ongoing dispute.

The victim suffered a minor injury and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

White House Tweets Photo of 14-Year-Old Michelle Obama


First Lady and style icon Michelle Obama has come a long way from her preppy school girl look.

The White House tweeted on Thursday a photo of Michelle Obama as a fresh-faced 14-year-old in 1978. The black and white portrait shows her sporting a collared shirt under a sweater and what is perhaps her best fashion accessory: her beaming smile.

The tweet was accompanied by a link to a White House blog post about the First Lady's call to arms for young people to be the "next agents of change" as she hosted a viewing of a new documentary about civil rights leader Whitney Young.

"How are you going to be the agents of change for the next generation?" the First Lady asked. "We’re counting on you all to be ready to take the helm and be the next agents of change, because there is still a lot of work to do."

The post noted Obama's personal connection to Young: She graduated from the Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in 1981. Check out the blog post to see a GIF of the First Lady through her high school years.

Scroll down to see the tweet.


Photo Credit: White House Twitter

Winchester Official Accused of Misappropriating $2 Million


State police have arrested the former finance director of Winchester on suspicion that he misappropriated more than $2 million of town money over a four-year period.

An audit of town funds from 2012 revealed several discrepancies, according to state police.

On Jan. 18, 2013, state police started investigating, conducted several interviews and worked with a forensic accounting firm to review five years of financial records. 

Reviews of town finances between January 2008 and November 2012 revealed that more than $2 million dollars was unaccounted for, state police said. 

Detectives submitted an arrest warrant application for the arrest of Henry Centrella Jr., 59, of Winchester.

Today, police went to Centrella’s residence and took him into custody on five counts of first-degree larceny charges. 

He was held on $100,000 cash bond and taken to Superior Court GA # 18 to be arraigned.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Durham Man Killed in Durham Crash


A 36-year-old Durham man was killed in a crash on Thursday evening.

Police said Anthony Mezzia was ejected from a pickup on Route 68 in Durham just after 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Stephen Babu, 33, of Meriden, was behind the wheel of a Ford F150 traveling westbound on Route 68 and was trying to turn left onto Ozick Drive when Mezzia hit the front of the truck, rolled over and was ejected, officials said.

Babu was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition, according to state police.

Mezzia was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from his injuries, according to police.

Police are investigating the collision.

Man Accused of Burglarizing Hamden Jewelry Store


Hamden police have arrested a Bridgeport man accused of burglarizing a Hamden jewelry store early this morning.

At 5 a.m., police responded to Ruby’s Jeweler’s, at 3056 Whitney Avenue after the burglar alarm went off and saw a man standing behind a display counter, police said.

The man ran out through the back door and officers found Alex Alicea, 52, of Bridgeport, hiding in bushes, police said.

He was arrested after a short foot chase and police said he was found with several pieces of jewelry.

Alicea was charged with burglary in the first degree, possession of burglar tools, larceny in the fourth degree and criminal mischief in the third degree.

Alicea was detained at police headquarters on a $50,000 bond and was arraigned in Meriden Superior Court.

Photo Credit: Hamden police

Man Committed 2 Armed Robberies at Torrington Tobacco Shop: Cops


Police have arrested a man accused of committing two armed robberies at Smokers Club, at 644 Main Street in Torrington, during the summer.

Police said a female clerk was in the process of closing the store around 9 p.m. on August 8 when a man came into the store, pointed a pistol at her and demanded money from the register. 

The clerk gave him the cash and he fled.

Police released video surveillance and probation officers identified the man in as Thomas H. Tanner, 43, of Torrington. On August 9, he was arrested. 

While Tanner was in custody, investigators questioned him about another robbery at the same shop on June 5, when  a man matching Tanner's description robbed the store at knifepoint.

Tanner confessed to the June burglary, police said.

As Tanner was appearing in court this morning in connection to the August robbery, he was served with a warrant charging him with first-degree robbery in connection with the June burglary.


Photo Credit: Torrington Police
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