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90,000 Pounds of Jerky Recalled


Prime Snax Incorporated, a Salt Lake City, Utah, establishment, is recalling approximately 90,000 pounds of beef jerky products because of misbranding and an undeclared allergen, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Wednesday.

The products were processed with a releasing agent containing soy lecithin, a known allergen that is not declared on the label. 

The products subject to recall were produced prior to Feb. 2, 2014, and were shipped to retail locations nationwide. The Beef Jerky products include:

Arizona Jacks Brand:

  • 8 oz./24 count packages of "Original"
  • 3.5 oz./24 count packages of "Peppered Rippled Cut" and "Original Rippled Cut"
  • 6 oz./80 count packages of "Frontier Cuts - Hot," "Frontier Cuts - Pepper," and "Frontier Cuts- Original"
  • 3.25 oz./12 count packages of "Super Giga Hot," "Super Giga Original," and "Super Giga Peppered"
  • 6 oz./30 count packages of "Premium Peppered," "Premium Original Strip," and "Premium Teriyaki"
  • 3.5 oz./30 count packages of "Peppered Thin Cut" and "Original Thin Cut"
  • 7 oz./24 count packages of "Peppered Thin Cut," "Thin Cut," "Original Chunky," and "Peppered Chunky"

Desert Star Brand:

  • 12 oz./18 count packages of "Desert Star Peppered" and "Desert Star Original"
  • 3 oz. - 3 packages/case with 8 pieces/package of "Desert Star Original" and "Desert Star Peppered"

Southwest Trail Brand:

  • 1 oz. - 6 packages/case with 12 pieces/package of "Southwest Trail Original," "Southwest Trail Peppered," "Southwest Trail Red Chile," and "Southwest Trail Green Chile"
  • 3 oz. - 4 packages/case with 12 pieces/package of "Southwest Trail Original," "Southwest Trail Peppered," "Southwest Trail Red Chile," and "Southwest Trail Green Chile"

Terrell Brand:

  • 3.5 oz. "Terrell's Original," "Terrell's Honey BBQ," and "Terrell's Pepper"

Kettle Creek Brand:

  • 3.5 oz./12 count packages of "Kettle Creek Original" and "Kettle Creek Peppered"

The products subject to recall bear the establishment number "EST. 18951" inside the USDA Mark of Inspection and a date on the packages prior to Aug. 11, 2015, in the format of "mm dd yy."

The problem was discovered by an FSIS in-plant inspector during a label review. The firm believed the releasing agent was a processing aid that did not need to be declared on the label.

FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Jackie Pappas at 801-977-0742.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. "Ask Karen" live chat services are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET.

The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

Information from USDA FSIS.

Photo Credit: Flickr/are you gonna eat that

American Wins Gold in Halfpipe


The women’s halfpipe competition was touted as a showdown among the sport’s decorated veterans: three past gold medal winners, two from America and one from Australia.

Instead, a relatively unknown American topped them all.

Kaitlyn Farrington, 24, outperformed defending gold medalist Torah Bright of Australia, 2006 gold medalist Hannah Teter and 2002 gold medalist Kelly Clark of the United States on Wednesday, scoring 91.75 on a mistake-free second round final run.

A late addition to the finals — she failed to make the cut in qualifiers and had to prove herself in the semi-final round — Farrington made her gold-winning run before the higher-ranked former champions took their turns. But she seemed to sense something special. Immediately after she crossed the finished line, she began celebrating, hollering with excitement and doing a little jig on the snow.

Then she watched as Teter and Bright, both 27, and Clark, 30, finished their final runs. They came close, but failed to pass her.

Bright won silver with a 91.50 run. Clark took bronze with a 90.75.

Farrington had no championships going into the 2014 Games: nothing in the World Cup or X Games, and no prior Olympic appearances.

Now she is the third U.S. woman to win halfpipe gold in four Olympics (the other two being Teter and Clark).

Clark, meanwhile, won her third Olympic women’s halfpipe medal, a record.

With two women on the podium, the U.S. put its foot down after a rough stretch for the American snowboarding team in Sochi. On Tuesday, no Americans made the podium in the men’s halfpipe, not even defending two-time gold medalist Shaun White.

Part of White's poor performance has been blamed on the subpar conditions of the halfpipe, which many boarders criticized over the weekend. But on Wednesday, opinions had changed among the women.

“The pipe is riding the best it’s ridden yet,” Clark told NBC Olympics before Wednesday's competition.

Photo Credit: AP

City Opens Garage to Ease Parking Concerns During Storm


Driving in the snow is tricky enough, but in New Haven parking may be even more difficult.  

The city opened the Granite Square Garage on State Street Wednesday in hopes of preventing gridlock drivers saw during last week’s storm.

Although the garage was opened to help ease some of that hassle, it appears getting a spot has been an issue all its own.

"We're late," said Erica Caruana who pulled up to the garage. She had planned to park here for the storm but found that there were no spaces left. "It's nice that the city is offering something like this."

"It's typically a secret in East Rock that this parking garage is open and they don't ticket you while the snow storms are happening," said Art Brennan.

The New Haven Parking Authority says the garage is usually open for free while there's a parking ban. On Wednesday the city opened it before the ban to get more cars off the streets so there's more room for plows.

"This has been the first time we've had this many cars in here rather than during the storm," said David Panagore, executive director of Park Haven. "So the experiment is a success but sadly there are only about 45 spaces in here."

The action comes after last week's storm created a nightmare on the streets. Tow trucks were forced to move car after car so plows could get through.  NBC Connecticut found drivers trying to avoid another headache.

"There's only so many spots and I wasn't able to park here," said Alfred Vichot.

Many residents have learned they'll have to risk it on the snowy side roads again

"Street parking. Man. It's part of New Haven," Brennan added.

The Parking Authority says if you're still looking for a spot before or during the storm. $3 parking is still available at the Temple and Crown Street garages.


Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Salt Shortage Have Many Scrambling Before the Storm


Connecticut’s salt supply is running low, and people across the state are scrambling to find some before the storm hits.

Workers at Birch Hill Landscaping in Newington spent Wednesday night gearing up for another storm and loading up their salt trucks. “Very fortunate…we've got a lot of properties,” said owner Michael Niro.

Niro said he was lucky to have any salt, and said suppliers had been rationing it. “They’re telling us New York and Pennsylvania are coming to get salt from CT so that's why there’s such a shortage,” he explained.

Niro said he had barely enough salt to treat his clients parking lots and driveways across several towns.  At least he had some, other local landscapers told NBC Connecticut they were completely out. “It could be very icy,” Niro added.

Homeowners couldn’t find salt either. “I went to Lowe’s I went to Home Depot..I don't know what to do now,” said Gerome Isaacs. 

Home Depot in West Hartford got a salt shipment on Wednesday afternoon, and it was sold out in 30 minutes. “I probably gotta take a chipper and start chipping the ice away,” Isaacs explained.

Governor Malloy told NBC Connecticut the state put more money in the snow budget and the roads will be taken care of when the storm hits.

“Storm preparation and cleanup is our highest priority whatever it takes to spend we will spend,” he said.

The Governor said hundreds of plows will be on the roads early Thursday morning.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Sochi Day 5: Snowboard Upset for US


The American team kept its footing at the Winter Olympics in Sochi on Wednesday thanks to its women snowboarders, after a disappointing loss from a speedskating legend, a subpar finish in the women's downhill and a hockey loss.

Here's a look at the day's highlights.

A kid beats the champs

The main story line heading into Wednesday’s final in the women’s snowboarding halfpipe was the battle among three former Olympic champions: American and 2002 champion Kelly Clark, her teammate and 2016 gold medalist Hannah Teter and Australia's 2010 winner Torah Bright.

But this tale had a surprise ending.

Kaitlyn Farrington, a 24-year-old American who was competing in her first Olympics and had no prior World Cup or X Games wins, edged them all.

Unlike her veteran rivals, Farrington did not make the cut in the qualifying rounds, and needed to prove herself in the semi-finals before making the medal round. Then, on her sport's biggest stage, she completed an airy, wobble-free run in the second run of the finals. She watched as each of her more accomplished competitors failed to top her.

Bright came in second, and Clark finished third.

Farrington’s gold was the first for the U.S. since Sunday, when another woman snowboarder, Jamie Anderson, won the slopestyle competition.

America keeps pace

With its two-medal performance in the women's halfpipe, Team USA now has nine medals in Sochi. That puts the U.S. in fourth place in the medal race, with three fewer than medal leader Norway, whose haul includes four golds.

Canada is second, with 10 total medals, including four golds and four silvers. The Netherlands is a close third with 10 total, four of them gold and two silver.

The Americans' nine medals includes three golds, just more than fifth-place Russia, which has nine total medals and two golds.

A rare tie

What happens if two Olympic skiers who are measured by the hundredths of a second end in a dead heat?

We found out Wednesday, when Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin and Slovenia’s Tina Maze shared identical times in the women’s downhill.

Both finished in 1 minute, 41.57 seconds.

Both were given a gold medal.

That left no one with silver, and a bronze for third-place finisher Lara Gut of Switzerland.

The result was a surprising triumph for Gisin, who crashed in Vancouver and hadn't won an international race since 2010. Maze, meanwhile, is a two-time world champion.

The race was held in warm temperatures that softened the course as the event went on. American Julia Mancuso, who won bronze in the combined event (in which she led in the downhill portion), finished eighth.

Wednesday's tie for gold marked the first time two gold medals have ever been issued for the same event in Olympic Alpine skiing history. But there had been three ties for silver before, and one tie for bronze.

Shani’s disappointment

Shani Davis became one of several highly touted returning American Olympic champions who have fallen short of the podium in Sochi.

Davis, 31, entered the 1000m speedskating finals as a favorite. He'd won gold in Vancouver and Turin and seemed poised to become the first male speedskater to win gold in the same event in three consecutive Olympics.

But Davis, seemingly slowed by age, finished eighth, more than seven-tenths of a second behind gold medal winner Stefan Groothuis of (where else?) the Netherlands, which has now won four gold medals in five speedskating events, according to the Associated Press. With Michel Mulder winning bronze, the Dutch have won 10 out of a possible 15 speedskating medal so far.

Denny Morrison of Canada won silver.

After crossing the finish line, Davis hung his head before smacking Groothuis on the back.

"I just had a misfortunate race," Davis told the AP. "I have to live with this the rest of my life."

His performance follows disappointing results from several other American veterans, including snowboarder Shaun White, downhill skier Bode Miller and moguls skier Hannah Kearney.

A taste of hockey final?

The United States and Canada are widely expected to end up facing each other in the gold medal final of the women’s hockey tournament.

But first, they met in the preliminary round-robin on Wednesday, in a likely preview of things to come.

The Canadians won, 3-2, with a go-ahead goal in the second period that first appeared as if U.S. goalie Jesse Vetter had saved. But the puck slipped into the net as the referee's whistle blew, leading to a video review that confirmed the goal.

Now comes the medal round, with Canada as the top seed.

Canada has won gold in every Olympics since 2002. America has won once, in 1998.

Photo Credit: AP

Bridgeport Man Arrested as Part of Drug Investigation


A Bridgeport man is facing charges in Stratford after investigators reportedly discovered a loaded gun, crack cocaine and marijuana at his home on Granfield Avenue.

According to police, 27-year-old Terell Reid was arrested Feb. 12 after the Stratford Police Department Narcotics Unit and members of the Bridgeport Emergency Services Unit searched his house and found the drugs and a loaded 9mm handgun.

Terell was arrested and charged with illegal manufacturing or sale of prescription medication, distribution of a controlled substance within 1500 feet of a school, failure to properly store a loaded firearm and risk of injury to a minor.

He was held on a $100,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Stratford Police Department

Portland Residents Accused of Drug Trafficking in Glastonbury


Three Portland residents are facing drug charges after police searched their home on Main Street and found marijuana, packaging materials, scales, drug paraphernalia and $2,700 cash, authorities said.

Georgios Sirgos, 20, Brooke Vigneri, 23, and David Short, 31, all of 10 East Main Street in Portland, were arrested after Portland police and members of the East Central Narcotics Task Force searched their home Feb. 11 and discovered the drugs and cash. Portland police K-9 units helped with the search.

The investigation began after authorities received tips that the residents were part of a drug trafficking operation in Glastonbury, police said.

Sirgos and Vigneri were charged with possession of marijuana, possession with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia, operating a drug factory and possession of steroids. Vigneri faces an additional charge of interfering with a search warrant.

Short was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bonds for all three were set at $10,000.

Photo Credit: nbc10.com

Protestor Smashes Ai Weiwei Vase


A man was arrested after police say he intentionally smashed a $1 million vase by renowned artist Ai Weiwei as part of a protest at a Miami art museum.

Maximo Caminero, 51, was arrested for criminal mischief following the incident at Pérez Art Museum Miami Sunday, according to a Miami Police report.

According to the report, a security guard saw Caminero pick up the vase that was part of the exhibition and told him to put it down.

Caminero instead threw the vase to the ground, breaking it, the report said. The vase is worth $1 million, according to the report.

He later told an officer he broke the vase "in protest of local artists and that the museum only displayed international artists' art," the report said.

NBC 6 reached out to Caminero Monday, but he did not want to speak about what happened.

"Yesterday a museum visitor intentionally broke a vase in the Ai Weiwei exhibition," PAMM said in a statement Monday. "The museum’s security team immediately secured the galleries and the person was apprehended. He is now in police custody, and the museum is working with the authorities in their investigation.  However, the museum remains open and we look forward to continuing to welcome visitors from Miami and around the world."

PAMM added in a second statement later Monday, "As an art museum dedicated to celebrating modern and contemporary artists from within our community and around the world, we have the highest respect for freedom of expression, but this destructive act is vandalism and disrespectful to another artist and his work, to Pérez Art Museum Miami, and to our community."

Glenda Galan, who is a friend of Caminero, agrees local artists should be given more chances to show their work at the museum.

“Give them the opportunities in the museums, in the big galleries,” Galan said.

Local artist Andres Conde is a fan of Weiwei – and not of what Caminero allegedly did.

“What he did was basically shame, not just himself as an artist, but every artist that's trying to build something, trying to build a career,” Conde said.

Photo Credit: AP

Sochi Day 10: U.S. Skaters' Big Day


America broke out of a couple of historic ruts on Monday in Sochi. 

The first came in the two-man bobsled.

The second was in ice dance.

American women's hockey also had a historic day, ensuring it would once again win an Olympic medal.

Here's a look at some of those highlights from day 10, and others.

Americans make ice dance history …

Perhaps no other American athletes shouldered more of the country’s medal hopes than ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

Anything short of gold for the world champions would have been considered a defeat.

They didn’t stumble in their portion of the team figure skating competition, in which the U.S. won bronze, and dominated their individual event.

Then, on Monday, Davis and White, who have skated with each other since they were kids, outscored their closest rivals and friends, defending gold medalists Tess Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada. Their 195.52 was a record for international competitions.

… and bobsled history, too

Steven Holcomb and Steve Langdon rode their two-man bobsled to a third place finish on Monday, becoming the first Americans to win a medal in that event since 1952.

The finish gave the U.S. its fourth medal in sliding events (bobsled, luge and skeleton) in Sochi, a significant improvement from the combined three medals won by Americans in the prior two Winter Games.

Holcomb was part of a history-making four-man team that ended a 62-year American drought in Vancouver four years ago.

He’ll have a shot at a second gold in that event this weekend.

Skating’s next showdown

The Olympic’s signature figure skating competition, women’s singles, is shaping up to be a star-studded event that will feature several gold medal contenders.

On Monday, the skating order for the opening short program was announced.

Defending champion Yuna Kim of South Korea, viewed by many as the favorite in Sochi, will skate 17th in a field of 30 on Wednesday.

Her closest rivals, Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia and Mao Asada of Japan, will skate 25th and 30th, respectively. Another top contender, Carolina Kostner of Italy, will skate 26th.

Gracie Gold, the top American, will skate 22nd, while her teammate Ashley Wagner will follow in the 27th slot. A third American, Polina Edmunds, will skate 12th.

While Kim is considered the top skater in the world, winning the 2013 world championships after a lengthy absence, Lipnitskaia has already made a mark at the Olympics.

The 15-year-old delivered a pair of spellbinding performances that led the Russians to gold in the team figure skating competition. In the short program she beat Kostner and Asada, who did not compete in the long program. Gold finished second to Lipnitskaia in the long program.

A guaranteed medal for U.S. hockey

The American women hockey team earned a berth in the gold medal game against its perennial rival, Canada.

The showdown comes as a result of the U.S.’s dominant 6-1 semifinal win against Sweden on Monday.

No matter the result of Thursday’s championship game, the U.S. will have made history. They’ve won medals in every Winter Olympics since women’s hockey was added in 1998. Only once have they failed to reach the gold-medal game.

But winning gold is another story entirely. The Americans haven’t beaten Canada at the Olympics since the sport's debut in Nagano.

Russians take first

The U.S.’s two medals — one gold, one bronze — on Monday allowed it to remain in second place in the medal race.

But Russia did the same, and passed the Americans to take first place by a narrow margin.

Both countries have 18 total medals, and five golds, but the Russians have more silvers.

The Netherlands, which had been in the lead, was shutout on Monday, and fell to third.

With reporting by the Associated Press

Photo Credit: Getty Images

East Hartford Mayor Declares Spending Freeze


More snow is on the way, and the mayor of East Hartford has issued a spending freeze for non-emergencies while the town works to compensate for an already depleted storm budget.

Mayor Marcia Leclerc said buying salt and plowing the roads has drained East Hartford’s budget. Each storms costs the city roughly $50,000.

“We believe we will have a deficit in overtime $1.5 million related to storms,” Leclerc said. “There will be nothing purchased without my fingerprints on it... We are going to make sure taxpayers don't incur extra costs.”

Leclerc also asked a neighboring town for help: a new shipment of salt was expected to arrive from Windsor on Monday.

“We think we will be able to acquire what we need for the rest of the season,” said Leclerc.

She said residents can rest assured that roads will be properly treated when more storms arrive, including the one expected tomorrow.

“We will never compromise public safety,” Leclerc said.

She's now reviewing town finances in an effort to save money.

N.Y. DJs Sorry for Gay Parent Hoax


Two Long Island radio disc jockeys were suspended after carrying out an on-air hoax focusing on the subject of same-sex parents.

DJs Steve Harper and Leanna Karlson, who were taken off the air at K98.3 FM in Farmingdale after station officials learned of last week's hoax, met with a local gay rights advocate on Monday as the radio station decided whether to fire the duo.

The morning team told listeners that a local mom refused to let her son attend the birthday party of a 7-year-old girl named Sophia because Sophia’s parents were gay.

The story, station officials later confirmed, was fictitious.

K98.3 FM’s public apology prompted angry responses on the station’s Facebook page and across social media.

Commenters called the stunt “childishly stupid” and “unprofessional."

“Just a real, real dumb decision,” added David Kilmnick, CEO of the Long Island GLBT Services Network.

Kilmnick, a leading gay rights advocate on Long Island, met with the suspended DJs and said that for now, he is reserving decision on whether they should be fired.

“There was no need to make it up. We could have shared with them, unfortunately, dozens of stories of little Sophias out there,” Kilmnick said.

In a statement posted on the station’s website, the DJs apologized and said “we were attempting to spur healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic but we made a mistake.”

K98.3’s general manager also offered an apology for “the breach of trust these actions have caused.”

“What kind of meaningful discussion could come of it? Because it’s not true," Cindy Salemi said outside the radio station’s offices.

“Suspension, yes. But should they be fired? No. It is something that needs to be talked about,” added Aida Jackson.

Kilmnick expressed hope that the discussion of same-sex parents and the challenges their children face will continue, but in a more honest way.

Same-sex families in need of support can contact the LI-GLBT hotline at 631-665-2300.

One of Puerto Rico's Top 10 Most Wanted Arrested in Norwich


One of Puerto Rico’s top 10 most wanted suspects was arrested in Norwich today, according to police.

Norwich police said 24-year-old Pedro A. Salcedo is wanted in connection with an attempted murder in San Juan.

He was taken into custody after police stopped his car in Norwich on Monday, Feb. 17. The arrest was made following a joint investigation by Norwich police and Puerto Rican authorities.

Police said Salcedo is wanted for attempted murder with a gun in Puerto Rico. He’ll face extradition following a Tuesday court date in Norwich and will be charged with two counts of conjugal abuse and aggravated conjugal abuse of a minor in San Juan.

In Norwich, he’s charged as a fugitive from justice and faces an additional charge of interfering with police.

Salcedo was held on $1.5 million bond.

Photo Credit: Norwich Police Department

UConn Football Assistant Ernest Jones Resigns


UConn assistant football coach Ernest Jones has resigned from his position effective immediately, the university announced Monday. Neither the school nor the division of athletics will comment further on the matter because it is "personnel related."

Last month, shortly after new coach Bob Diaco had assembled his staff, Jones, who also doubled as director of player engagement, found himself at the center of a controversy after invoking religion as part of his duties.

"We develop [players] socially, intellectually, spiritually, physically," Jones told the Hartford Courant at the time. ... "And we're going to do things in our building, fellowship, non-denominational type things, players, coaches. We're going to make sure they understand that Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle, that that's something that is important. If you want to be successful and you want to win, get championships then you better understand that this didn't happen because of you. This happened because of our Lord and Savior. That's going to be something said by Bob Diaco. That's something that's going to be said by Ernest Jones. That's who we are."

This was an issue because UConn is a publicly funded university. Jones' words prompted this response from university president Susan Herbst.

"Employees can't appear to endorse or advocate for a particular religion or spiritual philosophy as part of their work or in their interactions with students."

Herbst also explained the university's position in a letter published in the Courant:

"At public universities we value everyone in our community, and treat each person with the same degree of respect, regardless of who they are, what their background is, or what their beliefs may be," Herbst wrote. "Every student, including student-athletes, must know they are accepted and welcomed at UConn. Always. Our staff should educate and guide students, to ensure they are well-prepared for life at UConn and beyond. But it should go without saying that our employees cannot appear to endorse or advocate for a particular religion or spiritual philosophy as part of their work at the university, or in their interactions with our students. This applies to work-related activity anywhere on or off campus, including on the football field. Our athletic director and Coach Diaco agree wholeheartedly with me, and have made this clear to their staff."

Diaco told the Courant that he was surprised by Jones' decision, saying that "it is entirely family and personally related.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

AAA Offers Tips for Teens Driving in the Snow


Navigating snow banks and leftover icy patches can be treacherous, especially for young drivers who are still learning the rules of the road.

“Just driving around the hill the other day, even as an experienced driver, I was sliding,” explained Martin Singleton of Hartford.

His 18-year-old was learning how to drive this winter,and Singleton said he has one major fear: "Getting that phone call saying my child has been in an accident."

Representatives of AAA said parents need to prepare their children for driving in winter weather, and new drivers should practice to improve their skills.

“It's nothing to be terrified about,” said driving instructor Stephen Rourke. "It's a fact of life in New England."

He took NBC Connecticut for a ride and showed us what inexperienced drivers need to know.

“Slow down and increase your following distance,” Rourke explained.

He said it's critical to stay off the streets in the height of the storm, but added that once severe weather dies down, giant snow banks become the biggest obstacle.

“As you’re approaching an intersection, if you can’t see well enough, look at the snowbanks and see if there are headlights coming,” Rourke added.

He said it's a good idea to "creep out" into the roadway enough to see oncoming traffic.

“Let the car roll forward," Rourke said. "Do another stop until you can clearly see what’s happening."

He also said many teens make the dangerous mistake of driving too close to the shoulder after streets are plowed

“If you get the right side wheels stuck in some of the snow, it can pull the car into snow bank,” he explained.

His main message: caution is key. Rourke also said it's wise to keep an emergency kit in your car, including a shovel, blankets and a flashlight.

Puppy Rescued From Fla. Pipe


A small Pomeranian puppy was rescued from a Davie pipe after being stuck in it for several hours Monday.

Sugar ended up 3 feet underground after he fell into a pipe connected to the sewer system in the front yard of his home at 5340 King Arthur Ave. The 2-month-old puppy's family was worried sick, especially his owner Simone Walker.

“I'm praying, I’m hoping they can get him out,” she said at one point.

After he got stuck, Walker and others heard Sugar whining in the pipe. When they couldn't get him out, they called for help.

Davie Fire Rescue and Davie Police responded to the scene. Firefighters dug a hole in the lawn as they tried to retrieve the puppy, but they ran into cables, wires, tree roots and other obstacles that kept them from rescuing the dog.

In stepped utility workers from the city of sunrise, armed with a camera designed to explore the sewer pipes.

“They were in the area and very generous to really just jump in right away and have their resources at our disposal,” said Davie Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Jorge Gonzalez.

About 20 firefighters and utility workers contributed to the rescue effort.

After several hours underground, Sugar was pulled out at 6:14 p.m. during a live report from the scene on NBC 6's newscast.

“It’s a great feeling. It’s not always the sick and injured and sometimes bad outcomes,” Gonzalez said. “Here’s a great opportunity and a great example to have a fantastic outcome from something as small as a little dog.”

The pup was given a bath.

Below: A courtesy photo of Sugar.


Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo

Police Talk Response to Pa. Pileup


Responding to criticism about their response to last week’s massive pileup on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Pennsylvania State Police say troopers did the best they could handling the mess.

Pa. State Police Sgt. Michael Chambers told NBC10 on Monday, troopers, including himself, were responding to another serious crash on the Northeast Extension, which required a medical helicopter to be dispatched, when the Turnpike pileup occurred.

“I think everything went very well, but I think unfortunately we had two major crashes and that really affected the way that we were able to handle that 100 car pileup,” he said.

More than 100 cars, trucks and tractor trailers were involved in the pileup that began around 8:30 a.m. on Friday in the eastbound lanes of the Turnpike. There were several groups of crashes along a 5 mile stretch of the highway between Lower Southampton to Bensalem, Bucks County. Hundreds of people were left trapped on the highway for several hours and 27 people were injured, some seriously, in the incident.

Drivers complained that the highway was icy at the time of the crash.

“It was icy,” said Steve Caldwell, a truck driver who was caught up in the pileup. “It wasn’t a little bit. It was two inches thick of ice. I just kept sliding, sliding and sliding.”

Speed restrictions were lifted on the Turnpike about an hour before the pileup. State Police who were on the scene insisted that maintenance crews treated the Turnpike before the restrictions were lifted.

“I do know the roads were salted,” Chambers said adding that he heard a plow train radioing from the highway around 7:15 a.m. that morning.

Despite the large pileup, however, the highway remained open, slowing down first responders and allowing more drivers to get ensnarled in the stopped traffic.

Fred Harran, Director of Public Safety for Bensalem, Pa., says his department wasn’t informed there was a major crash on the Turnpike until after NBC10 called asking for information.

“I was informed by NBC and then I got on the phone with State Police and asked if they wanted our assistance,” he said.

Feeling the response was taking too long, Harran said he ordered his officers to go and close the highway.

“We couldn’t get equipment to us,” Harran said. “I made the decision to shut the Turnpike down.”

Harran questioned why it took so long to shut down the roadway.

Sources close to the accident investigation say there were major communication problems at the time. At one point, State Police say only one trooper caught in the traffic was on the scene.

Chambers acknowledged that it took more than an hour for the westbound lanes of the toll road to be closed to allow first responders to get to the scene and help the injured. He said troopers also had a tough time getting to the scene.

“It was a very difficult time getting to the actual scene. I actually had to get off the Turnpike myself and access it through the back roads,” he said. “There was confusion because we were stuck in the backlog which is the four mile line of traffic eastbound that we couldn’t get through.”

Chambers, who served as incident commander, said there was a lack of coordination from the scene until he got there. He also said troopers, at first, were focused on ensuring the injured were treated before trying to close the highway. Once the “life safety” issues were handled, troopers began to move drivers off the interstate, the sergeant said.

Two corporals came up from behind the crashes and walked through the stopped traffic, directing drivers to turn and drive the opposite way along the highway, according to Chambers.

“You have to remember it’s a 100-plus car pileup you have to be slow and methodical with what you’re doing. You just have to make sure you’re doing everything correctly and attend to the injured first,” Chambers said.

The Turnpike remained closed for more than 8 hours until all drivers were removed from the scene and the crash was cleaned up.

Chambers said the investigation into the pileup is ongoing and that officials will be doing a post-mortem to see if anything should be changed for responding to future incidents.

“Obviously we’re going to talk about it in meetings and decide what the best route will be next time and learn from our mistakes,” Chamber said.

Only one of the victims hurt during the pileup remains in the hospital. That person is in good condition.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Route 164 Reopens in Preston After Crash


Route 164/Preston Plains Road has reopened at Route 165/Shetucket Turnpike in Preston following a three-car crash, according to state police.

Police said at least one person was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The road was closed briefly Monday evening.

No additional information was immediately available.

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Vernon Police Search for Cellphone Store Robber


Authorities are searching for the man who robbed a Boost mobile store in Vernon on Monday afternoon and are asking for the public’s help in tracking him down.

Police said the suspect walked into the Boost mobile store at 33-35 West Main Street in Rockville around 2:30 p.m., demanded money and implied that he had a weapon.

The clerk handed over an unspecified amount of cash, and the robber ran down a side staircase, according to police. He was last seen near the Rockville Pharmacy, formerly the Beacon Pharmacy, at 40 West Main Street.

The suspect is described as being a white man in his 30s standing between 5 feet 3 inches and 5 feet 5 inches tall. Police said he had a goatee and glasses and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and jeans.

Anyone with information or who may have seen the robbery is urged to call the Vernon Police Detective Division at 860-872-9126, or by submitting an anonymous tip to 860-872-9126 ext. 7301.

Photo Credit: Vernon Police Department

"Mac Bohonnon Day" Recognizes Madison Olympian


Madison native Mac Bohonnon made his Olympic debut in the freestyle skiing men's aerial competition today, and to honor him, the town declared it "Mac Bohonnon Day" back home.

Bohonnon, 18, was the only American to advance to the final round of competition in Sochi today.

He finished just shy of the podium, in fifth place, but community members are still beaming with pride.

“I am in tears," said Madison resident Diane Stone. "I've got chills, everything, I just can't believe it."

Signs went up around town, pledging support and offering words of encouragement.

“How many towns have one of their citizens in the Winter Olympics, or any Olympics?" said Madison First Selectman Fillmore McPherson. "This is a great day!”

In the eyes of Madison residents, Bohonnon is a champion by virtue of competing in the first place.

“He is a winner no matter what. He has put in so much into this dream, and you can't take anything away from him, so it's awesome,” said Stone.

Bohonnon is joined by his family in Sochi and will be greeted with a townwide welcome home celebration.

"It's always wonderful having an Olympian," said Craig Foster of Madison. "It's just the elite of the elite. It looks to me like he did a beautiful job."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Hot Pockets Products Recalled


Giant Food has recalled its Hot Pockets Philly Steak and Cheese products after a recall of meat products used to make the frozen food were produced without required inspections.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a recall of nearly nine million pounds of Rancho Feeding Corporation's meat products on Feb. 8. 

The meat did not undergo proper food inspection and "because it processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection," according to the news release.

After the USDA recalled the Rancho Feeding Corporation's meat products, Giant Food decided to recall select batches of its Hot Pockets.

The following products were affected by the recall:

Hot Pocket Philly Steak & Cheese, 9 oz., UPC4369507107, Batch numbers:
3021544512 with a best before date of March 2014
3029544512 with a best before date of March 2014
3197544512 with a best before date of September 2014
3240544512 with a best before date of October 2014

Hot Pocket Croissant Crust Philly Steak & Cheese, 9 oz., UPC 4369505634, Batch numbers:
3211544512 with a best before date of September 2014
3248544512 with a best before date of November 2014
3283544512 with a best before date of December 2014

Hot Pocket Philly Steak & Cheese, 54 oz., UPC 4369507520, Batch numbers:
3022544513 with a best before date of March 2014
3191544512 with a best before date of September 2014
3224544512 with a best before date of October 2014
3254544512 with a best before date of November 2014
3268544512 with a best before date of November 2014

The Maryland-based company has not reported any illnesses associated with the recall. The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has not reported any illnesses associated with the meat recall either.

Gary Huddleston, with Ohio-based The Kroger Company, told NBC 5 that the affected batched have been pulled from store shelves.

If anyone has purchased the listed Hot Pockets above, please bring any unused portions and receipt to Giant Food for a full refund.

NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.


Photo Credit: Julie Fine, NBC 5 News
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