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Vigil for SoCal Teen Crash Victims


A candlelight vigil was planned Wednesday night for two teens who were killed and three of their classmates who were injured when the car they were in was hit by a dump truck off a Southern California freeway.

The vigil was for 16-year-old John Anthony Cabrera Jr., of Phelan, and 18-year-old Nicole Brittney Lyle, of Victorville. They were part of a group of five in a Chrysler PT Cruiser that was struck by the dump truck as the classmates returned from Huntington Beach.

The crash happened Tuesday night when a dump truck rolled down an embankment and crushed their vehicle in the Cajon Pass.

"I just couldn't process what was going on... great hearts, just super happy people," said friend Adam Brown, who paid tribute to his friends at the crash site.

Cabrera just finished his sophomore year. Lyle had just graduated from Serrano High School in the San Bernardino County community of Phelan, friends said.

The construction dump truck was getting off the southbound 15 Freeway when its brakes failed on the off-ramp of the Highway 138 exit at 11:40 p.m., officials said.

The truck crossed the street, hit a PT Cruiser that was traveling west on Highway 138, carried the car down an embankment and landed on top of it. The crushed PT Cruiser came to a stop in the parking lot of a Shell gas station and Subway restaurant.

Firefighters spent around two hours pulling out the critically injured patients, officials said. According to the San Bernardino Fire Department, firefighters used two heavy-lift tow vehicles to stabilize and lift the dump truck off the vehicle. They used the Jaws of Life to free those trapped inside. 

The dump truck was described as "one of those real big ones" filled with wet cement.

The female driver of the truck was uninjured.

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Twitter: @krsnaking

Man Dies in Sand Tunnel Collapse


A Virginia man died after a tunnel he was digging on a beach in North Carolina's Outer Banks collapsed Tuesday afternoon.

David Frasier, 49, of Fredericksburg, was digging a tunnel between a pair of six-foot-deep holes at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore when the sand above him collapsed, several news outlets reported.

Friends, family and bystanders pulled Frasier from the sand, but he was unresponsive when emergency crews arrived. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No deaths resulting from a sand collapse have been reported at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in at least a decade, a National Park Service spokesperson told the Virginian-Pilot.

Officials say those digging holes in the sand shouldn't dig deeper than their knees, and they should refill the holes at the end of the day.


70 Illegal Guns Rounded Up in New Haven, Bridgeport


Authorities have confiscated more than 70 illegal guns and plan to charge 150 people as part of a four-month initiative to reduce violent crime in New Haven and Bridgeport.

Operation Samson was spearheaded by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) with help from the Connecticut State Crime Lab. It’s designed to take dangerous firearms off the streets and help keep the cities safer.

Officials announced the results at a press conference in New Haven on Wednesday.

Of the 70 weapons seized, more than half originated in Connecticut, according to officials. Sawed-off shotguns and rifles, military-style weapons and a silencer were among the firearms recovered.

Authorities also confiscated more than a kilogram of crack cocaine and other drugs as part of the sweep.

“We uncovered alleged firearms trafficking rings that utilized both out-of-state and in-state straw purchasers, some of those who accepted narcotics in exchange for firearms,” said ATF Special in Charge Daniel Kumor.

Arrestees will face state and federal firearms, drug and robbery charges, authorities said. They hope the crackdown will deter people from committing future crimes.

“To those who continue to threaten our neighborhoods with gun violence, make no mistake, you’re next,” Kumor warned.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

World Cup at Work: U.S. Coach Gives Fans an Excuse Note


If your boss is a soccer fan, you may be in luck.

The U.S. soccer team will face Germany, its toughest World Cup opponent yet, in a highly anticipated match Thursday that's sure to grab a lot of attention on both sides of the Atlantic.

Unfortunately for Americans, the match is set for 12:00 p.m. ET smack dab in the middle of the work day. But not to worry! U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann has American fans covered.

Klinsmann put together an absence excuse letter that the U.S. soccer team tweeted Wednesday evening, in a good-natured but improbable effort to help fans get out of work to watch the big match Thursday.

Here's the letter: 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Shelton Man Charged in Series of Home Break-Ins


A 23-year-old Shelton man is facing charges after allegedly breaking into and stealing from three homes on Sanford Drive and Squire Lane.

Shawn Dean was arrested on Monday after reportedly burglarizing a garage on Sanford Drive. While investigators were on scene, they found paperwork taken from a home down the street, according to police.

A third burglary was reported later that day at a home on Squire Lane.

Dean was arrested Monday in connection with the Sanford Drive burglaries and was later charged in the Squire Lane break-in.

He’s facing three counts of third-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree larceny, two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit third-degree burglary, three counts of credit card theft, illegal use of a credit card, sixth-degree larceny and third-degree larceny.

Dean was held on bond and was arraigned on Wednesday.

Police are continuing to investigate and said additional suspects may be arrested.

Photo Credit: Shelton Police Department

New Haven Rolls Out Summer Programs for Students


Summer vacation is officially underway in New Haven, but is there enough to keep kids and teens entertained and out of trouble all summer long?

The mayor and other city officials want to make sure kids and teens don't just have idle time on their hands, and their plan could benefit thousands of other residents.

“One of the things that we want is for all the children in our community is for them to have something positive and productive to do,” said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

Harp, along with the superintendent of schools and the chief of police, held a press conference Wednesday to roll out all the city's summer activities for residents this year.

Among the options are Parks and Recreation activities held on school property, community-based summer camps, Youth at Work jobs, school-specific weekly programs and transition programs for incoming high school seniors.

The city held a Summer Youth Expo last week to help students explore their options and sign up for summer programs.

“For those kids that we know are disengaged and really don't believe in us anymore,” said Mayor Harp, “we're going to reach out to them, reach out to their families and give them some really fun things to do.”

J.R. Fredette, a father of two and a basketball coach, gives it two thumbs up.

“If that's what they're going to use the taxpayers' money for, sure! Sounds like the best way to use it in my eyes,” Fredette said.

And while there's a huge focus on youth this year, the mayor says there's something here for everyone – from ages 3 to 103. The city's departments are teaming up to provide recreational activities for adults, seniors and the elderly, too.

“I think that most people who have a negative impression of new haven don't know us,” said Harp.

And residents are getting a chance to know their new mayor with a new plan for a safe and fun summer in the Elm City.

Thunderstorms Storms Rolling Through Overnight


Scattered thunderstorms are expected to move in overnight, especially to the north and west of Hartford, and could cause moderate flooding and minor wind damage, according to Chief Meteorologist Brad Field.

A band of storms moving northeast from Pennyslvania will bring on-and-off thunderstorms with some heavier downpours of rain, vivid lightning and brief gusty winds.

While storms are possible anywhere in the state, most activity will concentrated in the northwest, in Litchfield County. A flash flood watch is in effect for Litchfield County until 6 a.m. Thursday.

On-and-off thunderstorms are likely throughout the night with some heavier downpours of rain, vivid lightning and briefly gusty winds.

While severe weather is not expected, these storms could wake up residents and bring down a few tree limbs. Some minor, urban street flooding is possible as well.

Thursday will feature a few scattered storms and showers in the morning, but nothing severe is expected.

We'll continue to see high humidity overnight and into tomorrow.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Mentally Disabled Teen Accused of Sexually Assaulting Classmate


A mentally disabled Bridgeport student is facing charges after police say he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old classmate, who is also mentally disabled, in a bathroom at Harding High School last August.

According to police, a group of onlookers recorded cellphone video while 19-year-old Patrick Nolan allegedly assaulted a fellow student in the school bathroom.

Investigators learned of the attack after the victim reached out to a teacher, police said. The victim was taken to Bridgeport Hospital.

Nolan is charged with first-degree sexual assault and third-degree child abuse.

Police said they interviewed students and reviewed school security footage prior to making the arrest.

The Bridgeport superintendent declined to comment on the matter.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Elderly Man Shoots Woodchuck, Threatens Tenant


Fairfield police are investigating after an elderly man shot and killed a woodchuck in his garage on Black Rock Turnpike, then pointed the gun at a neighbor and threatened to kill himeslf Wednesday afternoon, according to police.

Police arrived at 3840 Black Rock Turnpike/Route 58 to find the homeowner, a senior citizen identified as William Hanford, wielding a gun.

Authorities said he had pointed the gun at his tenant, who rents a separate apartment in the home, and threatened to shoot the tenant's cat.

According to police, Hanford said he wanted to shoot himself and refused to cooperate with officers who asked him to put the gun down.

Officers tackled Hanford and took him to the hospital for observation. Police said he was arrested and will be charged with several counts. The booking process is still underway.

Police at the scene recovered the .22-caliber rifle and found the dead woodchuck in the homeowner's garage, which faces a heavily traveled street. A discharged bullet was also on the ground near the animal's body.

Authorities said Hanford lives by himself but also rents out a separate apartment in the house to a couple.

Police are waiting to obtain a search warrant so they can enter the home and remove any additional weapons that may be inside.

Photo Credit: News 12 Connecticut

Manhunt Prompts Lockdown in Old Saybrook, Westbrook


A massive manhunt in Old Saybrook and Westbrook left police empty handed Wednesday night as they searched for an "extremely dangerous" burglary suspect and warned residents to lock their doors and stay inside.

Police said the suspect broke into a home on Mill Rock Road in Old Saybrook but was interrupted when the homeowner returned around 7:30 p.m. He fled in a car stolen from Waterford, then crashed on School House Road.

Police and K-9 units canvassed the area Wednesday night and called off the initial search after failing to locate the suspect, the Old Saybrook Fire Department posted on its Facebook page. Residents should keep their homes and vehicles locked overnight.

"This is a heavily wooded area so there's a lot of terrain to cover," said Old Saybrook Police Chief Michael Spera. "A lot of people have backyard sheds and other accessory buildings, so it's taking some time to go yard by yard."

Those who were asked to stay away from their neighborhoods during the search have been allowed back into their homes, the fire department said Wednesday night.

Everyone within a mile and a half of the town park off School House Road should remain inside with the doors locked.

Residents received an email containing the following emergency alert Wednesday night:

"Police are in the area looking for a suspect in multiple burglaries. The suspect is a white male, 5'7, blonde crew cut, white tank top, jeans. Suspect is considered extremely dangerous. Please shelter in place and lock your doors. If you see anyone matching this description DO NOT approach and call 911 immediately."

Although the suspect is considered dangerous, authorities say they have no information indicating that he has a weapon. Police said he has a cut on his left elbow.

A resident of School House Road told NBC Connecticut that a man matching the suspect's description and covered in blood came to her door early Wednesday evening. He reportedly said he'd been in an accident and needed to call his dad, but ran off before she learned of the manhunt.

Police set up roadblocks and searched vacant buildings in the area. The fire department said residents would receive another reverse 911 call when the area was secured.

Westbrook residents living near the Old Saybrook town line were also being asked to shelter in place, according to the Westbrook Emergency Management Twitter account, and police stopped cars and checked trunks as part of the search.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Supreme Anniversary: Gay Couples Mark 1 Year Married


Gay couples throughout California are preparing to celebrate an historic first wedding anniversary, one year after a Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for them wed in their home state.

Couples statewide who had been waiting for years rushed to their county clerks' offices to get marriage licenses just after the June 26, 2013, ruling, which led to the demise of Proposition 8's same-sex marriage ban and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Six of those couples who spoke with NBC last year have reflected anew on what marriage has meant for them in the year since, how their lives have changed and what they hope lies ahead.

Here are their stories.

Sandy Stier and Kris Perry, Berkeley

Sandy Stier is thankful she no longer has to sound like a 20-something in college, introducing her partner of 15 years as her "lover" or "roommate." The Berkeley 51-year-old now introduces Kris Perry, 49, as her wife.

The two married in a hard-won and very public ceremony at San Francisco City Hall last year, just after the Supreme Court overturned California's gay marriage ban a year ago Thursday. Stier and Perry were plaintiffs in the suit that ultimately brought down Prop 8.

One year after their wedding, Stier is still working as director of information systems for the Alameda County Health Care Services agency in Oakland. Perry has a new job, directing early childhood education advocacy group the First Five Years Fund in Washington, D.C., where the couple now share a second home.

And of their four children, their youngest children two — 19-year-old twin boys — have graduated from Albany High School are now off at college, at George Washington University and the University of California at Santa Cruz.

"We're newlyweds and empty-nesters," Stier said. "It's good but bittersweet. We really miss the kids' energy, crazy music and funny friends around the table."

For Stier and Perry, their Supreme Court triumph didn't just vindicate their love to millions.

It also simplified their daily lives, which suddenly were no longer dominated by their battle over a law that had become for so many a symbol of the equality they had yet to achieve.

"A lot of anxiety is gone," Stier said. "We feel more legitimate in society. We feel more settled. Our relationship feels more permanent. We are relieved that in California, discrimination based on sexual orientation isn't OK. And that’s a really big deal."

And now, when their friends' kids get engaged, they simply tell Stier and Perry without any hang-ups. "They don’t have to tell us and look at us in that guilty way," Stier said.

The couple's finances are simpler, too — even if their taxes have risen now that they file jointly. ("It's worth it," Stier said.)

Their marriage has also imbued their discussions with some new, deeper understanding. "The issues we deal with are the same," Stier says, "but we feel a little calmer — like no matter what, this is the real deal."

Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, Burbank

Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo had been together for eight years when they became faces of the fight against Prop 8, along with Stier and Perry.

This past year marked the first since 2010 that they no longer had to devote the time, effort and emotion to battling California's same-sex marriage ban as plaintiffs in the suit that wound up before the Supreme Court.

"Saying 'I do' changes everything, but it changes nothing as well," said Katami. "No one was harmed when we said 'I do' -- our lives benefited from it. Waiting that long for that moment, and you think to yourself will this really change? Will getting married change anything in my life?

"I think for us this last year has been amazing and deepened our relationship and deepened our love. It has benefitted our lives in so many different ways."

To celebrate their first year of marriage, they will join friends, family, members of their legal team -- including attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson -- and others Saturday at a wedding celebration in Beverly Hills. Zarrillo and Katami both moved to Southern California from different parts of the country, so the event is their first opportunity to celebrate with "lots of cake and lots of champagne" with family members present.

"We are going to celebrate how normal falling in love and getting married is," said Zarrillo.

A blow-out party was one of the stipulations attached to the couple's decision to get married as soon as possible after the court's June 26 announcement, just part of a whirlwind week.

Last year, after waiting for two days in Washington, D.C., for the ruling, a smiling Zarrillo and Katami celebrated the decision hand in hand on the steps in front of the Supreme Court building before flying back to Southern California.

"When we walked down the Supreme Court steps last year, it was kind of an out-of-body experience, but Jeff and I had a moment where I said stop and just take this in for a moment because we are living this right now," said Katami.

They were married two days later in a ceremony broadcast live on television with the mayor at Los Angeles City Hall.

Their experience as plaintiffs in the case, like that of Stier and Perry, is featured in the newly released HBO documentary "The Case Against 8."

According to the American Foundation for Equal Rights, since the June 2013 decision, all 11 federal opinions that struck down same-sex marriage bans have cited the decision in Perry v. Hollingsworth -- the case in which Katami, Zarrillo and a Bay Area couple were plaintiffs. But both said there is still work to be done.

"As long as there is one person in America that does not have full federal equality, we have a lot of work to do," Zarrillo said. "Fortunately, because of what has gone on in the last year we have a little  bit of a platform, so we are trying to use our voices for good."

Jake and Rico Navarrete-Villalba, Gilroy

For Jake and Rico Navarrete-Villalba, who had already held their own private wedding ceremony long before the state of California got around to recognizing it, an official wedding just corroborated for the rest of the world what they already knew.

Jake, 50, and Rico, 45, met five years ago while Rico was battling cancer. On August 18, 2012, they professed their commitment to each other in a wedding ceremony at home before 200 loved ones — including their four kids and five grandchildren.

But it was after Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, a friend of Jake's, officially married them on July 1, 2013, that they began to feel the practical effects of marriage.

Filing their taxes was easier. So was receiving veterans' health benefits. So would it be for Jake to take time off work to care for Jake's health. And they now weren't just business partners co-owning Salon NV of Willow Glen, but a married couple.

“No one can dispute it," Rico said. "We're taken a little more seriously."

The Navarrete-Villalbas know the Supreme Court's ruling, and the door it opened for them to wed, didn't erase the hurdles gay Californians face in their struggle for equality — but it did serve as a reminder of what they can achieve, and emboldened them to speak up for it.

Rico recounted a difficult confrontation with a hotel manager on a visit to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, this past year.

"The hotel manager made the comment, 'Why do you need a king-sized bed?' I told her, 'We're married. The federal government recognizes it,'" he recalled.

To Rico, that encounter was telling — not just of the challenges that remain, but of the need to speak up for equality, to teach it to younger generations and to encourage not just the acceptance but the embrace of couples like him and Jake.

But for all the resistance, Rico says, he believes the fact of his marriage has forced plenty of Americans to confront truths they otherwise might not have.

"When people hear that you have a legal marriage, they look at it differently," he explained. "They may not believe in it, but they look at it differently."

For now, Jake and Rico are preparing to celebrate their multiple wedding anniversaries. At least, Rico hopes Jake won't pick just one. "He needs to do multiple, because I like gifts!” he said with a laugh.

They'll soon travel to Mexico, along with Jake's mother, to celebrate one of those anniversaries and to remind themselves of what their newly official marriage means for them, and what was there all along.

"I look at my marriage with Jake, and I think of when I was a 12-year-old boy, looking at my grandmother and saying, 'Is anyone ever going to love me?'" Rico said. "I'm now with that one person. You don't have to prove it to me: He loves me for me. It's the type of love that lasts for a lifetime."

Annie and Sylvia Parkhurst, Long Beach
Annie Parkhurst and Sylvia Rodemeyer had been to the same Long Beach coffee shop for three consecutive days in June 2013 to watch television and wait for the Supreme Court's ruling on Prop 8.

When the decision was announced, three years after Parkhurst had proposed to Rodemeyer at an anti-Prop 8 rally in Long Beach, the couple finally felt what they described one year later as "overwhelming happiness."
"It was really wild, because it felt like it was such an easy thing," said Annie Parkhurst. "There was so much hard work, and then those simple words from the court. It was overwhelming, overwhelming happiness."
But instead of immediately rushing to a courthouse for the necessary paperwork, they waited three more months for a date that was already significant in their lives: Sept. 30. It was on that day two years earlier that they had first celebrated with friends at a private wedding ceremony.

The three-month wait may have been a good thing — because despite having wed once before, they soon realized they had no idea what they were doing.

"We were so shocked, we didn't know what to do! We had no idea how to make a wedding legal," Annie said. "We were such dorks. We had to figure out how to do that."
Their second ceremony was a simple sunset affair on the same Long Beach bluff where they'd held the previous one, and where Annie had proposed to Sylvia.
The same friend officiated, and many of the same friends were there to share in the couple's joy. But this time, the Parkhursts got a marriage certificate from the state of California.

Now, the certificate is framed and hanging on a wall in their Southern California home. Annie says it serves as a reminder to them both of the couples who came before them, including people like Edie Windsor, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that brought down the Defense of Marriage Act, who had lost a partner before the ruling came down.
"I know it's silly to think piece of paper could mean that much. It was well deserved," Annie said. "It was the end of that five, six years of marching and shouting and making our case, and just being able to hold our hands together."

Jim Illig and Larry Dotz, San Francisco

Jim Illig started hearing from a lot of people from his past after he and Larry Dotz, his partner of 26 years, became each other's husbands last year at San Francisco City Hall.

Their marriage in the wake of the Prop. 8 ruling was televised, and his face was everywhere.

It was a face thousands of people may have recognized. Over the years, he had met at least 10,000 people – many of them straight couples he had officially wed as a volunteer deputy marriage commissioner.

One man who tracked him down wrote to him that his wife had been "appalled" when she had seen on television that he had married a man. But the man had convinced his wife that marriage between two men was just as “OK” as marriage between a man and a woman, and eventually his wife had come around, Illig said.

"It had a positive outcome," Illig said.

The year after their very public wedding has “been great” for Illig, a community benefit manager for Kaiser Permanente, and Dotz, a product development and sourcing manager for Levi Strauss & Co.

The two are now filing joint taxes and were hit with at least a $1,000 marriage penalty, which Illig said he was happy to pay, as it was emblematic of something worth far more. “I'm glad we have the right to be recognized,” he said.

For their anniversary, the couple plans to have dinner at their favorite restaurant: Commonwealth, on Mission Street in San Francisco.

Alana Forrest and Melissa Myers, San Jose

The power of semantics, symbols and small daily pleasures may be what have struck Alana Forrest, 52, and Melissa Myers, 46, most about their entry into married life almost one year ago.

The couple married in San Jose on July 1 last year, the first day the city opened its doors to gay couples seeking marriage licenses, after almost a decade together.

"Just being able to use the term 'wife' without quotes really does make a difference," said Myers, the vice president of operations for a consulting company. "Before, people would ask, 'Really? Is she really your wife?' Now, it's not a question."

Forrest, a retired police captain who is now director of security for Pixar, shares that joy in the power of the words "wife" and "marriage," and has developed a newfound love of paperwork.

"I now check all the boxes on any freakin' form, like at the doctor’s office or whatever," Forrest said, "that say we're married."

For a couple who have spent a decade together, one year being married has changed little else, they say — except, Forrest says, for the way she now just feels "complete."

But even as their relationship has remained steady, they've seen the attitudes and words of other people shift in the last year.

"People I know will say, 'Right on!'" Myers said, after she introduces Forrest as her wife.

Forrest thinks the Supreme Court's ruling has affected her straight friends’ marriages, too, giving them reason to think more seriously about their own.

"Some of them have told me that they're stepping up their game because they saw how hard we fought to have our marriage," Forrest said.


Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

Former Cop Arrested Over Deaths


A former West Allis, Wisc., police officer was arrested Wednesday in connection with the deaths of two women whose remains were found in suitcases near a road in the Town of Geneva.

Steven M. Zelich, 52, who retired from the force in 2001, is in custody, according to police chief Steven Hurley said.

A highway worker discovered two suitcases June 5 as he mowed the grass in the southeast Wisconsin town. Hurley said police found one body in each case.

Felicia Sopa, who lives across the hall from Zelich, told Milwaukee NBC affiliate WTMJ that he mainly kept to himself.

"He leaves in the morning, I don't think he drives a car because he leaves from the front door," Sopa said. "I don't really know when he comes home."

Police on Wednesday also identified one of the two victims as Laura Simonson, 37, from Farmington, Minnesota. Hurley said Simonson was reported missing by her mother on Nov. 22, 2013.

"The West Allis Police Department is assisting in the investigation and the Chief would like to assure the citizens of West Allis that there is no danger," Hurley said.

Hurley is asking for the public's help to identify the second victim, described as a possibly Caucasian woman, between the ages of 15 and 35, standing 5-foot-2 to 5-foot-4 and weighing 120 to 140 pounds.

She has long straight, dark brown or black hair, police said, as well as a pronounced overbite and crooked lower teeth. She also has two piercings in each ear and a quarter-sized heart tattoo on her lower left abdomen/pelvic area.

Anyone with information about the incident or identification of the second woman is asked to contact the Town of Geneva Police Department at 262-248-9926.

Anonymous tips can be emailed here or texted to “CRIMES” (274637) with a message starting with tip4wc. A tip also can be reported to the Walworth County Crime Stoppers at 262-723-2677 (COPS)

Photo Credit: Town of Geneva Police

Amelia Rose Earhart "Ready to Go" on Flight Honoring Namesake


Amelia Mary Earhart is long dead after the Lockheed aircraft carrying the female aviator went missing in the Pacific in 1937.

Now, a 31-year-old former KUSA traffic reporter in Denver named Amelia Rose Earhart is set to retrace the real Earhart's around-the-world adventure starting from Oakland. She will take off Thursday to honor her namesake.

"We're ready to go," Earhart said early Thursday morning. "I was destined to do this."

Amelia Rose Earhart, who is not related the the original Earhart, plans to take a two and a half week trip. Her plan is to travel 24,300 nautical miles in a Pilatus PC-12 NG around the globe making 17 stops along the way.

She hopes that by recreating and symbolically completing Amelia Mary Earhart’s flight around the world she can "develop an even deeper connection to my namesake and also encourage the world to pursue their own adventures."

The original Earhart noted that "adventure is worthwhile in itself" and the younger Earhart said it is "that type of attitude that spurs us to seek the unknown, push our limits and fly outside the lines."

Woody Ballard, who was in Oakland on Thursday, also said he witnessed the historic 1937 flight. "I couldn’t stay away," the 83-year-old said. "I just had to come back. It’s like coming back to meeting the first Amelia and thanking her for the adventure I had as a young child."

Earhart said that since her dad's last name was Earhart her parents seized on the "cool opportunity" to name her after the world-famous aviator.

She took her name to heart: She's been flying for 10 years, and is president of the Fly With Amelia Foundation, a nonprofit that gives scholarships to young women who want to learn how to fly.

If successful, Earhart will become the youngest woman to circumnavigate the world in a single-engine aircraft.

"(Amelia Earhart) said the whole reason she does what she does is to propel the future of women who will fly tomorrow’s airplanes," the younger Amelia Earhart said. "That’s me. I’m flying tomorrow’s planes.”

Track her flight here.

Photo Credit: Alan Waples

I-84 in Southington Closed This Weekend


Part of Interstate 84 will be closed in Southington from Friday night until Monday morning and state police want to get the word out so drivers are prepared to use alternate routes.

I-84 will be closed in both directions at exit 30 as the state Department of Transportation replaces two bridges that carry I-84 over Marion Avenue.

Police advise using I-91, I-691, Route 9 and Route 72 instead. Local detours will be set up to direct drivers.

The Southington rest area before exit 30 on I-84 will close at 9 a.m. on Friday and reopen at 5 a.m. on Monday, June 30.

Marion Avenue will be closed to through traffic as the work is done and the exit 30 on- and off-ramps will be closed for around three hours to set up traffic control.

Closure schedule:


  • 9 a.m.: Southington rest area along I-84 East closes
  • 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.: I-84 Exit 30 ramps close. Marion Avenue closes at ramps and to through traffic. Atwater Street closes from Canal Street to Marion Avenue
  • 6 p.m. One lane taken on I-84 East at exit 27 (I-691)
  • 7 p.m. One lane taken on I-84 West at exit 31 (Route 229)
  • 8 p.m. Two lanes taken on I-84 East at exit 27 and I-84 West at exit 31 with one travel lane open.
  • 9 p.m.: I-84 and exit 29 ramps at Route 10 closes. Reopening of exit 30 ramps to accommodate one lane of I-84 traffic.


  • 5 a.m. I-84 open in both directions. Rest area reopens.


Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Thieves Are Targeting Cars on Shoreline


Madison police are urging residents to keep their vehicles locked at all times after a series of thefts along the shoreline. 

Police said unlocked cars have been targeted in Madison and surrounding communities and thieves are looking for money, including loose change, electronics, sunglasses, purses and wallets. 

In addition to locking vehicles, police urge residents to remove all valuables, especially overnight.

If you see any suspicious behavior in your neighborhoods report it to police.

You can reach the Madison Police Department at (203) 245-2721.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com

World Cup Fever Spreads in Connecticut


Team U.S.A is moving on to the next round of the World Cup and the excitement was palpable in Hartford as fans gathered to watch the match.

A group arrived Damon’s Tavern in Hartford around 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, well before the game started at noon.

Covered in red, white and blue, they chanted and cheered for the home team. 

When it was over, Germany defeated the U.S., 1-0, but the U.S. moves on to the "Group of Death."

The team will play again at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 1 when the U.S. takes on the winner of Group H.

Whether the U.S,. won or not, fans are loyal to Team USA and are enjoying the World Cup excitement.

"It's a great feeling to be with other soccer fans -- part of something bigger," said  Michael Lawlor, of the American Outlaws Hartford Chapter.

Chapters of the organization nationwide are supporting the Team USA as a unified group of supporters.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Cop Assaults Woman After Ceremony


An NYPD officer who received an award for shooting and arresting a gunman ended up on a police bulletin the day after the ceremony as a suspect in a break-in and assault.

According to the Daily News, the officer received an award at a June 10 ceremony with Mayor de Blasio after he apprehended a gunman who fired at him in 2012.

The day after the award ceremony, he left a friend's apartment early in the morning, wearing only his underwear, and ended up in another apartment on the same floor of the building in Woodlawn.

A woman who lives there told police he beat her up, throwing her to the floor and punching her in the head.

Cops made up a poster with his image from a building surveillance camera, but realized who he was before it was released, the News said.

He is on modified duty pending the investigation. 

Dead Dog Locked in Lobster Crate Washes Ashore: SPCA


Authorities are investigating after a dead dog that had been stuffed in a lobster crate and weighed down with bricks washed ashore on Long Island, officials say.

The dog was found on a beach along Old Winkle Point Drive in Eaton's Neck Tuesday, according to the Suffolk County SPCA. The organization says the pit bull mix was wearing a collar. 

The crate it was stuffed into had been wired shut. 

Anyone with information about the dog is asked to call the Suffolk County SPCA at (631) 382-7722.

Photo Credit: Patti McConville

Attacker Wields Liquor Bottles


A man wielding bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey and vodka was captured on a liquor store surveillance camera tossing the full bottles at a clerk, who chased after the man and whacked at him with a garden spade.

The video is especially graphic, showing a clear view of a young man, wearing a black cap and California-themed T-shirt, yelling at the clerk, grabbing cigarettes from the overhead counter, walking around with a case of Bud and appearing to threaten the clerk with the booze.

The video was recorded June 16 at Tip Top Liquor in the 400 block of Bascom Avenue in San Jose.

Santa Clara County Sheriff's Sgt. Kurt Stenderup released the video Thursday, noting he had edited out the end, which showed the attacker pummeling the clerk, before being pulled off by a customer who broke up the fight. The suspect sped off in a white car, and the clerk suffered minor injuries.

"He just started chucking bottles at him," Stenderup said of the suspect, noting that aside from Jack Daniels, Smirnoff and Skyy Vodka were also waved about.

The violence began, according to the video and clerk, when the man entered the store and picked up a case of beer, approaching the counter as though he were going to pay for it. He then asked the clerk how much a bottle of liquor was from behind the counter.

When the clerk went to check the price, the man went behind the counter and started grabbing bottles of liquor and cigarettes, as seen on the video.

“Every time they throw a bottle it constitutes as a new act,” Stenderup said. “Potentially, we are looking at multiple charges of assault with a deadly weapon.”

The clerk confronted the man, who became angry, and can be seen in the video holding the liquor bottles over his head as if about to hit the clerk.

The clerk can then be seen in the video chasing after the man, going after him with a spade.

“I feel [he was] very brave to help their fellow citizen and their neighborhood,” said Benita Espinoza, who lives near the liquor store. “We need more people like that.”

The suspect is described as a man standing 5'8" tall and weighing 160 to 180 pounds, with black curly hair in a ponytail and a mustache. He was wearing a backwards black hat with "SF" written on it. He was wearing a black T-shirt that said "CALI LIFE" on the front.

Anyone with information on the identity of this suspect, please contact the Santa Clara Sheriff's Office at 408-808-4431.

Photo Credit: Surveillance video from Tip Top Liquor via Santa Clara County Sheriff

Man Dies After Attack at New Haven Bus Stop


A 66-year-old New Haven man who had a heart attack after being attacked at a city bus stop in May has died, police said.

The victim, Francisco Ray, was knocked unconscious at a bus stop on Chapel Street near Orange Street around 8 p.m. Friday, May 30, and went into cardiac arrest, according to police.

Authorities rushed to the scene. Two men had assaulted Ray and fled on a single bicycle, they said.

Ray was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and died on Thursday, police said.

Police identified Todd Traver, 32, and Christopher Lavigne, 30, both of Waterbury, as suspects and charged the men with first-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault. They are both being held on $500,000 bond.

The medical examiner will perform an autopsy, and additional charges are possible.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police
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