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1 Dead, 1 Injured in Crash on I-95 South in New Haven


A 53-year-old New Haven woman was killed and a 41-year-old New Haven woman was seriously injured in a crash involving three vehicles on Interstate 95 South in New Haven around 5:15 a.m .on Wednesday, according to state police.

Police said Gwendolyn Buskey, 53, of New Haven, was stopped behind another car near exit 46 in the Long Wharf area because of heavy traffic caused by construction when her car was hit from behind by Fidel Rodriguez, 53, of Reading, Pennsylvania, according to state police.

Buskey was pronounced dead at the scene. Her passenger, Vera Mercer, was extricated and taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated for serious injuries, state police said.

The highway was closed for hours, but reopened right before 11 a.m.

Detours were set up and there are heavy backups during the morning commute.

No charges have been filed. Police are investigating.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation camera

Teen Threatens Peer, Breaks Bike: PD


A Middletown teenager is accused of breaking someone's bicycle and threatening to beat the person up, according to police.

Tylon Savon Hardy, 19, of Middletown, was charged with third-degree criminal mischief and threatening.

The incident occurred at McCarthy Park on Hotchkiss Street at 6 p.m. while the victim was playing basketball.

Hardy and his cousin told the victim that they intended to take the bike and Hardy said that "if he (Hardy's cousin) wants the bike, he can have the bike), the victim told police He then approached the victim "in a fighting stance" and threatened to beat him, the victim told police.

When the victim said he intended to call police, Hardy threatened him and threw his bike against a bench three to five times, the victim told police. The bike had a broken chain, a bent wheel and a missing basket, police said.

Police found Hardy near the intersection of Main and Green streets and took him into custody after the victim positively identified him.

Police held Hardy at the police department on a $10,000 surety bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 27.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Free Smoke Alarm, Free Pizza for Bridgeport Residents


A free smoke detector and a pizza.

That's what Bridgeport firefighters and the mayor are offering Wednesday as part of its free smoke alarm program, the SafeAsleep Campaign, in efforts to save lives.

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and the city's fire department are partnering with Domino's Pizza on Main Street as part of the initiative.

Firefighters will go door to door and residents who can prove they have a working smoke detector will be given a free pizza order. Firefighters will install new smoke detectors in homes that don't have working alarms and those residents will also get free pizza.

Nonprofit RYASAP has installed more than 42,000 free smoke detectors in Brideport homes over the past decade, according to Bill Kaempffer, spokesperson for the Bridgeport fire and police departments.

“Our smoke detector program has absolutely saved lives,” Mayor Bill Finch said in a statement. “We know of at least 200 cases where people were alerted to a fire in their homes by smoke detectors provided and installed by the city. This program is an investment in keeping kids and families across our city safe, and it’s money well spent.”

The fire department also visits schools to promote fire safety and SafeAsleep to pass the message about the importance of smoke detectors along to parents and distributes fliers to residents about the program.

“This program is about keeping people safe,” Bridgeport Fire Chief Brian Rooney said. “And some people get their dinner for free on top of that. We want to create awareness. The hope is the neighbors will come out to check out the commotion and schedule appointments themselves for free smoke detectors.

Residents interested in a free smoke alarm can call 203-335-8835 for more information about the program.

Woman Who Approached Kids With Puppies Is a Breeder: Cops


A woman driving an SUV or hatchback who approached children walking home from school in Darien and offered them puppies on Tuesday was a dog breeder, according to police, and did not think she was doing anything wrong.

Police said at least three groups of children were confronted on Tuesday afternoon on Middlesex Road by Libby Lane, Noroton Avenue and Hollow Tree Road.

They described the driver as a middle-aged woman with shoulder-length blonde or gray hair and said she was wearing a light blue shirt.

According to police, the woman drove up to the kids while they walked and asked, "Do you want puppies?" When they declined, she continued driving northbound on Middlesex Road.

Two posters with pictures of puppies were adhered to the back passenger window.

Police found the woman on Wednesday and said she is a dog breeder from Brewster, New York who has ties to the area.

The woman didn’t believe that she was doing anything wrong, but police told her that approaching children under these circumstances was ill-advised. 

No charges were filed and the Darien Police said they consider the case closed.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Masked Men Rob Fairfield Liquor Store at Gunpoint


Police are searching for two men who robbed a Fairfield liquor store at gunpoint on Friday.

According to police, two men wearing gloves and face masks walked into Brooklawn Liquor at 752 Brooklawn Avenue on Friday. One pulled out a small silver semi-automatic pistol and pushed the store owner up against a set of shelves.

Police said he pointed the gun at the cashier while the second suspect ran behind the counter and loaded money from the cash register into a brown paper bag.

They left the store and were last seen heading eastbound on Brooklawn Avenue.

Police said both suspects are about 5 feet 5 inches tall. One was wearing a dark gray hooded sweatshirt with a dark-colored baseball cap and the hood pulled over his head. He had on jeans and sneakers.

The second suspect was wearing a navy blue hooded sweatshirt with a red baseball cap – possibly marked with a Houston Astros logo – and light-colored jeans and sneakers.

Anyone with information is urged to call Fairfield police detectives at 203-254-4840 or submit an anonymous tip online or by texting “FPD” and tip information to CRIMES (274637).

Photo Credit: Fairfield Police Department

Truck and Car Collide on I-95 South in West Haven


Traffic is congested on Interstate I-95 South between exits 42 and 41 in West Haven after a car and a tractor trailer collided.

Minor injuries are reported.  

The crash happened in the center lane, according to police. The scene has cleared, but there is residual backup.

This crash is just a few exits away from a crash this morning that killed a New Haven woman and seriously injured another New Haven woman.

Photo Credit: Connecticut DOT Traffic camera

Access Health CT Names Interim CEO


As Access Health CEO Kevin Counihan heads to Washington, D.C., to lead the national health insurance exchange, current Access Health CIO James Wadleigh, Jr. has been selected to take over as interim CEO.

Wadleigh’s appointment was announced Wednesday in a release from Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman’s office. Wadleigh has served as chief information officer for Access Health CT since July 2012 and has worked in information technology for 25 years.

"Jim has the ability and the knowledge of the technology," Wyman said.

He earned bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Vermont and a master’s degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, according to the news release.

“I am honored by the Board’s decision and look forward to continuing my work with the tremendous team at Access Health CT,” Wadleigh said in a statement Wednesday. “We have an important mission to ensure every resident of Connecticut has accessible, affordable health insurance—and a great team in place to get the job done.

He’ll serve as interim CEO starting Friday, Sept. 5 and will lead the agency during the search for a permanent replacement.

Cops Rescue Suicidal Man From Train


As a train barreled into a Washington Metro station toward a man who'd thrown himself onto the tracks, two police officers and stunned onlookers desperately worked to save him -- and they did, with no time to spare.

The terrifying situation unfolded at the Rhode Island Avenue station on Tuesday night as a 22-year-old D.C. man tried to take his own life, Metro said.

Metro Transit Police officers were called around 9:15 p.m. because the man was reportedly harassing others on the platform. When the officers approached, he jumped onto the track bed as the platform lights began to blink, indicating a Red Line train was pulling into the station.

The man said he wanted to die, Metro said.

While the officers radioed for help, trying to get the train to stop, others on the platform frantically waved their arms to signal to the train operator.

The operator saw what was happening and activated the train's emergency braking system, but there wasn't enough time to stop the train.

That's when the man changed his mind and desperately tried to lunge back onto the platform. The officers pulled him from the train's path just in time.

The man was taken to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation. He was not physically injured.

Napa Quake: $300M in Private Damage


Sunday’s magnitude-6.0 earthquake caused an estimated $300 million in damages to homes and private buildings, according to Napa city leaders’ most recent assessment released Wednesday.

The dollar figure includes only private structures, and not the damage to public buildings or general economic loss, according to the city report.

City leaders also said 113 buildings have been added to the red-tag list of buildings deemed uninhabitable, and 83 water lines still need to be fixed.

In addition, 500 buildings were still on the yellow tag list of buildings that people could go inside, but at their own risk.

The numbers keep moving, and the city created a map to try to reflect the most current figures, showing where all the problems are, and when they're being fixed. As of Wednesday, PG&E reported all customers had their power back on, down from a peak of 70,000 customers who had no electricity.

And most all Napa students headed back to public school for the first time since the earthquake.

In terms of the human toll from the quake that struck at 3:20 a.m. Sunday, 209 patients were treated at Queen of the Valley Hospital, with 18 admitted for some period of time. Most injuries were orthopedic.

Thirteen-year-old Nicholas Dillon was one of those patients was airlifted to UC Davis Children's Hospital, and despite a pelvic fracture, he was feeling lucky that things were not worse.

No one died during the quake, the largest one to hit the Bay Area in 25 years.

IF YOU'RE INTERESTED: Napa is updating its numbers and providing phone numbers on who to call on the city website.

Photo Credit: (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Razors Found at SoCal Playground


Parents in Victor Valley are being warned about razor blades and other sharp objects investigators believe were intentionally placed on a playground to injure children.

Double-edged razor blades and bent forks were found buried in sand and hidden in playground equipment Tuesday at a community park at 3rd Street and Meyer Street in Oro Grande.

Park maintenance workers reported the blades, and no children have been injured. The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department’s Victor Valley station issued a statement saying it believes the blades were an isolated incident and that no known threats have been made against children who play at the park.

"My thoughts are that's very dangerous and I'm very concerned for the children who play here every day at this park," said Stephanie Williams, a parent who was at the park Wednesday. "If it was purposely planned to purposely hurt somebody then we really got to worry about the motives of people."

Williams said parents will need to be extra vigilant when visiting the park.

"It's sad but it's true. Parents are going to have to do another job when they come to the park, when they bring their children here," she said.

The department has asked anyone who might have information about who may have placed the objects to come forward.

“We need to protect our children and we need anyone who has information regarding this serious crime to come forward,” Sgt. Jim Evans said in the statement. “We are thankful to park employees for doing a thorough inspection of their facilities and locating these dangerous items before a child was injured.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Deputy Brandon Kirkendall at 760-552-6800.

Thunderstorm Warning Expires for Litchfield County


A severe thunderstorm warning issued Wednesday for central Litchfield County expired at 7:45 p.m.

Storms moved into the northwest corner of the state from central Massachusetts, bringing heavy rain, lots of lightning and the potential for damaging winds.

The storm is heading eastbound and should leave the state within the next couple of hours.

We'll see clear skies again tomorrow.

USC Player Suspended For Rescue Lie


A USC football player and co-captain admitted on Wednesday that he lied when he said he hurt his ankles while jumping off a second-floor balcony to save his drowning nephew from a pool, university athletic department officials said.

Senior cornerback Josh Shaw told USC's Ripsit Blog that he jumped off the balcony on Aug. 23, landed on the concrete and crawled into the pool to rescue the child, suffering the sprains as a result of the jump.

But on Wednesday, Shaw admitted that the story was "a complete fabrication" and apologized for misleading his coach, team and the public, according to a USC athletics statement.

The blog has since deleted its initial story about the rescue. Shaw has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities, according to the statement.

"We are extremely disappointed in Josh," USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian said in the statement."He let us all down. As I have said, nothing in his background led us to doubt him when he told us of his injuries, nor did anything after our initial vetting of his story."

Shaw's attorney released a response on his behalf.

"On Saturday August 23, 2014, I injured myself in a fall. I made up a story about this fall that was untrue. I was wrong not to tell the truth," the statement read. "I apologize to USC for this action on my part."

"My USC coaches, the USC Athletic Department, and espcially coach Sarkisian have all been supportive of me during my college career and for that, I am very grateful," the statement continued.

Sarkisian said earlier Wednesday that the campus was looking into phone calls that disputed Shaw's account of what happened.

"I appreciate that Josh has now admitted that he lied and has apologized," Sarkisian said in the statement Wednesday. "Although this type of behavior is out of character for Josh, it is unacceptable. Honesty and integrity must be at the center of our program. I believe Josh will learn from this. I hope that he will not be defined by this incident, and that the Trojan Family will accept his apology and support him."

On Tuesday, Sarkisian defended Shaw and said he had "no reason, no history to not believe Josh."

Los Angeles police said Tuesday they had not had any contact with Shaw, but they did take a burglary report Aug. 23, the same night of his fall, in which the victim named Shaw as her boyfriend.

"He is not listed as a suspect, and police had no contact with him," LAPD Officer Sara Faden told NBC4. "His name is just listed in the body of a police report."

Officers responded to the call about 11 p.m., Faden said. While officers were speaking with people outside, a resident returned and spoke to police.

They asked her about her roommates and "people in her life," and she mentioned Shaw as her boyfriend, Faden said.

Photo Credit: USC Athletics

Accused Drug Dealer Found With Cocaine, $68K


Officers have arrested a 36-year-old East Hartford man after finding him with a large amount of cocaine and nearly $68,000 cash, according to police.

Luis Nieves-Feliciano is accused of running a drug factory from a home on Burnside Avenue in East Hartford.

After identifying him as a potential drug dealer, police pulled him over on Hillside Street and searched his car to find $38,770 cash, according to police.

Officers then found an additional $29,220 cash at the house on Burnside Avenue, along with 2.13 pounds of power cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

He was charged with possession of narcotics, possession with intent to sell, sale of narcotics within 1500 feet of a daycare, operating a drug factory and possession of a controlled substance.

Nieves-Feliciano was held on $750,000 bond and appeared in court Wednesday.

Photo Credit: East Hartford Police Department

Stamford Technical School Celebrates Grand Reopening


A technical school in Stamford opened its doors Wednesday for the first time in five years, welcoming a class of 145 high school freshmen.

The 200,000-square-foot J.M. Wright Technical High School recently underwent a $90.2 million renovation and is now the first technical high school in the country to offer a facilities management program.

Students can choose from one of 10 areas of study, including health and information technology, plumbing and heating, electrical, culinary arts and science, digital media, carpentry, tourism and hospitality and automotive engineering. They’ll receive both digital and mobile instruction.

According to a release from Gov. Dannel Malloy’s office, the school is designed to serve as a “model for technology-driven education” and prepare students “for the high-level problem-solving required by today’s employees.”

Malloy joined other state and local leaders for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the start of the school year Wednesday.

“This ribbon cutting is a big step for the City of Stamford that will allow us to advance the important work of training the next generation of workers that will be globally competitive,” Malloy said in a statement.

I am proud to support this project and will continue to support investments that improve and transform our K-12 and higher education systems so that Connecticut is poised to fulfill the demands of a 21st century workforce,” he added.

State Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor said the school “represents the future of the system.”

J.M. Wright Tech is one of 17 diploma-granting technical high schools in the state. More information is available online.

Drunken Mom Was Almost 5 Times Legal Limit: Cops


A 39-year-old Milford mom is facing charges after driving her young daughter around while extremely intoxicated, according to police.

Police responded to Tulip Tree Court on June 23 after neighbors reported a crash. According to the police report filed after the incident, Inna Platanov had been driving drunk with her daughter in the backseat.

She was found barefoot in the bushes after her Toyota Rav4 landed in a ditch on the side of Tulip Tree Court, according to police. Platanov's daughter was still in her carseat, according to the police report.

According to the report, Platanov was swaying on her feet and admitted to drinking before dropping off her sons at swim lessons and heading home.

Her blood alcohol content was .383, nearly 4.8 times the legal limit in Connecticut, according to police.

Police said Platanov's daughter was not harmed.

Platanov told police she's battling alcohol and depression and insisted that she loved her children, according to the police report.

She was arrested on a warrant Aug. 26 and charged with driving under the influence and risk of injury to a minor. Bond was set at $500. Platanov is due in court on Sept. 23.

NBC Connecticut went to Platanov's home, but the family had no comment.

Man Steals Nearly $150 in Red Bull From Supermarket: Police


Police are investigating the theft of nearly $150 worth of Red Bull cases from a Waterford supermarket earlier this month.

According to police, a man stole Red Bull valued at $143.90 from the Super Stop & Shop in Waterford on Aug. 15 and may have re-sold it to other local vendors.

They're working to identify the person responsible, who the say was caught on surveillance video entering the store.

Surveillance footage shows the suspect wearing a blue polo shirt, khaki pants and a black baseball cap with a red brim and writing across the front.

Anyone with information is urged to call Waterford police at 860-442-9451.

Photo Credit: Waterford Police Department

Second Test Shows No E. Coli in Windham School Water


A second test at Windham Center School revealed no E. coli in the well water there, but traces of another, less harmful bacteria were still evident in the water and will be flushed out over the next few days, according to the school superintendent.

E. coli was discovered in the drinking water Tuesday, prompting the elementary school to provide students with bottled water and modify its lunch menu. School is closed today through the rest of the week and resume next Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Lab tests Tuesday confirmed the presence of E. coli bacteria in school water, but further test results returned Wednesday showed no evidence of E. coli.

Federal and state law requires public schools to test their water every three months. Tests are usually completed before the start of the school year, but since Windham Public Schools started earlier than usual this year, testing ran into the first week of class.

Building and grounds director Wayne Donaldson said the problem is not uncommon.

"[The bacteria] could have come from groundwater entering the well, loose pipe, broken pipe, almost anything," he explained Wednesday.

After the problem was detected Tuesday, the school shut off water fountains and students were provided with bottled water throughout the school day. Officials made changes to the school lunch menu to avoid using water and served meals on paper and plastic.

Garcia and Principal Kathleen Goodwin posted a letter to parents on the school’s Web site on Monday as the new school year was beginning.

“We received preliminary test results of the school’s drinking water that showed traces of E. coli bacteria. E. coli bacteria can potentially make students and staff sick,” the letter said.

“Our priority is that all of our students are safe, healthy and successful at Windham Center School, and we are making every effort to resolve this situation and keep our students learning without disruption."

Dr. Joseph Garner, chief of the Department of Medicine at the Hospital of Central Connecticut, said E. coli is used as a marker to determine whether there is any contamination of the water supply.

The bacteria lives in the intestines of mammals and most types do not cause disease, such as diarrhea and kidney failure, Garner said.

“The presence of E. coli suggests that there may be a leak in a pipe somewhere, some sort of a connection that doesn’t have the integrity it should have and that’s how the bacteria tend to get in, so they will examine their entire system and determine where the E. coli got into the water system, fix that and there won’t be a problem going forward,” Garner said.

Garcia said there have been no reports of sickness associated with the bacteria, and that school officials have had conversations about drilling a second well.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Stamford Cab Driver Found Stabbed to Death


A taxi driver was found dead outside a cab in Stamford this morning after he was stabbed at least 15 times, according to police.

Authorities are investigating his death as a homicide.

According to police, landscapers found the body of 47-year-old Mahomed Kamal on a lawn near 150 Doolittle Road around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. A Stamford Taxi cab was in the woods across the street.

Kamal had been stabbed repeatedly in the torso and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said he struggled violently with the person who killed him, both in and out of the cab. According to police, the stabbing happened sometime after 3 a.m.

Stamford police spokesman Lt. Diedrich Hohn described Kamal's death as "very violent."

"It looks like there was a struggle because he had some wounds on his hands, which led us to believe he was fighting for his life," Hohn explained.

Police said Kamal's wife filed a missing person report around 7 a.m. when she couldn't get ahold of her husband.

Kamal's coworkers said he had been working for Stamford Taxi for a couple years. 

Police are looking at Kamal's taxi logs and phone history to see who he might have picked up. They say the Doolittle Road cul-de-sac is a remote area and can be dark.

"We don't know if he just picked up a fare somewhere in the city and got lured up to there," Hohn said. "We don't know if there's another car involved. We don't know the escape route at this point."

Neighbors said they've seen a similar taxi drive up and down the street before, without any passengers inside.

Kamal's friends are shocked by his death and said they can't imagine anyone trying to hurt him.

"At this moment, I just was thinking this was a robbery, or maybe... wrong place at the wrong time," said Fazel Karim, a friend of Kamal's.

The medical examiner will perform an autopsy to determine the official cause of death.

Anyone who was in the area and may have seen something suspicious is urged to call police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Tsarnaev's Sister Arrested in NYC


A sister of the two Boston Marathon suspects has been arrested for allegedly threatening a New York City woman over the phone, police say.

Ailina Tsarnaev, 24, of North Bergen, New Jersey, called the mother of her husband's child and threatened her, according to the NYPD. 

She allegedly told the woman, "I have people who can go over there and put a bomb on you," police say. 

She was arrested Wednesday afternoon and is in custody at a Harlem precinct station. Her next court date is Sept. 30.

Attorney information for Tsarnaev wasn't immediately available. 

Her brother Dzhokhar Tsarneav is charged with carrying out the April 15 Boston attack with older brother Tamerlan, who died in a police shootout. 

She told reporters from her New Jersey home shortly after the April 2013 bombing that she had not spoken to her brothers in years. 

"I'm not OK, just like everybody else is not OK," she said at the time. "No one is OK. It's very shocking." 

Photo Credit: NBCSanDiego

Suspect Shoots at Man With Young Daughter in Car: 911 Call


Authorities have arrested a 21-year-old Hartford man accused of firing shots at a car driving in the area of Barker Street and Wethersfield Avenue, according to police and the 911 audio recording.

In the 911 call, the victim told police he was driving with his young daughter when a man opened fire at him. Police said two shots were fired, and the dispatcher heard them over the phone.

The victim told dispatch his car window had been broken the night before and he suspected the shooter may have been responsible, according to the 911 call. He said he recognized the suspect but didn’t know his name.

Officers arrived on Barker Street and searched the suspect’s house. He was identified as 21-year-old Teekaram Persaud, of Barker Street, and a search of his home revealed 171 grams of marijuana, a gram of crack cocaine a live ammunition round and drug packaging materials, according to police.

The victim told police neither he nor his daughter was injured, according to the 911 call.

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