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Time to Spring Forward for Daylight Saving Sunday


It's time to "spring forward" Sunday for the annual ritual of re-setting our clocks for Daylight Saving Time.

While we're losing an hour of sleep beginning on March 10 at 2 a.m., we gain an extra hour of daylight. Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands do not participate in DST.

While some may be thrilled for the extra hour of sunlight, others call DST "archaic" and think the practice should be eliminated. A petition now circulating on the White House "We the People" crowdsourcing website asks the government to do away with DST.

"The original reasons for the policies are no longer applicable, and the most cited reason for keeping DST (energy savings) has never been shown to be true," the petition reads. "Some industries still like DST (like sporting equipment retailers), but there are many more who dislike the changed hours (like television)."

The petition was created on March 5 and had 7,611 signatures as of Friday afternoon.

Daylight savings last until Nov. 3 when clocks "fall" back for the fall season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Red Sox Charity Plates Coming to Connecticut


Gov. Dannel Malloy would rather be seen in Yankees pinstripes than anything with a Red Sox logo, but he made an exception on Friday.

Malloy actually wore a Red Sox jersey when the Red Sox Foundation was here to announce Connecticut Red Sox license plates that will benefit charity.

Sam Kennedy, the executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Red Sox, and a former Trinity College baseball player, presented the governor with a Red Sox jersey with “Malloy” and the number 1 on the back.

Kennedy said the Red Sox Foundation leadership attended a baseball owner’s meeting in Phoenix and a conversation ensued about the great battleground between Yankees and Red Sox fans in the state.

The  Yankees officials proudly commented that Malloy is the Yankee’s top fan in the state, but Kennedy took it upon himself to invite Malloy to leave the “Evil Empire” of the Yankees and join Red Sox Nation and presented him with the jersey.

Malloy accepted the jersey, but was quick to comment.

“For charity,” he said.

The Red Sox Foundation will run the charity license plate program to help fund a soon-to-be-formed scholarship program for Connecticut public high school students who demonstrate academic talent, financial need, and a commitment to community service.

The total cost of the Red Sox charitable plate is $115. Of that total, $65 goes to the state's DMV to cover plate production costs, and $500 goes to the Red Sox Foundation to raise funds for academic scholarship programs in Connecticut.  If you wish to order a new vanity Red Sox plate, the total cost is $184.

Malloy said education has been one of his primary focuses and commended the Red Sox Foundation for its charity work and commitment to helping Connecticut students fund higher education.

“I couldn’t be prouder to be here. I couldn’t be prouder to wear this shirt – today,” Malloy said.

If you would like to order a Red Sox plate, you can learn more on the Red Sox Foundation Web site.

Researchers Find Fabled Viking Sunstone


A rough, whitish block recovered from an Elizabethan shipwreck may be a sunstone, the fabled crystal believed by some to have helped Vikings and other medieval seafarers navigate the high seas, researchers say.

In a paper published earlier this week, a Franco-British group argued that the Alderney Crystal — a chunk of Icelandic calcite found amid a 16th century wreck at the bottom of the English Channel — worked as a kind of solar compass, allowing sailors to determine the position of the sun even when it was hidden by heavy cloud, masked by fog, or below the horizon.

That's because of a property known as birefringence, which splits light beams in a way that can reveal the direction of their source with a high degree of accuracy. Vikings may not have grasped the physics behind the phenomenon, but that wouldn't present a problem.

"You don't have to understand how it works," said Albert Le Floch, of the University in Rennes in western France. "Using it is basically easy."

Vikings were expert navigators — using the sun, stars, mountains and even migratory whales to help guide them across the sea — but some have wondered at their ability to travel the long stretches of open water between Greenland, Iceland, and Newfoundland in modern-day Canada.

Le Floch is one of several who've suggested that calcite crystals were used as navigational aids for long summer days in which the sun might be hidden behind the clouds. He said the use of such crystals may have persisted into the 16th century, by which time magnetic compasses were widely used but often malfunctioned.

Le Floch noted that one Icelandic legend — the Saga of St. Olaf — appears to refer to such a crystal when it says that Olaf used a "sunstone" to verify the position of the sun on a snowy day.

But that's it. Few other medieval references to sunstones have been found, and no such crystals have ever been recovered from Viking tombs or ships. Until the Alderney Crystal was recovered in 2002, there had been little if any hard evidence to back the theory.

Many specialists are still skeptical. Donna Heddle, the director of the Center for Nordic Studies at Scotland's University of the Highlands and Islands, described the solar compass hypothesis as speculative.

"There's no solid evidence that that device was used by Norse navigators," she said Friday. "There's never been one found in a Viking boat. One cannot help but feel that if there were such things they would be found in graves."

She acknowledged that the crystal came from Iceland and was found near a navigation tool, but said it might just as easily have been used as a magnifying device as a solar compass.

Le Floch argued that one of the reasons why no stones have been found before is that calcite degrades quickly — it's vulnerable to acid, sea salts, and to heat. The Alderney Crystal was originally transparent, but the sea water had turned it a milky white.

Le Floch's paper — written with Guy Ropars, Jacques Lucas, and a group of Britons from the Alderney Maritime Trust — appeared Wednesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

Photo Credit: AP

Emergency Pothole Work on I-84 East in Hartford


The state Department of Transportation is warning drivers about some emergency work on Interstate 84 Eastbound in Hartford.

Officials from DOT said crews are filling a pothole between exits 48 and 49. They said they need to do it immediately are  doing it as quickly as possible.

Alice Waters Vows to Reopen Chez Panisse


Iconic restaurant Chez Panisse, the California brainchild of renowned chef and local food guru Alice Waters, caught fire early Friday, shocking fans and foodies nationwide.

The fire at the Berkeley, Calif. restaurant was reported just after 3 a.m. local time, when someone spotted flames and called 911. It likely started a couple hours before that.

They don't have an immediate cause, but Berkeley Fire Department Acting Chief Avery Webb said investigators are looking at the electrical system to see if that sparked the fire, which appears as though it may have started under the porch. A sprinkler inside the building helped quell the damage, he said. Early estimates indicate the damage may be about $200,000. 

And despite the outside of the wooden building looking burned to the core, Webb said that inside, the "damage didn't look too bad, there's not even that much smoke damage." The main beams of the restaurant are still strong, and the main dining room, the kitchen and upstairs café were spared.

Owner Alice Waters, a major force behind the local and organic food movement, said she hoped the café section of the restaurant would be open for next weekend.

The fire at the beloved, trend-setting restaurant quickly drew the attention of news agencies spanning from the Los Angeles Times to the New York Times.

Waters showed up on scene about 6 a.m. local time and hugged her general manager. She was obviously shocked. And she said she was glad she didn't listen to her first instincts about not putting in a downstairs sprinkler.

With tears choking her words, she told a group of reporters that she was swimming in a sea of emotions.

"I'm sad, very sad," she said, before quickly switching gears. "Right now I just feel lucky," she added. (To see some of her interview, click here.)

The chef and activist opened Chez Panisse in 1971, and she remembers another fire in 1982.

Since then, Waters has worked beyond the restaurant to promote cooking and eating healthy, locally grown food. She often works with schools to promote good eating with young children.

The menus at Chez Panisse are always changing. Her current one boasts delicacies like six Hog Island Sweetwater oysters on the half-shell with mignonette sauce ($16) in her moderately priced café.

Friday's fixed-price dinner was going for $100. The main dish would have been Becker Lane Farm pork loin grilled with cumin, artichokes, rapini and white beans azafran.

Waters is one of the most influential figures on the American food scene. And people from near and far flock to Chez Panisse for special occasions. Chez Panisse was recognized as the best restaurant in America by the late Gourmet magazine in 2000 and since then has won several more awards.

When the restaurant will re-open is unclear, though Waters told a group of reporters that it certainly will. In fact, she said she was thinking about possibly using this opportunity to expand.

"It's really important that we rebuild," she said. "I'm sure we will have the complete support of the insurance company."

To see some of Alice Waters' raw video this morning, click here:

View more videos at: http://nbcbayarea.com.


Contact Lisa Fernandez at 408-432-4758 or lisa.fernandez@nbcuni.com.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

Great Danes Rescued From East Granby Pond


Firefighters and police pulled off a daring rescue on Newgate Pond in East Granby after two Great Danes fell through the ice.

"I was walking my dogs in the woods behind my house, like I have for 30 years, and they took off. It was snowing. They didn't come and they didn't come," said Pat Arnestad of East Granby.

Arnestad thought her dogs, Poppy and Violet, were just having fun in the snow. She could hear them barking and searched for them. As she approached Newgate Pond, she quickly realized they were in serious danger.

"I came over the hill and both my dogs were in the pond. They had broken through the ice," said Arnestad.

She immediately called 911. 

Firefighters from East Granby, Granby, and Suffield responded, some suiting up in cold weather gear. So did police from East Granby and EMS crews.  

Violet, at 135 pounds, was about 30 feet off shore and was pulled to safety first, said Arnestad.

Poppy, at 175 pounds, was in the middle of the lake.  He was rescued next after a firefighter crawled on his stomach to reach the dog, said Arnestad.

"The two members that were in the suits entered the water and made the rescue for the dogs, brought the dogs to the shore, at which time the dogs were brought up here," said Asst. Chief Wayne Bindas of the East Granby Fire Department.  

They were placed inside a fire truck to warm up, Bindas said.

No one was hurt during the rescue, he said.

The dogs are now resting comfortably at home.

"I cannot say enough how appreciative I am of what everybody did this morning.  If they hadn't helped, I wouldn't be sitting here with my dogs," said Arnestad. "There's a lot of good in this world and I don't think it gets recognized enough."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/Chris Hall

Dorner Carjack Victim Seeks $1.2M Reward


A scout ranger who was carjacked by an ex-LAPD officer wanted in a series of revenge killings is seeking some of the more than $1 million reward money offered for information leading to the ex-officer’s arrest.

Rick Heltebrake filed a claim against the city of Los Angeles on Feb. 19, according to the Los Angeles City Clerk’s Office.

Complete Coverage: Manifesto for Murder

He’s seeking reward money that the city announced it was offering for information leading to the capture of Christopher Dorner.

Dorner was accused of killing four people — including two police officers — in a rampage over his 2008 firing from the Los Angeles Police Department.

In an online manifesto, Dorner vowed revenge against several former LAPD colleagues whom he blamed for ending his career. He was fired after he allegedly falsified a report about an officer involved in a use of force incident.

Dorner took his own life while he was hiding out in a cabin on Feb. 15.

Heltebrake was carjacked by Dorner on Feb. 12 as Dorner tried to elude police in the San Bernardino Mountain ski resort area of Big Bear. The 61-year-old ranger at Camp Tahquitz said that a man resembling Dorner approached him with a rifle and demanded his pickup truck.

Heltebrake complied and called 911.

Heltebrake claims he is owed at least part of the $1.2 million because his call led authorities to Dorner.

Neither he nor his attorney were available for comment.

Numerous local, state and federal entities are involved in determining the distribution of the reward, said Peter Sanders, a spokesman for LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

"As you can imagine, this is a complex process and one that is often lengthy," he said.

Photo Credit: AP

How the Papal Conclave Works

NBC 4 New York's David Ushery takes you through the conclave process of electing the pope.

Panetta's Comment at Slain Cops' Memorial Stirs Debate


During the funeral for two Santa Cruz, Calif., police officers killed in the line of duty, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta did something unexpected: He dove into the killer's background — and gave commentary on the problem of sexual assault in the military.

"We do know that he had a history of sexual violence both in and out of the military, and for whatever reason, people somehow always look the other way," Panetta said Thursday.

Jeremy Goulet, who was killed in a gun battle with police after he fatally shot two Santa Cruz police officers, was accused of raping two military officers in 2006 while in the army. A plea bargain allowed him to walk away with a less than honorable discharge.

"At some point, somebody pays a price," Panetta said.

While the former Pentagon chief never said it outright, many believe Panetta implied that that dismissed case so many years ago may have ultimately led to the death of the two Santa Cruz police officers last Tuesday.

The problem of sexual assault in the military has been well-documented and was an issue Panetta spent much of his time at the Defense Department addressing.

"I thought Secretary Panetta was responding from his heart as a human being in responding to a crisis and a tragedy really in terms of how well we’ve taken care of the problem of sexual assault in the military and how both the victims and the perpetrators of those crimes haven’t been managed appropriately in past years," said Beth Hillman, a professor of law at the University of California – Hastings and the president of the National Institute for Military Justice.

Experts estimate that as many as 19,000 military women and men are sexually assaulted every year, but only 13 percent ever report the attacks.

Many believe that is because the current system for prosecuting the cases gives too much power to commanding officers.

"I think it’s time to take this problem away from our military leaders and put it in the hands of independent prosecutors and investigators who can manage this without worrying about the impact or the reputation of the military," Hillman said.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) agrees. "The commanding officer is the judge and the jury. The commanding officer when you report a rape can decide not to pursue it, not to have it investigated," she said in a statement.

The congresswoman has introduced three bills in hopes of creating an environment that better protects victims and reduces what many call a "good ol’ boys" network that in some cases protects predators.

"Rapes will continue in the military, sexual assaults, sexual harassment unless we take dramatic steps to change it," Speier said.

Drunk NJ High Schooler Breaks School Nurse's Hip: Cops


A New Jersey high school senior faces assault charges after he allegedly broke a school nurse’s hip while in a drunken rage.

Since Wednesday was an exam day, seniors were allowed to arrive to Pennsville Memorial High School late.

Pennsville Township Police told NBC10’s Chris Cato that the 17-year-old and his friend Manpreet Singh, 18, used the opportunity to get drunk.

The 17-year-old, who wasn’t identified because he is a minor, began to act belligerent in class, police said..

"They took him from the classroom and took him to the principal's office," said police Lt. A.J. Cummings.

Sources told Cato that when the boy was confronted with a Breathalyzer test that he went nuts and shoved the principal. He then allegedly burst out the office door, knocking down school nurse Marilyn English.

English, 68, suffered a broken hip and remained in South Jersey Healthcare – Elmer Hospital Friday night. Cato spoke to her by phone.

"I'm doing as well as can be expected for the type of injury it is," English said.

She told Cato that the boy never stopped. Police sources say he kept going right out of the building. Police say they later picked him up around 11:20 a.m. but not before he kicked an officer.

The 17-year-old faces three assault charges, disorderly conduct and alcohol charges while Singh, who police say supplied the alcohol, faces an alcohol charge.

The Pennsville School District had no comment on what discipline both teens could face.

Neither teens' parents wanted to talk to NBC10. The minor’s mother slammed the door on Cato and Singh’s mother had no comment.

As for the school nurse hurt during the teen’s alleged rage, English told Cato that she hopes the action of a couple students doesn’t reflect on the majority of students saying this was an "isolated" and "abnormal" incident.

Photo Credit: NBC10 Philadelphia

Nationwide Recall of Canned Tuna Fish Expands


The nationwide recall of canned tuna fish expanded on Friday to include more products sold under three popular brand names, according to the two San Diego-based companies involved in the recall.

Tri-union Seafoods and Bumble Bee Tuna Brands voluntarily recalled dozens of lots of canned tuna fish after the companies discovered seals on the cans may be faulty, making the food vulnerable to spoilage and contamination which could sicken consumers.

The recall now applies to these 5-ounce cans of chunk white albacore and chunk light tuna products. All the cans have "best by" dates between Jan. 14 and 18, 2016:

Brunswick Brand

  • Chunk Light Tuna in Water – 48 Count Case (Case UPC 6661332803)

Bumble Bee Brand

  • Chunk Light Tuna in Water – 24 Count Case (Case UPC 8660000990)
  • Chunk Light Tuna in Water – 48 Count Case (Case UPC 8660000020)
  • Chunk Light Tuna in Vegetable Oil – 48 Count Case (Case UPC 8660000021)
  • Chunk White Albacore in Water – 24 Count Case (Case UPC 8660000025)
  • Chunk Light Tuna in Water – 6 Count Case of 4-Pack Cluster (Case UPC 8660000736)
  • Chunk White Albacore in Water – 6 Count Case of 8-Pack Cluster (Case UPC 8660000775)
  • Chunk White Albacore in Water – 6 Count Case of 8-Pack Cluster (Case UPCS 8660000776)

Chicken of the Sea

  • Chunk White Albacore Tuna in Water – Single cans with "best by" date of Jan. 18, 2017 (UPC 048000033550)
  • Chunk Light Tuna in Oil – Single cans with "best by" date of Jan. 18, 2017

There have been no reports yet of consumers getting sick from the recalled tuna, the companies said.

Consumers are being told to throw away the affected cans. Consumers can reach Tri-union Seafoods at this number: 800-597-5898; and Bumble Bee Brands at this number: (800) 800-8572

Click here to see photos of the affected cans from Tri-union Seafoods, and Bumble Bee Brand Foods.

Rare Rendezvous With Koko the Gorilla


After 40 years of tightly guarded living in the Santa Cruz mountains, the most famous gorilla on the planet named Koko is getting a makeover.

It's not the kind that starts with a new hairdo or manicure. This makeover impact's Koko's human family’s non-profit in both financial and executive leadership terms.

They are in a clock-ticking fight to save Koko’s species of endangered lowland gorillas.

If their organizational transition is successful, her handlers at the Gorilla Foundation in Redwood City say Koko has a shot at settling into a new home in Hawaii with a family of rescued gorillas.

Since 1990, the foundation has had access to a natural preserve in Maui, where they planned to construct the first tropical gorilla sanctuary outside of Africa.

Such a home, they say, could provide a refuge for hundreds of gorillas facing extinction from a combination of poaching and over-development in their homelands.

But fundraising faltered. They remain roughly $10 million shy of their goal. Other issues intervened as well and the foundation’s dream of a Maui Preserve has not yet materialized.

Now, with the plight of lowland gorillas worsening, the Gorilla Foundation is hoping a new executive director, with strong ties to technology, could forge the partnerships necessary to – in Silicon Valley parlance – more effectively “leverage” the Koko brand. 

Gorilla Foundation President Dr. Penny Patterson says with a sign language vocabulary of more than 1,000 gestures, and an international fan base from the numerous stories and documentarie, Koko herself is the best possible ambassador for the cause.

Patterson raised Koko from the time she was a one-year old ailing baby at the San Francisco Zoo.

That was in 1972, when Patterson began her doctoral thesis on inter-species communication. Her goal then was to teach Koko a gorilla modified version of American Sign Language (ASL).

Fast-forward to today and her four-year experiment has turned into a lifetime relationship.

Today, Patterson acknowledges that the Gorilla Foundation she co-founded with Dr. Ron Cohn needs a new team to tackle the daunting challenges posed by poachers and endangered species.

Education, she insists, is the key to changing behavior.

NBC Bay Area became the first television station in many years to gain access to the 300-pound gorilla, nestled in her pig-pen of a trailer in the hills above Woodside.

She is magnificent. Alert, thoughtful, and to this reporter’s surprise, graceful.

She held her plate level and spooned her meal into her mouth with the almost dainty dexterity of a lady at the Ritz, never spilling a morsel. She was very intrigued by our camera and she gestured repeatedly for Patterson to unlock her gate and let us inside.

At the age of 41, Koko is nearing the end of her child-bearing years. Yet she still expresses maternal yearnings for a baby, and still signs her desire to be part of a typical gorilla family, which consists of one dominant male surrounded by many females and offspring.

If the Gorilla Foundation reaches its goals of fundraising and new leadership, Koko may be able to live out her days in a safe, natural preserve in Maui, with rescued and orphaned gorillas she could mother.

For more information on Koko and the plight of gorillas, visit the Gorilla Foundation’s homepage at this link.

View more videos at: http://nbcbayarea.com.

Mom Gave 14-Year-Old Margaritas: Cops


Middletown police have arrested a 51-year-old mom from East Hampton accused of giving her daughter multiple margaritas, to the point where she became sick, during dinner last month.

Middletown police responded 200 Main St. at 7:21 p.m. on Feb. 27 to investigate a report of an intoxicated female and found a 14-year-old girl who appeared to be drunk and her mother, Joann Goulet LePage, 51, of East Hampton, police said.

As police spoke with the mom and daughter, the teen said her mother gave her several alcoholic beverages as they were having meals, police said.

Police said a witness also reported seeing Joann giving the teen several margaritas, police said.

The teen was transported to Middlesex Hospital for treatment.

LePage was charged with risk of injury to a child because of the girl’s age and medical condition.

Police contacted the state Department of Children and Families and contacted the teen’s father.

Mom Gave 14-Year-Old Margaritas: Cops


Police have arrested a 51-year-old mom from East Hampton, Conn., accused of giving her daughter multiple margaritas, to the point where she became sick, during dinner last month.

Middletown police responded 200 Main St. at 7:21 p.m. on Feb. 27 to investigate a report of an intoxicated female and found a 14-year-old girl who appeared to be drunk and her mother, Joann Goulet LePage, 51, of East Hampton, police said.

As police spoke with the mom and daughter, the teen said her mother gave her several alcoholic beverages as they were having meals, police said.

Police said a witness also reported seeing Joann giving the teen several margaritas, police said.

The teen was transported to Middlesex Hospital for treatment.

LePage was charged with risk of injury to a child because of the girl’s age and medical condition.

Police contacted the state Department of Children and Families and contacted the teen’s father.

19 Hurt in NYC Fire After Building's Alarm Fails


A two-alarm fire in a 40-story building in New York City Side left 19 people injured early Saturday morning after the building's alarms failed to go off, authorities said.

The fire began around 3:45 a.m. on the 12th floor of a high-rise building on Manhattan's Upper West Side and was contained to one apartment, fire officials said.

The building's centralized alarm system did not detect the fire and a security guard in the building's lobby had to be alerted about the fire by a passerby, authorities said.

It took over 100 firefighters more than two hours to get the fire under control. While the flames were contained to one apartment, smoke quickly traveled through the hallways and vents of the 40-story tower.

"I didn't even know there was a fire. There was just black all over the floor," said building resident Tom McNulty. "I grabbed my friends and yelled to my partner 'we gotta get out!'"

Ten residents suffered smoke inhalation, and several had to be treated at a nearby hospital. Three firefighters also suffered smoke inhalation and six firefighters were treated for burns on their legs.

The cause of the fire remains unknown. An investigation is ongoing.

Newtown Cyclists Head To Washington On Bike Ride


A team of 26 cyclists began a 400 mile journey from Newtown to Washington D.C. today, in order to memorialize the 20 children and six adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary school by raising awareness on the need for changes in gun safety legislation.   

The riders were sent off at 8:30 this morning in an event that was attended by members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation.

The team is made up a mix of professional and amateur cyclists from throughout the Northeast. Three of them are from Newtown and two of them have children who attended Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The Sandy Hook Ride on Washington plans to end in the nation’s capital for a news conference on March 12th where they will discuss the need for gun safety legislation. The riders support common sense measures to help curb gun violence such as requiring all gun buyers to pass criminal background checks. 

Plane Clipped on Tarmac at JFK


A JetBlue aircraft was clipped by another plane on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy International Airport Saturday morning.
According to a JetBlue spokesman, the Airbus 320 was at the gate waiting for a tow bar just after 6 a.m., when an Air India jet taxied into the area and clipped the the JetBlue plane's rudder, causing some damage.

None of the 150 passengers on board the JetBlue plane were hurt in the accident, the spokesman said. It was unclear whether there were any passengers on board the Air India plane.
Passengers on the JetBlue plane, which had been heading to Florida, were switched onto a new plane to continue their trip.

The Airbus was taken out of service and maintenance crews were evaluating the damage.

Proposed Bill Aims to Ban Lion Meat


Roaring stomachs may not be able to satisfy their hunger with lion meat as a proposed bill plans to make the sale of meat from the king of the jungle illegal in Illinois.

The bill, filed in February and sponsored by state Rep. Luis Arroyo, was assigned to Illinois' Agriculture & Conservation Committee Thursday and would make Illinois the first U.S. state to place a ban on lion meat.

The bill would make it illegal "for any person to slaughter a lion or for any person to possess, breed, import or export from this State, buy, or sell lions for the purpose of slaughter." It also declares commcerializing lion meat unlawful.

Violators of this law could face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. 

The sale of lion meat in Illinois caused a controversy for an Arizona restaurant in 2010, who bought 10 pounds of frozen meat from Illinois company Czimer's Game & Sea Foods.

No law currently prohibits the sale of this animal meat as lions are not currently protected as an endangered cat in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, however, began a study to determine if the animal should be protected under the Endangered Species Act. 

African lion populations have seen "a substantial decline" over the past two decades and are estimated to be around 32,000, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which monitors species numbers globally.

The threats include not only trophy hunters, but loss of habitat, humans eating lion meat, and commercial sale of their body parts, said Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA.

Photo Credit: Andrew Ranta/flickr

Police Look for Man in Connection With Casino Assault


State Police are looking for a man in connection with an attempted armed robbery and assault Mohegan Sun Casino early Saturday morning. 

The victim told police that a man approached him when he left one of the casino’s elevators on the 19th floor of the Mohegan Sun Casino hotel at 6:02 a.m.

He said the man hit him from behind with a handgun as he walked toward his hotel room, held him at gunpoint and demanded money.

Authorities said the victim sustained minor injuries.

Police obtained surveillance video of the man believed to be the assailant leaving the casino on foot and police are looking for a thin, 6-foot-tall man who was wearing a black jacket and jeans.

Anyone who recognizes him should call State Police at (860)848-6500.           

7 Horses Dead in Polo Club Barn Fire


Seven horses were killed in a barn blaze at the Gulfstream Polo Club in Lake Worth Saturday, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said.

Four other horses were burned and are being treated by a veterinarian, Capt. Michael Bergeron told NBC 6.

Firefighters responded at 12:08 p.m. to the fire at 4550 Polo Road, with those arriving first finding “a large barn that was fully involved with fire,” the department said in a statement.

Despite the firefighters’ efforts, seven thoroughbreds perished in the fire, the department said.

Southwest Ranches Wants Tough Horse Slaughter Law

The blaze destroyed the barn, which was 70-80 feet long, Bergeron told NBC News.

“Not one inch of the barn was not totally engulfed in flames when I got there. The flames were 10 feet above the roof,” the polo club’s president, Randy Aversano, told The Palm Beach Post.

NBC 6 Videos

No people were injured, the Post reported.

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said Saturday night that investigators concluded the fire was caused by “an electrical overload inside a tack room that was being used as a kitchen."

VIDEO: Horse Found Slaughtered in Southwest Miami-Dade

Photo Credit: NBC News Channel
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