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Loss Could Lead to "Broken Heart"


Although Valentine’s Day is a happy day for many people, it is sad and lonely for some who feel broken-hearted.

Well, as it turns out, a severe loss can cause a real "broken heart."

The medical term is takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

It happens when a sudden surge of stress hormones attack the heart and cause its muscle to fail.

Dr. Elaine Kamil suffered from the condition a few years ago after a tragic loss

"We lost our 31-year-old son at the time, Adam," she said. "It was a horrible experience."

The emotional toll eventually took a physical toll, when Kamil awoke in the middle of the night with chest pain.

"So I thought this couldn't be a heart attack, but then it was really bad pain and it didn't get better, so I woke up my husband and made him take me to the emergency department," she said.

Dr. Puja Mehta of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center in the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute explained what was happening.

"The heart basically stops working properly, so it balloons out and there’s dysfunction of the actual muscle and people go into heart failure," she said.

The condition affects post-menopausal women most often, but it can affect anyone.

The good news is that when Broken Heart Syndrome is treated quickly it may actually be reversed. The longer the patient waits, the more likely it is that the damage can be permanent.

So, if you get chest pain or any other unusual symptoms after stress don’t ignore them. In many cases doctors can fix a broken heart if you get to them soon enough.

Stray Bullet Hits Calif. Student


A Southern California high school basketball player was recovering Saturday from a gunshot wound he suffered on a public bus after winning a championship game.

Reginald Thimes, a straight-A student at Helen Bernstein High School in Hollywood, says he was on a Metro bus heading home to celebrate winning the league title against Roybal High School on Friday when a stray bullet hit him on his side.

The 17-year-old senior said he had a strange feeling something could go wrong that night.

"I thought we were just going to lose the game but like, it turned out to be me getting shot," Thimes said.

About 10:15 p.m. Friday, three men approached a woman in a car at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Western Avenue in South LA, police said. The men opened fire as she began to drive off.

Thimes was riding in the back of the bus, which had taken a detour. He was struck above his left rib by the stray bullet.

"I heard a pop, like the shattered glass, and then I'd seen the shattered glass from my peripheral, and then I dropped to the floor," Thimes said.

The teen was hit, but managed to walk off the bus and was placed in the back of the ambulance by firefighters.

"They really saved my life," Thimes said. "Once I was getting loaded onto the ambulance I seen my mom finally pull up and as soon as she looked at me she was already tearing (up) and I said, 'Don't cry, don't cry. I'll be all right.'"

Thimes was treated at California Hospital and released to recuperate at home.

His uncle was helping him recover from the wound. The bullet remained lodged in the teen's body.

"It could've hit me in my spine, head," Thimes said.

Thimes was scheduled to return to the hospital next week, about the same time his high school playoff game begins.

The woman who was shot at was treated for cuts from shattered glass, officials said.

Police were searching for the men who opened fire.

Melissa Etezadi and Oleevia Woo contributed to this story.

Photo Credit: KNBC

Scorpion on a Plane at LAX


An Alaska Airlines flight out of Los Angeles International Airport was delayed Saturday night after a passenger said they were stung by a scorpion on the plane, airline officials said.

Flight 567, which was carrying two college basketball teams, was preparing to depart at 7:50 p.m. for Portland, Ore., when the sting was reported, Alaska Airlines spokesman Cole Cosgrove said.

The female passenger was checked out by medics at the gate and released, but didn’t continue on the flight, Cosgrove said.

The scorpion was found and killed by the crew, who checked overhead compartments for any additional unwanted arachnids, Cosgrove said.

It was unclear how the scorpion got on the plane. The flight originated from Los Cabos, Mexico, Cosgrove said.

Both Oregon State University Men's and The University of Portland's Women's Basketball teams were aboard the flight to go home after weekend games in Los Angeles, according to Oregon State University radio play-by-play announcer Mike Parker. 

The flight was delayed by 40 minutes.

Olivia Woo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Boston Globe via Getty Images (File photo)
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Groton Police Seek Suspects in Valentine's Day Shooting


Police are looking for three suspects who shot a driver in the back in Groton early on Valentine's Day, police said.

A 21-year-old man was driving his car when the shooting happened at about 3 a.m. near 403 Route 12 Groton on Saturday. His friends drove him to the New London fire department's Broad Street Station, where firefighters treated him before he was taken to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London to be treated for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the back. 

Police are looking for three suspects captured on surveillance footage, including a man in his mid-20s who was wearing a red baseball hat and red sweatshirt that says "Base;" a man in his mid-20s with a goatee and who was wearing a "black puffy coat" with a white zipper and a white hat; and a man with dreadlocks who was wearing a multi-colored baseball hat and a light-colored vest.

Police ask anyone with information to call Groton police at 860-441-6712.

Photo Credit: Groton Police

Firefighters Injured Responding to Accident


Two East Hartford firefighters were transported to the hospital after being rear-ended on Route 2 in East Hartford, according to fire officials.

East Hartford Fire Chief John Oates says the firefighters were responding to an accident on Route 2 westbound around 6:13 p.m. when their vehicle was struck from behind. Two firefighters were transported to Hartford Hospital. The occupants of the other vehicle were also transported.

Oates says those firefighters are being evaluated for back, arm, and hip pain. Information about the others involved in the accident was not immediately available.

This was the second crash the firefighters responded to on Route 2 Saturday evening, according to Oates. At 5:50 p.m. they responded to a collision on the eastbound side. At least one person was extricated from their vehicle in that crash, according to fire officials.

Slippery conditions across the state have resulted in multiple accidents. Governor Malloy is urging residents to avoid unnecessary driving as conditions are expected to deteriorate through the night.

Check back for updates.

Top Cop Taxis Hospital Employees


Hospital employees battled white-out conditions to get into work Sunday morning in snow-ravaged Boston.

Some, however, were grateful to accept a generous offer from the head of the city's police department.

Necn spotted Commissioner William Evans as he drove some hospital workers to Massachusetts General Hospital.

"I think the city's doing a good job, but obviously, we hope everybody hangs in their house and lets the city do their job," said Evans. "All in all, I think we're doing the best we can do."

There is no travel ban in effect, but city and state officials have asked people to stay off the roads if they don't need to be anywhere.

Photo Credit: necn

Windy Snowstorm Causes Problems on Roads


Multiple accidents have already been reported across the state during the Saturday snowstorm with high winds expected to cause visibility issues.

State police said that traffic is backed up in East Lyme due to a crash on Interstate 95 between exits 72 and 73. No injuries are reported. State police were on scene at 6:10 p.m.

Two cars collided head-on in East Hartford on Route 2E at exit 5C. State police responded. Traffic is getting by in both directions of Route 2.

Hartford police also reported receiving several calls about car accidents and stranded motorists and are urging residents to stay off the roads.

Fairfield police also cautioned people to stay in due to treacherous conditions on the roads.

Many towns across the state, including Hartford, have parking bans to keep the roads clear for slow plows to come through and clear the surfaces. You can find more information on parking bans and closings on the NBC Connecticut website.

Photo Credit: DOT

Snow Hurts Valentine's Day Business


The snow put a damper on sales for businesses which were hoping for a big Valentine’s Day.

As the snow started to collect outside, things were cooling off in the dining room at Goodfellas Restaurant on what’s supposed to be one of the most important days of the year.

“Valentine’s Day is more of a, especially this year, it’s a whole weekend thing. Unfortunately the weather put a little dampening on things. You know, people are cancelling left and right,” says Gennaro Iannaccone, owner of Goodfellas Restaurant.

Iannaccone says a third of their reservations Saturday backed out, losing both the 9 and 10:30 seatings.

Saturday was supposed to have turned things around after what’s been a recently rough season.

“All the restaurants look to make this up. So, Valentine’s Day is always a day where you try to make up for the days you were closed for the weather for storms and stuff like that. Unfortunately, we’re going to be half closed today too,” says Iannaccone.

There were still people who braved the conditions for a special dinner.

“We’re pretty good. We don’t live too far and we have four-wheel drive,” says Jill Buffum, from East Haven.

Restaurants are hopeful people will celebrate the day when it’s a little warmer.

“To all the restaurants out there, I feel your pain. Just hang in there. We’ll all do alright. We’ll get through it,” says Iannaccone.

The National Retail Federation says the average person was expected to spend about $140 on Valentine’s Day, though that of course could be impacted by the snow.

Mechanical Issues Delay Amtrak Train


An Amtrak train was drastically delayed late Saturday night into Sunday due to mechanical issues.

A train heading from Washington D.C. to Boston was delayed close to two hours just south of New Haven due to repair issues and didn't end up arriving in Boston until 2:12 a.m., 2 hours and 46 minutes behind schedule.

It's unknown if weather was a factor.

Elderly Man Attacked and Robbed in New London


A man and woman were arrested the afternoon of Valentine's Day after robbing and attacking an elderly man in New London, police said.

Danielle Bentancourt, 27, and Patrick Barton, 23, both from New London, are facing robbery charges after the incident. Police responded to the area of Tilley and Starr streets in New London at about 3:24 p.m. on Saturday to investigate reports of a violent robbery underway involving an elderly victim, police said.

Concerned citizens who followed the male and female suspects provided police with descriptions that led to the arrests of Bentancourt and Barton. Police caught Barton after a brief foot chase near 13 Broad Street and apprehended Bentancourt on Franklin Street, police said.

The elderly man was transported to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London to be treated for facial injuries from the assault.  He has since been released.

Police did not publicly identify the victim.

Both Bentancourt and Barton were charged with third-degree robbery. Barton was also charged with third-degree assault on an elderly person and Bentancourt also faces a sixth-degree larceny charge.

Police held Bentancourt in custody on a $100,000 bond and Barton on a $200,000 bond.

Photo Credit: New London Police

Crews Put Out House Fire in Hartford


Firefighters battled a house fire in Hartford just before the snow and wind began to pick up early Sunday morning.

Durant Cupe awoke to see flames coming out of his next door neighbor's basement at 287 Blue Hills Avenue early in the morning. He called 911, but he said it didn't take long for the fire to spread.

"Very scary," Cupe said. "I didn't think it was that bad, but it got to be really bad."

When NBC Connecticut arrived shortly after 4 a.m. there were flames shooing through the roof of the home and firefighters with two ladder trucks were battling the blaze.

A woman and two children live in the house, according to Cupe. No one was home at the time of the fire, according to Hartford Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Jones.

"The people who live there, I don't think were there," Cupe said. "What I did was after I called 911 I went over to bang on the door to find out if anyone was in there, and nobody answered."

Firefighters had Cupe and his fiancée evacuate their home as a precaution.

The snow was blowing a lot just before 6 a.m., but it didn't pick up until firefighters already had the fire under control.  But Jones said that the biggest issue the crews faced was that the sidewalk wasn't shoveled in front of the house.

Crews contained the fire and kept it from spreading, but they were still on scene at 5:46 a.m. putting out hot spots.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Two Hospitalized After Shooting in Hartford


Hartford police are investigating after two people were shot Saturday night, according to Deputy Chief Brian Foley.

Foley says police responded to Garden and Pliny streets and found a female suffering a gunshot wound to the chest and a male suffering a gunshot wound to the back. Both were transported to St. Francis Hospital, where they are listed as critical and stable, respectively.

Both are expected to survive, Foley said.

The victims have not been identified at this time and major crimes detectives are investigating.

Check back for updates.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Shot in the Face in Hartford


A man was hospitalized he was shot in the face in Hartford on Saturday.

Hartford major crimes detectives responded to investigate the shooting at El Moro Supermarket at 158 Hillside Avenue.

The victim was taken to Hartford Hospital and is expected to survive, according to Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Slick Roads, Poor Visibility Cause Travel Troubles


Police were busy overnight into Sunday morning as slick, snow-covered roads and poor visibility due to high winds create problems on the roads.

A tractor-trailer jackknifed on Interstate 91 south in Hartford near exit 27. The crash has been cleared, but the right lane is blocked.

A car crashed into a snowbank on Route 34 westbound at Racebrook Road in Orange in the afternoon.

There is also a two-car crash on I-84 west between exits 69 and 68 in Tolland. In the eastbound direction on I-84, there's a rollover crash near exit 44.

A car rolled over on Route 2 near exit 15 in Marlborough.

Wires are also down in Madison on Madison Avenue between Cedar Lane and Hamilton Drive near a dead end. There's no traffic impact, but it causing a hazard.

The travel trouble could continue throughout the day Sunday.

NBC Connecticut's Kristen Johnson is a passenger in our news truck this morning using our live and drive technology and reports that plows are out clearing the roads but snow is still sweeping onto the roadway. There are whiteout conditions in many areas and in some cases it was difficult seeing cars just 100 feet ahead, she said, so if you have to drive, do so carefully and leave extra room. 

First Alert Meteorologist Darren Sweeney said that high winds are blowing the light and fluffy snow, possibly causing snow to drift back onto the roadways and creating poor visibility.  

Follow NBC Connecticut traffic reporter Heidi Voight on Twitter (@HeidiVoight) and Facebook.

Photo Credit: DOT

Bradley Remains Open Despite Flight Cancellations


About 40 percent of flights at Bradley International Airport was canceled Sunday and several flights were delayed due to the snowstorm.

However, the airport remains open and crews were on scene clearing snow.

Passengers are advised to check with their airlines for updates on flight statuses.

State Trooper Involved in Torrington Crash


 A state trooper was involved in a crash on Route 202 in Torrington while he was en route to a call Saturday afternoon, state police said.

Torrington police say the accident occurred near the intersection of Route 202 and Dibble Street just before 3 p.m. Sunday. Police say it appears the driver of a van pulled into the path of the trooper’s cruiser. The trooper attempted to avoid the van, but the cars collided.

The driver of the van was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury with a non-life threatening head injury. The trooper was also transported to be evaluated as a precaution, but is expected to be okay.

The trooper is from the Troop B barracks in Canaan. Police have not released the identities of either driver at this time. The crash is still under investigation by Torrington police and no citations or charges have been filed.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

SNL 40th Anniversary in Photos


"SNL" highlights from the 40th Anniversary show.

Teens Killed by Drunk Driver


A brother and sister were killed and a driver was charged with DUI after a pickup truck and a minivan collided Saturday night in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Thomas Muir, 25, of Media, Pennsylvania was arrested after his truck slammed into a minivan, killing two teenagers and injuring four other people, according to investigators.

Muir was driving a 2014 GMC Sierra pickup truck northbound on Route 100 in Uwchlan Township Saturday around 6:55 p.m.

At the same time, Paul Hannagan of Downingtown, Pennsylvania was traveling on North Ship Road and turning right onto Route 100. Hannagan's wife, two children, identified as Miles and Charlotte Hannagan, and two other adult family members were inside the van at the time.

As Hannagan turned right, the pickup truck slammed into the van, according to investigators.

The force of the collision tore the minivan open. Miles and Charlotte were ejected from the van even though they were wearing seatbelts. They were both found on the shoulder of the roadway and pronounced dead at the scene.

Paul Hannagan and his wife were seriously hurt in the crash and taken to the Paoli Hospital Intensive Care Unit. The other two family members were treated and released at Paoli Hospital.

Several witnesses told police they spotted Muir driving erratically and at a high rate of speed swerving and making unsafe passing movements moments before the crash. They also said his truck struck the minivan from the rear at a high speed, causing the accident.

Muir was not injured in the crash. Police observed he smelled like alcohol, according to officials. Muir allegedly failed field sobriety tests and was taken to Chester County Hospital where his blood alcohol level was checked.

Muir was arrested and charged with two counts of Homicide by Vehicle While Driving Under the Influence, two counts of Homicide by Vehicle, two counts of Aggravated Assault, six counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person and Driving Under the Influence.  

Muir was arraigned with his bail set at $75,000 cash. He was remanded to the Chester County Prison pending a preliminary hearing.

Charlotte Hannagan, 18, was an 11th grade student at Downingtown High School West. Miles Hannagan, 19, was a graduate of Downingtown High as well as a second year commuting student at West Chester University majoring in chemistry-biology.

"Words cannot express the sadness that our school community is feeling at this time," a Downingtown High spokesperson wrote. "Our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the Hannagan friends and family who are dealing with this horrific tragedy. DHS West will have grief counselors and support available for any student needing assistance in the days ahead."

Funeral information has not yet been released.

Photo Credit: Uwchlan Township Police
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WATCH Over 20 Cars in Crash


More than 20 vehicles were reportedly involved in a crash that closed a section of Interstate 95 southbound in Waltham, Massachusetts, Sunday afternoon, according to State Police.

The serious crash occurred prior to Exit 27 at Winter Street around 2:45 p.m., causing the temporary closure of that section of the highway. State Police say inital reports indicate that injuries are minor in nature. 

A blinding snow squall off of the Cambridge Reservoir is believed to be the cause of the chain-reaction crash that included a tractor-trailer.

State Police warned motorists to avoid the area while traffic was initially being diverted off the highway at the Trapelo Road exit. The left lane was later re-opened, followed by the opening of all lanes. MassDOT assisted with traffic signage at the scene.

The Waltham and Lexington fire departments and EMS crews responded to the scene, in addition to dozens of tow trucks. The scene was cleared by 6 p.m.

A second multi-car crash was reported a short time later on Route 128 southbound in Peabody near the North Shore Mall. Massachusetts State Police say they responded to the scene.

Earlier in the day, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker had warned citizens to stay off the roads if possible.

Check the latest traffic conditions here

Stay with necn as this story develops. 

Photo Credit: necn

Donors Fly Boy, 6, to Treatment


A boy battling skin cancer is flying to Ohio for much-needed treatment, all thanks to generous donors.

Reef Carneson, 6, stepped onto a private plane Sunday morning to fly to a specialist in Cincinnati. Already a leukemia survivor, Baby Reef's cancer treatment, for his scalp and face, have left his immune system too compromised to take a commercial flight, where germs would put him at risk for infection.

After a seeing a report on NBC4 about the Carneson's family's struggle to stay in America -- they're South African natives here so Reef could be treated -- the family received several offers for help. The outpouring of love and support has been uplifting for the family.

"So many angels have come out since they saw the news," Lydia Carneson said. "We've been so blessed."

The Carneson's ultimately accepted an offer from the Sky Hope Network to fly them to Cincinnati and back. The Network learned of Baby Reef's plight from his Facebook page.

Reef was excited to be able to see the specialist, but he was looking forward to something else, too -- he's never seen snow before.

Reef has skin cancer on his head, along with several other complications stemming from the treatment he has endured. He was diagnosed with lymphoma when he was 5 months old, then developed a graft-versus-host disease after undergoing a bone marrow transplant. Medicine made his skin sensitive to the sun, causing him to developed skin cancer. He also has other issues that complicate his development.

Cincinnati doctors will try to figure out why Reef's health is not improving.

NBC4 reporter Angie Crouch contributed to this report.

An earlier version of this report incorrectly stated from whom Sky Hope Network learned about Reef.

Photo Credit: Beth Slepp-Paz
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