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Glastonbury Police Seek Credit Card Thief


Glastonbury police are trying to identify a woman accused of stealing a wallet from a restaurant and then using the stolen credit cards.

According to police, the woman stole the wallet from a restaurant in town on March 23. Police did not name the restaurant.

The woman fraudulently used the stolen credit cards to make purchases at stores in Glastonbury, Wethersfield and Newington, police said.

A surveillance camera from one of the stores captured an image of the woman and of her silver Chrysler Sebring convertible. The car has a black rag top.

Anyone with information about the woman is asked to call Glastonbury police at 860-633-8301.

Photo Credit: Glastonbury Police

NFL's Spievey Arrested in Middletown


An NFL player and his girlfriend have been arrested in Middletown after a disagreement over child support got physical, according to arraignment reports.

Police responded to the Dove Lane home of Detroit Lions safety Amari Spievey, 24, and his girlfriend, Lisamarie Santos, 26, at 3:58 p.m. on Tuesday after receiving a report of a domestic dispute and found Santos upset and crying. Santos told police that she and Spievey got into an argument over child support for their 2-year-old daughter, according to police.

She told police that Amari put his hand around her neck and pushed her, police said. An officer noted a small red mark on her neck.

The fight started when Spievey was holding their daughter and telling the little girl that her mother is crazy and not to be like her, Santos said, according to police.

Then the argument turned to money and she asked him about money he owes her for bills, police said.

During the argument, Spievey put his finger near her face and told her to take him to court for child support and they began to push each other until Santos stumbled and hit the counter, according to the arraignment report.

When police spoke to Spievey, he said he was in the hallway, holding his daughter, before going to the gym when Santos tried to pull the girl away because he was telling the little girl not to be like her mother, police said.

Santos became upset because she was unable to pull her daughter from Spievey, so she grabbed his throat and he swiped her hand away, he told police. Santos then grabbed his throat a second time and started punching him, he said, according to police.

Spievey, who attended Xavier in Middletown,  told officers that he did not punch or hurt Santos and that she was upset because she thought he was trying to “short her” on the $3,000 a month he gives her in child support, according to police.

He went on to say that he would pay anything for his daughter but not for Santos to go shopping and pay her student loans.

Police said Spievey did not have any visible neck injuries.

Spievey and Santos were taken into custody and charged with risk of injury, disorderly conduct and third-degree assault.

Spievey and Santos were released and ordered to have no contact. The state Department of Children and Families was also contacted.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Warrants Released in Newtown Shooting Investigation


A long-awaited set of court documents has just been released revealing what authorities found when they searched the home and car of Adam Lanza, the gunman who killed 20 children and six adults in a December rampage in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

The documents reveal:

  • Adam Lanza was found dead wearing a bulletproof vest
  • Investigators found a smashed hard drive on top of a desk in what was believed to be Adam Lanza's room. There was also a gaming console and gun safe. A witness, whose name was redacted, told authorities that the gun safe usually contained at least four guns.
  • Investigators found at Adam and Nancy Lanza's home: the paperback "Train Your Brain to Get Happy" with pages tabbed off; 3 photos with images of what appears to be a deceased human covered with plastic and what appears to be blood; seven journals and miscellaneous drawings authored by Adam Lanza; One New York Times article from Feb. 18, 2008 of a school shooting at Northern Illinois University
  • Electronic items seized from Adam Lanza's house included: Three hard drives: A damaged 500GB hard drive, an 80GB internal hard drive and a 160GB external hard drive
    Two computers: A custom-build desktop computer with no hard drive, and a Dell laptop, Inspiron 6000
    Three gaming systems: A Sony Playstation 2, an Xbox and an Xbox 360
    Two cell phones: an iPhone and a Verizon phone
    A shoe box containing video game parts and memory cards
    A white plastic bag containing CD-Rs, handwritten notes regarding the addresses of local gun shops, and a GPS system
  • Seized from a Honda Civic at Newtown Elementary School: A Saiga 12 Shotgun, serial H08402282, with two magazines containing 70 rounds of Winchester 12 gauge shotgun rounds

The applications, affidavits and returns related to the search warrants had been sealed under court order since the investigation began. Their contents could help lift some of the mystery surrounding Lanza and what drove him to carry out the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

Prosecutors were expected to supplement the release with a statement that could offer more context.

Refresh for updates on what the documents reveal.

State police and local officials privately briefed victims' families at the Newtown Municipal Center Wednesday night on how to handle the release of the documents.

"I think it reopens...it causes them to revisit the pain they felt three months ago," said Newtown Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson. "It's really too bad when we go on this path of healing to have these things that come back to us and remind us and take us back to the events again. It's hard."

Before leaving for Sandy Hook Elementary School on the morning of Dec. 14, Lanza, 20, killed his mother at the Yoganada Street home they shared. Later, as cops closed in on him at Sandy Hook, Lanza killed himself. Investigators have offered no insight into his motivation. A comprehensive State Police investigative report isn’t expected to be completed until June.

Authorities have said that Lanza opened fire on his schoolhouse victims with a .223 caliber Bushmaster rifle outfitted with a 30-round clip. He was also armed with two pistols, a 10mm Glock and a 9mm Sig Sauer, one of which he used on himself.

After the shooting, investigators found Lanza’s car, a black 2010 four-door Honda Civic sedan, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School parking lot. Inside, they found a 12-gauge Izhmash Canta shotgun.

All four guns were legally owned by Lanza’s 52-year-old mother, Nancy, authorities have said.

A law enforcement official told NBC News last month that Lanza had collected materials on previous  shootings.

Last week, the New York Daily News, citing an unnamed source, reported that Connecticut State Police Col. Daniel Stebbins revealed at a law enforcement conference in New Orleans that Lanza had gone to great lengths in planning the attack, including research on past massacres.

Among the evidence, the report said, was a giant spreadsheet listing the body counts of past mass murders.

Connecticut Police Lt. Paul Vance had in the past dismissed reports that Lanza had felt himself in competition with other mass murderers as "mere speculation."

The leaks upset victims’ families, as well as state lawmakers, who’ve been waiting for details so they can complete negotiations on a wide-ranging gun-control bill.

The judge overseeing the case granted a prosecutor’s request to redact certain details in the documents, including a witness’ name, a telephone number and a credit card number.

Photo Credit: AP/AP

Former Prep School Student Gets $42M in Tick Bite Case


A jury awarded $41.7 million to a former prep school student after a tick bite on a school trip to China left her with brain damage, according to reports.

The Bridgeport, Conn., jury deliberated for eight hours on Wednesday before ruling in favor of Cara Munn, 20, in a lawsuit against The Hotchkiss School, an elite 122-year-old private school in Lakeville. Annual tuition at the school can cost up to $46,775, according to the Connecticut Post.

Munn attorney Antonio Ponvert III said her injuries were "easily preventable," The Associated Press reported. He called for schools to check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for risks before sponsoring trips abroad then properly advising students.

Munn, then age 15, and her classmates arrived in China in 2007, where she contracted tick-borne encephalitis on a hiking trip. She began experiencing symptoms like headaches, seizures and fevers, her lawyers said. The illness left her brain damaged and unable to speak.

The school's attorneys argued that some illnesses are rare and they could not have foreseen a risk. The school plans on appealing the verdict, according to the Connecticut Post.


Photo Credit: Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Malloy: Newtown Warrant Details "Speak for Themselves"


Gov. Dannel Malloy said Thursday that the details released in the search warrants related to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting "speak for themselves."

"We knew that a disturbed individual entered a school and fired 154 rounds in less than 5 minutes, killing 20 innocent children and 6 dedicated educators," Malloy said in a statement. "We knew that he had ready access to weapons that he should not have had access to. We knew that these weapons were legally purchased under our current laws. We knew he used 30 round magazines to do it, and that they allowed him to do maximum damage in a very short period of time. And now we know that he left the lower capacity magazines at home."

Gov. Malloy has said he supports legislation that would limit magazines to carry no more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

"This is exactly why we need to ban high capacity magazines and why we need to tighten our assault weapons ban," Malloy said. "I don't know what more we can need to know before we take decisive action to prevent gun violence. The time to act is now."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Office Pool Pays Forward Lottery Winnings to Co-Worker


Jennifer Maldonado came to work on Sunday at a real estate office in Plantation, Fla., to a shocking celebration: the office lottery pool had won and she had not pitched in for the tickets.

Maldonado had only been working in the office for two weeks as an administrative assistant since being laid off from her previous job. The mother of a 4-year-old with autism decided to save her money since she had not yet received her first paycheck, according to NBC's "Today" show. Co-workers offered to pitch in her portion, but she declined.

A group of 12 entered the pool at $20 each and one of their tickets had five of the Powerball numbers, awarding them $1 million. After hearing about their success, Maldonado said, “I was shocked and I definitely had a moment of regret, but it disappeared right away because I was overwhelmed with happiness for my entire group.”

Each of the contributors will take home $83,000 after taxes and have decided to share a portion of the prize with Maldonado. They have not disclosed how much but she'll receive more than $5,000, according to "Today."

“I honestly believe that my group and I are getting more joy than Jennifer is getting just by including her," Finkelstein Reader, the organizer of the office lottery purchase, said during a "Today" appearance with Maldonado.

Photo Credit: Today

Nelson Mandela's Life and Times


Former South African President Nelson Mandela has become a symbol of the anti-apartheid movement. One of the world's greatest and most admired political leaders, he has been honored with numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize.


Xbox Saves Immigrant from Deportation


Hours of playing video games in a Wisconsin basement reportedly saved a man from being deported.

José Muñoz, a 25-year-old living in Milwaukee was brought to America from Mexico City when he was only 1 on his family's visitor's visa, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. After graduating from a local high school with honors in 2005, he fell into depression playing video games with his cousin to pass time since he could not legally obtain a job, according to online gaming journal, Kotaku.

After Obama adopted a new policy allowing young immigrants to temporarily remain in the U.S. and work, Muñoz applied for the program. He had trouble proving that he had lived in the country continuously since 2007 until attorney Davorin Ordcic had a realization: his client's Xbox Live account could be the solution.

Including his address and account information, the record featured proof of downloaded demos and games as well as communication with other users dating back to 2007 as required. After two months of waiting, Muñoz learned that he could remain in the country. Muñoz now has steady employment -- working seven days a week at a factory and a restaurant.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Two Plead Not Guilty to Hadiya Pendleton Murder


Two Chicago men charged in the murder of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton have pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of first-degree murder.

Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, were charged last month in the death of the honors student who attended President Barack Obama's second inaugural just days before her death.

The prosecuting attorney on Thursday announced 141 counts of first-degree murder against Ward and 17 counts against Williams.

After court, Pendleton's father, Nathaniel, said his fight for change will only get stronger as the violence continues to claim young lives in Chicago.

"You're going to feel some anger, but I feel confident they will do what they have to do to make justice happen," Nathaniel Pendleton said.

Prosecutors said Pendleton was the unintended target of what they say was a gang war. Ward is accused of pulling the trigger while prosecutors say Williams was his accomplice.

"He didn't do this," Matthew McQuaid, Williams' attorney, said. "He's pleading not guilty. We see this case going to trial at some point because he's not going to plead guilty to something he didn't do."

Prosecutors said Ward gave a videotaped statement to police admitting to driving his mother's white Nissan that day to the park. He said Pendleton "had nothing to do with it" and "she was just there."

Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Ward confessed to being the shooter, telling police that Pendleton was not his intended target. The superintendent said the shooting was in retaliation for a shooting last July that left Williams injured.

Pendleton, a student at King College Prep High, was shot as she and a group of other teens sought cover from a rain storm in Vivian Gordon Harsh Park, on the 4500 block of South Oakenwald Avenue.

First Lady Michelle Obama attended her funeral, and President Barack Obama has named her in several speeches on gun control.

Pendleton's parents were guests at the president's State of the Union address, and her mother is in Washington today to attend an event with other mothers whose children were killed in gun violence.

Photo Credit: Tom Gianni

21-Ton Cheese Theft Ranks Among Biggest Recent Food Heists


Nuts, honey, cheese. No, these are not the ingredients for your perfect cheese board. It's a list of edible items pilfered in a string of recent giant heists.

An Illinois man accused of stealing 21 tons (42,000 pounds) of cheese was arrested Tuesday afternoon. The stolen Muenster from Wisconsin was worth $200,000, according to NBC Chicago.

Other heists have left the robbers laughing all the way to the bank with their pricey - and delicious - loot. Here's a look at several:

  • Whisky-A-No-Mo - A live-in caretaker at a mansion in Pittsburgh is facing criminal charges for allegedly drinking more than $100,000-worth of whiskey that belonged to the owner of the house. The suspect John Saunders, 62, said the alcohol "evaporated." Owner Patricia Hill discovered the whiskey in the walls of the historic mansion after she purchased the place in 2012. She suspects the alcohol was purchased pre-Prohibition by coal industrialist J.P Brennan. "I was told by his family that family members used to greet him at the door each day with a shot of whiskey," Hill told NBC Philadelphia.
  • Honey Heist - A local beekeeper in Abbotsford, B.C., fell victim in July when thieves took more than 3,500 kilograms (7,716 pounds) of honey and some expensive equipment.  Police suspect the theft was committed by someone familiar with the industry, as the thieves also took 500,000 bees and 100 hive frames which placed the value of the stolen goods at $100,000. “I would be more inclined to suggest that they’re not looking to, pardon the pun, liquidate the honey immediately,” city official Ian MacDonald told the Globe and Mail.
  • Maple Syrup Mystery - Three people were arrested in December in connection with a theft of 10 million pounds (5,000 tons) of maple syrup from a warehouse in Quebec. The theft was discovered last summer during a standard inventory check. Police said the theives stole the syrup over the course of a year and hid the theft by replacing the missing syrup with water, The New York Times reported. The value of the stolen syrup was valued at $30 million, officials said. Two thirds of the syrup have since been recovered, police said.
  • Going Nuts - Eighty-thousand pounds of walnuts mysteriously disappeared last October somewhere on their way to Miami. A few days later another 40,000 pounds of walnuts vanished on their way to Texas, according to NBC DFW. Officials said the incidents were connected by a suspicious delivery driver who turned out to be an imposter posing as an employee for a trucking company.



Photo Credit: Getty Images

Tumblr Reaches 100 Million Blogs


After six years in existence, Tumblr reached the 100-million blog mark this week.

The milestone -- including over 44.6 billion posts -- was hit with little celebration, according to NBC News. In fact, the first mention of the event was on The Next Web, an online publication about Internet technology. Tumblr's "About" page has a counter that shows how many blogs and posts exist on the site. The metric comes almost exactly one year after the site reached the 20-billion-post mark in similar casual fashion, at a time when there were nearly 50 million blogs.

Last week, Twitter announced it reached over 200 million users with a video on YouTube, which also hit a big milestone last Wednesday: 1 billion monthly unique users.

Although Tumblr lags its social media competitors in overall user numbers, the L.A. Times reported that a survey released earlier this year revealed that more teens and young adults use Tumblr in comparison to Facebook.

Photo Credit: WireImage

Simsbury Students Charged in Pellet Gun Incident


Three Simsbury High School students were arrested after an incident involving a pellet gun Thursday afternoon.

The students displayed the pellet gun while driving through the school's parking lot, according to police. A parent saw the weapon and called police.

Officers stopped the car with the three students about one mile from the school.  They located two pellet-style firearms, police said.

Police arrested 18-year-olds Tanner Nacimbeni and Hannah Bolden and a 17-year-old juvenile.  All three were charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds, weapon in a vehicle and second-degree breach of peace.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

The Substance of Baseball


George Carlin, in his classic comic comparison of baseball and football, used the differing language of the two sports to contrast their spirits – the harsher-sounding helmet vs. the more benign cap, gridiron vs. park, penalty vs. error.

"Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life," Carlin observed. "Football begins in the fall, when everything is dying."
But as the 2013 baseball season gets set to start on Easter Sunday, it feels like winter never ended. Some ugly sports terms – steroids, human growth hormone, performance enhancing drugs – that post-date Carlin's four-decade-old routine threaten again to overshadow the sunny hope spring should bring.
Baseball's latest battle for its soul bodes perhaps the toughest test yet for fans' battered yet resilient hearts.
Just over a week before Opening Day, Major League Baseball officials launched a risky attempt at a spring-cleaning in the form of a lawsuit that could yield a hall of shame list of players who allegedly doped. Some big names already have dripped into the media.
The lawsuit promises a stark continuation of a bleak off-season in which the Hall of Fame ballot proved a rare shutout. Not even Mike Piazza, the home run leader among catchers, made the cut, likely due to largely unspoken, unsubstantiated suspicions. And at a time when the economy is only just beginning a comeback, we learn, via Yahoo! Sports, that this season kicks off with baseball's first cumulative $3 billion payroll.
But as it always does, the sport of Ruth, Aaron and Mays lures us with new – and old – reasons to cheer. The recent World Baseball Classic showcased the game as a vibrant, international pastime, with teams culled from five continents. The Mets are set to host their first All-Star Game in nearly a half-century, offering a guaranteed bright spot for those of us stubborn (and masochistic) enough to still love them. Mariano Rivera, the greatest relief pitcher of them all, is defying age and injury to return for one final season of putting out fires. 
Whether baseball can extinguished the inferno threatening the sport while keeping fans' passions burning, though, is shaping up as the big story of the 2013 season. 
Carlin, a cynic about nearly everything but baseball, extolled the sport’s endless possibilities and sense of optimism, as promised by a diamond with foul lines stretching to infinity and the lack of a game clock.
“Baseball has no time limit: we don't know when it's gonna end – we might have extra innings!” he said.
But he might be proved wrong on that account: After a two-decade rollercoaster of labor disputes, home run records that turned out to be shams, and drugs, performance enhancing and otherwise, fans’ patience could be running out. Lance Armstrong’s admitted doping, while not an offense against baseball, only promises to make the public more jaded.
Spring carries hope for redemption and renewal. Baseball, which offers the opportunity for both on the diamond, is in bad need of both off the field. 

Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Boxing Champ Arrested with Gun at NYC Airport: DA


A champion boxer was arrested at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport Thursday morning after he tried to check an unloaded gun, the Queens district attorney said Thursday.

Robert Guerrero, the current WBC welterweight champ who is scheduled to face Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on May 4, was checking in at a ticket counter in Terminal 2 at about 7 a.m. and told the agent he had an unloaded gun on him, according to his manager, Luis Decubas Jr.

Decubas, who was with Guerrero when Port Authority arrested him, said he and his client were unaware it's illegal to possess an unloaded gun in New York City, and they had planned to check it with their baggage before boarding their flight.

The DA said Guerrero told authorities he had the gun, a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber handgun, with him in New York City since he arrived on Monday.

Guerrero is charged with one count of criminal possession of a weapon and three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He faces up to four years in prison.

"If a passenger chooses to travel with a weapon, they should first acquaint themselves with the weapon laws of the jurisdiction that they are visiting and comply with any and all legal requirements," Queens DA Richard Brown said. "Otherwise, they may find themselves being arrested and charged with a felony – as is what occurred in this case.” 

Guerrero was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court May 14. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Pricey Cow Sold to Connecticut Farm


A Connecticut farm put down $170,000 for a very special cow on Monday.

The owners of the Arethusa Farm, in Litchfield, bought Karlie, a Jersey cow, as part of a record-tying priced package at a Syracuse, New York auction.

"It sounds like a lot, but we also are getting a lot," said Matt Senecal, assistant manager at Arethusa.

The farm, which sits on about 350 acres in Litchfield, is owned by the top executives at high-end shoe manufacturer, Manolo Blahnik.

The $170,000 paid for the pregnant cow includes some of her calves as well.

Karlie has won many awards and the farm plans to show her at competitions throughout the United States and Canada. But what makes a cow like Karlie so valuable?

"Components in their udder, the attachments, how much milk they're able to make, their body structure, their rib structure," Senecal said about Karlie's assets. "It's a way to market those genetics and the breeding program we have here at Arethusa."

Karlie's milk will be used to make cheeses, ice cream, milk, butter and sour cream. She will spend the rest of her time as part of the breeding program at Arethusa Farm.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Dozens Rally for Change in Newtown


More than 100 people came to a demonstration with signs and lots of green to urge lawmakers to change gun laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

"We’re trying to get some gun laws changed and more common sense laws to protect shootings like this from happening again," said Brady Eggleston of Newtown.
The Newtown Action Alliance teamed up with concern citizens for a demonstration outside of the National Sports Shooting Federation, which is based in Newtown.

"Now I know exactly where the money’s coming from; I know exactly how the policies work, and I want to make sure my lawmakers are listening to my voice even though I’m not as well off as the NSSF and the NRA," said Kathy Mayer of Newtown.
Supporters of gun control at the rally said they want to see universal background checks, bans on assault rifles and limits on high-capacity magazines.
Gun rights advocates showed up outside the NSSF on Mile Hill Road to counter the rally on Thursday.

"I’m here to support the U.S. Constitution," said Gordon Jones, of Southbury.
Some argued Connecticut has very tough gun laws on the books now, and those laws should be better enforced.
"I think that it’s important that regardless that what comes out of the legislation that a thorough job is done, emotion is taken out of it and the rule of law is followed," said Ronald Wilcox, of Sandy Hook.
The National Sports Shooting Federation released a statement about Thursday's protest:

"We respect the rights of all citizens under our First Amendment to express their opinions in public.  We all share the goal of wanting to help make Connecticut safer for our children and all our citizens. That is why we have been speaking with legislators to promote practical measures that will effectively address the central issue of keeping firearms out of the hands of those who should not have access to them.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

CL&P Requests Rate Increase to Cover Storm Damage


Connecticut Light and Power is looking to raise rates. The power company is trying to recover more than $400 million they spent on major storms in the last two years.

"I live on an extremely tight budget. Their rates are extraordinarily high," said Starr Jasne. She moved to Danbury because of CL&P's reasonable rates.

Though she was without power for several days during Irene, things got better during Sandy for her.  As long as the company makes some changes Jasne says she'd "be willing to give them a reasonable sum to get the service."

The power company said that sum would be about three dollars more a month. Customers say they want CL&P to do work in advance--like taking down leaning trees before a storm hits.

"They want to wait until you don’t have power. Until have the neighborhood doesn’t have power and I don’t see the point to that," said Jasne.

"After experiencing all these frequent storms now and trees coming down, wires coming down, I think it’s worthwhile if they could trim back trees from the road," said Steve Sarthre of Woodbury.

CL&P asked the state to help their recovery from five major storms that hit the state during the last two years.

"I think any increase is not a good increase at this time," said Lia Bouso of New Milford

The storms cost CL&P more than $450 million. The company is looking to get back nearly 90% of that. Most of the damage was done by the October 2011 Nor'Easter and Superstorm Sandy.

"If it improves service and reliability of CL&P it would be worthwhile," said Sarthre.

The company's president says storms like this usually happen years apart but in 16 months they had to deal with devastating events.

"If we have to pay the extra amount we'll pay it," said Bouso. "They get support from us and they support us back."

If approved the rates won't go up until December of 2014.


Photo Credit: CL&P

Hartford Police Investigate Shootings One Block Apart


Police in Hartford are investigating two shootings that happened just a block apart.

Police responded to calls on Thursday evening of shots fired at 378 Garden St and 137 Bedford St. One victim was shot in the leg and the other was shot multiple times. They have both been taken to St. Francis Hospital. Their conditions are unknown at this time.

It is unknown if the two shootings are related.

Photo Credit: Mark Hahn

Family Survives High-Speed Crash Caused by Hogs


A North Texas family wants everyone to know about the real dangers of driving along one of Texas' newest toll roads — and it has nothing to do with the 85-mph speed limit.

Jackie Anderson, of Mount Vernon, says her family was driving on Texas Highway 130 near Austin at about midnight last Friday when they hit 25 to 30 feral hogs crossing the highway.

"All of a sudden, it seems like I was 100 feet when I noticed them — a pack of wild feral hogs," said her husband, David Anderson.

Their SUV rolled 10 times.

"We must have rolled and flipped for 300 feet before the car landed on [the] driver's side," David Anderson said.

The family, including their 5-week-old granddaughter survived the crash, but one of the family's dogs died. Another was lost but found four days later with a broken leg.

Jackie Anderson, who was in the front passenger seat, said she remembers thinking she wouldn't live through the crash. She sustained serious injuries — a concussion, seat belt burn and soft-tissue injuries all over her body.

Jackie Anderson said she wants Texas drivers to know about the very real feral-hog problem and questions why the state hasn't done more to warn drivers of the danger or try to keep them from entering the roadway.

The Andersons said they only saw one sign on the road, near Lockhart. More lighting and signage could have helped, they said.

"Knowing that I could have seen one light bar that said, 'Careful, feral hogs,' I would've taken a different route," Jackie Anderson said. "It just makes me sick."

There have been several reports of drivers hitting hogs and deer on the Texas toll road, which has the nation's fastest speed limit, since it opened in October.

The Lockhart Police Department released video in October that showed a pack of feral hogs roaming near the highway

NBC 5 DFW reported on the danger when the hogs cross the road at night and a program that pays hunters to kill feral hogs.

In October, SH 130 Concession Co., the private company that runs the 41-mile portion of Texas Highway 130, said it would put up temporary electronic message boards warning of wildlife in the area until permanent signs could be installed.

The Texas Department of Transportation said the safety of drivers is its top priority.

"Wildlife roadway crossings are a global problem. But we have already taken some measures to protect drivers on this highway. We currently have 'Wildlife Crossing' signs posted along the ROW of this highway," agency spokeswoman Veronica Beyer said in a statement Thursday. " We continue to work with the Concession company to identify what additional measures may be appropriate to improve driver safety. It's also important that drivers pay close attention and focus 100 percent of their attention on driving."

Photo Credit: Jackie Anderson

Ski Mount Southington Free on Friday


School's out Friday so grab your ski's and hit the slope. Mount Southington is giving away free all-day lift tickets.

Enjoy this great deal for the whole family. The slopes open at 10 a.m. and go until 5 p.m.

All rental equipment and lessons are priced at $25 each all day and night.

The ticket expires at 5 p.m., so if you can't ski during the day, Mount Southington's Friday night ticket is only $20 and available from 5-9 p.m.

For more information, visit their website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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