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Abandoned Pit Bull "Little Miss" Needs a Home


For a pit bull named Little Miss, the future wasn't always bright.

Three weeks ago Meghan Beach found the two-year-old dog abandoned and starving to death on Bernardino Avenue in Enfield. You could see every rib, and her hip bones wore through the skin. Animal control officers called it the worst case of animal abuse they'd ever seen.

Since then, the before and after is like night and day. Little Miss weighed a feeble 15 pounds when she arrived at the animal shelter. She now weighs more than 40, and other than being treated for ringworm, she has no health issues.

"It's very impressive because for a dog that was this emaciated, I expected her to have some other health issues," said Animal Control Officer Eric Boucher.

Since our story aired in May, Boucher says donations have poured in.

"I can't thank them enough because it allowed us to do a lot of vet things that with most dogs we aren't able to do because some of the checks are expensive," said Boucher.

As the pit bull's story spread, dozens have applied to take her home, and while Little Miss was lucky Beach found her, she says whoever gets to adopt the pooch is the lucky one.

"I'm so thankful that I was able to be there and she's here today and she's able to be happy and healthy," said Beach.

"To look at her now you wouldn't think she had a rough life. She's just happy," said Boucher.

Little Miss will be adopted in two weeks, but you can still apply to be the one who takes her home. Email animal control and ask for an adoption form.

Authorities are still searching for whoever starved and abandoned the dog. If you have any information, give them a call.

Man Builds "Baddest Bikes" for Kids


A West Oakland man, who worked as a bus and truck driver for more than 20 years, now spends his days building double-decker bikes from donated parts, some of them for neighborhood kids who have earned top marks in school.

Paul Brown, 59, who goes by the name Tall Paul, beamed as he throttled a tall orange bike — its pedals, rims and even chain pimped-out in gold.

“Man that’s my favorite color… gold,” Brown said. “I love gold, I don’t know why. I used to have some gold teeth.”

Brown’s voice boomed as he recalled his first bike. His mother had saved for a year to buy bikes for Brown and his three brothers for Christmas. Christmas morning, Brown hauled his down to the basement and took it clean apart. He got a whooping.

Six decades later, Brown is still taking bikes apart —  fashioning strange and funky new models from their parts.

“I just love bikes, Brown said. “Just working on them — being creative with them.”

There was a time in his life when Brown did the regular old job thing. He drove a Greyhound bus and then big rigs over two decades. Finally one day on his way home from New York, he decided he’d had enough. His bikes were calling. Now he lives in an archaic RV, eeks out his living by recycling — and builds his bicycles. People donate items for him to recycle, which he hauls to nearby salvage yards. The theme of his current existence harkens back to a dream he harbored as a kid growing-up, not far from where his RV is now parked.

“I always said to myself I want to have the baddest bike in the world,” Brown laughed.

Brown built bikes for his own satisfaction. A chopper bike with forks extended like the tusks of a walrus was for trick-riding. He started building the double-stack bikes after spotting a guy riding through the neighborhood on one. He’s even built a bike for the president, although he has yet to claim it.

“I made that bike for President Obama,” Brown said pointing to a double stack blue bike. “I want to see the president ride that bike.”

But Brown is just as excited to see neighborhood kids ride his bikes, or at least bikes he’s tweaked with his personal pimped-out style. Recently he gave a pair of his bikes away to a couple neighborhood kids who displayed report cards boasting three A’s apiece. It set off a gold-colored spark in Brown’s head. He decided to launch his own one-man program to try and inspire other kids

“Any little kid — boy or girl, black, white, Spanish, Chinese,” Brown said, “If the kid got more than three A’s on their report card I’ll pimp their bike for free.”

Brown said he’s hoping to deliver some of his bikes to nearby schools — possibly even making an inspirational pitch to the kids during an assembly. He said he’s trying to build the perfect bike for the occasion, where the school could raffle it off to dutiful students.

“The excitement on the kids’ face when I pimp their bikes out… wow,” Brown said, his voice choking up.

Neighbors and workers around the industrial West Oakland neighborhood all know Tall Paul’s bikes. They drop off loads of steel to recycle. Sometimes they bring him food. People often stop to photograph the bikes or to ask Paul how he gets off and on the tall bikes without breaking his neck. He shows his secret feature — a golden peg which he uses to climb on and off. They’ve witnessed the irony of a man with little, building things for others.

“Some families might not have the money to buy a new bike,” said neighbor Paul Victor. “But who needs a new bike when Paul can pimp-out a bike and make it better than a new bike. It’s custom, one of a kind.”

Although Brown scrapes by, he doesn’t lament his situation in the life. He’s doing what he’s always dreamed of — the bar he set for himself decades back — building the baddest bikes in the world.

“You would think I don’t have too much,” Brown said, leaning on his tall bike. “But man, I got everything I need. I got happiness. I got that.”

More information is available on Tall Paul's Facebook page.

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.

Students Mourn Death of Milford Student


Students at Jonathan Law High School in Milford are dealing with the sudden loss of a classmate for the second year in a row.

The school district says junior Laura Gonzalez died unexpectedly on Wednesday.

“It was kind like a shock to me at first and I’m still trying to process the whole thing,” says Tyler Papallo, a junior and a friend of Gonzalez’s.

This was supposed to be a joyous time of the year with Friday being the last day of finals and graduation set for Monday.

Now students are consoling each other and painted a rock in front of the school in memory of Gonzalez.

“We’re kind of like helping each other and supporting each other through it. Like one of my friends of mine who also knew her you know we’ve been helping each other out through this difficult time,” says Papallo.

School superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Feser released a statement about the sad news.

Feser said counselors were available these past couple days for anyone who needs support.

She went on to say, in part, “We ask the community to keep Laura and her family and friends in your prayers, as well as the entire Jonathan Law community.”

This has been a tough time for this community.

Just about a month ago, there was the one-year anniversary of the death of another Jonathan Law student.

Police say Maren Sanchez was stabbed to death the day before her prom.

“I didn’t know Maren too well and it affected me a lot. But it’s harder for me now because I knew Laura,” says Papallo.

Now students are heading into what should have been a carefree summer. Instead, they’re relying on each other during this difficult time.

“Finishing off the school year, it was a pretty stressful school year. We had a lot toward the end of the year,” says Papallo.

Photo Credit: NBC 7

New Outdoor Classroom Unveiled at New Haven School


A new outdoor classroom was unveiled at Edgewood Magnet School in New Haven Friday.

It’s one of so-called Schoolyard Habitats which were built at five schools including also at East Rock Community Magnet, Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet, Columbus Family Academy, and Worthington Hooker Elementary Schools.

At Edgewood, the habitat is between the playground and an adjoining road. It includes plants, trees, and a trail connecting it all.

“When we planned the space, we really planned it for all different types of learners,” says Leslie Cohen, a parent of an Edgewood student.

Parents teamed up with Audubon Connecticut, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and others to design these Schoolyard Habitats at five New Haven Schools.

Grant money along with a little outdoors work by students, staff, and volunteers brought them to life.

Now it’s not just the soil that is rich.

The school says this area helps kids develop with special learning plans, science lessons, and just a place to explore.

“They’re excited. They want to show everyone. They want to bring in their relatives to our Schoolyard Habitat to show them what we’re doing and I think it builds upon a natural curiosity that students have anyway,” says Shanta Smith, principal of Edgewood Magnet School.

Edgewood hopes, like the plants and kids, this area keeps growing, offering more opportunities when students ditch the desk and discover the outdoors.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Weekend Beach Forecast


High pressure builds in across the northeast this weekend, providing gorgeous weather! Morning clouds on Saturday give way to sunshine fairly quickly. Sunday will be dry with lots sunshine, though high clouds will put a filter on the sky appearance, especially late in the day.

Long Island Sound
Saturday: Morning clouds give way to sunshine. A light breeze off the water develops. Highs: Lower-80s.
Sunday: Sunshine filtered by high clouds. Highs: Near 80 degrees.

Cape Cod
Saturday: Morning clouds give way to sunshine. Highs: Upper-60s.
Sunday: Clouds mixing with sun. Highs: Lower-70s.

Jersey Shore
Saturday: Morning clouds give way to sunshine. Highs: Near 80 degrees.
Sunday: Sunshine filtered by high clouds. Highs: Middle-70s.

Coastal Maine
Saturday: Sunny! Highs: Near 80 degrees.
Sunday: Sunshine filtered by high clouds. Highs: Middle-70s.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

State Police Search for Armed Robber in Mansfield


State police are looking for a suspect in an armed robbery at a Mansfield gas station.

The call came in at 10:17 p.m. reporting a robbery at the Mobile station on Route 32.

The robber ran from the scene and a state police K-9 unit is looking for the person.

No one was injured.

The incident remains under investigation.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Dallas Cops, Gunman In Standoff After Police HQ Attack


Multiple gunmen toting automatic weapons opened fire on officers outside Dallas Police headquarters early Saturday morning, before one man fled the scene being chased by police in what witnesses described as an armored van, according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown.

At least six suspicious packages were also found near the department’s downtown building. One of the bags exploded when an ordinance robot attempted to move it. Another “package,” reportedly found under a vehicle in the police department's parking lot, was detonated by police. No injuries were reported.

The shootout began about 12.30 a.m. Saturday when when the suspects parked in front of the building located south of downtown and began firing, Brown said.

At least one of the suspects fled the scene in an armored vehicle that rammed a police cruiser before leading officers on a chase that culminated in standoff at a Jack in the Box parking lot alongside I-45 near interstate 20 in Hutchins, Brown said.

A local resident captured video of the alleged suspect's vehicle striking a police car amid gunfire, then speeding away.

SWAT officers were called to the scene and are negotiating with the suspect who told police he was wounded. No officers were injured during the attack, chase or standoff, Brown said.

Brown says as many as four suspects may have been involved, including some possibly located at elevated positions.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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Route 169 Reopens After Crash


Route 169 has reopened in Canterbury after a vehicle crashed into a pole and power has been restored.

The pole, tree branches and wires were knocked down during the crash. Eversource reported just after 7 p.m. that 357 customers in the area have lost power due to a tree on wires.

The road was closed for a couple hours and power has since been restored.

There is no word on injuries.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Katie Gaga Wants to Meet Lady Gaga


Students at Suffield, Connecticut, high school are trying to help a classmate’s wish come true.

Katie Dorman, 17, is one of Lady Gaga’s biggest fans and she wants to meet the superstar. She is one step closer after someone donated two front-row tickets for her to go to the concert with her older brother.

Dorman is part of the Suffield High School's “Unified Theater,” an organization that’s breaking down the barriers for people with disabilities and putting them on stage.

When Katie puts on her wig and takes the stage, she becomes “Katie Gaga.”

“It warms my heart watching Katie come on the stage because, at this point, we know the magic is about to happen,” Zach Blatter, a student, said.

Katie also has background dancers who are hoping to make her dream go viral over the Internet with this hashtag: #SendKatieToGaga.

"Katie, we all know, loves Lady Gaga. And so we were like, ‘You know what would be super cool? If we got her to meet Lady Gaga!’ Because it wouldn’t just make her day, it would make her life!,” another student, Spencer Lambert, said.

That’s when Lambert Blatter decided to launch the hashtag, which has now been posted more than 600,000 times.

Katie has Down Syndrome and is unable to communicate verbally.

Beyond making Katie’s dream come true, her teachers are seeing her light up off the stage, as well.

“Seeing her light up in the hallways, seeing her become more communicative with everyone has just been wonderful,” Erin Larkham, a Unified Theater co-advisor, said.

Students hope getting the singer’s attention will help Katie meet Lady Gaga when the star performs at the Oakdale Theater on June 29.

Cars Towed From Multiple-Vehicle Crash in Wallingford


Four cars were towed after a multiple vehicle crash in Wallingford on Route 15 northbound early Saturday morning.

The crash happened near exit 66.

All injuries were minor.

The road has since reopened.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Connecticut State Parks Ensure No Child Is Left Inside


All spring, adventurers young and old have followed clues through Connecticut’s state parks.

“The whole idea of ‘No Child Left Inside’ is to encourage people to get outdoors with their families,” said Diane Joy the educational director for the Connecticut state parks.

Kids had their eyes on the prize as they tried to finish the second to last leg of the "Great Park Pursuit," on Saturday.

“The challenges are fun and also if I do all the challenges I get season passes to all the state parks,” said 7-year-old Aedan McCarthy.

Organizers said the biggest prize of all is the time spent outside. Each weekend has a different theme. From hiking to history, fishing and now farming.

Families flocked to Auerfarm in Bloomfield, Saturday. It was a chance to see Connecticut’s newest state park and learn a little bit about life on the farm.

“I’m going to be a veterinarian when I grow up, so that’s kind of why I’m here,” explained 7-year-old Sitareh Colon.

At Auerfarm, a beekeeper kept kids a buzz, while some met a feathered friend. Many said meeting the animals, which included a mule, a donkey, alpacas, goats, and chickens, was their favorite part.

Auerfarm is the state’s newest park. Forty-acres of land was donated in December.

“People can look around from here and see Heublien Tower which is right across the way or see the Hartford skyline,” Joy said. “We’re so close to Hartford that our urban groups will be able to come in and use the park and have some fun."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Three Adults, Dog Displaced After Norwalk Structure Fire


Three adults and a dog are displaced from a Norwalk home after a structure fire late Friday night.

Twenty-five firefighters responded to 8 Lighthouse Lane at 10:30 p.m. after the residents called 911. When they arrived, they discovered flames engulfing the whole left side of the house and spreading to the attic, according to Norwalk Deputy Fire Chief Edward Prescott.

It only took 10 minutes to put out the intense blaze, but firefighters spent an hour after that checking for any "fire extension into voids" to make sure it was completely out, Prescott said.

Three adults and a dog home at the time all made it out safely before firefighters arrived.

The home has been deemed uninhabitable and the residents are staying with relatives.

Deputy Fire Marshal Broderick Sawyer is investigating what caused the structure fire.

Photo Credit: Norwalk Fire Department

Dallas Police Headquarters a Crime Scene After Attack


The bullet-riddled Dallas Police Headquarters on South Lamar Street is now a crime scene after police said a lone gunman went on a rampage early Saturday morning. The suspect was later killed in a standoff with police in Hutchins.

No officers were injured, but Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown says the department is fortunate.

"We believe this suspect meant to kill officers. And took time to discharge that weapon multiple times to accomplish their wanting to harm our officers," said Brown.

Dallas police tweeted photos of squad cars, that officers were sitting in, riddled with bullet holes.

Bullet holes can be seen in the lobby, second floor and information desk.

Some bullet holes were near where Dallas police staff were sitting.

"One staff member had just walked away to get Coke, if they had stayed there during the ordeal, they would have been shot, we believe, and killed, based on the trajectory of bullets," said Brown.

"Listening to our officers who responded to the gunshots at headquarters and gunshots at Hutchins, some officers say we're very lucky, I believe we're blessed that our officers survived this ordeal."

No officers were injured, police chased the suspect to Hutchins where a standoff was underway for several hours.

Photo Credit: Dallas Police Department
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Man Shot in Thigh in Hartford


Hartford police are investigating after a man was shot in the capital city just before 2 a.m. Saturday.

He was shot in the right thigh following a disturbance near the intersection of Oakland Terrace and Greenfield Street, police said.

The man told police that two other men approached him and shot him, police said.

He went to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Police said a woman told them she heard an argument between numerous men outside in the area right before she heard possible gunshots.

Police have not identified the victim publicly and no arrests have been made at this time.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Incredible Photos from Dallas Police Headquarters Attack


Photos from Dallas police and NBC 5 capture the Dallas police headquarters attack on Saturday morning and standoff that led to the suspect's death.

Photo Credit: Dallas Police Department via Twitter

Train Delays on New Haven Metro-North Line


New Haven line trains on Metro-North are experiencing delays as long as 30 minutes due to signal errors in South Norwalk.

Metro-North advises passengers to listen for announcements on train schedule updates at your station.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Dozens Evacuated in Wake of Dallas Police HQ Attack


It was a rude awakening for some, and a long night for others, after an early-morning attack that left parts of police headquarters riddled with bullets and eventually ended with the suspect being shot.

Anita Grendahl was asleep in her seventh-floor apartment across from police headquarters when she heard gunshots loud enough to wake her up over a white noise machine in her room.

"We just woke up to a few pops and thought somebody was on my balcony, and then looked outside and saw the van crash into the car," she said.

The threat of explosions forced dozens of people from their homes, bars and hotel rooms early Saturday morning.

People who live across the street from Dallas Police Headquarters work up in the middle of the night to gunshots.

"And then gunshots started going again and that's when I ducked," said Kevin Johnson.

Many watched the scene unfold from the top of the South Side on Lamar apartment complex.

By 4 a.m., apartment residents were told they had to evacuate and get as far away as possible from the bomb threat.

Two pipe bombs exploded within an hour and a half of those evacuations.

Some chose to leave the area. "I was just worried about the children, so I just wanted to get out of harms way," said Nicholas Laird.

Others waited for the 'all clear.' Edward Vasquez went to work at 3 p.m. on Friday and wasn't allowed to go home until Saturday morning.

"You wouldn't think anything like this would happen here since it is the headquarters and there are police everywhere," he said.

NBC 5 viewer Rick Birt shared video of Dallas police K9 units sweeping the South Side on Lamar building before he was allowed to return to his fifth floor apartment.

At around 10 a.m. police allowed people to return home, public transportation also resumed in the area.

Crews Respond to New Haven Fire


Two people including a firefighter had to be checked out after a house fire in New Haven.

Firefighters say the fire started on the second floor of a multi-family home at 631 Dixwell Avenue around 6:00pm.

Everyone got out safely but one resident had to be evaluated for a minor injury.

Also a firefighter had to be treated for possible heat exhaustion.

“It’s the warmest day of the year so far where we’ve had a working fire. So, it’s stressful on the firefighters. Biggest challenge we had deal with today,” says Operations Chief Matthew Marcarelli.

Firefighters say the fire was able to spread to the third floor and they had the fire under control in about an hour.

They are not sure yet of the cause.

For right now, firefighters say the six adults and two children who lived in the building will not be able to return to their apartments.

Toad's Place Named Best Small Music Venue


A popular concert spot in New Haven has been named Best Small Music Venue by USA Today and 10best.com readers.

Toad's Place, celebrating its 40th anniversary, topped USA Today's 10 Best list, being featured as the top readers' choice in the country for a small venue to see concerts at, according to www.10best.com.

Toad's Place, located at 300 York Street in Downtown New Haven, advertises itself as the place "where the legends play."

Toad's Place has drawn the likes of the Black Eyed Peas before they were as well known. In 1989, the Rolling Stones played there for a surprise concert before 700 people that lasted an hour, according to 10best.com. Then in 1990, Bob Dylan played his longest show in his career at Toad's place at the start of one of his tours, 10best.com reported.

Other artists that have played there include Wiz Kahlifa, LMFAO, and Mighty Mighty Bosstones, according to 10best.com.

Some upcoming shows include The Kooks June 20 and Jake Miller on July 14. For a full list of concerts coming up at Toad's Place, visit www.toadsplace.com.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

North Haven Police Investigate Spike in Overdoses


North Haven police and firefighters responded to three overdoses in the span of 36 hours, likely from heroin.

A spike in overdoses like that could mean an "unusually pure batch of heroin and/or mix with other components" is circulating that enhances the effects of the drug, police said.

On Wednesday, a 51-year-old woman suffering an overdose was found at about 8:47 p.m. near the intersection of Quinnipiac and Montowese avenues in North Haven, police said. Medical personnel administered "Narcan," a type of antidote to counteract opioids like heroin or pain killers, and she regained consciousness as they took her to the hospital.

Then, a 29-year-old man undergoing a possible heroin overdose was found about two hours later nearby on the 200 block of Quinnipiac Avenue.

On Friday at 9:21 a.m., police and firefighters found a 21-year-old man who was unresponsive at a home in the northern part of town. First responders gave him Narcan and he became conscious again as he was taken to an area hospital.

None of the individuals who overdosed have been identified.

Police have recovered evidence, but haven't identified a logo or package branding tied to the overdoses. The overdoses remain under investigation.

North Haven police ask anyone with information to notify the department through Crime Tips on the website or by calling 203-239-1617.

More information on Narcan is available on the Department of Mental Health & addiction Services' website.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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