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NY Woman Is World's Oldest


At 115 years old, Susannah Mushatt Jones, of Brooklyn, is now the world's oldest person.

Jones, known as "Miss Susie," inherited the title from 116-year-old Jeralean Talley, who died Wednesday evening at her home in the Detroit suburb of Inkster, according to her daughter.

The Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group considered Talley to be the world's oldest person, based on available records, followed by Jones, according to The Associated Press.

Jones was born July 6, 1899. At that time, the Spanish-American War had just ended, William McKinley was president and "automobile" was still a new term.

Jones was the daughter of Alabama sharecroppers and the third of 11 children, all of whom she has outlived. She moved to New York City during The Roaring Twenties.

"Are you an old lady or a young lady?" asked her niece Lois Judge during an interview earlier this year with NBC 4 New York's Roseanne Colletti.

"I'm old," Jones said.

Judge said Jones credits her longevity to not drinking, smoking or partying.

Man Arrested in New Britain Shooting


A man was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after he was shot in the back early Saturday morning in New Britain and police arrested the man suspected of pulling the trigger.

Police learned that a man named "Ace" fired the gunshots near the intersection of North and Oak streets and identified him as Antonio Elliot, 21, of New Britain. Police found shell casings in that area. Police said the shooting did not appear random.

New Britain police received a call reporting the shooting near 172 North Street on Saturday at 2:50 a.m. New Britain Emergency Medical Services, firefighters and police responded and discovered a man who was alert and conscious with a gunshot wound in his back.

An ambulance transported the man to the hospital to be treated. Police aren't releasing his name.

Police found Elliott in a 205 North Street apartment just after 6 a.m. and arrested him on two active warrants. They discovered a loaded firearm where they arrested him.

Police charged Elliot Saturday afternoon with first-degree assault, criminal possession of a firearm and unlawful discharge of a firearm.

New Britain police are holding him on a $450,000 court-set bond. He is scheduled to appear in New Britain Superior Court on June 22.

Police ask anyone with information to call Det. Kevin Artruc at 860-826-3149 or make an anonymous tip at 860-826-3199 or through the New Britain police website at newbritainpolice.org.

Mountain Road Reopens After West Hartford Crash


Mountain Road was closed in West Hartford overnight due to a crash.

The road was closed at the junction with Route 44, but it has since reopened.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Route 185 in Bloomfield Reopens After Crash


Route 185 in Bloomfield has reopened after closing overnight due to a crash.

The road was closed briefly just after midnight early Sunday morning.

Bloomfield police responded.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Route 15 Reopens After Wallingford Crash


Route 15 northbound has reopened after a minor one-car crash in Wallingford.

The state highway was closed between exits 65 and 66 as crews cleared the crash late afternoon, but the road has since reopened.

There is no word on injuries.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Waterbury Churchgoers Hold Vigil for South Carolina Massacre Victims


People in Waterbury are remembering the lives lost in South Carolina.

A special service took place at the Rehoboth Church on Saturday night.

The event was organized by the Concerned Black Clergy Council of Waterbury and the local NAACP chapter.

There was a prayer, fellowship and discussion.

Several area pastors spoke about the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina.

The Waterbury vigil was to show support for the families of the nine victims.

Religious leaders also delivered a message of hope.

“Hate cannot stand. That love and light has a way of driving out darkness and that God is a good God even on a bad day,” Pastor Rodney D. Wade, of Long Hill Bible Church, said.

“We also want to build some solidarity here. We want to actually build more on the community and bring folk together and kind of dispel some anger because there’s a lot of people who are angry right now,” Rev. Lydell Brown, of Burning Bush Family Life Center, said.

There have been several prayer vigils in the state since the massacre on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Thousands Run in Branford Father's Day Road Race


The weather cleared up just in time Sunday for thousands of people to run in the annual Branford Father’s Day 5-mile road race, a 36-year tradition.

Organizers said about 3,000 people participated in the race that benefits various local charities.

Since the race started in 1979, 70,000 people tied up their laces for the annual event.

“It helps bring people together," Ray Figlewski, the race founder, said.

The money raised this year will go toward Parkinson's disease research, domestic violence services and a local counseling center.

“They’ve been helping me out personally and they do help a lot of people," Stefan McKosky, of Northford, said.

“We all worry about him and we’re concerned about his future so I’m just thrilled to be here for him," Nancy Gustowski, his mother-in-law, said.

On this Father's Day, it was important for Stefan McKosky's family to show the steps their taking to support him.

Many dads had their kids in tow as they tried turn this soggy Sunday into a fit Father’s Day, including the daughter of the race founder. 

“I am such a proud daughter today to watch my dad, something that he started so long ago put on this whole event," Monica Figlewski said. "All of these people are here because of him. It’s a very special Father’s Day."

The mile-long fun run for kids started at 9:30 a.m. The two-mile health walk began at 10:10 a.m.

Then the big race, a five-mile run, took off at 10:15 a.m.

“With the rain I don’t think anything’s going to stop it," Frank Galek, of Naugatuck, said.

The award ceremony granting prizes to the runners with the fastest times was at noon.Everyone at the end of the race got a watermelon.

The races started on the Branford Green.

More information is available online at branfordroadrace.net.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Driver Injured in West Hartford Crash With Motorcycle


A 33-year-old Burlington man was seriously injured when he crashed into a motorcycle on Route 44 in West Hartford late Saturday night.

Thomas Hinman, 33, of Burlington, was driving a 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt in the left travel lane in the westbound direction on Route 44 (Albany Avenue) when he collided with the oncoming 1999 Ducati Monster motorcycle Richard Casiello, 23, of North Reading, Massachusetts, was driving, police said. The crash happened near Mountain Brook Road at about 9:54 p.m. on Sunday.

An ambulance transported Hinman to Saint Francis Hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Police are investigating the crash and trying to find out which vehicle crossed the solid yellow center lines.

Boys, 12 and 17, Injured in West Hartford Motorcycle Crash


A 17-year-old boy and his 12-year-old male passenger were significantly injured when the motorcycle they were on crashed into a car on Oakwood Avenue in West Hartford Friday night.

The teenager was driving the motorcycle in the northbound direction on the road with a 12-year-old passenger aboard. He crashed into a car heading the same way that was turning left onto Richard Street. Both the motorcyclist and his young passenger were thrown from the vehicle onto the pavement upon impact. The crash happened at about 8:23 p.m. on Friday.

Both boys are from West Hartford and a 56-year-old man from West Hartford was driving the car.

An ambulance transported them to Hartford Hospital with significant, but non-life-threatening injuries. 

The crash remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Willimantic Police Investigate String of Church Burglaries


Willimantic police are asking for the public's help as they investigate a rash of church burglaries.

There have been five burglaries at Willimantic churches since June 5, police said.

The burglaries all happened overnight.

No suspects have been identified at this time.

The churches were accessed in different ways.

Information callers give will remain confidential.

Willimantic police are increasing patrols near the 23 churches in the city.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

"My Baby Got Shot" at Block Party


A drive-by shooting that injured 10 during a West Philadelphia block party in honor of Father’s Day nearly left a dad without two of his children.

"It's a blessing though that they made it, seriously" said Tyrone Jones, who helped organize the block party on the 4100 block of Ogden Street.

Jones’ 1-year-old daughter Ashley was the youngest victim – struck twice by shotgun pellets – of the shooting during the picnic Saturday night

"We just heard shots and I got up, I picked my baby up and I just started running," said Valerie Jones, the girl’s mother. "I panicked and I just started screaming, 'my baby got shot, my baby got shot.'"

Ashley wasn’t the only one hit. Gunfire struck Valerie Jones in the arm and struck Tyrone Jones’ adult son twice in the head and once in the side.

Amazingly all members of the Jones family were expected to fully recover  – young Ashley was even back to sipping on juice boxes by Sunday afternoon. But her father was angry that two men, one with a shotgun, would open fire on a family-oriented picnic then just drive away.

"To get my family shot up like that for nothing," said Jones. "None of my kids are coming back here and I'm not coming back here."

Police continued to search for the shooters, the other man possibly fired a handgun, who fled in a gold sedan.

"It looks like they just randomly fired down the street and hit anyone in their way," said Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker.

Southwest Detectives are urging anyone with information on the shooting to call 215-686-3183/84.

Photo Credit: NBC10

2015 Fire Conditions Are Worst Yet


Four years of drought and a lack of rain have set up fire conditions in 2015 as the worst on record, Cal Fire said.

“We have seen, we saw it last year and we will see it again this year, we'll be reaching records for potential heat output for times of the year that would normally not be burning in those conditions,” said Ken Pimlott, Director of Cal Fire, at Wildfire Awareness Week in Pollock Pines.

The timing of rain as California heads into its fourth year of drought have created escalated fire conditions.

Throughout the state, firefighters with Cal Fire have responded to 1,100 fires so far, they said in a blog post. Generally, by June, the department has responded to fewer than 650.

Cal Fire measures the fuel moisture content in vegetation such as brush and trees throughout the state and compare it month-by-month and year-by-year, they said

They take those numbers and then calculate how much heat the vegetation would put out when burning, Pimlott said.

One thing residents can do, Cal Fire said in the post, is to remove parts of their lawn as they dry up.

"We don't want your dry lawn and your dry brush to contribute to more of the fire hazard,” Pimlott said. “So, stop watering your lawn and remove it."

As water becomes scarcer in the state, fire officials said, they asked residents to conserve.

Shawna Legarza, Director of Fire and Aviation with the U.S. Forest Service, said in the post said some departments have been able to use recycled water in training exercises.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Michelle Obama Posts Throwback Pic of Barack


First lady, Michelle Obama, posted a throwback picture of a younger Barack Obama to wish the president a Happy Father's day. 

"Thinking today and everyday about the father of these two. Happy Father's Day! -mo."

The couple did not get to spend the holiday together. 

President Obama spent the weekend in Southern California while Michelle is traveling back from Italy with her daughters and mother.

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Teen Crushed by Concrete Slab


Authorities say a teenage boy was killed when a stone slab weighing about 650 pounds fell on him outside a business that makes countertops.

Ocean County prosecutors say the 17-year-old boy was found around 6:40 a.m. Saturday at the Berkeley Township business. It was closed when the accident occurred, and it's not clear why the teen was at the site.

It appears that the boy was trying to walk between marble and granite slabs when a massive slab fell on top of him. But it's not clear how long he had been trapped there before a passing motorist spotted him and called police.

The teenager was pronounced dead shortly after authorities arrived on scene. A cause of death has not been determined, and his name has not been released.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

People Rallying Say Racism is to Blame for South Carolina Shooting


Dozens of people gathered on the New Haven Green Sunday for a rally as activists are demanding changes in response to the shooting in South Carolina, some wanting the tragedy to be considered a “racist terrorist attack.”

The rally is part of actions that were taking place across the country on Sunday.

Many say they are disturbed hearing some politicians say the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church has more to do mental health or access to guns.

Some people here say racism led to the attack in South Carolina.

“I think in America it’s always easy to explain away race. You can explain it as self-defense. You can explain it as mental health. But we have to recognize race in America. And we have to realize the impact it’s having on not only the people who are dying but in our youth,” says Lincoln Mitchell.

Activist here and around the country are also calling on South Carolina to remove the Confederate flag from public buildings.

They say that flag will always be linked to a history of racism.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Amtrak Train Breaks Down in Berlin


An Amtrak train broke down in the Berlin area at about 3:25 p.m. Sunday.

Train 464, coming from New Haven and heading to Springfield, Massachusetts, had 33 passengers aboard when it had a mechanical issue and became disabled.

The passengers were transferred to a different train to continue on to their destination.

The incident delayed the passengers by about two-and-a-half hours.

Man Tried to Bring Gun Into Juvenile Training Center: State Police


A 30-year-old man is facing weapons charges after he tried to bring a gun into the state's juvenile training school in Middletown, police said.

State police responded to the Connecticut Juvenile Training School at 1225 Silver Street after receiving a report that a man was trying to transport a gun inside the institution, state police said. Investigators identified Jonathan Burgos, 30, of Brooklyn, New York, as that man.

State police made contact with Burgos and recovered a .380 caliber handgun at the scene.

Authorities charged Burgos with carrying a pistol without a permit and the unauthorized conveyance of a weapon into a correctional institution.

It's unknown what Burgos was doing at the training center and or why the gun was being brought inside the facility.

Burgos was held in custody on a $50,000 cash/surety bond.

State police are still investigating the case.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Fighting for Dad: How Father's Day Came to Be


On the third Sunday in June, many Americans will take some time out of their day to honor the nation's 70 million dads. Father’s Day wasn’t always so popular, however, and its establishment as an American — and now worldwide — institution was long and hard-fought.

Here are some things you might not know about dad's special day:

Father’s Day was founded by a woman:

Spokane, Washington native Sonora Smart Dodd is known as the “Mother of Father’s Day.” Her mother died giving birth to her sixth child, leaving Dodd’s father to raise the kids, according to the city of Spokane. In 1909, Dodd heard a sermon about Mother’s Day and spoke with the minister after the service. “I liked everything you said about motherhood," she said, as quoted in a 1978 New York Times article. "However, don’t you think fathers deserve a place in the sun, too?”

Dodd was able to garner much local support for the new holiday. The first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane on June 19, 1910, with clergy dedicating their sermons to honoring fathers, according to the city, which claims the title of the Birthplace of Father’s Day.

Many men initially resisted the idea:

Far from feeling honored by the idea of Father’s Day, many men initially found the concept emasculating.  American historian Timothy Marr wrote in "American Masculinities: A Historical Encyclopedia" that in the holiday's early decades, men “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products — often paid for by the father himself.”

Many retailers and advertisers during the Great Depression promoted Father’s Day as a “second Christmas” for men, and they subsequently rebranded the day as a way to honor American troops during World War II, Marr explained. Despite lacking official recognition, Father’s Day was a de facto American holiday by the end of the war.

Making Father’s Day official took a bipartisan effort: 

President Woodrow Wilson supported Father’s Day as early as 1916. Wilson, a Democrat, had approved a resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day just two years prior. In 1924, Republican President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day, according to History.com.

In 1957, Republican Sen. Margaret Chase Smith of Maine forcefully argued for the holiday. Smith lamented the double standard of only acknowledging Mother’s Day and admonished her congressional colleagues in a fierce proposal, as reported in the Nashua Telegraph.

Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation acknowledging Father’s Day, dedicating the third Sunday in June to the holiday, which is when Americans celebrate it to this day. President Richard Nixon, a Republican, officially made Father’s Day a national holiday in 1972, nearly six decades after Wilson’s Mother’s Day proclamation.

Father’s Day is now an international celebration — and big business:

Dozens of countries, in addition to the U.S., celebrate Father’s Day today. Most of them, from China to Chile, also do so on the third Sunday in June.

Despite generating less business than Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is still the fourth-largest card-sending holiday in the United States, according to Hallmark. Nearly 80 million cards are exchanged annually. Nearly 70 percent of cards are purchased for fathers and husbands. The remainder is bought for other male figures, such as grandfathers, sons, brothers and uncles. More than three quarters of American adults plan to celebrate Father’s Day, according to one survey by the National Retail Federation, which estimates that Father’s Day spending this year will reach $12.7 billion

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Jackson Street Closed Due to Willimantic Crash


LifeStar airlifted a pedestrian to Hartford Hospital after a drunken driver struck the person, pinning the individual under a car, police said.

It happened near the intersection with Carey Street. The road will be closed for several hours as police investigate.

The pedestrian is recovering from serious injuries.

Tolland County Dispatch sent an ambulance from Mansfield to Willimantic for mutual aid.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Delivers Own Baby on Father's Day


A Durham man had a very memorable Father's Day after delivering his own baby girl in his home early Sunday morning.

Margaret "Maggie" Scheff arrived just in time for Father's Day, the original due date.

Andrew Scheff said his wife, Jessica woke up at about 4 a.m. and started having contractions 20 minutes apart. By 6 a.m., they were 10 minutes apart. Andrew was getting their 1-year-old son, Andrew Jr., ready for the morning and feeding him at the time.

When Andrew was downstairs, he heard Jessica upstairs getting more and more uncomfortable. 

By 9 a.m., the contractions had increased significantly and it was time.

Andrew Jr.'s grandmother came over their house to watch him.

Jessica lied down in the hallway in immense pain around that time and said she couldn't go anywhere.

So, Andrew called 911 and a dispatcher told him over the phone how to deliver the baby. Jessica's father came to their house and held his daughter's hand while she was giving birth.

Five minutes before an ambulance arrived, Andrew delivered the couple's new baby girl.

Maggie weighs 9 pounds, 2 ounces and is 21 inches long.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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