Sunday, January 21, 2018

Former Edgewater Volunteer Fire Department Chief Samuel M. DeNorchia, 57, was arrested and accused of stealing more than $40,000 from the local fire department while serving as its treasurer

Samuel M. DeNorchia, 57

An Edgewater man was arrested and accused of stealing more than $40,000 from the local fire department while serving as its treasurer, authorities announced on Wednesday.

Samuel M. DeNorchia, 57, was arrested Wednesday in Paramus after he allegedly wrote checks to himself from the Edgewater Volunteer Fire Department using its funds, according to the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office. The estimated $40,000 total came between March 2016 and November 2017.

DeNorchia served as chief of the department from from 1993 to 2002, according to Edgewater's municipal website. No one answered a call made to the department Wednesday evening.

He served as chief when the department transitioned from paid to volunteer in 1995.

The department website has an S. DeNorchia and an S. DeNorchia Jr. listed as members.

DeNorchia was charged with theft by deception and has a court appearance scheduled for Jan. 17.

The cause of house fire that claimed the life of smoker Agnes Leite, 56, was the improper use of smoking materials and started on her mattress. Leite was known to roll her own cigarettes

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — The cause of Wednesday’s fire that claimed the life of a 56-year-old city woman was the improper use or disposal of smoking materials, officials said.

The fire at 282 Tinkham St. started on a mattress in a second-floor bedroom where Agnes Leite was found, said Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for the state Fire Marshal’s office.

Leite was known to roll her own cigarettes, which are not required to be fire resistant as commercially produced cigarettes are, Mieth said. All cigarettes sold in Massachusetts must be “Fire Standard Compliant” and resist ignition when not being actively smoked.

After police removed six occupants from the multi-family home in the city’s near North End, firefighters forced open the woman’s bedroom door and found her lying unresponsive on the floor, Fire Chief Michael Gomes said. The chief believes she may have collapsed in front of the bedroom door.

The woman, who did not have a pulse, was carried out of the burning building and New Bedford paramedics performed cardi-pulmonary resuscitation on her. Paramedics also performed advanced life support measures to revive her, but those also failed.

Paramedics administered a cyanide antidote to the victim and were able to resuscitate her, but she died later at the hospital, Mieth said. Cyanide is one of the toxic, deadly gases produced when household furnishings burn.

“I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Ms. Leite,” Chief Gomes said.

The announcement of the fire’s cause was made by State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro and Gomes. The fire was jointly investigated by members of the New Bedford Fire and Police Departments and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.


NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — A woman died Thursday morning after she’d been rushed to the hospital the day before from a house fire on Tinkham Street in New Bedford.

The fire broke out on the second story of the triple-decker just before 2 a.m. Wednesday. Firefighters found 56-year-old Agnes Leite unconscious in a bedroom on the second floor. Leite was later determined to have second-degree burns on 20 percent of her body.

“By the time I tried to go in her room, her whole room was just like just filled with smoke and fire fighters were trying to get us out of the house,” Leite’s son, Adam told Eyewitness News.

Agnes Leite was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital, where authorities said she was given a new drug intravenously that’s designed to treat smoke inhalation.

“It was the first time we used it here in the city, which they call a cyanide antidote,” New Bedford Fire Chief Michael Gomes said.

Agnes Leite regained a pulse and was taken to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence to be treated there, but died the next morning.

“She’s just a good woman, she loved everybody. Didn’t judge anybody, really good heart, worked hard,” Adam Leite said. “Too many things I wish I could tell her. I just want to be able to see her again, never mind talk to her.”

Eight residents were displaced from the building and the American Red Cross was called in to assist them with housing. Gomes said the apartment did not have working smoke detectors.

At last check, the fire’s cause was still under investigation.


NEW BEDFORD, MA (WHDH) - A New Bedford police officer is being hailed a hero after he rescued six people from a burning apartment building. However, among the saving was tragedy.

The fire broke out on Tinkham Street Wednesday.

Smoke filled a woman’s whole room as cops and firefighters worked to get all the residents out of the building.

Firefighters discovered a woman unconscious on the second flood and rushed her to the hospital.

On the way, first responders tried a new drug to treat her smoke inhalation.

“The first time we used it here in the city, they called it a syano antidote,” said Fire Chief Michael Gomes.

In spite of their efforts, the woman later died at a Rhode Island hospital.

Her family is devastated.

“Too many things I wish I can tell her. I just want to be able to see her again and never mind talk to her,” said Adam Leite, the victim’s son.

Fire officials said the apartment did not have working smoke detectors.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Agnes (Ferro) Leite, 56, of New Bedford, passed away Wednesday January 17, 2018 at Rhode Island Hospital. She was the wife of Luis A. Leite and daughter of the late Manuel and Deolinda (Arruda) Ferro.

She was born in Lombo da Batal, St. Michael, Azores and had lived in New Bedford for many years. Mrs. Leite was formerly employed as a stitcher in the garment industry.

Survivors include her husband; her sons, Nathan Leite, Craig Leite and Adam Leite all of New Bedford; her brother, Antonio Ferro of Natick; her sisters, Maria Emilia Ferro of Nashua NH, Maria Fatima Tavares of Fall River, Maria Carmo Campos of New Bedford and Maria Manuela Pacheco of New Bedford; her granddaughter, Madison Leite.

She was the sister of the late Ernesto Ferro.

She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Her visitation will be Tuesday morning from 9:00 until 12:00pm when her funeral service will be held at the Boulevard Funeral Home, 223 Ashley Blvd. Burial will immediately follow at Pine Grove Cemetery. For directions and guest book please visit

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Danfoss Power Solutions employee died after suffering injuries at its Ames, Iowa plant

Ames, Iowa

Officials say a worker at an Ames hydraulic motors manufacturer has died in a work-related accident.

Des Moines television station KCCI reports that the Danfoss Power Solutions employee died after suffering injuries around 4 p.m. Thursday while at work. A Danfoss news release says the employee was taken to Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames and pronounced dead.

The identity of the employee and details of the accident have not yet been released.
The plant says it's investigating along with federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials.The company halted all production operations at the plant until further notice.


AMES, Iowa —

Danfoss Power Solutions officials said an employee died after suffering an injury while working at the Ames plant.

“At approximately 4:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, a Danfoss employee suffered injuries while at work during the second shift of operations at our 13th Street location in Ames. The employee was taken to Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, where the employee was pronounced dead.”

The plant is located at 2400 East 13th Street.

“We are continuing to investigate, along with OSHA officials, to determine the specific details associated with the incident.”

The company is halting all production operations at our 13th Street location and Airport Road location until further notice.

The identity of the employee has not yet been released pending family notifications.
The company is making onsite grief counseling services available to employees.

According to a release, "Danfoss Power Solutions is a world-class provider of mobile hydraulics for the construction, agriculture and other off-highway vehicle markets, providing driving power to our changing world. Danfoss employs approximately 1,000 employees in Ames, producing components that serve the off-highway hydraulics industry – including hydraulic motors, pumps and steering units."

Bell UH-1H Iroquois helicopter fiery crash in northern New Mexico takes the lives of Zimbabwean opposition leader Roy Bennett, 60, pilot Jamie Coleman Dodd, 57, of Trinidad; Eileen Bennett, 55, of Colorado; co-pilot Paul Cobb, 67, of Conroe, Texas; and Charles Ryland Burnett, 61, of Houston.

3 Coloradans among 5 killed in helicopter crash in northern New Mexico

January 18, 2018

RATON, N.M. — A helicopter crashed in a mountainous rural area of northern New Mexico, killing five people, three of them from Colorado, and seriously injuring the sixth person aboard, a New Mexico State Police spokeswoman said Thursday.

Authorities said key Zimbabwean opposition leader Roy Bennett of Colorado and South Africa was killed in the crash. Details of why the 60-year-old Bennett was in the area weren’t immediately available.

Also killed were pilot Jamie Coleman Dodd, 57, of Trinidad; Eileen Bennett, 55, of Colorado; co-pilot Paul Cobb, 67, of Conroe, Texas; and Charles Ryland Burnett, 61, of Houston.

Lt. Elizabeth Armijo said the helicopter went down about 6 p.m. Wednesday about 15 miles east of the small city of Raton near the Colorado state line.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the helicopter was a Huey UH-1. Information on its registration was not available, Lunsford said.

Huey helicopters are flown for individuals, businesses and government agencies.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, and agency spokesman Eric Weiss an NTSB investigator was expected to arrive at the crash site late Thursday.

Born in England, Burnett was an investor and philanthropist with links to a wide range of businesses and a love of entertaining friends extravagantly.

Burnett was based in Houston and listed as an officer in dozens of companies registered with the Texas secretary of state’s office.

The Guardian newspaper reported in 2009 that he drove a steam-powered car at an average speed of 139.8 mph, setting a world record.

He purchased the Emery Gap Ranch, a sprawling, mountainous property on the Colorado-New Mexico border, in February, said Sam Middleton, a real estate broker in Lubbock, Texas, who worked with Burnett on the purchase. That’s where the group was headed Wednesday.

Middleton on Thursday recalled being invited to Burnett’s 60th birthday party at another ranch he had helped the wealthy businessman purchase. A dance floor and lights powered by a generator were set up on a pasture, with guests brought in by bus and a film crew hired to document the party.

“He had a lot of fun, and he had a lot of people around him all the time,” Middleton said.

He was in a long-term relationship with Andra Cobb, the only survivor of the crash and daughter of Paul Cobb, who was the co-pilot of the helicopter. Burnett was friends with the elder Cobb and the others aboard.

Cobb was shot down while flying a helicopter in the Vietnam War, according to his wife, Martha.

He went on to serve as a police officer for three decades in the Houston suburb of Pasadena, Texas, rising to police chief until his retirement in 2004.

Cobb flew a historic Vietnam-era helicopter during an event to celebrate the Fourth of July in 2016, according to Houston television station KTRK.

Martyn Hill, Burnett’s personal attorney, described Cobb as an experienced, cautious pilot who had “survived many battles.”

“He was a great person as well,” Hill said.

Martha Cobb said her daughter told her after the crash that she passed at least one body on the ground as she tried to escape, before the helicopter burst into flames.

“She’s just very distraught,” Cobb said in a telephone interview. “I’m just glad my daughter is OK, but I hate that my husband of 41 years is gone.”

Dodd was a decorated search and rescue pilot who plucked people to safety in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and during one flood season, rented a helicopter on his day off to help rescue dogs stranded on rooftops.

“He was a natural pilot. He was so good at it. When he was in search and rescue, he saved countless lives,” said Jacqueline Dodd, his wife of 25 years, describing him as an adrenaline junkie.

Her husband, who went by J.C., received the national “Jeep Hero” award in 2006 for his search and rescue efforts.

He donated the award, a new Jeep Commander, to a nonprofit organization that helps the homeless, according to the website of the New Mexico Military Institute, where he went in the mid- to late 1970s.

“He was the kind of guy that you just wanted to be your friend,” Jacqueline Dodd said. “He was above reproach. He was just such a good person.”

Since September, he had worked as Burnett’s private pilot at the Emery Gap Ranch, she said. She and her husband filed separation papers in December after he moved to Trinidad the previous September.

“He took that job against all my wishes,” said Jacqueline Dodd, who lives in Applegate, California, in the foothills northeast of Sacramento.

Her husband enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves in 1979.

Dodd transferred to the Army’s Warrant Officer Flight School in 1983 and was later assigned to Howard Air Force Base in Panama, flying medical evacuation missions throughout Central and South America, according to New Mexico Military Institute website.

Dodd moved back and joined the California Highway Patrol in 1990, where he was a search and rescue helicopter pilot. He was inducted into the institute’s Hall of Fame in October 2010.

Roy Bennett, 60, was a founding member of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, who angered former President Robert Mugabe by winning a parliamentary seat in a rural constituency despite being white.

Bennett, who spoke fluent Shona, was earthy and engaging and won a devoted following of black Zimbabweans for passionately advocating political change.

He was known as “Pachedu,” meaning “one of us” in Shona and was often called the sharpest thorn in Mugabe’s side.

At one point, his successful coffee farm in eastern Zimbabwe was seized by war veterans. One of Bennett’s farmworkers was killed by the invaders and wife Heather miscarried after the assault.

In 2004, Bennett was jailed for a year for assaulting a Cabinet minister who had said Bennett’s “forefathers were thieves and murderers” during a debate. He emerged thin and told of prisoners’ mistreatment.

Bennett fled Zimbabwe after receiving death threats but came back in 2009 after being nominated for the deputy agriculture minister in a coalition government with Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party.

The strongman accepted other opposition leaders into his Cabinet, but he refused to swear in Bennett.

Bennett later returned to South Africa but remained a vocal critic of Mugabe’s rule.

Date: 17-JAN-2018
Time: 18:00 LT
Bell UH-1H Iroquois
Owner/operator: Sapphire Aviation LLC
Registration: N658H
C/n / msn: 67-17658
Fatalities: Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: East of Raton Municipal Airport (KRTN), Raton, NM - United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature: Private
Departure airport:

Destination airport:

The helicopter with six occupants crashed under unknown circumstances. The aircraft was destroyed by the impact forces and subsequent fire. Five occupants died in the crash, one occupant was seriously injured.

Roy Bennett, opposition leader, a Zimbabwean coffee grower, four other people, his wife, Eileen Heather Bennett, 55, a passenger from Texas, and the helicopter’s pilot and co-pilot died in their private helicopter.

British-born investor and world record holder Charles Burnett III was among five people killed.


New Mexico State Police Respond to Fatal Helicopter Crash Killing Five in New Mexico— NMSP (@NMStatePolice) 18 janvier 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

OSHA listed eight safety violations and fines totaling $38,672 against OARS in the accidental death of Timothy Hayden Ryan Conant, 23, of Salt Lake City on June 14, 2017.

OSHA cites, fines outfitter in kayaker death last summer

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited an outfitter in the death of a young kayaker guide on Yellowstone Lake last June.

OSHA listed eight safety violations and fines totaling $38,672 against OARS in the accidental death of Timothy Hayden Ryan Conant, 23, of Salt Lake City on June 14, 2017.
Timothy Hayden Ryan Conant
Conant was guiding nine clients along with two other guides. One of the clients fell into the frigid waters of West Thumb. Conant also fell in attempting a rescue and succumbed to the conditions. He died of exposure and hypothermia. The client was rescued by another guide.

OSHA said the company should have had a more senior guide on the water. With 45 days experience, Conant was the longest tenured employee on the excursion. OSHA also said the guides were insufficiently trained and clothed.

OSHA’s Fatal Alert bulletin:

On June 14, 2017, three kayak guides were leading a party of nine clients on Yellowstone Lake. The guide service supplied all gear and Kayaks to the clients. The guided trip was to the West Thumb geyser basin and then back to the Grants Village Marina.

On the return trip from the West Thumb geyser basin a client’s kayak capsized. The three guides got the client back into his kayak and were struggling to get him back to the shoreline. At this point, guide one’s kayak capsized. Guide two took the client to shore while guide three attempted to help guide one into his boat. Two clients of the party came and helped get guide two and the client to shore.

Client two then went to help guide one and guide three. After client three was sure guide two and client one were okay, client three took guide two’s kayak out to help with guide one and three. With the two clients help guide one was pulled out of the water.

The party was rescued by the National park service water Rangers and transported to the marina where guide one was pronounced dead as a result of exposure and hypothermia.

Significant factors
  • The three guides on the water the day of the incident were all first year guides with the longest tenured guide being the deceased at 45 days.
  • The guides were not trained in self or buddy rescue techniques for kayaks.
  • The guides were using everyday clothing for extremity protection.
  • The guides were not familiar with the company’s emergency response procedures.
  • The employer should evaluate the rescue training provided to its guides, as well as the training used to familiarize new guides with their duties within the company’s emergency response plan.
  • The employer should reevaluate their PPE policy specific to Yellowstone Lake.

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – A kayaker has died in Yellowstone National Park.

Guide Timothy Hayden Ryan Conant, 23, from Salt Lake City died while attempting to rescue a client who capsized on Wednesday, June 14. The incident occurred in the West Thumb area of Yellowstone Lake.

The kayaking group consisted of nine clients and three guides. After receiving a call through the park’s dispatch center, rangers responded to the scene in a patrol boat and found the victim in the water. They brought him on board and immediately started CPR while in route back to the dock. CPR continued as Conant was transported to the helipad at Grant Village via ambulance (approximately a half-mile from the dock). A Life Flight landed to assist, but Conant was pronounced dead before taking off.

The client who Conant attempted to save was rescued by other guides in the group and brought to shore before rangers arrived. The client was transported to the park clinic and treated for hypothermia. The incident is still under investigation.

“Our hearts are with the Conant family after this terrible loss,” said superintendent Dan Wenk.

Conant worked as a guide for Oars, a company based out of Angel Camp, California. Oars has offered non-motorized boat tours in Yellowstone under a permit since 1996. This was Conant’s first season working for Oars as a guide.

Since 1894, there have been 41 deaths in Yellowstone Lake. The most recent was in 1997 when two people died while canoeing. With a surface area of 132 square miles, Yellowstone Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake in the United States that is above 7,000 feet. It is roughly 20 miles long and 14 miles wide with 141 miles of shoreline. The average year-round temperature of the lake is 43F. Survival time is estimated to be only 20 to 30 minutes in water of this temperature. 


Timothy Hayden Ryan Conant, age 23, summer kayak guide of Wyoming, passed away on June 14, 2017.

Tim was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on July 26, 1993 to Steven B. Conant and Molly C. Ryan. Tim lived in SLC as a youth and again since 2012, graduating from the University of Utah with degrees in History and Anthropology in Spring 2017. Tim attended grade school and high school in Anchorage, Alaska graduating from South High in 2012.

Tim lived and breathed skiing with his closest friends! You could always find him talking about a recent trip or planning his next one. Tim loved adventures in the outdoors and especially liked clean mountain air.

Tim worked as a ski instructor for several years throughout school and was looking forward to working with ski patrol and doing more backcountry skiing with special friend Glenn Vitucci of Tetonia.

Tim had a love and adventure for life that touched everyone he met. He taught others through example, of the selfless life, ultimately giving his to save another. His life and friendship he shared has spread a ripple of love throughout the community of his family and friends that leaves us saddened at his departure and happy that he awaits us in a place of love where all tears will be wiped away.

Tim was preceded in death by his sister, Hailey Ryan Conant, and his Grandparents Kathryn and James Ryan.

He is survived by his parents Molly and Kyle James and Steven Conant, Grandparents Elsie and Roger Conant, Uncle Doug (Leigh) Conant, Uncle Hayden (Melissa) Conant, Uncle Jay (Lisa) Conant, Uncle B. Tim Ryan, and Aunt Susan (Jack) McCabe, Aunt Sheila (Duane) Kerber. He also leaves behind his cousins: Ben, Tyler, and Sarah Conant, Miles Conant, Lindsay and Dylan Conant, Kathryn Manoly and John Ryan, Margaret Kerber and Krista (David) Chaich.