<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2018 https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut https://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-usTue, 14 Aug 2018 07:32:01 -0400Tue, 14 Aug 2018 07:32:01 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Tractor-Trailer Rollover Closes I-95 in Bridgeport]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 07:19:27 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/bridgeportcrash.jpg

A tractor-trailer rollover crash has closed part of Interstate 95 in Bridgeport on Tuesday morning.

State Police said I-95 northbound at exit 29 and the Route 8 southbound to I-95 northbound ramp is closed. Traffic in the immediate area was able to pass in the left shoulder of the highway.

Additional traffic is being diverted off of I-95 at exit 28.

It is unclear how long the highway will stay closed.

The tractor-trailer was carrying household goods, police said.

Photo Credit: Connecticut DOT]]>
<![CDATA[Man Smashes Police Car Window, Says He Hates Cops: Police]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 07:23:01 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DevonAdamsAlmstad.jpg

A man from Hartford is facing assault on police and hate crime charges after police said he threw a brick through the window of an occupied police car on Monday night and said he hates cops.

An officer said that while sitting in his marked police car at the intersection of Laurel Street and Farmington Avenue on a road closure around 9:00 p.m., his driver's side window was smashed in by a brick. The officer said the brick nearly missed his head. He suffered minor cuts to his right arm, but declined medical attention.

A description of the suspect, later identified as 20-year-old Devon Adams-Almstad, of Hartford, was broadcast and he was quickly apprehended by officers in the area.

According to police, Adams-Almstad spontaneously said he hates cops and was targeting a white cop due to the recent events in the news.

Adams-Almstad is facing charges including criminal mischief, assault on police, reckless endangerment, hate crime and breach of peace. His bond is set at $100,000.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police]]>
<![CDATA[Decision 2018 CT Primary: Key Races to Watch]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 19:20:25 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DEC2018_for_social1920x1080.jpg

Tuesday is the most significant political day on the calendar up until the general election on November 8.

Registered Democrats and Republicans will each cast ballots for the candidates they want to represent them in the general election. On both sides, and in races up and down the ballot there are very competitive contests, which, in some cases were completely unexpected.

Here’s your primer on the key races and trends to follow on Connecticut’s primary day.

GOP Race for Governor

Five candidates emerged from the pack of more than 20 that had been running for governor at various points throughout 2017 and the first half of 2018.

The five who emerged were endorsed Republican Mark Boughton who is Danbury’s longtime mayor, former UBS and General Electric executive Bob Stefanowski, former hedge fund manager David Stemerman, former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, and tech entrepreneur Steve Obsitnik.

Stefanowski and Boughton share a desire to phase out the state’s income tax, though neither has provided a full explanation as to how they would replace the state’s largest source of revenue.

Steve Obsitnik and David Stemerman have each run as experienced business outsiders with plans to fix the state’s sagging economy. Obsitnik pledges to create 300,000 jobs over eight years, while Stemerman has provided the most detailed plans out of any candidate running for governor on issues like investing in infrastructure, cutting taxes, and addressing the state’s soaring pension obligations.

Tim Herbst has run the furthest to the political right of all of the Republicans, picking up endorsements from the Connecticut Citizens Defense League and the socially conservative Family Institute of Connecticut.

The trends to watch in the race will be where turnout is highest and how that vote is distributed. Four of the Republicans: Boughton, Herbst, Stemerman, and Obsitnik all call Fairfield County home. The vote will inevitably be split among them, but Boughton has a built-in advantage with the Fifth Congressional District having an open race and a three-way GOP primary. The district includes Danbury and Boughton may have a leg up with that extra attention, and the fact that he’s at the top of the ballot, having the party’s endorsement.

Other scenarios include the money poured into the race by Stemerman and Stefanowski paying off and one of them emerging, or Herbst or Obsitnik having strong ground games that lead to better than expected turnouts, giving one of them the win.

Democratic Race for Governor

Ned Lamont won the party’s endorsement at their May convention, emerging from a field of about 10 Democrats seeking the office at the start of the year. Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim collected more than 16,000 signatures to achieve a position on the ballot and start a long-shot bid for governor, his second in the past 25 years.

Ganim has run an aggressive campaign and has called himself, the “second chance candidate,” a not so subtle nod to the 16 felony convictions that led to him spending 2003 to 2010 in federal prison for public corruption.

He’s attacked Lamont for his wealth, saying he’s out of touch with regular working class families. Ganim’s support is centralized in the state’s largest cities, especially Bridgeport.

Lamont is making his third run at statewide office, failing to win a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2006, and losing to Dan Malloy for governor in the primary in 2010.

This time around Lamont has many establishment Democrats in his corner and has the name recognition to potentially lead to a victory to send him to November.

Lamont is the founder of a cable television system that’s used on college campuses and he sold it years ago for millions.

Establishment Democrats have lined up behind Lamont, who has advocated for a fairer tax system, highway tolls for trucks, and improving the state’s economy.

Fifth Congressional District: Democrats

Elizabeth Est announced she would retire at the end of the year after her response to sexual assault allegations by one of her former staffers was made public. That led to the opening in the Fifth for newcomer Jahana Hayes and well-known Democrat Mary Glassman to make runs for the job.

Hayes is a former “National Teacher of the Year” from Waterbury whose campaign has revolved around Hayes’ experience as a single mom who worked her way through college and received multiple degrees as she became one of the most popular teachers at the school where she worked.

Glassman is a former first selectwoman from Simsbury who previously ran twice for lieutenant governor.

The two candidates share similar policy proposals like addressing the opioid epidemic, a health care system that resembles “Medicare for all,” stronger gun laws for the district that includes Sandy Hook and addressing inequity in the state’s schools.

Whoever wins will have a significant fundraising edge on the Republican field. Hayes and Glassman have each eclipsed more than $400,000 in contributions while the Republican candidates haven’t donated more than $300,000 as a group.

Fifth Congressional District: Republicans

Republicans have three candidates running to flip the 5th Congressional District. Former Meriden Mayor Mann Santos, who won the party’s endorsement in May, former college professor Ruby Corby O’Neill, and businessman Rich DuPont are vying to go to November.

Similar to the Democrats, the candidates on the GOP side do not have much daylight on policy between them. They all pledged to protect and promote the Trump agenda in Congress including on tax cuts and tariffs, they also all want to see a more conservative voice in the district.

Their different backgrounds and grassroots operations will likely be what determines this race.

O’Neill, whose husband is a sitting member of the Connecticut General Assembly, leads the pack in fundraising with more than $120,000 raised so far.

<![CDATA[City Leaders Want Change After Cop's 'Trigger Happy' Comment]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 23:28:35 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hartford-police-officer-steve-barone.jpg

Hartford community leaders and elected officials are calling for change in the police department amid an investigation into a video that allegedly shows a Hartford police sergeant making comments about being “trigger happy” to a group of young men last week.

“We don’t want to wait until he does shoot someone. We think that he was very inappropriate and it’s time for him to be terminated,” said Pastor Ronald Holmes of the Greater Hartford Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.

The officer in the video, who the Hartford Police Department has identified as Sgt. Steve Barone, can be heard saying “If anybody wants to fight or run, I am a little trigger happy guys, Not gonna lie. And I get paid a ton of money in overtime if I have to shoot somebody. Don’t do anything stupid.”

Barone has been placed on administrative leave and an internal investigation is underway.

“It’s very troubling… disgusting to be quite honest,” said Hartford City Council President Gwendolyn Thames

Mayor Luke Bronin called Barone’s conduct “completely unacceptable” and praised the police department for its transparency and for placing Barone on leave. But leaders called a meeting Monday to say what’s in that video speaks to larger problems on the force, and they want more training for officers, more cops who actually live in the city, and more discipline for Barone.

“We can not actually mend, I don’t believe, ties, with our community with the police department until the police department looks like and resembles the city of Hartford,” said Hartford City Council member TJ Clarke.

“I know that his actions do not mirror the entire department… however we need to make sure he’s held accountable,” said Eliezer Mercado, a community leader and member of Know Thy Neighbor Initiative.

Council members stopped short of calling for Barone’s termination while the internal investigation continues, but they made it clear this officer’s conduct should be an example of how not to behave.

“At no time is it ever, ever acceptable for anybody to tell anyone of our children that they’re trigger happy. That’s not acceptable ever,” said council member rJo Winch.

It is not the first time Barone has been placed on leave by the department. He was one of several officers suspended for his conduct following a June 2016 pursuit that ended in West Hartford. Barone was cited for "intentional and willful failure to comply with any lawful orders, procedures, directives or regulations" in connection with an excessive force case. The encounter was recorded on a police dashcam.

On the issue of residency on the police force, a spokesman for the city said state law prohibits placing a residency requirement on unionized public employees, but did say preference is given to police applications who live in Hartford.

Barone previously told NBC Connecticut by text that he'll comment when there is a resolution to the incident.

Photo Credit: Morgan Raposa/Facebook ]]>
<![CDATA[Deported Mom, Girl on Turned-Around Plane Didn't Know Fate]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 02:20:39 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/planeGettyImages-755742867.jpg

A woman immigration officials put on a plane to El Salvador last week despite government promises not to deport her said she was "very sad and scared" on the flight, according to a statement in court documents filed Monday, NBC News reported.

"While we were in the air, no one told me anything about what was happening," the woman said.

She and her daughter stayed on the plane and returned to the United States because an outraged federal judge demanded Thursday that immigration officials turn her plane around. He threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other administration officials in contempt of court if they didn't get her back to the United States. 

The woman and her daughter are plaintiffs in a case challenging the Trump administration’s changes to asylum regulations that Sullivan was holding a hearing on when the woman and her daughter — identified in the lawsuit as Carmen and J.A.C.F — were deported.

Immigration officials blamed the incident on a data error and confusion over why her deportation had been delayed.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/EyeEm, File ]]>
<![CDATA[What Happens When China Doesn’t Want Our Recyclables]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 16:20:29 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/recycle-messy.jpg

Feeling pleased that your conscientious recycling is helping to save the environment? Not so fast. Your yogurt container or takeout clamshell might end up in a dump thanks to a ban on discarded items that the United States had been sending to China for processing.

This year, China followed through with its threat to prohibit the import of U.S. plastics, mixed paper and other materials that it says were turning the country into the world’s garbage dump. The repercussions from the new policy have been quick and nowhere close to sorted out in communities across the U.S. 

Sacramento, California, cut back on which plastics it will pick up curbside, and will send items like egg cartoons, medicine bottles and some yogurt containers to landfills instead.

San Diego’s recycling program brought in $4 million in revenue last year. Recycling could now cost the city $1.1 million.

In New Jersey, Sunil Bagaria is retooling his company, moving from one that exported to China to one that will do the work of recycling in the U.S.

“What we are trying to achieve is recycling at source,” said Bagaria, president and co-founder with his brother of GDB International, a recycling and sustainability company based in New Brunswick. “That means the community that produces the plastic waste will be responsible for the recycling.”

But until that happens, recycling markets are in turmoil. China had been taking half of the world’s paper and plastic when it called a halt to the imports, tightening the contamination limit to 0.5 percent for most imports. The material it used to accept was too dirty, it said.

Now no one knows where that material will go instead. While the developed world looks for new markets for its scrap, environmentalists warn that we must curb our addiction to disposable items, from plastic cups to food containers and other items that we use once and throw away.

“The human footprint on the planet and here in the United States is still too large,” said Benjamin Orlove, a director at Columbia University’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions and a faculty member of its Earth Institute.

Here's how we got to this point: For decades, the U.S., rather than recycling its own material, had been sorting it, baling it and shipping it to China, where it became raw materials for new goods. But then China began warning that as part of its efforts to tackle its environmental pollution, it would impose stricter demands on scrap imports. China launched Green Fences in 2013 to enforce regulations on the quality of the imports, and announced its latest policy, National Sword, last year. It told the World Trade Organization that it needed to protect China’s environment and the health of its people.

Dirty or hazardous waste mixed in with raw materials had "polluted China's environment seriously," the WTO filing said.

China’s 40 years of economic growth has pushed the country’s carbon dioxide emissions to the highest in the world, and left China dealing with terrible smog and water and other pollution. Its economy now is the second largest of all nations, about two-thirds of the U.S. output last year. China has less need for imported scrap material, though some economists question whether fewer recyclables could result in a slowdown. At the same time China banned imported trash, it announced plans to step up enforcement of recycling within the country.

“They have a mountain of plastic scrap of their own so they want to first solve their own problem before importing plastic scrap from overseas,” Bagaria said. The takeaway for him was that China’s shutoff means other countries have to take responsibility for recycling at source.

The U.S. has a long way to go. Of the 258 million tons of waste that Americans generated in 2014 more than 89 million tons were recycled and composted for a recycling rate of 34.6 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

China had been taking about 40 percent of U.S. paper, plastics and other recyclables but after the new restrictions began going into effect, the numbers plummeted. Recycled plastics from the U.S. to China dropped by 92 percent over the first five months of the year. All types of exported scrap, from plastics and paper to aluminum, cooper and stainless steel, fell 36 percent.

The Chinese market was greater than the next 15 markets combined, leaving the U.S. with little in the way of backup. Thousands of tons of material that would have been recycled are now going into landfills instead. Some municipalities have stopped collecting items that used to be recycled and others have been stockpiling them.  

“No other market can possibly take in that much volume and they gave us so little time for transition that the industry is still having to react,” said Adina Renee Adler, a senior director at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. “So unfortunately we have seen some materials go to landfill, which is no good.”

California is especially dependent on China. It had been exporting about a third of all recyclable material that it generated, 62 percent of that to China.

The new ban is playing out by the numbers. Sacramento continues to take plastics marked with codes one through three — PET or polyethylene terephthalate which is used for soft drink bottles and peanut butter jars; HDPE or high density polyethylene, which is used for milk jugs, butter tubs and detergent bottles; and V or polyvinyl chloride, which is used in shampoo bottles. But it is no longer accepting plastics four through seven, which typically are found in grocery bags, many yogurt containers, bottle caps, meat trays and other items.

Sacramento asked its Houston-based waste and recycling hauler, Waste Management, to indicate which items should no longer be included in its recycling collection before changing its recycling criteria.

Waste Management spokesperson Janette Micelli said there is no "system-wide restrictions on materials" and it makes sure customers understand what the markets will pay for recyclables being collected. The company has shifted material to alternative markets, some domestically, some elsewhere.

“While we've been shipping into China for years, we also have opened up market in other parts of Southeast Asia, India, South America and Europe,” said Brent Bell, a Waste Management vice president for recycling. “And so when the Chinese starting restricting the imports we quickly shifted that material to some of these alternative markets.” 

San Diego historically had exported 80 percent of its curbside material, 60 percent to China, according to the city’s Environmental Services Department. The percentage dropped to 24 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

Its recycling processing contractors in May proposed suspending all revenue payments to the city — which stood at $4 million in the last fiscal year. Instead it would assess the city a $1.1 million annual cost. The loss of the China market and low oil prices together have tanked the value of plastic.

The department is working to amend the contract to adjust for the effects of China’s National Sword Policy. 

Back in New Jersey, Bagaria’s company had been baling recyclables for shipment to China, where the material was sorted by hand. It now is investing in machinery to do the recycling in the U.S. Two facilities in New Jersey are up and running; the others are to be outfitted by the end of August. They will be able to clean the recyclables, grind them up and convert them into small pellets that can serve as raw material for new products.

“There is a lot to be still done, but the China ban was almost like a catalyst in that direction,” he said. “It helped the industry. Now we don’t have a choice.”

As disruptive as the ban is, experts hope the upheaval will spur even more innovation. Marilyn Chertow, an associate professor at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and director of the program on solid waste policy, noted that in 2008 China passed a law promoting a circular economy. The idea is you make a product with material you know can be recycled rather than make a product and then figure out how to recycle it.

China’s move to ban recyclables now is an enormous opportunity for the U.S. to see value in its own scrap, Chertow said. That said, change will not be easy, nor will it be quick, she and others said. Many municipalities invested heavily in single stream recycling, in which everything is put into one recycling box and separated later, a decision that may have contributed to poorly separated items.

“When single-stream became popular some years ago, I was dismayed, even aghast,” Richard Holden Bole, the owner of Recycle Midwest in Cleveland, wrote in Recycling Today last year. “Treating recyclables the same way you treat the trash – in a trash truck – seemed terrible to me. I knew it would result in contamination and sorting difficulty of all the materials. Sure enough, for years many of the materials coming out of single-stream plants have been poorly sorted.”

Bole says the best solution going forward would be to return to separating recyclables before they are picked up, as some communities still do: a pile of flattened cardboard preferably tied with string, mingled bottles and cans and finally mixed paper.

“It’s a true crisis,” he said. “It was poorly thought out to begin with.”

The industry is facing a massive retooling, that in the end will be for the better, said National Recycling Coalition executive director Marjorie Griek. Recycling will survive the setback, though individuals have few choices at the moment, she said.

“It’s too entrenched in society and too many people understand the importance of recycling both for the environment and for the economy,” she said.

Eric Goldstein, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council and its environmental director for New York City, said that recyclables are likely to be stockpiled in the short term until new markets are found. The key is to focus on the long term. Recyclables are like all commodities — whether corn or oil or bitcoin — and their markets fluctuate. New uses are being found for typically hard to recycle items, recycled glass in concrete, for example. Manufacturers must be brought into the loop so that the producers of products or packaging share the responsibility of recycling them, he said.

Studies show that recycling and composting trash produce more jobs per ton handled than does bringing it to landfills or incinerators. A study by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance found that the removal of 10,000 tons of solid waster creates six jobs versus as many as 36 if that waste were recycled instead.

“It’s very unlikely that America’s cities and towns are going to abandon recycling, which makes so much sense both from an environmental standpoint and a climate change standpoint and a jobs production standpoint,” Goldstein said.

Orlove, of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, notes that recycling is not an end to itself but a way to address an excess use of resources and to curb climate change.

With a recycling rate of only about 34 percent, the U.S. has not progressed fast enough, he said. 

New practices and technologies are emerging. Ikea will start using biodegradable mushroom-based packaging that can decompose in a couple of weeks and which Dell is already cushioning its computers with. Clothing designer Eileen Fisher and Fabscrap, a non-profit in New York City, are reusing fabric, Terracycle's Zero Waste Box provides 120 different boxes to segregate waste better, and Enerkem uses municipal waste to manufacture biofuel. Apple has a robot that dismantles cell phones, while DSM-Niaga, a technology and chemical company based in the Netherlands, recycles carpets.

At the Burbank Recycling Center in Burbank, California, the coordinator, Kreigh Hampel, said the U.S. had lost control of its consumption. Looking forward, the situation is very unstable, he said.

“It’s a big ask to change things very quickly in the United States about our consumption habits,” he said. “It’s a big ask to find other countries and other mills and processors to take the amount of waste that we generate in the U.S. every year and try to get it into re-use programs or recycling programs. So I wish I had a crystal ball to predict the future. And I just don’t.”

Jeremy Berg contributed to this article.

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<![CDATA[Bear Walks Into Bristol Liquor Store]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 07:03:43 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/212*120/BEAR-AT-LIQUOR-STORE.jpg

A bear wandered into a Bristol, Connecticut liquor store Monday and the entire incident was captured on surveillance camera.

The bear can be seen wandering through the parking lot at Crazy Bruce's Discount Liquor on Farmington Avenue before making its way to the sidewalk. An employee said the automatic door, operated by motion sensors, opened for the bear, which walked into the vestibule.

The animal only made it to the doorway. Two quick-thinking employees hooked the latches at the top of the second set of doors from inside the store to prevent the bear from making it all the way in.

An unsuspecting customer actually walked right through the vestibule without noticing the bear as he was ushered inside by an employee. 

One of the employees, Daniel Thibodeau, told NBC Connecticut he acted quickly in a situation where there is no standard procedure.

“Instinct I guess, that’s what I’m thinking,” Thibodeau said.

The bear ran off and no one was hurt. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was notified.

Photo Credit: Crazy Bruce's Discount Liquor]]>
<![CDATA[FBI Rolls Out Interactive App for Physical Fitness Test]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 19:21:51 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/FBI_Holds_Fitness_Test.jpg

Do you have what it takes to be an FBI agent? There is now a free FBI “Physical Fitness Test” app you can download right to your phone and test your skills.

“The FBI is always looking for new talent,” said FBI New Haven Fitness Coordinator Special Agent Dave Ford.

It’s no secret getting into the Federal Bureau of Investigation is both mentally and physically tough. This summer, the FBI launched its “Physical Fitness Test” App to take on the go. The goal is to help applicants and agents prepare for the physical requirements of becoming an agent.

Ford said they released the app to help people understand what the agency is looking for in its applicants and make it more approachable.

“To dispel the myth that you need to be an Olympic Athlete to become an FBI agent, you don’t need to be an Olympian but at the same time they want to show you, you need to be in shape,” Ford told NBC Connecticut.

The free app provides demonstrative videos showing proper form to help potential applicants train and hopefully pass the four physical fitness tests to become a special agent.

The tests included timed sit-ups and push-ups, a 300-meter sprint and a 1.5 mile run. You have five minutes of rest time between each event.

To pass, you have to earn a score of 12. Once you’re in the FBI, special agents do have to re-test every year.

“Our role is to protect the American people. We’re law enforcement agents. We carry a gun and sometimes we can be called into situations where we need to be physically fit. So it’s important for every agent to stay in shape,” Ford explained.

<![CDATA[PD Investigate Allegation of Bristol Teacher Touching Girl]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 06:51:29 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Greene+Hills+School+in+Bristol.jpg

Three Bristol schools employees have been placed on leave amid an investigation into allegations that a male teacher inappropriately touched a female student.

Police said they received a complaint from the state Department of Children and Families on June 7.

A news release Supt. Susan Moreau released Monday morning says the school department learned of an investigation that was opened after the Greene-Hills School filed a report with the state Department of Children and Families and placed principal Scott Gaudet; Timothy Hokanson, a grade 6 science teacher; and Sheila Theriault, a school counselor, on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations.

“Given the serious nature of the allegations, both the Department of Children and Families and the Bristol Police are investigating this matter,” the letter from Moreau said.

Police said part of the investigation is into whether school staff complies with state statutes for mandated reporters.

The superintendent said the district is cooperating with the investigations.

“The Bristol Public Schools take allegations of this nature extremely seriously and will take any and all appropriate action should an investigation determine that any of our employees engaged in misconduct or failed in their role as mandated reporters,” Moreau wrote.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Danbury Police Seek Person of Interest in Car Break-Ins]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 17:11:25 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DANBURY-PERSON-OF-INTEREST.jpg

Danbury police are trying to identify a person of interest who may be involved in recent car break-ins.

On Aug. 9 officers received several reports of car break-ins along Eagle Road in Danbury. Valuables were taken from the cars and credit cards stolen from the vehicles were also used to buy thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise at local stores.

Investigators are looking to speak with the person pictured above, and also released a photo of what may be a suspect vehicle.

Anyone with information should contact Officer Weber at t.weber@danbury-ct.gov.

Photo Credit: Danbury Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect in Watertown Sex Assault Turns Himself In]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 11:31:53 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Urim+Asani+mug+shot.jpg

Watertown police said a man wanted in connection with a home invasion, kidnapping, and sexual assault on Saturday morning has turned himself in.

Forty-one-year-old Urim Asani is believed to have specifically targeted the victim in the incident that took place around 7 a.m. on Saturday in the Oakville section of Watertown, according to a news release from police.

Police said they had an active arrest warrant out for Asani, who is charged with two counts of sexual assault, kidnapping, strangulation or suffocation, unlawful restraint, home invasion, threatening, and a further charge of assault in the third degree.

The warrant has been sealed to protect the victim. Police said the victim knew Asani and identified him.

Asani turned himself in Monday morning. He is being held on $300,000 bond and will be arraigned later today. 

Photo Credit: Watertown Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[North Branford Police Accept Lip Sync Challenge]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 15:27:08 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/North+Branford+Police+Lip+Synch+Challenge+2.JPG

Police departments across the country have accepted the police department lip sync challenge and the North Branford police department posted one that you’ll want to watch and share.

The video includes several songs, features police and firefighters and showcases the community and farms in town.

It’s also very entertaining.

Photo Credit: YouTube/Inspiration in motion
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<![CDATA[Musk Says He's Talking With Saudi Fund to Take Tesla Private]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 11:23:29 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/elon-muskGettyImages-855377504.jpg

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund would be the main source of money for Tesla CEO Elon Musk's grand plan to take the company private, but the deal isn't done yet, Musk disclosed in a blog on Monday.

The fund approached Musk about going private multiple times during the past two years, and Musk says he left a July 31 meeting with no question that the deal would be closed. That's why he tweeted on Aug. 7 that the funding had been secured, Musk wrote. The fund itself has not publicly commented on the possibility of a deal.

Under the proposal, only investors who don't want to remain with a private company would be paid and funding for the deal would come from Tesla stock, not debt. Musk wrote that he expects about one-third of shareholders to take an offer of $420 per share, making the buyouts worth roughly $23.6 billion.

Musk's blog was posted before the markets opened Monday, and there was little reaction from investors. Shares were up 2 cents to $355.51 in morning trading.

Musk wrote that at the July 31 meeting, the fund's managing director "strongly expressed his support'' for taking the electric car and solar panel maker private. "I understood from him that no other decision makers were needed and that they were eager to proceed,'' Musk wrote in the blog.

But the deal appeared to be far from finished. Since the meeting, the men have continued discussions and the managing director has expressed support "subject to financial and other due diligence and their internal review process for obtaining approvals,'' Musk wrote.

The wealth fund recently bought nearly 5 percent of Tesla's shares.

Musk wrote that he made the Aug. 7 announcement because he had talked to large investors about his desire to take the company private. "It wouldn't be right to share information about going private with just our largest investors without sharing the same information with all investors at the same time,'' he wrote.

He wrote that in the blog and the Aug. 7 tweet that he was speaking for himself as a potential bidder for the company.

Musk also wrote that the Saudis are interested in the company because they want to diversify away from oil.

He also is in talks with other investors because he wants Tesla to continue to have a "broad investor base,'' he wrote.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Gooey Liquid' Oozed From Store Pillar Where Dead Body Found]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 11:38:43 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Winco+Store+Decomposing+Body.png

A foul odor emanating from a stone pillar outside a Southern California grocery store led to a grisly find — a decomposing human body.

The manager of the WinCo Foods in Lancaster reported a strong smell coming from the column and called a repairman Saturday afternoon thinking it was some type of sewer leak. 

But when a handyman and plumber began removing bricks from the pillar's facade, they uncovered a shoe and leg inside the grocery store column. 

According to Los Angeles County Sheriff Lt. John Corina, the body was in a state of decomposition. 

"I saw a gooey liquid and it smelled really foul and I thought to myself that it was probably blood," a witness said. "It was oozing out of the pillar onto the pavement. It smelled like death." 

Officials believe the body may belong to a wanted suspect who evaded officers during a traffic stop Monday night.

The driver, who was pulled over for having a fake license plate, crashed the car and got onto the WinCo roof before disappearing. Corina said the roof has an access door and the suspect may have fallen or tried to hide inside the column and then couldn't get out. 

"It’s been over 100 degrees up here everyday," Corina said. "I can image just being inside that column and baking."

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is investigating the death. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 Los Angeles]]>
<![CDATA[Puerto Rico Faces New Education Challenges After Maria]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 10:16:36 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/puerto-rico-schools.jpg

In the months after Hurricane Maria, between September and January, Puerto Rico's schools lost 26,674 students, according to the Department of Education. Many students are now returning for the new school year to a host of challenges, NBC News reported.

Public schools are starting the semester with 305,000 students and 23,000 teachers, according to the Education Department; in 2017, enrollment was at 346,096.

Meanwhile, as the Department of Education deals with a budget shortfall of $300 million, 266 public schools have closed. That's meant that some families will have to make longer commutes to schools that are further away from home. Schools that are taking in new students will be using trailers, paid for with FEMA funds, to support the influx.

And roughly 128 out of nearly 850 operating schools still had teacher vacancies as of Friday, according to the Puerto Rico Teachers Association.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Issues Warning About Stinging Caterpillars]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 18:06:14 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AdobeStock_128826962.jpg

UConn Extension is warning people about saddleback caterpillars that can sting and urging people not to touch them.

“Unfortunately, if a human touches one of their hairs they receive an awful sting. Look, but don't touch!,” UConn extension posted on Facebook.

The caterpillars, Acharia stimulea, are named for the saddle over the abdomen and they have hollow spines filled with venom, which can cause painful swelling, nausea, migraines, asthma conditions and even hemorrhaging and anaphylactic shock, according to UConn

Photo Credit: David Woods/Adobe
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<![CDATA[Park Road in West Hartford to Partially Close]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 11:32:41 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Road+map.jpg

Park Road in West Hartford will be partially closed starting August 13 and the closure will remain in place for several weeks. 

So far, traffic impacts on Park Road due to construction have been temporary and the road has been fully re-opened to traffic at the end of each work day. 

The contractor is now at a point that will require a permanent partial closure on Park Road.

Park Road will be closed to one lane in each direction between Raymond Road and the I-84 Exit 43 off-Ramp. Traffic traveling east on Park Road would still be able to access the I-84 on-ramp to proceed east or west. Park Road westbound traffic needing to access I-84 will be detoured to the Main Street ramps. Trout Brook Drive is the recommended alternate to access I-84 East.

Drivers should expect delays and are advised to avoid the project area and take an alternate route when possible.

For more information, you can visit the project website here.

Photo Credit: Town of West Hartford]]>
<![CDATA[Man in Custody, Guns Taken from West Hartford Home]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 15:52:37 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/wehaincident3.jpg

A 25-year-old man has been taken into custody following police activity on Shepard Road in West Hartford early Monday morning. 

Officers said they were called to a home on Shepard Road around 4:11 a.m. after getting a report of a suicidal person who was armed with a knife, threatening to harm himself and others.

A neighbor said police rang their doorbell six to seven times and told them to get their family out of the house. At first, the neighbor said he was afraid to come out, but police said it was safe and they were evacuated down the block. Officers evacuated houses that were nearby.

Police closed the road while they tried to make contact with the man. A neighbor said he heard police call over a speaker for a person to come out of the house several times. Officers said at first the man was uncooperative and would not respond to police, but after a short time, he voluntarily exited the house and was taken into custody without incident. 

The man was sent to the hospital for an evaluation. 

Officers said several guns and weapons were removed from the home. Our crew at the scene reported seeing police remove multiple items including a tactical vest, long guns and handguns, ammunition boxes, a crossbow, an ax, a sphere with spikes coming out of it, other weapons and a bag of medicine containers.

When the man is released from the hospital, he will be charged with first-degree threatening, unlawful restraint in the second degree, two counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon, 14 counts of illegal possession of high-capacity magazine and disorderly conduct, according to police.

The incident remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[Video Showed Man Set Fire to Boy Scouts Shed in South Windsor: Police]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 08:29:55 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Benjamin+Saxon+South+Windsor.jpg

A man is accused of setting fire to a shed used to store Boy Scouts equipment in South Windsor and police said he shared a video of himself setting it. 

Police have charged 18-year-old Benjamin Saxon, of South Windsor, in connection with a fire at a shed on town-owned open space property on Clark Street on July 4. 

The fire marshal’s office ruled the fire as arson and Saxon was identified as the suspect. 

Saxon shared a video of himself setting fire to the small shed, according to police. They said the video, which was shared with police, showed him describing his actions while lighter fluid is sprayed on the shed and then it was ignited. 

An arrest warrant was served Monday morning and Saxon was charged with arson in the third degree. 

He is due in Manchester Superior Court later today. 

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police]]>
<![CDATA[16-Year-Old Boy Shot in Hartford]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 08:17:50 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hartford+police+cruiser+generic+new.jpg

A 16-year-old is recovering after being shot in Hartford on Sunday night.

Officers said they were called to Whitmore Street around 5:30 p.m. after getting a ShotSpotter activation that reported five rounds. While police were at the scene, another caller reported that her cousin was shot on Bond Street.

When officers arrived on Bond Street, they found a 16-year-old boy suffering from a single gunshot wound to his left shoulder. The boy was transported to Connecticut Children's Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition.

Police said the boy was uncooperative and gave conflicting stories. Officers canvassed Whitmore Street, Bond Street and the surrounding areas, but could not find any other victims, witnesses or a scene.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Rainy Forecast Continues For Next Few Days]]> Sun, 12 Aug 2018 22:08:07 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/SATURDAY-630p.jpg

Heavy rain moving through parts of Connecticut on Saturday and Sunday will be unsettled as well.

A flash flood watch was issued for the entire state through Sunday morning, but has since expired. The threat of flash flooding would be localized, but with the ground already saturated, waters could rise quickly.

The heaviest of rain should end after midnight early Sunday morning.  Rain and the possibility of storms return on Sunday afternoon.

Monday and Tuesday also look unsettled, with rain and thunderstorms possible. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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