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    Traffic is moving on the southbound side of the Gold Star Bridge in Groton after firefighters rescued workers from the bucket of a broken-down truck stuck over the side of the bridge Tuesday.

    According to a spokesperson for the DOT, contractors were working on the bridge from the bucket of a "snooper truck," which hangs down below the bridge, performing part of a regular two-year inspection when the truck broke down.

    The workers were wearing harnesses and were not in danger, but could not get back up to the bridge, according to DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick. They have been rescued and are safe.

    The southbound lanes of I-95 were closed briefly between exits 86 and 84, according to the Department of Transportation. Footage from the scene shows traffic is now moving.

    Check back for updates on this developing story.
     



    Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

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    Napa Valley Wine Train's CEO has apologized for kicking off a group of black women from the train for laughing too loudly, promising diversity training for his employees and inviting the group back to be his guests on the train.

    "The Napa Valley Wine Train was 100 percent wrong in its handling of this issue," Anthony Giaccio said in a written statement Tuesday. "We accept full responsibility for our failures and for the chain of events that led to this regrettable treatment of our guests."

    When a day of wine and fun was abruptly cut short for 11 members of The Sisters on the Reading Edge Book Club, one of the women, Antioch author Lisa Renee Johnson, took her frustration to social media, detailing the group's experience aboard the train.

    Johnson's posts created a social media firestorm, with a growing group of people discussing a boycott of the Wine Train on Twitter, Facebook and Yelp, where the business was harshly criticized for what many saw as a racist act.

    The social media backlash prompted the Wine Train to hire well-known PR figure Sam Singer, who spoke to media at length Monday.

    Johnson posted a photo of a woman she claims was annoyed by their laughter because the train was "not a bar." The complaint resulted in the group getting kicked off the train.

    "We were truly kicked out because we were 'laughing while black' ... It was racially charged," Johnson, who hashtagged her experience as #LaughingWhileBlack, told NBC Bay Area. Johnson said Wine Train CEO Tony Giaccio had personally apologized to her Monday, but added that "it wasn't authentic."

    "In order to solve the problem, you have to first admit there is one," she said. "They are apologizing for the bad experience, but not because of the role they played in the whole experience. They are not saying 'we are the bad actors.'"

    Giaccio told Johnson he pledged to learn from the incident and offered additional diversity training for employees. He also invited club members, their family and friends to be his guest and fill an entire train car.

    "He said 'this is not how we want the Wine Train to be portrayed,'" Johnson said.

    According to Johnson, at one point, the train's maître d'hotel came by and asked the group to tone it down so that other passengers didn't feel uncomfortable.

    "Facebook Family, we have a problem!" Johnson wrote at 12:54 p.m. "We sipped wine, enjoyed each other's company but our trip is being cut short. We are a group of 12 ... if we all laugh at the same time it's loud! When we get to St. Helena they are putting us off the train."

    Her next photo showed the book club members waiting to be escorted off the train. "We are in purgatory," her caption read.

    When the train reached St. Helena, four police officers were waiting by the track. "WOW! They paraded us through 6 cars and none of us are even drunk ... the police were waiting," Johnson wrote.

    A Change.org petition strongly criticized how an 83-year-old grandmother was ejected from the train as well. Video footage shows some of the women crying as they leave the train.

    "A trip which was to be an enjoyable day of sisterhood, turned into a day of humiliation," the petitioner Toni Battle wrote. "To see an elder leaning on her cane by the train as if it's 1954 Alabama, spoke volumes regarding your business practices.“

    A message on the Wine Train’s Facebook page Saturday that was later taken down said:

    "following verbal and physical abuse towards other guests and staff, it was necessary to get our police involved. ... When these celebrations impact our other guests, we do intervene."

    "We erred by placing an inaccurate post on our Facebook site that was not reflective of what actually occurred," Giaccio wrote in a letter to the group. "In the haste to respond to criticism and news inquires, we made a bad situation worse by rushing to answer questions on social media. We quickly removed the inaccurate post, but the harm was done by our erroneous post."

    Giaccio also wrote an apology letter to the group, which underlined some of the management's shortcomings: "Clearly, we knew in advance when we booked your party that you would be loud, fun-loving and boisterous--because you told us during the booking process that you wanted a place where your Club could enjoy each other's company. Somehow that vital information never made it to the appropriate channels and we failed to seat your group where you could enjoy yourself properly and alert our train's staff that they should expect a particularly vibrant group."

    The letter talked about the lack of sensitivity shown when the group was asked to disembark from the train, marching past all the other passengers: "While that was the safest route for disembarking, it showed a lack of sensitivity on our part that I did not fully conceive of until you explained the humiliation of the experience and how it impacted you and your fellow Book Club members," Giaccio wrote.



    Photo Credit: Lisa Renee Johnson
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    Police said the report of white powder found in a letter delivered to the Wintonbury Baptist Church offices in Bloomfield early Tuesday afternoon turned out to be a false alarm.

    According to police, someone used a knife to open a letter at the church offices at 24 Maple Avenue around 12:30 p.m. In opening the letter, a white powder sprayed into the air.

    Although the person opening the letter believed the powder may have come from inside the envelope, investigators realized the white substance had actually been on the knife. Police said the letter was nothing out of the ordinary.

    Bloomfield police, firefighters and medical personnel responded to the scene and the FBI field office was notified, which police said is protocol.


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  • 08/25/15--13:49: Pedestrian Struck in Meriden

  • Police are responding to the area of 200 Pratt Street in Meriden after a pedestrian was struck by a car late Tuesday afternoon, according to dispatchers.

    Authorities have not released any details of the crash. There has been no word on injuries.

    Check back for updates on this developing story.


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    The attack foiled in France by passengers on a train, including three Americans, has moved Sen. Richard Blumenthal to call again for planning to make U.S. train stations more secure.

    "There are no rules. There are no security regulations in place," Blumenthal said inside Union Station in Hartford on Tuesday.

    An electronic sign at the station asks passengers, "Please do not leave bags unattended. Unattended bags will be confiscated." It may be the policy in Hartford but not nationally, despite Congress's 2007 orders to the Transportation Safety Administration to plan for rail security measures within a year.

    "Here we are, seven years after that deadline," said Blumenthal, "and still, no rules, no plan, no regulations."

    The senator also wants background checks of people who work in train stations.

    A union leader said sometimes an employee will report an unattended bag to police and sometimes an employee will take it to lost and found. Training, he said, is minimal.



    Photo Credit: NBC10.com

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    A suspected gang member has been arrested and charged with the murder of another suspected gang member in Hartford. 

    Raymond "Cito" Vega, 20, of 11 Benton Street, who was already in prison at Garner Correctional Facility for an unrelated incident, has been charged with the murder of Julius Rivera, 20 on Benton Street on March 23.

    Police found Rivera lying on the apartment floor when they responded to 19 Benton Street at 5:52 p.m. on March 23 to investigate a shooting. He'd been shot him multiple times, including in the pelvic area. He was rushed to Hartford Hospital, but he later died there.

    Before he passed away, police spoke with him,  but they declined to say what information he provided.

    "Dying declarations carry a lot of weight in any investigation," Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley previously said when asked if the information could have been critical. .

    Rivera was the city's sixth homicide victim of the year. that happened during a week when there were two other homicides. A woman was shot and killed on Congress Street that week, as well, and a man died of a gunshot wound to the head on Blue Hills Avenue two days after that.

    "It's just tragic that it unfolded in this manner shocking to us, families, victims, and the neighborhood," Foley said.

    Rivera was thought to have been a member of the "420" gang associated with that address, according to police. 

    Vega, who police believe is affiliated with the Latin Kings gang, lives close to that apartment where the shooting happened and witnesses identified him as the shooter.

    Major Crimes Division homicide detectives are overseeing the investigation.

    A judge signed off on an arrest warrant.

    Vega was held in custody on a $1 million bond.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Gov. Dannel Malloy revealed this week that his administration has been in close talks with GE to try to keep the company and its 800 employees in Connecticut.

    GE has operated its world base of operations in Fairfield for decades and recently threatened to find a new home for its corporate headquarters.

    It comes after the General Assembly approved a two-year budget with tax increases for large multi-national corporations like GE that will take effect in 2017.

    The company made public its concerns and its plan to potentially leave the state. Now the governor is working to prevent that from happening.

    "We’ve indicated in general and in some cases specific terms what we thought we could do," Malloy said during a news conference Monday.

    Economic development officials have been discussing some kind of incentive or tax package that would aim to keep GE in Fairfield, but Malloy wouldn't go into specifics.

    "We certainly have had those discussions, stand ready to work with them on issues of concern and be competitive with other states," Malloy said.

    The fact that Malloy has reached out directly to GE has placated the state's leading business group, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.

    "It’s a very good thing that the state is talking to the job creators in Connecticut," said Brian Flaherty, the group's vice president of public policy.

    He cautioned, however, that it will likely take more than individual negotiating to improve the state's position with other companies.

    "If you get the policy right, if you structurally have the answers down, then you don’t need to pull a rabbit out of the hat so often on these special one-time deals," Flaherty explained.

    Republicans, who have been critical of all budget talks since February, were also quick to blame the entire situation on Democratic leadership and its failure to stand behind the budget.

    "It just speaks to the fact that if our economic policies were as rock solid as they suggested and had a future for the state of Connecticut that was fiscally responsible, why would any company want to leave, and why would you make a package to keep them? Because our policies are awful," said State Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano.

    Fasano said he could see the state working with individual employers to try to keep them in Connecticut, which he says is not a good strategy.

    "So today it’s GE. Tomorrow it’s UTC. Then after that it’s Electric Boat, and it goes on and on. Anybody with 250 employees or more are going to say they want the same deal they gave GE or we’re out of here," he said.

    Flaherty with CBIA said he's confident the governor's administration could work to keep major employers in Connecticut.

    "Just like Gov. Malloy convinced members of the legislature to come back and roll back a part of their taxes, it’s key that his administration is talking with all sizes of companies," he said.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Covered in mold and water damage, the conditions at the Church Street South Apartments in New Haven have gotten so bad, city officials say part of the complex may have to come down.

    "It’s been so underinvested in over the years, it seems like it’s going to be very difficult for them to rebuild and retrofit the current existing buildings," said Mayor Tony Harp. "The handwriting's on the wall that we’re going to have to do something about taking at least a portion of it down."

    The apartments have been deteriorating for decades. The tenants did not want to be identified in fear of losing their Section 8 housing, but they pointed out water that leaks through the ceiling and mold that lines their bedrooms.

    The company that owns the property, Northland Investment Corporation, receives roughly $3 million in subsidies each year. Company officials tell NBC Connecticut they have reinvested even more than that back into the property and are working with the city and the tenants to address any issues.

    Some of the tenants are now working with the New Haven Legal Assistance Association to file complaints.

    "They shouldn’t have to live with mold, they shouldn’t have to live with leaky bathrooms that are constantly wet, or water just coming straight in every time it rains through the window," attorney Yonatan Zamir said. "This is their home and they deserve better than where they are."

    City officials have sent out inspectors to put the pressure on the property owner to fix the problems. Harp said she has no interest in doing any deal with the current owner to redevelop the property until officials start taking care of their tenants.


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    A 15-year-old Branford resident came face to face with an intruder who broke into his home Tuesday afternoon.

    Police said the teen was home on Patrick Lane in Branford when Andrew Kaik, 31, of North Branford, broke in around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

    A neighbor called police after watching Kaik's car back into the driveway, according to police. The neighbor didn't recognize Kaik and became suspicious when he went around the back of the house, then ran out to the car again and drove off.

    Officers arrived ta the house and spoke with the teen, who was able to give police a description of Kaik and his vehicle, police said.

    An officer on traffic duty spotted Kaik as he drove by a construction site on Mill Plain Road and pulled him over.

    Kaik was arrested and charged with second-degree burglary, risk of injury to a minor, home invasion and possession of drug paraphernalia.

    He was held on $50,000 bond and is due in court Wednesday morning.

    It's not clear if Kaik has an attorney.



    Photo Credit: Branford Police Department

    Andrew Kaik, 31, of North Branford, is accused of breaking into a Branford home early Tuesday afternoon and coming face to face with a 15-year-old resident.Andrew Kaik, 31, of North Branford, is accused of breaking into a Branford home early Tuesday afternoon and coming face to face with a 15-year-old resident.

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    A New Haven woman was driving with a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit when she struck and critically injured a 29-year-old man in the city Monday evening, then left the scene and called 911 to report what she had done, according to police.

    Stanesha Hallett, 27, of New Haven, told police she had drunk two "Natty Ice" beers prior to the crash Monday evening. Investigators found an empty can in her car and said Hallett's blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit.

    Hallett is accused of hitting a 29-year-old New Haven man in the area of Orange and Bradley streets around 7:20 p.m. Monday. Police said she left the scene in her black Honda Accord, then called 911 and admitted what had happened.

    Police said the victim suffered severe injuries and broke all four limbs. He remains in critical condition at the hospital.

    Hallett was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, evading responsibility and second-degree assault with a motor vehicle.

    It's not clear if Hallett has an attorney.



    Photo Credit: New Haven Police Department

    Police said Stanesha Hallett was driving with a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit when she struck and critically injured a 29-year-old man in New Haven.Police said Stanesha Hallett was driving with a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit when she struck and critically injured a 29-year-old man in New Haven.

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    Stocks dived at the close on Tuesday, erasing a huge rally — and any hope that the worst of the Wall Street turmoil was over, NBC News reported.

    The market soared in early trading as investors shook off fears of a slowing Chinese economy and a further plunge in Asian stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed as much as 442 points, or 1.9 percent.

    But the gains slowly faded in the afternoon, and a last-minute sell-off left the Dow down 204. That came on top of a turbulent Monday, when the Dow plunged almost 1,100 points in the morning and closed down more than 500.

    And analysts caution that the markets may not calm down anytime soon.



    Photo Credit: AP
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    The Wall Street sign is juxtaposed against the sculpture on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange.The Wall Street sign is juxtaposed against the sculpture on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange.

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    The Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner who inherited a messy computer system upgrade that has plagued the department over the past week says the agency is working to keep wait times under control.

    "What we saw last week (was) 5,000 or so customers that could have done their transactions online in five to seven minutes and chose to stay in line and clog the line for others that had to be here," said DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala, who has held the job for less than a year.

    Ayala said staff are working with customers, trying to tell them when they should be using online services rather than standing in line at DMV branches. Registration renewals, for instance, are a major service offered online that could take mere minutes for customers to complete.

    "If you have the opportunity to do something online, take advantage of it. Whether it’s at home or your place of business, do it," said Ayala. "It’s going to be much quicker, at most five to seven minutes, as opposed to, as you alluded to, a two-hour wait or so."

    Customers at the main branch in Wethersfield complained again Tuesday of long wait times totaling more than three hours in some cases to complete tasks like renewing commercial licenses and returning plates.

    The agency announced Tuesday that it will temporarily close license photo centers in Stamford, Derby, Milford and Middletown in order to move staff to branches to deal with long lines.

    The locations did not receive heavy traffic and were open limited times during the week, but agency officials say the staff will help to reduce wait times at other locations.

    The DMV has been dealing with growing pains following the installation of a new computer system that replaced an antiquated 40-year-old system this summer.

    The agency closed branches for weeks over the summer to train employees on the new system that's been in the works for years.

    Residents with licenses or registrations that expired after August 10 have an extended deadline of Oct. 11 to get them up-to-date as a result of the long lines. By that time, the system and lines should be under control, according to Ayala.

    Ayala said online services are helping to ease the pressure on branches for now.

    "We have seen an uptick in online services. It is getting through" he said. "I guess people have this habit of wanting to and showing up at DMV. We’re trying to change the culture and let them know that they don’t have to, that they have options."



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Hundreds lined up outside Connecticut’s DMV offices ahead of a scheduled closure to upgrade the computer system.Hundreds lined up outside Connecticut’s DMV offices ahead of a scheduled closure to upgrade the computer system.

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    A Massachusetts native was among the three defense contractors who were killed this weekend in a bombing in Afghanistan.

    The 57-year-old husband and father of two adult children lived in Georgia.

    “None of us wanted it to happen, but we all knew there was a risk and he was willing to take that risk,” Luann Varney, McEvoy's sister said.

    McEvoy was voted Most Likely to Succeed at North Brookfield High where he played basketball, baseball and soccer. His mother says her son always knew he’d be heading to West Point.

    “He used to play with toy soldiers from the time he was a little boy,” Janice Proctor said.

    Dave Hanson, a farmer and high school classmate, says McEvoy was always willing to help a friend- even volunteering to milk cows.

    “He wasn’t a real cow milker- but he’d help, he’d pretend, he’d pretend,” Hanson explained.

    And despite being class president, McEvoy wasn’t above pulling a prank, even helping to swipe a skeleton from the chemistry lab for a movie his friends were making.

    “When the chemistry teacher was watching the movie with us he said 'gee, I don't remember giving you guys the skeleton,' so we did get caught but we didn’t really get in trouble,” Hanson said.

    After high school and a nearly-three decade career in the military, the retired Colonel went to work for a private military contractor. He led the mentor and advisor program for the Afghan National Army and National Police.

    In a statement about the three contractors killed, the company said “These men were true patriots. They dedicated their lives to service and were making a difference on behalf of their country.”

    “I can’t tell you how many times he said 'I love my job, I love what I do,' because I would implore him to stay home, don’t go back,” Proctor said.

    McEvoy’s body arrives at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware Wednesday. His family will be there. There will be a private service in Massachusetts but he’ll be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.



    Photo Credit: FILE - Getty Images

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    There's been a surprising twist in the rape trial of an elite New England prep school graduate who allegedly assaulted a freshman girl days before his graduation.

    The judge dismissed one of the 10 charges against 19-year-old Owen Labrie after defense attorney J.W. Carney made an oral argument at the end of the day Tuesday. Carney argued the state did not prove the "endangering the welfare of a child" charge against Labrie. The state agreed and the judge dismissed it.

    Labrie is accused of raping a 15-year-old freshman inside a secluded rooftop mechanical room two days before he graduated in 2014, as part of a supposed tradition at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, called the "Senior Salute."

    Days later the alleged victim went to police, and police went to Labrie.

    As the case continued Tuesday in Merrimack County Superior Court, Concord Police Detective Julie Curtin told the jury what Owen Labrie told her about his encounter with the alleged victim.

    "There was a ridiculous amount of rolling around, pants came off, and it was all a tease," Curtin said. "They were teasing each other."

    During an interview with Concord police, Curtin says she asked Labrie about the "Senior Salute" - described by graduates, including Labrie, as a last chance invitation from a senior to get to know a younger student.

    "For some of them, it was just a walk around the park, for some it was the virginity thing and he again said that was not why he was there," Curtin said.

    Curtin testified that during the nearly four-hour interview, Labrie did say he put on a condom, but denied ever having sex with the young girl.

    "He said he felt a moment of self-restraint and stopping, like a divine inspiration, and he stood up abruptly and sprinted off with the condom still on," Curtin said. "He said, 'telling you I was inside her would be the end of my life.'"

    Two state forensic specialists testified to finding DNA on the alleged victim's underwear, most of it they say was from her, some from Labrie. There were also traces of sperm that couldn't be identified.

    "As far as what I saw, there is no way to tell because of the complexity of it," explained Katie Swango with the State Police Forensic Lab.

    She also said there is no conclusion to be drawn about how it got there.

    When Carney was asked if Labrie is still expected to take the stand, he replied, "I will present my case tomorrow."

    The defense will call its witnesses Wednesday. 



    Photo Credit: Concord Police

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    Another line of storms is moving through western Connecticut after severe thunderstorms left hundreds without power in the northern part of the state earlier this evening.

    Storms are moving northwest through the state and span from Ridgefield to Granby. Although not severe, the storms are bringing thunder and lightning and a cold front arrives.

    Earlier storms caused hundreds of power outages in north-central Connecticut, including Simsbury, Avon and East Granby, where a tree came down onto a house as storms rolled through.

    A severe thunderstorm warning and flood warning issued for the northern part of Hartford County late this afternoon have been canceled.

    Humidity will decline after Tuesday's storms move out. We could see patchy fog before 7 a.m. Wednesday. Otherwise, it will be sunny with highs near 84. The evening will bring mostly clear skies with a low around 62 degrees.

    Thursday will be mostly sunny with a high near 81. The evening will be mostly clear with a low around 58.

    Friday brings sunshine with a high near 79. The evening will also be mostly clear with a low around 60.

    Expect more sun Saturday, with a high near 84.

    If you spot severe weather and can safely take photos, share them by emailing shareit@nbcconnecticut, upload them here or tweet us @NBCConnecticut.


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    The state Department of Motor Vehicles is temporarily closing its four photo license centers and moving those employees to major branch offices to help with a backlog that has lingered since a computer upgrade last week.

    Long lines and hours-long wait times have plagued DMV branches for a week now as a result of a new software rollout introduced last Tuesday. The department even stopped accepting walk-in customers Friday afternoon in an effort to address the backlog.

    Now the DMV is suspending services at its photo license centers at 12 Main Street in Derby, 386 Main Street in Middletown, 70 West Street in Milford and 137 Henry Street in Stamford.

    "We know it is an inconvenience for those people who use them two days a week, but staff is needed to help in our other offices where the customer volume is substantially higher," DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala Jr. said in a statement Tuesday.

    DMV employees working at the license centers will be temporarily moved to main branches. The license centers will reopen once long lines subside at other DMV offices, according to the agency.

    In the meantime, customers who wish to duplicate or renew their driver's licenses should visit AAA offices. Those who wish to cancel or return a license plate can complete their transactions online at ct.gov/dmv.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Police are searching for the armed robber who prompted an hours-long standoff and home evacuations in Willimantic overnight Sunday into Monday.

    Joshua Omar Sauri, of Willimantic, is wanted in connection with the incident. Police said he was armed with a handgun at the time of the standoff and may still be armed.

    According to police, Sauri robbed two women on Gem Drive in Willimantic around 10:30 p.m. Sunday. Neither woman was hurt, but police said Sauri threatened them and stole cash from one of the victims.

    Officers chased Sauri to his relatives' house at 45 Gem Drive and saw him run inside, according to police, who believed Sauri had barricaded himself there.

    Several homes in the area were evacuated and police issued a "shelter-in-place" order to others in the area while a SWAT team responded.

    When authorities secured a search warrant for the home Monday morning, Sauri was gone. Police said he left behind a handgun that had been used during the robbery.

    Police obtained an arrest warrant for Sauri on Tuesday afternoon.

    "We are actively pursuing this subject with all available resources. This male was armed with a pistol when he robbed two females and he created an overnight neighborhood lock-down which forced evacuations and the response of the city SWAT team. We want him in custody," Willimantic police spokesman Cpl. Stanley Parizo Jr. said in a statement Tuesday.

    Parizo said after the standoff he believed Sauri may have left the area.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Willimantic police. Tips will remain confidential.



    Photo Credit: Willimantic Police Department/NBCConnecticut.com

    Police are searching for the man they say robbed two women and prompted an overnight standoff in Willimantic Sunday into Monday.Police are searching for the man they say robbed two women and prompted an overnight standoff in Willimantic Sunday into Monday.

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    A 23-year-old driver accused of hitting a man in Wethersfield and leaving the scene Monday night has also been charged with operating a drug factory after police allegedly found marijuana and plant materials in his motel room.

    Shawn Kornichuk, of New Britain, was arrested and charged with operating a drug factory, possession of marijuana, failure to drive right and evading responsibility in a serious-injury crash.

    Police said Kornichuk was driving on Maple Street/Route 3 in Wethersfield when he struck a 53-year-old pedestrian in the area of Fox Hill Road just before 10 p.m. Monday. The victim was hospitalized with serious injuries to his left arm.

    Kornichuk fled the scene and went to a room at the Motel Six on the Silas Deane Highway, according to police. Investigators said they found a small amount of marijuana and marijuana plant material in the motel room.

    Kornichuk was held on $25,000 bond ahead of his court appearance Tuesday. It's not clear if he has an attorney.



    Photo Credit: Shawn Kornichuk

    Shawn Kornichuk, 23, is accused of hitting a 53-year-old man with his car and leaving the scene.Shawn Kornichuk, 23, is accused of hitting a 53-year-old man with his car and leaving the scene.

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    Thieves broke into more than a dozen vehicles and stole three others in Haddam, Essex and Chester under the cover of darkness early Tuesday morning.

    "CDs scattered, change everywhere. Her glove box was open," Haddam resident Conor said of his family’s vehicle, which was ransacked sometime after midnight Tuesday, according to police. "They took a Bluetooth player and several amounts of change."

    Champagne said the suspect rummaged around the SUV and stole electronics and some loose change, nothing of major value. Still, he said it appears the perpetrators were persistent.

    He described the culprit as "someone, I guess, who is very desperate for money."

    State police troopers interviewed the Champagne family and other victims on Tuesday evening.

    Investigators said three cars were stolen and about a dozen others were burglarized between midnight and 6 a.m. Tuesday. The incidents were reported in Essex and Chester, and in the area of High Street in Haddam. Thieves took money, a laptop and an iPad, among other items.

    Most of the victims, authorities said, had left their cars unlocked.

    It's a chance Haddam resident Kara Duch is no longer willing to take, saying thieves will now target "not only just your car, your house, everything."

    "This is a whole different time than it used to be," she added.

    A state police spokesperson said law enforcement is getting closer to making an arrest in connection with a rash of similar crimes committed in June.

    At this point, it is unclear if the same suspect or suspects are linked to Tuesday's burglaries.

    Authorities are reminding people never to leave valuables in the car and or leave vehicles unlocked when unattended.

    Anyone with information about the incidents is urged to call State Police Troop F at 860-399-2100.


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    Gunmen wearing Afghan security force uniforms opened fire on a NATO vehicle Wednesday, killing two service members, the international coalition force said, NBC News reported.

    NATO service members returned fire and killed the shooters, according to the statement. The nationalities of those killed have not been identified.

    The incident happened in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province.

    Violence has worsened throughout the country in recent years as NATO withdraws and Afghan forces struggle to hold ground in the face of militant offensives.

    This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 



    Photo Credit: AP

    U.S. soldiers arrive at the site of a suicide attack in the heart of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. Violence has worsened throughout the country in recent years as NATO withdraws and Afghan forces struggle to hold ground in the face of militant offensives.U.S. soldiers arrive at the site of a suicide attack in the heart of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. Violence has worsened throughout the country in recent years as NATO withdraws and Afghan forces struggle to hold ground in the face of militant offensives.

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