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    A multi-vehicle crash has closed part of Interstate-91 North in Hartford on Wednesday morning.

    According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, the multi-vehicle crash happened around 7:45 a.m. and is between exits 33 and 34. Police said it involves a car and a tractor-trailer.

    All three lanes of the highway are closed in the area. Traffic is getting by in the HOV lane.

    There are more than five miles of congestion between exits 28 and 34.

    Officials did not have an estimate for when the highway may reopen. 



    Photo Credit: Connecticut DOT

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    From once rampant sexual harassment to their new role of eyes and ears in hallways, hotel housekeepers are revealing secrets of the job and debunking myths. 

    Five housekeepers at downtown Chicago hotels, who asked us to only use their first names and not reveal their workplace, sat down with NBC 5 Investigates and Telemundo Investiga. 

    For the women, their favorite part of the job is the flexibility that allows them to be home with their children as they leave for school and when they return, as well as the ability to meet people from all over the world who stay in Chicago. 

    The housekeepers discussed how their union, Unite Here Local 1, is fighting for their safety and better conditions. They also revealed the time of year in Chicago that most housekeepers dread. 

    #1 Sexual harassment was once widespread 

    The five women said they either personally experienced or know a colleague who endured sexual harassment on the job. 

    There is a universal three-knock rule in hotels. After three knocks, the housekeeper assumes the room is empty and is safe to enter. 

    “I enter the room, and there’s a guy standing there completely naked,” said LaTonia. “I felt embarrassed, ashamed and angry.” 

    The women said they’ve also been solicited. 

    “When I ask, ‘do you need service or do you want service?’ They ask, ‘what kind of service?’” said Faviola. “They make me angry because I don’t know what they think we are.” 

    A 2016 survey of nearly 500 women working in hotels in Chicago, conducted by Unite Here Local 1, found 58 percent of hotel workers experienced sexual harassment by guests. It prompted the union to push Chicago aldermen to implement panic buttons in all hotels. The ordinance passed with a July 1 implementation date. 

    The housekeepers said the panic buttons make them feel safer. 

    “We wear it with pride,” said LaTonia. “It’s scary being on those floors alone and knocking on doors and you never know what’s on the other side of that door.” 

    #2 The worst time of year for housekeepers in Chicago: Lollapalooza 

    The popular summertime festival, along with New Year’s Eve and Taste of Chicago, prove to be a challenging time each year, the housekeepers said. 

    “The guests leave behind a mess,” they explained. “A lot of damage, a lot of broken stuff, pictures off the wall, drugs…a lot of vomit. And during the festivals, if it’s raining…they come in with bare feet and there’s mud all over their feet, mud in the tub.” 

    The women said they typically have a half hour to clean rooms for a multi-night stay guest and 45 minutes for a check out, which they said it not enough time. 

    The Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association told NBC 5 that its member hotels have “policies in place to provide housekeepers with additional assistance and resources when rooms are excessively dirty.” 

    #3 Go green or save green? 

    The “green” program in hotels, which encourage guests to skip service or re-use towels in order to save the environment, creates problems for hotel workers, the housekeepers said. 

    “The guests think they are doing the right thing, but essentially what happens is it lays the workers off,” said LaTonia. 

    The housekeepers also explained that declining a turn-down means a bigger mess to clean up the next day. 

    “It doesn’t save anything. We use more water. We use more chemicals,” Dias said. 

    The Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association told NBC 5 that its hotel members are “committed to preserving the jobs of their team members by ensuring they receive the proper workloads.” 

    “Job growth and protecting our precious environment are not mutually exclusive, and I’m proud of our hotels’ commitment to both,” said Michael Jacobson, President and CEO of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association. 

    #4 The most disgusting and outrageous things found in rooms 

    Hotel housekeepers have truly seen in all. 

    They said the most disgusting things they have found include vomit, unflushed toilets, toothpaste in the sink, used condoms in drawers. 

    “You have to get on your knees and look for them under the bed,” Dias said. 

    #5 The worst kind of guest 

    Even worse than the creepy or disgusting guest is the rude guest, the housekeepers said. 

    “No matter what you do, he’s not happy, she’s not happy,” Tina said. “You just have guests that complain because they want something free – a bottle of wine, a free night stay, breakfast. And they get it, but we’re the ones who face the consequences.” 

    #6 Their jobs go beyond just cleaning 

    In the aftermath of the 2017 Las Vegas massacre, where a gunman killed more than 50 concertgoers by shooting from a hotel window, housekeepers are now required to be extra vigiliant. 

    “If the guests don’t request service in a couple of days, we have to report that, so (hotel management and security) can come up and investigate.” 

    #7 Housekeeping is a taxing job 

    The housekeepers said a majority of their colleagues are on daily medication to relieve aches and pains. 

    “I had surgery on my rotator cuff due to repetitive work,” said Tina. “It’s a lot because you’re scrubbing down walls in the bathroom, scrubbing toilets, scrubbing sinks.”

    The woman said they are on their feet for 8-hour shifts, pushing carts that can weigh upwards of 200 pounds. 

    It’s one of the reasons why Unite Here Local 1 initiated a citywide hotel strike in September, calling for year-round healthcare. 

    The women said during the slow tourism period in the winter months, housekeepers and other hotel workers were laid off without health insurance. The union negotiated with each downtown hotel by early October to end the strike. 

    #8 Should you really drink from those glasses? 

    Despite common hotel myths, the housekeepers said everything is wiped down and cleaned from one guest to another, from the TV remote, drinking glasses, drawers, mirrors and phones. 

    Mattresses are replaced every 3 months, the women said. 

    #9 Should you tip? 

    Tips have declined, the housekeepers said. They’re not required by any means but very much appreciated. 

    “If you stay three to four days, and you’re a mess every day you’re there, and I make it tidy for you, just out of appreciation, you should leave something,” said LaTonia. 

    The housekeepers said handwritten ‘thank you’ notes are often worth more than a couple dollars. 

    “A thank you note? Oh, it would just make me feel like I did something and they were satisfied,” Dias said. 

    “I like when they leave a note, saying I did a good job and they like my service. That makes me feel good,” Faviola said. 

    #10 Guest freebies and etiquette 

    Yes, go ahead and leave used towels on the floor. That’s not considered rude, the housekeepers said. 

    Also, there’s little the housekeepers won’t give you if you ask (except for themselves). 

    Extra hangers, chocolates, bottled water, toiletries? It’s all free of charge. 

    “I had this one guest who completely took my whole caddy, the whole thing! And then came back and asked for some more. I couldn’t do nothing but give them more,” Tina said. 

    “You always have to make the guest happy.”


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    President Donald Trump's legal team is closing in on submitting written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller's questions on Russian interference in the 2016 election, a source familiar with the matter told NBC News Tuesday.

    The answers, which don't touch on obstruction of justice, could be submitted as early as this week, the source said. Trump has met with the team at least once this week, according to a person familiar with the meetings.

    Prosecutors would not typically be satisfied with written answers in an investigation, but Mueller may want to avoid a legal battle.

    "I imagine that the Mueller team is still going to want to sit down with the president," former federal prosecutor Chuck Rosenberg said on MSNBC.



    Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images, File

    This June 21, 2017, file photo shows special counsel Robert Mueller leave after a closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.This June 21, 2017, file photo shows special counsel Robert Mueller leave after a closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

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    The New Jersey homeowners who started receiving threatening letters from someone identified as "The Watcher" after they bought a home in Westfield have spoken out and shared the letters in a new interview.

    Derek and Maria Broaddus had just purchased the home for nearly $1.4 million in 2014 when they started receiving letters from someone who claimed to be its rightful owner and said he or she was watching the house.

    In an interview with New York Magazine published this week, the Broadduses spoke out about the terrifying ordeal.

    The family ultimately decided they couldn’t live in the house after receiving the letters, which contained threats toward their children.

    “657 Boulevard has been the subject of my family for decades now and as it approaches its 110th birthday, I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming,” the first letter read, according to New York Magazine.

    “My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time. Do you know the history of the house? Do you know what lies within the walls of 657 Boulevard? Why are you here? I will find out,” the letter went on to say.

    Subsequent letters made disturbing mentions of the Broaddus’ children.

    “It has been years and years since the young blood ruled the hallways of the house. Have you found all of the secrets it holds yet? Will the young blood play in the basement? Or are they too afraid to go down there alone. I would [be] very afraid if I were them. It is far away from the rest of the house. If you were upstairs you would never hear them scream,” one letter read, according to the outlet.

    The family decided to move in with Maria Broaddus’ parents as they dealt with the issues at their new home before deciding to sell it, but weren’t able to find a buyer.

    “I was a depressed wreck,” Derek Broaddus told the outlet.

    Later, they filed a lawsuit against the former owners of the home claiming they failed to disclose a note they’d received from “The Watcher” before they sold the home, but a judge ultimately threw out the suit. The Broadduses were eventually able to find renters who didn’t mind living at the property.

    The Broadduses also shared a recent letter from The Watcher with the outlet.

    “You are despised by the house,” the letter reads, according to the outlet. “And The Watcher won.”

    Some Westfield residents and people who followed the news story believed the Broadduses could have sent the letters to themselves, among other conspiracy theories, according to the outlet.

    “What happened to my family is an affront to their contention that they’re safe, that there’s no such thing as mental illness in their community,” Derek Broaddus told the outlet. “People don’t want to believe this could happen in Westfield.”



    Photo Credit: Realtor.com

    A file photo of A file photo of "The Watcher" house.

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    Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, Pillow Pets and Nerf guns may all seem like good holiday gifts for children, but one group is warning otherwise.

    World Against Toys Causing Harm, also known as WATCH, released the 2018 top 10 list of "worst" holiday toys and featured all of the above. The nonprofit organization says the toys included in its list pose choking hazards, risk blunt injuries and have the potential for facial injuries.

    For more than four decades, WATCH has released these lists to warn parents of the potential dangers that come with their children’s selection of toys on their holiday wish lists.

    This year’s list includes:

    • Nickelodeon Nella Princess Knight Pillow Pets Sleeptime Lites
    • Nerf Vortex VTX Praxis Blaster
    • Marvel Black Panther Slash Claw
    • Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade
    • Cabbage Patch Kids Dance Time Doll
    • Zoo Jamz Xylophone
    • Nici Wonderland Doll: Miniclara the Ballerina
    • Stomp Rocket Ultra Rocket
    • Cutting Fruit
    • Chien Á Promener Pull Along Dog

    WATCH presented its list on Tuesday at Franciscan Children’s in Boston. The organization claims that four of the toys on this year’s list could potentially cause facial injuries, while three are choking hazards.

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports an estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries happened in the U.S. in 2016. Between January 2017 and October 2018, an estimated 3.5 million units of toys were recalled in the U.S. and in Canada, according to WATCH.

    The Toy Association disagrees with WATCH's claims.

    "Each year, WATCH's dangerous toys list needlessly frightens parents and caregivers," the Toy Association said in a statement. "By law, all toys sold in the United States must meet 100+ rigorous safety tests and standards."

    Wicked Cool Toys, which manufactures the Cabbage Patch doll that was named in WATCH's list, said safety is their priority.

    "We take safety very seriously, and all of the products we bring to market have been through and passed all required safety testing."

    The manufacturer reminds consumers that all toys sold in the U.S. are required to exceed safety testing before it hits store shelves.

    Hasbro, which manufacturers the Nerf Vortex and the Black Panther claw, also said their top priority is safety.

    "Our products comply with all applicable global safety laws, regulations and standards, including those enforced by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission," Hasbro said in a statement. 

    "Toymakers and The Toy Association are committed to toy safety year-round," the Toy Association said. "These efforts include providing useful tips for families and caregivers to help them choose age-appropriate toys and ensure safe play."

    Toys that were featured in 2017’s list included a Wonder Woman sword, fidget spinners, a Spider-Man drone and more.



    Photo Credit: World Against Toys Causing Harm

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    As news of Amazon's move to Northern Virginia sinks in, residents and real estate watchers are monitoring the impact the announcement will have on rent costs and sale prices.

    Northern Virginia realtor Jen Walker said she's already seen what's being called "the Amazon effect." Overnight, some of her potential buyers changed their minds from passing on a home to buying it.

    "They woke up this morning, saw the Amazon announcement and they decided they wanted to move forward with a contract," she said. "They said, 'We’re going to get priced out if we don’t do this now.'"

    Getting priced out is what Alex Howe fears will happen to low-income families in Northern Virginia. Howe is a member of the D.C. chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. The group runs the website NoVa Says No to Amazon.

    “We’re going to see, I think, an explosion in rents and housing prices. And folks in these communities, like up the street in the Chirilagua neighborhood — developers have been eyeing that area for a really long time," Howe said. "They’ve been able to hold them off, but honestly I think the pressure's going to get higher."

    Chirilagua is the predominantly Latino neighborhood on the Arlington-Alexandria line.

    Amazon says the tech giant is moving to an area they're calling National Landing, which is comprised of parts of Crystal City and Pentagon City in Arlington, and Potomac Yard in Alexandria.

    But Howe says the fight isn't over. He hopes that activists and residents still can shape how much Amazon gets in tax incentives.

    "We’re still giving away taxpayer money to one of the largest corporations on the planet and run by one of the richest men on the planet," Howe said.

    In remarks Tuesday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam promised Amazon's new headquarters would benefit all communities.

    "To be able to invest in our education system, infrastructure and affordable housing, this is an exciting day in Virginia," he said.

    Walker, who has sold homes in Northern Virginia for more than two decades, said Amazon's move will make a lot of local homeowners happy. She said she wonders how much higher the already-booming local housing market can go.

    "We are at the top of the market, but I’ve said that for two years, and the top just keeps continuing to go up," she said.



    Photo Credit: NBC Washington
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

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    Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, Pillow Pets and Nerf guns may all seem like good holiday gifts for children, but one group is warning otherwise.

    World Against Toys Causing Harm, also known as WATCH, released the 2018 top 10 list of "worst" holiday toys and featured all of the above. The nonprofit organization says the toys included in its list pose choking hazards, risk blunt injuries and have the potential for facial injuries.

    For more than four decades, WATCH has released these lists to warn parents of the potential dangers that come with their children’s selection of toys on their holiday wish lists.

    This year’s list includes:

    • Nickelodeon Nella Princess Knight Pillow Pets Sleeptime Lites for its "potential for ingestion and battery-related injuries"
    • Nerf Vortex VTX Praxis Blaster for its "potential for eye injuries"
    • Marvel Black Panther Slash Claw for its "potential for eye and facial injuries"
    • Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade for its "potential for blunt force and eye injuries"
    • Cabbage Patch Kids Dance Time Doll for its "potential for choking injuries"
    • Zoo Jamz Xylophone for its "potential for ingestion and choking injuries"
    • Nici Wonderland Doll: Miniclara the Ballerina for its "potential for choking injuries"
    • Stomp Rocket Ultra Rocket for its "potential for eye, face and other impact injuries"
    • Cutting Fruit for its "potential for puncture and blunt force injuries"
    • Chien Á Promener Pull Along Dog for its "potential for entanglement and strangulation injuries"

    WATCH presented its list on Tuesday at Franciscan Children’s in Boston.

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports an estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries happened in the U.S. in 2016. Between January 2017 and October 2018, an estimated 3.5 million units of toys were recalled in the U.S. and in Canada, according to WATCH.

    The Toy Association disagrees with the non-profit's claims.

    "Each year, WATCH's dangerous toys list needlessly frightens parents and caregivers," the Toy Association said in a statement. "By law, all toys sold in the United States must meet 100+ rigorous safety tests and standards."

    Wicked Cool Toys, which manufactures the Cabbage Patch doll that was named in WATCH's list, said safety is their priority.

    "We take safety very seriously, and all of the products we bring to market have been through and passed all required safety testing."

    The manufacturer reminds consumers that all toys sold in the U.S. are required to exceed safety testing before it hits store shelves.

    Hasbro, which manufactures the Nerf Vortex and the Black Panther claw, also said their top priority is safety.

    "Our products comply with all applicable global safety laws, regulations and standards, including those enforced by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission," Hasbro said in a statement. 

    PlayMonster manufactures the Cutting Fruit set and also said they take consumer safety seriously and that it is their priority.

    "Toymakers and The Toy Association are committed to toy safety year-round," the Toy Association said. "These efforts include providing useful tips for families and caregivers to help them choose age-appropriate toys and ensure safe play."

    Toy manufacturers CJ Products, Vtech, NICI, D & L Company and Janod; Juratoys did not comment on the list.

    Toys that were featured in 2017’s list included a Wonder Woman sword, fidget spinners, a Spider-Man drone and more.



    Photo Credit: World Against Toys Causing Harm

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    Jason Coffman didn't plan out what he was going to say when he spoke Tuesday night at a vigil for his son Cody, who was killed last week when a shooter opened fire in the Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks.

    But the 12 red roses the mourning father clutched in his hand filled the spaces where words failed to express his grief and the compassion for those who shared his agony. After saying a few words between sobs to the more than 1,000 people who gathered on a chilly and windy night in Newbury Park, Coffman handed a rose to each family of the 12 victims in last Wednesday's mass shooting.

    "I have 12 roses, and I would absolutely be honored to meet the families, right now, one by one," Coffman said.

    Wearing his blue Dodgers hat and a hooded sweatshirt, Coffman then handed each family a rose and shared tearful embraces and memories of those they had lost.

    The size of the crowd, many bundled in jackets, touched friends and family. The gathering was at a park where 22-year-old Cody Coffman umpired for little league baseball teams.

    "When he was here, he didn't think he had an impact on anybody," said friend Brandon Garza. "He thought he was just an average guy. Look at what he did. He brought all these people together."

    Like many of the shooting victims, Cody Coffman had been making plans for what he wanted to do with his life. He was talking with Army recruiters and preparing to fulfill his dream of serving his country, his father said. He loved his three brothers, ages 6 to 9, and was eager for the birth of a baby sister -- due Nov. 29.

    Before his son left for the Borderline Bar last Wednesday night, Coffman told him not to drink and drive, and that he loved him. Hours later, he was at a family unification center waiting in depseration to hear whether his son had made it out of the Thousand Oaks bar.

    He then shared the horrible news with those gathered outside the unification center that his son was among those killed.

    A memorial service Wednesday at 7 p.m. for Cody Coffman will be open to the public at Perez Family Chapel in Camarillo.



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Jason Coffman holds 12 red roses, one for each family of the Borderline Bar shooting victims, at a vigil for his son Tuesday Nov. 13, 2018 in Newbury Park.Jason Coffman holds 12 red roses, one for each family of the Borderline Bar shooting victims, at a vigil for his son Tuesday Nov. 13, 2018 in Newbury Park.

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    It’s the winter time alert Lewis S. Mills High students in Burlington pine after all school year.

    “By 4:30 a.m. we need to make a decision,” Alan Beitman, Superintendent of Regional School District #10 said.

    So much so they’ve made these stickers with their favorite snow day announcement from Superintendent Alan Beitman. Beitman will tell you there’s a process to seeing what sticks and making the call.

    “We’ll start about 4 o’clock in the morning with telephone calls. The two highway departments, two police departments, state police and get an idea of the conditions of the road,” Beitman said.

    Beitman considers the conditions for the nearly 200 first time junior and senior drivers and the 30 buses that pick up 2,500 students.

    “With us being a rural community, we’ve got back roads with trees, live wires, branches that come down and given our altitude, we’ve got tremendous icing conditions,” Beitman said.

    Considerations all made by 5:30 in the morning.

    “When something happens everything blows up at the house. Text messages, the house phone goes off, the cell phone goes off,” Matt Pons said.

    Bristol Dad Matt Pons appreciates an early heads up.

    “The past couple of years that we were having bad storms, they would let us know the night before, which is something that they didn’t typically do in the past so that helps parents plan better for their work day the next day,” Pons said.

    An advanced notification helps parents like Jennifer Cyr plan their time out the door when there’s more winter gear to put on.

    “You have to get up, you have to get them ready. When they're toddlers, they like to kick their shoes off, their pants off, when you’re trying to get them on,” Cyr said.

    Beitman says he’s working with areas superintendents and they are already talking about canceling Thursday night activities. He will start making that decision whether to delay the school day Friday in the early morning hours. Parents and students should get that notification by 5:30 Friday morning.


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    A man from Maine who was heading to Connecticut, but never arrived has been found safe on Wednesday.

    Police said 76-year-old Robert Wetherbee left his home in Maine to come to North Windham, but never arrived. He had been missing since Thursday.

    A Silver Alert was issued, but was canceled after he was found safe on Wednesday.

    According to State Police, Wetherbee was found in Norwich by Norwich Police officers. He will be transported to Backus Hospital for an evaluation. 



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

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    Milford Police arrested a man who is accused of being fugitive from justice on Monday.

    According to police, members of law enforcement from the DEA Bridgeport Resident Office, Stamford Police Department and Milford Police Department began an investigation in October and November into a man known as "Primo" for trafficking narcotics in Milford.

    On Monday, officers conducted a motor vehicle stop on a vehicle operated by a woman with a male passenger inside. Police said the passenger was "Primo," who was later identified as 37-year-old Daryel Rawls, of Neptune, New Jersey.

    During the stop, police said Rawls attempted to give them a fake name and was in possession of crack, cocaine, ecstasy and prescription medicine.

    Police learned Rawls had a fully extraditable arrest warrant out of New Jersey for narcotics-related charges and for being a fugitive from justice.

    Rawls is facing charges including fugitive from justice, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of narcotics and interfering with arrest.

    He is being held on $500,000 bond and was in court on Tuesday.



    Photo Credit: Milford Police

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    A record number of New Englanders are expected to drive to their Thanksgiving destination this year, according to AAA.

    AAA projects almost 2.5 million New Englanders will travel for Thanksgiving with more than 2 million hitting the roads. That's a record number of drivers for the Thanksgiving holiday, despite gas prices being the highest they've been since 2014.

    “A strong labor market and consumer confidence are both contributing factors to the growing number of travelers and even though the holiday gas prices are higher than they've been in years, it appears drivers are not discouraged in the least," said Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in greater Hartford.

    More than 275,000 New Englanders are expected to fly over the Thanksgiving holiday, which is the most in more than 10 years. AAA said anyone who is flying out of Bradley International Airport should allow extra time to get there, extra time to get through security and to expect delays.

    "Confusion over TSA policies, winter clothing that may need to be removed and adults traveling with children tend to slow security, so travelers should expect delays," said Suzanne Aresco, Director of AAA Travel.

    AAA said there's a decrease in the number of travelers using trains, buses or other modes of transportation for the holiday.

    Nationally, 54 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more for the holiday, according to AAA.



    Photo Credit: NBC10

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    The death toll in California's devastating November wildfires continued to grow with the discovery of a body in a burned house in Southern California's Woolsey Fire zone.

    Law enforcement officers found the body Tuesday in a house in the 32000 block of Lobo Canyon Road in Agoura Hills, according to the county coroner's office. They responded to the area after family members of the resident requested  welfare check.

    "They hadn't heard from the resident since Friday," said Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, adding that the resident appeared to live alone at the house.

    The remains were located in debris on the property, located in the path of the 97,600-acre Woolsey Fire. Aerial video showed blackened hillsides, burned vehicles at at least two destroyed residences in the canyon area northwest of Los Angeles.

    Details were not immediately available, but the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the death appears to be related to the wildfire.

    The deaths are part of a historic month of wildfires in California. At least 48 people have died in the Camp Fire that all but destroyed the Northern California town of Paradise, making it the deadliest fire in state history. 

    On Friday, the remains of two people were found inside a burned vehicle in a long driveway in the 33000 block of Mulholland Highway. The Woolsey Fire burned through the area's mountains after it started Thursday in Ventura County. 

    The Woolsey Fire was nearly 50-percent contained Wednesday morning. It has destroyed an estimated 435 structures and led to tens of thousands of evacuations.

    Some evacuations were lifted Wednesday in Malibu, but firefighters are watching for hot spots that might be whipped up by Santa Ana winds. Gusts were expected to peak Wednesday morning before diminishing around midday.

    Fall is historically one of the most dangerous times of the year for wildfires in California. Seven of the state's 10-most destructive wildfires occurred in October -- many fueled by monster winds, including Santa Ana gusts.

    Through early November, Cal Fire has reported about 5,600 fires that burned more than 621,700 acres. During that same period last year, the agency reported 5,800 fire that burned 316,600 acres. Over the last five years, California has averaged 5,293 fires that burned 231,400 acres during that interval.



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    Sheriff's department vehicles are pictured on Lobo Canyon Road in the Agoura Hills area Wednesday Nov. 14, 2018.Sheriff's department vehicles are pictured on Lobo Canyon Road in the Agoura Hills area Wednesday Nov. 14, 2018.

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    Parkland school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz is facing new charges after officials say he attacked a detention deputy inside the Broward County Jail, where he is awaiting trial for allegedly killing 17 people in February.

    Officials with the Broward Sheriff’s Office confirmed to NBC 6 that the 20-year-old Cruz attacked a detention deputy inside the facility Tuesday evening just before 6 p.m. The deputy refused medical treatment and Cruz was evaluated by medical staff but had minor injuries that didn't require medical treatment, officials said.

    According to an arrest report, Cruz struck the deputy in the face following a verbal disagreement before grabbing hold of the deputy's stun gun — which went off during the fight.

    The verbal disagreement started when the deputy told Cruz to stop dragging his sandals on the ground and Cruz gave him the middle finger, the report said.

    Surveillance video showed Cruz striking the deputy several more times, according to the report, before the deputy grabbed the stun gun back and hit Cruz with it. Cruz eventually got off the deputy and was placed under arrest.

    According to BSO jail records, Cruz faces three preliminary charges: aggravated assault on a correctional officer, battery on a law enforcement officer and use of a chemical or electrical weapon on an officer. All are felony charges. The charges are listed on the jail's website in addition to the 34 charges he faces for the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

    Cruz's attorneys had no immediate comment. Cruz made a brief court appearance Wednesday afternoon, where his attorneys were granted authorization to take photos of any injuries he may have. Another hearing was scheduled for Friday afternoon.

    Cruz has been held without bond since his arrest shortly after the shooting.

    The incident comes at the same time as the MSD commission is meeting in Sunrise, with Broward schools superintendent Robert Runcie, Sheriff Scott Israel and Scot Peterson — the school resource officer who has been criticized for his response during the shooting — scheduled to speak.

    On Feb. 14, Cruz allegedly entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas, where he was once a student, and opened fire, killing 14 students and three staff members before being arrested shortly after. He's pleaded not guilty in the shooting but his lawyers say he would plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence.



    Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images, File

    PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 14: People are brought out of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a shooting at the school that reportedly killed and injured multiple people on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Numerous law enforcement officials continue to investigate the scene. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 14: People are brought out of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a shooting at the school that reportedly killed and injured multiple people on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Numerous law enforcement officials continue to investigate the scene. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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    Hamden police responded to a rollover accident in a Quinnipiac University parking lot Wednesday.

    Police said a student suffered minor injuries in a two-car crash at the Hill Top parking lot on Mt. Carmel Avenue. The victim’s vehicle rolled over and she had to be rescued by firefighters, police said.

    Firefighters said a second person was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

    The circumstances of the crash remain under investigation.



    Photo Credit: Hamden Fire Department

    Two people were taken to the hospital after this rollover crash on Mt. Carmel Avenue in Hamden Wednesday.Two people were taken to the hospital after this rollover crash on Mt. Carmel Avenue in Hamden Wednesday.

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    The Camp Fire roaring in Northern California's Sierra Nevada foothills has destroyed thousands of homes and left dozens of people dead in a matter of days, making it the most destructive and deadliest wildfire in recorded state history.

    SIZE

    To get a sense of the scale of the wildfires burning in California, use the map below to compare each blaze to any of the 1,000 most-populous cities or towns in the U.S. 

    The size of all the wildfires currently burning in California are as big as 16 Manhattans.

    THE PERIMETER

    SMOKE FORECAST

    DAMAGE MAP

    AIR QUALITY

    PHOTOS AND VIDEOS



    Photo Credit: Getty Images
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    A burned out car sits next gas pumps at a gas station that was destroyed by the Camp Fire on November 11, 2018 near Parkhill, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)A burned out car sits next gas pumps at a gas station that was destroyed by the Camp Fire on November 11, 2018 near Parkhill, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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    A serial killer convicted of murdering three women in California and recently charged with killing a woman in Texas could be connected to more than 90 murders committed across more than a dozen states and three decades, Texas authorities said Tuesday.

    Samuel Little, 78, has provided investigators details on a "multitude" of murders he may have committed between 1970 and 2005 in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois, Ohio, California, Indiana, Arizona, New Mexico, South Carolina, according to the Wise County Sheriff’s Office.

    Little is incarcerated in Ector County, Texas.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Samuel Little listens as he is sentenced to three consecutive terms of life in prison without parole for murdering three women in the late 1980s, in a Los Angeles courtroom Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014.Samuel Little listens as he is sentenced to three consecutive terms of life in prison without parole for murdering three women in the late 1980s, in a Los Angeles courtroom Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014.

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    Bridgeport police have released surveillance footage of a vehicle involved in a fatal shooting on Maplewood Avenue on Halloween.

    Police said on Oct. 31, an unknown suspect or suspects fired shots from the passenger side of the green Mazda MPV minivan seen in the video. Two people, Myoshi Bagley and David Belle, were killed in the shooting, which happened in the area of 848 Maplewood Ave around 11 p.m.

    Investigators are working to locate the vehicle and identify suspects. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Jorge Cintron at 203-581-5227 or call the Bridgeport Police Tips Line at 203-576-TIPS (8477).



    Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department

    Bridgeport police say the vehicle pictured above was involved in a fatal double shooting on Maplewood Avenue on Oct. 31.Bridgeport police say the vehicle pictured above was involved in a fatal double shooting on Maplewood Avenue on Oct. 31.

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    Route 66 is closed at Route 17 in Portland due to a crash, according to the state Department of Transportation.

    More details were not immediately available.

    This is a developing story. Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A Wisconsin company has gifted their employees with handguns for Christmas.

    BenShot, based out of Hortonville, Wisconsin, gifted its staff with a firearm for the holidays, “for personal safety.”

    “We wanted something that was first for personal safety and protection of employees and the second was fun and memorable,” said Ben Wolfgram, who co-founded the business with his father.

    The company, which makes glassware designed to appear “bulletproof,” has 16 full-time and multiple part-time employees. Each employee was required to take a gun safety course before receiving their holiday present.

    “Our owners want us and our families to feel safe and it’s very clear that we support the Second Amendment,” said employee Chelsea Priest, who noted she was proud to work for a company that “shows what they believe in.”

    In order to gift a firearm to employees, BenShot purchased gift cards to local gun shops. Each employee selected which shop they wanted to purchase their firearm from and background checks were done by those stores, the company said.

    “Everyone’s really excited about it,” said Priest.

    Wolfgram added that since the gifts were given, employees have been going to gun ranges together, making for an unintended “team building” outing.

    “It’s been a good thing to build a company morale together,” he said.



    Photo Credit: BenShot

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