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  • 08/26/14--10:36: CT Fall Fair Schedule 2014

  • Summer may be coming to an end, but there is still a lot of family fun to look forward to this fall with autumn fairs and festivals.

    Here are some fairs to put on your calendar this fall:

    Aug. 29-Sept. 1, 2014

    Sept. 4-8

    Sept. 11-14

    Sept. 19-21

    Sept. 25-28

    Oct. 3-5

    Oct. 10-12

    Comment below if you have information on a fall fair or festival you don't see listed. Send your fair photos to shareit@nbcconnecticut.com.



    Photo Credit: AP

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    North Haven police have arrested a man who they said tried to break into an apartment where a mother was home with her 11-year-old son.

    A resident of Monroe Street called police
    at 9:20 a.m. on Tuesday to report a man was trying to break into her home. 

    The man, who police identified as Shaun Bianchi, 26, had broken in through a basement door, walked through the basement and tried to break into the first-floor apartment, but the door was locked, so he started banging on the door, police said.

    When the woman told the man she was calling police, Bianchi ran from the area, but police found him nearby and he was taken into custody. 

    Bianchi was charged with third-degree burglary, risk of injury to a minor and criminal trespass.

    He was held on bond and will be arraigned in Meriden Superior Court.

    The charges are not listed on the online docket and it is not clear if Bianchi has an attorney.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police arrested a man accused of trying to break into a home where a mother was home with her 11-year-old son.Police arrested a man accused of trying to break into a home where a mother was home with her 11-year-old son.

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    A 45-year-old Brookfield woman is facing charges after officers found her passed out in her car, slumped over the steering wheel, with her three children in the backseat, according to police.

    Emily Wild was taken into custody shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday after authorities found her in a black BMW parked in the middle of Signal Hill Road in Brookfield, its engine still running, police said.

    Wild's three children – ages 3, 9 and 12 – were in the car the with her, according to police.

    Officers at the scene couldn't wake Wild and suspected she was intoxicated. She failed field sobriety tests and was taken into police custody, according to police.

    She was charged with driving under the influence and three counts of risk of injury to a minor.

    Wild was released on a promise to appear in court Sept. 4 and was taken to Danbury Hospital for treatment.

    Police said a relative arrived to pick up the children. The Department of Children and Families was notified of the arrest.


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    State leaders gathered at state police headquarters in Middletown late Tuesday morning to dedicate the new State Police K-9 Memorial.

    The memorial recognizes 80 years of K-9 service with the Connecticut State Police. More than 500 state police K-9 teams have served over the years.

    Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman joined State Police Commissioner Dora B. Schriro, Col. Brian Meraviglia, Lt. Col. Warren Hyatt and past, present and future K-9 troopers at the ceremony.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    A Massachusetts judge has allowed some evidence to be suppressed in the murder trial of Aaron Hernandez, court documents show.

    The former star Patriots tight end had asked the court to suppress the evidence — an iPhone, a Blackberry, an iPad and two iPad minis — which was obtained when his home was searched last June after the killing of Odin Lloyd.

    Defense lawyers argued that that evidence was not part of the original search warrant and that a state trooper did not have the proper paperwork when he entered Hernandez's home.

    Tuesday, the Bristol County Superior Court granted that motion, allowing that evidence to be thrown out.

    Earlier this month, the court denied Hernandez's motion to exclude a digital video recorder, a hard drive and Hernandez's cell phone.

    The hard drive allegedly contains files showing Hernandez holding the murder weapon and his movements around the time of the murder. The phone, according to prosecutors, had text messages Hernandez sent to Lloyd, as well as the former NFL star's alleged right hand man, Ernest Wallace, on the night of the killing.

    Hernandez is charged with first-degree murder in the 2013 death of Lloyd. He is also charged with the murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston in 2012.

    The Bristol County District Attorney's Office told NECN Tuesday afternoon that it cannot comment on the case, due to an ongoing gag order.

    NECN will have more as this story develops.



    Photo Credit: AP

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    It looks like millennials aren’t munching on McDonald’s as much as they used to.

    Customers in their 20s and 30s are choosing to dine elsewhere, particularly at “fast-casual” restaurants like Chipotle and Five Guys, according to demographics reported by the Wall Street Journal.

    The report indicates younger diners are seeking out healthier options and customizable menus, creating a hurdle for McDonald's as it grapples with one of its worst slumps in the last decade.

    According to the data, the percentage of customers age 19 to 21 who visited McDonald’s monthly has fallen by 12.9 percentage points since 2011, and the percentage of customers age 22 to 37 visiting the chain in the same period stayed flat.

    In turn, the percentage of customers in those age groups visiting fast-casual restaurants monthly during that same time period grew by 2.3 and 5.2 percentage points.

    It’s a trend that the world’s largest hamburger chain has been trying to overcome after a reported global decline.

    The Illinois-based chain reported earlier this month that a key sales figure fell 2.5 percent in July, due in part to persistent weakness in the U.S.

    While the company attributes a 7.3 drop in an international unit encompassing Asia, the Middle East and Africa to a recent food safety scandal in China, changing food habits could be the culprit for the 3.2 percent drop in the U.S.

    Chains like Chipotle, for instance, are gaining favor by touting more wholesome ingredients and the ability to customize food.

    Last month, McDonald’s ranked last for burger taste in a Consumer Reports survey of 32,405 subscribers. Respondents in the survey continuously favored the so-called fast casual restaurants over some of the mega-chains like McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King.

    “Fast-casual dining in places like Chipotle and Panda Express lets the consumer guide the staff to prepare their meal just the way they like it,” said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, a food-service research and consulting firm that compiled the data for the Wall Street Journal.

    McDonald’s is attempting to make waves in the younger market, once a prominent audience for the chain, by introducing healthier options and debuting apps and mobile pay options.

    McDonald’s Global Chief Brand Officer Steve Easterbrook told the Wall Street Journal the millennial generation is “promiscuous in their brand loyalty,” making it more difficult to earn their loyalty. 

    Easterbrook cited a wider range of choices for the shift in preference for younger generations.

    The chain has also noted menu issues and cited financial struggles for lower-income customers as reasons for the U.S. drop.

    McDonald's CEO Don Thompson said the company complicated its menu and slowed down service by introducing too many items too quickly. He said the company is working on getting the basics right — such as improving service.



    Photo Credit: AP

    FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2010 file photo, McDonald's signs sprout from the restaurant's parking lot in New York. McDonald�s says a key sales figure edged up modestly in July, 2013, as the Dollar Menu and Big Macs in the U.S. helped offset declines in other parts of the world.  The world�s biggest hamburger chain says global sales rose 0.7 percent at restaurants open at least 13 months. That included a 1.6 percent increase in the U.S., where it said �everyday value offerings,� breakfast and staples such as the Big Mac drove up results.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2010 file photo, McDonald's signs sprout from the restaurant's parking lot in New York. McDonald�s says a key sales figure edged up modestly in July, 2013, as the Dollar Menu and Big Macs in the U.S. helped offset declines in other parts of the world. The world�s biggest hamburger chain says global sales rose 0.7 percent at restaurants open at least 13 months. That included a 1.6 percent increase in the U.S., where it said �everyday value offerings,� breakfast and staples such as the Big Mac drove up results. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)

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    A DNA hit on a shirt and mask worn during a robbery at the Merit Country Store in 2011 has led to an arrest.

    Police said a robber tossed the shirt and mask in the road, so police sent it to the
    state forensic lab, and it was a match for Derek Forsythe, 26, of Weston, Connecticut.

    He was charged with first-degree robbery and sixth-degree larceny.

    He was held in lieu of $35,000 court-set bond and is in prison on several unrelated charges.

    Police said Forsythe was arraigned today after detectives served the arrest warrant in Norwalk Superior Court. 
     


    A DNA hit on a shirt and mask worn during a robbery at the Merit Country Store in 2011 has led to an arrest.A DNA hit on a shirt and mask worn during a robbery at the Merit Country Store in 2011 has led to an arrest.

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    From kindergarten through college, most students will at some point need a backpack and making the wrong choice can be painful.

    Susan Dunn, a physical therapist at Middlesex Hospital, has treated people with injuries caused by poorly fitting or overloaded backpacks and said a backpack should weigh no more than 15 percent of a person’s weight, otherwise they will struggle.

    “They’re overarching their back to try to hold it up, or they’re leaning forward to see if they can make that backpack a little less heavy or use other muscles,” Dunn said.

    Parents should include the weight of a lunch bag and band instrument into that total, she said.

    Dunn also said a backpack should not hang too low in back.

    “You don’t want it hanging down over your bottom.  You want it just at the small of your back so it supports you there,” she said.

    Dunn also advises using the waist straps of a backpack, which connect over the stomach, and tighten the straps in back.

    Ten-year-old Sam Stergos had a backpack that left his back hurting, so his mother looked closely at the backpack features when she took him shopping for a new one recently.  

    “It has a lot of padding on the back and shoulder straps,” Heidi Stergos said.

    While students often have no way around carrying many textbooks home every night, Dunn suggests using a classroom copy of the book at school and buying a used version to keep at home.


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    An 88-year-old Hamden woman who opened her sliding door to let in her cat was attacked when the animal she was petting turned out to be a rabid raccoon, according to police.

    The woman had opened the door of her Brinsmade Road home at 11 p.m. Sunday after hearing a sound to let in her cat, but unbeknownst to her, a raccoon followed her cat inside, police said.

    The raccoon attacked her while she petted it, thinking it was her cat, and it bit her elbow, hand, forearm, lip and chin, police said.

    "She's a tough old bird," said the victim's son, Malcolm McKernan. "She fought it off and was able to call on the phone. That's pretty remarkable."

    Police said the raccoon charged at two officers when they arrived on scene. They were able to get it outside, where the animal was euthanized.

    Hamden's Animal Control Division took the raccoon to the Connecticut Public Health Laboratory to be tested for rabies. Results came back Tuesday and police said the raccoon tested positive for rabies.

    The victim was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital, and she was treated and released. She received the first round of rabies shots on Monday.

    The victim spoke to NBC Connecticut at her home Monday and said she was doing well.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    An 88-year-old woman was attacked by a raccoon that entered her Hamden home over the weekend.An 88-year-old woman was attacked by a raccoon that entered her Hamden home over the weekend.

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    Five small quakes and aftershocks rumbled through wine country early Tuesday, days after the biggest earthquake in 25 years hit the Bay Area.

    The shaking in the wee hours of the morning startled and concerned residents 75 miles away in Mountain View and in nearby Vallejo. Anna Solberg of Vallejo, five miles from the epicenters, said she felt her house shake "from left to right."

    But that shaking was much gentler than what she felt in her home on Sunday, when a 6.0-magnitude quake rocked the same area around 3:20 a.m. That was the largest earthquake to impact the Bay Area since the 1989 magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake.

    "My first thought was 'Oh my gosh, another earthquake,''' she told NBC Bay Area by phone, adding that she had been in bed awake just as the quakes hit. "But I just heard felt one thud."

    Still, she acknowledged she felt about "half as much" shaking Tuesday as she had felt Sunday.

    The U.S. Geological Survey clocked a magnitude-3.9 temblor and three aftershocks striking between 5:30 a.m and 6 a.m. just a few miles from  American Canyon.

    The aftershocks were reported at 2.7, 2.8 and 3.0 magnitudes. A fifth magnitude-2.5 aftershock hit four miles south of Napa at 10:56 a.m. An aftershock is a smaller earthquake following a large earthquake in the same region.

    Despite the number of temblors – four in 90 minutes – there didn't seem any damage reports, according to Barry Martin, community outreach coordinator for Napa. He said crews would be going out again to check for any water line breaks and power outages.

    The four aftershocks hit in the same general region where the South Napa earthquake struck Sunday, requiring hundreds of buildings to be red- and yellow-tagged, mostly in the heart of historic downtown Napa. A post office, library and a 141-room hotel were among more than 160 homes and buildings either deemed unsafe to occupy or enter.

    Aftershocks are quite common, even expected.

    "Anytime you have an earthquake, the probability of another earthquake goes up," Cecily Wolfe of the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program told NBC News.

    Earthquakes tend to come in clusters. NBC News reported there is currently a 29 percent chance that a magnitude-5 or higher quake will hit in the next seven days, according to Northern California Seismic System (NCSS) probability report.

    In fact, experts say that there is a 5 to 10 percent chance of something bigger than a 6.0-magnitude quake coming in the next week, according to the NCSS report.

    NBC's Joe Fryer was staying in a hotel in Vallejo and awoke when he felt the first earthquake Tuesday.

    "It was the strongest aftershock since the main earthquake hit," he said.

    Sunday's South Napa earthquake hit along the West Napa Fault, the most seismically active of the faults, according to the USGS.

    But as for John King, a Napa resident who was busy on Tuesday morning carting his damaged water heater to one of the city dumping spots, earthquakes are the price you pay for living in the Bay Area.

    "It's a beautiful place to live," King said. "This is what goes with it. You get it together, and you move on."

     NBC Bay Area's Shelby Hansen and Bob Redell contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    NAPA, CA - AUGUST 24:  A passerby stops to take a picture of damage to the Napa post office following a reported 6.0 earthquake on August 24, 2014 in Napa, California.  A 6.0 earthquake rocked the San Francisco Bay Area shortly after 3:00 am on Sunday morning causing damage to buildings and sending at least 70 people to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)NAPA, CA - AUGUST 24: A passerby stops to take a picture of damage to the Napa post office following a reported 6.0 earthquake on August 24, 2014 in Napa, California. A 6.0 earthquake rocked the San Francisco Bay Area shortly after 3:00 am on Sunday morning causing damage to buildings and sending at least 70 people to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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    Ah, Burning Man, the annual weeklong rave that draws thousands of free-thinkers to a remote spot in the Nevada desert. It's a festival so remote and bizarre that the only limit to free expression is imagination ... and that dust that always gets into the electronics.

    Except when it rains.

    That's when the "Burners" end up in the parking lot of the Reno Wal-Mart.

    Turned back at the gate to the Black Rock Desert after rare showers on Monday turned the ancient lake bottom to a muddy quagmire, hundreds of "Burners'' were forced to overnight on the Wal-Mart blacktop. Nearly a hundred other RVs pulled into the parking lot of the Grand Sierra Resort casino, across the street.

    "We're just trying to stay positive," said a woman from Oakland, California, who identified herself only as "Driftwood," and was hanging out with some first-timers from Texas. "Positivity can raise everything up."

    Organizers announced after midnight that they could roll onto the lake. By midmorning Tuesday all but a few dozen of the RVs were back on the road again, and by most accounts, no worse for the wear.

    "We'll make the best of things," said Aviva Mohilner, a former public relations specialist from Los Angeles making her third trip. "It always works out. Burners make it good."

    One New York City man loading coolers into a U-Haul on his first voyage to the desert wilderness said he was in too much of a hurry to make it to the desert Tuesday to talk. But another New Yorker, Ben Zion, asked a reporter to take a picture of him and his eight friends from Israel, all anxious first-timers. The rain delay was actually good for them, he said: "We got to get some rest and a shower."

    Cuong Huynh, a four-time Burner and IT specialist from San Diego, California, said he's usually more concerned about dusty wind storms than rain, which is why he keeps his cellphone in a plastic bag.

    Last year, it rained just before the festival, packing all the dirt and keeping the dust down, he said.

    "Rain is really good for us, just not while you're out there," he said.

    Destin Gerek, an 11-year veteran, thinks the delay will add a spark to the gathering.

    "All this pent-up energy," said Gerek, 36, who teaches Burning Man workshops on the "intersection of sexuality and pirituality."

    Gerek grew up in New York City, lives in California and has toured 25 different countries. "In all my travels, Burning Man is utterly unique," he said. "Absolutely nothing compares."

    That was the general consensus among Burners Monday night as many of the RVs, VW buses and truck's pulling trailers gathered at a makeshift staging area under the blinking pink casino lights twinkling through the night.

    It wasn't entirely unlike the contraptions that light up the weeklong desert gathering, which began at San Francisco's Baker Beach in 1986 and now culminates in the Black Rock with the burning of a towering wooden effigy Labor Day weekend. A record 68,000 people attended last year.

    Still, the Wal-Mart wasn't exactly what seekers of "paradise on the playa" had in mind while driving hundreds of miles to the counter-culture festival, which offers theme camps, art exhibits, all-night music and guerrilla theater, along with a decent dose of nudity and a bunch of other stuff that's just plain weird.

    One camp this year is "Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust," where participants are invited to be photographed as they "strip naked, cover in Playa dust, paint cracks on the body and finalize with red hands to simulate a connection between oneself and the desert environment."

    The journey's final hours, across a dry, perfectly flat lake bed that seems to stretch on forever, is usually part of the fun.

    Unless, again, it rains, covering the clay-like surface with standing water that turns to mush under the wheels of a well-equipped "Burner" crew.

    Barbara Quintanilla and Bill Sanchez, who drove up from Houston in an RV, said the delay was the least of their worries.

    "We made a 2,000-mile trip and none of us had ever driven an RV before. It would only go 35 mph up hills,'' Sanchez said.

    Jeff Cross of Orange County, California, said the brief detour hadn't deterred his group's enthusiasm.

    "It's the best festival in the world," he said. "There's no cellphones, no internet, no money or corporate sponsors."

    True enough, once they reach the desert.

    But while they were stuck in Reno, the rain delay provided for one last consumer capitalist opportunity.

    "We have a list of 27 things we need to get at Wal-Mart," Quintanilla said.
     



    Photo Credit: AP

    Burner Jake Pickle, of Encinitas, Ca., stocks up Tuesday morning, Aug. 26, 2014, at a Wal-Mart in Reno, Nev., after a rare rain storm temporarily closed the entrance to Burning Man yesterday. The Playa reopened at 6 a.m. for the week-long counter-culture festival that draws 70,000 people to the Black Rock Desert.Burner Jake Pickle, of Encinitas, Ca., stocks up Tuesday morning, Aug. 26, 2014, at a Wal-Mart in Reno, Nev., after a rare rain storm temporarily closed the entrance to Burning Man yesterday. The Playa reopened at 6 a.m. for the week-long counter-culture festival that draws 70,000 people to the Black Rock Desert.

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    A former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services official was convicted Tuesday on child pornography charges, and could face up to life in prison when sentenced.

    A jury found Timothy DeFoggi, 56, formerly of Germantown, Maryland, and the former acting director of cyber security for HHS, guilty on three counts, after a four-day trial in Nebraska federal court.

    The most serious of those charges, of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, alone carries a sentence of 20 years to life in prison, DeFoggi's lawyer John S. Berry Jr. said.

    According to prosecutors, trial evidence showed that DeFoggi accessed and exchanged child porn from a specific website between March 2, 2012, and Dec. 8, 2012, when the FBI shut the website down.

    Prosecutors said that he also exchanged messages with other members of the site to express his interest in rape and murder fantasies involving children, and that evidence showed that he suggested meeting another member in person to fulfill those fantasies.

    DeFoggi is set to be sentenced Nov. 7.

    Berry said he and his client were still deciding whether to move for a new trial.

    The case, Berry said, raised "many interesting and complex issues," as well as questions about his client's Fourth Amendment rights with regard to searches of his home and computer.

    "There was quite a bit of searching by the government, and one of the issues is whether those searches were in fact legal," Berry said. He said there were also questions as to whether evidence were admissible and whether it was sufficient to convict his client.

    DeFoggi's conviction was part of an investigation by the Justice Department into three websites containing exploitative material involving children.

    The administrator of all three sites was also convicted for engaging in a child pornography enterprise. DeFoggi's conviction is the sixth in the investigation.

    --Additional reporting by Sam Schulz


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    The serial stowaway who got through airport security and boarded an LA-bound flight earlier this month was arrested in Arizona on Tuesday, less than two weeks after being released from jail early since violating her probation at LAX.

    Marilyn Hartman, 62, was arrested at Sky Harbor Airport after being spotted loitering in the baggage claim area, Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump said.

    Hartman was spotted in the same airport Aug. 20 trying to enter a security checkpoint, Crump said.

    Police first said Hartman was seen in the airport Aug. 14, but they corrected the date to Aug. 20. Officers gave her a trespass warning and removed her from the airport, police said.

    A judge earlier this month ordered Hartman to serve 177 days in jail for wandering through LAX terminals on Aug. 7 after being told the previous day to "stay away from LAX" and placed on 24 months probation.

    She was released Aug. 16 -- three days after being sentenced -- because of jail overcrowding, LA County sheriff's officials said.

    Hartman was first arrested Aug. 4 at Los Angeles International Airport after Los Angeles police say she got through security at Mineta San Jose International Airport and boarded an LA-bound flight.

    Hartman has previously breached security at San Francisco International Airport and has a history of trying to get on flights without a ticket, officials said. She had at least seven encounters with police at SFO and was arrested four times, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

    Details about how Hartmen traveled to Arizona were not immediately clear.


    Booking photo of Marilyn Hartman from a previous Bay Area arrest. Authorities at Los Angeles International Airport arrested her again Monday night, Aug. 4, 2014.Booking photo of Marilyn Hartman from a previous Bay Area arrest. Authorities at Los Angeles International Airport arrested her again Monday night, Aug. 4, 2014.

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    A fire extinguisher still hooks on the wall near a scorched stove and counter two days after a fire blackened the interior of the Salvation Army in Norwich.

    Even more frustrating to the people who rely on the Salvation Army for help in hard times is the loss of one ton of food that was to be given away.

    Without electricity, it can't be properly stored, said Capt. Jerry Uttley of the Salvation Army. He expects to open the food pantry after Labor Day at United Congregational Church across from City Hall in Norwich.

    But Nathaniel Champagne found the door locked for the Tuesday afternoon food pantry in the building on Main Street.

    "I was expecting maybe they would have been open so I could get food here, so I could talk to them about food," he said. "I'm very hungry."

    Capt. Uttley said the Salvation Army in Norwich gave food or clothing 17,000 times last year.

    People who want to help the Salvation Army can donate nonperishable food items at the Norwichtown Stop and Shop between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday.

    He said he thinks the cause of the fire was electrical but investigators have not finished their work.


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    A former Marine accused of having an affair with the 19-year-old wife of a fellow Marine pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder charges in her death, officials said.

    Former Marine Cpl. Christopher Lee, 24, was extradited from Alaska to Southern California and entered the not guilty plea in Joshua Tree Superior Court, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office.

    Lee is accused of murdering Erin Corwin, 19, his then-neighbor in Twentynine Palms, and disposing of her body in a 14-story abandoned mine shaft in the desert near Joshua Tree National Park, officials said.

    The cause of Corwin's death has not been released, but an arrest warrant released last week said .22-caliber "fired cartridge casings and pieces of rebar" were found at the scene. They are similar to casings found in Lee's vehicle and residence, according to the warrant.

    Lee was arrested in Anchorage, Alaska, a day after Corwin's body was found, ending a nearly eight-week search for the woman in 300 acres of desert.

    Corwin and Lee, who is married, may have been having an affair that began February, and she may have been three months pregnant with his child when she disappeared on June 28, both Corwin's friend and Lee's neighbor told investigators, according to a search warrant.

    Corwin told her husband, Marine Cpl. Jonathan Corwin, she was going to Joshua Tree National Park to look for hiking trails. He reported her missing the next day.

    Two days after she disappeared, her car was found in Twentynine Palms.
     


    Christopher Lee pleaded not guilty to murder charges on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014.Christopher Lee pleaded not guilty to murder charges on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014.

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    Hamden police have arrested a 24-year-old New Haven man who was found driving with an illegal handgun hidden in the engine compartment of his car, according to police.

    Russell Gillian, a convicted felon, was pulled over Sunday after officers received a tip about the gun. Police said they searched his car and found a fully loaded .357-caliber Magnum handgun in the engine compartment.

    He was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle.

    Gillian was released after posting $100,000 bond and is due in court Sept. 5.


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    E. coli bacteria has been found in drinking water at Windham Center School in Windham as the new school year begins, prompting officials to close the school Wednesday.

    Windham Supt. Patricia Garcia said the school is supplied with well water. The problem is limited to the Windham Center School, which serves about 300 students.

    Lab tests conducted Tuesday confirmed the presence of E. coli bacteria in school water. School officials plan to flush the system with chlorine tomorrow and re-test the water Friday.

    If all goes well, the school will reopen Sept. 2.

    After the problem was detected Tuesday, the school shut off water fountains and students were provided with bottled water throughout the school day. Officials made changes to the school lunch menu to avoid using water and served meals on paper and plastic.

    Garcia and Principal Kathleen Goodwin posted a letter to parents on the school’s Web site on Monday as the new school year was beginning.

    “We received preliminary test results of the school’s drinking water that showed traces of E. coli bacteria. E. coli bacteria can potentially make students and staff sick,” the letter said.

    “Our priority is that all of our students are safe, healthy and successful at Windham Center School, and we are making every effort to resolve this situation and keep our students learning without disruption."

    Dr. Joseph Garner, chief of the Department of Medicine at the Hospital of Central Connecticut, said E. coli is used as a marker to determine whether there is any contamination of the water supply.

    The bacteria lives in the intestines of mammals and most types do not cause disease, such as  diarrhea and kidney failure, Garner said.

    “The presence of E. coli suggests that there may be a leak in a pipe somewhere, some sort of a connection that doesn’t have the integrity it should have and that’s how the bacteria tend to get in, so they will examine their entire system and determine where the e.Coli got into the water system, fix that and there won’t be a problem going forward,” Garner said.

    Garcia said there have been no reports of sickness associated with the bacteria, and that school officials have had conversations about drilling a second well.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Traces of E. coli bacteria have been found in drinking water at Windham Center School in Windham and the school has shut off water fountains and made changes to the school lunch menu to avoid using water.Traces of E. coli bacteria have been found in drinking water at Windham Center School in Windham and the school has shut off water fountains and made changes to the school lunch menu to avoid using water.

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    Police are searching for the person who stole 10 handguns and two high-powered rifles from an Old Saybrook gun shop and are offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest.

    The owner of the Grouse Perch at 15 North Main Street called police when he arrived at the store around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday to find that someone had broken in, according to police.

    Officers removed evidence from the scene and are actively investigating.

    “We cannot allow stolen guns to be in our community,” said Police Chief Michael Spera, in a statement Tuesday. “We need to locate these stolen weapons – for everyone’s safety – as soon as possible.”

    Anyone with information about the burglary is urged to call Old Saybrook police at 860-395-3142.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    A girl is in the hospital after driving erratically on Interstate 84 westbound in Southbury and colliding with one tractor-trailer, then driving almost directly underneath a second truck late Tuesday afternoon, according to Middlebury Fire Chief Paul Perrotti.

    The highway was shut down briefly between exits 16 and 17 while authorities worked to clear the scene. Police said the crash happened near the South Street Bridge on the Southbury/Middlebury line.

    According to Perrotti, the driver, who has not been publicly identified, veered off the highway around 4 p.m. Tuesday and struck a tractor-trailer that was parked on the side of the road.

    Perrotti said her car ricocheted off the first tractor-trailer, then skidded almost directly underneath a second flatbed carrying an empty 3,000-gallon propane tank. The tractor-trailers were traveling together and had pulled over.

    Police said emergency crews had to extract the car from underneath the flatbed. The driver was able to open her door and climb out, Perrotti said. An ambulance took her to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

    Firefighters cleared the scene around 5:30 p.m.

    The highway has reopened, but expect residual delays.

    Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

    Traffic is at a standstill near exit 17 off Interstate 84 westbound after a tractor-trailer crash shut down the highway late Tuesday afternoon.Traffic is at a standstill near exit 17 off Interstate 84 westbound after a tractor-trailer crash shut down the highway late Tuesday afternoon.

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    A Stafford Springs mom has been arrested in Manchester after leaving her two young children alone in the car Tuesday afternoon, according to police.

    Police said officers responded to 1041 Main Street around 2 p.m. Tuesday after the employee of a neighboring business alerted them. They arrived to find a 2-month-old and 2-year-old alone in an unlocked car with one window partially down.

    Officers spent about 15 minutes with the children before the mother, 25-year-old Amanda Lasewicz, returned. Lasewicz said she was at a nearby restaurant getting food for the kids and had only left them alone for a few minutes, according to police.

    She was arrested and charged with leaving children in a vehicle unattended. Lasewicz was released on a $5,000 non-surety bond and is due in court Sept. 9.

    Police said the children were taken to the hospital for a medical evaluation but did not appear to be hurt.



    Photo Credit: Manchester Police Department

    Amanda Lasewicz, 25, of Stafford Springs, is facing charges after police say she left her 2-month-old and 2-year-old children alone in the car in Manchester.Amanda Lasewicz, 25, of Stafford Springs, is facing charges after police say she left her 2-month-old and 2-year-old children alone in the car in Manchester.

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