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    A fox is being tested for rabies after biting a second-grade boy on the playground Monday morning, then attacking the teacher and school psychologist who rushed to his aid outside Broad Brook Elementary School in East Windsor.

    The fox, which authorities shot and killed, is also believed to have bitten a woman at a home behind the school earlier in the morning.

    All four victims, including second-grade student Evan Witzke, have been hospitalized. The adults were brought to Hartford Hospital, where they will likely undergo rabies treatment, hospital officials said.

    Evan was taken to Connecticut Children's Medical Center, according to his mother, who said he is doing well.

    Police said the fox emerged from the woods on the northern side of the elementary school around 11:30 a.m. Monday and attacked Evan while he was playing outside.

    "A P.E. teacher at the elementary school grabbed the fox off the child and pinned it to the ground," said Det. Matthew Carl of the East Windsor Police Department, adding that the teacher was bitten in the process.

    Carl said a school psychologist was also attacked before staff members were able to trap the fox under a plastic recycling container.

    Now the teacher and psychologist are being hailed as heroes.

    "[The gym teacher] grabbed the fox by the neck so that all the children could get away," Carl explained. "She held the fox on the ground while it was biting and scratching her."

    Police believe the same fox also bit a woman and her dog earlier this morning at her parents' house on Mill Street/Route 191, less than a mile from the school.

    Police said the fox wandered onto the porch around 10 a.m., and the victim, who is in her 30s, was attacked when she opened the door.

    "The family dog had wrestled with the fox, and the fox had fled into the woods, so we weren't able to locate it," Carl said.

    East Windsor police and Animal Control responded to both scenes. Police believe that the same fox was involved in both incidents, and said the animal was aggressive toward officers who arrived to capture it.

    "It charged one of the police officers, and ultimately, we shot and killed it," Carl said.

    The fox was taken to the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health Laboratory to be tested for rabies.

    East Windsor police caution residents against approach animals "acting strange or appearing sick" and advise people to instead call the police department at 860-292-8240.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Ninita Witzke

    Second-grade student Evan Witzke was bitten by a fox outside Broad Brook Elementary School in East Windsor on Monday, along with two school staff members. Police believe the same fox also bit a resident who lives about a mile away from the school.Second-grade student Evan Witzke was bitten by a fox outside Broad Brook Elementary School in East Windsor on Monday, along with two school staff members. Police believe the same fox also bit a resident who lives about a mile away from the school.

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    The report of a shooting and hostage situation at a home on Bulkeley Hill Road in Colchester has been deemed a hoax, and now police are launching a criminal investigation.

    Authorities responded to 109 Bulkeley Hill Road around 2:30 p.m. Monday after receiving the report that someone had been injured in a shooting there, police said.

    A SWAT team was called out and police blocked off the road. Police said school buses were diverted around the area. Bulkeley Hill Road was blocked off at the intersection of School Street while authorities responded to the scene.

    Police entered the home in question to find an empty house and left the area around 4:45 p.m. Monday.

    Authorities are calling it a "swatting" situation and have launched an investigation to determine who is responsible for placing the call, according to state police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance.

    An arrest could carry charges of falsely reporting an incident.

    State police major crime detectives and state police computer crime detectives are investigating.

    Check back for updates on this developing story.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Bulkeley Hill Road is closed in Colchester due to a police investigation.Bulkeley Hill Road is closed in Colchester due to a police investigation.

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    Three men, including two convicted felons, are facing charges after authorities searched their apartments in New Haven on Friday morning and found illegal guns and drugs, according to police.

    Early on the morning of Sept. 19, police searched a second-floor apartment at 25 Cassius Street, the home of 23-year-old Darius Gaines, otherwise known as “Keemy,” a convicted felon who was allegedly involved in a shoot-out in the Farnam Courts community on July 7, police said.

    During the search, authorities found discovered 3.5 grams of crack cocaine, 50 rounds of ammunition, empty ammunition boxes, a pistol holder, a 50-round extended magazine, a MAC-10 assault weapon, and more than $5,500 cash, all in Gaines’ bedroom, according to police.

    Gaines also had an outstanding warrant for drug sales and was arrested Friday morning. Police said he confessed to investigators and admitted his involvement in the July 7 gun battle.

    He was charged with criminal possession of a firearm, four drug crimes including possession of narcotics with the intent to sell, criminal possession of ammunition, criminal possession of an assault weapon and criminal possession of a high capacity magazine.

    Police also served a search warrant at a second-floor apartment at 138 Henry Street, leading to the arrests of 20-year-old Aaron Walker and 36-year-old Steven Walker, a convicted felon with two active warrants for the sale of narcotics.

    Investigators discovered 150 bags of marijuana totaling 113 grams, a large amount of ammunition, drug packaging materials, two digital scales and $860 cash, according to police.

    Steven Walker was charged with four drug crimes including possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and criminal possession of ammunition.

    Aaron Walker was charged with four drug crimes including possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell.



    Photo Credit: New Haven Police Department

    Darius Gaines, Steve Walker and Aaron Walker (left to right) were arrested Friday morning in New Haven on drug and weapon charges.Darius Gaines, Steve Walker and Aaron Walker (left to right) were arrested Friday morning in New Haven on drug and weapon charges.

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    One person was injured after crashing a stolen ATV in Windham after 10 p.m. on Monday.

    LifeStar responded to an ATV crash on Route 66 in Windham at 10:19 p.m., according to the helicopter service, and transported the injured person to Hartford Hospital.

    The injuries are not life-threatening, according to state police.

    The ATV was stolen, according to state police. The driver's name was not released.

    Police ask witnesses to call State Police Troop K at 860-465-5400, extension 4009.


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    A home being renovated in West Haven partially collapsed during a fire early Tuesday morning and has been deemed a total loss.

    Flames ripped through the three-story house on Gilbert Street before 4 a.m. and firefighters were not able to go inside for fear of their safety.

    The home was vacant and neighbors said someone who recently bought the house was renovating it and planned to finish the work by October.

    "A house that’s vacant and fully involved like that, you don’t send men in. You just surround the ground," West Haven Fire Chief Peter Massaro said.

    The back of the house was crumbling as firefighters battled the blaze and crews said the blaze was tough to fight because the building was under extensive renovation and was just a shell of a structure without walls where the fire started, so the flames spread quickly.

    Neighbors in houses on either side of the building were evacuated as a precaution. They have since been allowed back in their homes.

    No injuries were reported.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.



    Photo Credit: Submitted Photo

    West Haven firefighters responded to a fire at a vacant building on Gilbert Street early Tuesday morning.West Haven firefighters responded to a fire at a vacant building on Gilbert Street early Tuesday morning.

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    A pedestrian was hit by a car near 1875 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike in Southington, close to the TA truck stop.

    Police did not immediately have any additional information.

    The road is open and no information is available on injuries.


    A pedestrian was hit by a car near 1875 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike in Southington, close to the TA Truck Stop.A pedestrian was hit by a car near 1875 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike in Southington, close to the TA Truck Stop.

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    On Tuesday, the Robel Phillipos was not present at his pretrial hearing when the judge swiftly denied the defense motion filed Monday asking the court to change the venue of his trial to Springfield, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island, or Portland, Maine.

    It was the second time Phillipos' defense had requested a change of venue and the judge essentially chastised them for asking again, especially on what he called "the eve of the trial."

    Phillipos' defense attorneys argued pretrial publicity makes it impossible for Phillipos to receive a fair trial, but the judge cited the trial of his co-defendant, Azamat Tazhayakov, and said they were able to impanel a fair and impartial jury with far fewer jurors than they originally anticipated.

    Tazhayakov was found guilty of obstruction of justice and conspiracy for taking a backpack and laptop from marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's dorm room. He faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced next month.

    Another co-defendant, Dias Kadyrbayev, pleaded guilty to similar charges and faces up to seven years in prison when sentenced.

    Phillipos is charged with lying to investigators about being in Tsarnaev's dorm room. The defense denies he was there.

    Phillipos's trial is scheduled to begin next Monday, Sept. 29 with jury selection.Opening arguments are scheduled for October 6.

    The prosecution anticipates its case-in-chief to last about one week.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



    Photo Credit: YouTube/Robel Phillipos

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    State Police are responding to Route 74 at Skungamaug Road in Tolland to investigate a report of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle.

    No additional information was immediately available.

    An NBC Connecticut crew is heading to the scene.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    State Police are responding to Route 74 at Skungamaug Road in Tolland to investigate a report of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle.State Police are responding to Route 74 at Skungamaug Road in Tolland to investigate a report of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle.

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    A cement truck hit a railroad bridge in Fairfield on Monday morning and was stuck for more than two hours.

    Firefighters and Chief Richard Felner responded to the crash at 11:46 a.m. and crews remained at the scene until the truck was removed, around 2 p.m.

    No one was injured.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Firefighters responded to a crash involving a cement mixer yesterday morning.Firefighters responded to a crash involving a cement mixer yesterday morning.

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    Police arrested a Canadian woman Sunday at John F. Kennedy airport after two guns, hundreds of rounds of ammo and 33 pounds of marijuana were found in her checked luggage disguised as household items, the TSA says.

    The arrest was made after TSA agents searching the luggage took a closer look at the items in two of the woman’s jam-packed bags, the federal agency said.

    When they opened the bags, they found what appeared to be packages of baby wipes, coffee, floor dusting sheets, lemonade mix, iced tea mix, laundry tablets and cat litter. They looked inside the containers and found the drugs, guns and ammo.

    TSA agents told Port Authority Police about the discovery, and the woman was arrested in the airport.

    The woman, 24-year-old Nyesha McPherson of Scarborough, Ontario, was arrested on drug and weapons possession charges. Her flight was bound for Barbados, authorities said.

    It’s not clear if she has an attorney.



    Photo Credit: Courtesy of TSA

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    At the mating season peaks for moose and deer in Connecticut,  the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is warning drivers to remain vigilant for increased deer and moose activity near roads.

    The prime mating season for northern Connecticut's growing moose population is September through October and will soon peak for deer late October through late December, DEEP reported.

    “During 2013, approximately 7,300 deer were killed in the state due to collisions with vehicles,” Rick Jacobson, director of DEEP's Wildlife Division said in a statement. “A total of 25 moose-vehicle accidents have been reported in Connecticut between 1995 and 2014, with an average of two per year since 2002.... Moose-vehicle accidents are expected to increase as the moose population expands.”

    If you see a deer or moose on or near the road when you're driving, DEEP advises you to slow down and drive defensively. Moose stand taller than deer, increasing the chance they'll land on windshields when hit by cars, and are more difficult to see than deer because of they're darker coloring, DEEP officials said. As a result, "observing reflective eye-shine from headlights is infrequent" due to their height.

    Moose usual live in areas ranging from 10 to 15 square feet, according to DEEP. When moose travel to southern Connecticut in densely populated areas with high traffic on the roadways breaking up the state's landscape, the chance for driver fatalities in moose-car accidents are heightened even more than the potential for deer-vehicle crashes, DEEP officials said.

    DEEP asks drivers to heed any "Deer Crossing" signs highway departments put up along roadways and to report any collisions with moose and deer to local or state police or DEEP Environmental Conservation police officers at 860-424-3333.

    DEEP also asks residents to report moose sightings on its website at www.ct.gov/deep/wildlife.



    Photo Credit: Tony Matthews

    Thank you to Tony Matthews for sharing this photo of a moose walking on Silver Street in North Granby at about 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014.Thank you to Tony Matthews for sharing this photo of a moose walking on Silver Street in North Granby at about 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014.

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  • 09/23/14--10:08: Learn How to Survive Zombies

  • You can learn just about anything at your local library, including how to survive a zombie apocalypse.

    The Henry Carter Hull Library in Clinton is hosting a how to survive the zombie apocalypse event for children next month.

    The event is for children in grades three through six, and parents are advised to use discretion.

    Lessons taught will include how to make a basic survival kit; weapons training, including marshmallow poppers and foam swords; target practice; zombie camouflage lessons; makeup tecniques; and instructions on how to do the Michael Jackson "Thriller" dance.

    It will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 15, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

    The library is located at 10 Killingworth Turnpike in Clinton.


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    A Bay Area pilot says his training as an Eagle Scout helped him survive a crash landing in a remote part of the Sierra Nevada.

    Tim Cassell, 65, described the harrowing moments to reporters on Monday after the propeller broke off his plane at 13,000 feet last week, forcing him to crash land in the middle of nowhere.

    The man from suburban Saratoga was flying the single-engine Piper PA-28 from San Jose to his family’s resort in Lone Pine, east of Fresno, when the plane went down.

    “I remember looking at my vertical speed indicator, and it said somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 feet per minute, descending,” Cassell said. “And I remember looking at my airspeed as I was coming down at this field of huge rocks and it was down around 65 mph.”

    Less than a minute later, he crash landed in a remote canyon in Sequoia National Park. He crawled out of his plane with three broken ribs, a broken ankle and facial fractures.

    For the next 18 hours, Cassell put his Eagle Scout training to the test, setting the plane’s beacon and wrapping himself in the plane’s cover to survive the frigid overnight temperatures. A pair of rangers eventually found him.

    Cassel said while training was critical, he also believes that “God was his co-pilot.”

    Cassel has been flying for seven years. When asked whether he plans to fly again, he said, “You bet.”



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

    Tim Cassell says he was falling at 2,000 feet per minute.Tim Cassell says he was falling at 2,000 feet per minute.

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    A crossing guard at Pumpkintown USA, an annual fall festival in East Hampton, was struck by a car in a hit-and-run crash Tuesday afternoon.

    Police said the crash involved two vehicles and the crossing guard, who was hit on Route 66. One of the cars fled the scene.

    The crossing guard was taken to the hospital for treatment. Authorities have not disclosed any information on the crossing guard's injuries.

    Route 66 was closed to the Marlborough town line while police investigated.

    Police said Tuesday afternoon they found the vehicle that fled not far from the scene of the crash.

    No additional information has been released.

    Check back for updates.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    One person is being transported from the scene of a crash on Route 66 in East Hampton.One person is being transported from the scene of a crash on Route 66 in East Hampton.

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    Hamden police arrested a 29-year-old man after he fired a shot during a brawl near his home on First Street Saturday night, police said.

    Marvin Medwinter, 29, is facing multiple charges including unlawful discharge of a firearm.

    Officers responded to 145 First Street on Saturday, Sept. 20  after receiving a call at about 10:30 p.m. reporting a fight and shots fired in the area.

    The people involved in a physical altercation left the scene by the time police arrived. Officers determined in the investigation that Medwinter fired a gun in the air in an effort to "break up the fight," according to police.

    Hamden officers arrested him and took him to the police station. Police charged Medwinter with unlawful discharge of a firearm and first-degree reckless endangerment.

    Police released him after he posted a $1,000 bond. Medwinter is scheduled to appear in Meriden Superior Court on Oct. 1.



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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    Six families were forced from their apartments at the Deerfield Gardens and Sunset Gardens complex in Waterbury when a two-alarm fire broke out Tuesday afternoon.

    According to Sandra Sattler, the director of property management for Carabetta Management, which owns the complexes on Midfield Drive, said the flames sparked around 1 p.m.

    "I've never been through anything like this," said Jeannette Santiago, who had just settled into her new place. "It's brand new in there, and it's gone."

    She and other residents stood in shock and watched their homes burn.

    "I was washing a coffee pot getting ready to go to work," said Lori Salvatore, another resident. "It's unbelievable. Just unbelievable."

    Six two-bedroom units were ravaged by heavy fire and smoke. Residents filtered back into their burned-out apartments late Tuesday evenings to salvage whatever belongings they could.

    Sattler said the complex will be able to house the families in other apartments.

    Working smoke detectors and firewalls were in place, according to officials. Fortunately, no one was injured.

    Authorities are investigating to determine the cause of the blaze. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Firefighters are battling a two-alarm fire at a multi-story apartment building on Midfield Drive in Waterbury.Firefighters are battling a two-alarm fire at a multi-story apartment building on Midfield Drive in Waterbury.

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    The fox that bit a second-grade boy on a playground, then attacked a gym teacher and school psychologist who rushed to his aid outside Broad Brook Elementary School in East Windsor, Connecticut, Monday morning tested positive for rabies, according to East Windsor police.

    The fox, which authorities shot and killed, is also believed to have bitten a woman at a home behind the school earlier in the morning.

    All four victims, including second-grade student Evan Witzke, have been hospitalized. The adults were brought to Hartford Hospital and Evan was taken to Connecticut Children's Medical Center, according to his mother, who said he is doing well.

    Police said the fox emerged from the woods on the north side of the school around 11:30 a.m. and attacked Evan while he was playing outside.

    "I didn't see it come out of the woods. It just came and it bit my ankle, and then it tackled me and then I think it went for my wrist," Evan recalled. "My teacher got it off me and then I got up and ran away."

    The gym teacher and a school psychologist managed to trap the fox under a plastic recycling container and held it until police arrived.

    Now the teacher and psychologist are being hailed as heroes.

    "She was being attacked as she was trying to get the fox off my son, and I'm very grateful to her and what they did to keep the other kids safe," Witzke said, adding that the teacher went "above and beyond" to protect the children.

    Police believe the same fox also bit a woman and her dog earlier this morning at her parents' house on Mill Street/Route 191, less than a mile from the school. According to police, the animal wandered onto the porch around 10 a.m. and attacked the victim, who is in her 30s, when she opened the door.

    East Windsor police and Animal Control responded to both scenes and said the animal was aggressive toward officers who arrived to capture it.

    East Windsor police caution residents against approach animals "acting strange or appearing sick" and advise people to instead call the police department at 860-292-8240.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Ninita Witzke

    Second-grade student Evan Witzke was bitten by a fox outside Broad Brook Elementary School in East Windsor on Monday, along with two school staff members. Police believe the same fox also bit a resident who lives about a mile away from the school.Second-grade student Evan Witzke was bitten by a fox outside Broad Brook Elementary School in East Windsor on Monday, along with two school staff members. Police believe the same fox also bit a resident who lives about a mile away from the school.

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    The Secretary of State's Office has launched an online ad campaign on National Voter Registration Day Tuesday encouraging voters to register online to vote in the Nov. 4 election.

    The ads will run through Oct. 21, the online registration deadline, on websites and social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.

    A video ad is available on YouTube explaining the process.

    So far, about 10,000 new voters in Connecticut have registered online or used the system to change their registration status.

    “What a great opportunity on this National Voter Registration Day to remind every adult Connecticut citizen about our new online feature that makes it easier and more convenient than ever to register to vote,” Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill, Connecticut’s chief elections official, said in a statement. “With Election Day rapidly approaching November 4th, Connecticut voters can – from the convenience of their smartphone – go online to register to vote. Make sure your voice is heard this November, register to vote today!”

    Merrill was also scheduled to appear at young voter registration events at E.C. Goodwin Technical High School in New Britain and Connecticut College in New London.

    Click here to register to vote online. You can find out if you're registered to vote and where your polling location is on the Secretary of State's website.

    Absentee ballots will be available to registered voters in the state on Oct. 3.

    Polls will open Nov. 4 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.



    Photo Credit: NECN

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    A North Canaan farm has been evacuated after a chemical reaction produced a vapor cloud Tuesday afternoon, and fire officials said a regional hazmat team has been called to the scene.

    According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, two chemicals used to clean dairy equipment were "inadvertently mixed" around 1 p.m. Tuesday at Elm Knoll Farm, located at 294 East Canaan Road/Route 44 in the East Canaan section of North Canaan.

    DEEP officials said the chemical reaction produced a vapor cloud containing chlorine and phosphine, and the farm was subsequently evacuated.

    Torrington firefighters arrived at the farm and cut power to the barn, which ended the reaction, the DEEP said.

    The Torrington hazmat team and first responders from DEEP worked to ventilate the barn. A DEEP spokesperson said late Tuesday afternoon that tests revealed ventilation successfully removed the chemicals from the air.

    Traffic was delayed on Route 44 after officials shut down one lane of traffic while responding to the scene. Fire officials said the incident was contained to one barn.

    It's not clear if anyone has been injured. DEEP officials said any environmental damage to the area will be minimal.

    Check back for updates on this developing story.



    Photo Credit: Monica Garske

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    A dump truck driver was killed on Interstate 91 in New Haven early Tuesday morning after the back of his truck hit an overpass on the highway, according to state police.

    Dave Chavannes, 50, of Bridgeport, was driving a truck for Lac Landscaping in Milford around 4:30 a.m. when the back of this truck, which was raised, struck an old overpass that connected I-95 southbound to Route 34 westbound, according to state police.

    Chavannes was ejected from the truck when it collided with a concrete support pillar. Police said he fell onto Walter Street from the exit 1 off-ramp.

    Chavannes was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

    I-91 southbound was closed at the ramp and the I-95 southbound merger and the ramp. Traffic was diverted for hours as emergency crews responded to the scene.



    Photo Credit: Djchinolo Mix

    A dump truck driver was killed when the back of his truck collided with an overpass on Interstate 91 in New Haven early Tuesday morning.A dump truck driver was killed when the back of his truck collided with an overpass on Interstate 91 in New Haven early Tuesday morning.

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