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    A northeastern Pennsylvania resident said he's been stopped and questioned more than 20 times by authorities who have mistaken him for a man sought in the killing of a state trooper, including one encounter at gunpoint that left him fearing for his life.

    James Tully, 39, of Canadensis, said he wears his ID prominently around his neck as he walks to work each day through the wooded area where authorities are looking for Eric Frein. Nevertheless, he said he was once stopped about seven times in a single day.

    "I'm worried about what is going to happen with the next one," Tully told the Pocono Record. "Is he going to shoot first and ask questions later?"

    Trooper Tom Kelly, a state police spokesman, said Thursday the agency will investigate any formal complaint about alleged mistreatment. No such complaint has been filed, Kelly said.

    Police have been searching for Frein in the woods around Canadensis since an ambush outside their barracks Sept. 12 left one state trooper dead and another seriously wounded. Authorities describe Frein, who grew up in the area, as a self-taught survivalist and expert marksman who hates law enforcement.

    Not many people travel by foot in the rural region, which is filled with winding two-lane roads. Tully, a father of two, said he walks five miles each way to his job at a metal manufacturing company because he doesn't own a car. He carries a backpack, which police believe Frein has also done.

    On Oct. 17, Tully said he was walking home when a driver in tactical gear pulled over, pointed a rifle at him and forced him down on the ground, putting a knee in his back. Tully said the man never identified himself, but let him go after another officer appeared and vouched for Tully.

    "This guy apparently had delusions of grandeur that he would be the one to catch Frein," said Tully's father, Bob Tully. "We completely commiserate with the police, but this guy went full commando on my son."

    James Tully said he went to the hospital and was diagnosed with bruised ribs. He now wears a reflective vest that he hopes will help identify him as someone not trying to hide from police.

    "The one they're hunting for, he's not going to stand out. He's going to try and blend in," Tully told WNEP-TV. "I want to stand out so I can let them know ... I'm not the one they're looking for. Just let me go on my way."

    A woman created a GoFundMe crowdfunding account to buy Tully a car and had raised more than $7,800 by Thursday afternoon.


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    Emergency crews worked through the night in Wethersfield after fallen wires came in contact with natural gas, sparking a fire that reached the heights of power lines and trees on Wednesday night.

    The Wethersfield Fire Department was dispatched to Goff and Wells Road for a structure fire, Wethersfield Fire Capt. Paul Thompson said, but crews determined that wires came down during the storm and one hit a valve that turns a gas main on and offi.

    "Arriving fire officials found that we had a natural gas vent fire that had been ignited by the primary wires coming down," Thompson said. 

    No one was injured, but it was a bit of a shock for neighbors who heard a loud noise.

    "All of a sudden, I hear a huge explosion and my window lit up with white and the next thing you know, there's a fire right down our street," Patrick Dowd said. "...  It was like the movies. ... It was a huge clap. it wasn't quite ground shaking, but it was pretty loud."

    Wethersfield resident Gary Sharkevich said he heard a "loud pop" and "crack" that sounded like "a big firecracker big explosion."

    Firefighters sprayed water into the fire as they dug to access the gas leak.

    Crews also secured the scene, evacuated the house and monitored the situation to make sure the fire did not spread to the home.

    Connecticut Light & Power officials also responded to cut power to the wires so CT Natural Gas could shut down the affected gas feed, Thompson said.

    "It's the wind we watch so the flames don't get blown in direction of house," Thompson said. "...Natural gas, obviously there's always a fire explosion risk associated with it. ... While the fire looks spectacular, it's actually burning off that gas, which puts us in a better position than having an open leak like that so we can see where that gas is going. See how it's burning and we can keep it contained at this point."

    The power has been turned back on.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police and fire crews have responded to what police say is a gas main fire in Wethersfield.Police and fire crews have responded to what police say is a gas main fire in Wethersfield.

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    Police are responding to Seaside Park in Bridgeport, where there is a vehicle in the water near the boat launch.

    Officials said it appears no one is in the vehicle, but emergency crews are checking to make sure.

    Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police are responding to Seaside Park in Bridgeport, where there is a vehicle in the water near the boat launch.Police are responding to Seaside Park in Bridgeport, where there is a vehicle in the water near the boat launch.

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    Part of Whalley Avenue in New Haven was closed this morning after fire broke out at a strip mall at 1460 Whalley Ave., but has reopened.

    The fire started in the back of Vip Dry Cleaners around 5:30 a.m. and firefighters opened a hole in the roof over the dry cleaner and a salon to ensure fire had not spread.

    It's not clear where the fire started or how many businesses it spread to, but there was heavy smoke at Bruegger's Bagels when firefighters arrived.

    It's not clear if anyone was inside.

    Fire officials said a good firewall prevented the fire from doing further damage, but the strip mall will be closed at least for today.

    The health inspector will be heading to the scene to check Bruegger’s Bagels before it can open.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Officials said a firewall prevented fire from spreading.Officials said a firewall prevented fire from spreading.

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    Power remains out for more than 2,000 households and businesses after high winds and heavy rain through the night and more rain and wind are in the forecast for today.

    Winds took down trees in towns from New Haven and Middlesex counties to the northwestern tip of New London County and the southern tips of Tolland and Windham counties.

    Connecticut Light and Power is reporting around 1,900 outages this morning and United Illuminating is reporting more than 350.

    There were also delays of up to 10 minutes on Metro-North because of slippery rain conditions.

    In Guilford, a portion of Sachem Head Road is blocked because a power line and pole are down across the road. A tree is also down on Podunk Road.

    Ledyard police are reporting a tree down on Gallup Hill Road near the back of Ledyard High School and said traffic is limited until Connecticut Light and Power clears the wires.

    A CL&P spokesperson said last night that the power company is working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power due to weather-related outages statewide.

    One of the problems was in Manchester, where a tree fell on wires on Highland Street at about 7:19 p.m. CL&P workers responded to repair the damage.

    The Waterford Police Department responded to several calls reporting downed electrical wires due to storms on Braman Road, Third Avenue, Shore Road and Niantic River Road.

    "Please use caution and do not approach or touch any wires that may be down," the department said on Twitter just after 9 p.m.

    State Police said that they have received many calls about trees down in Lebanon and Preston, including one that fell on wires on Route 165 in Preston near Brand Road.

    Thursday will be cool and windy with gusts up to 35 miles per hour, according to NBC Connecticut meteorologist Bob Maxon.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Three Corners Road in Glastonbury.Three Corners Road in Glastonbury.

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  • 10/23/14--09:12: Superhero Costume Scuffle

  • A violent encounter between costumed superhero characters ended with Mr. Incredible slamming Batgirl on the sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard in a fight caught on camera.

    It was unclear what set off the altercation Tuesday in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre at Hollywood and Highland, and by the time police showed up no witnesses or victims were on scene.

    In the video costumed Chewbacca and Waldo try to hold back Mr. Incredible as he grabs at a woman dressed as Batgirl, eventually throwing her to the ground on the crowded sidewalk. People watching nearby lunge toward the man after the slam, but no further violence appears to take place.

    A man dressed as Spiderman said the sidewalk, filled with celebrity impersonators and people dressed as superheroes, is fiercely competitive as the characters collect money for photos with tourists.

    “No one has respect for each other out here … it’s do or die,” he said. “Literally, everyone is feeding themselves.”

    No arrests have been made. Los Angeles police are investigating the case.



    Photo Credit: www.filmon.com

    A costumed superhero character dressed as Mr. Incredible slammed a woman dressed as Batgirl in Hollywood on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014.A costumed superhero character dressed as Mr. Incredible slammed a woman dressed as Batgirl in Hollywood on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014.

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    Photo Credit: Manchester Police

    James Crane and Keron Parkman have been arrested in connection with an armed robbery in Manchester.James Crane and Keron Parkman have been arrested in connection with an armed robbery in Manchester.

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    Bristol police have arrested a student in connection with a bomb threat at Bristol Central High School on Oct. 9.

    The school was evacuated after someone found a note on a desk saying a bomb would go off in the school, police said, and firefighters and the bomb squad were called brought in.

    The building was determined to be safe, the investigation began and a juvenile was charged with first-degree threatening and breach of peace.

    The student arrested is a juvenile and no additional information has been released on the case.

    This was the latest in a string of  bomb threats at Bristol schools.

    In September, police increased their presence at Bristol schools and arrested a student after the message "bomb school" was written on a bathroom wall at Greene-Hills School.

    In June, two 10-year-olds and a 13-year-old were arrested in connection with a string of school bomb threats in the city. The arrests came after eight bomb scares over a span of nine days.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police are investigating a bomb threat at another Bristol school.Police are investigating a bomb threat at another Bristol school.

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    Medical records pertaining to about 40,000 patients over nearly two decades were stolen from a doctor's office in New Jersey earlier this week, authorities say.

    Police say Nisar Quraishi, a general practitioner with more than 40 years of experience and offices in Jersey City and Manhattan, reported Tuesday that someone had cut through latches on a storage locker at his Jersey City office on Chopin Court and stolen the documents.

    Quraishi told police a resident in the neighborhood called him to tell him the shed door was open, and when Quraishi went to check it out, he found all of his medical records from 1982-2009 were missing.

    The stolen boxes had personal information, including social security numbers and home addresses, of about 40,000 patients he had treated and may still be treating, he told police.

    Quraishi, who is also a clinical assistant professor at NYU Langone , told police he hadn't been to the storage shed since mid-August, at which point it was still locked. He said he had "no idea" who may have broken in, and he couldn't say whose information was stolen.

    Police said there were no security cameras in the area.  


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    Milford police have arrested a man accused of making a threat against Jonathan Law High School.

    Police began investigating on Oct. 17 after receiving information that a Lansdale Avenue resident made a threat referencing Jonathan Law High School, police said.

    After speaking with James Piccirillo, 48, of Milford, police determined there was no present threat to the school community and Piccirillo was admitted to a secure medical facility for evaluation.

    During a search of his home, police seized guns and commercial grade fireworks.

    Piccirillo was released from the medical facility around 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday and taken into police custody. He has been charged with second-degree threatening,illegal possession of explosives and illegal possession of an assault weapon. 

    He was held on a $250,000 bond transported to Milford Superior Court GA22, where he was arraigned. 

    Piccirillo remains in prison.

    Milford Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Feser said in a statement that Piccirillo has no affiliation with Law High School or Milford public schools.


    Milford police have arrested a man accused of making a threat against Jonathan Law High School.Milford police have arrested a man accused of making a threat against Jonathan Law High School.

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    West District School in Farmington is on "lock out" this afternoon as police investigate a home burglary on Coppermine Road, according to school officials and police.

    During a lock out, all the doors are locked and no one is allowed in, but everything inside the school functions normally.

    Police said the lockout was issued for only a couple minutes, but officials from the superintendent's office said the lockout was still ongoing as of 1:52 p.m.

    Police said a resident was returning home and found a woman burglarizing the house.



    Photo Credit: NBC10.com

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    The fiancée of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, has been unable to find a new home in Dallas, even though she was released from monitoring on Monday after showing no signs of the virus.

    Louise Troh, her son and a nephew were quarantined at a Catholic Church camp in Oak Cliff, but they are still living there while they look for new housing.

    Pastors at Troh's church, Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, have been trying to help her rent a home.

    “We’re hopeful today. Things are looking better,” said the Rev. Mark Wingfield, associate pastor at Wilshire Baptist. “The last few days we’ve ended the day very disappointed in the way things have gone.”

    Troh and her family left their unit at The Ivy Apartments in the Dallas Vickery Meadow neighborhood when workers in hazardous materials suits were decontaminating the place.

    Family possessions were removed and incinerated as a precaution against spreading the disease.

    Thomas Eric Duncan stayed in the apartment before being admitted on Sept. 28 to isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where he later died.

    “You can imagine your own residence, and you were taken out of it, and everything in it was destroyed and you’ve got to start over again,” Wingfield said.

    Experts say Troh and her family pose no threat to anyone, and they have nothing from the old apartment to bring to a new one. Still, that has not satisfied landlords to whom Wingfield has spoken.

    “One larger complex in the area we talked to said we just don’t need any publicity out of this, and she’s welcome to fill out an application, but if she does it will not be approved,” Wingfield said.

    Non-profit organizations serving other families in the Vickery Meadow neighborhood are facing difficulty operating programs since many volunteers are refusing to work in the area where an Ebola patient was, according to Laura Ward, with the Dallas Foundation.

    “They're understaffed. They are short on volunteers. There have just been all kinds of needs that have come up in the community and for the non-profits as the result of something unexpected,” Ward said.

    The Dallas Foundation is helping the other organizations return to normal.

    “We've been overwhelmed by the number of people who come forward in our community and said, 'How can I help?'” Ward said.

    Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is working with Wilshire Baptist on finding a new home for Troh and her family.

    “It is challenging,” Rawlings said. “And that’s why we as a community have got to be sure we understand the science and the medicine behind this so she can be welcomed back into a community and pick up her life again.”

    The mayor said he is encouraged by the number of possible contacts leaving the watch list with no symptoms.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday that 66 contacts have now completed a 21-day monitoring period disease-free and 108 are still being monitored. All possible contacts will be released Nov. 7.

    “You see me knocking on wood right now, everyday. That’s what I do,” Rawlings said.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

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    An Ebola drill is underway this morning as Connecticut hospitals prepare in the case that they had to treat an Ebola patient.

    At Midstate Medical Center in Meriden, medical  crews, as well as the person posing as the patient, were covered from head to toe in protective gear. It was part of a test to ensure that the Hartford HealthCare system is ready.

    Last week, Gov. Dannel Malloy ordered all hospitals in the state to perform a drill within the coming week to assure that their procedures and Emergency Medical Services are up to standards should they become necessary.

    This came after a Yale University graduate student came down with Ebola-like symptoms following a researching trip to West Africa. Tests revealted that the student did not have Ebola. 

    Malloy said that made it clear that preemptive action was necessary.

    “I believe we must go above and beyond what the CDC is recommending, just as we did last week when I issued a preemptive declaration.  I want everyone to know – from the nurses in our emergency rooms to our first responders and our law enforcement personnel – we will provide whatever resources we have at our disposal so that you can do your critically important jobs safely and effectively,” Malloy said.

    There have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in Connecticut.

    A family who traveled in West Africa is in quarantine in West Haven for the next three weeks as a precaution. Mayor Edward O’Brien said they do not have symptoms and the quarantine is precautionary, in compliance with the state guidelines



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Connecticut hospitals are testing their readiness in case they had to treat an Ebola patient.Connecticut hospitals are testing their readiness in case they had to treat an Ebola patient.

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    Newington police have arrested a man suspected in an armed robbery at a convenience store two years ago. 

    Three men with a long gun robbed the clerk of the Valero Fas-Mart in Newington on June 26, 2012 and Anthony Marrero, 27, of Hartford, has been identified as one of the suspects. Police said DNA led them to him.

    Marrero was arrested Marreo on a warrant on Tuesday.

    He has been charged with first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree, third-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny in the third degree. 

    Police expect to make more arrests.

    If you have information on the robbery, call the Det. Derek Aivano at the Newington Police Department (860) 666-8445 and reference case number I20122459.



    Photo Credit: Newington Police

    Anthony Marrero has been arrested in connection with an armed robbery in Newington.Anthony Marrero has been arrested in connection with an armed robbery in Newington.

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    The University of Connecticut Avery Point campus in Groton closed at 3 p.m. Thursday due to a power outage that left much the area without electricity, according to university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz.

    All classes and campus activities in the afternoon and evening have been canceled, Reitz said. No other UConn campuses are affected.

    The outages are expected to be resolved by tomorrow and Friday classes will be held as scheduled, unless university officials announce otherwise.

    More information is available through University Communications at 860-486-0871.



    Photo Credit: University of Connecticut

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    A Bay Area tech company has been slapped with a fine and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in back wages after a United States Department of Labor investigation revealed the company paid workers $1.21 an hour.

    The Labor Department said about eight employees of Fremont-based Electronics For Imaging were flown in from India and worked 120-hour weeks to help with the installation of computers at the company's headquarters. The employees were paid their regular hourly wage in Indian rupees, which translated to $1.21.

    EFI, which posted third-quarter revenue of nearly $200 million, released the following statement on Thursday: "During this process we unintentionally overlooked laws that require even foreign employees to be paid based on local US standards."

    Last year, another company, Bloom Energy in Sunnyvale, faced similar charges and was fined for underpaying employees from Mexico an hourly wage of $2.66.

    Federal officials said both cases are particularly egregious, given the booming labor market and the wealth in Silicon Valley.

    "It is certainly outrageous and unacceptable for employers here in Silicon Valley to bring workers and pay less than the minimum wage," said Alberto Raymond, an assistant district director for the United States Department of Labor.

    EFI has been ordered to pay $40,000 in back wages to the employees. In addition, the company was hit with a $3,500 fine.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

    Fremont-based Electronics For Imaging.Fremont-based Electronics For Imaging.

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    A middle school guidance counselor in Windsor returned to work today after agreeing to stop making the erotic horror films that prompted school officials to place him on administrative leave earlier this month, according to the school system.

    Aaron Vnuk, a counselor at Sage Park Middle School in Windsor, and Dr. Mark Foley, principal at Granby Memorial Middle School, are accused of using aliases to make independent horror movies featuring violence and nudity through their company Moongoyle Entertainment.

    Vnuk was placed on administrative leave after school officials learned of the production company and began investigating.

    Windsor Public Schools Supt. Dr. Craig Cooke sent a letter home to parents on Wednesday letting them know that Vnuk would return to work today.

    "After a thorough investigation, we concluded that no students were involved in the films produced by the company, and the teacher's involvement was limited to outside of school hours," Cooke wrote in the letter. "Moreover, we have been assured that the teacher would have no involvement in the future production of any films of a similar nature."

    Cooke posted a statement on the Sage Park Middle School Web site on Oct. 3 announcing Vnuk's suspension while school officials investigated. He assured parents that students were never at risk or in danger.

    Foley was also placed on administrative leave after the allegations came to light. Tim Cunningham was appointed to serve as interim principal.

    Neither Foley nor Vnuk responded to requests for comment.



    Photo Credit: Sage Park Middle Schoo/NBCConnecticut.com
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    Aaron Vnuk, a guidance counselor at Sage Park Middle School in Windsor, has returned to work after he was placed on leave while school officials investigated his alleged involvement in a Aaron Vnuk, a guidance counselor at Sage Park Middle School in Windsor, has returned to work after he was placed on leave while school officials investigated his alleged involvement in a "slasher" film movie production company.

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    A doctor who recently returned from West Africa, where he was on an Ebola assignment for Doctors Without Borders, is being tested for Ebola at Bellevue Hospital Center after reporting fever and gastrointestinal symptoms, officials said.

    The doctor began to feel ill Thursday and called 911. He was transported from a building on 147th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue to Bellevue, law enforcement sources said.

    In addition to being tested for Ebola, the doctor is being screened for malaria, salmonella and stomach flu, which may present with similar symptoms, officials said. Preliminary test results are expected within 12 hours.

    Officials decided to "conduct a test for the Ebola virus because of this patient’s recent travel history, pattern of symptoms, and past work," the Health Department said in a statement.

    Doctors Without Borderes said it was notified Thursday morning that the doctor had a fever. 

    "As per the specific guidelines that Doctors Without Borders provides its staff on their return from Ebola assignments, the individual engaged in regular health monitoring and reported this development immediately," the organization said in a statement. "While at this stage there is no confirmation that the individual has contracted Ebola, Doctors Without Borders, in the interest of public safety and in accordance with its protocols, immediately notified the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, which is directly managing the individual’s care."
     



    Photo Credit: Shaun Smith

    First responders in protective gear respond to a 911 call on 147 Street and Broadway Thursday afternoon.First responders in protective gear respond to a 911 call on 147 Street and Broadway Thursday afternoon.

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    NBC Connecticut will host a gubernatorial forum on Thursday and has invited three candidates to attend.

    Gov. Dannel Malloy, Republican challenger, Tom Foley, and unaffiliated candidate, Joe Visconti were invited to participate in Thursday's forum, which will air live on NBC Connecticut at 7 p.m.

    Foley decided he would not participate in Thursday's forum.

    The decision means Visconti will have a chance to go one-on-one with Malloy, the incumbent governor he is trying to replace.

    A Quinnipiac Poll released on Wednesday shows Malloy with support from 43 percent of likely voters.  Foley is at 42 percent and Visconti with 9 percent.

    The campaign has been mostly negative between Malloy and Foley, with both candidates airing attack ads going after each other.

    A limited campaign budget has kept Visconti out of the ad game, but he will make his case to be Governor during Thursday's forum.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A memorial fund has been set up to benefit the two children whose mother died in a Stamford crash Oct. 18.

    Angela Lopez, 34, was killed when she was struck by a car on Hope Street while standing with her husband, Rafael Escobar, as he filled their food truck's gas tank, according to police.

    Lopez was rushed to Stamford Hospital for treatment but died the next day.

    She leaves behind a son and daughter: 9-year-old Luis, who is in fifth grade at Scofield Magnet Middle School, and 14-year-old Angie, a freshman at Wright Technical High School, according to Stamford police.

    Donations can be mailed to:

    The Luis and Angie Fund
    1127 High Ridge Road #165
    Stamford, CT 06905

    More information is available by email.

    Lopez was born in El Salvador and worked as a housekeeping manager at the Delamar Hotel in Greenwich, according to her obituary.

    Calling hours are Thursday evening at the Jehovah Shammah Church of the Nazarene and a funeral will be held Friday.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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