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    Nurse Kaci Hickox, who recently returned from treating Ebola victims in West Africa and has challenged the legality of a quarantine, spoke outside of her Maine home after health officials announced they are seeking a court order to force her to stay home in quarantine for three weeks over public health concerns.

    Hickox walked out of her Fort Kent home Wednesday night, defying the Maine CDC's protocol for health care workers who have treated Ebola patients.

    "We have to make decisions based on science," she told reporters while standing outside with her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur. "You could hug me. You could shake my hand and not get Ebola."

    The state wants people who have had direct contact with Ebola patients to remain home and avoid public contact until the virus' 21-day incubation period had passed, and it will seek court orders to force them to if they don't of their own accord, officials said at a Wednesday press conference in Augusta.

    "Our true desire is for a voluntary separation from the public. We do not want to legally enforce an in-home quarantine unless absolutely necessary," Maine Commissioner of Health and Human Services Mary Mayhew said. "However, we will pursue legal authority if necessary to ensure risk is minimized for all Mainers."

    Mayhew defended the state's effort to enforce what it continued to call a "voluntary" quarantine, saying it reflected a "common-sense approach" that would "guard against a public health crisis in Maine."

    The court order seeking to force Hickox to remain home will ideally be filed Wednesday, Mayhew said.

    Officials also said state troopers are outside of her door waiting to tail her and see who she comes into contact with if she leaves home.

    Earlier on Wednesday, Hickox, a nurse who had first been quarantined in New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport over the weekend and was released after showing no symptoms, told Matt Lauer on "Today" that she wasn't abiding by Maine CDC's recommendation; the state's CDC recommendation is more strict than federal guidelines.

    "I truly believe this policy is not scientifically nor constitutionally just, and so I’m not going to sit around and be bullied around by politicians and be forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public," Hickox said. 

    Gov. Paul LePage said in a statement earlier on Wednesday that while he's concerned with the safety and health of Hickox and the community of Fort Kent, the state is "exploring all of our options for protecting the health and well-being" of Hickox and the community.

    "While we certainly respect the rights of one individual, we must be vigilant in protecting 1.3 million Mainers, as well as anyone who visits," LePage's statement said.


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    Most students in West Haven will stay home from school on Election Day, but for 48 high schoolers, it's a class day.

    Students taking Advanced Placement Government and Politics are required to volunteer with a political campaign and work at least two hours when the polls open.

    "Doing lit drops, canvassing, making phone calls, doing stuff at headquarters, boiler room activities – that's American politics," said Mark Consorte, who has taught the class since 1997.

    When Consorte began teaching, campaign offices would feature banks of telephones. Now a volunteer at the Democratic headquarters in West Haven, student Destiny Halapin uses her own smartphone to make calls.

    "It's a lot of talking to the people and trying to be like, 'What are your views here?'" she explained.

    Another student, Kendall Griffiths, has worked closely with a Republican candidate for the state legislature in Orange, logging data from the most recent canvassing on a laptop.

    "Honestly, even if it wasn't required, I probably would have come out," Griffiths said. "It's just something that I like to do.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Its been around as long as anyone can remember, but now Grossman's Seafood in Groton is closing.

    "I think its terrible. They've been here a long time," said Faye White, one of many long-time customers disappointed by the news.

    Grossman's general manager confirmed that the Mystic location was already closed and the outlet on Gold Star Highway would be closed by the week's end.

    Barbara Swec has been coming to Grossman's from New London for years.

    "It's always worth the trip across the bridge," she said.

    Ellen Fossum, who said she counts on Grossman's cod cakes, is now counting on the closure being temporary.

    "Everyone's going to miss them and wants them to reopen for sure," Fossum said.

    Grossman's longtime owner died in 2012 but the general manager, his son-in-law, would not comment on any plans for the future.

    In the meantime, loyal customers will have to find another place to buy their seafood.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Wednesday marks the anniversary of two major storms that hit Connecticut and left behind a trail of damage from which the state is still rebounding.

    It's been two years since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Connecticut coast and three years since the October snowstorm knocked out power to most of the state for days on end.

    East Haven resident Billy Porto said Sandy left his neighborhood permanently changed.

    "It's different. People have raised the houses, but it's like the neighborhood is quiet. It was more active," explained Porto, who moved down the street after Sandy knocked his home off its foundation.

    Houses along Fairfield Beach are still in the process of being raised and the process to rebuild is slow after the storm destroyed homes in the neighborhood.

    "It's still kind of a mess, but compared to what it was right after Sandy, it's a tremendous improvement," said Fairfield resident Tim Hapgood.

    “Our state continues to recover but there’s more work to do. In the months that have passed since Super Storm Sandy, Tropical Storm Irene, and the October Nor’easter of 2011, we have taken steps to make sure our state can weather the effects of climate change," Gov. Dan Malloy said in a statement on Wednesday.

    "We’ve created the nation’s first microgrid program, providing town centers with the capability of sustaining power during large-scale outages. We’re holding utility companies accountable by imposing penalties on them if they don’t take proper precautions or if they don’t restore service in a timely manner," Malloy said.

    The state also established Shore Up CT to help shoreline residents protect their homes from storms and flooding and has also preserved open space along the shoreline "as a coastal buffer against storm waters," according to Malloy.

    "Sandy was important to us because we have never seen that kind of storm surge that Sandy had produced," explained New Haven Emergency Management Deputy Director Rick Fontana. "We now have new mapping that's been put into place, so our evacuation areas are going to be a little more identified."

    How did the storms affect you and your family? Tell the comments and send your photos from the historic storms to shareit@nbcconnecticut.com.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Shoreline locations, including Penfield Pavilion in Fairfield, are still reeling from Superstorm Sandy two years later.Shoreline locations, including Penfield Pavilion in Fairfield, are still reeling from Superstorm Sandy two years later.

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    You never know what you'll see on infomercials, but the government in Derby hopes you'll see the state's smallest city and consider moving or working there.

    Derby is buying five minutes of promotion time on television for $19,800. Mayor Dr. Anita Dugatto calls the infomercial, which is produced by Communities of Distinction, "a marketing tool."

    Residents are divided on the issue.

    "I don't think it's worth it," said Derby resident Ralph Drobnak. "In Derby, there are a few shopping centers, but there's really nothing for the people to be drawn to."

    Just across the town line in Orange, Al Robles has a different perspective.

    "Any advertising is good. It shows they're interested in making it better," Robles said.

    One man who spent his teenage years in Derby, then moved across the Housatonic to Shelton said Derby has more to offer than people might realize.

    "It's very small. It's not on the map," said David Atkins. "So a lot of people don't know about Derby, so when they come out here they get to see what it's like."
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Police have arrested the 26-year-old man accused of breaking into a home in the Taftville section of Norwich and jumping from a side window when officers surrounded the house.

    According to police, Stephen Tsolis, of West Warwick, Rhode Island, broke into a house on Maennerchor Avenue around 11 a.m. Wednesday and stole jewelry, cash, coins and prescription medications, among other items.

    A neighbor called police after noticing a suspicious person on the property and hearing glass break while the residents were away, according to police.

    Tsolis was taken into custody outside the home and charged with third-degree burglary, fifth-degree larceny and second-degree criminal mischief.

    He was held on $25,000 bond and is due in court Oct. 30.



    Photo Credit: Norwich Police Department

    Stephen Tsolis, 26, is accused of burglarizing a home in the Taftville section of Norwich, then jumping out a window to get away from police.Stephen Tsolis, 26, is accused of burglarizing a home in the Taftville section of Norwich, then jumping out a window to get away from police.

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    A group of scientists says it has identified a piece of famed aviator Amelia Earhart's twin-engine Lockheed Electra, 77 years after her ill-fated flight around the world, Discovery.com reported.

    The piece of debris — a custom-made, aluminum window patch — was discovered back in 1991 on the uninhabited atoll of Nikumaroro, part of the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati.

    Researchers from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) say that its new analysis suggests Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, made a forced landing on a small, sandy island in the southwest Pacific before dying as castaways there. It has long been believed that Earhart's plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean after running out of fuel.

    According to TIGHAR, the patch is "as unique to her particular aircraft as a fingerprint is to an individual." On top of that, TIGHAR says, its 10 archaeological expeditions to Nikumaroro have yielded strong circumstantial evidence that castaways were once present there.

    TIGHAR has been trying to unravel the mystery of Earhart's doomed flight for years, and it called its latest identification a breakthrough in the case.

    Its researchers are set to return to Nikumaroro in June 2015 to explore a mysterious object 600 feet underwater that it says could be Earhart's plane. The expedition will also search for smaller objects at shallower depths.

    Earhart was the first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean alone. Her plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937, while she was attempting to circumnavigate the globe. She and Noonan, who was also on board, were never seen again.



    Photo Credit: TIGHAR

    Researchers say a piece of aluminum debris found on the Pacific island of Nikumaroro in 1991 matches up with a window patch that was installed on Amelia Earhart's ill-fated aircraft.Researchers say a piece of aluminum debris found on the Pacific island of Nikumaroro in 1991 matches up with a window patch that was installed on Amelia Earhart's ill-fated aircraft.

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    Just days after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's fourth trip to Connecticut to stump for GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley, the Republican Governors Assocation has announced that Christie will make a fifth and final trip to the state the day before the polls open.

    Christie will travel to Windsor Locks on Monday, Nov. 3 to attend a rally for Foley, according to the Republican Governors Association. The two will meet at 5:15 p.m. at Bobby V's Restaurant and Bar on Schoephoester Road.

    It's the New Jersey governor's fifth and final appearance alongside Foley in the days leading up to the election.

    Christie appeared alongside Foley at a rally in Groton on Tuesday and has previously appeared alongside the Republican candidate in Stamford and Greenwich.

    Foley hopes to unseat incumbent Gov. Dan Malloy in next Tuesday's election. The latest Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday shows the two in a dead heat, each drawing 43 percent of the vote, with unaffiliated candidate Joe Visconti pulling



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stumps for GOP candidate for governor Tom Foley in Stamford in September.New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stumps for GOP candidate for governor Tom Foley in Stamford in September.

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    The girlfriend of a Central Connecticut State University basketball star suspended after his arrest on domestic violence charges said that she lied about the incident and is asking the school and team to take him back.

    Kyle Vinales was arrested after his girlfriend, Mariam Mena, 22, called police to report that he hit her on the drive home from dinner after an argument escalated, according to police. She told police that he "punched her on the forehead" and "squeezed hard, causing her pain." The incident reportedly happened on Oct. 23, according to the police report.

    But now Mena is coming forward to say she made the whole thing up and that Vinales didn't hit her at all.

    “He’s in trouble and he’s losing everything, for something that’s my fault," she said. “No one should be going through so much scrutiny for something that isn’t true. He didn’t beat me. He didn’t hurt me.”

    She referred to Vinales as "the victim," stating that "everyone is making me seem – I made me seem like the victim."

    In the police report, Vinales said that Mena pulled their car over on Ella Grasso Boulevard and hit him in the chest and the face, but officers didn't find any marks on him to corroborate that and she wasn't arrested.

    Now Mena is calling herself the instigator.

    “I was the one who was yelling, I was cursing. I was the one who pulled over the car. I was the one who was hitting his face," she said.

    Mena said she called police upset after the argument, crying hysterically, and wanted Vinales to "face the consequences" and "wanted him to get in trouble" for past incidents when he had called 911.

    Vinales told investigators that he shoved Mena's face against the car window, police said in the incident report. But he told NBC Connecticut on Wednesday that he never hit his girlfriend and that he did what he could to diffuse the argument.

    "I did not hit her. I did not punch her. I tried to get out of the situation and walked away," Vinales said, adding that all he wants is to get back to school and basketball as soon as he can.

    Mena had a mark on her face after the dispute and told police it came from Vinales hitting her. But now she is saying that she actually got the injury in a car accident after the argument.

    “I had slammed on my brakes so hard and I was going to merge left because I saw it last minute, and I hit my head on the steering wheel and that was that," she said. "You know what I mean? And obviously the cop asked me, ‘Oh is that from him?’ and I said, ‘Yeah,’ out of anger.”

    Mena said that she never intended to "take something so small and create something so big and destroy something so important."

    "I felt like if I had just went home [sic] and cried it out, and was just thinking about the situation, I would have never ended up making it so much bigger than it was," Mena said, adding that her emotions made her more "dramatic" and sparked her to "say things that weren't true just to try to get him in trouble, but I didn't think it would come out to something this dramatic."

    She said that she is sorry for everything Vinales and the CCSU Blue Devils are going through in the wake of his arrest.

    “He is an amazing guy. He didn’t do anything wrong, and I just pray that the school can accept him to become a Blue Devil again," she said.

    CCSU officials declined to comment on what this new development could mean for Vinales and police said the investigation is ongoing. Vinales was charged with disorderly conduct and third-degree assault after the reported incident, according to the state judicial website

    The court is awaiting Vinales' disposition and he has been referred to a family relations officer, according to the state judicial website. He is due in court again on Dec. 5.


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    Police have identified a man shot and killed in Hartford early Wednesday morning and are looking for the person who shot him.

    Police said that officers found Jose O'Casio, 24, of Hartford, between two cars outside 198 Jefferson Street suffering multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body. Officers responded after its ShotSpotter system detected 15 shots fired at about 1:27 a.m.

    O'Casio was unresponsive and pronounced dead less than 10 minutes later.

    His family told NBC Connecticut that O'Casio was the father of a young child.

    He was on probation before he died, according to police.

    Hartford Hospital security stopped someone running from the scene and police are questioning the person, but it's unclear if the person had anything to do with the shooting.  Police also interviewed a witness Wednesday morning.

    Police said that the shooting likely wasn't random and that the victim was targeted.

    This marks the city's 13th homicide of the year.

    "We just buried a man last week that was shot and killed on Brook Street, so it just seems to me that it's never going to end, but we have to find some solution," Rev. Henry Brown, of Hartford said.

    The street is closed in the area as homicide detectives investigate. No arrests have been made at this time.

    More information will be provided when it becomes available.

    Police ask anyone with information to call Lt. Brandon O'Brien at 860-757-4089 or submit tips through the department's website.


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    A college student from Connecticut is one of 84 people arrested during riots at an annual New Hampshire pumpkin festival earlier this month.

    Groton resident Tory Knaff, 18, is charged with one felony count of reckless conduct after throwing a beer bottle into the crowd, “the beer bottle being a deadly weapon in the manner in which it was used, which placed another in danger of serious bodily injury,” police said, citing the court complaint.

    Knaff was released on $5,000 bond and is due in court the morning of Dec. 9. His curfew has been set for 9:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. and he is forbidden from consuming drugs or alcohol, according to police.

    More than 30 people were injured during violent parties near Keene State College during the city’s Pumpkin Festival on Saturday, Oct. 18. Police responded in force with riot gear, gas tanks and pepper spray in an effort to control unruly crowds.

    City officials in Keene said rioters threw rocks, bottles, cans and billiard balls and set fire to the middle of a road. Crowds damaged college, city and private property and overturned at least one car.

    Authorities are still investigating and are asking anyone with information to come forward.
     



    Photo Credit: Keene Police Department/Viewer Photo

    Tory Knaff, 18, of Groton, is one of 84 people arrested in connection with riots at a New Hampshire pumpkin festival earlier this month.Tory Knaff, 18, of Groton, is one of 84 people arrested in connection with riots at a New Hampshire pumpkin festival earlier this month.

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    The school superintendent in East Lyme is alerting parents after an elementary school student was diagnosed with viral meningitis.

    Superintendent Dr. Jim Lombardo said the student went home sick from Niantic Center School last week and that the student's parents informed him of the diagnosis Tuesday night.

    Lombardo notified Niantic Center School parents and sent them information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Although the CDC says most cases of viral meningitis are caused by enteroviruses, Lombardo said the illness is typical among children and that it's "very treatable."

    "The East Lyme Public Schools' medical advisor, Dr. Vijay Sikand, has informed us that these types of viruses are not uncommon, and that the school does not need to take any additional steps beyond our normal protocols of contacting parents if and when a child becomes ill at school," Lombardo wrote in the letter to parents Wednesday.

    The child is out of school and receiving treatment.

    Lombardo said he wants to keep parents informed but emphasized that there is no cause for alarm.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    When a Chicago teenager opened her birthday gifts, she never anticipated she’d wind up with $4 million.

    Deisi Ocampo said her dad gave her two $100 Million Money Mania instant tickets for her 19th birthday.

    “It turned out to be the best birthday present ever,” she told Illinois Lottery officials.

    Ocampo said she scratched off the tickets on Oct. 7 while on her way to work. She didn’t win anything on the first ticket she scratched, but when she finished scratching the second ticket, she realized she had won $4 million.

    “I started sweating. I couldn’t believe it was possible,” she said. “I worked the whole day without saying a word to anyone.”

    The Chicago native lives with her parents and sister. When she got home that day, she said her parents didn’t believe it either.

    “When I told my dad I won he asked, ‘How much? $500?’ and I said, ‘No, Dad, $4 million,’” she said.

    Ocampo, who works at a clothing store while attending college, says she plans to use the money to help pay for school and buy her family a new house.

    “This lottery win will make it easier to pursue my dream of completing my degree and becoming a nurse,” she said.

    The tickets were purchased at the Austin and Montrose Citgo at 5959 West Montrose Ave. in Chicago.



    Photo Credit: Illinois Lottery

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    The pilot of a military jet was killed when the aircraft crashed in a field in the Point Mugu area on Wednesday, the Ventura County Fire Department said.

    The Hawker Hunter MK-58 came down about 5 p.m. just off Highway 1 and Hueneme Road, said Allen Kenitzer of the Federal Aviation Administration.

    A witness told NBC4 that the jet just "nosed down" and described the scene as a "tremendous crash."

    Responders located the pilot seat in the field with the deceased pilot belted in.

    "They saw a parachute in the debris field. It is unknown whether he tried to eject or whether that was just part of the field,” Ventura Co. Fire Capt. Mike Lindberry said. 

    The jet crashed about a mile short of the Naval base runway. 

    Naval Base Ventura County spokeswoman Kimberly Gearhart said the single-seater jet was a contract aircraft that flew out of Point Mugu and was operated by the company ATAC. The Navy uses the aircraft for training missions as the enemy in mock aerial operations. The jet was returning from an offshore exercise when it went down. 

    Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating, Kenitzer said.

    "The investigation for this is going to be a lengthy one," Ventura Co. Sheriff's Capt. Don Aguilar said. 

    Two and a half years ago, the pilot of another Hunter Hawker had been killed when it also went down on a training mission. A temporary grounding of the fleet was later lifted. It will be the responsibility of federal investigators to determine what went wrong in Wednesday's crash.

    The name of the pilot who died in the crash is being withheld until his family is notified.

    Willian Avila and Rosa Ordaz contributed to this report. 


    Firefighters respond to a military plane crash in the Point Mugu area on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014.Firefighters respond to a military plane crash in the Point Mugu area on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014.

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    A Staten Island woman who lost her husband and daughter during Sandy says she survived for a reason.

    "It's very important I can't curl up in a corner, I have to get up every day and try," said Patricia Dresch of Tottenville, two years after Sandy.

    "It's a miracle. I survived for a reason," she said. "Maybe to help someone down the road, give somebody courage to go on."

    Dresch and her family ignored evacuation orders on Oct. 29, 2012, because their home had been looted when they left before Irene. So they stayed. They soon realized it was a mistake.

    "I saw the waves are coming up across the street," she said. "I said 'Oh my God, what's happening?'"

    She said she tried to grasp her 13-year old daughter Angela, but the storm waters soon became too intense. One wall of her Yetman Avenue home collapsed, and her husband George was killed after getting whisked away in the flood.

    “I'm holding onto Angela, and the water’s coming up over us, and we went under. I thought we were going to fall through the floor," she recalled.

    "All of a sudden the wall just opened up, and we went out the whole yard," she said. "I don't know if I let go of her or she let go of me -- she just slipped away from me.”

    Angela was found dead right in front of the property.

    Hours later, somehow, firefighters found Dresch hundreds of yards away, still breathing in the rubble. Her body temperature had dropped to 81 degrees. She was bruised and battered but had no broken bones.

    Her spirit — and her heart — would need healing.

    For months, she slept on a cot in her church, while working to keep her mind off the nightmare. Then the city bought her old property, and she used the money to buy a new house, about a mile north of where the tide surged.

    She’s been able to recover emotionally day by day thanks to friends, family and a new grandson. Her older daughter recently gave birth to baby Shea, named after the stadium.

    But she’s never been back to her old block.

    "Maybe 10 years from now. Right now I can't," she said.

    "I want to remember the block the way it was. I want to remember it in my mind the way it was."


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    A 30-year-old New York man accused of calling in a fake threat on the life of President Barack Obama told investigators he framed his former roommate, a New Haven resident, because he didn’t approve of the man’s romantic relationship and wanted to get him in trouble, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

    Prosecutors said Juan Medina, of Yonkers, used a prepaid cellphone to call police during Obama’s trip to Westchester County for a fundraiser Aug. 29.

    Medina identified himself as “Hassan” and said his former roommate, who lives in New Haven, was traveling to New York to shoot the president with an AK-47, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

    Authorities said Medina gave police his roommate’s name and address in New Haven, along with a description of the man’s car. Secret Service agents flocked to the neighborhood and searched surrounding towns to track him down. Hamden police spotted the man’s car in a city parking lot and found him at a home nearby.

    A searched turned up no evidence to corroborate the threat and prosecutors said the man was surprised to learn the Secret Service was looking for him.

    He directed agents to Medina, who admitted to making the call because he didn’t approve of his former roommate’s relationship and wanted to get him in trouble, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

    Medina faces federal charges and could face up to five years in prison if convicted. He was released on a $25,000 bond.


    President Barack Obama arrives in Westchester, New York on Friday, Aug. 29.President Barack Obama arrives in Westchester, New York on Friday, Aug. 29.

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    After receiving complaints from customers who were switched from AT&T Connecticut to Frontier Communications this week, the company says it will issue $50 credits to all FrontierTV Powered by U-Verse customers.

    The switchover began on Saturday and almost immediately, some customers complained about internet and phone service, as well as problems with accessing high definition and standard definition channels, including NFL Redzone and Cartooon Network.

    The company has been posting updates on its Facebook page.

    "We are aware that customers are continuing to see pixelation and audio issues. Our engineers are reconvening to look into the issue and we will provide status updates here as soon as they are available," the company posted on its Facebook page on Wednesday morning.

    Frontier announced the credit Wednesday night.

    "Connecticut: You spoke, we listened. Because some of our FrontierTV Powered by U-verse customers have experienced service interruptions, ALL [FrontierTV Powered by U-verse] customers will automatically receive a $50 billing credit by year-end. You do NOT need to contact us to receive this credit. Customers who experienced any substantial broadband disruption will receive a bill credit for the time without service," a Facebook post said.

    The company 99 percent of customers experienced no service interuptions during the switchover, and for those who did, the problems are being addressed as quickly as possible.


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    When the wedding video featuring a Go-Pro camera and a bottle of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky went viral this week, it only added to the buzz surrounding the enormously popular liquor. With a market share of $61 million last year, the product zoomed past other popular beverages in a very short timeframe.

    But news out of Europe may throw a little water on the Fireball party: The product is now recalled in Finland, Sweden and Norway over concerns in the amount of an ingredient that's allowed in certain amounts in the U.S., but is more strictly regulated in Europe.

    Propylene glycol, a chemical used in a wide range of products including several foods, drinks, cosmetics, and anti-freeze and de-icing solutions, was found in higher amounts in the whiskey than is permitted by the European Union and Norway.

    The beverage owners say it was an “oops” of sorts, stating the bottles were mistakenly shipped to Europe instead of the U.S. The company said it uses a different recipe for bottles shipped to Europe than it does for bottles in North America.

    The news prompted some questions about the differing amounts in the company’s U.S. and European versions.

    Propylene glycol is considered by the Food and Drug Administration to be a GRAS substance, which stands for “generally recognized as safe.”

    NBC5 Investigates has covered questions on the ingredient before, previously finding the chemical in popular water enhancers like Mio, in amounts doctors said were likely of little or no concern, unless ingested in copious quantities.

    The owner of Fireball released a statement Wednesday:

    Fireball Cinnamon Whisky assures its consumers that the product is perfectly safe to drink. There is no recall in North America. Fireball fans can continue to enjoy their favorite product as they always have.  Late last week Sazerac, the makers of Fireball, was contacted by its European bottler regarding a small recipe-related compliance issue in Finland.

    Regulations for product formulation are different in Europe, which explains why recipes for products like soft drinks, alcohol/spirits and even candies and confections are slightly different than their North American counterparts. Fireball, therefore, has a slightly different recipe for Europe.

    Unfortunately, Fireball shipped its North American formula to Europe and found that one ingredient is out of compliance with European regulations. Finland, Sweden and Norway have asked to recall those specific batches, which is what the brand is doing.

    Fireball anticipates the product being back on shelves for fans in these countries within three weeks.

    The company said there would be no recall in the United States, noting they only use 1/8 the amount of propylene glycol the FDA allows in the U.S. They would not comment on how much of the chemical is used in the European product, only confirming they adhere to the stricter guidelines.


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    The husband of a Democratic incumbent lawmaker now up for re-election in Delaware stole Republican campaign signs under the cover of darkness, according to police.

    And Republican party supporters, concerned about a series of recent thefts of GOP party signs, captured the heist on cellphone video.

    Middletown, Delaware, police issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for Dana Long following the thefts at Middletown Odessa and Silver Lake roads.

    "My husband is the man depicted in the video," said state Sen. Bethany Hall-Long (D-Middletown) in a prepared statement.

    Police say Dana Long stole signs with slogans such as “Delaware Needs Jobs, Vote Republican” and “Fix the Economy, Vote Republican” written on them.

    Hall-Long, who took office in District 10 in 2009, is currently running for re-election against Republican challenger John Marino, a retired New York City police officer. Hall-Long served in the state House before serving in the Senate.

    "Sadly, this race has become tough and personal," said Hall-Long. "I was not aware that he had allowed his frustration over the campaign attacks to get the better of him. Of course I'm disappointed and wish that it had not happened."

    On her campaign website, Hall-Long says that she married her high school sweetheart Dana, a U.S. Navy veteran, 27 years ago.

    Hall-Long withheld further comment citing potential legal action by the GOP.

    Wednesday’s incident was the third time the Republican signs placed along Middletown Odessa Road went missing, according to investigators. On Sunday about 28 went missing, were replaced and by Tuesday morning were missing again.

    Police said that local Republicans put the signs back up and waited to see if anyone came by to take the signs. The Republicans captured him removing the signs and returning to his car around 4 a.m. Wednesday, according to investigators.

    In video the local GOP supplied to NBC10, you can see a man rush back into his car after being approached by the Republican advocates.

    “Those aren’t your signs, bud,” said one man.

    “There’s no name on these signs,” replied the man with an armful of signs.

    The GOP says that the signs do state that they are the property of the Republican Party of Delaware.

    Police expect Long, 54, to surrender Thursday morning.

    The leader of Delaware’s Democratic Party denounced any theft of signs.

    "The bottom line is that this is not a Republican or Democratic issue -- this is a campaign issue happening by all parties, and it must end," said Democratic Party chair John Daniello.

    "Each campaign season, we deal with candidates removing their opponents signs. This behavior is absolutely unacceptable. There are more positive ways in which to support your candidate regardless of party affiliation," he said. "Candidates, their supporters, and their campaigns must lead by example and discourage this behavior. We understand that this election is coming to a close and tensions are high, but Democrats shouldn't waste their time on such senseless acts."



    Photo Credit: YouTube.com - Republican Party of Delaware

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    Officials will step up security at Newington schools on Halloween after the district received threats from extremists groups in light of a decision to cancel costume parades at two elementary schools.

    The Newington Board of Education convened a special meeting Wednesday night the night after the district received threats from "national extremist groups" in light of a decision to cancel Halloween parades at Ruth Chaffee and Anna Reynolds elementary schools, according to superintendent Dr. William Collins.

    Collins wrote a letter to families clarifying that Halloween celebrations at school were never canceled altogether and that costumes will be permitted at after-school activities but not during school hours.

    Board members in favor of no costumes and no parades cited the time it takes away from learning.

    “It’s not just about a half hour parade,” said Beth McDonald. “It’s about the anticipation and distraction leading up to it.”

    Those opposed argued in favor of tradition and lobbied to let kids just be kids. They attended the meeting wearing black-and-orange ribbon stickers in support of the spooky holiday.

    “You have to understand the importance of holidays to children and their families,” said Karen Petersen.

    The decision to ban costumes during the school day has sparked controversy around the country. Collins said he has received threatening calls from as far away as Washington state, prompting the request to beef up police security on Friday.

    Collins said extra patrols will keep an eye on the town's four elementary schools.

    "The threats I received are in no way meant to harm any of our children," Collins said.

    The board apologized Wednesday for its timing and the way the ban was communicated to parents. Board members promised improved communication going forward.


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