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Rollover Crash on I-91 South in Rocky Hill


There is a rollover crash on Interstate 91 South in Rocky Hill.

The crash is at exit 24 and traffic is backed up to exit 26.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation Cameras

Part of Route 10 South Closed in Avon and Farmington


Route 10 southbound is closed from Old Farms Road in Avon to Route 4 in Farmington for emergency repair to the traffic loop sensor in the road.

The sensor, which triggers the traffic light at Routes 4 and 10 was damaged in overnight construction.

A detour is set up from Old Farms Road to Tillotson Road to Town Farm Road back to Route 4 and this should last until 3 p.m.

Traffic is heavy in the area.

Photo Credit: NBC10

Merritt Parkway Reopens in Stamford


The Merritt Parkway northbound was closed in Stamford after a crash, but it has since reopened. 

A vehicle rolled over between exits 35 and 36 and minor injuries are reported, according to state police.

This is causing significant backups into New York.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

2 Arrested After Children Found in Makeshift Cages


Two people were arrested on child cruelty charges after a girl, 8, and a boy, 11 — siblings with special needs — were found living in a Georgia home in makeshift cages, authorities said Friday.

Police had received a tip about a child being in alone in the home in the rural town of Chatsworth, the Murray County Sheriff's Office said. A woman — later identified as Wanda Redfern, 49 — answered the door along with the young girl, allowing a deputy inside, investigators said. During a search, he found two "cages" in a bedroom. 

A boy was found living inside the second cage, police said. They believe the children were being kept in the cages since at least June.

The mother of the children was identified as Stephanie Stone, 34. Both women were arrested. Investigators are also looking into a third person who may be connected with the case.

Photo Credit: Georgia Bureau of Investigations

Road Work to Cause Delays on Route 34 in New Haven


Expect delays on part of Route 34 in New Haven this weekend because of road construction.

Route 34, near the West River Bridge, will be reduced from a four-lane road to a two-lane road, with one lane in each direction from 8 p.m. today until 6 a.m. on Monday, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Signs will be posted to direct drivers.

There will be a double lane closure on Route 34 east from Ella T. Grasso Boulevard to Yale Avenue and traffic for both directions will be shifted to Route 34 westbound.


Photo Credit: Shutterstock

#GOPDebate: See Who Dominated Social Media


Experts and candidates alike are busy declaring winners and losers of the first debate of the 2016 presidential campaign.

But which of the 10 GOP hopefuls to take the stage during Thursday night's face off won on social media? 

Facebook, which co-sponsored the Fox News debate, and Twitter released lists recapping the most talked-about candidates and moments of the two-hour event. 

Donald Trump, who has surged to the top of the polls in recent weeks, got the most attention in Facebook and Twitter feeds. The blunt businessman served up several memorable moments throughout the debate. His diss of Rosie O'Donnell, a response to a question about derogatory comments he's made about women, and claim that he leveraged donations to the Clinton Foundation to get Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton to come to his wedding, were the second and third most tweeted moments of the debate. 

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich also finished in the top five on one or both of the social platforms. 

The top moment for the 7.5 million Facebook users who engaged with posts related to the debate, either by sharing, liking or commenting on content, was the heated exchange between Christie and Paul on government surveillance programs, according to Facebook Policy Communications Manager Andy Stone. 

Christie blasted Paul's assertion that he wants to "to collect more records from terrorists but less records from innocent Americans," calling such an approach "a completely ridiculous answer.” As the heated back-and-forth about the National Security Agency's mass data collection practices and Christie's experience during and after 9/11 continued, Paul hit back with a zinger on the embrace Christie shared with President Barack Obama during the response to superstorm Sandy, just before the 2012 election. 

“I don’t trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug and if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead,” he said. 

The exchange also topped Twitter talk. 

Immigration, racial issues, the economy, education and abortion were also hot topics related to the debate on Facebook.  

The next GOP debate is set to air Sept. 16 on CNN. 

Photo Credit: AP

Take the Presidential Candidate Tweet Quiz


Republican and Democratic candidates both took to social media to share their take on the first GOP presidential debate.

Think you have a good grasp on what each candidate thinks? Test your knowledge with the following quiz and try to match the candidates with their tweets. 

Photo Credit: AP

State Received Almost $1.5 Million in Federal Help for Blizzard


The state of Connecticut has received almost $1.5 million in federal assistance since President Barack Obama approved the disaster declaration after the January blizzard.

Gov. Dannel Malloy request the disaster declaration for New Haven, New London, Tolland and Windham counties after the storm dumped more than two feet of snow in areas.

To date, the state has received $1,497,213 in federal help to reimburse cities and towns, state agencies, and eligible non-profit organizations in the eligible counties for disaster expenses.

“We experienced extraordinary weather this winter – and through smart decisions, we got through it. After fighting hard for federal reimbursement and receiving it, we’re going to continue working with our local and federal partners to get the job done – together,” Malloy said in a statement. “I would like to thank President Obama and FEMA for their continued support. These federal funds are providing much needed assistance to areas that faced a heavy financial toll.”

President Obama approved Malloy’s Disaster Declaration request in early April for New London, Tolland, and Windham Counties and approved New Haven County to be added in early May.


Photo Credit: dawn Kearns

Navy Plans Armed Guards for Reserve Centers After Attack


The Navy plans to station armed guards at all of its reserve centers across the country, following an attack on a Navy Reserve Center in Chattanooga last month, in which four Marines and a sailor were gunned down, NBC News reported.  

An email sent to Naval Reservists nine days after the attack, and obtained by NBC News, said, "VOLUNTEERS NEEDED IMMEDIATELY!" to provide 45 days of "armed sentry watchstander duty" at 53 "NOSCs," or Navy Reserve Centers, beginning Aug. 17. The message also asked for volunteers to provide a full year of armed sentry duty at 70 reserve centers starting Oct. 17.

The Navy confirmed to NBC News that it plans to station armed personnel at all 70 reserve centers that are not located on military bases.

Police Charge 2 in Norwalk Armed Robbery


Police have charged two men in connection with an armed robbery at a Norwalk convenience store.

Two gunmen robbed the Corner Variety Store, at 251 Westport Ave., at gunpoint just before 10:25 a.m. on Tuesday and stole $1,100, as well as merchandise, police said.

Police have obtained warrants for two suspects and have charged Ernest Morales, 18, of Norwalk, with first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree and carrying a pistol without a permit. Bond was set at $500,000.

A 17-year-old boy was charged with first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree, fourth-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny in the fourth degree. He was remanded to state juvenile authority.

The arrests came after the community provided information that assisted in the investigation.

Photo Credit: Norwalk Police

49ers Release Aldon Smith After DUI, Hit-and-Run Arrest


The San Francisco 49ers released Aldon Smith Friday after the linebacker was arrested on suspicion of DUI, hit-and-run and vandalism - his fifth arrest since 2012.

“This organization has tried very hard to help Aldon fight his issues," the team said in a statement. "Although he is no longer a member of this team, our support and concern for him will continue.”

At a news conference Friday before noon, 49ers coach Jim Tomsula appeared visibly upset. His word were choked with emotion. "We care about that guy. Deeply," he said, urging Smith and anyone with alcoholic issues to get help. If anyone is out there "struggling," Tomsula said, "Get help. You are worth it."

Tomsula said he spoke to Smith personally, but declined to share the conversation.

"The guy is working really hard, and he had a pitfall," Tomsula added. "Everybody has struggles. They are just in different ways."

Later Friday, Smith's teammates also shared their thoughts on the incident.

"It's a sad day for the team," 49ers safety Eric Reid said. "He's obviously a huge cog in the wheel for us and we’re going to miss him but it's more than just about football right now."

Despite deeming Smith a "great football player," Anquan Boldin agreed. The wide receiver said that, to him, "it’s not about football" but about "making sure [Smith's] OK as a person."

As the 49ers were letting go of Smith, Santa Clara police held an almost simultaneous news conference outside department headquarters where Lt. Kurt Clarke said that Smith had struck a neighbor's car Thursday at 8:46 p.m. in the 500 block of Moreland Way where he lives in a luxury apartment complex. He talked with the neighbor and ended up leaving the scene on foot, only to return home an hour later, also on foot. When he did, Clarke said,  he appeared drunk and failed a sobriety test. He was arrested just before midnight.

The vandalism charge, Clarke said, is for when Smith's car door banged into the neighbor's car in the complex lot. Because of a prior weapons conviction, Smith is not allowed to drink any alcohol and drive.

Outside jail on Friday, Smith told reporters that he was sorry and that there was more to the story.

"It wasn't a DUI and I apologize for how it played out," he said calmly outside the jail. "This wasn't a DUI. The situation that happened could have been handled differently. I'm sorry to everyone that I let down. Justice will be served. It will work out how it's supposed to work out."

The arrest is Smith’s fifth since 2012 – three of which were for DUIs.

Photo Credit: Santa Cruz Police Department
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Pleasant Weekend Ahead


Comfortable weather continues here as the second weekend of August has arrived.

High temperatures will be in the lower- to middle-80s across the state with no humidity.

A storm picks up steam off the Carolina coast and heads north and east this weekend. The track will be hundreds of miles off the southern New England coast and therefore miss Connecticut.
Tomorrow will be dry with partly cloudy skies and temperatures will be in the lower-80s.

Sunday is also a dry day, but more clouds than Saturday are expected. A moist onshore flow from the north and east will shuttle in clouds. While it won’t be overcast, the day is likely to feature more clouds than Saturday.

Temperatures will be in the lower- and middle-80s on Sunday with the continued lack of humidity.

One or two days without humidity in early August would be reasonable, but this long stretch is odd.
Monday will bring mostly sunny skies with temperatures right near seasonable levels in the lower- and middle-80s. The humidity will increase, especially late in the day.

Beyond Monday, the weather pattern turns unsettled.

Showers are likely on Tuesday as a storm system moves through the region. It will be humid with occasional downpours. With the cloud cover, temperatures will be stuck in the upper-70s.

While some showers might linger early on Wednesday, the trend will be improvement later in the day as drier weather works into Connecticut. Temperatures return to the 80s.

High pressure builds in late week, yielding another impressive stretch of weather for middle-August. Temperatures will be seasonable, in the lower-80s, with no humidity and plenty of sunshine to go around.

Stay with the NBC Connecticut First Alert weather team for the very latest forecast on-air, online and on the app.

Mom Flees Cops With Kids in Car, Hits 3 Vehicles: PD


A mother is facing charges after leading police on a chase, crashing into three vehicles and driving recklessly with her two children in the car in West Hartford, police said.

New Britain police were investigating Amber M. Johnson, 32, of Manchester, in connection to an April 18 incident when she fled police with her two kids in the car, striking the other vehicles in the process, police said.

Police charged Johnson with injury or risk of injury or impairing the morals of children, first-degree reckless endangerment, evading responsibility, reckless driving and failure to obey a control signal.

She was arrested July 30 at noon at her home and taken into custody.

Johnson is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 13.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

CCSU Teacher Suspended After Arrest


A Central Connecticut State University professor who made headlines when he was promoted while in jail last year and who was arrested again recently has been suspended and a state lawmaker is calling for his termination.

Police said Ravi Shankar, 40, of Rhode Island, grabbed items from store shelves at the Home Depot on Washington Street on July 29 and returned them for $1,339.75 in store credit.

The university has placed him on administrative suspension without pay as a result.

"Following the University’s consideration of his situation, Professor Ravi Shankar has been placed on administrative suspension without pay pending the results of investigations of the charge against him," Mark Warren McLaughlin, associate vice president of marketing and communications at CCSU, said in a statement Friday.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Kevin Witkos (R-8) is calling for Shankar to be fired. He wrote to CCSU President Jack Miller asking him to begin termination proceedings immediately.

"This is not Mr. Shankar’s first incident with law enforcement. In fact, Mr. Shankar has prior convictions for driving under the influence, reckless driving and interfering with an officer," Witkos wrote in the letter to Miller. "Additionally Mr. Shankar committed offenses against the university by fraudulently utilizing school equipment and theft through the improper use of a credit card. This case was investigated by your own police department. The charge was a felony to which Mr. Shankar served time in prison to complete his court imposed sentence. I am also aware that there are two additional pending cases in the judicial system that involves Mr. Shankar. These two cases are for driving with a suspended license and evading responsibility in an accident."

Witkos criticized the university for deciding not to terminate him after his first arrest and granting him "full professorship while he was incarcerated." He cited the collective bargaining agreement between the Board of Regents and University Professors, stating he believes there is cause for termination under the contract.

"This inaction by your office prompted legislation to be proposed dealing with the conduct of professors 'outside' the classroom," Witkos wrote. "As stated by several members of the Higher Education and Employment Committee, we have concerns that someone who has committed these types of crimes is allowed to continue as a professor in our University System. We view this as a safety issue and a role modeling issue."

He called Shankar "unfit to discharge his professional responsibilities" due to "his continuous disregard for the law."

"This professor is harming the reputation of all in the teaching field and quite frankly the administration by its inaction to date," Witkos said, adding that its in the best interest of the students, faculty and Connecticut taxpayers to fire Shankar.

An asset protection specialist who watched the incident happen brought Shankar back into the store and called 911, according the police report. The employee told investigators the bar codes of the items Shankar returned indicated they had not been purchased.

Shankar called the incident a misunderstanding and told officers they were "taking (employees') word for it," according to the police report.

"The facts of this matter have not been accurately reported and I am glad to live in a society where there is a presumption of innocence," Shankar said in an email to NBC Connecticut on Wednesday. "I look forward to my day in court and in the meantime ask that you might respect me and my family's privacy. Thank you for your understanding."

Shankar was the subject of controversy when he was promoted to full-time status at CCSU while booked into jail in May 2014. At the time, he was waiting to face charges from an arrest in 2012.

He was arrested again in December 2014 after crashing his car while driving with a suspended license, according to police. Shankar was charged with several motor vehicle violations and has pleaded not guilty.

Click here to see the full letter State Sen. Kevin Witkos wrote to CCSU's president.

Photo Credit: Middletown Police Department

Early School Start Times Bad for Teens, CDC Says


The average school start time for U.S middle and high school students is 8:03 a.m, much earlier than the 8:30 a.m. time recommended by a major youth health organization, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Early start times prevent students from getting enough sleep on school nights, the CDC said.

In 2009, the organization Health 2020 reported that only “30.9 percent of students in grades nine through 12 got sufficient sleep,” defined as eight or more hours of sleep.

Adolescents who catch enough z's are less likely to become overweight, suffer from depressive symptoms, do poorly in school, and engage in "unhealthy risk behaviors" like using illegal drugs, drinking, smoking.

The CDC's report surveyed data from about 10,250 traditional public schools and 750 public charter schools during the 2011 to 2012 school year, resulting in responses from roughly 39,700 students.

The report notes that those who oppose later start times are concerned about the transportation costs associated with changing bus schedules, potential traffic congestion and the difficulties start time changes would present in scheduling after-school activities.

Those who recommend delayed start times argue that overcoming such difficulties is worth it to ensure students get enough sleep.

See where the schools in your state rank among those surveyed by the CDC:

Check out the below graphic provided by the CDC for more information on the effects of start times on students.


Photo Credit: Getty/Photo by Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times
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Hamden Police Seek Two Missing Teenage Girls


Hamden police are seeking the public's help in finding two missing teenagers.

Hayley Richloff, 16, was reported missing from the Troiano Group Home in Hamden on June 12. When police responded a group home member said she hadn't returned.

She may be with Jasmine Norfleet, 17, another teenager reported missing, police said.

Richloff is 5-foot-4, 130 pounds and has brown hair and eyes, police said. She has two tattoos on her feet and one on her hip.

Hamden Police Department's special victims unit has been investigating the girls' disappearances and haven't found them so far.

Police ask anyone with information to call Hamden Det. Stephen Rossacci at 203-230-4000.

Detectives are working to get more information and photographs of the missing teens.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police Department

Northeast Regional Beach Forecast for August 8-9


A large ocean storm will miss the northeast to the southeast this weekend, and that means mostly dry weather is expected. The most sunshine will be found on the Jersey shore and along Long Island Sound on Saturday, while and isolated shower can’t be ruled out on Cape Cod and in coastal Maine.

The ocean storm stays well offshore Sunday, but a dip in the jet stream will enhance the lift in the atmosphere. That means more in the way of clouds, but still some sun. There can be a shower in eastern areas, such as Cape Cod and coastal Maine.

Long Island Sound
Saturday: Mostly sunny and comfortable. Highs: Lower-80s.
Sunday: A mix of sun and clouds. Highs: Lower-80s.

Saturday: Dry with plenty of sunshine. Highs: Lower-80s.
Sunday: A mix of sun and clouds. Highs: Upper-70s.

Cape Cod
Saturday: An abundance of clouds, some sun. A stray shower is possible. Highs: Upper-70s.
Sunday: More clouds than sun. An isolated shower is possible. Highs: Lower-70s.

Jersey Shore
Saturday: Lots of sunshine! Highs: Upper-70s.
Sunday: Partly cloudy, dry. Highs: Lower-80s.

Coastal Maine
Saturday: An abundance of clouds, some sun. An isolated shower is possible. Highs: Upper-70s.
Sunday: More clouds than sun. A stray shower is possible. Highs: Lower-80s.

Warmer Climate and Disease-Carrying Pests


Higher temperatures mean more favorable conditions for disease-carrying pests in Connecticut, such as ticks and mosquitoes.

Ticks carry Lyme disease and mosquitoes carry West Nile virus, so any increase in the populations of these pests is cause for concern.

In the Hartford area, for example, the mean annual temperature has increased one point five degrees Fahrenheit since 1950, from 49.5 degrees to 51 degrees in 2014.

A similar trend exists in the Bridgeport area, which is the official climate site on the Connecticut shoreline. Since the halfway point of the previous century, the mean annual temperature has risen one point eight degrees Fahrenheit from 51.2 degrees to 53 degrees in 2014.

Mosquitos spread West Nile virus, and one species called the Asian tiger mosquito is particularly invasive.

According to a 2013 report by Rochlin et al., the amount of land suitable for the Asian tiger mosquito to survive is expected to increase from five to 16 percent in the next two decades.

Making clear the Asian tiger mosquito is known to have substantial biting activity and a high potential to spread disease, the report indicates populations currently exist across portions of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Long Island and coastal southwestern Connecticut.

Under a scenario with a moderate increase in carbon dioxide emissions and thus continued warming of the earth, the study projects the majority of Connecticut will be dealing with this invasive species by the year 2039, including the entire Connecticut River Valley.

According to Climate Central, mosquitoes have a high mortality rate when temperatures are outside the range of 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, relative humidity below 42 percent is unfavorable for mosquitoes.

Connecticut mosquitoes aren’t the only pests that benefit from warmer air.

Ticks, of course, are responsible for the spread of Lyme disease.

More than a decade ago, a study by Brownstein et al. surveyed the expected changes in tick habitats across eastern North America. While a decrease in the amount of land suitable for ticks was projected for the 2020s, the long-term expectation was alarming.

By the 2080s, the net increase in suitable land for ticks is projected to be 68.9%, with major jogs north into Canada.

With ticks in more areas, more people have the potential to come into contact with them.

“Human cases of Lyme disease, and other tick-associated illnesses, Babesiosis and Anaplasmosis, have also increased during the last few decades in the state, for which climate-related factors are among the contributing factors,” said Dr. Goudarz Molaei, a research scientist at Connecticut’s Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases.

A warming climate may mean more than just expanded territory for ticks.

Goudarz says “warmer winter seasons could provide a favorable condition for ticks to successfully overwinter and emerge in the spring. Apart from some extreme and unusual conditions, we have witnessed shorter winter seasons and warmer temperatures during the last few decades or so in the northeastern U.S. including Connecticut.”

Though an increase in Lyme disease reports is likely in part due to increasing deer populations, more ticks in more areas is likely part of the equation, according to Climate Central. It expects the upward trend to continue with a warming climate since warmer weather is more supportive of tick populations.

More ticks and a longer mosquito season are just some of the implications from climate change in Connecticut, but other implications often receive more attention.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woman Injured in Fall From Cliff


A 42-year-old woman was significantly injured at Ross's Cliffs at Old Furnace State Park in Killingly after falling from a cliff, according the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

Crews responded Friday evening to rescue the injured woman from the woods there. Environmental Conservation police from DEEP are taking the woman to an area where a LifeStar helicopter landed.

She will be airlifted to a nearby hospital to get treatment.

A call reporting an injured person in the woods came in to Quinebaug Valley dispatch at about 7:54 p.m. DEEP was notified by state police at 8 p.m.

The woman's condition is unknown. Her name has not been released at this time.

More information will be provided as details become available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Trump Lashes Out at Fox News, Megyn Kelly


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump lashed out at FOX News and Megyn Kelly for what he said were targeted, unfair and "nasty" questions to him during the GOP primary debate on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters after the debate, Trump said, "The questions to me were not nice. I didn't think they were appropriate." Overnight, he took to social media to voice his complaints, even sharing a supporter's remark calling Kelly a "bimbo."

And in an interview on "Morning Joe," he said of the networks questions, "I'm very surprised at Fox News that they would do that because, you know, I would say it's pretty unprofessional."

Kelly asked Trump about him having called women "fat pigs," ''dogs," ''slobs," and "disgusting animals."

Trump responded that he was only referring to talk show host Rosie O'Donnell but didn't deny having used the insults.

"I don't frankly have time for total political correctness," Trump said.

Photo Credit: ap
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