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Armed Student Surrenders After Holding Class Hostage


A 14-year-old boy held students at a West Virginia high school hostage with a pistol on Tuesday before releasing his captives and surrendering, NBC News reported.

No one was hurt in the incident which began at around 1:30 p.m. at Philip Barbour High School, about 30 miles southeast of Clarksburg, state police said.

The teen student held 27 other students and a teacher in a second-floor classroom but released them after police began negotiations, state police said.

The boy, who was not identified by officials, surrendered to authorities and was being evaluated at a local hospital Tuesday evening, police said.

Photo Credit: AP

Kraft Recalls 2 Million Pounds of Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon


Kraft is recalling more than 2 million pounds of turkey bacon because the meat may spoil before the “Best When Used By” date.

The recall affects about 2,068,467 pounds of turkey bacon produced between May 31 and Aug. 6, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The following products have been recalled:

  • 56 oz. cardboard boxes (containing four plastic wrapped packages) marked Oscar Mayer “Selects Uncured Turkey Bacon” bearing the plant number P-9070, the line number RS19 and Product UPC 0 4470007633 0, and with “Best When Used By” dates of 24 AUG 2015 through 26 OCT 2015.
  • 36 oz. cardboard boxes (containing three plastic wrapped packages) marked Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon “Smoked Cured Turkey Chopped and Formed” bearing the plant number P-9070, the line number RS19 and Product UPC 0 7187154874 8, and with “Best When Used By” dates of 28 AUG 2015 through 20 OCT 2015.
  • 48 oz. cardboard boxes (containing four plastic wrapped packages) marked Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon “Smoked Cured Turkey Chopped and Formed” bearing the plant number P-9070, the line number RS19 and Product UPC 0 7187154879 3, and with “Best When Used By” dates of 3 SEPT 2015 through 30 OCT 2015.

The products will have establishment number “P-9070” inside the USDA mark of inspection, along with the line number “RS19.”

The recall affects consumers nationwide, and in the Bahamas and St. Martin.

The company discovered the problem after consumers complained about spoilage-related illness.

Anyone with questions can call the Kraft Heinz Consumer Relations Center at 800-278-3403.

Suspect in Hartford Mom's Killing Charged With Murder Before


The man accused of killing a 23-year-old Hartford woman has been charged with murder before, according to state police records obtained by NBC Connecticut.

Robert Lee Graham, 59, of Hartford, was arrested late last Friday for allegedly murdering Tashauna Jackson.

Jackson, the mother of a 5-year-old, was last seen getting into Graham's car and was found dead in Bloomfield last week.

NBC Connecticut obtained a copy of Graham's criminal history, which reveals a plethora of prior arrests dating back to 1972 and includes charges of murder, rape and assault.

The murder charge stems from an incident in 1990, when Graham was also charged with first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, second-degree reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor.

According to police documents, Graham was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1993. He does not appear to have served the full sentence, as he was arrested again in 2007 and charged with breach of peace.

Graham has also been charged over years with assault on an officer, threatening, larceny, robbery, violation of probation and multiple counts of first-degree assault stemming from separate incidents.

He was accused twice of rape, once in 1972 and again in 1974. Graham's current home address on East Harold Street in Hartford is not listed on the state sex offender registry.

More recently, in February of this year, Graham was arrested and charged with evading responsibility in Bloomfield. He was arrested again in April and charged with driving under the influence in Hartford, records show.

Graham is now back in custody for allegedly murdering Jackson. Police said they found her blood in his van.

He appeared in court Monday, where a judge set his bond at $2 million and a public defender disputed his arrest record. Defense attorney Deron Freeman said little evidence links Graham to the case.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Asian Shares Seesaw as China Rate Cut Fails to Spark Rally


Asian stocks were mixed Wednesday and Shanghai's index fell despite Beijing's decision to cut a key interest rate to help stabilize gyrating financial markets and counter short liquidity.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell late in the day after spending most of the afternoon in positive territory.  It closed down 1.3 percent at 2,927.29 on heavy selling of steelmakers and other heavy industrials.

Elsewhere in Asia, Australian shares gained 0.7 percent, helped by buying of resource-related shares. Shares also rose in Taiwan but fell in New Zealand and most Southeast Asian markets.

Photo Credit: AP

Police Investigate Loud Noise in New Haven


Police are investigating a report of a "loud noise" in New Haven.

Someone called in to report the sound, but police have not found the source of it at this point.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Tree Falls on House in East Granby as Storms Blow Through


Severe storms moving through the northern part of Hartford County brought a tree crashing down onto a house in East Granby late Tuesday afternoon.

Footage from the scene shows a giant tree toppled onto the home on North Main Street.

"It looks like the windstorm came through, twisted the tree, blew it over in the front yard," said family friend Cliff Gibson.

Fortunately, the homeowner was not there when the tree came down. Her dog, Pachuco, escaped scared but unharmed.

"We're very blessed here because the tree is big, it's not far from the house. The angle that it fell, it just seems like it grazed a few things, did a little cosmetic damage, but no one was hurt, and that's really all we care about," Gibson explained.

The incident is one of several damage reports in the area after severe storms left hundreds of people without power Tuesday evening.

Univision Reporter Ejected From Trump News Conference


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wrangled with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos over his immigration policies in an extended — and occasionally personal — debate, leading to the journalist's temporary removal during a news conference in Iowa Tuesday night.

Ramos, the Miami-based anchor and journalist for the nation's leading Spanish-language network, was ejected from the event after attempting to engage with the GOP front-runner as he recognized another reporter.

“Sit down, you weren’t called,” Trump told him. “Go back to Univision.”

Ramos proceed to question Trump on his proposal to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. As the two spoke over one another in a testy exchange, Trumps security detail approached the Mexican-American journalist and escorted him out of the room.

"You cannot build a 1,900-mile wall," Ramos continued on his way out.

The exchange prompted several reporters to ask Trump about the incident. The real estate mogul said “You can’t just stand up and scream,” noting that Ramos spoke out of turn.

Ramos was later allowed to return and Trump called on him to ask a question.

“Good to have you back,” Trump said before Ramos fired a series of questions on the billionaire’s controversial immigration policies.

"Your immigration plan, it is full of empty promises," Ramos began. "You cannot deny citizenship to children born in this country."

"Why do you say that?" Trump replied. "Some of the great legal scholars agree that's not true."

Citizenship for infants born in the United States is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, and changing that would require amending the Constitution.

Ramos later asked Trump about the feasibility of building a wall extending the length of the U.S.-Mexico border. The real estate mogul responded that he’s a “builder,” adding that it is more complicated to build a “building that’s 95 stories tall.”

"We'll have a border, and we'll have a wall. And the wall's going to have a big beautiful door where we can let in people," Trump said.

The National Association for Hispanic Journalists condemned Trump for letting Ramos be ejected for what its president said was simply trying to hold him accountable to his own prior statements.

"Mr. Ramos was doing what journalists have done for decades – asking questions!" said Mekahlo Medina, a KNBC reporter serving as president of the NAHJ, in a statement posted to the organizations website.

Trump is in Iowa to host a 'Make America Great Again' rally at the Grand River Center in Dubuque.

Photo Credit: AP
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Tree Falls on Simsbury House

Car Crashes Into Pole in Ellington

Cops Arrest Suspected Armed Robber Who Prompted Standoff: PD


Willimantic police have arrested a man suspected of robbing two women and prompting a SWAT situation at a home on Gem Drive earlier in the week.

Police arrested Joshua Omar Sauri, 29, at 12:07 a.m. on Wednesday after obtaining an arrest warrant around 5 p.m. on Tuesday. An officer from a police K-9 unit found him hiding between buildings on Cameo Drive and took him into custody.

Sauri is accused of robbing two women at gunpoint on Gem Drive on Sunday night, then prompting an hours-long standoff and home evacuations from Sunday night into Monday.

Officers chased Sauri to his relatives' house at 45 Gem Drive and saw him run inside, according to police, who believed Sauri had barricaded himself there.

Later, after making contact with Sauri and then searching the home, police discovered he wasn't there, but found a gun in the home.

Neither robbery victim was hurt, but police said Sauri threatened them and stole cash from one of the victims.

"The members of the Willimantic Police Department did an outstanding job in investigating and apprehending Joshua Sauri. The community members can rest comfortably knowing that Sauri is in police custody," Willimantic Police Sgt. Alex Coriaty said.

Police charged Sauri with first-degree robbery and held him in custody on a $250,000 police-set bond.

He is due in Danielson Superior Court on Wednesday morning.

Photo Credit: Willimantic Police Department/NBCConnecticut.com

Blue-Green Algae Closes 2 Swimming Areas


Swimming areas at two Connecticut state parks are closed because blue-green algae was discovered.

The two swimming areas are at Indian Well State Park in Shelton and Kettletown State Park in Southbury.

Blue-green algae, which is also known as cyanobacteria, occurs naturally in lakes and ponds throughout the state. While the microscopic organisms cause no harm, blue-green algae blooms can release toxins and people and animals using the water for recreation can be affected.

Possible effects can include irritation of the skin, nose, eyes and respiratory tract; gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea upon ingestion; and liver or nervous system effects if you ingest large amounts of the algae.

Dogs are especially at risk from exposure to blue-green algae blooms.

Earlier this summer, DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said the issue of blue-green algae is not new, but there is now more research and "understanding on the toxic effects of these blooms and the public health concerns that they raise."

Learn more about blue-green algae from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s website.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Embattled CCSU Professor Pleads Not Guilty to Larceny


A Central Connecticut State University professor who was promoted while in jail last year and arrested again last month has pleaded not guilty to a larceny charge.

Ravi Shankar, 40, an English professor at CCSU who has been suspended without pay, appeared in court on Wednesday on a fourth-degree larceny charge after being accused of returning merchandise he did not purchase at Home Depot in Middletown and receiving $1,339.75 in store credit.

He pleaded not guilty and is due back in court on Sept. 17.

As he left court on Wednesday, Shankar spoke of compassion and clarity for all creatures.

He said he is doing as well as could be expected given the circumstances and still plans on teaching because it's crucial as part of his existence and his calling. He said he will continue reaching out for help and plans to move forward with integrity.

Shankar did not appear for a prior court date. A judge at the time said Shankar had been admitted to an outpatient facility but did not say what for what.

Shankar was previously 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.

“We have no comment on today’s court proceedings. Professor Ravi Shankar continues to be on administrative suspension without pay,” Mark McLaughlin, of Central Connecticut State University, said in a statement on Wednesday.

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

A state lawmaker previously has called for Shankar's termination.

"This inaction by your office prompted legislation to be proposed dealing with the conduct of professors 'outside' the classroom," State Sen. Kevin Witkos wrote in a letter to CCSU President Jack Miller. "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."

Shankar previously called the incident at Home Depot 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 a previous email to NBC Connecticut. "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."

Photo Credit: Middletown Police Department

It's National Dog Day: 5 Ways to Celebrate


You probably spoil your dog every day, but today really is all about man’s best friend.

Wednesday, Aug. 26 marks National Dog Day, an unofficial holiday founded in 2004 by lifestyle expert, author and animal advocate, Colleen Page, to bring attention to dogs in need of adoption.

Here’s five ways to celebrate the day even if you don't have a dog:

Adopt a dog:

Adopt a puppy or an older dog from your local shelter or a rescue organization. Earlier this month, nearly 20,000 animals were adopted as part of Clear the Shelters, a nationwide adoption drive sponsored by 11 NBC owned television stations, the New England regional news network necn, and 17 Telemundo owned stations. More than 400 shelters participated, many offering the animals at a reduced price. But there are still plenty of animals left in need of a loving home. 

Volunteer at a shelter:

If you’re unable to adopt, nationaldogday.com urges people to donate $5 to a local shelter today. You can also donate food or blankets or volunteer at a shelter by offering to walk a dog, clean cages or play with the animals.

Get .dog Internet address for your business:

If you’re a vet, photographer, dog trainer or groomer, you can finally register your website with a .dog domain. It debuted just in time for the 11th annual National Dog Day.

Submit your dog for "cutest dog" contest:

Enter your dog for a chance to win the title of the National Dog Day “Cutest Dog in the World.” Post a photo of your pet to this Facebook page and other social media with the hashtags #NationalDogDay and #DogDayCutestDog. Your dog can win a special feature on the National Dog Day website and be depicted in art on a National Dog Day tee shirt and poster.

Spoil your dog more than usual: 

Spend the afternoon with your dog at the beach, buy them a new leash or toy or give your dog a special spa treatment. You will surely have them wagging their tails in happiness. Look for deals and treats at local pets supply stores and grooming spas.



Photo Credit: Newspix via Getty Images

Route 145 in Westbrook Closed

American Train Hero Should Be 'Captain America': Official


Two American servicemen who disarmed a suspected terrorist on a Paris-bound train are "heroes, plain and simple," a U.S. Air Force commander said Wednesday. 

Airman Spencer Stone, who is recovering from injuries in Germany, was stabbed as he overpowered the armed attacker but will return to service in a few months, his unit commander, Lt. Col. Richard Smith, said. 

Asked by reporters if Stone was known as "Captain America" in his unit, Smith replied that he had "never heard" that nickname being used.

"He is good-natured, has a good heart about him," Smith said. "The leadership team here, we know him just because he is a larger than life presence in the room. I have never heard 'Captain America' [but] I think we would all agree if you were looking for a nickname that's a good one. It sounds like a proper nickname for him."

Photo Credit: AP
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Fight on Plane at JFK


Two women are facing charges after they got in a fight while preparing to get off of a plane that had landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport Wednesday morning, authorities say.

JetBlue flight 960 had just landed at the airport and passengers were preparing to get off of the plane when the pair got in the fight, authorities say. A spokesman for the Port Authority said that one woman, 61, tried to climb over the other woman, 62, and was pushed off.

After she was pushed, the 61-year-old punched the other woman in the face, authorities say. She then pulled out an eyebrow razor and slashed at a man trying to stop the fight, scratching him.

Then, authorities say, the other woman pulled a can of pepper spray from her pocketbook and sprayed the other woman.

Police responded and took the 61-year-old into custody on assault charges. The 62-year-old, meanwhile, was issued a summons for unlawful possession of mace.

Six people were treated at the scene for exposure to the pepper spray; one was later taken to the hospital. The man who tried to break up the fight was also taken to the hospital.

One of the women is from New Jersey and the other one is from Brooklyn, police say.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Long Stretch of Dry Weather, Heat Builds Next Week


The humidity is gone and that’s how it will be for days to come.

High pressure is slowing moving in from the west and that means sinking, dry air.

Puffy clouds will mix with sunshine for the remainder of today as temperatures peak in the mid-80s.

The average high temperature for today in the Hartford area is 81 degrees, while the average low is 60 degrees.

Thursday and Friday are likely the only two days with temperatures near or below average in the extended forecast.

Both days will feature plenty of sunshine with high temperatures in the upper-70s to near 80 degrees.

Morning low temperatures Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings will be crisp and cool, in the mid- and upper-50s.

This weekend should be a fabulous close to August. A weak disturbance has the potential to slide through the region on Sunday, but at this point a mix of clouds and sun is expected, as opposed to mostly sunny skies.

Temperatures will be in the mid-80s this weekend with comfortable levels of humidity.

Early next week remains dry with a return to mostly sunny skies, though the heat really starts to build in. A ridge of high pressure over the eastern United States means a surge of late-summer heat for many in the region.

High temperatures will push 90 degrees on Monday and Tuesday.

The tropical focus is currently on Tropical Storm Erika, the lone storm in the Atlantic Ocean.

National Hurricane Center projections bring beneficial rain to Puerto Rico before strengthening the storm into a category one hurricane Monday morning as it moves over Miami, Florida.

The difference between Danny, which died, and Erika, is that the atmospheric conditions ahead of Erika are much more favorable for development. There is less wind shear, which means the storm won’t be torn apart.

It’s certainly not a lock that the storm hits Florida early next week, but the potential should be noted. If you have any friends or family in Florida it wouldn’t hurt to make sure they have an eye on the storm to keep abreast of the latest information.

16-Year-Old Girl Has Been Missing for a Week and a Half


Police have issued a Silver Alert for a teen who has been missing from the Suffield area for a week and a half.

Gwynn Dumoulin, 16, has been missing since Aug. 15, according to the Silver Alert, and police believe she might be in the Windsor Locks area or in Massachusetts.

Her family fears she could be in danger. Gwynn's father said his daughter has not used her phone or social media and her friends have not heard from her.

He said the teen was living in West Suffield for the summer, but lives in Windsor Locks, where she goes to school.

Gwynn has brown hair, blue eyes, stands 5-foot-1 and weighs 95 pounds. She was last seen wearing a maroon tank top and black pants, according to the Silver Alert.

Anyone with information on where she is should call Suffield police at 860-668-3870.

Photo Credit: Submitted

South Windsor Man Charged With Stalking Teen


A 19-year-old South Windsor man has been arrested, accused of stalking and threatening a 16-year-old girl who told him to stop contacting her, according to police.

Thomas Izraelevitz, age 19, of 114 Woodland Drive, South Windsor, is accused of texting and Facetiming a teen, posing as someone else and scaring the girl. Police said the victim was afraid for her safety because a stranger was calling and texting her, saying he knew where she lived, police said.

Police arrested Izraelevitz on Tuesday and charged him with stalking in the second degree, threatening in the second degree, harassment in the second degree and disorderly conduct.

He was held on $40,000 surety bond and appeared presented at Manchester Superior Court on Tuesday morning.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police Department

Bob Maxon Celebrates 20 Years With NBC Connecticut


First Alert meteorologist Bob Maxon is celebrating his 20th anniversary with NBC Connecticut today!

Maxon came to our West Hartford station about eight years into his career in meteorology from WMUR TV in Manchester, New Hampshire. There was an opening for a morning meteorologist after the departure of Julie Bologna. Maxon applied and said "it was natural to move on and up" in his career.

"I thrive on the daily challenge of forecasting in the Northeastern U.S. and New England," Maxon said. I love working in the morning. Being part of thousands of people's morning routine makes the 2 a.m. alarm clock totally bearable."

A lot has happened in 20 years for Maxon.

"Time flies when you are having fun!" Maxon said. "I've gotten married, raised a family, and watch NBC Connecticut grow and become a great place to work. I'm blessed in so many ways with how my life and career has worked out."

When it comes to the weather department, Maxon said it's not hard to pick out highlights.

"Storms! October 2011 stands out as a huge impact, rare, and well-forecasted event," Maxon said. 

He said that he and Ryan Hanrahan "were in disbelief when we analyzed the computer models the Friday before the storm and realized what a big deal it could become!"

"It nailed us and many were without power for more than a week," Maxon said. "Sandy and Irene were different beasts all together, as there was a real fear for the worse, for many Connecticut residents. Going to battle with Mother Nature from late October to late March is what I love the most. Snow? Bring it on!"

Snow is no stranger to Maxon. He grew up on the southeast short of Lake Ontario in upstate New York.

"Oswego is one of the great snow cities in America," Maxon said. "Lake effect snow can produce 2 to 3 feet of snow overnight. I was hooked at a young age!"

Maxon graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor of science degree in agronomy and atmospheric sciences in 1987.

As a weather forecaster, Maxon naturally has a love of "being out in it." He enjoys hiking and just climbed Mount Washington last summer. Skiing and golfing are other passions of his in his free time, as well as walking his two dogs.

After coaching soccer for several years, Maxon has chosen to watch from a different vantage point from the sidelines with the other parents.

"Love spending a ton of time with family as my kids are growing up too fast and I realize that they won’t be around my wife and I forever," Maxon said. "Parenting make forecasting the weather seem easy!!"

Now that he's hit this milestone, what are his future plans?

"Sleep," he said.

Until the alarm goes off at 2 a.m. that is for his morning shift. You can watch Maxon's First Alert forecasts on weekdays from 4:30 to 7 a.m.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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