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Man Fatally Shot by Cops May Have Had Knife: Investigators


Investigators believe that a Texas man shot to death by deputies with his hands up was holding a knife, the sheriff told reporters on Wednesday.

Footage was posted online of the shooting of 41-year-old Gilbert Flores in San Antonio that appeared to show him raise his hands before being shot. The first piece of footage of the Aug. 28 incident was filmed from a distance. It does not show one of Flores' hands, which was apparently obscured by a utility pole.

A second video that provides more "clarity" of the shooting is being investigated by police, who have not made the video public yet.

"We believe that Mr. Flores had a knife in his hand, and that video will help us have a better idea of exactly what he had in his hand," Sheriff Susan Pamerleau of Bexar County told reporters.

Ex-Hillary Clinton Staffer to Invoke the Fifth


A former Hillary Clinton staffer who helped set up the former secretary of state's private email server has vowed to invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer questions after a congressional committee subpoenaed him, MSNBC confirmed late Wednesday.

Bryan Pagliano, who worked for Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign and at the State Department, has been identified in digital records as the person who set up her email server in 2009.

The House Select Committee on Benghazi, which is investigating Clinton's emails, subpoenaed Pagliano last month to testify. But his lawyer said Monday that the IT specialist would refuse to answer questions, asserting his constitutional right against self-incrimination, The Washington Post first reported Wednesday.

A Clinton campaign aide said in a statement to NBC News Wednesday the candidate has encouraged aides to answer any questions.

Photo Credit: AP

Essay Contest Winner Gets Banquet Hall as Prize


Tony Mavuli has put his profits back into the banquet hall he's built up in Seymour over the past 34 years, and now he wants to pass Villa Bianca along to the right people.

"It's in perfect shape. Everything is like brand new," he said.

Mavuli said his own grown children have other interests. So he hopes to be giving away Tavern 1757, the chapel, the outdoor pavilion, the gardens, even his house, to someone who can describe in an essay why he or she deserves to win this business.

The website to enter is winyourdreamlife.com.

"Everybody's got a chance to enter. It can be family, businessman, anybody," he said.

It may remind you of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Willy Wonka's golden tickets, but there is one crucial difference. To make sure serious people submit entries, there's a $1,000 entry fee. That's a measure of passion.

Mavuli won't be leaving the area and said he'll make sure all brides-to-be who have booked weddings there into 2017 get what they want. He'd like to see his lead employees kept on as well.

Independent judges will choose the winning essay. The contest ends Dec. 15 or with the 12,000th entry.

After the 10,000th entry, the fees go toward the Wounded Warrior Project and scholarships in Seymour.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Free Climber Airlifted After Falling at Hubbard Park in Meriden


A man in his 20s was airlifted to the hospital Wednesday evening after falling while free climbing at Hubbard Park in Meriden, according to the fire department.

Fire officials said the free climber was scaling the Castle Craig area around 7 p.m. when he fell 20 to 30 feet. Two hikers coming up the trail saw him fell and called 911.

The man fell in a rocky area and was briefly unconscious, then confused when he woke up, according to the fire department. Officials said he complained of chest and leg pain.

Rescuers used a rope system to bring him up the side of the mountain. It took about an hour to pull him up and load him into a waiting LifeStar helicopter, fire officials said.

The climber was airlifted to Hartford Hospital for treatment. His condition is unknown.

Fire officials are reminding residents of the dangers of hiking and climbing alone in a remote area.

Photo Credit: Ari Mason

Community Comes Together to Remember Hartford Murder Victim


Dozens joined together in the capital city Wednesday night to remember one of Hartford's latest homicide victims and embrace another family torn apart by violence.

Candles lit the night at a vigil outside the South Prospect Street home of 32-year-old William Prieto. The Hartford father left behind an unborn child, a son and a 10-year-old daughter, Zormaris.

"I really miss him. I really miss him," said Zormaris. "I wanted him to be here for me. He always said he would be here for me, and he couldn't."

The victim's brother, stunned by the loss, is asking why.

"Whoever killed my brother, I just want to know who it is. Why? I need answers," said Jose Torres.

Prieto was sitting on his porch just before midnight Tuesday when a gunman fired several shots and fled, according to police. The victim's pregnant girlfriend was also outside and witnessed the murder.

"He didn't want to die. He loved me and my brother," said Zormaris.

Family members said that despite troubles in the past, Prieto managed to turn his life around and tried to help others.

"He came out in a positive way," said Torres.

Just eight hours after Prieto's brutal death, violence took another life in Hartford.

Desmond Wright, 32, was walking down Pershing Street when he was shot in the head, according to police.

No arrests have been made in either case. The violence has left two families with heartache and a need for answers.

"It put a hole in our hearts. He's my little brother," said Torres. "Whoever did this, justice will be served. That's all I'm saying. You can never hide. They'll catch you."

A vigil will be held Thursday for Wright.

Route 32 Closed in Franklin Due to Rollover Crash


Route 32 is closed in Franklin due to a rollover crash.

There is no word on injuries.

Drivers can take Robinson Hill Road as a detour.

No further information was immediately available.

2 Bears Euthanized After Encounter With Hiker in Burlington


State officials have euthanized a bear that confronted a hiker in Connecticut last week, along with a second bear that also displayed aggressive behavior, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The male bear has been at the center of controversy since a hiker released video of her close encounter with the animal at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Area last Friday. Footage shows the bear approaching her and putting its mouth on her leg.

Wildlife experts analyzing the video said the bear, which was tagged, had a history of aggression and had been relocated in the past. Authorities deemed the animal a danger to the public and opted to euthanize it.

DEEP spokesman Dennis Schain said staff members seeking out the aggressive animal Tuesday night at Sessions Woods found a male and female bear near the area of the encounter.

Schain said the female, which had been tagged for research, matched the description of the bear they were looking for.

According to Schain, the female bear "exhibited similar aggressive behavior" to the animal involved in Friday's incident and charged at DEEP Wildlife Division staff. The female bear, which had also been tagged for research, was euthanized shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday.

"It was definitely not the outcome anybody was hoping for," said hiker Stephanie Rivkin, whose bear encounter is at the heart of the issue.

DEEP returned to the woods Wednesday and euthanized the male bear.

"Given the incident on Friday and the previous behavior of the bear there was serious concern that it could have injured a person in any future encounter," Schain said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Annie Hornish of the Connecticut Humane Society criticized DEEP's decision, saying the agency "overreacted" and that "the bear did not need to be killed."

Hornish said the Humane Society interpreted the bear's actions as curious rather than violent.

She offered to help educate residents about what to do during bear encounters and said parks in northwest Connecticut need better signage warning hikers about the animals.

"I don't think anybody in this position expects something like this to happen, the consequences, the outcome, the backlash," Rivkin said. "But when it does happen, I think it's a great point to learn from it and start a discussion."

Petitions circulated after DEEP announced plans to put down the animal, along with a Facebook group bearing the hashtag #sparethebear.

Sessions Woods remains closed to the public.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Rivkin

Ky. Clerk Blocking Gay Marriages to Appear Before Judge


The Kentucky clerk who has defied the U.S. Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling by refusing to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples will appear Thursday morning before a federal judge to explain why she should not be held in contempt of court, NBC News reported. 

The judge ordered Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and all of her deputies to appear before him at 11 a.m. Lawyers for four couples who sought marriage licenses from her but were turned down urged the judge "to impose financial penalties sufficiently serious and increasingly onerous to compel Davis' immediate compliance without further delay."

Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses a few hours after the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in June, saying she's following "God's word" and that granting licenses to gay couples would violate her religious convictions.

A question for the judge will be whether she is unable to comply or, instead, unwilling.

Photo Credit: AP

Schools Dismissing Early Due to Heat


Some schools are dismissing early Thursday due to another hot day.

Temperatures are expected to reach a high of 90s inland and 88 on the shoreline. There will be a little humidity, which will drop on Friday along with the temperature, which should be in the 80s.

Students from the Asian Studies Academy at Bellizzi School in Hartford were dismissed at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday and will have a half day for the next four school days because of heat and lack of air conditioning in the school. For the half days, students will attend classes from 8:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Some Norwalk schools are also dismissing early due to the heat. Four middle schools and seven elementary schools in town with limited air conditioning will dismiss two hours early on Thursday.

The weekend is looking sunny and cloudless. Temperatures will pick up again over the weekend.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Seek Carjacker Who Attacked Woman in Commuter Lot


An East Hartford commuter parking lot is closed as East Hartford and state police search for a carjacker who attacked a woman there Thursday morning.

The woman was assaulted in the exit 90 commuter parking lot off Route 15 on Main Street in East Hartford near the Econo Lodge, police said. Her attacker stole her black Honda Element, according to police.

Police tried to stop the suspect who fled in the car and started looking for it right away. They found the stolen car on McKee Street. State police responded at about 2:30 a.m. The carjacker was not in the car.

State police, a K-9 unit and East Hartford police are searching the area of Main Street and McKee Street for the suspect. The commuter lot is closed as police investigate.

State police said the incident appears isolated and does not pose a threat to the community.

The woman was taken to Manchester Hospital to be treated for injuries. There were no other victims, according to police.

There is no description of the suspect at this time.

State police are overseeing the investigation because it happened in a state commuter parking lot. East Hartford police are assisting in the investigation.

State police ask anyone with information to call 860-685-8190. Tips will remain confidential.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Ferguson Police Made Unrest Worse: Justice Department


Police tactics used by police during violent street protests last year in Ferguson, Missouri, increased tensions between law enforcement and protesters, according to a report by the Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Service. 

The use of dogs, snipers, and tactical vehicles designed for the military "inflamed tensions and created fear among demonstrators," the report said. 

The office came to the conclusion after reviewing how police responded int he 17 days after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, by a white police officer.

Photo Credit: AP

Suspect Linked to Burglaries in Ansonia, Derby


Police arrested a 21-year-old man connected to a break-in at a Derby home that happened while the homeowner was sleeping and several other burglaries in Derby and Ansonia, police said.

Davon Miller, 21, had items in his possession stolen from a Hickory Road home in Derby during a break-in while the homeowner was sleeping and a car break-in reported on Hillcrest Road in Derby on Wednesday, police said. Derby police responded to that address at about 5:15 a.m. that day.

Then Derby and Ansonia police responded to Sunset Drive in Derby at 6 a.m. after receiving a report of a man seen running through backyards in the area, police said.

Police detained the suspect after finding him standing on a deck at a Derby home near Sunset Drive, identifying him as Miller, Derby and Ansonia police said.

Ansonia and Derby police worked together to investigate the incidents. They also located stolen property, linking Miller to a rash of overnight burglaries in the two towns, also taking into consideration the manner in which the burglaries occurred, police said. Officers also linked him to two other attempted house burglaries on Sunset Drive, police said. Miller was not able to get inside those two homes, police said.

Derby and Ansonia police obtained a search and seizure warrant, enabling them to search Miller's Hodge Avenue home in Ansonia, police said. Police found evidence linking Miller to two previous overnight burglaries on Clark Street Extension in Derby that happened while the residents were home on Aug. 23, as well as another on Paugassett Road Aug. 27.

Police charged Miller with first-degree burglary, third-degree burglary, two counts of attempted first-degree burglary and sixth-degree larceny.

Police held Miller in custody on an $85,000 bond and he was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

Derby police said they plan on applying for arrest warrants for first-degree burglary in the Clark Street Extension and Paugassett Road burglaries. Ansonia police continue to investigate.

Ansonia police said they will be interviewing victims and asking them whether they can identify any of the seized items. They advise resdients to close and lock windows and doors and be vigilant about any suspicious activity observed in the neighborhood. Police ask that any suspicious activity be reported to the Ansonia Police Department at 203-735-1885.

Photo Credit: Derby Police Department

60,000 Antelope Mysteriously Died in 4 Days


When geocologist Steffan Zuther and his colleagues arrived in central Kazakhstant to monitor the calving of one heard of saigas, veterinarians in the area had already reported dead animals on the ground. WIthin four days, the entire herd—60,000 saiga—had died.

Now, the researchers have found clues as to how more than half of the country's herd, counted at 257,000 as of 2014, died so rapidly. Bacteria clearly played a role in the saigas' demise. But exactly how these normally harmless microbes could take such a toll is still a mystery, Zuther said.

"The extent of this die-off, and the speed it had, by spreading throughout the whole calving herd and killing all the animals, this has not been observed for any other species," Zuther said. "It's really unheard of."

Photo Credit: Albert Salemgareyev

How a Dog Named Liberty Helped a Veteran in Pain


When Michael Garvey returned from Afghanistan with a Purple Heart and painful injuries, he struggled with intense night sweats and post-traumatic stress disorder, among other issues.

The firefight he survived left him with nerve damage to his leg and injuries to his stomach. Garvey tried therapy and medication to cope with the pain and loneliness. Then, after two years of treatment for PTSD, Garvey found a black lab named Liberty. That’s when his life began to change, he said.

“Since I got Liberty, I have been so much happier,” Garvey said of his service dog. “The loneliness goes away.”

Having Liberty also helped the night sweats disappear — to Garvey's surprise. 

Garvey drove from Maryland to the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, a high-security women’s prison about 30-miles north of New York City, to pick up his new companion. Inmates had trained Liberty there as part of the Puppies Behind Bars program.

Gloria Gilbert Stoga started PBB in 1997. The program promised a long-reaching impact for everyone involved: inmates contribute to society in a positive way, veterans get the support and companionship they needed, and the dogs, while they are being trained, get round-the-clock attention and love.

Garvey said he has benefited greatly from the program and so has Annette Montstream, a dog trainer serving time for a manslaughter conviction. 

“Because I have taken a life and I feel badly, I wanted to give back,” she said.

Montstream met Garvey when he visited the prison to train with the inmates before he took Liberty home. At Bedford Hills he learned dog commands and tips for how to care for the animal.

When Garvey recently visited the prison to reconnect with the women, Montstream saw a change in his demeanor. 

“He seems much more relaxed, joking, instead of being so reserved,” Montstream said. “I believe his change in behavior is because of his service dog.”

Inside the prison, puppies stay with their inmate handlers just about everywhere they go. The inmates paired with puppies sleep in a special housing unit. Once or twice a week non-incarcerated volunteers take the canines for rides in cars, to soccer games and to the grocery store. With the exposure, the dogs become accustomed to the outside world. By age 2 or 3, the dogs will be ready for their new homes. 

Some of the dogs will become bomb-sniffers but most of them will be paired with wounded war veterans. 

For Garvey, having Liberty hasn’t been a simple task, with all the work that comes with owning a dog. But the benefits outweigh the responsibilities.

“It's not a pill you can swallow in the morning and then go about your day,” Garvey said. “It's work but it's worth it.” 

Photo Credit: Jessica Glazer

Route 195 Reopens in Mansfield After Crash


Route 195/Storrs Road has reopened in Mansfield following a crash Thursday afternoon, according to the Department of Transportation.

Police said the road was closed near the intersection of Mansfield Hollow Road while authorities responded.

According to the DOT, two cars collided in the area.

It's not clear if anyone was hurt.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hartford Police Seize Gun and Narcotics


Hartford police seized a gun, narcotics and $34,000 in cash during a search in a recent narcotics investigation.

Police found 500 grams of pure heroin, 200 grams of cocaine, a Smith & Wesson .38 revolver, crack, weed and $34,000 in cash during the drug bust.

No further information was available.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

Hamden Resident Catches Burglar Snooping


A 22-year-old West Haven man is facing charges after breaking into two homes in Hamden and jumping out a living room window when a resident spotted him, according to police.

Police said Quinten Shaw burglarized two homes on Pearl Avenue during the early morning hours of Sept. 3.

A 68-year-old homeowner was lying in bed around 6 a.m. when he saw someone shining a light into his bedroom, according to police. He got up and went into the living room in time to see Shaw jump out the window.

Officers responded to the neighborhood and found Shaw riding his bike southbound on Dixwell Avenue, according to police. He got off his bike and led police on a foot chase before officers took him into custody in the area of Morse and Columbus streets.

Police said they found Shaw with property stolen from another home on Pearl Avenue, where Shaw allegedly forced his way through a porch window and took electronics while the residents slept.

He was arrested and charged with first-, second- and third-degree burglary, two counts of sixth-degree larceny and interfering with police, along with violation of probation.

Shaw was held on $50,000 bond and is due in court Sept. 17.

It's not clear if he has an attorney.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police Department

Protecting a Pope Who Likes to Take Selfies With Crowds


Protecting Pope Francis when he travels to the United States later this month will be a particularly arduous task for the Secret Service and other security officers given this pontiff’s spontaneity and propensity to plunge into crowds.

"He's a guy that has challenged the bad guys, ISIS, people like that,” said Steven Bucci, a national security expert at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. “There are people who just don’t like Catholics. There’s a whole bunch of potential threats that the pope faces.”

But vigilance has to be balanced against allowing access because Francis’ purpose in visiting is to interact with the people who throng to see him, Bucci and others say. He is the spiritual leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

"For the pope not to go into crowds, not to see people, is a no-go," said Andreas Widmer, who as a member of the Swiss Guard served Pope John Paul II and is now at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. "You could make the pope 100 percent secure by putting him in a bunker somewhere but then he's not the pope any more."

Francis is expected to draw millions of people over five days beginning Sept. 23 when he visits Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia. More than one million alone are expected to attend one of the main events, an outdoor Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia to conclude the World Meeting of Families around which his visit was planned.

He will also address Congress and the U.N. General Assembly, deliver a speech on immigration at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, take part in two processions along Benjamin Franklin Parkway, attend a multireligious service at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York, and travel through Central Park, a stop added this week to allow even more people to see him.


His day in New York City comes as the 70th session of the U.N. General Assembly gets underway, a meeting attended by 160 world leaders, and New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton told NBC New York that the challenge of guarding the pope would be unprecedented. New Yorkers could see gridlock, closed subway stations, additional vehicle checkpoints and other security measures, police warned.

"We won't shut down New York during this — business continues, people come and go," John Miller, the New York Police Department's head of counterterrorism, told The Associated Press. "It's going to be unprecedented, but we're going to make it work."

The pope’s visit has been designated a national security special event, meaning the U.S. Secret Service is in charge of planning for his security while working with the FBI and local agencies. The Secret Service has met multiple times with Vatican security officials in Washington and in Rome to learn more about Francis' interactions with crowds, the AP reported. Philadelphia police also traveled to the Vatican.

Francis travels with his own detail of security agents and with the bulletproof Popemobile, which will be a Jeep Wrangler already in Secret Service hands.

He has been famously reluctant to embrace some security measures, comparing the Popemobile to a sardine can and telling the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia that if something did happen to him at his age he did not have much to lose.


Widmer said the Swiss Guards take a fundamentally different approach to security than other security agencies. They are trained in close hand-to-hand combat, to use their bodies as shields as they protect a religious figure with whom the crowds want to touch or speak. Even if someone threatens the pope, a gun is not always the best response, he said.

"We’re protecting the pope so the first reaction is not violence," he said. 

He added that Swiss Guards "have 500 years of experience, and we do things very discretely."

New York and Washington, D.C. frequently are called on to protect presidents, prime ministers and other dignitaries so more attention has focused on how well Philadelphia is doing as it gets ready for the pontiff. Adding to the city’s difficulty: Francis’ appearances in Philadelphia will be larger and more exposed.

Fences and metal detectors will go up around security zones at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Independence Hall, schools and courts will be shut and traffic will be restricted downtown. Twenty-five miles of highway and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge will be closed to vehicles. The National Guard and 1,000 state troopers will be brought in to help, the AP reported.

Access to the pope will be restricted by tickets, which have been allocated to Catholic parishes throughout the Philadelphia region. Even at the large outdoor events, spots closest to the pontiff will require tickets. But the Archdiocese of Philadelphia emphasized that the vast majority of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway would be open to everyone.


Philadelphia’s preparations were plagued by weeks of rumors and then criticism that the city was going overboard compared to New York and Washington, D.C. Scott White, a former Canadian security officer and now a professor of homeland security at Drexel University in Philadelphia, was among the security experts who told The Philadelphia Inquirer last month that traffic restrictions and other measures seemed disproportionate.

But as more information was released, White said that only those in charge of the security arrangements and familiar with threats received would know whether preparations were appropriate.

“There’s a vast array of potential threat to anybody who is a high profile individual so I wouldn’t really want to speculate," White said when asked who might pose the greatest threat to Francis.

The AP reported authorities have reported no specific threats related to Francis' visit, but also noted that when Pope Benedict XVI visited the United States in 2008, security officials warned that terrorists could focus on targets such as hotels, restaurants or trains.

Last month, when Francis was asked whether he approved of unilateral U.S. airstrikes on militants from the Islamic State or ISIS, he said it would be permissible to stop an unjust aggressor. Earlier in the year, ISIS made threats against Italy and the Vatican, with a photo showing its flag flying above the obelisk in St. Peter’s Square and the headline, “The failed crusade.”

Photo Credit: AP
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Mexico Crackdown on Central American Child Migrants Increasing


The Migration Policy Institute reports that Mexico's apprehensions of child migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador - collectively known as the northern Triangle - are expected to increase, while such apprehensions by the U.S. are dropping sharply.

Meanwhile, Mexico's deportations of Central American child migrants - greater than the U.S. for a number of years _ also are growing so that this year Mexico deportations of Central American children are expected to be 12 times those of the U.S., compared to double in 2014, institute researchers said.

As a result, migrants who in the past made it to the U.S. border and appeared in U.S. apprehension data, are now intercepted and show up in Mexico's statistics. Mexico includes all children in its data not just those that are unaccompanied, which the U.S. tracks as a separate category. 

Photo Credit: AP

Ex-Tesla Employee Posted Confidential Docs From Manager's Email Online: FBI


A former Tesla engineer is facing charges for allegedly accessing his former manager’s work email, then posting confidential information from the account online, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Nima Kalbasi, 28, a former mechanical engineer with the Palo Alto-based company, appeared in federal court in Northern California for the first time on Thursday. He was indicted on two counts of felony computer intrusion.

After gaining access to the manager’s account, Kalbasi, a Canadian citizen, shared confidential employee evaluation forms with employees and on a public site, authorities said. Kalbasi then "tried to harm Tesla’s reputation and credibility by making false and misleading comments," according to a news release.

If convicted, Kalbasi could face a maximum of five years in prison for the felony charges.

Kalbasi was arrested in Derby Line, Vermont, by Customs and Border Protection as he crossed the border into the United States on August 24. 

A lawyer for Kalbasi declined to comment to Reuters, NBC News reported. 


Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images
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