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State Police Cruiser Involved in Hartford Crash


A state police cruiser was involved in a two-car crash in Hartford early Tuesday morning, but the trooper was not injured.

Police said the crash happened on Flower Street, near Farmington Avenue.

Hartford Police are investigating since the crash happened in the city.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Ban Ki-Moon to Visit Israel, Palestine Amid Violence


United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon asked Palestinian youth to end the violence.

Ban has expressed concern over the recent escalation in violence, NBC News reported.

"I am dismayed — as we all should be — when I see young people, children, picking up weapons and seeking to kill," he said in a video message.

He said he also understands the need for security for the Israeli people, and that a political solution must be reached to end the violence.

The U.N. chief is expected to make a surprise visit to the region on Tuesday and meet with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, according to the Associated Press.

Photo Credit: AP

Man Steals Money, Cigarettes at Gunpoint From Newington Valero: Police


Police are investigating a robbery at the Valero gas station at 194 Kelsey Street in Newington on Tuesday morning. 
Officers responded to the Valero gas station at 194 Kelsey Street in Newington at about 1:18 a.m. after receiving reports of an armed robbery.

A man, who was about 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-7 feet tall and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a scarf over the lower half of his face, demanded money and cigarettes from the store clerk at gunpoint, police said.

He ran from the store with an unknown amount of money and multiple cigarette packs, police said.

Investigators said he was last seen traveling westbound on Kelsey Street into New Britain.
Police ask anyone with information to contact Officer Williams at RWilliams@newingtonct.gov or 860-594-6254. The case number is I20153534.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Funeral Today for Branford Deputy Fire Chief Struck and Killed by Train


Family and friends of the Branford deputy fire chief who was struck and killed by a train in Branford last Wednesday night will pay their final respects on Tuesday.

Deputy Chief Ronald R. Mullen, who was also the deputy fire marshal, was on the tracks in the area of Pleasant Point Road in Branford around 7:20 p.m. on Wednesday when a Shoreline East train struck him, officials said. The officer of the medical examiner said on Monday that Mullen's death was a suicide.

A funeral mass for Mullen is scheduled for 11 a.m. at St. Mary Church in Branford. There will be no calling hours.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Massive Fire Breaks Out in NYC


A massive fire engulfed a Chelsea building early Tuesday, shutting down several streets, sending the smell of smoke as far as Queens and prompting fears the building may collapse.

The five-alarm fire broke out around 3 a.m. on the fourth floor of 221 W. 17th St. and ripped into the fifth and sixth floors, tearing through the roof, the FDNY said.

The FDNY tweeted that the fire was under control just after 7 a.m., but also said the building, which is near Seventh Avenue, was in danger of collapsing.

"The building is in major danger of collapse, so we are keeping everybody away from the building," an FDNY chief said. "We have a few other buildings that are evacuated because of the potential collapse, and this is going to be an extended operation."

A "collapse perimeter" has been set up around the building and across the street, the FDNY said. People who work next to the building are not allowed to go into their offices.

Neighbor Joshua Bares said he came around the corner because he smelled smoke and saw flames shooting "everywhere."

The apartment building across the street was evacuated as smoke permeated the neighborhood.

“I saw a black cloud and then five minutes later I saw all these flames coming up from the bottom to the top,” said Alan Jennings, who lives across the street. “It wasn’t good to inhale some of that stuff.”

Nearby restaurant Cafeteria opened its doors to evacuees so they could stay warm. 

Many people said they were concerned that Walker Tower, a classic art deco building in the neighborhood, was compromised by the fire. It is unclear if the fire affected that building, which was once the corporate headquarters of Verizon.

The 10-story building was under construction and slated to house a luxury, 14-unit apartment building called the Dorian, according to TheRealDeal.com.

Contractors had filed applications for installing a sprinkler and standpipe system back in August, but the application was still under review, records from the NYC Department of Buildings show. Sprinklers weren't installed in the building when the fire broke out.

One lane on Seventh Avenue had reopened by 5 a.m. after the street was closed from West 23rd Street to the teens as firefighters worked to put out the flames. Some side streets were also temporarily closed between Seventh and Ninth Avenues.

It wasn’t clear what sparked the blaze. No injuries were reported. 

Photo Credit: Gloria Kim

New Britain Teacher Saves Boy’s Life


A first-grade teacher in New Britain saved a child’s life earlier this month and the school district honored her as a hero on Monday night.

On Friday, Oct. 9, Jessica Leon, a teacher at the DiLoreto School, noticed that one of her students was in distress, so she rushed to check on him.

She thought he was going to be sick, but quickly realized something was seriously wrong.

The boy had inadvertently swallowed the cap of a water bottle while taking a sip of water and was choking, according to school officials.

Leon jumped into action, performed the Heimlich maneuver, and dislodged the cap from the little boy’s throat.

The Consolidated School District of New Britain honored Leon at the Board of Education meeting on Monday and Principal Alejandro Ortiz called her a true DiLoreto hero, saying her quick thinking made a difference in the outcome of the situation.

Supt. Kelt Cooper said he couldn’t be more proud to have Leon as part of the district and presented her with an award.

Leon said she will never forget that day earlier this month.

“I would like to thank the entire New Britain family and everyone here for your support. From the parents to the wonderful administrators I get to work with every day, I am truly grateful to be a part of this district,” Leon said. “I appreciate the recognition bestowed upon me and I will forever hold this in my heart. I thank God because he was with me that day. I am truly touched by the support and admiration that has been shown in the e-mails and the outpouring of support I have received from students to parents and just about everyone. Thank you so much!”

Photo Credit: Consolidated School District of New Britain

Motorcyclist Killed in Torrington Route 8 Crash

Temperatures Near 70 Degrees Midweek


A stationary front will impact Connecticut's weather through tomorrow, so even though a warm-up is on the way, it won't be completely sunny.

Clouds will blend with sunshine today as temperatures rise into the lower and middle 60s. It will be breezy.

The front aligns west to east just north of the state border tomorrow, so it will be mostly cloudy. There can be a shower in far northern towns like Somers or Enfield, but for most it's a dry day.

Even with the clouds, temperatures will rise into the middle and upper 60s! Some towns may touch 70 degrees.

A cold front approaches on Thursday, but it won't move through until later in the day. Most of the day will be dry and mostly cloudy. High temperatures inland will be near 70 degrees! The hill towns and shoreline will be in the middle 60s.

As the front moves through late Thursday, a few showers will come through.

More of a balanced blend of clouds and sun returns Friday in the wake of Thursday's front, but temperatures will take a hit. Highs will only be in the middle and upper 50s!

Saturday looks like the pick of the weekend, with mostly sunny skies and high temperatures near 60 degrees.

A third cold front passes through Sunday, bringing with it a good amount of clouds and a few rain showers. Again high temperatures will be near 60 degrees.

Rainfall deficits for the year are now over 6 inches at both Connecticut climate sites. The National Drought Mitigation Center's most recent report says more than 80 percent of Connecticut is dealing with moderate drought.

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Rugby Player Threatened Women: Cops


A troubled Australian professional rugby player was arrested in New York City last weekend after he allegedly followed two women into an apartment building and threatened them, screaming, "This is the night you die," police said.

Matthew Lodge, who plays for the Sydney-based rugby league football club Wests Tigers, was on vacation in New York City when he followed two women into a building at 76th Street and West End Avenue on the Upper West Side early Friday, police said.

The women, who were German tourists, according to the Daily News, hit several buzzers to get into the building to escape the 20-year-old Lodge, police told NBC 4 New York. It's not clear how Lodge encountered the women or why he was following them, but he allegedly screamed at them: "This is the night you die." 

When a neighbor ran into the hallway to help, he and Lodge got into a scuffle, and Ldoge then ran into the man's apartment, with the man's wife and child inside, and began breaking things, according to police. 

Mario Veltri, whose son owns the building, told NBC 4 New York he heard from tenants about the chaos, which ended with police arrived. He said tenants told him Lodge threw a bottle at officers before police found him hiding in a closet.

"It would make anybody nervous," said Veltri.

Neighbors were shocked to hear of the alleged assault, and many were scared to hear the suspect was able to get into the building.

"Our building has 24/7 security, so it's less of a worry, but any apartment or anybody living on the first floor with no security is going to be concerned," said Ami Kantawala. 

"It's absolutely terrifying. I feel bad for them," said Gabriel Marshall.

Lodge had posted a video on Instagram hours before his arrest, showing him inside a taxi laughing with the driver as music blared. 

He was charged with trespassing and menacing, and was held on $20,000 bail Saturday. It's not clear if he had an attorney here. 

This wasn't his first run-in with the law. His team benched him in August on domestic violence charges, and then fired him Monday, The Wests Tigers said in a statement: "The Club is incredibly disappointed to learn that Matthew Lodge has been charged by police while overseas on holiday. We have since made the decision to terminate Lodge’s playing contract." 

His family told a local news station in Australia they were "devastated." 

"I have no comment because I don't know what's going on," his mother Karan Lodge said. "I don't know anything about the incident, and my husband's currently on his way to New York to find out details." 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File
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GOP Mayoral Candidate Says He Can Win in Hartford


Ted Cannon has never held public office, but he said that he can win votes from Democrats by meeting with people one on one during his campaign for Hartford mayor.

"There's a real frustration out there with the way this city has been run for years," the 60-year-old father of four said during an interview on Monday.

Policy ideas aside, his biggest task is confronting the financial and organizational behemoth that has become Luke Bronin's Democratic campaign for mayor.

Bronin soundly defeated incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra in the Democratic primary last month after raising more than $750,000 in campaign contributions and spending it on television advertising.

To date, Bronin has raised nearly $1 million and is the strong favorite to win in November against Cannon, and Working Families Party candidate and sitting City Councilman Joel Cruz Jr.

"I’m trying to send a message that the people of Hartford’s support isn’t for sale. It has to be earned and I hope that message is getting out,” Cannon said of Bronin's fundraising prowess.

The Republican has bold ideas for education and said he wants to evaluate some of the city's underperforming and most downtrodden schools.

“I think quite honestly that some of them need to be closed," Cannon said. "Some of the buildings themselves are in terrible condition and the cost of maintaining all of the bricks and mortar is becoming onerous.”

Cannon has three children in magnet schools and calls them "success stories."

On public safety, the most pressing issue of the Democratic campaign, Cannon concurs with Bronin that more Hartford police need to be "walking the beat" in neighborhoods and meeting with the people they've sworn to protect.

He said the city needs to hire more police officers, especially considering the number of possible retirees that can whittle the force down even more.

On the city's budget, Cannon said he and the city council need to identify which expenses can go away and find the fat.

"The mayor has said that we have a revenue problem. He’s half right. We also have a spending problem,” Cannon said.

Cannon said, with weeks to go, he's feeling momentum his way and won't wilt to the pressure of a heavily favored Democrat.

“I didn’t enter this race a sacrificial lamb" he said. "Certainly, I think I have a chance or I wouldn’t be doing it.”

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Jim Webb Quits Democratic Presidential Campaign


Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb announced Tuesday that he is dropping his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Webb said he will meet with people from all political backgrounds in the coming weeks to see if he has enough support to consider an independent presidential run.

"The very nature of our democracy is under siege due to the power structure and the money that finances both political parties," Webb said, joined by his wife, Hong Le Webb. "Our political candidates are being pulled to the extremes. They're increasingly out of step with the people they're supposed to serve."

Webb has complained that he did not get enough time to present his views at the first Democratic debate.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Why Biden's 2016 Odds Are Getting Longer: Analysis


Whether he decides to throw his hat in the ring or not, Vice President Joe Biden’s odds of winning the Democratic nomination for president are getting longer.

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows 38 percent of likely Democratic primary voters would rather not see him enter the race as opposed to 30 percent who would like to see him run. Another 31 percent had no opinion.

If he chooses to run, those poll numbers don’t bode well for Biden either: He’s in third at 15 percent, trailing front-runners Hillary Clinton (49 percent) and Bernie Sanders (29 percent), with Clinton boosting her lead over Sanders by more than 10 points since last week’s Democratic debate, according to the poll.

Another sign: Biden hasn’t raised any money. Clinton and Sanders have raised a combined $60 million. And the VP lacks campaign infrastructure in key states Iowa and New Hampshire.

Photo Credit: Getty

Japan Acknowledges Possible Fukushima Nuclear Radiation Casualty


A possible first casualty from radiation at wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant is an unnamed male worker in his 30s, who was diagnosed with cancer after the crisis in 2011, a Japanese official said, Reuters reported. 

An official from Japan's health ministry said the worker was employed by a construction contractor, worked at Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi plant and other nuclear facilities.

The ministry's recognition of radiation as a possible cause may set back efforts to recover from the disaster.

Hundreds of deaths have been blamed on chaotic evacuations, crisis and hardship on the refugees, but the government had said that radiation was not a cause.

Photo Credit: GettyImages

Woman Dead, Man Injured In Ellington Crash


A woman is dead and a man was seriously injured in a one-car crash on Route 83 in Ellington early Tuesday morning.

The car, which has Massachusetts license plates, rolled over near Mountain Road, and landed on its side.

LifeStar flew the driver, a man, to Hartford Hospital. No information is available about his condition.

The passenger, a woman, died at the scene, police said.

Police believe both people are in their 30s and have not released either person’s name.

Karen Wendhiser, of Ellington, said she woke her husband and called 911 after hearing the car screech past her house and land in her neighbor's driveway. 

"We hear crashes here all the time, but this was really bad, and I had figured somebody rolled over or went down the hill or something,” she said.

Route 83 reopened around 5:30 a.m.

Police are investigating the crash.

Neighbors said Route 83 is especially dangerous during rush hour and some are concerned about speeding on the street.

"I've lived here since 1980 and the road is just horrendous. They keep developing it and developing it,” Wendhiser said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Biden Run Could Cut Into Clinton's Support: Poll


Support for Hillary Clinton has boosted by 20 points over her rival Bernie Sanders, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The poll of Democratic voters included Joe Biden. The vice president received 15 percent of the support of Democratic primary voters, Clinton received 49 percent of support from respondents, while the Vermont Senator received 29 percent.

When Biden is eliminated, the poll shows Clinton’s support jumps to 58 percent, compared to 33 percent who support Sanders.

Photo Credit: AP

Israel Restaurant Offers Discount to Jews, Arabs Who Eat Together


An Israeli restaurant owner is giving a 50-percent discount to parties that are mixed Arab and Jewish, NBC News reported.

"Afraid of Arabs? Afraid of Jews? We do not have Arabs! But we also have no Jews ... We have people!" Kobi Tzafrir, the owner of Hummus Bar in the Israeli village of Kfar Vitkin, wrote on the restaurant's Facebook page. 

Hummus, made of ground up chickpeas, is a dish enjoyed by both Jews and Arabs throughout the region. Tzafrir, 32, told NBC News he came up with the offer because of the deadly Israeli-Palestinian violence.

He said the response was overwhelming, withs Jews and Arabs from policemen to emergency responders taking him up on the offer. 


Photo Credit: AP

Dozens Sickened at CA Restaurant


More than 40 people have become "acutely ill" after contracting an infectious bacteria called Shigella at a San Jose seafood restaurant, which has had its permit suspended by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.

Health Department Dr. Sara Cody announced the new numbers Tuesday morning, up from 30 reported sick on Monday. Of the 30 who were sickened, 15 have confirmed cases of Shigella, an intestinal infection caused by the Shigella bacteria, which causes fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Cody said. And 12 of those who fell ill have been taken to the intensive care units of local hospitals, according to the health department.

All those who were sickened said they ate at Mariscos San Juan restaurant in at 205 N. Fourth Street in downtown San Jose on Friday or Saturday, according to authorities. Santa Clara County food inspection reports show the seafood restaurant had its permit suspended on Sunday.

Cody said Tuesday she had no idea just how many people ate there and she implored anyone who felt ill to contact the health department. She also said she didn't know at this point just how the bacteria spread, although she did acknowledge earlier that it can be spread by not properly hand washing.

The bacteria can mostly be treated with antibiotics, though some strains are proving resistant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One person who was sickened, Andres Guera, ate lunch at Mariscos San Juan No. 3 on Friday. Guera said the pain began soon afterward.

"My fever was at 104 – that's when vomiting started," said Guera, who was still recovering late Monday after spending the weekend at Kaiser Permanente Hospital's intensive care unit in Santa Clara. "The first thing they did was put seven liters of fluid in me."

There are three Mariscos San Juan restaurants in San Jose. The original restaurant on Willow Street had its permit suspended in August, county records show. The second restaurant, on Senter Road, has not been cited this year. The third has been linked to the Shigellosis outbreak.

Eighty-one area restaurants have had their permits suspended within the last six months because of heath code violations ranging from improper sewage disposal, temperature control and employee record keeping, online county records show.

For a list of all Santa Clara County restaurant food inspection reports, click here. To report a case of Shigella, click here or call 408-885-4214.

NBC Bay Area's Kristofer Noceda and Terry McSweeney contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Terry McSweeney

Grandma Arrested After 3-Year-Old Is Found Wandering


A Willimantic grandmother was arrested after her 3-year-old granddaughter was found wandering alone on Valley Street around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, with no shoes on, according to police. 

A police officer who was passing by in a cruiser picked the child up and brought the little girl to police headquarters. 

The grandmother, identified as Kim Martinez, 47, of Spring Street in Willimantic, called 911 when she realized her granddaughter was gone and she was charged with risk of injury to a minor when she arrived at the police station. 

Spring Street and Valley Street run parallel and are a block apart.

She was released on a $1,000 bond and is due in Danielson Superior Court on Oct. 29. 

Photo Credit: Willimantic Police and NBCConnecticut.com

Man Accused of Threat Against Southington School Staffer Arrested


Police have arrested a man accused of threatening a Southington High School teacher, which prompted the school district to place seven schools on “secure school status’ on Tuesday morning. They have also seized several guns from his home.

Southington police department were alerted to the threat at 8:15 a.m. and Southington High School, DePaolo Middle School, Flanders Elementary School and Hatton Elementary School were placed in secure school status.

It was then extended to Kennedy Middle School, Derynoski Elementary School and Plantsville Elementary School.

Police investigated and made the determination at 9:40 a.m. that there was no threat to any Southington Schools, so the secure school status was lifted at that time.

Police said Gregory R Daly, 42, of Southington, had been involved in a dispute with a high school staff member and made personal threats against the person.

Police located Daly at his home in Southington and subsequently taken into custody.

Daly was charged with first-degree threatening, harassment in the second degree and breach of peace.

He is being held on a $500,000 bond and is due in Bristol Superior Court on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Teen Died Trying to Protect Mom


The Maryland teen stabbed to death by his mother's boyfriend died trying to protect his mother, charging documents state. 

Keyshaun Mason, who had just started his freshman year at Potomac High School, died Monday morning after he was attacked inside his own home. 

Police said Sean Crawford, 48, stabbed Mason and his 18-year-old brother inside the home they shared on the 600 block of Audrey Lane in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Crawford is the live-in boyfriend of the teens' mother, police said. 

According to the charging documents, the victims tried to help their mother after she got into an argument with Crawford. At some point during the argument, Crawford allegedly grabbed a kitchen knife and barricaded himself and the mother inside a bedroom.

Mason and his brother forced their way into the bedroom and tried to ask Crawford to leave their home. Crawford then stabbed Mason in his chest and the other victim in the shoulder, police said. 

Officers were called to the scene around 7:25 a.m. Monday. Mason was pronounced dead on the scene and his brother was treated and released. Neighbors said they heard yelling. 

"It was like a football field of people fighting under me," neighbor Alexis Black said. "It was really, really loud." 

Officials at Potomac High School shared news of Mason's death with stunned students at the end of the school day Monday. Grief counselors were available. 

"He was a nice kid. He was friendly with everybody," said Chardonnay More, 14. "My best friend is gone." 

Crawford has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted first- and second-degree murder, police said. He is being held without bond. It's not clear if he has an attorney.

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