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Pokemon Graffiti Found on Beach Rock in Barkhamsted


Vandals painted Pokemon graffiti on Beach Rock in Barkhamsted and local officials are asking anyone who knows who did it to report the information.

“This is disgraceful, immature and illegal,” a Facebook post on the Town of Barkhamsted page says.

“We have been lucky that Town and area residents respect the natural beauty here,” the post says. “Hopefully our stewardship continues.”

Photo Credit: Town of Barkhamsted
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Tropical Storm Earl Forms in Caribbean


Tropical Storm Earl has officially formed in the Caribbean Sea.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Tuesday that Earl was threatening to bring heavy rains, flooding and high winds to Mexico, Belize and Honduras. All three of those countries issued Tropical Storm warnings for some areas, and a hurricane watch was issued for part of the Mexican coast.

Earl was still a weaker tropical wave on Sunday but knocked down power lines and started a fire that killed six passengers on a bus filled with people returning from a beach excursion.

On Tuesday, the storm was centered about 535 miles (860 kilometers) east of Belize City in the Caribbean. It had top sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph) and was speeding west at 22 mph (35 kph).

The tropical storm is not expected to impact Florida.

2nd Suspect in Torrington Home Invasion Arrested


Police have arrested a second suspect in a home invasion in Torrington.

Police responded to a home on Pearl Street on July 16 after two men forced their way into the house, assaulted a woman and stole several items, police said.

The victim was transported to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, treated for injuries and later released. Police said she did know one of the suspects.

Police arrested Randy Gilbar, 28, of Torrington, on July 29.

He has been charged with first-degree home invasion, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and sixth-degree larceny.

He is being held on $350,000 bond. 

Gilbar was the second person charged in the case.

Police earlier arrested Hillary D. Combs, 46, and charged him with home invasion, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, first-degree sexual assault and first-degree attempted sexual assault.

Photo Credit: Torrington Police

Andrew Bogut, Others Report Poor Accommodations at Olympic Village


Thousands of athletes are flocking to Rio De Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic games and a handful are speaking out about the poor conditions at the Olympic Village.

Australian basketball star Andrew Bogut started using the ironic hashtag #IOCLuxuryLodging. Bogut, who plays center for the Dallas Mavericks, posted a picture of himself with the caption "putting together a shower curtain so we can shower and not flood the place."

Olympic field hockey player Georgie Parker responded to his tweet saying, “lights in our bathroom would be a nice addition. Luckily we have our #SamsungS7 to light the place! #IOCLuxuryLodging.”

Bogut later tweeted "At #IOCLuxuryLodging we believe a bed is not vital for sleep. Fine tuned athletes can sleep standing up."

Bogut’s tweets are just the latest in a string of drama surrounding accommodations for the Australian Olympic athletes.

Australia initially refused to move into its building at the Olympic Village, citing gas and plumbing leaks, electrical problems and unclean conditions. The athletes moved in later in the week but were evacuated on Friday after a small fire. No athletes were injured in the fire but when they returned after a half-hour outside, they found team shirts and two laptops had ben stolen.

The Associated Press reported at least a dozen other teams also complained of problems at the Olympic Village. "Please fix my toilet," one Kenyan athlete wrote on a whiteboard at the village intended for athletes to leave messages to Rio. Other teams have spoken about clogged drains and lack of hot water in the facilities.

According to the official Brazilian federal government portal for the Games, the 13 building Olympic Village can host 17,950 athletes and technical staff in 3,604 flats. The Brazilian government reports 18,000 people worked on the village's construction, which was funded by a public-private partnership.

Photo Credit: AP
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Kids Jumping Out at Cars Causing Concern in East Hampton


East Hampton town officials are urging drivers to be alert after receiving reports of children jumping in front of cars on Main Street.

Town Manager Michael Maniscalco said he was first notified of the incidents about two weeks ago and he was concerned for the safety of the children, as well as the drivers.

“It is a bit of a disappointment that kids would make the decisions like this. We always hope that we are going to be working with and raising youth in our community that are going to be making wise and smart decisions and obviously this is far from one of those,” Maniscalco said.

He said police have stepped up their patrols in the area.

East Hampton Police Chief Sean Cox said the department has not received any additional reports over the last few days.

However, Maniscalco encourages residents to call 911 immediately if it happens again. 

“It is important that they make that report immediately after something like this has happened with a very clear and good description. If people don’t call it in at the time of, it is very hard for us to try and address it appropriately,” he said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Indian Well State Park Closed Because of Power Outage

Police Search For Suspect Who Burglarized Waterbury Home


Police are looking for the burglar who broke into a Waterbury home on Saturday. 

The man was caught on camera inside the home on Prospect Street around 2:43 p.m., Waterbury Police said. 

Anyone with information on the individual is asked to call Waterbury Police at (203) 574-6941 or Crimestoppers at (203) 755-1234. 

Photo Credit: Waterbury Police

Meals With the Highest Amount of Calories 2016 Report


When you go to a restaurant and order your meal, do you know how many calories you’re eating?

A report released on Monday by the Center for Science in the Public Interest has compiled a list of meals from food chain restaurants that have some of the highest calories.

Some of the dishes on the list came from restaurants like The Cheescake Factory, Uno's Pizza and Buffalo Wild Wings. Some meals listed had more than 2,500 calories.

But the National Restaurant Association believes the report is an unfair represntation of the industry. 

“CSPI’s cherry-picked examples paint an inaccurate picture of the great strides the industry has made in the area of nutrition," spokesman Christin Fernandez said. "America’s one million restaurants provide numerous options to accommodate all types of tastes and diets—diners looking for an occasional indulgence or those that are keeping things light. In fact, our research shows 85 percent of adults agree there are more healthy menu options available compared to two years ago."

A spokeswoman for The Cheesecake Factory called its portions "generous".

“With more than 250 menu items, The Cheesecake Factory has always been about choices. Many of our guests come in and want to celebrate and not be concerned with calories. Others want to share their dish – and we love it when guests share – that’s a great sign that our portions are generous," Alethea Rowe, senior director of public relations at The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated said.

Here's a list of a few of the meals:

Uno Pizzeria & Grill: Whole Hog Burger
Calories: 2,850
Saturated Fat: 62 grams
Sodium: 9,790 milligrams, which is equivalent to six days worth of sodium.

What it is: The meal has hamburger, sausage, bacon, prosciutoo, pepperoni, four types of cheese, garlic mayo and pickles. It comes with fires and onion rings.

What it's like: Eating four McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with Cheese and two medium orders of fries doused with a combined 18 packets of salt.

The Cheesecake Factory: Fried Chicken & Waffles Benedict
Calories: 2,580
Saturated Fat: 86 grams
Sodium: 3,390 milligrams
Sugar: 15 teaspoons

What it is: Belgian waffle topped with fried chicken strips, poached eggs, and Hollandaise sauce, served with maple-butter syrup and usually a side of breakfast potatoes.

What it's like: Eating two Marie Callender’s one-pound Chicken Pot Pies topped with half a stick of butter and a quarter cup of maple syrup.

Dave & Buster's: Short Rib & Cheesy Mac Stack
Calories: 1,910
Saturated Fat: 42 grams
Sodium: 3,390 milligrams

What it is: This sandwich is stuffed with beef short rib and macaroni and cheese and is served with “crispy seasoned tots.”

What it's like: Eating three McDonald’s Big Macs and a medium fries. Dave & Gut Buster’s is more like it.

Sonic: Rt. 44 Grape Slush with Rainbow Candy
Calories: 970
Sugar: 1 ¼ cups

What it is: 44 ounce icy slush drink made with shippable candy.

What's it like: That’s like downing three XL (40-ounce) Fanta Wild Cherry Slurpees from 7-Eleven.

Buffalo Wild Wings: Dessert Nachos
Calories: 2,100
Saturated Fat: 64 grams
Trans Fat: 5 grams

What it is: A fried flour tortilla with four scoops of ice cream, sugar, and “gooey breaded cheesecake bites” topped with chocolate and caramel sauce.

What it's like: Eating four Taco Bell Crunchy Tacos (filled with beef and cheese) topped with a 14-ounce container of Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream and two melted Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars.

Jersey Mike's Subs: Giant Chipotle Cheese Steak
Calories: 1,850
Saturated Fat: 30 g
Sodium: 4,330 mg

What it is: Grilled steak on 14-inch white-flour roll with melted white American cheese, peppers and onions, drizzled with spicy chipotle mayo.

What it's like: Eating two Subway foot-long roast beef submarines.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill: Cremini Pork Shank
Calories: 1,800
Saturated Fat: 43g
Sodium: 3,700 mg

What it is: Braised pork shank, marsala wine sauce, caramelized onions, mushrooms, roasted parmesan potatoes.

What it's like: Eating two Outback Steakhouse 10 oz. Ribeye Steaks and two sides of seasoned French fries.

Applebee’s: Build Your Sampler

Calories: 3,390 calories (1,700 calories per person split between 2 or 850 calories per person split between 4)
Saturated Fat: 65 g
Sodium: 11,650 mg

What it is: Two to five menu appetizers or bar snacks, which include, Cheeseburger Egg Rolls (630 calories), Brew Pub Pretzels & Beer Cheese Dip (510 calories), Chicken Quesadilla (610 calories), Boneless Wings with Classic Buffalo Sauce (440 calories + 240 calories bleu cheese dressing), Spinach & Artichoke Dip (960 calories)

What's it like: If split FOUR ways, one serving is equivalent of polishing off an Applebee’s Classic Burger with cheddar cheese (before you even get to the entrée!)

Maggiano’s Little Italy - Marco’s Meal for Two

Calories: 2,840 per person
Saturated Fat: 79 g per person
Sodium: 6,390 mg per person
Sugar: 11 teaspoons from Crostada alone

What it is: White flour rolls, choice of appetizer or flatbread, two side salads, two pasta dishes and dessert

The choices include Mozzarella Marinara (1,530 calories), Taylor Street Baked Ziti (1,400 calories), Fettucini Alfredo (1,560 calories) and Warm Apple Crostada (1,180 calories)

The full list of the 2016 Xtreme Eating Awards is available on CSPI’s website.

Photo Credit: AP
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How Donald Trump Has Talked About Sexual Harassment


Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Monday in an interview with USA Today that his daughter Ivanka would not put up with sexual harassment.

"I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case," Trump told the paper, responding to a question about former Fox News chief Roger Ailes' alleged harassment at the cable network.

This wasn't Trump's first remark on the issue of sexual harassment.

Responding in 2013 to a Pentagon report that saw surging numbers of unreported sexual assaults and few prosecutions in the military, for example, Trump blamed gender integration (and the "very dumb politicians" he believes instituted military integration).

Photo Credit: AP

Bin Laden Compound Could Become Playground


The compound where Osama bin Laden was hiding when Navy SEALs found and killed him five years ago looks set to become either a children's playground or a graveyard, a local official tells NBC News.

The site in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where the al Qaeda founder and 9/11 mastermind spent his last years has become the center of a turf war.

The local administration took possession of the 37,996-square-foot site after bin Laden was killed and his family captured on May 2, 2011. The house was razed, and the plot sits largely unused — although it occasionally becomes a makeshift cricket pitch or a kite-flying field for local children.

Now the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wants to build a playground, while the local administration is trying to build a new graveyard, since there is a shortage of them in the area.

Photo Credit: AP, File

Vandals Damage Band Shell at Granby Park


Vandals damaged the band shell at the Salmon Brook Park in Granby and police are investigating. 

Police said the director of the Department of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Granby reported the criminal mischief at Salmon Brook Park just after 8:30 a.m. on Monday. 

There was damage to the floor of the band shell, including white spray paint with "MEMES," "Make America dab again," R.I.P. Harambre, a stick figure that had a bent left arm and more. 

Police believe someone used the paint Granby Little League uses to paint the bases and said the teams do not lock the supply shed where the paint is stored. 

Town officials are contacting the little league to put a lock on the shed and said they will clean up the paint. 

Photo Credit: Granby Police

Starbucks Recalls Stainless Steel Straw


Starbucks announced that it is recalling a stainless steel beverage straw for being too rigid and posing a risk of injury.

The company received four reports of children getting cuts in their mouths while drinking from the straws.

The recall involves about 2.5 million reusable straws in the United States, as well as around 301,000 sold in Canada.

The straws, which come in two sizes, were sold in sets of three and were included with the purchase of Starbucks 16-ounce Grande and 24-ounce Venti stainless steel beverage cups.

The company is warning consumers to avoid allowing children to use the straws.

Consumers can contact Starbucks at 800-782-7282 from 3 a.m. to Midnight PT daily or online on the Starbucks website. Click on “stainless steel straw warnings” for more information.

CT Health Commissioner Urges Pregnant Women to Avoid Miami


The commissioner of the State Department of Public Health is urging Connecticut women who are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, and their partners to avoid traveling to a Zika-stricken part of Miami, Florida. 

Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino put out the warning on Tuesday, the day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel warning because of Zika virus.  

“Based on confirmation by the State of Florida and the CDC of several cases of locally transmitted Zika virus, the CDC is advising pregnant women, women who plan to become pregnant and their sexual partners to avoid one area of Miami just north of the city’s downtown,” Pino said in a statement. “I encourage Connecticut women who are or plan to become pregnant and their partners to avoid this neighborhood, should they be travelling to Miami. While Zika virus causes only mild symptoms in most people, it can have devastating, life-long consequences for unborn children.” 

The mosquito suspected of transmitting Zika in the Miami neighborhood is not found in Connecticut. However, another mosquito capable of transmitting Zika, the Asian Tiger Mosquito, has been trapped in several Connecticut towns this summer. 

No mosquitoes have tested positive for Zika in Connecticut, but residents are urged to remove standing water outside homes and eliminating trash, debris and other materials that can collect water and provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. 

The state laboratory had tested 491 Connecticut patients for Zika virus, including 379 pregnant women.

To date, 45 patients, including three pregnant women, have tested positive for Zika virus and all the patients contracted the virus while travelling to Zika affected areas in the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Photo Credit: WTVJ

2 Suspects Steal Cigarettes, Money After Plainfield Store Break-In: Police


Police are searching for two thieves who broke into a Plainfield convenient store and stole cigarettes, cigars and money.

On Tuesday, two men broke into Sam's Convenient Store on 219 Main Street in the Mooshup area at 1:52 a.m. 

The men tampered with the alarm system and security cameras before smashing the front entranceway, police said. 

Plainfield Police said the pair stole an undisclosed amount of money, cigarettes and cigars.

One of the males who concealed his identity with a bandana was wearing what appeared to be a Chicago Bulls flat brimmed hat, a black tank top, gloves, and black track pants with white stripes down the side, police said. 

The other male who had a tan complexion wore a grey hooded top, gloves, and black track pants with white stripes down the side, police said. 

Photo Credit: Plainfield Police

July 911 Outage Explained


On July 15, nearly half of the state’s 911 call centers faced outages that saw outages for hours.

"There was a capacity issue in the system and it caused a drain of memory in the software which ultimately affected the call handling, the 911 handling, component of the system,” said Bill Youell, the Director of the Division of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications.

AT&T is the state contractor tasked with installing what’s known as a NextGen 911 system that allows users to text to 911, and for the call center to know the precise location of where a 911 call was placed.

State sources told NBC Connecticut that AT&T has since the patched the issue and there have been no problems since July 15.

New Britain is one of 56 call centers using the new technology.

"They were able to see 911 calls coming in but they couldn't communicate with the caller so they improvised, they took out their own cell phones and started calling folks back,” said Jim Donnelly, the Director of Public Safety Telecommunications for the City of New Britain.

Donnelly says he thinks the new 911 system will be a great system when it’s fully operational and added that he’s not discouraged by one outage.

"This glitch here was a big one but they are actively and aggressively taking steps to do that."

If you tried calling 911 on that day and couldn't get through, tell us your story: news@nbcconnecticut.com

Syrian Refugee Shares Journey of Resettling in New Haven


It has been 8 months since 31-year-old Ziyad Mohamad Alahmad arrived in Connecticut, but the journey of escaping his war-torn homeland of Syria began more than two and half years before that.

"Took me two days actually to cross the border and go to Turkey," Alahmad said, with his case worker interpreting his Arabic.

In Turkey, he applied to be a refugee and his wife gave birth to their second son. His family finally resettled in New Haven last December, with the help of Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS).

"IRIS helped us for paying our rents and helped us to adjust for my kids doctor appointment and health and medical stuff," Alahmad said, adding he is especially thankful for the care his three-year-old son with disabilities is receiving. "The first two months it was very hard for me to adjust to life over here, but now I feel comfortable."

New Haven has accepted the 12th most Syrian refugees in the country, IRIS Executive Director Chris George said. His organization has welcomed 204 Syrian refugees since last July.

Citing security concerns, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says Syrian refugees should not be allowed in the United States.

"It’s not American to say those things," George said. "This is the finest foreign policy program we have welcoming persecuted people from all over the world."

Refugees must be finger printed, interviewed numerous times and have their documents analyzed before the Department of Homeland Security allows them to enter the country, George explained.

"Any refugee who has arrived here in Connecticut has gone through the most rigorous vetting process in the world," he said.

For Alahmad, New Haven has become his safe haven.

"I felt safe for myself and for my kids," he said. "There is no risk for living over here."

While they are processed in New Haven, George said half of the Syrian refugees are now living in communities across the state. He credits the support from different community groups for helping to accommodate the increase in refugees arriving this summer.

IRIS expects nearly another 300 Syrians to arrive in Connecticut before the end of the year.

The Obama administration has set the goal of accepting 10,000 Syrians by the end of September.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

West Haven Parents Upset Over Unfinished Bathroom Facility


Parents from a youth football and cheerleading league in West Haven want to know if a half million dollars was flushed down the toilet.

Three years after the state awarded West Haven the money for a renovation project at Veterans Memorial Park, another football season is about to kick-off and new bathrooms are not ready.

"It’s an eyesore, isn’t it," parent Bridgette Hoskie said, pointing to the unfinished bathroom facility where crews were working Tuesday afternoon.

"We had about 300 kids take the field last night plus parents using I think about maybe five porta potties," Hoskie said. "There’s no running water, there’s nothing and it’s just really aggravating because this is the third season."

Hoskie’s three boys played football for the West Haven Seahawks, who call the field at Veterans Memorial Park home. Now, her 12-year-old daughter Tianna is starting another season as a cheerleader.

"It’s just sickening," she said. "When we’re like one of the only towns in pop warner where the city doesn’t support them."

Promises about when this project would be finished from Mayor Ed O’Brien have been repeatedly broken, Hoskie said.

O'Brien said the bathroom facility would "absolutely" be ready in ttime for the start of football season. 

"We wanted to have them open August 1. They’re delayed, there was an electrical issue, wiring that was done in the past that was uncovered. We have to take care of that," O'Brien told NBC Connecticut.

Another reason for the three year delay, the mayor said, was finding a construction company that offered a bid within budget and the city wouldn’t have to add to the $500,000 state grant.

"We’ll get this done," O’Brien said. "I do apologize for the delay, but it really was unforeseen issues that caused it."

O’Brien said the construction should be done by the start of next week.

Hoskie isn’t convinced.

"And the wiring they discovered a day or two before the season begun, that’s kind of convenient," she said.

President of the Seahawks’ Ray Tellier Midget Football League Mike Last said he is hopeful the bathrooms will be finished soon before the first games on Sept. 3 during Labor Day weekend.

"I think it will be an economic boost for the city and a great morale booster for our program,"  he said, adding once the facility is ready the site could host regional tournaments.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Clinton Support Spikes After Convention: Poll


Hillary Clinton now leads Donald Trump by 8 points — 50 percent to 42 percent — in the wake of the Democratic National Convention, according to the latest NBC NewsSurveyMonkey poll.

That's up from a single-point difference last week. Trump did not receive a similar bump after the Republican National Convention.

Clinton's gain also comes after Trump's comments about the family of a fallen American soldier and Trump's suggestion that Russian hackers should seek out deleted Clinton emails.

In a four-way match-up that includes Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Clinton now leads Trump by 4 points — 42 percent to 38 percent. This is a lead-reversal from last week, when Trump was beating the Democratic nominee by 2 points.

The NBC NewsSurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking poll was conducted online from July 25 through July 31 among 12,742 adults who say they are registered to vote.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

State Police Sergeant Terminated for Disciplinary Reasons


A state sergeant has been fired from the Connecticut State Police Department, police confirm.

Sgt. Michael Hassett's termination will be effective Monday, Aug. 8., state police said. 

While it's unclear the exact reasons why Hassett is being let go, a public information officer sent NBC Connecticut a list of disciplinary offenses and rules of conduct that appear to have been violated. 

The alleged violations include failing to display the proper attitude of someone in his position, committing an intentional act of deception and failing to discreetly carry a firearm when not in uniform.

The president of the state police union Andy Matthews told NBC Connecticut he cannot comment on any disciplinary actions against a current member. 

Architect to Take Over Hartford Ballpark Competition Project


The architect firm originally hired to design the stadium will now have to complete the Hartford ballpark, the city announced on Tuesday. 

Mayor Luke Bronin confirmed that Arch Insurance has entered into an agreement with Pendulum, an architecture firm, to finish the stadium as early as Wednesday, the city said in a statement. 

“Despite all the distractions, threats, and gamesmanship, we’ve stayed laser-focused on getting Arch Insurance to take over construction of the ballpark, because it’s the best result for Hartford and for Hartford’s taxpayers. Arch has not yet taken full responsibility, but by formally engaging the architect, they’ve taken a significant step forward in that direction," Bronin said. 

The former developer, Centerplan, started construction on the stadium in February 2015 and missed a March and May deadline in 2016, which caused the city to invoke the $46 million insurance policy. Centerplan was fired from the project in June. 

In July, Centerplan announced it was suing the city, claiming Hartford did not use proper dispute resolution channels laid out in their joint agreement before being terminated. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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