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'Yes We Khan'? Activist Wants Gold Star Dad in Office


He isn't a politician, but many are hoping the father of a slain Muslim-American war hero will become one after his powerful Democratic National Convention speech, NBC News reported. 

Democratic activist Tom Keefe, launched a fundraiser called "Yes We Khan" on Crowdpac.com, a nonpartisan site that helps citizens find and support local candidates. The fundraiser, which aims to get Khan in the Virginia House of Delegates, raised more than $11,000 in just 24 hours. Khan's son died in Iraq in 2004.  

Keefe was on stage with other veterans at the DNC and said he was struck by the emotional force of Khan's speech lambasting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

"I just thought, this guy might be somebody who could really turn things around for us," Keefe, 67, told NBC News.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Possible Connection Between Home Invasion, Car in Waterbury


Police continue to investigate after a man was shot during a home invasion in Bridgewater early Thursday morning and police are looking into whether a stolen vehicle found in Waterbury is connected to the crime.

State police said they received the 911 call around 3:40 a.m. to respond to 606 South Main St. because a male resident had been shot. The caller, another resident of the home, was providing aid to the victim, according to police.

The unidentified victim was alert when troopers arrived and he was rushed to Danbury Hospital. 

During the search, police shut down a mile-long stretch of road after the home invasion and found a shotgun and a vehicle on South Main Street that had been reported stolen out of New York.

A resident near the home invasion scene also reported a vehicle was stolen and officers later recovered a vehicle in Waterbury reported stolen from Bridgewater.

Police have not yet determined if that stolen vehicle is connected to the home invasion.

Investigators said they do not believe the shooter knows the victim.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact State police detectives at (203) 267-2200 or text TIP711 with information to 274637. Information will be kept confidential.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

3 Arrested After Investigation Into Heroin Trafficking in Fairfield County


Police have arrested three people suspected in a large heroin trafficking operation in Fairfield County.

The arrests of Joel Jean, 29, of Bridgeport, Scott Similien and Jamel Jacobs come after an investigation by the Bridgeport Police Narcotics Task Force and the Darien Police Department Selective Enforcement Unit.

Jean is suspected of distributing large amounts of heroin in Bridgeport and lower Fairfield County. When police searched his home on Hansen Avenue in Bridgeport, authorities found around 400 bags of heroin, two pounds of marijuana, scales, drug packaging materials, a pump action shotgun, two loaded semi-automatic pistols, ammunition and more than $3,000, according to police.

Officers also searched his 2004 Honda Accord, which police said he transported heroin in.

Police apprehended Jean and Similien during a traffic stop and took them into custody. Soon after, Jacobs arrived and police determined he lived at the home.

Police said they later found a loaded .45 caliber handgun in his vehicle, which Jacobs had a valid permit for, police said. 

However, police arrested him after finding two pounds of marijuana in a safe in the house, police said.

Jean was charged with criminal attempt at sale of narcotics, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of narcotics with intent to sell and operating a drug factory.

He was also charged with one count of sale of narcotics and was held on $250,000 bond.

Similien was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell and criminal attempt at sale of narcotics and held in lieu of $50,000.

Jacobs was charged with possession of more than four ounces of marijuana, operating a drug factory and he was held in lieu of $50,000.

Photo Credit: Darien Police

State Police Seek Chaplin Robbery Suspect


Connecticut State police are investigating a robbery at a Stop & Go convenience store in Chaplin Thursday.

Police said they responded around 6:30 a.m. to the store at 17 Willimantic Rd. (Route 6) in Chaplin. The clerk reported a male suspect walked up to the counter, implied he had a weapon, and asked for money from the cash register. The clerk complied and the suspect fled the area on a green sport-style motorcycle traveling west on Route 6.

Eastern District Major Crime (EDMC) detectives are investigating.

Police discovered the Bach Dor Café nearby at 9 Willimantic Rd. was broken into overnight. It is unclear if the same suspect is responsible for both crimes.

The Stop & Go suspect is described as male, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-11, with a beard and stocky build. He was wearing sunglasses, a black long-sleeve shirt, blue jeans, black sneakers and a black knit bull cap, the clerk reported to police.

Anyone with information on either incident is asked to call detectives at (860) 799-4900 or text TIP711 with the information to 274637. Tips will be kept confidential.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Accused Charleston Church Gunman Assaulted in Jail


Dylann Roof, the man charged in the massacre of nine parishioners at a historically black church in Charleston, was assaulted Thursday by another inmate at the South Carolina jail where he is being held, authorities said, NBC News reported.

An inmate exited his cell, ran down the stairs and attacked Roof while he was showering, according to a Charleston County Sheriff's office incident report.

Roof, 22, sustained bruises to his face and back. Dwayne Stafford, 25, will be charged with assault in the third degree, Charleston County Sheriff's Office Spokesman Major Eric Watson told NBC News.

Roof faces the death penalty in upcoming trials in both federal and state courts.

Serious Injuries Reported in Crash on I-95 North in Clinton

West Hartford Police Arrest Suspect in 2014 Bank Robbery


West Hartford police have arrested a man accused of robbing a local bank in 2014.

Seldale Moon, 23, was arrested by West Hartford police on June 21.

Police said on December 19, 2014 a suspect entered the Webster Bank at 75 Park Road and passed a note to a teller demanding money. The teller gave the suspect $1,692 in cash and the suspect then fled to an awaiting car with someone in the driver’s seat.

West Hartford police worked with the FBI and other local police departments to identify the suspects. Based off surveillance video, detectives determined that the suspect may have also committed a robbery in Manchester.

On September 26, 2015 Moon was arrested by Federal Marshals. According to court records, Moon was arrested by Manchester police on April 12, 2016 and charged with first-degree robbery.

West Hartford police said they obtained an arrest warrant. The Hartford Superior Court State’s Attorney’s office dropped the robbery charge. Moon was charged with 4th-degree larceny and held on a $10,000 bond. He entered a not guilty plea in court and is scheduled to appear in court in Hartford on September 6.

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police Department

Tax Free Week Aug. 21-27


Tax-free week is coming up in a couple weeks and that means savings for people buying clothing and shoes.

Clothing and footwear costing less than $100 will be tax-free from Sunday, Aug. 21 to Saturday, Aug. 27, with some exceptions.

Dresses, employee uniforms, jeans, rain jackets, shoes, sneakers, work clothes and more will be exempt.

Certain types of boots, handbags, jewelry, sports helmets, sports uniforms and more are not.

Click here to see what’s exempt and what’s taxable. 

For items costing $100 or more, sales tax is calculated on the full purchase price.

“The ‘tax holiday’ has become a staple of Connecticut’s back-to-school shopping season. Many retailers schedule sales to coincide with sales tax-free week, which helps shoppers save even more money because sales tax is applied after the use of any coupons or discounts,” Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan, of the Department of Revenue Services, said in a statement. “So while the price of an item may start above the $100 taxable threshold, after discounts are applied, it becomes less than $100 and is not subject to sales tax that week.”

The state expects about $4.5 million in sales and use tax exemptions during the August “tax holiday” week.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Scott Olson

Police Go on the Road With 'UFO'


A '"UFO" got a police escort last week when it roamed the streets of Ireland, but the rolling saucer wasn't from outer space. It was made right here on Earth.

Ali Kemal Ali, 53, told the Belfast Telegraph he initially completed the craft as part of a visual arts course he was taking. The saucer later became the centerpiece of an Irish art exhibition called Third Space Pop Art Show.

Ali said he wanted more people to see his creation.

"I thought, 'How can I attract a bit more interest?'" he recalled. "I thought, 'I'll go and ask the guards,'" Ali said, referring to the Garda, the Irish civilian police force. "I asked, 'Can they give me a police escort with my UFO?' They loved it." 

The fiberglass flying saucer reportedly runs on two electric scooters and is complete with a strobe light, laser, smoke machine and a loudspeaker designed to reproduce low bass frequencies that sound out of this world.

Video of the craft's journey taken by onlookers shows the saucer even made its way through a neighborhood park.

"How often do you go into a police station and ask for something like this? It's always doom and gloom," Ali added. "They saw the funny side of it."

Ali posted a video of the saucer’s police escort, which now has almost a million views on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Shelton Police Arrest Home Invasion Suspect


Shelton police have arrested a suspect in a January home invasion.

Francisco Colon-Cotto, 23, of Bridgeport was arrested Wednesday and charged with home invasion, first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit home invasion, conspiracy to commit robbery, second-degree unlawful restraint and conspiracy to commit unlawful restraint.

The charges stem from a home invasion that was reported to police on January 8.

Police said this is an ongoing investigation and more arrests are expected.

Photo Credit: Shelton Police Department

Black Firefighter's Home Burned After Receiving Racist Note


Detectives are investigating a suspicious blaze that gutted the home of a New York suburb's only black firefighter — two days after he received a threatening and racist letter in his mailbox.

Kenneth Walker, 28, his wife Amanda and their two kids were not at their North Tonawanda apartment on Wednesday when the fire broke out, local police said, NBC News reported.

"FBI has received a copy of the note left at Mr. Walker's residence and we were notified of the fire that occurred there," FBI spokeswoman Maureen Dempsey said in a statement.

U.S. Attorney William Hochul Jr. said his office has also joined the investigation.

"The public should know that we take all such incidents extremely seriously," Hochul said in a statement Wednesday.

Photo Credit: WGRZ

Bridgeport Kicks Off Volunteer Dog Walking Program


The city of Bridgeport kicked off a volunteer dog walking program for city employees Thursday.

Officials said the city’s 5,000 employees will be able to visit the Bridgeport animal shelter up to six days a week to interact with the shelter dogs. The program is voluntary and meant to prepare the animals for adoption by getting them comfortable with human interaction.

Mayor Joe Ganim, Police Chief Armando "AJ" Perez and the Bridgeport Animal Shelter all threw their support behind the initiative.

Bridgeport Animal Control (BAC) is the largest municipal shelter in the state and can hold up to 80 dogs and 50 cats, city officials said. The dog walking program is one of several initiatives the city is working on to help socialize the dogs prior to adoption.

“I am dedicated to providing a safe, clean and enriching environment to our furry residents. My main focus is preparing them for their forever home – and we have so many wonderful, loving dogs in Bridgeport that need a new family,” Bridgeport Chief Animal Control Officer Jennifer Wallace said in a release.

The BAC is also encouraging staff and the public to interact with its feline residents by providing toys and catnip for the cats and human counterparts to play with.

BAC is accepting applications for the dog walking program. Those interested can get an application by visiting animal control at 236 Evergreen Street or by sending an email to animal.shelter@bridgeportct.gov.

Photo Credit: City of Bridgeport

'Booby Traps' Planted on New Jersey Trails: Police


Police are warning hikers and mountain bikers to be vigilant after someone apparently placed booby traps, including barbed wire and wooden planks with protruding nails, just beneath the surface of trails in a New Jersey park. 

Wayne police say a resident told them he has been finding the traps on the trails at High Mountain Park since June 23. He has found broken bottles behind or next to rocks or logs, rope and barbed wire strung across pathways and wooden planks with screws and nails sticking out of them placed just under the road surface to injure hikers or pop bicycle tires, authorities say. 

Police said the man's report about the traps was the first they'd heard of them; it wasn't clear if anyone had been hurt.

High Mountain Park is shared among the jurisdictions of Wayne, North Haledon and Franklin Lakes, and Wayne police say anyone who has seen any suspicious activity in the park should contact their local department. 

Photo Credit: Handout

CSP Arrest Suspect Accused of Stealing Guns From Haddam Cars


Police said they arrested the suspect accused of stealing firearms and other items from unlocked cars in Haddam last month. 

Alex Cruz, 19, of Hartford was charged with two counts of firearm theft, credit card theft, fifth-degree larceny and sixth-degree larceny. 

On July 3, police responded to two incidents that happened on Turkey Hill Road in the middle of the night. Two firearms and a credit card were among the several items stolen, Connecticut State Police said.

An investigation led to the arrest of Cruz, who is currently incarcerated in Hartford for a different arrest, police said.

Cruz is expected to appear in Middletown Superior Court on Aug. 4. His bond was set at $10,000. 

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

2 Plead Guilty to Supplying Drugs that Caused Overdoses


Two men have plead guilty to distributing drugs that led to a rash of overdoses in New Haven.

According to the US Attorney’s office, Frank Pina, 57, of New Haven, and Steven Whaley, 48, of New Haven, plead guilty to federal charges of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of controlled substances Thursday. Pina is scheduled for sentencing on October 31 and Whaley is scheduled for November 1. Both face a maximum term of 20 years in prison, officials said.

According to court documents, 17 people overdosed – three fatally - on narcotics in New Haven on June 23. The city declared a public health emergency and began an investigation.

The Drug Enforcement Agency and New Haven Police department determined that many of the victims thought they were taking cocaine when they overdosed. Testing showed that the cocaine was laced with fentanyl, a powerful opioid significantly stronger than heroin. Naloxone, an emergency treatment for opioid overdoses, was used to revive some of the victims.

Officials said that Pina supplied the drugs responsible for the overdoses and Whaley acted as a middleman for Pina. Both men were arrested on June 27.

Whaley was in possession of cocaine packaged for sale when he was arrested, officials said.

How GOP Would Fill a Vacancy on Presidential Ticket


There may be no indication that Donald Trump is leaving the presidential race or that there will be any attempt to remove him. But the Republican Party does have rules to deal with a vacancy on the ticket, according to NBC News. 

Rule 9 of the party states the Republican National Committee can fill “all vacancies, which may occur by reason of death, declination, or otherwise" of the candidate.

Under the rule, the RNC can either reconvene the entire convention or convene the committee’s 168 members, consisting of three members from each state and territory to represent the delegates. Those members would represent one-third of delegates awarded in each state and would cast a vote for a presidential candidate.

If the GOP no longer wants Trump as its nominee and he doesn’t drop out, the party could remove him. Lawyers defending the move could point to the “otherwise” portion of Rule 9 about when the RNC can intervene to replace a candidate.

Photo Credit: AP

American Killed in London Attack ID


The American woman who was fatally stabbed in an attack in London Wednesday was the wife of a Florida State University professor, school officials and Florida's governor confirmed Thursday.

Darlene Horton, 64, wife of FSU psychology professor Richard Wagner was killed when a Somali-Norwegian teen went on a knife rampage through Russell Square. Five others were injured, including an American, Metropolitan Police said Thursday. [[238427591, C]]

Wagner and his wife were in London while he taught in the summer session at FSU's London Study Program. The school said classes had ended and students enrolled in the program had left for the summer. The couple planned to return to Tallahassee on Thursday, university officials said. 

"There are no words to express our heartache over this terrible tragedy," FSU President John Thrasher said in a statement. "We are shocked that such senseless violence has touched our own FSU family, and we will do all we can to assist Professor Wagner and his loved ones, as well as his friends and colleagues in the Psychology department, as they mourn."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott also confirmed Horton's death Thursday, tweeting condolences to her family and loved ones. [[389213481, C]]

The 19-year-old suspect, whose name has not been released, was subdue by police and arrested at the scene of the stabbings late Wednesday. He remains in custody, Metropolitan Police said.

Photo Credit: Getty/Metropolitan Police
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Thunderstorm Possible Saturday, Especially in the Morning


High pressure will sponsor dry weather through the end of the workweek.

Mostly sunny skies are expected Thursday and Friday. High temperatures will gradually rise from the lower 80s to the uppers 80s.

A cold front could bring a shower or storm on Saturday, as temperatures soar to 90 degrees.

As a result, it will be cooler on Sunday with lots of sunshine and highs in the middle 80s.

Sunday is the pick of the weekend.

It looks dry and seasonable to start next week.

Kaine Speaks at Urban League Address


Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine spoke about the racial “scar tissue” in Richmond, Virginia, on Thursday during a speech to the National Urban League Conference, NBC News reported. 

During his speech, Kaine spoke about his early career as a civil rights attorney and his work as a politician. The senator also focused on his call for criminal justice reform and the need to "rebuild the bonds of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve." 

Kaine is still working to introduce himself to a wider American public unaware of many components of his background, told his audience that when he served as Virginia's governor he did something "no other governor had done." 

The Urban League historically invites all major presidential candidates to speak to their conference but the Donald Trump campaign declined an invitation to join this year, Union League president Marc Morial said.

Photo Credit: AP

First in the State, Plainfield Police Debut New Drone


Thanks to an anonymous $10,000 donation, the Plainfield Police Department now has a new eye in the sky.

“As far as I know, we are the first in the state to have it,” Officer Zachary Wells said.

In the 18 member department, Officer Wells is one of the five that is certified to fly their new unmanned aircraft.

“That way there’s always someone available if something happens we get it out and deploy it rather quickly,” Sgt. Gerry Geyer said.

The town is supportive of this new tool and so far, residents have not raised privacy concerns, Sgt. Geyer said.

“If we’re deploying it,” Sgt. Geyer said, “it’s for an actual use, you know, if somebody is lost or in distress. I mean it could even come into play for a barricade situation to get layouts of houses.”

The drone is equipped with a camera to provide aerial shots of car crashes and crime scenes.

“Another aspect of it could be arson investigation any kind of fire investigation, especially with the thermal camera you can get it up in the air and see where the hot spots are,” Wells said.

The five pilots are keeping up with the latest FAA regulations.

“That will encompass public agencies like our law enforcement agency to be able to legally fly,” Well said.

Now, they are just waiting for their first chance to deploy the drone.

“The possibility is really endless for it and I hope to put it to good use in the near future,” Well said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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