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Crews Respond to Car Fire in New Britain


Crews are responding to a car fire near the corner of North Street and Stanley Street in New Britain.

Police said the incident was called in around 2 p.m. Details on the incident were not immediately available, but police said drivers should expect traffic backups in the area.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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Norwich Man Pleads Guilty in Insurance Fraud Scheme


A Norwich man plead guilty Tuesday to involvement in an insurance fraud scheme, according to officials from the US Attorney’s office.

Frandy “Jimmy” Dugue, 39, plead guilty to one count of wire fraud.

According to court documents and statements, between April 2011 and February 2014, Dugue and others schemed to stage around 50 car accidents in order to defraud insurance companies. Many of these accidents were planned as single-car accidents on remote roads, so there would be no witnesses.

After each accident, the group would file fraudulent claims with different insurance companies. They then collected the payouts, which ranged between $10,000 and $30,000 per accident.

Dugue admitted his involvement in a staged accident in Killingly in December 2013 in pleading guilty, officials said.

Dugue was arrested on May 20 and released on bond. He is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 1 and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Md. Hospital Clearing Out NICU


Prince George's Hospital Center in Maryland is clearing babies from its neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) after three babies tested positive for a bacteria that can cause a potentially deadly infection.

Two babies recently died in the NICU, a hospital spokeswoman said. But Chief Medical Officer Dr. Carnell Cooper said those deaths are unrelated to the infection. 

"There has been no clear relationship that we found between the deaths and the bacteria," he said. 

Babies in the NICU "often have a multitude of conditions that put them at risk for dying," Cooper said.

Hospital officials say three infants tested positive for the bacteria pseudomonas but were found to be "clinically asymptomatic for any active infection with the bacterium."

A total of nine infants are being moved to other hospitals.

"While the investigation into the positive bacterium cultures is ongoing by qualified experts, our top immediate priority is the safe and efficient transfer of patients and providing support to our NICU families and staff," the Cheverly, Maryland, hospital said in a statement.

Pseudomonas infections can cause ear infections, skin rashes and mild illnesses in healthy people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But the infections can cause severe illness or death in people with weakened immune systems, the CDC says. About 400 deaths per year are attributed to drug-resistant pseudomonas infections, the CDC said in a 2013 report

The hospital spokeswoman did not say when the the pseudomonas bacteria was detected or when the two babies died. 

Prince George's Hospital Center is working with the state and county health departments and the University of Maryland School of Medicine to determine the source of the bacteria, hospital officials said.

Pseudomonas bacteria often can be transmitted through water, hospital officials said. 

A Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) representative said the water agency had not been contacted regarding any potential contamination in water pipes at the hospital. 

WSSC does not test for the presence of pseudomonas, the agency said in a statement. Water at sampling location "a few minutes away" in Cheverly tested negative on Aug. 3 for coliform and was found to have the correct level of chlorine, WSSC said.

The hospital stopped using water in the unit last week, hospital officials said. 

Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker will monitor the situation, he said in a statement. 

"I am confident that the healthcare professionals who are handling this matter, which I understand is fairly common in hospitals, will ensure that the health and welfare of the hospital’s patients is not compromised," he said.

Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington

Weightlifter Wins Emotional Gold, Retires in Rio


Nobody can say Colombian weightlifter Óscar Figueroa didn’t leave it all on the platform.

In an emotional finish to his Olympic career, the 33-year-old Figueroa bid farewell to weightlifting after winning his country’s first gold of the Rio Games on Monday night.

Having already clinched gold in the men’s 62 kg (136.6 lbs) weight class with a total lift of 318 kg (701.1 lbs), Figueroa just missed a clean and jerk attempt of of 179 kg (394.6 lbs), which would have broken his own Olympic record of 177 kg set at the 2012 London Games, where he took home a silver with a total lift of 317 kg.

Eyes full of tears, the four-time Olympian raised his arms in thanks to a roaring crowd on his home continent, then fell to his knees and took off his shoes, leaving them on the platform in front of him in weightlifting’s traditional signal of retirement from the sport. Shoes removed, he kissed one of the sets of the plates on the barbell and took a bow.

Figueroa’s gold medal effort was split between a 142 kg lift in the snatch and a 176 kg clean and jerk. Indonesia’s Eko Yuli Irawan took silver with a total lift of 312 kg and Kazakhstan’s Farkhad Kharki secured the bronze with a combined lift of 305 kg.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

State Preps for Peak Hurricane Season


While there have only been five named storms this year, and no major hurricanes yet, the peak of hurricane season is quickly approaching. In preparation, agency commissioners and government partners from across the state gathered in Hartford today to make sure that Connecticut has a set plan in place in the event that a hurricane strikes New England.

“While we have no major storms upon us, it’s critical that we take steps to prepare for any contingency that might present itself,” explains Governor Dannel Malloy. “And clearly the tropical season is in full force.”

The height of hurricane season has proven to be a time that has brought Connecticut the worst storms in New England’s history, most recently, Hurricane Sandy.

"Remembering that ride as we left our house kind of looking back and not knowing what we would see coming home was excruciating," recalls Milford resident Chuck Zimmerman.

Hurricane Sandy led to devastating flooding, 600,000 power outages that lasted several days and at least $360 million in damage.

Before Sandy came Irene which brought high winds, heavy rains, and flash flooding. Thirty homes in East Haven were destroyed and five others were damaged beyond repair. At one point a record 754,000 customers were without power. The 2011 storm led to a total of 10 deaths in Connecticut.

But perhaps the most famous of all is The Great Hurricane of 1938. To this day it is still the most deadly and destructive natural disaster to hit New England, killing 85 people in Connecticut with winds gusting up to 140 miles per hour.

Ahead of any future storms, the state has launched a new technology that provides information and alerts to Connecticut residents in the event a hurricane strikes.

“We want to ensure that proper communication extends to our residents as well,” says Malloy. “In terms of communicating with the public during emergency situations I am pleased to announce that the state has developed a new, free mobile app specifically for Connecticut residents.”

The Connecticut Prepares app, created at no cost to the state, will help residents before, during, and after a storm.

The app includes a list of steps to help residents prepare for the storm. It also provides contact information for local power companies, poison control and other useful utilities during a storm. The app also allows users to select settings that will send automatic updates from the state during an emergency situation. Another unique feature allows users to pre-set contacts that will receive alerts that the user is safe via email, text message, or social media if caught in a storm.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

2 People Injured in Vernon Explosion Will Be in Wheelchairs As They Rehabilitate: Family Member


Tim Kerstetter was at work when his childhood home in Vernon exploded with his father, Steve, his sister, Nicole, her boyfriend, Will, and three of her four children inside or nearby. 

Officials have determined that a leak in a line that supplied a propane dryer in the basement led to the explosion. What’s not clear is what caused the propane to ignite, but officials believe the explosion was accidental. 

Will’s lung was punctured by a nail during the explosion,

7-year-old Jaime suffered several injuries and Nicole’s back is broken, Kerstetter said. 

In the days since the explosion, many people have done thinks to help the family and Kerstetter said it means everything, especially since they will be forced to start over. 

“The other people that helped us and donated and everybody who came to rescue, thanks so much and thank God for watching over my family,” he said. 

What the family needs most is a new home to rent that has no stairs because Nicole and at least one child will probably be in a wheelchair as they rehabilitate.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Wolcott Police Seek Burglary Suspects


Wolcott police are searching for two suspects who stole a walkway railing from a local business last month.

Police said two male suspects stole a 14-foot copper walkway railing from Sullivan Brothers at 1 Wolcott Road on July 26 around 11:30 p.m.

Anyone who recognizes the suspects pictured above is asked to Sgt. Greene at (203) 879-8120 or the Wolcott Police Department tip line at (203) 879-7626.

Photo Credit: Wolcott Police Department

Closure of Ruby Tuesday at Enfield Square Mall Surprises Customers


The closing of Ruby Tuesday in Enfield Monday came as a surprise to people headed to the Enfield Square Mall. 

The sign has been removed from the restaurant between Panera Bread and Target and a sign on the door below apologizes for any inconvenience. 

"I mean there are other places to eat, but I've been coming to Enfield since I was a kid," Joe Gregory said. "That place has been here forever. It just seems, it just seems weird." 

NBC Connecticut reached out to Enfield Square Mall management for a comment, but we haven't heard back. 

Entire sides of the building are blank now and you can still make out the star from the old Macy's sign. 

"It's really sad to see other places go that people used to frequent and I do think Ruby Tuesday had a reasonably good business," Alice Gross said. 

"It's been around for a long time," said Donna Hunter, "and we just can't keep any businesses in, so it's just people going to Holyoke and Manchester." 

Enfield Square Mall is not a lost cause, according to Peter Bryanson, the development services director for the town government. 

He said the mall's been through foreclosure and a bank is looking for a new owner who would invest in what should be a successful retail location.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Continue Searching for Man With Cane Who Robbed Norwalk Bank


Norwalk police continue to search for the man with a cane who robbed a Webster Bank on Aug. 5.

The man robbed the Webster Bank at 402 Connecticut Avenue around 10 a.m. Friday and fled to Stop & Shop, where he got into a black sedan with New York plates, according to police.

The man is described as being in his 50s, around 5-foot-6, with a medium build and a gap between his top front teeth.

Police said the suspect passed a note and indicated he had a weapon, but no weapon was shown. No one was injured and police are investigating.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Det. Fitzmaurice at (203) 854-3180, email dfitzmaurice@norwalkct.org or call the Norwalk police tips line at (203) 854-3111.

Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department

Images Suggest China Might Be Militarizing Disputed Islands


Recent satellite photographs show China appears to have built reinforced aircraft hangars on its holdings in the disputed South China Sea, NBC News reports.

Pictures taken in late July show the hangars constructed on Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief Reefs in the Spratly islands have room for any fighter jet in the Chinese air force, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said in its recent report.

There is no evidence that Beijing has deployed military aircraft to these outposts apart from a brief visit by a military transport plane earlier this year, but the report suggests that could soon change.

China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims.

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New Haven Police Investigate Shooting


New Haven police are investigating after a man was shot in the ankle Tuesday.

Police said the victim, 47-year-old Christopher Motzer, of Guilford, was shot in the right ankle in the area of Mansfield and Division Street around 10:06 a.m. His injures are not life threatening and he was treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital, according to police.

Motzer told police he was beaten and robbed of his cellphone. He described his attacker as a man in his late 30s to early 40s, with a muscular build and armed with a silver revolver.

Witnesses reported that the shooter had an accomplice and both men dragged Motzer from his vehicle.

The incident is under investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact New Haven police detectives at (203) 946-6304.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Power Outage Affected Ledyard Police Department


A power outage in southeastern Connecticut affected the line for routine calls to the Ledyard Police Department, but service has been restored.

There were nearly 3,000 power outages, but that number was quickly down to 950. 

The Ledyard police department said the power outage caused lines for routine calls to go down and they asked anyone needing to call for a routine matter to call 860-464-8225. As of 3:57 p.m., service was restored.

It’s not clear what caused the outage, but there were more than 1,400 outages in Groton, more than 800 in Ledyard, more than 250 in Stonington and more than 180 in Weston.

Groton has 728 outages and police said they are in the northeast side of town. The police department has power and 911 is working, police said.

It appears power is back on Ledyard and Stonington.

Officials from Eversource said crews are working on restoring power and they expect to have power back within a couple of hours.

Route 10 in Southington to Close Wednesday Night


A portion of Route 10 in Southington will be closed for several hours Wednesday night.

Police said Route 10 will be closed between Clark Street to the Interstate 84 ramps and Mulberry Street from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The closure is to accommodate an oversize vehicle caravan that is moving through the area.

A detour will be set up for drivers traveling through the area at that time.

Southington police will escort the caravan as it moves along Route 10.

Police did not say what the caravan was moving.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Investigating Car Break-Ins in Bethel


Bethel police are investigating two vehicle break-ins in July after the thieves stole credit cards and used them at several stores and gas stations.

Police said credit cards and other items were stolen from unlocked vehicles parked in driveways of homes close to Route 6 and Interstate 84, near exit 8 on the night of July 27 to July 28.

Two of the stolen credit cards were used on July 28 at Best Buy in Meriden, Target in Meriden, Wal-Mart in Naugatuck and gas stations in Waterbury and Rocky Hill, police said.

The cards were used to buy Play Station 4 consoles Target and Best Buy in Meriden, police said.

Surveillance images showed the same person using a credit card stolen out of Woodbridge to buy another Play Station 4 on Aug. 6.

The person who stole the credit cards on July 28 was driving a silver four-door Honda Civic and the person behind the Aug. 6 incident was driving a silver four-door Acura with a sunroof.

Anyone who recognizes the person in surveillance should contact Bethel PD Detective Frank O’Farrell at 203-744-7900 x105 or fofarrell@bethelpd.com.

Photo Credit: Bethel Police

New Haven Police Seek Suspect Who Robbed Liquor Store Clerk


New Haven police are asking for the public’s help to identify an armed robbery suspect.

Police said around 4:30 p.m. Monday, a suspect entered the Middletown Package Store on 417 Middletown Avenue, rushed the clerk and demanded money from the register. The clerk reported to police that the robber may have been armed with a handgun, but police suspect the robber may have pushed a flashlight or similar object into the clerk’s side. The suspect made off with $800 and three packs of Newport cigarettes.

The suspect is described as male, 5-foot-8, about 150 pounds, wearing a white shirt with a Rings End logo on it, a red cap, dark-colored pants and brown work boots. He wore some kind of eyeglasses and his hair was either braided or in dreadlocks.

Anyone who thinks they can identify the suspect pictured above is asked to contact the New Haven police Robbery-Burglary Unit at (203) 946-6304.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Olympic Diving Pool Turns Green


The diving pool at the Rio Olympics has turned green, and inquiring minds -- like silver-medal-winning U.S. diver David Boudia -- aren't sure why.

Tom Daley, who won bronze for Great Britain in Rio, is equally puzzled.

The women's synchronized 10m platform finals went on as planned Tuesday despite the green water, with the Chinese duo of Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia coming out on top.

Here's an image of what it looked like from above during Tuesday's competition:

And here is what it looked like on Monday:

This is the first Olympics since Athens in 2004 that the diving events are being held at an outdoor pool, so there is a bigger chance of something like this happening than if this was an indoor venue in a climate-controlled environment.

We'll update this story as soon as an official cause for the green tint becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBCOlympics.com
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More Great White Sharks Spotted Off Cape Cod


There have been at least eight Great White Sharks spotted in New England and one Killer Whale so far this season.

Photo Credit: Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

Suspect of Bridgewater Home Invasion in Custody


Police have identified and obtained an arrest warrant for the suspect involved in a Bridgewater home invasion and Waterbury car break-ins. 

Dustin Holst-Grubbe of Millterton, New York, is accused of home invasion, assault of an elderly person, first-degree assault with a deadly weapon, stealing a firearm, two counts of burglary and larceny and credit card theft. 

Last week, police said Victor Compe, 64, was shot during a home invasion early Thursday morning. His wife, Samantha Moore, 63, was also home at the time but was not injured. 

State police said they received the 911 call around 3:40 a.m. to respond to 606 South Main St. because a male resident, identified as Compe, had been shot. The caller, Moore, was administering aid to her husband.

Compe was alert when troopers arrived and he was rushed to Danbury Hospital. His wound does not appear life-threatening, police said Friday.

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 were able to determine that the car recovered in Waterbury and multiple other stolen cars in New York were linked to the Bridgewater home invasion, Connecticut State Police said. 

The day before the home invasion, Holst-Grubbe allegedly stole money from the Oakhurst Diner in Millerton, New York. 

On Aug. 7, Holst-Grubbe turned himself into Millerton Police.

On Aug. 8 and 9, multiple arrest warrants were being prepared for Holst-Grubbe by Western District Major Crime, Middletown (NY) Police Department and the Duchess County Sheriff's office (NY) for crimes committed in their respective jurisdictions, Connecticut State Police said.

Dustin Holst-Grubbe is currently being held in New York for charges determined through their investigation. The Connecticut warrant will be served upon the authorization of the courts and Holst-Grubbe’s transfer to Connecticut.

Photo Credit: Duchess County Police

State Reduced Overtime Costs in 2016: Report


The state saved millions in overtime costs in 2016 when compared to the previous fiscal year, according to a newly released report from the Office of Fiscal Analysis.

According to the report, in Fiscal Year 2016 the state spent roughly $219 million in General Fund overtime payments. That is a 14.5 percent decrease from Fiscal Year 2015, when the state spent $256.2 million.

Governor Dannel Malloy released the following statement following the report:

“This updated report demonstrates our state employees, managers, and commissioners are doing a tremendous job of delivering top-notch services efficiently,” Governor Malloy said. “These steps are critical to right-sizing government, but there is still much work to be done. The world is changing and we are working to change state government with it.”

Over 90 percent of the overtime spending came from the same five departments both years - the Department of Correction, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, The Department of Developmental Services, the Department of Children and Families, and the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

It’s worth noting that the DOC, DMHAS, DDS and DCF have all suffered layoffs as part of an ongoing workforce reduction to balance the new budget.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hartford Launches Program to Hire Youth


Mayor Luke Bronin delivered Tuesday on a campaign promise that he talked about throughout his campaign for the city's highest office.

The Hartford Youth Service Corps will employ young Hartford residents between the ages of 16 and 24 and they will earn $10.10 per hour. The amount is significant because Connecticut was the first state to raise the minimum wage but it doesn't go into effect until January, meaning the members of the Youth Service Corps will earn higher paychecks sooner.

Mayor Bronin says the program provides a path for youths to stay out of trouble and break the cycle of poverty and unemployment in the Capital City.,

“This allows our young people to earn a paycheck while at the same time getting that sense of pride and purpose that comes with having a job.”

Youth Service Corps employees will work in parks around Hartford helping with gardening, beautification, and routine maintenance. They worked Tuesday on mulching in Riverside Park. They will also work in Keney Park and all over the city helping to maintain city sidewalks. The mayor also said that in the winter you could expect to see the Youth Service Corps will prioritize helping the city's elderly with snow removal.

The mayor's administration worked for months to find donors to help fund the program. They secured $2.2 million worth of investments from The Hartford, Travelers, Aetna, and the Newman's Own Foundation to fund the first year of the program.

Bronin knows the program may not be cheap, but says for the donors and for city, he hopes to see a return on investment that's good for everyone involved.

“We hope that this chance is not just going to be a standalone opportunity but one that leads to more opportunities down the road.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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