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Thousands More Clinton Emails to Be Released


The State Department said Monday it is reviewing nearly 15,000 previously undisclosed emails recovered as part of the FBI's now-closed investigation into the handling of sensitive information that flowed through Hillary Clinton's private home server.

Lawyers for the department told U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg on Monday that they anticipate processing and releasing the first batch of these new emails in mid-October, raising the prospect new messages sent or received by Democratic nominee could become public just before November's presidential election. The judge is overseeing production of the emails as part of a federal public-records lawsuit filed by the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch.

Representing the State Department, Justice Department lawyer Lisa Olson told Boasberg that officials do not yet know what portion of the emails is work-related rather than personal. Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. She has claimed that she deleted only personal emails prior to returning over 55,000 pages of her work-related messages to the State Department last year.

The State Department has publicly released most of those work-related emails, although some have been withheld because they contain information considered sensitive to national security.

Republicans are pressing to keep the issue of Clinton's email use alive after the FBI closed its investigation last month without recommending criminal charges. GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump routinely criticizes Clinton for her handling of emails containing classified information.

Olson told the judge that State earlier this month received seven disks containing "tens of thousands" of emails Clinton sent or received during her tenure as the nation's top diplomat. The first disk, labeled by the FBI as containing non-classified emails not previously disclosed by Clinton, contains about 14,900 documents, Olson said. The second disk is labeled as emails containing classified information.

Olson told Boasberg she could not immediately say how many emails are contained on the rest of the disks or how many might be copies of emails Clinton already has provided.

Given the large volume of messages, Olson said it was "extremely ambitious" for the agency to complete its review and begin releasing the first batches of emails to Judicial Watch by Oct. 14.

Judicial Watch lawyer Lauren Burke told Boasberg that the proposed schedule is too slow and pressed for faster release of the emails from the first disk. The judge ordered the department to focus its efforts on processing the emails from the first disk and to report back to him on its progress by Sept. 22.

As part of proceedings in a separate Judicial Watch lawsuit, a federal judge on Friday ordered Clinton to answer written questions from the group about why she chose to rely on a private server located in the basement of her New York home, rather than use a government email account.

Clinton's spokesman Brian Fallon said Monday: "As we have always said, Hillary Clinton provided the State Department with all the work-related emails she had in her possession in 2014. We are not sure what additional materials the Justice Department may have located, but if the State Department determines any of them to be work-related, then obviously we support those documents being released publicly as well."

Photo Credit: AP

Budget Cuts Could Put Annual Hartford Events in Jeopardy


Harsh budget cuts in Hartford are forcing event organizers to come up with resourceful ways to make up what used to be covered by city funds.

Every season in recent years Winterfest has turned a concrete slab in Bushnell Park in Hartford into an ice rink for free skating.

But this summer, the city government cut subsidies to community events from $700,000 down to $100,000.

Winterfest organizers set up a fundraising page on crowdrise.com to make up for some of what it lost.

"We need $200,000 before September 1 to make Winterfest happen this year," said Jackie Mandyck of the Iquilt Group.

"We get 50,000 people to come down and just skate in our six weeks that we're open so it's quite remarkable to get that many people out in the dead of winter cold everything else," she said. "We think we're gonna make it but we need a little help to get us to the finish line."

Winterfest is shortening its season, and other community events are cutting spending too even if they get government help.

Mayor Luke Bronin, (D) Hartford, explained, "There was money allocated for the West Indian celebration. We have one of the largest West Indian communities in the country but even that event had to change. There wasn't a parade this year. There was a festival."

Mayor Bronin said officials are trying to help programs that don't enjoy the corporate support that Winterfest has tapped.

"Our goal is to not only keep everything that's been happening going but to add to it, but with less city money because there's no city money to be found," he said.

Another event that has had to become "more creative" in fundraising is First Night Hartford, said organizer Nicole Glander.

Its New Year's Eve program of fireworks and fun faces also faces that September 1 deadline for fundraising. Glander is "pretty hopeful" it will meet the goal.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Hartford Fire Department Looking to Raise Staffing Levels


The Hartford city government may have no new money to spend, but it's a priority to raise the staffing level in the fire department. Last Tuesday the city started accepting applications for new firefighters to fill current openings and more to come.

Right now Hartford's fire department has 58 vacancies and counting. Firefighters have been on duty for longer shifts than normal to cover the gaps, gaps officials want filled as soon as possible. But there are specific requirements.

"First and foremost they have to be Hartford residents at the time of application," he said.

Applicants also have to be at least 18, with a high school diploma or GED, and a valid driver's license.

Though the job title is firefighter, the job is much more than traditional firefighting. Almost 80 percent of the calls are medical calls, just part of what recruits get exposed to in training.

"We're gonna have to go through a fourteen week academy, and in that academy we'll go through hazardous materials, occupational, we'll also go through firefighting, emergency medical response," Ortiz said.

Starting salary is close to $53,000 a year, with ten percent less for the first six months. The deadline for applying at City Hall is September 13.

Ortiz said residents need not be concerned about the firehouses being covered or first responders being overtired. The fire department and the union are monitoring workloads of the firefighters working long shifts, to make sure they get the rest they need to make high-risk and live-saving calls.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

North Haven Resident Almost Scammed out of Nearly $10K


North Haven police are reminding residents to be on alert for scams after an 86-year-old resident nearly became the victim of a fake bail money scheme.

Police said the man received a call from someone claiming to be a police sergeant. He said that the resident’s grandson as in jail in Baltimore and needed bail money. The caller provided enough detail that the resident went to the bank and withdrew $9,700, which the caller instructed him to send by a courier in a large envelope.

After the money was picked up the resident grew concerned and call police, who were able to track down the package and return the money. During the course of investigation police also discovered an elderly man in Meriden also sent a package containing $9,200, which was also returned.

The courier service was a legitimate business and worked with police to halt the packages.

The investigation is ongoing. Police ask residents to look out for elderly friends, family and neighbors. Police said any calls requesting money for bail, back taxes or ransom are scam attempts and anyone who receives such a call should contact police at (203) 239-1618.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Presidential Campaigns Cost Hartford, Bridgeport Thousands


Connecticut became one of the must-visit states of the presidential primary season.

The state wasn’t expected to factor into either the Democratic or Republican presidential primary results, but longer than expected journeys to the nominations led to Connecticut receiving heightened attention from just about all of the major campaigns.

Those visits came with price tags that the cash-strapped cities like Hartford and Bridgeport won’t be able to recover.

"It's a double edged sword," said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, a Democrat who has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. "On the one hand it is a significant cost but it's also the cost of Democracy."

Bridgeport saw the largest overall burden for overtime. Combined Trump and Clinton rallies cost the city $74,000.

In Hartford, Trump’s rally at the XL Center required additional Hartford Police and Fire Department support to handle the crowds inside and protesters outside the event.

According to a Hartford Police Spokesman, the arena contracted with Hartford Police for assistance and those bills have been paid. The City of Hartford however was left paying for a total of $34,824.94 for Trump’s visit.

Hillary Clinton spent one day in Hartford for a roundtable about gun violence and she met with members of the community at a North End restaurant. The visit cost city taxpayers $10,339.63. A separate visit from her husband, former President Bill Clinton, cost $772.55.

Bernie Sanders held one campaign rally in Hartford down along the Connecticut River. Since that event was entirely city-operated because of the venue, the city owed $14,924.57 in overtime pay to officers.

Bronin said it’s not typical for a city to simply turn away high profile political events.

"We have a responsibility to keep our residents safe. I think we have a responsibility as part of a Democracy to make sure political discourse is vibrant. It's not a bad thing that it's happening here but obviously the costs are significant."

According to the Secret Service, it’s been standard operating procedure for years that individual cities and towns that host Secret Service Protectees handle the costs of their visits. A spokesperson told NBC Connecticut the agency consults with the local law enforcement agencies and arrangements are then made butt the agency does not have a budget to reimburse local departments for overtime.

Bronin said he wishes that was possible.

"There is not a question I would love for the campaigns to reimburse us the costs on the other hand we can't really make that a condition of their being here."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Department of Education Discusses Goals for School Year


Superintendents from across the state of Connecticut met at the A.I. Prince Technical High School in Hartford Monday for a back-to-school meeting.

The meeting was to discuss the Connecticut Department of Education’s goals as the school year begins.

"This is kind of like our New Year's Eve. Kids are coming really soon, we have worked all summer to be ready for them," said Dr. Dianna Wentzell, the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Education.

Wentzell said the Connecticut Board of Education has come up with a five year comprehensive strategic plan. They plan to promise to have high expectations for all students, promise to support students to help them reach those expectations, promise great teachers and leaders in every school and promise to support all schools so they can achieve greatness.

Wentzell said she is already pleased with the improved state test scores from the Smarter Balance Assessment.

"We are very excited by that, but we also know there is a lot more work to do to make sure that all kids are ready for college or career after high school," said Wentzell.

Superintendents say they also plan to integrate more technology.

“We are constantly striving to look at the ways, the tools that are emerging in digital technology, blended learning, online learning,” said Dr. Colleen Palmer, the superintendent of Westport Public Schools. “How are those things going to change how we deliver instruction and how we create learning environments for our students, more powerful ways to reach all our students and be more impactful.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Trooper Fatally Shoots Deaf Man After Traffic Stop


A North Carolina state trooper killed a deaf man after an attempted traffic stop, authorities and neighbors said Monday.

State trooper Jermaine Saunders shot Daniel Kevin Harris on Thursday after what North Carolina Bureau of Investigation described in a statement as "an encounter."

"An encounter took place between the driver and the trooper causing a shot to be fired," the statement reads. The driver died at the scene, the statement adds, and the trooper was placed on administrative leave.

But a neighbor of Harris', Mark Barringer, who witnessed part of the confrontation, criticized the trooper's actions.

"They should've de-escalated and been trained to realize that this is an entirely different situation," Barringer told NBC affiliate WCNC. "You're pulling someone over who is deaf. They are handicapped."

Photo Credit: WCNC

Rep. Senator Criticizes Iran Money


Sen. Mark Kirk claimed President Barack Obama was “acting like the drug dealer in chief” for making a $400 million cash payment to Iran that was tied to the release of American prisoners.

During an interview with the State Journal-Register editorial board last week, Kirk claimed Obama gave “clean packs of money” to a “state sponsor of terror” and warned that “those 500-euro notes will pop up across the Middle East.”

The payment was reportedly made in euros and Swiss francs.

“We’re going to see problems in multiple (countries) because of that money given to them,” Kirk said during the interview.

Last week, the Obama administration claimed the $400 million payment was used as leverage to push for the release of four U.S. prisoners, NBC News reported.

The payment was announced in January, a day after the four Americans were freed and on the same weekend U.N sanctions against Iran were lifted. The White House and State Department have denied Republicans’ claims that the transaction served as a ransom payment, claiming that the timing was coincidental.

Secretary of State John Kerry released a press release at the time, noting that the $400 million was used by Iran to purchase military weapons and equipment from the U.S. while the shah was still in control, prior to the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

“Iran will receive the balance of $400 million in the Trust Fund, as well as a roughly $1.3 billion compromise on the interest,” Kerry said in a statement in January.

On Monday, the Kirk campaign continued to call the payment into question.

“After using unmarked cargo planes to deliver pallets of foreign currency totaling over $400 million to Iran to get our hostages back, the (Obama) Administration is now attempting to change the literal definition of ‘ransom,’” Kirk spokesman Kevin Artl said in a statement. “Sen. Kirk believes the administration’s actions, which Tammy has supported, were reckless in the extreme. The administration’s pay off will endanger more Americans abroad (and) is almost certain to fund terrorism."

According to his campaign, the senator will hold an oversight hearing on the payment next month as part of his role as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance.

Earlier this month, Kirk issued a release about the “ransom payment.” The senator said Congressional hearings were “the only way for the American people to fully know whether their tax dollars went directly to Iran’s terrorist Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”

Kirk is facing a tough bid for reelection against Rep. Tammy Duckworth in November. The congresswoman’s campaign responded to Kirk’s comments Monday, calling for an apology.

“Senator Kirk’s comments are misguided and deeply offensive, and beneath the dignity of the office he holds,” Duckworth spokesman Matt McGrath said in a statement. “He should apologize.”

SEIU Healthcare Illinois Executive Vice President Greg Kelley also responded to Kirk’s statements Monday, calling for an apology.

“What (Kirk) said about President Obama was totally inappropriate and he must apologize,” Kelley said in a statement. “It’s another example of Kirk’s long history of insulting the president which is now matching up with the hateful and ‘birther’ space carved out in the public sphere by fellow Republican Donald Trump to dehumanize Barack Obama.”

“Either he doesn’t know what he’s doing, which is alarming; or he does know what he’s doing, which is despicable,” Kelley added.

Photo Credit: AP

Mayor Harp Defends Proposed Fire Department Changes


Mayor Toni Harp is speaking out against criticism from the New Haven Fire union over proposed changes to the city’s fire department.

"We’re not reducing staff," she said defending the proposal. "We’re making people in the city of New Haven safer."

As NBC Connecticut first reported Friday, the city proposal reassigns four firefighters from one district’s fire truck to staff two new paramedic units serving the entire city.

"I think the union has in fact misled the public," Harp said. "(Ricci) is skewing the whole question in a way that makes people afraid that we are doing something that will harm them. We are not, he is."

On the union website main page, the headline in bold writing reads: Save Your Neighborhood Engine.

Harp is reassuring the residents near the Ellsworth Avenue station that they are not at risk of losing their neighborhood fire truck.

"They have two now, they really just need one," Harp said. "And the rest of the city needs for there to be the medical vehicle staged there so that it can get to the rest of the city on time, so they’re not going to a have a problem having their fires put out."

While the firefighters from Engine 9 at the Ellsworth station would redeploy to the two new city-wide advanced life (ALS) support paramedic units, Deputy Director of Emergency Operations Rick Fontana said the Squad 2 Company, also stationed at Ellsworth, would serve at the new local engine company.

One of the new ALS paramedic units would be stationed at the Ellsworth station; the other at the Whitney Avenue fire house.

Over the phone Monday, Ricci said the city cannot afford to take a fire truck out of service because of the growing population, which includes an increasing number of undocumented residents. He added the city’s proposal violates language in the union contract and a shakeup could affect the reliability of firefighters who respond to an emergency within four minutes.

The plan would save taxpayers money, Mayor Harp said, while improving coverage for emergency calls. Nearly 75 percent of the calls are medical, according to the city’s data analysis.

"All we’re are doing is saving wear and tear on equipment that costs us a lot of money," she said.

Larger fire apparatus cost around $800,000, compared to the paramedic units that are $80,000, Harp said.

Soon, the mayor plans to announce which of three final candidates becomes the fire department’s new chief.

"All three thought what we’re doing made sense and they would support," she said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Moms Should Breastfeed Babies Longer: Experts


More than 80 percent of U.S. mothers breastfeed their newborns, a new survey finds, but fewer than a third keep doing so for the recommended minimum of one year, a new survey finds.

Many studies support breastfeeding for as long as possible, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies get nothing but human breast milk until the age of six months — and that they continue to breastfeed for at least a year, NBC News reported.

"Breastfeeding decreases the possibility that your baby will get a variety of infectious diseases, ear infections, diarrhea, etc.," the Academy says in its guidance.

The survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 81 percent of U.S. babies born in 2013 were breastfed from birth. "Less than a third (30.7 percent) of infants were breastfeeding at 12 months," the CDC said.But then it drops off.

Photo Credit: UIG via Getty Images, File

Suspect's Wallet at Scene


A man accused of raping a woman at knife-point in Hollywood was arrested after he left his wallet at the scene of the crime, police said.

Christian Alexa Londono Castro, 25, was arrested Sunday on charges of sexual assault with a weapon and aggravated battery, according to a Hollywood Police arrest report.

Londono Castro appeared in court Monday, where he was ordered held without bond. It was unknown if he has an attorney.

Speaking through an interpreter, Londono Castro told Broward Judge Stephen Zaccor he is from Colombia but has lived in Hollywood for more than five years and works in construction.

According to the arrest report, the woman was walking to her car in the 800 block of Tyler Street late Saturday night and was talking on the phone with her friend. The woman said she thought someone was following her and her friend hung up and called police.

But after her friend hung up, the woman told police she was approached from behind by Londono Castro, who put a knife to her neck and forced her to a bush on the lawn of a nearby home, the report said.

Londono Castro said "pants" and directed the woman to take her pants off, the report said. He then held the knife against her face and forced her to perform oral sex on him then raped her, the report said.

"The violence involved in this episode is extreme," Zaccor said.

At one point, Londono Castro fell down and the woman was able to run to a nearby home, where she was let inside until police arrived.

"We were inside just watching TV and then we heard banging on the door frantically," said Caterina Schraiber, one of the people who helped the woman. "Her pants were kind of hanging off, so obviously we let her in because she looked like she needed help."

When the woman went back to get her keys from the scene, she found Londono Castro's wallet, which had his Florida license inside, the report said.

Londono Castro was found at his home in Hollywood and taken into custody. The victim suffered superficial knife wounds to her stomach and right arm and had redness on both sides of her neck.

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office

Company Wants to Install New Cell Towers Across Connecticut


A California-based cell tower company has sent shockwaves through local government in the past several weeks.

Mobilitie, which is based in Newport, California, builds cell towers and then partners with all major cell carriers like Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.

Last month, the company sent letters to more than 100 cities and towns, essentially informing them of their plans to build new data-specific towers, in precise locations on either municipal or state land.

"It came as a shock," said Thomas Roy, the Director of Public Works for the Town of Simsbury. The letter, dated July 25, 2016, explained that Mobilitie was a publicly regulated utility and it had a right to build 120 foot tall, and four feet wide towers in the interest of improving cellular service in the region.

Roy said he was skeptical when he read the details.

"With this letter it looks like they simply picked a spot and decided this is where it's going to go without any community involvement."

The tower location in Simsbury would be on a busy intersection that backed up to an apartment complex.

The same letter with similar plans but different locations was sent to more than 100 cities and towns. The company has also established a map of sites where it desires to install towers along Connecticut Department of Transportation managed roads and bridges. Currently, the town of Greenwich is looking for a summary judgment from the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, regarding what the company can do within the town’s limits.

In a statement, the CEO ob Mobilite, Gary Jabara, said: 

"Small cells are the future for communities that seek non-obtrusive and concealed ways to increase coverage and capacity for citizens. Small cell deployment is essential for the Internet of Things and 5G. They are the future! Our goal is to help bring greater wireless connectivity to cities in order to deliver a better mobile experience to citizens, help communities bridge the digital divide and enable technology-driven economic growth opportunities."

Melanie Bachman with the Connecticut Siting Council that handles the regulations relating to cellular towers, says there is still a long way to go before any tower is installed on city, town, or state property.

"It would definitely be subject to state regulations," Bachman said. "Our jurisdiction includes public service companies, telecommunication companies."

Bachman said the letters received by individual towns, while helpful in starting dialogues, all short of mandatory requirements spelled out in Connecticut law.

"The correspondence doesn’t replace meeting with the chief elected official, they also have to bring what’s known as a technical report to show the justification for the tower in that location and they should ask the city or town for alternate locations."

A spokesperson for Mobilitie explained that the process is just beginning for installation of the towers. Lianna Catino told NBC Connecticut in a statement that the towers are meant to improve data and cellular services across wireless providers, improving a vital public service.

"Today’s action addresses infrastructure deployment, enabling more efficient installation of distributed antennae systems, also known as DAS, and small cells. DAS, small cells, and other small-scale technologies are critical components of the physical networks that will support the exponential growth of data intensive 5G uses in the next few years."

According to the company’s website, Mobilitie has worked with professional sports teams on improving their fiber and wireless internet connections intended to improve fan experiences.

Tom Roy with Simsbury says he and other town officials are in favor of improved infrastructure particularly for cell phones. The town already has several towers in town for communications, each of which went through a rigorous public process.

"We all use cell phones, we all rely on our cell phones for both voice and data," Roy said. "I think we have a very involved group of residents in town that would not be happy to hear that they are circumventing a local process."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Canada Escorts 1,500 Illegal Rafters Back to US


Canadian authorities said Monday that the Coast Guard and police in Sarnia, in southwestern Ontario, had to rescue almost 1,500 U.S. citizens Sunday after their rafts, boats and inner tubes were blown ashore by high winds.

Sarnia police said there were no significant injuries in the rescue operation, which was made necessary when brisk winds sabotaged the Port Huron Float Down, an annual unlicensed cavalcade of small watercraft down the St. Clair River separating Canada and the United States.

Once they had been plucked back onto dry land, the partiers were bused across the border back to the United States — with a full police escort.

Photo Credit: AP

Texas A&M Student Dies at Party


Four people have been arrested on drug charges after a Texas A&M student from Frisco was found dead Saturday morning during a party at the Sigma Nu fraternity house, College Station police say.

The student, identified Monday by College Station police as 19-year-old Anton Gridnev, was reportedly found unresponsive and not breathing during an all-night party at the fraternity house, police said.

After someone noticed Gridnev's condition, police were called. Officers arrived at about 4:40 a.m. and noted the party was ongoing. CPR was performed and Gridnev was transported to College Station Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

After finding illegal narcotics at the home, College Station police obtained a search warrant and arrested four people for possession of illegal drugs and cited three others for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Those arrested were:

  • Michael Frymire, 20, of Dallas, charged with possession of a controlled substance (THC). If found guilty, Frymire faces between 180 days and two years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
  • Samuel Patterson, 21,of Nacogdoches, charged with two counts of possession of controlled substance (LSD and Ecstasy). If found guilty, Patterson faces between 180 days and two years in jail and a $10,000 fine for each charge.
  • Ty Robertson, 21, of Granbury, charged with possession of Marijuana. If found guilty, Robertson faces up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
  • Christian Sandford, 18, of Houston, charged with possession of Marijuana. If found guilty, Sandford faces up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

Three others, Maxwell Gollop, of Bellaire; John Cain, of Houston; and Zachary Farmer, of Denton, were cited for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

"The investigation into this incident is active, with College Station Police Detectives’ primary focus being on the death Anton Gridnev. The narcotics seized during the search warrant and who was is possession of them is secondary," said College Station police in a statement Monday. "Detectives are working closely with the Brazos County District Attorney’s Office regarding potential additional charges."

While drugs were found at the party, police have not said what may have led to Gridnev's death. An autopsy has been ordered to determine what killed the student.

Gridnev graduated with honors from Heritage High School, said Frisco ISD administrators. He was a commended National Merit Scholar and competed on the academic decathalon team.

"What I remember of Anton is that he was an amazing musician," said Frisco neighbor Susan Baker. "He's a year older than my son. They were at the same middle school and, for a time, at the same high school."

"As a mother, I cried. Not only did he lose his life, but the four kids who were arrested and the other kids in that house are impacted foever. One decision changed their lives," Baker added. 

In a statement to NBC 5, Heritage High School Principal Mark Mimms said, "Anton Gridnev was a 2015 honor graduate of Heritage High School.  He was a valued member of our Academic Decathlon team and was an integral member of that team's success.  Anton had a lasting impact on the teachers who worked with him and he had a bright future ahead of him. Our faculty and staff feels the loss of one of our Coyote family."

Police said the incident remains under investigation and anyone with additional information should contact the College Station Police Criminal Investigation Division at 979-764-3600.

President Obama Will Visit Louisiana on Tuesday


White House spokesman Josh Earnest pushed back at critics who have scolded President Obama for his response to what has been called the country's worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy, saying on Monday that "there is all too common temptation to focus on politics and optics."

"Survivors of flooding aren't well served by political discussion," Earnest told reporters. They're "well served by coordinated government response."

During the flooding in Baton Rouge, which killed 13 people and left tens of thousands of homes devastated, Obama opted to remain on vacation in Martha's Vineyard — a fact noted in a scathing op-ed published Wednesday in the Baton Rouge Advocate, among other places, NBC News reported.

On Tuesday, Obama will travel to Louisiana to survey the damage, speak with officials and "offer comfort to citizens whose lives been thrown into chaos," Earnest said.

Photo Credit: AP

Driver Charged with DUI After Colliding With Police Cruiser


A police officer and two other people were injured in a crash at Cooper and West Center streets in Manchester on Monday morning.

Manchester police said a Manchester police officer was responding to a call with lights and sirens on Monday around 11:32 a.m. The cruiser was traveling eastbound on West Center Street when another vehicle turned left onto Cooper Street in front of the cruiser and they collided.

The officer and the occupants of the other vehicle suffered minor injuries and were transported to the hospital. Everyone has since been released.

Police said the driver, identified as 21-year-old Diego Vazquez-Agreda of Hartford, admitted to smoking marijuana before the incident and failed field sobriety tests. He was found to be at fault for the crash and charged with DUI, possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia, and failure to obey an officer’s signal.

His passenger, 19-year-old Jaunita Burto of Manchester, faces charges of possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana and failure to wear a seatbelt.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash and both vehicles were towed from the scene.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bristol Veteran Gets Surprise Home Repair


A Bristol veteran is getting some much needed home repairs after an Connecticut construction company heard of the serviceman's need for help.

Vietnam Army Veteran Robert Gentle said he was surprised to see construction workers arrive at his Cypress Street home.

"I'm not used to it," said Veteran Robert Gentle.

Gentle said he joined the army at 17 years old.

Now at age 63, his health has stopped him from making needed repairs to his two bathrooms.

"I have PTSD and nerve damage," Gentle said.

His wife Doreen said she just happened to mention the need for repairs while at work to a friend. Then nearly two months later, construction workers arrived.

"I guess I just hit the right person at the right time," smiled Doreen Gentle.

The program put on by the Connecticut chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc is called Open Shop Salute.

The organization works with 200 non-union commercial contractors and Connecticut veteran organizations to find vets and military personnel in need of home repairs and other construction needs.

The workers are volunteers, the materials are donated and the work is done free of charge.

"For people who have gone above and beyond to serve our country and who have given so much sacrifice this is really the least we can give back to them," said president of ABC, Inc. Chris Syrek.

Work on Gentle's home should save him $20,000.

"When people do this, more or less changes my perspective on society in general," said Gentle.

Syrek said the program has helped nearly three vets a year for the last 10 years. Gentle's home is the first one being repaired this year.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Windsor Police Seek Bank Robbery Suspect


Windsor police are searching for a suspect who robbed the Santander Bank on Windsor Avenue Tuesday morning.

Police said around 9:05 a.m. a male suspect entered the Santander Bank at 578 Windsor Ave, implied he was armed and demanded money. Employees complied and the man left the bank on foot with an undetermined about of cash.

The suspect is described as clean-shaven, in his mid-50s to mid-60s, 5-foot-8 to 6-foot tall, between 150 and 160 pounds. Witnesses reported he was wearing a tan polo-style shirt with a white T-shirt underneath, a blue ball cap, dark jeans, dark sneakers with a white sole, and a bluish green towel around his neck.

Police said a person matching that description was spotted in the area riding a small BMX style bike north on Windsor Avenue.

Anyone with information or who recognizes the suspect pictured above should contact Windsor Police at (860) 688-5273.

Photo Credit: Windsor Police Department

Motorcyclist Seriously Injured in West Haven Crash


The driver of a motorcycle is in critical condition after a crash on Captain Thomas Boulevard in West Haven Monday evening.

West Haven police said they responded around 10:34 p.m. for a crash involving a motorcycle and a car. First responders found the motorcyclist suffering serious injuries. The victim was transported to the hospital for treatment.

The victim has not been identified.

According to police, the motorcycle was driving west on Captain Thomas Boulevard. The car, a Mercedes, was turning north onto Kelsey Avenue from Captain Thomas Boulevard when the collision occurred. The front end of the Mercedes collided with the left side of the motorcycle, and the motorcycle them crashed into the sidewalk and struck a single control box. The motorcycle rider was ejected.

Police said the motorcycle was speeding when the crash occurred. Witnesses reported that the Mercedes had a green turn arrow at the time of the collision and that the motorcycle may have been trying to “beat” the red light.

The Major Accident Squad is investigating the crash. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Traffic Division at (203) 937-3925.

Moosup Man Accused of Stealing from Unlocked Cars


Plainfield police have arrested a man accused of stealing from an unlocked car early Tuesday morning.

Police said around 1:30 a.m. they responded to a report of a suspicious person in the area of Collelo Avenue in the Moosup section of town. When officers arrived they saw a male fleeing from the area. Connecticut State Police responded with a K9 unit to assist.

Meanwhile, Plainfield officers spotted the subject leaving the woods along North Main Street. Officers pursed the individual and caught up with him on Brunswick Avenue near Cottage Street.

Police said they discovered that several items, including electronics and gift cards had been stolen from an unlocked vehicle in the neighborhood. The items were valued around $1,000.

The subject, identified as Martin Olivera, 37, of 592 North Main Street in Moosup, was arrested and charged with 4th-degree larceny. He was released on a $1,000 bond and scheduled a court date of Sept. 6.

The K9 unit located the stolen items in a nearby yard. Police remind residents to lock their vehicles.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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