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Man Charged With 9 Counts of Violating Sex Offender Registration Requirements


A man was arrested and charged with nine counts of violating his sex offender registration requirements, Hartford Police said.

Trevor Austin was originally placed on the Connecticut Sex offender Registry in 2010 as a lifetime registrant after serving time for an offense in Oregon, police said.

Hartford Police said Austin never verified his address in the city and has had four arrests consisting of multiple violations of the registry requirements. 

Austin, who has 43 previous arrests in Hartford alone, surrendered himself to police on Wednesday. His bond was set at $100,000.

He was charged with nine counts of failure to register as a sex offender. 

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

Nurse Riding in Memory of Mother at Closer to Free


As a registered nurse with the Smilow Cancer Hospital’s Medical Oncology-Hematology unit, Amy Zethner builds bonds with her patients and their families.

“It’s a very rewarding experience,” she said. “Because we have patients that come here for long period of times for transplants, for chemo.”

Around this past Memorial Day, Zethner learned what it’s like to be the loved one of a patient after her mother Laura Dulude suddenly lost feeling in one of her arms.

“She ended up coming here for a second opinion and she in fact had cancer,” Zethner said.

A month after discovering melanoma tumors had spread, Zethner’s mom passed away. She was 51.

“I’ll be riding in memory of her so it will make it even more meaningful,” said Zethner as she gears up for a fourth Closer to Free ride with Team Heme Rollers. “Most of the team members are either nurses, doctors. We’ve also had patients and family members ride with us.”

 Yale nursing student Greg Walter is riding with the Heme Rollers.

for the first time following time spent with the Oncology-Hematology unit.

“I was just really impressed will all the oncology nurses, the way they interacted with the patients, how brave the patients were,” Walter said. “It was hugely inspiring in a way I didn’t expect.”

Walter is also a research assistant for a study funded by money raised at previous Closer to Free rides, so like Zethner, he knows how donations from the ride directly support research and patient care.

“I figured this ride would be a way to raise awareness,” Zethner said. “And raise money for the patients I still take care of and hopefully improve future treatments in memory of my mom, of course.”

NBC Connecticut is a proud sponsor of the Closer to Free ride on Saturday September 10.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Disabled Athletes Showcase Wheelchair Tennis Skills at Connecticut Open


Carlos Quiles from Meriden does not let his disability limit his love of sports.

"I play organized wheelchair basketball, I coach and play on the team," he said. "And I also do track and road racing as well."

Now 35, Quiles has been wheelchair bound from an injury suffered when he was only two-years-old.

"Sports overall, really helped me become who I am," Quiles said. "Shaped who I am today, helped me become independent."

Wednesday afternoon at the Connecticut Open in New Haven, Quiles participated in Adaptive Tennis Day.

"You get a second bounce if you like it, if you want," Quiles said. "Otherwise the rules are the same."

Quiles represented the team from the Sports Association of Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford, which offers several adaptive sports and recreation programs.

"We’re here to showcase the sport and show people that wheelchair tennis is tennis," said program manager Katie Joly. "It’s just as fast, just as exciting."

For Quiles, taking the court to play wheelchair tennis is just another chance to change the public’s perception of people with disabilities.

"Whether it’s an event like where we’re playing tennis or any other sport, my goal is really to showcase people like look we can do this we play sports just like everybody else," Quiles said. "And on top of that you start conversations with people and they get to know you a little bit better and they’re like, oh you have a job, you drive and you live a full like everybody else."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Driver Injured in Tractor Trailer Crash on I-95 South


Interstate 95 south is closed near the New Haven/West Haven line Wednesday morning because of a crash involving a tractor-trailer.

Just before 11 a.m. state police responded to a tractor trailer crash on I-95 south near exit 44. According to police, the truck was driving in the center of three lanes when the driver slowed for traffic and the load on its trailer shifted, breaking loose. The load rolled down the trailer and struck the cab.

The cab was heavily damaged and the driver, identified as Michael Chebro of Derby, had to be extricated by firefighters.

Chebro was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment.

The southbound side of the highway was closed between the exit 44 ramps while crews worked to free the victim. All lanes have since reopened.

An item fell from the truck during the crash and took a chunk out of the highway.

Chebro was issued an infraction for operating a vehicle improperly loaded or constructed to carry a load.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Trump Openly Weighs a Massive Immigration Reversal


During a town hall that aired Wednesday, Donald Trump floated the possibility of allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the country, NBC News reported. 

"No citizenship," Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity in an interview taped Tuesday afternoon in Austin, Texas. "Let me go a step further — they'll pay back-taxes, they have to pay taxes, there's no amnesty, as such, there's no amnesty, but we work with them." 

Trump said he was moved by people concerned with his calls for a “deportation force” to remove all 11 million undocumented people from the United States. 

"When I look at the rooms and I have this all over, now everybody agrees we get the bad ones out," Trump said. "But when I go through and I meet thousands and thousands of people on this subject...they've said, Mr. Trump, I love you, but to take a person that has been here for 15 or 20 years and throw them and the family out, it's so tough, Mr. Trump."

Photo Credit: AP

4 Charged in Murder of Waterbury Chinese Delivery Woman


A woman who delivers food for a Chinese restaurant was killed and a male coworker was injured during a robbery in Waterbury on Tuesday night and police have arrested a four teens, who police suspect placed the order themselves with the intention of committing the robbery. 

Police responded to the report of a robbery at 70 Linden St. just before 9:30 p.m. and found two victims -- a male and a female -- who were delivering food for Golden Wok in the area for a local Chinese restaurant, according to police. 

Four people attacked and robbed the victims, according to police. 

They assaulted the male delivery driver and shot the female victim, 59-year-old Helena Vargas, of Waterbury, in the neck, police said. 

She was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead just after 10 p.m., police said. 

Waterbury Police worked throughout the night and morning hours and have arrested four people. 

Anthony Wright, 20, a 16-year-old girl, a 17-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy have been arrested. All four were charged with felony murder, first-degree robbery and first-degree conspiracy to commit robbery. 

"We believe it's an isolated incident. We believe that these four individuals conspired to commit the robbery and we believe they intentionally ordered the food and called these people to that address in an effort to commit the robbery." Deputy Police Chief Fred Spagnolo said.

Wright and the 16-year-old boy have also been charged with second-degree larceny, conspiracy at larceny in the second degree, carrying a pistol without a permit and criminal use of a firearm.

After a court appearance, Wright is being held on $2.5 million bond. Prosecutors said Wright is a known gang member and were pushing for $5 million bond, but the judge set it at $2.5 million.

Photo Credit: Waterbury Police

Rash of Car Break-Ins in Guilford


Guilford is the latest town dealing with a rash of car break-ins.

At least 10 cars were broken into at a condo complex on Church Street on Wednesday, police said. The police report said the cars had been left unlocked and owners said loose change was stolen. 

One car on Fair Street had its windows smashed in by the suspects and stole a purse sitting on the front seat.

On Sperry Drive, a Range Rover was stolen after the owner left the keys in the ignition overnight, police said. 

Police continue to remind residents to lock their doors overnight. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Cops Stumble Upon Gator in Tub


Police responding to a call about a burglary at a Staten Island home encountered an unusual suspect — a three-foot-long alligator, and it was in the bathtub. 

The reptile was hanging out in the empty tub when police responding to the anonymous call arrived at the abandoned Mariners Harbor home.

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Animal care workers took the gator for evaluation. They're also looking into how the gator got into the tub.

The NYPD tweeted responding officers were "surprised" by the reptile, but no one was injured. The department tweeted photos of cops smiling next to the crate.

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No arrests have been made.

Photo Credit: @NYPDPaws
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'Like Dante's Inferno': Italy Quake Death Toll Rises to 159


The death toll from the magnitude 6.2 earthquake that struck central Italy early Wednesday, has reached at least 159, as rescuers raced to pull residents buried beneath debris.

The strong tremor hit at 3:36 a.m. local time near Norcia and was felt more than 100 miles away in Rome. Some 368 people were injured. The army has been called to help search of survivors, using bare hands, heavy equipment and sniffer dogs. Several large aftershocks followed the quake amid dramatic scenes of rescue and cries for help.

An 8-year-old girl was pulled alive from the rubble, according to The Associated Press. Chief firefighter Danilo Dionesei confirmed to the AP that she was alive and taken to hospital, but did not provide details on her condition. 

Stunned locals wandered through rubble in the worst-affected towns of Amatrice and Accumoli, near Perugia. Aerial images from the fire department showed whole streets in Amatrice flattened.

"We came out to the piazza, and it looked like 'Dante's Inferno,'" Agostino Severo, a Rome resident visiting the damaged town of Illica, told The Associated Press. "People crying for help, help."

Photo Credit: AP
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Hartford Wary of Team Proposal to Finish Stadium


The offer from the owner of the Hartford Yard Goats to provide a loan to the city in order to complete Dunkin’ Donuts Park has been met with skepticism from city leaders.

One source inside City Hall described the proposal as “unrealistic” and that it would only add to the city’s fiscal woes.

The proposal would see Josh Solomon, the owner of the team, providing the city the needed funds to ensure that the ballpark would be read for baseball by Opening Day 2017, scheduled for April 13.

The amount isn’t specified in the proposal because architects haven’t established the needed repairs and therefore don’t have a proposed sum.

There are several key conditions to the loan which is what has Hartford city leaders worried about the prospect of such an agreement.

The city would pay a new contractor the remaining $4 million or so that is left in the city account for the ballpark, and then the team would provide a loan to Hartford.

In return for the loan, the Yard Goats would not pay rent for the city-owned stadium, the team wouldn’t provide the city its share for the stadium’s naming rights, and the team would collect revenue from a pair of parking lots that provide spaces for ticket holders, all until the loan was paid back with interest.

"I think that whatever that loan looks like that it really has to be interests of the City of Hartford,” said TJ Clarke, President of the Hartford City Council.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin has said he would rather the insurance company for the fired developer take responsibility for completion of the stadium, instead of entering into a new financial arrangement with the Yard Goats’ owner that would cost taxpayers more money.

Clarke said Opening Day next year now looms as a deadline for a finished stadium.

"The city does not have a plan B at the moment. You know, there are talks that they're still waiting to find out what Arch, (the insurance company) is going to do and the decision they are going to render and so until such a time we are still in the hands of the surety bond."

Photo Credit: Yard Goats Instagram

Crews Respond to Hazmat Situation in Southington


Crews are on the scene of a hazmat situation in Southington, fire department said.

Southington Fire Department said they responded to the scene around 12:40 p.m. at the Light Medals Coloring company on Spring Street, while other crews had been there since around 10:30 a.m.

The mixture of hexavelent chromium and acid spilled onto the road, fire officials said. Dispatch said they removed part of the roof of the company's building and have excavated an area of the road. 

As of late Wednesday night, crews were finishing the clean up but will remain there all night for testing of some wetlands and to fix the road, Southington Fire said. 

EPA, DEEP and the Coast Guard all responded. 

There were no other details immediately available. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Student Banned From Wearing Black Lives Matter T-Shirt


When Mariah Havard arrived at Arizona's Buckeye High School for picture day Tuesday wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, the 10th grader says she was told to go to the school's office, where she says administration leaders told her the shirt wasn't allowed. "I wasn't able to wear the shirt anymore because somebody made a complaint," Havard said. "I was a little bit confused as to why I wouldn't be able to wear something so meaningful to me."
Havard's family and others believe the 15-year-old was treated unfairly, especially because they say the school has a history of allowing students to wear shirts supporting a cause, including some that could be considered offensive. The school district had not issued a response when KPNX reached out for comment.

Church Offers 'Racists Anonymous' Meetings in NC


A North Carolina church launches a "Racists Anonymous" program aimed at changing hearts and minds. Sick of the shootings and racial unrest, Reverend Nathan King says he wanted to do more than pray. For the past month, Trinity United Church of Christ in Concord has been holding weekly support group meetings in its fellowship hall, and it's gaining traction. "It's to deal with the racism within ourselves and to eliminate the racism within ourselves," King said.

Minn. Bridge Collapse Survivor Charged With Joining ISIS


Mohamed Amiin Ali Roble, 20, who in 2007 survived a bridge collapse in Minneapolis that killed more than a dozen people, has been charged with conspiring to support ISIS, federal prosecutors said Wednesday, NBC News reported.

Roble is accused of traveling to Syria and joining the terror group after he turned 18. The FBI says he used a $91,000 settlement he received from the bridge collapse to fund the group. Authorities believe he lives in Syria. 

Roble was just weeks shy of his 11th birthday in 2007 when the school bus he was riding in was caught on a Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis that collapsed.

Thirteen people were killed and 145 people were injured, including Roble.

Photo Credit: AP

1 Dead After Crash in I-91 in New Haven


One person is dead after a crash on Interstate 91 South in New Haven.

State police said a two trucks, a FedEx tractor-trailer and two cars crashed near exit 4.

A Chevy Tahoe, a Hyundai Santa Fe and a United Transmission Exchange truck were all traveling in the left center lane, while a Fedex truck and a Atlantic Woodcraft vehicle drove in the far left lane, according to a police report.

The driver of the Atlantic Woodcraft vehicle, Joel V. Gemme, sideswiped the driverside of the United Transmission Exchange truck and the Hyundai before striking the rear of the Fedex truck in front of him, police said. 

The front tire of Gemme's vehicle flew off and struck the Chevy Tahoe in the left center lane, according to the report. 

Gemme was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:28 a.m. on Thursday. 

The Fedex driver and Hyundai driver were transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital. 

Three lanes are blocked in the area. State police expect to be at the scene for hours.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Two Swimming Areas Remain Closed


Two swimming areas remain closed today because of water quality, while four have reopened.

Indian Well State Park in Shelton and Mashamoquet Brook State Park in Pomfret remain closed on Thursday.

Silver Sands, Gardner Lake, Wharton Brook and Kettletown have all reopened and all other swimming areas the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection tests are open.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

1 Flown to Hospital After Crash on I-95 in East Lyme


Both sides of Interstate 95 were closed in East Lyme after a crash that trapped three people, but traffic is moving again.

LifeStar was called to transport one patient, officials said.

No additional information was immediately available. 

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

2 Injured in Berlin Turnpike Crash in Newington


Two people were injured in a crash that closed the northbound side of the Berlin Turnpike in Newington.

Police said two cars crashed near Kitts Lane and both drivers have been transported to a hospital.

Neither has life-threatening injuries.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Fake Black Radio Caller Sparks Controversy


A white producer at the Philadelphia sports talk station 97.5 The Fanatic has sparked controversy after he created a black persona based on stereotypes to call into the station.

"Dwayne from Swedesboro" was a regular caller for the Mike Missanelli Show. The character, who claimed to be an African American man, often talked about his love for white women as well as his fear of having illegitimate children. He even had a Twitter account with a black man in the profile picture.

A recent report from Crossing Broad however reveals that "Dwayne from Swedesboro," was actually Pat Egan, a white producer at 97.5.

“I think the fact that it was a young white kid doing sort of like the stereotype of a black guy made it a lot worse and sort of just like piled on whatever that initial shock was,” said Kyle Scott, a blogger for Crossing Broad who wrote the story.

In a series of tweets, Egan seemed to admit to creating the character as an "exact opposite" of himself.

News that the character was fake sparked a mixed reaction with some criticizing the character’s stereotypical nature.

“It just seems that there are so many racial issues going on in the country,” said Tony Marchionne of Collingswood, New Jersey. “Why do we continue to promote these stereotypes?”

Some fans of the show didn’t find the character offensive, however, and instead believed he was simply entertaining.

“I didn’t take it as being extremely racial at all,” said Dave Whitman of Lansdale. “I kind of saw it more as just kind of a crazy, funny guy creating a reason to talk.”

Mike Missanelli directly addressed the controversy on his show Tuesday.

“The only thing I can do is tell you that I wasn’t in on it and I had no idea about it,” he said. “If you don’t want to believe that, that’s your choice. I could tell you first hand that had I known this was a fake I would have shut it down immediately because I would’ve been sensitive to the racial undertones of it.”

It’s unclear whether anyone at the radio station will be disciplined for the character. NBC10 reached out to 97.5 for comment but we have not yet heard back. 

The Philadelphia Business Journal also reports Josh Innes, a radio host on Sportsradio 94 WIP, was fired for his comments on the controversy.

Suspect in Wolcott Bowling Alley Burglary Arrested


A Bristol man suspected in a burglary of a Wolcott bowling alley in July 2015 has been arrested and police said he disabled the security system, cut a hole in the roof and broke into a safe. 

Police said DNA led them to identify 29-year-old Luis Rivera, of Bristol, as the suspect in the burglary at Wolcott Bowling Lanes, at 955 Wolcott Road.

Rivera was able to break the safe open with tools he had found in the bowling alley and left with a large quantity of cash, police said. 

Police obtained a warrant for him in January, but he’d fled the state. In July, he was arrested on a driving under the influence charge in Colonial Heights, Virginia and police there later found that he was wanted on a felony arrest warrant in Wolcott. 

After a five-day sentence in Virginia, he was detained at the Riverside Regional Jail in Price George, Virginia until members of the Wolcott Police Department went to get him.

Rivera has been charged with first-degree burglary and first-degree larceny and he is wanted on five other outstanding warrants for violation of probation and failure to appear stemming from other burglary charges that occurred in the past in other towns. 

Rivera will be arraigned at Waterbury Superior Court on Aug. 25.

Photo Credit: Wolcott Police
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