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13-Year-Old Driver Dead, Teen Passenger Burned in Hartford Crash


Police are investigating a fatal firey crash near 555 Windsor St. in Hartford that killed a 13-year-old boy and badly burned a 15-year-old.

Police learned about the crash when the 15-year-old boy arrived at Saint Francis Hospital with burns so bad that authorities will need dental records to identify him, police said. 

He arrived at the hospital in a private vehicle, a Honda that was stolen from Carriage Crossing in Middletown, according to police. 

As the investigation continued, police found the 2006 Subaru the 15-year-old was in when he was injured.

Inside, they found a 13-year-old Hartford boy who had been driving and medics pronounced him dead at the scene, police said.

According to police, the teen driver flipped the stolen vehicle around 3:30 a.m. on Thursday and it caught fire. It's not clear whether the crash or the fire killed the boy.

Police are continuing to investigate and have not identified the driver of the Honda.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

Judge: Jumping Over White House Fence Not Free Speech


Jumping over the White House fence is not free speech, a Washington, D.C., judge has ruled.

The ruling came in the case of a Connecticut man who hurtled over the White House fence, draped in an American flag, on Thanksgiving Day 2015. Joseph Caputo had asked the judge to dismiss his case, arguing the fence jump was an exercise in free speech.

A federal judge ruled the case must proceed, and said some of Caputo’s claims are frivolous. In his formal opinion, reviewed by the News4 I-Team, the judge ruled, "There is, after all, no First Amendment right to express one’s self in a nonpublic area like the White House."

Caputo is scheduled to go on trial in D.C. on Sept. 12, charged with a misdemeanor count of unlawfully entering restricted government grounds.

His jump triggered a lockdown at the complex in November 2015. Prosecutors said Caputo did so while the first family was inside the White House.

"It was a serious and dangerous act that put multiple lives at risk, including the defendant’s own," prosecutors said in a court filing.

According to court records, Caputo argued he breached the White House grounds with the "noble purpose" of "calling attention to various deficiencies in the Constitution."

The court records said Caputo was trying to call attention to a government failure "to pay attention to domestic issues."

The fence jump was the first of its kind after the 2015 installation of new spikes atop the White House fence.

Victoria Pena of Houston said at the time the man was standing with other people visiting the White House compound when he rushed toward the fence carrying what appeared to be a binder. 

"I just heard him take a big, deep breath and whisper to himself, 'All right, let's do this,' and he took off," Pena said. "It was chaotic. Everyone around us was yelling, and kids were crying. It was pretty unexpected."

"Casually, I'm just there taking pictures and I see a ninja coming through, climbing," witness Amar Marwaha of London said.

Photo Credit: Vanessa Pena via AP

Man Shot in Putnam Monday Is Dead: Police


The man who was shot on Pomfret Street in Putnam on Monday night has died, according to state police.

Police said they responded to 52 Pomfret St. at 9:18 p.m. Monday to investigate a shooting and found a victim with a gunshot wound. Medics brought the victim to Day Kimball Hospital, but then LifeStar transported him to a hospital in Massachusetts.

On Friday morning, state police said the victim died of his injuries.  State police have not released his name.

The state police Eastern District Major Crime Unit is investigating and police said this appears to be an isolated incident with no danger to the public.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Swimming Areas All Open


Two swimming areas that were closed for a couple days because of water quality have reopened.

Indian Well State Park in Shelton and Mashamoquet Brook State Park in Pomfret were closed on Thursday, but are open today, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection tests.

All other swimming areas are open.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Clinton Defends Work of Family Foundation


Hillary Clinton is defending the work of her family foundation, saying the organization needs more time to ensure the continuity of their programs. 

If elected, Clinton said she'll take additional steps to make sure there are no conflicts of interest between her administration and the global charitable network founded by her husband. 

Winding down the programs and finding partners, she said, takes time. 

"We're going to make sure we don't undermine the excellence and the results," she said in an interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe.". 

Former President Bill Clinton announced last week that if Hillary Clinton is elected president, the Clinton Foundation would no longer accept foreign and corporate donations, he would step down from its board and he no longer would raise money for the organization. 

Photo Credit: AP

Months of Recovery Ahead for Louisiana Flood Victims


Richard McClarty stands in his gutted Baton Rouge home, drenched in sweat, speckled with white dust from sweeping drywall remnants off the floor.

"We're just taking it day by day right now," he says in the home he abandoned with his wife Wagner and son Eddie. 

They left August 13 as the flood water invaded their garage and lapped at their front door. "I carried my son through the water," McClarty recalls.

He estimates the flood water was about 3 ½ feet deep at the time, and that neighbors had to be rescued by boat amid the chaos.

Thousands were displaced in the storms, and at least 13 died. A federal disaster was declared for 20 Louisiana parishes, which President Barack Obama visited this week and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visited the week before.

The McClarty family found a hotel to stay in, then hopped from one to another over the past dozen days, all the while beginning the clean-up process.

"We pretty much lost probably about 75 percent of our things," he explained matter-of-factly as he looked around his home. 

The McClartys' story is multiplied by thousands. Homeowners must take everything out of their homes, tear out dry wall and insulation, rip up carpeting, wood flooring, tile, cabinets — everything must go. The work needs to be quick so that mold doesn't take over the house.

Piles of people's lives line streets for miles and miles. About 120 homes are in the McClarty's subdivision. Richard says nearly every home took on some amount of water. A sofa with the tags still on was in a pile next door to the McClartys' home. Brand new, now trash.

Wagner said the mold was already thick in the bottom cabinets, but when you stand in the gutted home, you don't smell the water, mold or dampness. There's a constant hum of fans, dehumidifiers and the air conditioning. If you didn't know the house was flooded, you might think they were doing some strange renovation. 

"It's pretty dried out," McClarty said. It's going to take months to get the home to a liveable state, and that's his goal right now.

The McClartys' home isn't in a flood zone, so they didn't have flood insurance. They will have to rely on federal money for any amount of help in the rebuilding process. Such is the case for thousands of the homes that were underwater.

"This has never happened here," McClarty said, adding that neighbors have lived in the neighborhood for 52 years and they have never been flooded.

The family has been getting help from co-workers from the NRG Energy plant where Richard works, members of the family's church congregation and volunteers from Team Rubicon, an organization made up of veterans and first responders who help following disasters with clean-up.

"We appreciate all the help we have gotten, but we still have a whole lot of work to do," McClarty said.

Photo Credit: NBC10
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Motorcycle and Garbage Truck Crash in Danbury


A motorcycle and a garbage truck have been involved in a crash on White Street in Danbury.

Police did not have information about injuries and said traffic is going by.

Pet Owners Weigh the Pros and Cons of Their Furry Friends


Many a pet owner will tell you that taking home a furry friend is one of the best decisions you can make. But becoming a pet parent is a big commitment and it's important to consider the pros and cons.

The American Pet Products Association asked about 1,000 dog and cat owners to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of having a pet. The responses were overwhelmingly positive.

Both cat and dog owners agree that companionship is the biggest benefit while the biggest drawback is the feeling of loss when a pet passes away.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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I-84 Widening Project in Waterbury Is Ahead of Schedule: Governor


The Interstate 84 widening project in Waterbury us 10 months ahead of schedule, according to Gov. Dannel Malloy.

The $330 million project that started last year includes adding a third travel lane and full-width shoulders in each direction of the highway, as well as safety improvements.

“When the project is finally completed, this will make a big difference to not just the Waterbury area, but to residents statewide,” Malloy said.  

"The growth of our economy depends on these kinds of major upgrades, and our residents deserve nothing less than an efficient, upgraded, and renewed infrastructure that advances progress, mitigates congestion, and creates jobs,” Malloy said.

Westbound traffic was shifted north on Thursday night to temporary, new lanes so that work can continue in the median between Pierpont Road and westbound Exit 25 off ramp.  

Traffic shifts will occur over the duration of the project as traffic is shifted to new sections of roadway and over completed sections of bridges.  

The projecy is scheduled to be completed in June 2020. 

Superb Summer Weather This Weekend


The last weekend of meteorological summer will deliver delightful weather for outdoor activities.

Abundant sunshine both Saturday and Sunday will make for a great beach weekend.

Temperatures will rise to near 90 Saturday, then into the upper 80s come Sunday.

It will turn hot and humid early next week, with temperatures near 90 degrees. A storm is possible each day Monday through Wednesday.

Late next week, it turns much cooler when highs only reach the 70s by Friday.

Teen Who Ran Into Woods Found


Winchester police were searching for a teenage girl who ran into the woods after police tried to stop the car she was in, but she was found about two miles away.

Police said they tried to stop a suspicious vehicle in the Spencer Street area around 2:30 a.m., but the driver kept going and led police on a short pursuit.

When the driver stopped, three people got out and started running, police said.

Police found two of the people, but said 16-year-old Brittany Dionne ran into the woods and was missing.

Photo Credit: NBC10

Dr. Petit Discusses Running for Office After Tragedy


Dr. William Petit, the sole survivor of the home invasion in Cheshire, Connecticut, opened up during an exclusive interview with NBC's "Today" show about the decision to run for the state House of Representatives and about moving forward after the tragedy that took his family nine years ago.

Petit’s wife, Jennifer Hawke Petit, and their two daughters, Hayley and Michaela, were killed during a night of horrors in their home in July 2007. Dealing with the survivor’s guilt will be part of Petit’s life forever, he said when asked.

“It’s packaged up and compartmentalized a little bit,” he said. “It’s sort of like on the top shelf in the closet in a small box and occasionally it comes out and you open the box and have a terrible night or a couple of terrible hours, or a terrible weekend, or whatever the case might be.”

“And then you come to grips and talk to your wife, and you talk to your son, and you talk to your family and your friends and you wrap it up again and you put it back in the closet knowing it’s probably never going to be gone,” Petit said. 

He said the time after the murders was difficult. He was made president of the Petit Family Foundation, which was set up to honor the memory of Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela, but getting out of bed was difficult.

“I would basically would be in bed the entire day, then get up, come to the meeting and then, you know, go back to bed,” he said.

It was through that foundation that he met Christine Paluf and they married in 2012Their little boy, William, will be 3 in November. 

Petit, who now lives in Plainville, is running as a Republican.

He has been an outspoken supporter of the death penalty and was critical of the state Supreme Court’s decision to abolish it. But he said his personal tragedy was not the impetus for running. 

“You know, some people still stop and say, ‘I know where you stand. You’re for the death penalty.’ And I say, ‘Well, you know, I’m not really running on the death penalty," he said. "So what’s important to people is the quality of life, the economy, their jobs, their children’s futures.”

During an interview with NBC Connecticut last month, the retired endocrinologist said he wants to see state spending reined in. He said he agrees with the layoffs issued by Gov. Dannel Malloy because benefits like health insurance and pensions have gotten out of control.

The seat Petit is running for is now held by Betty Boukus, a Democrat, who has been in office for more than 20 years.

Photo Credit: Today Show
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Tests Results Are Encouraging After Southington Chemical Spill


The results from the first round of tests after the 400-gallon chemical spill at a metals company in Southington are encouraging, according to officials.

Officials have been investigating since Wednesday morning, when hexavalent chromium discharged from the roof vents of the Light Metals Coloring company on Spring Street and said they have recovered all material that they can recover. 

Southington fire officials said the spill might have happened because of a crack in a heating water jacket and an overfilled boiler, which forced a pressure release. 

“We had some preliminary tests that showed that we had a couple areas that were clean,” David Poynton, the emergency response coordinator for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said.

It's not clear how much of material escaped because the chemicals mixed with water, according to Fire Chief Harold Leak. 

Officials from DEEP have been testing the water, soil and air in the area continuously since the spill to ensure the chemical hasn’t contaminated it. 

This weekend, officials are hoping to have results from the samples of the Quinnipiac River and the sediment at the bottom of the river, where some of the chemicals might have settled. 

Once that information is in, officials will determine whether the amount of remaining material, if any, is high enough to warrant a plan for removal or small enough to leave in place. 

In the meantime, officials from DEEP are still advising the public against fishing in the Quinnipiac River and to catch and release anything caught in the area of Spring Street and South Main Street. 

DEEP also said it has stopped the flow of some catch basins and is pumping water around the spill area so that any chemicals that might remain in the piping system won’t be spread any further.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

More US Companies Pledge Equal Pay for Women


Twenty-nine additional employers have signed on to the White House equal pay pledge, which asks companies to conduct a yearly analysis of pay by gender with the goal of eliminating unequal compensation.

Apple, Chobani, Delta Air Lines, Facebook, General Motors, Hilton, IBM and IKEA are among the companies and organizations that have joined the effort, bringing the total to more than 50, according to the White House. Friday’s announcement was made on Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates women’s right to vote.

President Barack Obama initiated the pledge in June as part of a summit on women, the United State of Women. The companies also agree to review hiring and promotions practices and to promote practices that will close the national wage gap.

A typical woman working full-time earned only 79 percent that paid to a typical man in 2014, according to the White House.

The Labor Department also added protections for transgender men and women to guidelines for federal contractors that are meant to guard against sex discrimination.

The first piece of legislation that Obama signed after taking office was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which overturned restrictions on time periods in which discrimination complaints could be filed.

The Obama administration also extended minimum wage and overtime to more than 2 million home health-care workers, many of them women.

Fifty-seven percent of women are in the labor force, down from 60 percent in 1999, according to the United States Department of Labor.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Elderly Couple Forced to Live Apart After 62 Years


Anita and Wolf Gottschalk have been inseparable throughout their 62 years of marriage. But for the past eight months, the elderly couple has been forced to say a heartbreaking goodbye over and over again.

A backlog in the Canadian health care system has made it impossible to move Wolf, 83, out of his transitional nursing home and into the care facility where Anita, 81, is living, their granddaughter Ashley Bartyik says.

Every other day, Bartyik drives Anita the 30 minutes from her Surrey, British Columbia, care complex to Wolf's so she can see her ailing husband. The visits always end in tears for the couple, Bartyik said.

In a Facebook post published Tuesday, Bartyik says her grandfather was diagnosed with dementia and appeals to users to share their story in hopes that it will attract the attention of policymakers, who can help not just her grandparents, but other elderly Canadians who are waiting for subsidized beds, she tells NBC News.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ashley Bartyik
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Roof Partially Collapses During Fire in Hartford


Firefighters have responded to a fire at Chappelle Gardens in Hartford and said there is a partial roof collapse. 

All the firefighters are out of the building, putting water on it from the outside. 

All occupants got out on their own and no one was hurt, but the building is still burning.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Arrest Parents of 4-Year-Old Girl Killed in Crash


The parents of a 4-year-old girl killed in a crash last August have been arrested and police said the little girl’s father was driving drunk and had possibly smoked marijuana as well.

Police said 27-year-old Rossrandon Stanley, of New Haven, was driving recklessly on Interstate 91 North in New Haven around 9:10 p.m. on Aug. 15, speeding and going in and out of traffic when he lost control and flipped the car.

The three children in the car were not in car seats and two were thrown from the vehicle when it flipped over, police said.

Kamorah Stanley, 4, died from the injuries she sustained and police have been investigating for the last year.

Through that investigation, police learned that Stanley did not have a license, had an elevated blood alcohol content and was possibly under the influence of marijuana, police said. He is also accused of lying to investigators when he said he was not driving.

Stanley was charged with manslaughter with a motor vehicle related, interfering with police, providing a false statement, three counts of risk of injury to a minor, reckless driving and operating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

His bond was set at $100,000.

Kamorah Stanley’s mother, 29-year-old Rayna Green, of West Haven, was a passenger in the car and has been charged with three counts of risk of injury to a minor.

Bond was set at $5,000 and she is due in New Haven Superior Court on Sept. 6.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police and Submitted

Shots Fired During Argument in New London


Shots were reportedly fired during an argument in New London on Thursday. 

Police were called just before 6 p.m. about possible gunshots heard on Blackhall Street. 

No serious injury was sustained by the victim. 

The victim was located and identified Shareefe Flanders, 30, as the suspect who fired the gun, police said. 

Flanders is charged with second-degree assault with a firearm, first-degree reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a firearm and breach of peace. 

2 Teens Among Arrests Following New Haven Police Pursuit


Two 16-year-olds and one man were arrested in New Haven after the driver led police on a pursuit this week.

On Wednesday, undercover officers were in the Route 80 area, deployed to prevent any retaliation following a gunshot investigation from days earlier. 

Just before 7 p.m., someone told New Haven Police that a green Acura SUV was full of people and armed on Bouchet Lane, police said. 

Charles Brewer, 20, was identified as the driver of the Acura because of his past dealings with officers. 

Task force officers began to follow Brewer - who was accompanied by two teenage passengers - towards I-91, police said. The driver began to speed up with marked patrol cars showed up and police quickly learned that the Acura had been stolen from East Haven. 

After losing sight of the Acura after Brewer got off the interstate at exit 13N, the car was spotted by police in the Westville neighborhood at 7:20 p.m.

Brewer crashed into a utility pole on McKinley Avenue at West Elm Street shortly  after another brief pursuit with police.

While the teens stayed in the car, the 20-year-old, armed with a black colored handgun, sprinted from the immobilized SUV and led police on a search for about 15 minutes.

Police found Brewer from his hiding place in the yard of 245 Alston Avenue. 

All three suspects were taken into custody.

One teen, who was first arrested for narcotics when he was 13, had crack-cocaine and Oxycodone pills in his pocket, and was charged with second degree larceny, interfering with police and two drug crimes. 

The other teen, who has prior arrests for sexual assault, possessing child porn, risk of injury to a minor and first degree unlawful restraint, was charged with second degree larceny and interfering with a police officer. 

Brewer told police where he hid the .38 caliber Smith & Wesson he had on him earlier. He was charged with criminal possession of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit, weapon in a motor vehicle, risk of injury to a minor, reckless endangerment in the first degree, reckless driving, second degree larceny, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, engaging police in a pursuit, interfering with police and criminal trover in the second degree.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police

Propane Tank Leaks in Southington

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