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CT's First Human Case of West Nile Virus Identified for 2016


The first human case of the West Nile virus has been identified in Connecticut this year. 

The Milford resident is in their 70s and remains hospitalized after becoming ill during the fourth week of August with encephalitis.

Department of Public Health (DPH) officials said the person did not travel outside of the state before becoming ill. 

"Using insect repellent, covering bare skin and avoiding being outdoors during the hours of dusk and dawn are effective ways to help keep you from being bitten by mosquitoes," Dr. Raul Pino, commissioner of DPH, said.

West Nile virus has been detected in the state every year since 1999. During 2015, it was detected in mosquitoes collected in 24 towns. Last year, 10 confirmed human cases of West Nile were reported for residents in Bridgeport, Fairfield, Milford, New Haven and Shelton. 

More on mosquitoes and protecting against them is on the state department's website

Photo Credit: LA Times via Getty Images

Fire Breaks Out at Pheasant Farm in Salem Twice on Wednesday


There is a fire at Bordeau's Pheasant Farm in Salem for the second time on Wednesday, making it the fourth fire at the farm this month. 

Dep. Chief John Cunningham said the Gardner Lake Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene at an old 20x20-foot pheasant coop fully engulfed at 6:25 p.m.

There were 24 20-pound cylinders of propane inside the coop but they did not explode, Cunningham said. While there was some escaping gas, the fire was under control in about 45 minutes, he said.  

Earlier on Wednesday, state police were investigating three separate fires at the Bordeau’s Pheasant Farm in Salem. 

The farm is located at 343 Old Colchester Road. The first fire was reported at 1:50 p.m. on Aug. 24, a second was reported at 2:50 p.m. on Tuesday Aug. 30, and the most recent fire occurred Wednesday at 11:16 a.m.

State police said one of the structures on the now abandoned farm was destroyed.

The Salem resident trooper’s office responded to the scene and started investigating and state police detectives from the fire and explosion investigation unit responded to the scene to assist.

State police detectives from Eastern District Major Crime also responded to the scene and have taken over the investigation.

In the spring, in addition to the four fires in August, police reported two brush fires. All six fires are being investigated as suspicious. 

Anyone with information about these fires should call Detective Fratellenico at 860-465-5456, the confidential crime tip hotline at 860-465-5469, or text TIP711 with the information to 274637.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Daughter of Man Killed While Riding Wheelchair Plans Lawsuit


The daughter of a Connecticut man who was killed when he was struck by a car while driving his motorized wheelchair in Southington intends to sue the town.

According to the Notice of Claim filed on August 19, Laurie Davis said her father Raymond Lanphere was riding in the road because the condition of the sidewalks made it impossible for him to operate travel them in his wheelchair.

Lanphere, who was 77, was struck by a car on Route 1 in the Pawcatuck area of Stonington on May 25. He died of his injuries at the hospital the next day.

The notice claims that the area of the sidewalk was “uneven and pitted, consisting of elevations and depressions,” which made it impossible to navigate in the motorized wheelchair, forcing Lanphere to ride in the bike lane or breakdown lane of the road.

NBC Connecticut has reached out to the Stonington Selectmen’s Office for comment.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Parents, Teachers Want Playscape for Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford


As dozens of children returned to school this week at Capital Preparatory Magnet School (http://capitalprep.org/) in Hartford, some parents are hoping this will be the year of upgrades, including putting in a playscape for children. 

During recess, children often play tag, kick a ball, use sidewalk chalk or play in the dirt, but educators say a playscape would aid in their development. 

“We need to make sure that kids have access to activities and equipment that they want to participate and play in as opposed to standing and chatting with friends at recess,” Lee Mascolo, a physical education teacher, said. 

"Coming in from a movement break, they would be ready, they would be active, they would be engaged in learning," Maggie Rubino, a special education teacher at Capital Prep, said. 

One of those students who could benefit is Maxwell Head. 

His mother Erika said Maxwell is mildly autistic and has blossomed at Capital Prep, but a playscape would help advance his growth. 

"It helps with his development, his cognitive development, understanding things, being able to have those relationships and building them," Head said. 

Head finds it upsetting watching Capital Prep make sacrifices, like cutting eight staff positions this year, as well has having no playscape. 

"How can we have a stadium next door to us, but not have a playscape for our children to play on. It does not make any sense," Head said. 

Up to this point, the city of Hartford has contributed $102,465,164 to the Downtown North development including Dunkin Donuts Park. 

For the 2016-2017 school year, the city contributed $7 million less, for a total of $94,762,478 to the Hartford Public School District. 

“They are putting all this money into this team and they are putting a lot of effort, a lot of man power, there is even less space because now parking is even more difficult in in this area. So you have a responsibility to give back, especially to the school right next door to you. I expect that we should have a great playground and maybe the city of Hartford should try to talk to them about helping to support it,” Head said. 

A playscape would be a dream come true for students and teachers. 

"It would be incredible for our kids. The excitement, the enthusiasm we would see from the kids," Rubino said. 

"We [would] get to go on swings and slides and have fun and actually not get dirty," Wynter Anderson, a third grader from New Britain, said. 

According to the school district’s communications spokesperson, a new playground would have to come from the district’s capital improvement fund. 

NBC Connecticut has reached out to Mayor Luke Bronin several times for a comment and we are awaiting a reply. 

If you would like to donate to a playscape for Capital Prep, you can mail a check to: 

Capital Preparatory Magnet School
1304 Main St.
Hartford, CT, 06103
Memo: Playground Project

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

New Haven Police Investigate Double Homicide


Two men are dead after a shooting late Tuesday night in New Haven.  

Police were called to Dewitt Street between Putnam and Spring Streets at 10:42pm.  When officers arrived, they found two shooting victims.  
One man, believed to be in his twenties, was pronounced dead at the scene.  He has not been identified.
The second victim, 36-year-old Tyree McCrea of New Haven, was rushed to Yale New Haven hospital.  He died about an hour later.
Detectives spent the overnight hours collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses.  Assistant Chief Achilles Generoso says at this point, it appears the victims were targeted and the shootings were not random.  
There is no word right now about any possible suspects.  Anyone with information is asked to call New Haven Police. 

Police responded to Dewitt Street, between Putnam and Spring streets, at 10:42 p.m. after receiving a 911 call reporting a shooting and officers found two shooting victims. 

One man, identified as 25-year-old Dyshant Levi Mclean, of Hamden, was pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not been released.

The second victim, 36-year-old Tyree McCrea, of New Haven, was shot several times and was rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he died about an hour later.

People who knew McCrea were in shock on Wenesday morning and said he was a good man and the father of several young children. 

Detectives spent the overnight hours collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses.  

Assistant Chief Achilles Generoso said it appears the victims were targeted and the shootings were not random.  

There is no word about any possible suspects and anyone with information is asked to call New Haven Police at 203-946-6304.  


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Scattered Showers Thursday Morning


An approaching cold front will bring scattered showers tonight and tomorrow morning.

Clouds will thicken for the balance of today in advance of those showers, with highs in the middle 80s.

After the morning showers Thursday, clearing will set in with highs near 80 degrees.

High pressure will provide dry, sunny weather Friday through Saturday, with highs in the upper 70s.

It will be beautiful fair weather for the Woodstock Fair, early on in the weekend, with no humidity in sight.

That changes come Sunday, when rain and wind are expected to arrive in Connecticut.

For more on the tropical threat, click here.

After the storm passes, sunshine returns for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week with temperatures well into the 80s.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Cromwell Restaurant Closed After Car Crashes into Building


No one was injured when a car crashed into a Friendly’s Restaurant in Cromwell Wednesday morning, according to police.

Police said around 9 a.m. they responded to the Friendly’s Restaurant at 48 Berlin Road for a report of a vehicle that crashed into the building. Investigators said the driver, 65-year-old Arlene Ericksen of Cromwell, accidentally hit the accelerator, causing the vehicle to collide with a brick wall of the restaurant.

The crash caused damage to the exterior wall and parts of the interior kitchen area. Everyone left the building until emergency crews arrived to assess the situation. No injuries were reported.

The Building Inspector and Health Inspector both responded to evaluate the damage. The restaurant will remain closed until repairs can be made.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Maine Gov. Says He Will Not Resign Over Voicemail Rant


Embattled Maine Gov. Paul LePage asked the people of the state for forgiveness on Tuesday, but said he has no intention of resigning despite the controversy swirling around some of his recent remarks.

LePage did say that he has apologized for leaving an obscene rant on state Rep. Drew Gattine’s voicemail last week.

“To the Maine people, today, I am asking for forgiveness,” he said in a statement. “Comments I have expressed recently are unacceptable and I apologize sincerely for using such disrespectful language as your Governor. Also, I would like to express an apology to the Gattine family. I understand how hurtful statements affect a family and regret that my words have adversely upset your lives. For this I am sorry."

LePage said he met with Gattine privately on Wednesday morning “in an effort to bring closure for all those involved.” The governor also said he and his family will be seeking “spiritual guidance” as they move forward in finding closure themselves.

Gattine confirmed Wednesday that LePage apologized to him, but said the governor continued repeating the same talking points about drugs and race.

LePage also met with a select group of reporters on Wednesday morning. Necn and several other news outlets were not allowed in.

According to necn affiliate WCSH-TV, he said during that session that he is not an alcoholic and does not have drug or mental health problems. He also said that he is not a very good politician, but he will continue to fight for the underdog.

Photo Credit: NECN

Death of Man Found on Branford Roadside 'Suspicious': Police


Branford police are investigating after a man was found dead on the side of the road Wednesday morning.

A Branford Public Works employee found a man dead along the side of a gravel road in the area known as the Tabor property around 7:30 a.m. The victim has been identified as Joseph Miller, 28, of Branford.

Police estimated that the body had been there since yesterday evening and said that the death appears to be suspicious.

Connecticut state police Central District Major Crimes detectives, the New Haven State’s Attorney and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner are all assisting with the investigation.

Fairfield Car Chase Ends on I-95 in Milford


A car chase that started in Fairfield ended on Interstate 95 North in Milford, according to state police.

State police said they boxed in car, but no additional information was available.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Diamond of California Recalls Macadamia Nuts for Salmonella


Two macadamia nut products sold nationwide under the Diamond of California brand are being recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. 

Snyder's-Lance, Inc. said it was voluntarily recalling 4-ounce packages of Diamond of California Chopped Macadamia Nuts and 2.25-ounce packages of Diamond of California Macadamia Halves and Pieces. 

A laboratory contracted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration detected salmonella in a package of the 4-ounce chopped nuts during testing. 

There have been no reported illnesses so far. 

To locate the production code on the package, consumers should look on the front of the package. A list of the affected lots can be found here or seen below.


Consumers can apply for a full refund online here or by calling (503) 364-0399 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT, Monday to Friday.

Photo Credit: FDA

Pennsylvania Flood Leaves House Teetering, Family Stuck on Roof


Homeowners spend hours on roof waiting for rescue after floodwaters wash away home's foundation in Bullskin Township, Pennsylvania.

Meriden Officer Credited with Preventing Possible Shooting


A Meriden police officer is being credited with preventing a possible shooting early Wednesday morning.

Teleki Kindle, 24, was arrested after police said he confessed to purchasing a gun illegally and throwing it out a car window.

Meriden police said on Wednesday around 12:43 a.m., Officer Christopher Griffin was conducting checks in the area of Randolph Avenue after police received a tip that “something big was going to happen.”

Griffin noticed a blue Hyundai circle the area three times. Griffin tried to pull over the vehicle but the driver would not stop and Griffin was advised by Sgt. Michael Boothroyd to break it off.

Griffin continued to observe the vehicle from a safe distance. He lost sight of it on Columbia Street.

Another officer spotted the Hyundai and followed it. Officers pulled the vehicle over on Liberty Street by College Street. Police said they found prescription pills, marijuana, and a loaded handgun magazine in the car. There was no gun in the car.

Sgt. Boothroyd backtracked to Randolph Avenue where Griffin first noticed the car and found a .25 caliber Raven handgun in the road near John Barry Elementary School. The serial number was partially scratched off and the gun had no magazine.

According to police, Griffin began talking with the passenger, identified as Kindle, who admitted he bought the gun recently and threw it out the window that night.

Police believe the suspects were doubling back to find the gun when Griffin first observed the Hyundai.

Griffin is being credited with stopping a potential shooting. Boothroyd was also commended for finding the gun and removing it from an area where it could have been found by an elementary student.

Officers Kevin Ruane, Michael Lounsbury, Brendan Connolly and David Buck also assisted with the incident.

Photo Credit: Meriden Police Department

I-95 South Reopens in Darien


Interstate 95 south was closed in Darien because of a tanker truck fire, according to police, but is has reopened.

The highway was shut down between exits 14 and 11. 

No injuries have been reported.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Police Searching for Man Suspected of Sex Assault


State Police are asking for help from the public to find a man suspected of a sexual assault in Brooklyn in March. 

Police are looking for 25-year-old Mark Fagon and said there is a warrant charging him with first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. 

Fagon is from Hartford, but his last known address is in Brooklyn. He is reported to have relatives in Hartford and Norwich and is known to frequent Brooklyn and Vernon, according to state police. 

Anyone who knows where Fagon is or has information about his whereabouts should call your local police department, state police detectives at 860-779-4941 or text TIP711 with the information to 274637.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Senator Urges Former Volkswagen Owners to Apply for Restitution Before Deadline


Volkswagen will spend $14.7 billion to settle consumer lawsuits from the emissions cheating scandal and the deadline is quickly approaching for some to apply for restitution.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal held a news conference on Wednesday afternoon to urge drivers of cars that affected to register for the compensation soon. 

“Volkswagen owners are due thousands of dollars in restitution, but they must apply for it. For consumers who already sold their cars, they must apply immediately, before a September 16 deadline. Volkswagen willfully deceived over 11 million car owners worldwide— knowingly installing fraudulent devices to cheat emissions testing. Drivers were cheated and the environment was polluted, and now consumers should be fully compensated for this outrageous deception,” Blumenthal said in a statement. 

Owners of impacted VW models can choose between getting your car fixed to meet emissions standards or a full buy-back option at pre-scandal blue book value plus a restitution payment of as much as $2,986.73. 

Consumers who previously owned an affected vehicle but sold the car between Sept. 18, 2015 and June 28, 2016 are eligible to receive a restitution payment of 10 percent of the vehicle’s value, plus $1,493.37, but you must register with the compensation program by September 16. 

Owners who have not sold their affected vehicles have until September 2018 to apply. 

Find out more on how to make a claim online

The settlements apply only to 2.0-liter vehicles. 

The court has directed VW to continue to work on a resolution for the 3.0-liter vehicles, according to Blumenthal’s office. Owners and lessees of the affected 3.0-liter diesel vehicles do not relinquish any of their rights as to those vehicles in these settlements, but must wait for the court to decide on the details of their compensation.

Photo Credit: AP

State Trooper Involved in Crash on I-91


A state trooper has been involved in a crash on Interstate 91 North in Windsor.

The crash was reported at 1:39 p.m. and no injuries are reported.

The two left lanes are closed.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Meriden Man Took Videos of Boys at Slumber Parties: Feds


A Meriden, Connecticut man who was accused of setting up cameras around his house to record explicit video of teenage boys who he invited over for slumber parties that turned sexual has pleaded guilty to a federal charge.

Mark W. Irvin, 64, of Meriden, waived his right to indictment on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Federal officials said Irvin engaged in sexual acts with two boys under the age of 18 from 2012 to August 2015 and recorded the sexual activity.

Cameras placed throughout Irvin's house on Glen Hills Road – including in the bathroom – were constantly recording, according to prosecutors.

According to residents, Irvin handed out fliers inviting neighborhood teens to spend weekends at his house and play games that involved covering them with shaving cream and chocolate pudding.

Irvin provided the teens with alcohol, showed them pornographic movies, gave them sex dolls and touched them inappropriately, according to the warrant for his arrest. He also allegedly encouraged the boys to touch each other in sexual ways.

The neighbor who alerted police said one night she saw Irvin huddled in a backyard tent with a group of young people who were laughing and joking.

Police searched Irvin's home, seizing camcorders, computers, VHS tapes, CDs, DVDs, thumb drives and storage devices and the U.S. attorney's office said at least one contained naked photos of a 13-year-old boy.

Federal prosecutors said another teen told police Irvin "had had repeated sexual contact with him since he was 15 years old," and had watched Irvin engage in sexual activity with other boys.

Irvin will be sentenced on Nov. 23.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Pellet Gun Vandals Hit Homes, Cars in Southington


Southington residents have been waking up to their homes and cars being struck with pellets. 

One woman posted on Facebook photos of her son's car that was hit with pellets on Monday night. She said the car was also hit a couple weeks ago. 

"We heard a 'bang', like a shatter, bang," Penny Barber said her home was hit sometime after midnight on Aug. 12. She told NBC Connecticut that her front window had been completely blown out. 

Her husband had his back to the window when he heard shots happening around his head, she said. There are still visible pellet marks around the front of their house. 

Barber was the first to call about pellet gun shootings that night, but she was not the last, police told her.

Police said the one connection between all the houses were that a Southington High School student lived at the homes, according to residents. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Tesla Needs More Money to Keep Model 3 On Track


Automaker Tesla will need to raise additional capital in order to continue as planned with development of its new Model 3 sedan and its giant battery “gigafactory” in Reno, the company said Wednesday. 

The company has posted operating losses in the last 14 straight quarters, and it’s reported negative cash flow since early 2014, Reuters reported. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk admitted the company might need a “small equity capital raise” in 2017.

Still, Musk was tweeting Wednesday about an upcoming blog post on the recent developments related to Tesla’s self-driving technology.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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