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Milford Taking Steps to Improve Pedestrian Safety on Bridgeport Avenue


A serious hit and run and a 14-year-old boy struck by a car less than 48 hours apart at the end of August on Bridgeport Avenue prompted State Rep. Kim Rose to take a closer look at pedestrian safety on the busy Milford Street.

"What I discovered was there were 17 accidents in the last 10 years with four fatalities," Rose told NBC Connecticut. "We are clearly the most dangerous stretch of roadway in Milford."

Milford Police are stepping up patrols to crack down on speeding and drunk driving, Rose said.

"The street cannot accommodate the volume of traffic, this area has become more congested," Milford resident Bella DeBrum said.

Rose said she is also planning a meeting with Connecticut Department of Transportation officials about the timing of traffic signals, improving crosswalks and any other ideas to protect pedestrians on this stretch of Route 1.

"They drive like there’s no signs," John Iaffaldano said. "I think they should put speed bumps."

Iaffaldano owns a salon on Bridgeport Avenue.

"I’m really surprised there's not more accidents than there really are," he said. "I mean they literally just fly."

Police said speed was a factor in both of the August collisions.

They are still searching for the driver of the dark colored sedan who fled after striking 34-year-old Amanda Keane as she got into her car leaving work at the Bridge House Restaurant.

Anyone with information should call the Milford Police Department, Traffic Division (203) 878-5244 and reference case 4833-16.

"I knew the girl who got hit because I've been to the Bridge House many times and she’s a sweetheart," DeBrum said. "I feel awful about the whole thing."

For now, Rose is urging drivers to "slow down, obey the speed limits, pay attention to what’s going on around you."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Wal-Mart's Robot Shopping Carts Are Coming for Us All


Wal-Mart customers will be able to use a handheld device to summon an empty cart and have it whisked their way via "motorized transport unit," according to Wal-Mart's patent, granted last week. The customer's location is determined by optical sensors in the device which will receive information from smart LEDs in the store, NBC News reported.

The system's "central control circuit" will also track shopping cart idle times to see which ones are not being used and implement image sensors to make sure they're empty.

And the carts will even be able to return themselves.

Photo Credit: US Patent Office

Democratic Super PAC to Pay for Dirt on Donald Trump


Correct the Record, a well-funded super PAC Hillary Clinton's ally David Brock founded, is creating a WikiLeaks-style project to pay anonymous tipsters for scoops, which they're calling Trump Leaks, NBC News reported.

While the effort is focused on uncovering previously unreleased audio and video recordings, Brock is interested in just about anything on Trump — as long as it's new, unflattering and procured legally.

"We're chasing everything," Brock told NBC News. That could be internal documents about Trump's business empire, his tax returns or perhaps something more personal.

Posting a bounty for dirt on a political opponent is highly unusual in modern politics and seems to cross a new line in the rules of war. "We're going to extraordinary lengths because this is an extraordinary situation," Brock said.

Photo Credit: AP

13-Year-Old Fatally Shot by Police; BB Gun Found at Scene


A police officer fatally shot a 13-year-old he was trying to detain in Columbus, Ohio, following reports of an armed robbery, NBC News reported, citing officials.

Authorities identified the boy as Tyree King. The Columbus Division of Police said in a statement that King "pulled a gun from his waistband" when officers attempted to take him and another male into custody Wednesday night.

Following the shooting, police said investigators recovered a BB gun with an attached laser sight from the scene.

Police were called to a report of a group of people — including one armed with a gun — demanding money at 7:42 p.m. ET.

The incident comes almost two years after 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot dead by a police officer in Cleveland, Ohio.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Donald Trump Brushes Off Colin Powell's 'National Disgrace' Remark


Donald Trump responded on Twitter to Colin Powell's email calling the GOP presidential candidate a "national disgrace."

"I was never a fan of Colin Powell after his weak understanding of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq = disaster. We can do much better!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

In one email, the former secretary of state called Trump a "national disgrace" and "international pariah" — adding that the GOP presidential contender was "in the process of destroying himself, no need for Dems to attack him."

Photo Credit: AP

Police Search for Person Involved in Fatal East Haven Crash


Police are searching for a man who fled the scene of a fatal accident on Frontage Road in East Haven on Wednesday. 

The tan Toyota sedan crashed into a pole around noon in the Home Depot area on Frontage Road, police said. 

One of the occupants was pronounced dead at the scene and another was transported to the hospital for serious injuries, according to East Haven Police. 

The third occupant, described as a man in his late teens or early 20s, fled the scene on foot, police said. He was wearing black shorts with a blue striped shirt and blue sneakers.

The man was last seen in the wooded area between Dunkin' Donuts, 91 Frontage Road and CarMax, police said. 

It was not clear who was driving the car. Police said the car does not appear to be stolen. 

Anyone with information regarding the third occupant is asked to call East Haven Police at (203) 468-3820.

The westbound side of Frontage Road in East Haven was closed after the crash and state police said the Interstate 95 southbound exit 51 ramp was also closed.

Photo Credit: East Haven Police
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Charges Under Review in Marine Recruit Hazing Probes at Parris Island


Investigations into alleged hazing and maltreatment of recruits have found evidence of a toxic command climate at the Marines' training center at Parris Island, S.C., going back more than two years, according to Marine documents reviewed Wednesday by NBC News.

Detailed results of the investigations — one of them reviewing the alleged suicide of a new recruit in March — have been forwarded to prosecutors for "drafting of charges as warranted," according to one of the documents.

The Marine Corps said last week that the inquiries focus on three platoons of the Third Recruit Training Battalion. It said 20 training personnel had been "identified for possible military justice or administrative action," confirming a report by NBC News that the personnel — a mix of drill instructors and officers — were directly involved in hazing or had ignored evidence that it was going on.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bus Driver Who Left 5-Year-Old Student at Wrong Stop Fired


A Waterbury mother is grateful to have her son home safe after a school bus driver left the child nearly two miles from home and the bus company said they have fired the driver.

Samantha Paneto said her 5-year-old son was dropped off near the Cheshire line instead of at his usual bus stop on Monday afternoon.

"According to my son, the bus driver said 'I can't find your stop, you need to get off here,' and left him two miles away from my house," Paneto said.

Instead of leaving the Generali Elementary School kindergartner at the corner of Oldham and Manchester avenues in Waterbury, just steps from his home, Paneto and Waterbury School officials said the bus driver dropped the boy off at the last stop of the route, Byam Road, which borders Cheshire.

Paneto's son wore a bracelet indicating that he shouldn't be dropped off at all unless there is a parent there waiting for him.

"Those students are wearing these bands. That means they don't get dropped off unless there is a parent there waiting for them," Robert Brenker, interim chief operating officer, chief of staff and the director of personnel for education for Waterbury schools, said.

Paneto also said her son also had identification that included his name and address.

"He had a name tag around his neck and that tag had his name, his school bus number, our address, and the bus stop location." Paneto said.

Bus company Durham School Services released a statement saying, in part:

It is our policy to have kindergartners and first-grade students to be met by an adult, and in this circumstance it did not occur. We are taking this matter very seriously; the driver has been terminated.

Waterbury school administrators said a Cheshire police officer who was overseeing construction near the area where the boy was dropped off spotted the child and brought him to Waterbury police.

"He told me that he was a very confident kid. He had his mind set on walking home even though he had no idea where our house was," Paneto said.

While the bus company now agrees to drop Paneto's son in front of his house, mom finds it hard to shake off such a bumpy ride.

"As a parent, that's always going to stay in the back of my head," Paneto said.

Administrators said they've been using this bus company for more than three years and this driver was experienced.

They are also holding a meeting tonight to discuss what occurred.

Waterbury Police also said they are investigating to see if any criminal charges can be filed.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

1 Injured in Motorcycle Crash in Ledyard


One person has been taken to the hospital after a motorcycle crash on Indiantown Road, or Route 214, in Ledyard this morning.

No information was immediately available on the extent of the injuries.

The road is closed near Trolley Line Boulevard and a wrecker has responded. Officials are beginning to clear the scene.

Farmington Man Threatened to Kill Officers: Police


A Farmington man who is accused of threatening to kill police officers if they responded to his house has been arrested. 

Police said 56-year-old Peter Ostrowski, of the Unionville section of Farmington, was agitated while speaking to a nurse on the phone about a prescription for his elderly father, told her he ingested several drugs and that she should call the police, according to police.

Then he said he would kill any officers who responded, police said. 

As officers responded to his Webster Street home, Ostrowski was swearing at officers and tried to retreat into the house, but police took him into custody and he was sent to the hospital to be evaluated.

Ostrowski was charged with second-degree breach of peace and interfering with an officer. Police said he did not have any weapons.

He is due in court on Sept. 21.

Photo Credit: Farmington Police

TSA Bomb Sniffing Dogs Failed Tests at Major Airports: Probe


K-9 units at major airports across the country have failed important certification tests that check how accurately they can detect explosives, raising concerns over whether those teams are training enough to stay sharp and their ability to protect against threats, an NBC 5 Investigation found.

The mission of explosive detection K-9 teams is to keep bombs out of airports and off planes by screening baggage, cargo and passengers for potential threats.

According to records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act, K-9 teams failed tests at 10 U.S. airports, including Los Angeles International, Chicago's O'Hare and New York's JFK, 52 times between January 2013 and June 15, 2015.

"If a team does not meet TSA's rigorous guidelines, it is decertified and restricted from working," the TSA told NBC 5 Investigates in a statement.

NBC 5 Investigates asked for more comprehensive national figures from TSA but has not yet received them.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Warnings Issued at Bradley Airport


Travelers flying from Bradley International Airport are hearing a new announcement about Samsung’s newest smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, because of exploding batteries and fires. 

The Federal Aviation Administration “strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on-board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage." 

“In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage,” s statement on the FAA website says. 

This warning comes after more than 35 reports of fires starting from the tablet’s lithium-ion battery overheating. 

Samsung has already sold nearly 3 million of the devices and has urged users to return the phones and wait for replacements. 

Now passengers at Bradley are hearing the message as they make their way to their destinations. 

"I'd rather not have the plane blow up because your phone blows up,” Dennis O'Connor, a passenger, said. “Airplanes are pretty volatile as it is so a small explosion like that you don't know what it can trigger off." 

Airline officials said passengers are hearing this announcement more than once -- at the gate and once they get on board. 

Airline staff said the announcement is now programed into their on-board system to be read before flights. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hartford Mayor Looking for State Help to Deal With City’s Growing Financial Woes


Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin says the City of Hartford needs as much help from the state as possible to get in firm financial footing and he met Thursday with Connecticut’s Municipal Finance Advisory Commission about the city’s financial problems. 

The governor appointed the board, which specifically looks at the way the state funds the state’s 169 cities and towns, and Bronin told them the city’s deficits only get worse over the next two fiscal years. The projected deficit next year is $22 million and it grows to as much as $50 million the year after. 

The city is in the middle of labor negotiations with unions over possible concessions, but Bronin said those savings would be modest at best. 

The short-term fix for Hartford's problems is more money, but the mayor does not want to further burden tax payers who are also paying the highest property tax in the state. 

It is more than 74 mils and Bronin said he's trying to do everything possible to rule out bankruptcy for the city. 

"The one I don't think we should do is try to solve this problem simply by telling Hartford and other cities to tax those people who --- and those businesses that -- have been committed to the city even more,” Bronin said. “I don't think we should just be looking to pile on more tax burdens on those who are already taxed at a high rate."

The state of Connecticut provides more than 3 billion in grants every year to 169 cities and towns.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Sunny, Dry End to the Week


Cooler, seasonable weather has arrived in Connecticut.

Overnight low temperatures will fall into the 40s.

The majority of the state is now considered to be in a severe drought, for the first time since 2012.

Under full sunshine, Friday will feature highs in the lower and middle 70s.

Clouds will once again increase Saturday, but any shower activity will hold off until Saturday night or Sunday.

Highs temperatures will be in the upper 70s.

Showers will continue Sunday, with thunder possible. Temperatures will be around 80 degrees.

While a shower may linger into Monday morning, much of Monday features improvement with highs near 80.

Tuesday through Thursday of next week appear mostly sunny with temperatures near 80 degrees.

FSU Hand, Foot, Mouth Outbreak


Officials at Florida State University are advising all students that live on or near campus to sanitize their houses after an outbreak of a virus usually contracted by infants and toddlers.

Called hand, foot and mouth disease, the virus has struck several students who live on campus.

“We are aware of more than a dozen cases so far,” said Lesley Sacher, director of the FSU Health and Wellness Center in a university release.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a “common viral illness” usually contracted by infants and children under the age of five, but can sometimes occur in adults. There is no treatment for the the virus, which can cause mouth sores, skin rashes and fever, according to the Center for Disease Control.

But, the CDC warns, adults can show no symptoms at all and still pass the virus on to others. University officials say the infection takes about five days to run its course.

It’s a highly contagious disease that can be transmitted from person to person via direct contact with unwashed hands, by coughing and sneezing, or contact with blister fluid or surfaces contaminated with feces, the CDC said.

FSU crews have been wiping down dorms with bleach and enacting "sanitation protocols" for public spaces on campus. The university has advised those who live in fraternity and sorority houses to do the same.

“The most important piece of advice is to wash your hands often with soap and water,” Sacher said.

FSU has reached out to businesses near campus – including restaurants and bars – and encouraged them to sanitize their buildings as well.

Two New Jersey high schools are also grappling with the disease. Kinnelon High School was forced to postone its girls and boys soccer games Thursday after a recent outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease, NJ.com reported. Last week, Pequannock High School had to reschedule its season-opening football game because of a hand, foot and mouth outbreak, according to The Associated Press.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

Trump Outlines Vision for Economy


Donald Trump outlined his vision for managing the nation's economy as president on Thursday, promising that his plans to lower taxes by $4.4 trillion over a decade and cut regulations would lead to booming growth, create millions of jobs and even cut into the nation's budget deficit.

"My plan will embrace the truth that people flourish under a minimum government burden and will tap into the incredible, unrealized potential of our workers and their dreams," Trump said in a speech to the Economic Club of New York.

The Republican nominee said his plans would raise the nation's economic growth rate to at least 3.5 percent, well above its current rate of about 2 percent, and create 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years.

For Trump's plans to succeed, they would have to overcome forces in the economy, such as rising automation, an aging population and low-wage competition overseas, that have led even conservative economists to say a 3.5 percent growth rate is an improbable goal.

The U.S. economy is already creating 2.5 million jobs a year, the same pace promised by Trump over the next decade.

The heart of Trump's plan is a revised tax code, which includes a pledge that no business should pay more than 15 percent of its income in taxes, down from the current 35 percent corporate tax rate. Few businesses now pay the full 35 percent rate, taking advantage instead of many deductions in the existing tax code.


He also proposed simplifying the U.S. tax code for individuals, reducing the current seven tax brackets to three: 12 percent, 25 percent and 33 percent of income after deductions.

Trump called for the elimination of what's known as the carried interest loophole, which is used by hedge funds and other investment funds to reduce their tax burden.

As president, Trump said he would cut the number of regulations imposed by the federal government, including some that are designed to combat climate change and protect the food Americans eat. The celebrity businessman said that "excessive regulation" costs Americans nearly $2 trillion a year.

Among those he plans to target: Environmental Protection Agency regulations for coal-fired power plants and standards for ground level ozone. His campaign also said he would target the Food and Drug Administration's "food police," and rules that govern "food production hygiene, food packaging, food temperatures."

Trump said he will lift restrictions on energy production, including offshore drilling, scrap trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and implement a child care plan, including six weeks of paid maternity leave, he outlined earlier this week.

While Trump said the economic growth and some limited spending cuts would fully pay for the cost of his tax cuts, and may even allow for a reduction in the nation's federal budget deficit, critics have said his economic proposals would add as much as $10 trillion to the nation's debt over the course of a decade.

The campaign disputes those estimates. To help offset the cost of the tax cuts, he said Thursday his administration would reduce non-defense, non-safety net spending by one percent of each previous year's total. Trump said that would reduce spending by $1 trillion over a decade.

He vowed to not cut defense spending and to exempt Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid from any reductions. Yet if benefits to veterans are included as part of defense spending, the programs Trump places off limits for cuts make up nearly 70 percent of the federal budget, and it wasn't immediately clear how he would reach his spending cut goal with such programs off the table.

Such an approach also would conflict with House Speaker Paul Ryan plans for the federal budget, widely embraced by Republicans, that call for reining in the costs of programs such as Medicare and Social Security.

Photo Credit: AP

Grandma in Ohio 'Heroin' Photo Sentenced to Jail


The grandmother who was pictured in police photos passed out in an SUV from an apparent heroin overdose while her 4-year-old grandson sat in the back seatwas sentenced to 180 days in jail Wednesday, NBC News reported.

Rhonda Pasek pleaded no contest to charges of endangering a child, public intoxication and a seat belt violation. She was sent back to the Columbiana County jail, according to Gisele Stevenson, a deputy municipal court clerk in East Liverpool.

It was the latest setback for 50-year-old Pasek, who lives in West Virginia, across the Ohio River from East Liverpool. According to her sister, she has struggled with substance abuse addiction for many years.

Several days after Pasek was arrested on Sept. 7, custody of the boy was awarded to his great aunt and great uncle, who live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, officials said.

Photo Credit: East Liverpool Police Department

Route 167 in Simsbury Reopens After Crash

Trump Jr. Jokes About 'Gas Chamber' in Interview


Donald Trump Jr. made a reference to "a gas chamber" during a radio interview on Wednesday while accusing the media of being a surrogate for Hillary Clinton.

"The media has been her number one surrogate in this," he said. "Without the media, this wouldn't even be a contest, but the media has built her up. They've let her slide on every in-discrepancy, on every lie, on every DNC game trying to get Bernie Sanders out of the thing.

"If Republicans were doing that, they'd be warming up the gas chamber right now," he continued.

Trump Jr. made his comment during a radio interview with Philadelphia-based talk radio host Chris Stigall on 1210 WPHT.

Leaked emails showed that members of the Democratic National Committee played favorites during the primaries and tried to undermine U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.

Trump Jr. said that the American Left was trying to ensure that moderators were unfair to his father during the upcoming presidential debates.

Hillary Clinton's campaign released a response to the remark, calling it an example of the Trump campaign being "insensitive, divisive and reckless."

"Offensive references to the Holocaust are never acceptable, especially from a Presidential campaign," said Sarah Bard, Hillary for America's director of Jewish Outreach.

The Anti-Defamation League, which works to counter anti-Semitism around the world, tweeted that trivilization of the Holocaust and gas chambers "is NEVER okay" and called on Trump Jr. to retract his comment. 

The Trump campaign issued a statement in light of the media coverage on Wednesday afternoon, saying Trump Jr. "was clearly referring to capital punishment to make the case that the media continues to take words out of context."

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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New Report Details Construction Problems at Dunkin Donuts Park


Dunkin Donuts Park in Hartford is now projected to cost more than $71 million after the architect reported several deficiencies with the construction progress. 

Pendulum released a constructuion status report on Thursday and said they found many problems with the baseball statdium. 

The city's audit commission projects the entire construction for the stadium and infrastructure improvements related to it could top out at about $120 million.

According to the architecht's report, the ballbark had rusting rebar, cracking stairs, honeycombing, chipping concerete and improperly installed drains. 

"Looking at the side of the dugout wall, there is a large crack where the dugout roof meets the wall behind. Concrete designed to be continuous, free of cracks and honeycombing," the report reads about the dugout area. 

The report comes after Mayor Luke Bronin said there is an agreement with Arch Insurance to complete Dunkin’ Donuts Park in time for the beginning of the Hartford Yard Goats' next season in April 2017.

The park was supposed to be finished by the beginning of the 2016 baseball stadium, in time for the beginning of the Yard Goats inaugural season, but there were delays and the city ultimately fired the developer.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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