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Companies Providing Space Funeral Services


Space funerals are no longer a thing of science fiction. Companies such as Celestis and Elysium Space offer space funerals, NBC News reported.

Celestis, a subsidiary of Houston-based aerospace company Space Services, offers an array of options for those who want to launch human remains in space. And these voyages range in price, depending on how far in the celestial heavens you want to go.

Its most popular services, which place remains into payloads on third-party commercial rockets, are Earth Rise, where cremated remains are transported suborbitally for a cost of $1,295 and returned to Earth; and Earth Orbit, where remains travel around the Earth and then released into space for a fee of $4,995.

It also plans to offer a DNA service for those who don't choose cremation next year. The company will take a person's DNA sample and bond it with a silica-type agent to create a fillable capsule that can be transported into space.

Photo Credit: AP

Norwalk Residents Asked to Voluntarily Reduce Water Usage


Norwalk is declaring a water emergency and asking residents to reduce their water usage. 

The First District Water Department and the South Norwalk Electric and Water Company are asking their customers to voluntarily reduce water usage amid dry conditions because of the lack of rainfall.

This Water Emergency is effective on October 9, 2016 and will remain in effect until reserves reach an acceptable level. The following activities are unlawful during the Water Emergency:

1. Sprinkling, watering, or irrigating shrubbery, trees, lawns, grass, ground cover, plants and flowers except when these items are intended for sale, is prohibited.

2. Washing automobiles, trucks, trailers, or boats except at automated facilities using no more than 45 gallons of potable water per vehicle is prohibited.

3. Washing or flushing walks, driveways, pavement, porches, or other outdoor surfaces is prohibited.

4. Use of fire hydrants for purposes other than the protection of public safety by a public agency is prohibited

5. Filling or draining ponds or lakes used for private or public recreational purposes is prohibited.

6. Knowingly allowing leaking plumbing fixtures is prohibited.

Photo Credit: AP

Wilbur Cross Reopens After Truck Fire


The northbound side of the Wilbur Cross Parkway was closed in Meriden because of a truck fire, but it has reopened.

The road was closed between the Interstate 91 ramp and the Interstate 691 ramp 

Heavy smoke was visible in the area.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Tensions High for Connecticut Natives Living in Florida


Some Connecticut natives who have relocated to Florida were forced to evacuate, while others decided to stay in their homes, and their family members here at home are concerned about them and hoping for the best. 

Jaimee Chiat, a Trumbull native who now lives in Boynton Beach, Florida, lives about 30 miles south of Palm Beach and said part of her town was evacuated, but not her section and she decided to stay in her townhome.

"I am getting a little nervous," Jaimee Chiat told NBC Connecticut via Skype on Thursday night. "Tonight is going to be scary. This is my fourth hurricane since I’ve been down here and this is one that’s going to be most impactful."

She said there has been a lot of traffic in Boynton Beach as people tried to get all the materials they needed before the storm hit. Chiat describes grocery stores with bare aisles.

One Bloomfield resident, Lera Little said her former daughter-in-law, whom she still considers a daughter, and her two grandchildren live in Orlando and school was closed on Thursday and is closed Friday as well.

Her grandchildren said the winds had picked up and they were told they could stay in their homes, but should not go outside.

Little said she knows how dangerous hurricanes can be because she faced one while living in Jamaica.

"I went through Gilbert in 1988 the year before I came to United States to live, and I lost my entire roof. And it was extremely fearful, and that was a Category three so Category four is worse," she said.

Her former daughter-in-law is a veteran and is volunteering overnight at the VA Hospital in Orlando while Little's grandchildren and their stepfather stay at home.

She said the family has been buying items in preparation for the storm since last week and promised they'd call when it's all over.

Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

'Dinosaurs' Play During Hurricane Matthew


Hurricane Matthew and the fear of strong winds didn't keep these two people from having fun on a beach in Stuart, Florida, on Oct. 6, 2016, in some interesting outfits.

Route 7 in Danbury Reopens After Serious Crash


State Police closed both sides of Route 7 in Danbury because of a serious crash, but the road has reopened.

The northbound and southbound sides of Route 7, or Sugar Hollow Road, were closed near Wooster Heights Road.

No additional information was immediately available.

Dramatic Video Shows SUV Bust Through Road Signs During Police Chase


Texas police were led on a wild police chase in Dallas County Thursday, as the fleeing driver jumped curbs, crossed medians and rammed through signs before crashing into a fence.

A Dallas police helicopter began tracking the black SUV after a report that the vehicle was stolen. Garland police joined the pursuit when the SUV crossed into their city limits.

The SUV lost control while cutting across a large median near Audelia Road and Skillman Street in Dallas. The vehicle careened through street signs and narrowly missed several other vehicles before slamming into a fence.

Officers surrounded the SUV and arrested the driver, who has not been identified.

Additional information was not immeditately available.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Manhunt Underway in Madison for Robbery Suspect


Police are asking Madison residents to stay inside with the doors locked and special precautions are being taken at two schools as police search for a man wanted on robbery charges in Ohio and Michigan.

Police are searching in the area of Route 80 and Walnut Hill Road for Francis Sumner, who jumped out of a stolen RV around 7 a.m. Friday and fled into the woods, according to police. 

Brown Middle School and Ryerson Elementary School have both been placed in precautionary mode because of police activity in the area. No one is allowed to enter or leave the schools until police give the all clear.

It’s not clear if Sumner is armed. 

Police also said K9s and aircraft will be operating in the area as well.

Sumner is 5-feet-9 and weighs about 170 pounds.

Photo Credit: Madison Police and NBCConnecticut.com

'Waffle House Index' Goes Red as 25 Stores Shutter


For most restaurants, closing during a major storm would only seem sensible. But when a Waffle House shuts its doors, even disaster specialists take notice.

In light of Hurricane Matthew, 25 Waffle House locations in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina have shuttered. Thursday evening, Waffle House announced on Twitter that all restaurants between Titusville and Fort Pierce, Florida, would not be up and running during the hurricane, after previously promising to continue operations. It updated the list Friday to include even more storefronts.

Waffle House has such a notorious record of staying open during natural disasters that the Federal Emergency Management Agency unofficially analyzes the chain's activity to know how severe a storm is. The closure of even one location is significant.

FEMA's "Waffle House Index" monitors House closures, focusing on the aftermath of storms and other disasters. Following Hurricane Irene in 2011, for example, only one Waffle House in Virginia was closed the day after 22 locations lost power. That signaled to FEMA where to concentrate its resources.

People seem more affected by Waffle House's announcement than any made by local officials. Fox News host Todd Starnes tweeted, "Folks, when they shut down the Waffle House -- it's time to leave town." Another Twitter user wrote, "You know it’s serious when Waffle House shuts down." After Waffle House reported more closures this morning, Scott Klein, deputy managing editor at ProPublica, said that FEMA's "Waffle House index" for Hurricane Matthew had moved to red.

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Suspect in Woodbridge Bank Robbery in Custody


One person is in custody after an armed bank robbery in Woodbridge that led to a foot chase into Orange and a school lockdown, according to state police. 

The bank robbery was at TD Bank in Woodbridge and the robber had a gun, according to state police, who are assisting in the investigation. 

They said police from Orange and Woodbridge chased the person in the area of a country club in Orange and one person is now in custody.

Police said the Racebook School in Orange was in lockdown and Amity Junior High Middle School and Hebrew Day School on Derby Avenue were ordered to shelter in place. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Suspect in Cemetery Statue Theft Arrested


Police said they found more than a dozen statues and they are not sure where the other statues are from. 

Police have arrested a man who is accused of stealing religious statues from a cemetery in Southington. 

Several statues have been stolen from headstones at St. Thomas Cemetery over the last year and police said James Gill, 43, of Meriden, is accused of stealing three of them. 

The statues range from two- to four-feet high and were made of hand-carved marble. Each has an estimated value of $2,300 to $6,000. 

Police said they have found 15 statues and have identified three that were stolen from St. Thomas Cemetery. Gill is accused of selling all three, according to police. 

The Southington Police Department’s Special Investigation Unit arrested Gill Thursday and he has been charged with three counts of third-degree larceny, three counts of interference with a cemetery and three counts of unlawful possession or sale of gravestones. 

Gill, who was incarcerated at the Hartford Correctional Facility, was held on $50,000 and turned back over to Hartford Correctional. 

Police are still investigating the case and trying to connect the other statues to theft reports in the area. 

Anyone with information about the case should call Officer John Marenholz at 860-378-1648 or email jmarenholz@southingtonpolice.org.

Photo Credit: Southington Police

Transgender High School Students File Suit in Pennsylvania


Three transgender Pennsylvania high school students are suing the Pine-Richland school district over new restroom rules that require students to use restrooms corresponding to their "biological sex."

Abundance of Clouds Saturday Leads to Brighter Sunday


High pressure will dominate Connecticut's weather for the foreseeable future, with the only exception being a cold front on Saturday.

Full sunshine will couple with temperatures in the middle 70s Friday.

The cold front will come through later on Saturday, but it should be a mainly dry passage. As a result, expect an abundance of clouds with perhaps a stray shower later in the day.

While clouds may linger early Sunday, sunshine will increase throughout the day. High temperatures will be in the middle 60s.

The drought is bound to get worse in Connecticut, given that no beneficial rain is in sight over the next 10 days.

In fact, no rain at all is in the forecast from next Monday through Friday, and temperatures are forecast to be above average, nearing 70 degrees by midweek.

Hurricane Matthew Brings Price Gouging


As Hurricane Matthew barreled up the coast of Florida, many found themselves facing gouged prices at hotels and gas stations, according to "Today's" investigative reporter. 

Some retailers are taking advantage of the crisis by raising prices on necessities as people scramble to take cover or evacuate, officials said. 

A room at one Days Inn that would normally be priced at $52 was going for $200. Some gas stations are also being accused of charging more than $8 per gallon and water cases are being sold by vendors for more than $30 each.

Price gouging is being investigated by the state's attorney general's office. 

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Man Injured in Hit-and-Run in New Britain, Police Searching for Driver


A 55-year-old man was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in a parking lot in New Britain just before 8 p.m. Thursday and police are searching for the car.

Police said the man was walking in the back parking lot of 75 Arch St. when he was hit and he sustained serious injuries.

Police have not found the car and said they are looking for a light two-tone sedan.

Anyone with information that could help police is asked to call 860-826-3071.

Photo Credit: New Britain Police

Life-Threatening Injuries Reported in Crash on Route 8 in Trumbull

FL Residents from CT OK After Hurricane Matthew


Two Connecticut families who now live in Florida have no power, but they are grateful to be OK after Hurricane Matthew struck, leaving damage it is track. 

Barbara Plasse, who now lives in Stuart, Florida, said the wind and the rain were coming in every direction and they couldn’t get out their front door because the wind was so strong. 

Her family lives about 45 minutes north of West Palm Beach and her husband, Chris, put up storm shutters, then they all hunkered down and rode out the storm. 

“We thought, ‘OK, we’ll put our shutters on and we’ll be good.’ As they kept talking about it on the news, I started to panic a little and wished that we had left. In hindsight now, we did perfectly fine. We have very minor landscape damage,” Barbara Plasse said. 

The storm was especially bad in the Daytona Beach area, bringing strong winds and heavy rain. 

“The rain really was pelleting you. It almost felt like little pellets because of how fast the rain is coming down,” said Heidi Voight’s brother-in-law, Todd Borselle-Allen, who lives with his husband, Gary, in Deland, Florida, about 30 minutes from Daytona Beach. 

They lost power overnight, along with hundreds of thousands of other people. 

Todd and Gary prepared by placing sandbags around their back porch and stocking up on food and water, but said it was difficult to ride out the storm in the dark. 

“You hear trees falling down in the background and you just don’t know if it’s coming toward the house or going away from the house because you can’t see anything,” Todd Borselle-Allen said. 

Sex Offender Exposed Himself to Children at Daycare: Police


A sex offender living next door to a daycare in West Haven has been arrested after he was accused of exposing himself in front of young children while watching them play, according to police. 

Police arrested Lawrence Kelly, 46, Thursday after the owner of the Babies and Toddlers Home Daycare on Admiral Street called police around 2:45 p.m. to report a man exposed himself to her and the children in her daycare.

"I was scared. I was so scared," Marilyn Velazquez, the owner of the daycare, said. "I grabbed all the children and I came right inside with the kids."

Velazquez said she brought the children outside to enjoy the warm weather and play outside and that's when she saw Kelly, who was standing outside and staring at the children as they played.

"He got startled, the jacket flew open and that's when he was actually exposed," Velazquez said.

Officers found Kelly behind the daycare, where the backyards join, and charged him with public indecency, risk of injury to a child and breach of peace, police said. 

Valzquez said she does not think the children saw Kelly expose himself and she plans to put up security cameras and might put up a fence as well to block the view into her yard.

Kelly lives behind the school, according to police, and Velazquez said she didn't know that he was on the sex offender registry.

"I had no clue," she said. "This is a man who said 'hi' and "good morning' and would keep walking."

Police said said there is no state statute that uniformly stops sex offenders from living near a daycare or a school. Each case is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Sex offenders are, however, required to notify authorities of a new address within three days of moving, but Kelly's address was listed as being in New Haven even though he's lived in West Haven for nearly a year, police said.

Kelly was held on bond. NBC Connecticut went to Kelly's home for comment, but there was no answer. The case is not yet listed in the online docket and it's not clear if he has an attorney.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police

Waves Rush Against House in Palm Coast, Florida


Grant Lynch’s home security camera captured what seemed like a relatively quiet scene — until waves rushed against the glass of his home south of Marineland on the Palm Coast of Florida. A fire alarm goes off in the background.

Photo Credit: Grant Lynch

Flood Waters Overtake Florida Seawall


Andrew Cady was driving away from flooding water as he shot this video in Fort Castillo in St. Augustine, Florida. “The seawall is now totally overrun and the city is flooding. Please pray for those who did not heed the evacuation warning,” Cady said.

Photo Credit: Andrew Cady
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