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Man Crashes Through Gate After Getting Locked Into Park


A man accused of smashing his car though a locked gate to get out of Ocean Beach Park in New London last night said he got “scared” when he saw he was locked in and smashed his way out, according to police.

Police were called to the park on Ocean Avenue just before 9:30 p.m. Thursday and the caller reported someone smashed through the gate and provided a description of the vehicle.

An officer who was assisting with a separate investigation downtown saw a vehicle matching the description pull into a convenience store parking lot on Bank Street and went to speak with the man.

The suspect in the gate crashing, identified as 32-year-old Hector Santiago, of Wauregan, was trying to fix a damaged part of his car.

Police said Santiago told them he had gone to Ocean Beach Park to fish from the beach and went to leave the park, but noticed he was locked in and he became "scared" so he drove his car through the fence to get out.

Park employees estimate it will cost $2,000 or more to fix the fence.

Santiago was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, evading responsibility and first-degree criminal mischief.

Santiago was released on a $1,000 bond and is due in court on Oct. 27.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

1 of 16 Inmates Taking Classes at Asnuntuck College Removed


One of the 16 inmates taking a course in manufacturing technology at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield has been removed, the Department of Correction (DOC) said. 

The inmate was removed from the federal pilot program earlier this semester for violating computer usage guidelines and accessing social media, according to the DOC. 

In August, nearing the end of their sentences, 16 prison inmates started the program at Asnuntuck Community College, where they were to learn how to program precision tools. The federal pilot program, funded by pell grants, allows inmates to learn how to use the the proper equipment, like drill presses, lathes and 3-D printers.

"These are low level offenders who have been assessed as low-risk and we believe they will do well in the education programs there," Scott Semple, the state correction commissioner, said when the program launched.

When the inmates leave the Cybulski rehabilitation center, they are escorted escorted into the classroom at Asnuntuck, which have bathrooms attached.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

3 Connecticut Movie Theaters Screening Presidential Debate


Select Regal Cinema theaters will be screening the final presidential debate this week, including three locations in Connecticut.

The theater said it is "excited to offer voters, debate teams, political science classes or regular Joes the chance to watch Clinton and Trump" on "the big screen".

Regal Cinema theaters in Connecticut screening the debate on Oct. 19:

Regal Brandford Stadium 12
325 E Main St.
Branford, Connecticut

Regal Brass Mill Stadium 12
Brass Mill Center, 495 Union St.
Waterbury, Connecticut

Regal Stonington 10 
85 Voluntown Rd.
Pawcatuck, Connecticut

A free small drink with purchase of popcorn will be offered.

Photo Credit: NBC OTS

Man Threatens to Kill Troopers After Car Is Towed: Police


A Wethersfield man is accused of threatening to kill a state trooper he blamed for having his car towed, according to state police.

State police said a trooper stopped 24-year-year Thomas Eldridge, of Wethersfield, Thursday on Interstate 91 North in Windsor and cited him for a variety of vehicular offenses, including misuse of plates, tinted windows, an insurance violations and failure to drive in the proper lane.

The driver who towed Eldridge's vehicle later called state police to report the man made several comments about shooting and killing a state trooper, police said.

State police said they determined Eldridge made several threatening statements, indicating he wanted to physically injure the trooper who issued the ticket and arrested him at his home.

Eldridge was charged him with inciting injury to persons or property, second-degree breach of peace and second-degree threatening and held while he was unable to post the $100,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

American Flight Academy: Aviation Community Invited to Join Mourning


The school of the deceased flying student who intentionally downed a plane in East Hartford this week is inviting the aviation community to join them in mourning. 

"Those that want to tell or hear stories, those that need to be comforted, those that can help are all invited," American Flight Academy wrote on its Facebook on Friday.

On Tuesday, the student pilot identified as Feras M. Freitekh and the instructor Arian Prevella got into some kind of argument or struggle while flying a twin-engine plane, a law enforcement official told NBC News. Freitekh was at the controls during the time of the crash, the official said. 

Prevalla, the owner of American Flight Academy in Hartford, escaped from the burning plane and treated at the hospital. Freitekh was found dead inside the charred remains of the plane, officials said. 

The Facebook post from the school noted that it will not be commenting on the accident, but instead, wanted to focus on the grief linked to the tragedy. 

"I would like to look inward to our aviation community to help us grieve for the loss of a young man that so many loved and cared about. We will never understand why he did what he did," the post reads.

"It is difficult to look back and think to ourselves, 'what could I have done?' The answer to that question is 'nothing'." 

The school explains how members of the aviation community fly for different reasons: delivery packages, transporting people, conducting flight training, or recreational flying. 

"Everday people look up and see airplanes in the sky."

The statement says that most people do not know the complexities of keeping an aircraft operating safely, which is why people often want to find a "villain" for incidents like the East Hartford crash. 

"Since something like this is so rare it is easy to want to point fingers and try to find a reason for the madness. People that don’t know any better want to find, or create, a villain that almost never exists."

The school calls on members of the aviation community to mourn and support each other. Grief counselors will be made available for anyone, the school said. 

Contact the Hartford Jet Center for information on a time and date of the event and leave a name and how many people will be attending.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Fugitive NH Murder Suspect Arrested in Conn.


A fugitive wanted for murder in Manchester, New Hampshire, was arrested Friday morning in New Britain, Connecticut, U.S. Marshals have announced.

Authorities confirm 23-year-old Maldonado Cancel has been charged with second degree murder.

A warrant had been issued for Cancel's arrest after 25-year-old Jonathan Vazquez-Ojeda was shot to death on Sept. 14.

U.S. Marshals Fugitive task Forces in Connecticut and New Hampshire responded with Homeland Security and New Britain Police to capture Cancel in New Britain. He has been charged as a fugitive from justice and will be returned to New Hampshire.

It was not immediately clear if Cancel had an attorney or the exact date authorities intended to extradite him.

Photo Credit: Manchester Police/Facebook

A Quick and Dirty Guide to Polls for the 2016 Election


This election, polls have been center stage and often come under fire.

Donald Trump has mentioned online polls, for example, only to have them be contested as falsified, irrelevant, unethical, or out-of-context. But even more respected polls have been all over the map, with most showing a Clinton lead but by vastly different margins.

What explains this variation? How are polls conducted, and what makes for a trustworthy survey? Here's a look into polling during the 2016 election season. 

But first, an introduction.

How Are Polls Conducted?
In 2016, most polls are done either online or over the phone. Pollsters use a sample size — a group meant to represent the larger population — to project how American citizens will vote in November. They come up with unique definitions of their populations: some survey registered voters, others likely voters, and others the adult population. "Likely voters" is an especially tricky category, as pollsters have to define what that means by measuring the enthusiasm of their respondents. 

And low response rates make it difficult for pollsters to get a truly random sample, experts said. 

"No poll is perfect," said Andrew Gelman, political science and statistics professor at Columbia University. "Response rates are typically less than 10 percent. So every poll needs to adjust the sample to match the population in some way."

Because the polls aren’t random, biases based on the sample taint the data.

Polls often differ because their samples vary.

"Who responds to a poll changes from one day to a next," Gelman said. "Different people are home. Different people are likely to respond."

When one of the parties is especially mobilized, its candidate will often experience a bump in the polls that doesn’t necessarily represent a change in public opinion. For example, after the Republican National Convention, Trump saw a perceived increase in support, and Hillary’s lead jumped immediately after the DNC. 

Polling can also prove a self-determining process because if a candidate is thought to be winning, more of his or her followers will take the time to answer a survey, which changes the polling summary.

"Recently, there’s been a big shift towards Hillary Clinton in the polls, and I think that does represent a real shift in public opinion, and I think there are people who have changed their vote intention," Gelman said. "But also, now that the news is looking better for Clinton, I think more Clinton supporters are likely to respond to polls. And now that the news is not looking so good for Trump, I think Trump supporters are less likely to respond." 

Gelman said this year's elections have proved different than those from the past. With Trump’s leaked 2005 video footage about sexual assault and subsequent Republican fall-out, things are becoming increasingly unclear.

"It’s really very hard for me as a political scientist to try to identify how important things like a split of the Republican party would be because historically, when we’ve had these kinds of splits, it’s typically been when the economy was going so strongly that basically everybody wanted to stay with the incumbent," Gelman said. "All sorts of things could happen. Presumably the most likely thing is that Clinton will win by a little bit more than 4 percent, but not a landslide. But it’s just hard to know because this is not something that we’ve really seen before."

And now, a deeper look at 2016 polling data, broken into three types: aggregated predictions, statistically relevant polls and unscientific surveys.

1. Aggregated Predictions 
Aggregated predictions are not polls, but analysis of available polling data to predict who is most likely to win the election.

Example: FiveThirtyEight
How It's Done: Nate Silver aggregates polling data to predict the outcome of the elections based on a model set months before. He forecasts the probability that each candidate will win in November and offers three options to interpret his predictions.

"It’s one way of us telling readers, 'Hey, we don’t have all the answers on this. Here’s a couple of different ways you can do it,'" said Micah Cohen, politics editor at FiveThirtyEight.

As of Oct. 14, all three of FiveThirtyEight's models give Hillary Clinton more than an 80 percent chance of winning the election.

The three forecasts are based on all polling data that the FiveThirtyEight team considers legitimate. They've banned a few pollsters because of "really compelling evidence that they’re faking polls or that they’re doing something else really shady," according to Cohen.

But FiveThirtyEight doesn't treat all polls equally. Silver has rated each poll, and those with higher grades are weighted more in the model. Cohen explained that grades are based on "how accurate… the pollster (has) been in the past" and "how methodologically sound" the pollster is. Silver relies more heavily on state polls because historically they've been right more often. 

The model makes predictions based on likely voters, a category Silver lets the pollsters define for themselves.

Strengths: According to Cohen, "The most basic strength is it does in a systematic and unbiased way what everyone is doing anyway."

Decades before FiveThirtyEight was conceived in 2008, politically active citizens were still trying to combine and decipher polls to predict who would win elections. Silver’s model is impartial, and so it should be more on point than subjective interpretations.

Silver was one of the most accurate pollsters during the 2012 elections, predicting every state in the union correctly.

Weaknesses: Statistical models improve with more data. Because presidential elections only happen every four years, FiveThirtyEight doesn’t have a ton of historical data to determine its model.

"We don’t know that much about how presidential elections work, and so we’re kind of limited by the sample size," Cohen said.

And then there’s the fact that, like many analysts, Silver was blindsided by a Trump Republican nomination. As Gelman said, this isn’t your typical election, and the polling data might not play by the same rules that led to correct FiveThirtyEight predictions in 2008 and 2012. 

Similar resources: The Upshot by The New York Times

2. Statistically Relevant Polls 
The most common polls during election season are conducted by polling organizations, often with a media partner, to predict the outcome of a race. The polls have a stastical basis, and pollsters typically release details on methodology and an expected margin of error. 

Example: Marist Institute for Public Opinion Poll
How It’s Done: Marist conducts both state and national polls, with live callers phoning both mobile phones and land lines. Lee M. Miringoff, the institute’s director, said that his team is in the field nearly every day.

Used by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, the Marist poll earned an "A" on FiveThirtyEight’s pollster rankings, correctly predicting 88 percent of the 146 polls Silver’s team analyzed.

A new poll released on Oct. 10 had Clinton up by 14 points in a two-party race and leading Trump by 11 points when third and fourth party candidates were introduced.

Each poll starts with a sample size of approximately 1,100 adults 18 and older. For national polls, Miringoff determines how many voters to call in each state from the state’s population and relative weight in the election. His probability model is based on likely voters, so first he must find out if the person on the line is registered to vote. Then, he asks a series of questions to gauge how likely they are to cast a ballot. Even if someone is unlikely to vote, they’re included in the model — their vote just weighs less. 

"In polling, not all opinions are created equally," Miringoff said. "The ones who are going to vote are the ones you are most interested in finding out about."

Miringoff can ensure that his data is fitting with the U.S.’ demography by comparing census calculations with his own. He emphasized that the polls represent how the American people feel in the moment. A poll before and after one of the debates might not look the same.

"It’s all about timing. When you’re dealing with an election, it’s a moving target," he said. "This campaign has been one of ups and downs at different times, usually after an important event."

Strengths: By using two different methods — landlines and cellphones — Miringoff offsets bias from both (though not bias from only using calling). Younger people are more likely to pick up their iPhones, whereas older voters might still have a landline, so Marist’s polling takes into account different demographics based on the media they use. The team is also able to take note of how many people own cell phones versus landlines in each state and distribute polling to reflect that — one state may be 80 percent cells and 20 percent landlines, while another is 60 percent and 40 percent.

Weaknesses: The model takes time and costs money. A post-debate poll, for example, might last four days. Meanwhile, some pollsters are releasing data the night of the debate. Miringoff said that those polls will be skewed, as most responses will come from those impassioned to weigh in after 10:30 p.m. on the East Coast. But they’re fast.

Also, refusal rate (which includes people who aren’t home or whose numbers don’t work) is pretty high. These days, it’s hard to get someone to agree to take a survey over the phone. “Clearly it’s become a more difficult process,” Miringoff said.

Similar resources: Quinnipiac University, Gallup, CBS News/New York Times 

Example: UPI/CVoter Poll
How It’s Done: The UPI/CVoter poll is one of two mainstream polls that has often predicted a Trump victory or shown a nearly tied election (the other is the University of Southern California/ Los Angeles Times poll). Both polls use last vote recall, where pollsters ask respondents who they voted for in the last presidential election to gauge how many voters are switching parties or won’t vote at all after participating in the last election. According to Yashwant Deshmukh of CVoter, last vote recall accounts for the Trump lead in his past predictions. However, UPI’s latest data shows Clinton with a comfortable lead

CVoter has a "C+" on Silver’s pollster ratings. 

After using a phone model in 2012, CVoter has moved online for 2016, experimenting with multiple platforms (like SurveyMonkey, Google, etc.) to garner about 250 responses per day. Internet users are incentivized to answer. Boosters focus on specific demographics — for example, one survey is in Spanish, exclusively targeting Latino voters. 

CVoter measures likely voters by simply asking, "How likely are you to vote?" Its cut-off model removes unlikely and undecided voters from the equation. Like Marist, CVoter polls nationally based on population per state. 

Strengths: It’s fast. UPI can update predictions with the data from 250 responses every day.

Weaknesses: Because the poll is online and compensated in some way, it’s tainted with participation bias — tendencies that skew the data.

"It is not a random probability sample," Deshmukh said. "Nobody claims that."

Deshmukh conceded that he’s "not a big fan of online samples," and if possible, he would have chosen a calling model with both landlines and mobiles. However, using automated dialers to call cells is illegal in the United States, and hand-dialing each number would make the process too expensive, he said. 

Also, there’s a reason why most pollsters don’t use last vote recall — it relies on people remembering actions from four years ago, and respondents may misreport.

Deshmukh did not directly address his company's "C+" rating on FiveThirtyEight.

Similar resources: YouGov, Reuters/Ipsos, Google Consumer Surveys

3. Unscientific Surveys
Unscientific surveys are Internet-based polls that ask the user - anyone who comes to the site - to indicate their preference. They can quickly get feedback on a real-time event, such as a debate or a political convention. 

Example: The First Debate

The day after the first 2016 presidential debate, Trump tweeted out that his "movement" had won the night before. He included an image with 10 polls all showing him as the victor. However, national polls conducted during the week following the debate implied a bump in Clinton's overall popularity. 

So why did 10 polls indicate that she had lost the debate?

Websites like Drudge Report and CNBC launched surveys to try to monitor how each candidate performed. They were unscientific, in that they didn't use any controls. Forget categories like "likely" or "registered" voters -- anyone from around the world could respond, and if someone used proxies, the user could get into the survey multiple times. Also, as Miringoff noted, the East Coast respondents would only be those who were fired up and and would not be representative of national opinion. 

Strengths: Unscientific polls yield nearly immediate results. As Gelman said, “People want to click every day, so you have to have something new."

Weaknesses: There is absolutely no evidence that they're believable.  

What It All Means
According to Cohen, data from the last 15 presidential campaigns indicate that polls don't move much between October and Election Day. So based on current polls, the U.S. is is more likely to elect its first female president on Nov. 8. 

But the final tally will probably be close, Gelman said. In the end, what matters is which "likely voters" turn up to the voting booths. 

“There is evidence that there’s higher turnout in close elections," Gelman said.

And polls are subject to human error and can be wrong, as Cohen pointed out. 

“These are tools built by very fallible people,” he said. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Ginsburg Walks Back Comments on NFL Anthem Protests


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg backed off her recent comments criticizing NFL players who protest the national anthem before games. In a statement released to NBC News Friday, Ginsburg said she should not have commented on the protests at all.

“Barely aware of the incident or its purpose, my comments were inappropriately dismissive and harsh,” the statement read. “I should have declined to respond.”

When asked during a recent Yahoo News interview with Katie Couric, Ginsburg said of the ongoing protests, “I think it’s dumb and disrespectful.”

“I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do,” she told Couric, but added that she “wouldn’t lock up a person for doing it.”

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the wave of protests when he declined to stand during the pre-game performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before a preseason contest against the Green Bay Packers in August. He explained that he was protesting the national anthem to draw attention to the oppression of black people and other minorities, and particularly to police brutality toward black people.

Since Kaepernick’s move, athletes from the NFL and beyond have continued the movement. The NFL has said that players are encouraged but not required to stand during the anthem.

Photo Credit: Getty Images (File)
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How Michelle Obama Is Redefining the Role of First Lady


First lady Michelle Obama's stump speech for Hillary Clinton on Thursday won widespread praise for running Donald Trump's rhetoric about women through the mud, with one magazine calling it "this election's most important speech."

NBC News reports that, despite initally being considered a potential liability for her husband, Obama now polls as one of the most beloved and trusted figures in the United States.

Her involvement in the 2016 campaign marks a departure from some recent first ladies, like Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan, yet her reported reluctance to become a political spouse separates her from Hillary Clinton.

"There has never been anything quite like this," said author Kate Andersen Brower, who was "stunned" by how emotional Obama's speech was and expects Obama to leave a big mark on the position for years to come. 

Photo Credit: Ivan Gonzalez
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Mother, Daughter Assist People Trapped in Shelton Rollover Crash


A mother and daughter from Ansonia jumped into action Friday morning to help three people trapped in a single car crash on Route 8 in Shelton.

During the morning rush around 7:30 a.m., Janet Roberge was driving on Route 8 near exit 11.

"Came upon the commotion of the accident, stopped, I called it in," she said.

Next, Roberge and her daughter Rhiannon didn’t hesitate to help.

"That’s somebody’s family member, could have been mine," Roberge said, "Could have been anybody’s and I have a conscious. I couldn’t drive by without helping."

The Roberges said a few other people had pulled over on the side of the highway.

"They didn’t know what to do, they were too shaken up themselves, like how do we get the car open," Rhiannon said.

But Rhiannon came up with a way.

"With my mom’s crowbar," she said. "I just smashed the window and I just climbed through the back windshield."

Janet said she focused on caring for the unconscious man in the driver’s seat.

"I assisted with keeping the gentleman’s airway up," she explained. "Holding his neck."

As Connecticut State Police and Shelton first responders arrived, both tried keeping the driver’s wife and sister-in-law calm.

"Letting them know like you guys are going to be OK," Rhiannon said. "Everything’s going to work out, we’re going to get you the right help."

Emergency personnel utilized the Jaws of Life to remove the SUV’s smashed doors.

"That’s the one sound I never want to hear again, near my ears, the Jaws of Life," Janet said.

The three injured people who survived the rollover were rushed to Bridgeport hospital. A hospital spokesperson told NBC Connecticut the husband and wife were admitted with serious injuries. An update on the third passenger’s condition was not available.

Neither Janet nor her daughter considers their actions heroic.

“If more people stopped and took care of each other, the world wouldn’t be the way it is today,” Janet said.

State Police are investigating the cause of the car accident.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Former US Senator Lieberman: Trump's Rise 'Inevitable'


Former Connecticut U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman said as his days in Washington wound down, he could see a growing chasm between lawmakers and the people they're elected to govern.

"As the political system has failed to deliver for people and people have in our country have become more and more angry at Washington, it was just inevitable that somebody who was an outsider would come along," Lieberman said, following a news conference Friday.

Lieberman represented Connecticut in the U.S. Senate for 24 years, retiring in 2013. Perhaps most notably, Lieberman's national profile rose substantially as the Democratic vice presidential nominee alongside Al Gore in 2000.

"It was only 16 years ago and to me it feels like yesterday, but in terms of American political history, it was a tough race, it was a close race," Lieberman said.

He said the politics are very different today than they were 16 years ago. He remembers debating with Dick Cheney, who had recently stepped down as CEO of Halliburton, very well, but adds they respected one another the entire time.

"We disagreed on almost everything but I thought that it was all very civil and not personal, no personal attacks and at its best that’s what it was meant to be, but this campaign seems very far from that, unfortunately, to the detriment of the country," he said.

Lieberman said he wants Hillary Clinton to win the White House but says even if she doesn't, the next president will have a tough time because Republicans and Democrats don't often work together they way they did years ago.

"Whoever is elected president will have an even harder time trying to find common ground with the opposite party, and it can be done," the former senator said. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

Lil Jon Says Trump Called Him 'Uncle Tom' on 'Apprentice'


Rapper Lil Jon responded late Friday to a report from The Daily Beast that alleges GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump repeatedly called the star “Uncle Tom” when he was a contestant on Trump’s spinoff reality show, “Celebrity Apprentice.”

The rapper confirmed the report in a statement released on his Twitter account. Lil Jon said that he “addressed Mr. Trump immediately” once he caught word of the nickname, and he said that Trump did stop using the offensive slur, which refers to a black person who is submissive to white people.

The Daily Beast reported that several staffers who worked on Trump’s show, who spoke anonymously to the news outlet due to non-disclosure agreements, said that the then-"Apprentice" host began referring to the “Turn Down for What” singer as “Uncle Tom” during an episode in which Lil Jon donned an Uncle Sam costume for a promotion.

A Trump spokeswoman responded to The Daily Beast's initial request for comment by saying, “This is simply untrue.” That response was sent before Lil Jon's tweet.

NBC has reached out for comment as well. 

Producers reportedly tried to nip the nickname in the bud quickly, unnamed staffers said, in particular because talk-show host Arsenio Hall, who, like Lil Jon, is black, was guest starring on the episode. Hall reportedly let staff know that he had overheard Trump using the nickname and was offended.

The Daily Beast reported that it reached out to the Trump campaign for comment and received a brief statement from campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks, saying: “This is simply untrue.”

Photo Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
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City of New London Wants to Track Sober Houses to Ensure Safety


Addiction doesn't discriminate. So when a friend, a loved one, is a recovering addict and wants to go to a sober house, it's a positive thing.

But the city of New London said the fact they don't know where all the sober houses are, is not. Especially when it comes to safety.

"We're concerned that some people are being taken advantage of. And more importantly that they're living in an unsafe environments," said Jeanne Milstein, director of human services for the city of New London.

That's why Milstein wants to know where each sober house in the city is.

She wants to make sure the homes are up to code, that the people battling addiction inside are not in unsafe living condition, being over charged, and have access to treatment.

Millstein said under current state law, sober houses are unregulated and many are privately owned -- the locations don't need to be reported.

Police and firefighters said they often only find out about sober houses when they're responding to an overdose.

NBC Connecticut spoke to an owner of one of the homes, who wants to remain anonymous. She believes sober houses should remain anonymous, too.

"They already have the stigma that they have a disease. They have drug addiction.... They already have that stuff working against them and then you add that they live in a known sober house. That makes it even harder," she said.

Milstein helped launch a voluntary certification program. Only three people signed up. To put that into perspective, the city knows of about 30 sober houses in New London and believes are several others they don't know about.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

CIA Preps Possible Cyber Strike Against Russia: Sources


The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.

Current and former officials with direct knowledge of the situation say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging "clandestine" cyber operation designed to harass and "embarrass" the Kremlin leadership.

The sources did not elaborate on the exact measures the CIA was considering, but said the agency had already begun opening cyber doors, selecting targets and making other preparations for an operation. Former intelligence officers told NBC News that the agency had gathered reams of documents that could expose unsavory tactics by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Vice President Joe Biden told "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd on Friday that "we're sending a message" to Putin and that "it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact."

Photo Credit: Fairfax Media via Getty Images, File
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Trump Accuses Mexican Billionaire of Conspiring Against Him


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim was involved in the publication of New York Times articles about women who have come out and alleged Trump made unwanted sexual advances.

"The largest shareholder in the Times is Carlos Slim. Now Carlos Slim, as you know, comes from Mexico," he said Friday. "He's given many millions of dollars to the Clintons and their initiative. So Carlos Slim, largest donor of the paper, from Mexico."

In attacking Slim, the Republican presidential candidate is going back to his recurrent theme of condemning Mexico and Mexicans, a tactic that has played well to a base of supporters but has turned off a vast majority of Latinos —including Hispanic Republicans — and other more moderate voters.

New York Times publisher and chairman Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. said in a statement that Slim "fully respects boundaries regarding the independence of our journalism. He has never sought to influence what we report."

Slim's spokesman said Slim "doesn't know anything about his [Trump's] personal life and to be honest, he doesn't care about his personal life," and that Slim is not involved in politics in Mexico, let alone in the U.S.

Photo Credit: AP

SF Officer Shot, Suspect in Custody


A man suspected of opening fire at a San Francisco police officer, who a department spokesman deemed "very, very lucky" to survive, was taken into custody on Friday night.

Officers responded to a report of a mentally disturbed person in front of a GameStop at Lakeshore Plaza around 8:15 p.m., officer Carlos Manfredi said. 

When they approached him, however, the suspect, who police did not know was armed, turned around and fired several times at the officers. A bullet hit one of the officers in the head, taking him down near Sloat Boulevard and Everglade Drive, Manfredi said. 

The wounded officer's partners began to run in the suspect's direction, only to realize that their colleague had been struck and was lying on the ground. They ran back to help the still unidentified officer, who was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital.

Witnesses recalled hearing three shots and said the officer appeared alert as emergency responders treated him. Police said the officer is in critical but stable condition.

"We are very fortunate" that he did not suffer life-threatening injuries, Manfredi said. "Half an inch closer and we would be telling a different story right now."

Meanwhile, police called for citywide assistance and launched a massive manhunt to find and apprehend the suspect, who had run into and taken cover in Stern Grove park. 

Officers circulated a surveillance photo of the man, who they said was in his late 20s, had curly hair and was dressed in a gray hoodie. 

San Francisco police and California Highway Patrol officers closed the park and set up a perimeter when the suspect popped out of bushes and fled on foot. Officers shot at him, said Manfredi, who could not confirm how many rounds had been fired. 

The suspect fell onto the ground but continued to move. His handgun was "present" and being held "close to his chest," Manfredi said.

Police tweeted at about 9:30 p.m. that they "had the suspect contained" and had used a flash bang in an attempt to detain him.

They followed that with a tweet around 9:45 p.m. saying the suspect had been taken into custody by a SWAT team. 

The man refused all commands to give up his weapon and surrender peacefully so police officers were forced to use a distraction tactic to "get close to the suspect and make the arrest and gain compliance," according to Manfredi.

The suspect, who was reportedly detained near 28th Avenue and Vicente Street, was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital, which was briefly placed on lock down Friday night. Police did not confirm what condition he was in.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was also at the hospital to visit the officer who was shot.

"He was able to speak to me," Lee said. "In fact he was calling me 'Mr. Mayor' and I told him, 'You just got shot, son. You don’t have to have that kind of respect for me.' But he was alert and he knew what happened."

The officer was taken into the Intensive Care Unit, said Lee, without commenting further on his condition. 

"I just wanted to be there and thank him for being on the spot and trying to stop the suspect," he said. 

Lee said he was accompanied by police commissioners, who, like him, are solely focused on helping the officer get back on his feet.

"I want him to really recover from this," Lee said, acknowledging that the officer can avail of top-notch medical treatment at San Francisco General Hospital.

"I have very great hope," he said.

Streets in the Sunset and Taraval districts were closed during the shooting and ensuing manhunt, snarling traffic. Police also urged residents to shelter in place.

An investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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Trump Street Sign Stolen in Chicago


Embattled Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s honorary Chicago street sign was reported stolen, police confirmed Friday.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and aldermen had recently proposed taking down the "Honorary Trump Plaza" sign in the 400 block of North Wabash Avenue—but Chicago police say a member of Trump Hotel and Tower security told them it was stolen sometime between Oct. 10 and Oct. 11 at 3:30 p.m.

Emanuel, speaking Thursday outside Trump Tower with Illinois Democratic lawmakers as part of a “Get Out The Vote” initiative as Election Day encroaches, acknowledged the missing sign. At the time it had reportedly been taken down by the city’s Department of Transportation.

“I understand why they wanted to take that sign down,” Emanuel said Thursday. “It didn’t speak to the values of the city that he was expressing, but more importantly than a symbolic action—the best way to make sure it’s not a symbolic action, but a real action—is to make sure that you turn out the vote in your respective communities.”

Department of Transportation officials were not immediately available for comment.

Emanuel has said he supports Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and has said that he thinks Trump is "wrong for America," criticizing the candidate’s proposal to use stop-and-frisk tactics to fight crime in Chicago.

Trump has also recently dismissed a slew of allegations of sexual assault, calling them a "coordinated and vicious attack" from the media and Clinton campaign.

During a press conference on Oct. 5 after a City Council meeting, Emanuel voiced his support of a proposed ordinance to remove the street sign.

"We'll put the sign back up when he releases his tax returns," Emanuel said at the time.

No one was in custody Friday and Area North detectives were investigating.

American Kidnapped in Niger: US Embassy


A U.S. citizen was kidnapped by "unknown group of assailants" Friday in the West African nation of Niger, according to the U.S. Embassy, NBC news reported.

The American was kidnapped in the region of Tahoua, which border's the countries of Mali and Nigeria. No other details, including the identity of the victim, were released.

The Associated Press reported the hostage was a longtime American aid worker. NBC News was not able immediately confirm that.

Daouda Maiga, governor of Mali's Menaka region, which borders Niger, told the AP that several armed men burst into the aid worker's house and took him after killing two others at the scene.

Foreigners have been kidnapped in Niger before for ransom, but this is believed to be the first time an American national has been taken hostage there, according to news agency Agence France-Presse.

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Ex-'Apprentice' Contestant: Trump Kissed, Grabbed Me


While Donald Trump defiantly denied claims of sexual misbehavior Friday at a campaign rally in North Carolina, a former "Apprentice" contestant came forward with new allegations, detailing how the Republican presidential nominee “victimized her with inappropriate sexual conduct."

During a tearful press conference in Los Angeles with her attorney, Gloria Allred, Summer Zervos accused Trump of sexually assaulting her when she sought his help nine years ago.

Zervos, who competed in season 5 of the NBC reality show, said she reached out to Trump for career advice after being kicked off "The Apprentice" in hopes of working for the Trump Organization.

The alleged meetings, which Trump denies ever happened, add to a growing list of accusations against the Republican presidential nominee, who is claiming he's the subject of a coordinated smear campaign. As of Friday, NBC News counts 12 instances of public sexual misconduct allegations, including groping, sexual assault and walking in on young pageant contestants.

Zervos described a meeting in 2007 at Trump's Manhattan office, where the businessman agreed to meet her while she was in the city for a social obligation. Trump greeted her with a kiss on the lips and another when they parted ways, she said.

"I was surprised, but felt that perhaps that was just his form of greeting," Zervos said.

During their meeting, Trump allegedly praised Zervos for how she handled herself on the show and told her he would "love to have me work for him." Trump then suggested meeting in Los Angeles to discuss employment opportunities, Zervos said.

Days later, Trump was in California and called Zervos to meet for dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where "he called me his 'O.C. Angel,'" she said.

At the hotel, Zervos alleges, Trump attempted to make a sexual advance on her, and she rebuffed him.

"I stood up and he came to me and started kissing me opened mouthed as he was pulling me towards him,'" she recounted. "I walked away and I sat down in a chair. He was on a love seat across from me and I made an attempt at conversation. He then asked me to sit next to him. I complied. He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast. I pulled back and walked to another part of the room. He then walked up, grabbed my hand and walked me into the bedroom. I walked out. He then turned me around and said, 'lets lay down and watch some telly telly.'"

Zervos said she pushed Trump away and attempted to make it clear that she was not interested. He responded by thrusting his genitals at her. 

According to Zervos, when dinner arrived, the conversation only involved business and real estate talk, and that they met the next morning at his golf course in Palos Verdes.

"I wondered if the sexual behavior was some kind of test and whether or not I had passed,” Zervos said.

After the encounter, Zervos still sought employment with the Trump Organization, she said, and believed she was not offered a job there because she had denied his advances.

"When I contacted Mr. Trump he asked me to send him a letter setting forth the jobs within his organization that I felt that I was well suited for, which I did," she said, noting that he gave her the "run around" before finally telling her "that he could not afford to hire me as he was laying off thousands of employees."

Zervos was the second woman to come forward to accuse Trump of unwanted sexual advances on Friday alone, but said she was unaware of other allegations against Trump until recent reports surfaced.

"You do not have the right to treat women as sexual objects just because you are a star," she said.

Trump released a statement after Zervos's news conference saying the actions she accuses him of are "not how I’ve conducted my life," and denying ever meeting her at a hotel.

"I vaguely remember Ms. Zervos as one of the many contestants on The Apprentice over the years. To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago," he said, going on to claim it was unethical for the press to give an unvetted claim of sexual misconduct so much airtime.

Later Friday, Trump's campaign released comments from a cousin of Zervos claiming that the accuser often praised Trump after appearing on his show and invited Trump to her restaurant earlier this year. Zevros "wishes she could still be on reality TV, and in an effort to get that back she's saying all of these negative things about Mr. Trump," the campaign quoted her cousin, John Barry, as saying.

The string of allegations, which the GOP candidate has denied, follows the release last week of a tape of Trump bragging about kissing and groping women without their consent during a 2005 interview with former “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush that was caught on a hot microphone.

NBC News has not confirmed any of the allegations made against Trump.

Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, on Friday promised the campaign would soon release evidence against the women that would show Trump's innocence.

"It's coming in, frankly, probably in a matter of hours," Pence said Friday morning on NBC's "Today" show. He added, "It's astonishing to see the enormous coverage of these, of these really unfounded allegations, unestablished allegations, compared to an avalanche of emails coming out of Hillary Clinton's years as secretary of state."

Allred fired back at critics who attempt to discredit victims for not coming out sooner, noting accusers "may have thought they would not be believed against what they thought would most likely be a complete denial by a rich, powerful celebrity. Some may have feared the wrath and retaliation of Mr. Trump and some of his supporters. Some may have though they were the only ones who were victimized."

The famed civil rights lawyer isn't the only one. The hashtag #WhyWomenDontReport started to trend on Thursday, as Twitter users responded to the Trump campaign’s attempts to dismiss the latest accusations of sexual assault by questioning their timing, so close to the election.

"Access Hollywood" and "The Apprentice" are owned and distributed by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News, MSNBC and this station.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Four People Injured After Overnight Crash in Groton


The Town of Groton Police Department says that four people received minor injuries after a car crash occurred at around 1 a.m. this morning.

According to Police, a Nissan Maxima was travelling north on Pleasant Valley Road North when it crossed over Ohio Ave. and skidded into a tree.

Police say three of the vehicle’s four passengers were ejected from the car, while one was entrapped and had to be cut out by the Fire Department.

All four people involved in the accident are expected to be alright, Police say.

Police say speed was a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: Poquonnock Bridge Fire Department
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