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Instructor in East Hartford Plane Crash Out of Hospital


The surviving pilot in the plane crash in East Hartford has been released from the hospital, according to hospital officials.

Arian Prevella was released from Bridgeport Hospital on Friday, officials told NBC Connecticut. 

Prevella is the owner of the American Flight Academy and was in the intentional crash that killed student pilot, Feras M. Freitekh on Oct. 11. 

Freitekh died of smoke inhalation and heat and fire injuries, according to the office of the chief medical examiner.

Federal investigators have called the crash an "intentional act."

A senior law enforcement official familiar with the investigation previously told NBC News that Freitekh was arguing with his instructor and the crash appears to have been a case of suicide, not terrorism.

Officials identified him through fingerprints and the manner of his death is pending further investigation of the circumstances, according to the office of the chief medical examiner.

Freitekh was killed and his instructor, Prevalla was injured when the twin-engine Piper PA 34 they were in crashed on Main Street, near the Connecticut headquarters of military jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney, and burst into flames.

The National Transportation Safety Board previously said the crash that killed Freitekh and seriously injured Prevalla appeared to have been the result of an intentional act.

A senior law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told NBC News, Prevalla told investigators that Freitekh, a Jordanian national, was at the controls at the time of the crash. Some kind of argument or struggle for the controls ensued, the official said, and the plane crashed. The instructor did not know why it happened.

Police searched Freitek's Hartford-area home but did not find anything to indicate any terrorist interests or sympathies, a senior federal official told NBC News' Pete Williams.

He was also not on any terrorism watch list, the official added.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/Facebook

Rolling Stone Source Says She Believed Rape Was True


The woman known only as "Jackie" who's at the center of a discredited Rolling Stone article said in a taped deposition that she told the truth about being gang raped at the University of Virginia — as she believed it at the time, NBC News reported.

The 10 jurors in a university administrator's defamation suit against the magazine heard the woman's videotaped deposition for the first time Monday in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

In the deposition, which was recorded in April, "Jackie" repeatedly answers "I don't know" to lawyers' questions about the 2014 article by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, in which she alleged that she was repeatedly assaulted at a fraternity house.

The magazine retracted the article after police said they found no evidence to corroborate it. Nicole Eramo, who was associate dean of students at the time, is seeking $7.5 million from Rolling Stone, which she says portrayed her as the villain.

Photo Credit: AP

Report: Twitter Plans Layoffs


Twitter is planning another round of layoffs within the next week, according to a report from Bloomberg Technology, which cited sources familiar with the matter.

The San Francisco-based social media company may lay off about 300 workers, about 8 percent of its workforce, the same percentage it cut last year when co-founder Jack Dorsey took over as CEO, the Bloomberg report said.

An announcement about the job cuts may come before Twitter releases its third-quarter earnings report on Thursday, one of the sources told Bloomberg. The company declined to comment.

Twitter has been looking into a sale in recent weeks, but several top tech companies that had expressed interest in bidding -- including Salesforce, Disney and Google -- have backed off.

Twitter's losses and plummeting share price have made it more difficult for the company to pay its engineers in stock and add new talent, analysts have said.

Twitter shares closed at $18.03 on Monday.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

4 Killed on Rapids Ride at Australian Theme Park


Two men and two women were killed riding a river rapids ride at Dreamworld, Australia's largest theme park, on Tuesday, NBC News reported. 

A "malfunction" ejected two victims from their raft and caused two others to become "trapped" on the Thunder River Rapids, according to ambulance service official Gavin Fuller.

He would not say exactly how they were killed, only that their injuries were "incompatible with life." Officials did not identify the victims but said they were two women, both aged 42, and two men, aged 38 and 35.

Queensland Police said in a separate statement that the victims had been injured by a "conveyor belt," referring to the moving ramp that pulls rafts out of the water at the end of the course.

Photo Credit: AP

Ballot Confusion Expected on Election Day


There are some races that have one candidate endorsed by more than one party.

For instance, Congressional Candidates Elizabeth Esty and Clay Cope have each registered by smaller parties. Esty, a Democrat, accepted the endorsement of the Working Families Party, and Cope, a Republican, accepted the nomination of the Independent Party.

They will each appear twice on the ballot on Nov. 8, but election officials say voters need to only fill in one bubble.

"It would be very helpful yes and it would save us a lot of time at the end of the night,” said Maureen Flynn, the Democratic Registrar in Meriden.

Flynn explained that if someone votes twice on a particular for the same candidate, the vote will count only as a single vote, but that it will tabulated in the machine as an "unknown" party affiliation, since it was filled out twice.

"The machine doesn't know what party to put it into,” Flynn said.

Her rule of thumb is to make sure you examine your ballot carefully before you vote and after you fill it out. Voters can fill out a new ballot if they’ve voted for two candidates for the same office and dispose of the other ballot. If not, then the vote for that particular race won’t be counted.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Public Meetings Planned to Discuss Water Conservation Effort


The state is crafting its first ever water plan in response to severe drought conditions affecting much of the state.

It’s been years since the last time Connecticut has faced drought conditions like what we’re dealing with now. The Connecticut Water Planning Council is working to develop a guideline for how the state manages its water in light of climate change and new demands on the water system.

The council is hosting three public meetings to get feedback from residents and business owners about their primary concerns and what to include in the plan. The first public forum is scheduled Tuesday in Norwich.

Many cities and towns have already taken serious steps to combat the ongoing drought. Cities like Waterbury and Bristol have issued mandatory water restrictions as reservoir levels drop.

In the southern part of the state, there is a water supply emergency in Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan and Stamford and Aquarion Water Company was given permission by the state Department of Health to build a temporary pipeline to supply those towns.

Connecticut Water, which serves 92,000 customers, is asking residents in some shoreline communities to cut back their water use.

The meeting dates and times are as follows:

Tuesday, Oct. 25: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Located at the Southeastern CT Council of Governments, 5 Connecticut Avenue, Norwich

 Wednesday, Oct. 26, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Located at PURA, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain

Thursday, Oct. 27: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Located at Southbury Town Hall, 501 Main Street South, Southbury

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

Boys Survive Leap From NJ Bridge


Two boys are recovering from serious injuries they sustained when their father grabbed them and plunged about 100 feet from a highway bridge onto a wooded embankment following a domestic dispute with his wife, New Jersey State Police said. 

The 1-year-old and 3-year-old boys were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital Monday night after their father, identified as John Spincken, jumped off the bridge over the Wanaque River with his children in his arms. Spincken died.

State troopers were called to Interstate 287 near mile marker 56 about 8 p.m. after getting reports from a local police department about the suicidal father. 

Police said Spincken was arguing with his wife and that he threatened to harm himself and his children before taking off with the boys in his SUV. The wife called 911 and police used the GPS in Spincken's cellphone to track him within a 2,000 square foot radius. 

Searchers found the man and his sons in the woods near the river, troopers said. Spincken was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Police found the father's SUV near the bridge. They believe he climbed on top of the vehicle and scaled the "suicide prevention fence" on 287 before he jumped. He and the two boys hit the embankment below.

On Tuesday morning, Pequannock Captain Christopher DePuyt called the boys' expected recovery "a miracle." 

One of the boys suffered a collapsed lung and the other boy had a spinal injury, according to police. They are recovering in the intensive care unit. 

DePuyt said that his department didn't have a history with the family before Monday night's domestic dispute and that the children will be released into the custody of their mother. 

Photo Credit: WNBC

Democrats Take Aim at GOP Senate Majority


On Monday it was Sen. Elizabeth Warren's turn to join her fellow Democrats in cranking up the heat on Republican members of the Senate, who have become targets in the closing days of the campaign.

Addressing an enthusiastic outdoor rally on a crisp New England autumn day, Warren had plenty of barbs for Republican Donald Trump. But the Massachusetts Democrat also tore into the state's Republican incumbent, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, with unusual ferocity, NBC News reported.

"Donald Trump sure has made Kelly Ayotte dance. Day one she loves him, day two she hates him, day three she's back with him — boy, spins round and round," Warren told hundreds on a lawn at St. Anselm College.

Ayotte is in a tight race for re-election against Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat. Like most of the other GOP senators up for reelection this year, Ayotte hardly comes from Trump's wing of the party and has never been a vocal supporter.

But there is no safe distance Republicans can stand from Trump. Democrats, eyeing multiple polls suggesting Clinton has all but sewn up the presidential race, are spending the final two weeks of this campaign working mercilessly to turn the entire GOP into Trump's collateral damage.

Photo Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Trump Brags of Endorsements That Never Happened


Donald Trump on Monday told News4Jax that the United States military "conceptually" endorsed him and that "virtually every police department" supports his bid for the presidency. And during the third presidential debate, Trump said his hardline stance on immigration had earned him an endorsement from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, NBC News reported.

None of that is true.

Federal agencies are barred by law from endorsing candidates in political elections. The Department of Defense, meanwhile, has its own set of guidelines that tightly restricts any active duty military or civilian personnel from publicly choosing political sides.

ICE has not endorsed any candidate, nor is it able to. Instead the union representing ICE employees, National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, gave the Republican nominee its backing. And it represents just a quarter of the more than 20,000 employees that work at the agency.

Photo Credit: AP

Board Overturns Decision and Berlin High Class of 2017 Will Graduate at CCSU


The Berlin High School class of 2017 will graduate on a Sunday in the Welte Auditorium in Herbert D. Welte Hall on the Central Connecticut State University campus.

The Berlin Board of Education voted unanimously Monday night to overturn their previous decision that would have moved graduation from a Sunday afternoon at Welte Auditorium to a weekday night at the high school. 

“We are in the last couple of weeks of finishing a remodel of our high school,” Berlin Board of Education President Tim Oakes said. “We as a board were excited to be able to show off our high school to the community and our graduating class and we thought, at the time, it was a wonderful idea.” 

Many parents do not agree and feel the high school would pose too many problems and a Welte ceremony is what their children deserve. 

“Our children have planned on graduating there since they have been in kindergarten,” David Kall said. “They watched the classes come through and to have the rug pulled out on them halfway through the school year, I didn't think it was right.” 

At Monday’s meeting, parents brought up the issue of parking and comfort and expressed concerns over elderly guests sitting in bleachers and the fear many wouldn’t be able to make it on a weeknight. 

“These logistical problems are still going to be there and there is no way around it,” Susan Bordonaro said. 

Bordonaro also had concerns a weekday would threaten the planning of the school’s all-night graduation after party that she said keeps student’s safe. 

“We probably would have a very difficult time securing a party date,” Bordonaro said. 

Oakes said the board might have made the decision to move graduation to the high school too early. 

“We probably, in retrospect, got a little bit ahead of ourselves thinking that everyone would share our excitement,” he said. 

The board plans on creating a committee to discuss the location, day and time of graduations moving forward.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Yoga Pants Parade Protests Op-Ed in Rhode Island


Hundreds of people took to the streets in Barrington, Rhode Island this weekend to protest an op-ed written in the local newspaper that many found offensive. The letter, written by Alan Sorrentino, critiques older women who wear yoga pants in public, saying the clothing does not compliment a woman over 20 years-old. "This is way more than yoga pants. It is women fed up with the policing of our wardrobes," said parade organizer, Jamie Burke. Sorrentino claims that his op-ed was just a joke but many are calling his comments sexist.

11-Year-Old Missing From Danbury Found

State Police Seek Durham Burglary Suspect


Connecticut state police are asking for the public’s help to identify the suspect in a Durham home burglary.

Police said the subject pictured above burglarized a house on Meeting House Hill Road around 11:30 a.m. Monday by forcing through a door.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact Trooper Eckman at Troop F at (860) 399-2100.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

DMV Voter Registration Has Led to Confusion


The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles has been registering people to vote for several months.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill has described the state’s “motor voter” program as a success because it’s brought in more than 15,000 registrations. But for some, the program has led to confusion.

In West Hartford, Kaitlyn Fydenkevez had her voter registration removed from the town’s voter list after she thought she had “re-registered” during a visit to the DMV to renew her license.

A voter in West Hartford for two years, she said she thought it wouldn’t be a problem if she simply renewed her voting information, “but I went online two days later to check my registration and it said that there was no record of me at all."

She was told by the election office in West Hartford that a communication from DMV is what led to the change.

"They had a record of me being a voter and they had heard from the DMV in the last week that I had been marked off which apparently means I won't be voting in the town this year."

Fydenkevez isn’t alone either.

In Meriden, election officials there said people have showed to their office with letters from DMV telling them that they refused to register to vote, even though they were already registered. The individuals had only turned down a new registration at DMV during a visit to a branch.

Kathy Casey, the Deputy Democratic Registrar in Meriden spoke with several people with the same experience.

"I had three gentlemen come in with letters from the DMV because they told them that they were already registered voters and they got letters from the DMV saying that they refused to register and they came in very upset,” she said.

"I think it's very jarring to most people because clearly these people were registered for years and they had always voted and now they were being told by a government agency that they weren't registered to vote."

DMV did not respond to our requests for comment.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, when asked about the motor-voter issues, said a re-registration shouldn’t’ be a problem.

"No, it's been a great system and if people are just reregistering just in case they don't remember or have moved or something like that, it would be a duplicate registration and it would just remain on the list."

Fydenkevez in West Hartford said she hopes there are no issues on Nov. 8.

"Fingers crossed," she said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

New Lounge Offers Food, Drink and Relaxation at Bradley Airport


Bradley travelers now have a new place to relax while waiting for a flight.

Escape Lounge will open today at Bradley International Airport. For an admission fee of $45 per customer, airline passengers traveling can enjoy an extensive array of complimentary food and unlimited complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

The lounge has private restrooms, flight information screens, free high-speed Wi-Fi and a selection of newspapers and magazines.

Chef Tyler Anderson, a three-time James Beard semi-finalist and the owner of Millwright’s, The Cook & The Bear and Chango Rosa, created the daily breakfast and daytime menus.

Aer Lingus customers who are members of the Gold Circle Club or who are flying business class will be able to use of the lounge for free.

You can also reserve and pre-book admission to Escape Lounge online www.escapelounges.com for $40.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Uber Offering Free Flu Shots in Hartford Tuesday


Uber is offering Hartford users free wellness packages and flu shots to help the public prepare for flu season.

Hartford is one of several cities across the country where Uber is offering the service, according to the company’s website.

To take advantage of the program, Uber users just need to open the app, request the “health” option to schedule a place for delivery. The program runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

Participants will receive a free care package and the option to receive the Fluzone vaccine for up to five people. The shots are administered by registered nurses from Passport Health and are only available for ages 4 and up.

Uber expects there to be high demand for the service and asks for patience when scheduling your appointment.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin will join Uber company representatives at 2:15 p.m. to support the program.

For more information, visit the company’s website.

Photo Credit: NBC

Lock-In Lifted at Hartford Public High School


The lock-in issued for Hartford Public High School is over after police responded to Forest Street to investigate a person acting erratically.

School officials said the incident police are responding to is not related to the school.

Police removed the person from the area, but no additional information was immediately available.    

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

GOP Fractured as Clinton Maintains Solid Lead: Poll


With Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump in the polls as the election enters its final two weeks, a majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters see a lasting fracture in the Republican Party, according to the latest NBC NewsSurveyMonkey poll.

In a four-way match-up, Clinton has 46 percent support this week among likely voters, while Trump holds onto 41 percent support.

As several prominent GOP party leaders and down-ballot Republican contenders scramble to figure out the potential impact of a Clinton victory in their respective states, 74 percent of likely voters overall say that the GOP is divided and will remain so through the general election in November.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Troopers Find 20 Pounds of Marijuana During Traffic Stop: PD


Connecticut state police seized over 20 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop on Interstate 95 in Waterford.

State police said the driver, identified as Betsy Cardozo, 25, of Dorchester, Mass. was speeding on I-95 through New London into Waterford when troopers pulled her over. According to police, troopers smelled marijuana and Cardozo admitted to them she had used some earlier.

Troopers searched the car and found 20.6 pounds of marijuana in vacuum-sealed bags in the vehicle.

Cardozo was charged with illegal possession/transportation/distribution/sale of marijuana, possession of less than one half ounce of marijuana, and reckless driving. She was held on a $50,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Police Identify 2 Men Shot at New Haven Gas Station


Two men were shot at a gas station in New Haven on Monday night and one was critically injured, police said.

Police were dispatched to the Hess gas station at Ferry and State streets at 7:28 p.m. and officers found one victim inside the gas station and the other outside.

One victim, identified as Akeem Witley, 25, of New Haven, was shot in the leg and the other, identified as Labian McKnight, 31, was shot in the back, New Haven police said.

Both victims were transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital. Witley suffered non-life threatening wounds. McKnight is in critical condition, police said.

Police said one of the victims said the other tried to rob him and that’s what led to gunfire.

“There are conflicting stories right now about what transpired – who shot who,” Officer David Hartman, of the New Haven Police Department, said.

One witness reported seeing a silver or gray Chrysler 300M fleeing the scene on State Street toward Hamden that police believe is involved in the shooting.

An Acura TSX that belongs to Witnley was towed from the scene. Police believe that Witley attempted to flee the scene and crashed into another vehicle. The other driver was not injured.

Anyone with information is asked to call New Haven police (203) 946-6304.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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