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Soda Truck Lands in Pequabuck River in Bristol


A box truck carrying soda went into the trout management area of Pequabuck River in Bristol around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and crews from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection have been called in because fuel from the truck spilled into the river.

Police said the driver lost control while heading west on Willis Street and landed in the rover.

Officials from the fire department said the vehicle is a 20-foot box truck, crews lowered a ladder into the riverbed and the driver was able to get out and was taken to Bristol Hospital to be treated for minor injuries. 

Booms are being set up to contain the spill.

The westbound lane of Memorial Boulevard is closed between Mellen and Main streets.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Investigating Trend of Fires in Norwich


There have been three fires in the last week in downtown Norwich and authorities are investigating whether they were arson.

Norwich officials said fire happened in a vacant building.

On Oct. 19, a mattress was found on fire next to a shed behind a home on East Main Street. Then on Oct. 23, the second floor of an old mill on Chestnut Street went up in flames. Most recently, this past Sunday, firefighters battled flames on the second floor of the vacant YMCA building on Main Street.

There is no electricity in either of the vacant buildings and fire officials believe a group of people may have started the fires. But they do not know if they are related.

Fire officials are hoping downtown's camera system can help clarify that.

“We’re able to see many of the streets 24 hours a day and it has become a very important part of our investigation we do have people on camera but that’s under investigation right now,” said Norwich Fire Chief Kenneth Scandariato.

Scandariato said they have even created a task force between Norwich firefighters, fire marshals and police officers.

As the investigation continues, many vacant buildings are being re-secured. The buildings where the three fires happened have been boarded up and signs of a $2,500 reward has been posted for those who have information leading to an arrest.

"We’re not going to qualify it as Arson yet, but you know… it’s incendiary and chances are it will be prove to be arson as well," said Scandariato.

If you have information call the Norwich Police Department or the Connecticut Arson Hotline 1-800-842-7766.

Photo Credit: NBC10

Metro-North Back on Schedule After Truck Crash


Metro-North service on the New Haven Line was delayed after a tractor-trailer hit the Beardsley Avenue overpass in Milford, but service is back to normal.

Metro-North said there were 15- to 20-minute delays because of police activity.

Shoreline East's 1610 train was also delayed 20 to 30 minutes because of Metro-North connections.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Suspect in West Haven Domestic Violence Case on the Loose


West Haven Police are searching for a man who’s accused of trying to carjack his ex-girlfriend at knifepoint last night.

Police officers responded to Second Avenue and Elm Street around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday to investigate a domestic dispute and the victim said her ex-boyfriend had with a knife, got into her vehicle and wanted her drive, but she escaped and called 911.

Police are searching for 38-year-old Brian Heyward, who was last seen in a gray 2014 Toyota Camry with Connecticut registration OAJ-DT0.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police

Hillary Clinton Holds Florida Rally


Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is set to hold an early voting rally in Lake Worth, Florida, on Wednesday. 

Photo Credit: AP
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Trump Walk of Fame Star Smashed


Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was in pieces Wednesday morning after it was vandalized overnight by a man with an axe.

The Republican presidential candidate and former "Apprentice" host received the star in January 2007. The star in the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard, a prominent location on the Walk of Fame not far from the Hollywood and Highland Center, was broken into pieces overnight by a man with some type of hammer or axe, according to a boulevard street performer.

Los Angeles police confirmed they are investigating the vandalism report, received at about 6 a.m. No arrests were reported Wednesday morning.

Deadline Hollywood posted video of what appeared to be a man dressed as a construction worker in a high visibility safety vest and helmet smashing the star. The video, shot by a Deadline Hollywood employee, shows several LA Department of Transportation signs and bright orange construction cones around the star. 

Aerial video later Wednesday morning showed people taking photos of the damaged star, which was roped off by repair crews.

One of the boulevard's street performers, a man painted gold and dressed head-to-toe in shiny gold clothes, described a bizarre early morning scene at the popular tourist spot. The man, who identified himself as Gregory, said the he saw a man dressed as a construction worker hammering the star with either a sledgehammer or axe.

"He was banging on the star," Gregory said. "He took Donald Trump's name out and he took his round plaque out."

Gregory said the man told him he intended to remove the star and sell it, then donate the money to organizations that support sexually abused women.

Trump has faced accusations from 11 women of sexual misconduct in recent weeks as the presidential campaign enters its final stages. He has denied the accusations. 

The Hollywood star belonging to the New York business magnate and reality show personality has become a target during the presidential campaign, ever since Trump announced his candidacy last year. It has been defaced with spray paint and surrounded by a miniature wall in protest of Trump's plan to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Walk of Fame star recipients are selected by a committee that considers hundreds of applications each year. The stars ane purchased for a $30,000, rather than gifted.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV
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Rain, Some Snow Begins Midday Thursday


Well below average temperatures will lead to the season's first flakes for many Thursday morning.

Wednesday will be mostly sunny, and temperatures will rise into the upper 40s in the afternoon.

Thursday brings the forecast challenge of precipitation.

Early Thursday morning, temperatures will be below freezing across much of Connecticut. The hill towns may dip as low as the middle 20s.

High pressure will be in a good position to keep the cold in place initially at the surface, and as a result, snow is possible across inland Connecticut late Thursday morning.

The snow and rain will likely begin between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday.

Temperatures will eventually rise above freezing, leading to a mostly rain event for the whole state by afternoon.

While snow accumulation is unlikely and most will just experience wet roads, the northwest hill towns could see a slushy accumulation.

Shoreline areas will just experience rain on Thursday. It will be cold, with highs only near 40 inland but up near 50 at the shoreline.

Thursday night, heavy rain is expected. More than an inch of rain is likely statewide by Friday morning. This will be helpful for the drought across the state.

Behind the storm on Friday, an abundance of clouds will stick around but it will be dry.

This weekend, it will be mostly cloudy. The best chance for showers will come on Sunday, when temperatures surge into the middle 60s.

Halloween looks dry and seasonable as high pressure builds in. High temperatures during the afternoon will be in the upper 50s, but 40s are expected after nightfall.

Follow meteorologist Tyler Jankoski on social media.

School Lockdown in New Haven Lifted


Four New Haven public schools, as well as St. Francis School, were locked down as a precaution as New Haven Police assist West Haven police in the search for man who is accused of trying to carjack his ex-girlfriend at knife point, but the lockdown is lifted.

West Haven police have been searching for 38-year-old Brian Heyward, who is wanted in connection with a domestic violence case and car theft.

He's accused of getting into his ex-girlfriend's car with a knife at Second Avenue and Elm Street around 11:30 p.m. and the victim said he wanted her drive, but she escaped and called 911.

Police said Heyward was last seen in a gray 2014 Toyota Camry with Connecticut registration OAJ-DT0 and police found the car on Ferry Street in Fair Haven.

Police said the school lockdowns were in the Fair Haven section of New Haven, but school officials would not say which schools were affected.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police

2 Mich. Brothers Arrested in Tunisia in Terrorism Probe


Tunisian authorities arrested two American brothers on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organization, two local sources told NBC News.

A senior police official said the brothers, both aged in their 30s, are originally from Michigan. The source said one of the men was carrying a U.S. passport that identified him as Patrick Alan Lawwill. NBC News has seen a photocopy of the passport, which was apparently issued in July 2015 and lists Lawwill's place of birth as Michigan. The brothers had recently converted from Christianity to Islam and one of them was married to a Tunisian woman who was also arrested, the source said.

A source in the governor's office also confirmed the arrests.

A State Department official said it was aware of reports the pair had been arrested "on suspicion of terrorist activities" but declined to comment further because of "privacy considerations."

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Serious Water Main Break Shuts Down Middletown Schools


A million gallons of water might have been lost to a major water main break in Middletown this morning and all public schools in the city, as well as several private schools, are closed today.

Surgeries have been canceled for the day at Middlesex Hospital and city officials are asking residents to hold off on using tap water if possible.

Mayor Daniel Drew said a major 24-inch water main burst this morning off Silver Mine Road, near the Rushford Center and Connecticut Valley Hospital. He described the water main break like a burst artery near your heart and said already-treated water was gushing rapidly out of the system. 

Crews have isolated the main, shut it down and the system is coming back to normal with water levels and pressures building up, according to the mayor. 

That being said, Middletown officials are asking residents to avoid using the tap whenever possible to allow time to replenish pressure and flush pipes. However, if water is clear, it can be used safely.

Vinal Technical High School, Mercy High School, Xavier High School, Saint John Paul II Regional School and Middlesex Community College will be closed today because of a water main break.

Because of the water main break, Middlesex Hospital in Middletown originally said they were postponing all surgeries until noon, but have canceled all surgeries other than emergency surgeries for the rest of the day.

The emergency department was on diversion to other hospitals, but that is no longer the case. 

The Middlesex YMCA will also be closed until further notice.

Drew said part of the problem is that water was draining quickly out of the reserve tanks and the treatment plant couldn’t keep up supplying the necessary water for the rest of the community, causing pressure to drop and supply to be cut off to some places, the mayor said. Air also got into the pipe and led to reverse flows in the pipe and discolored or cloudy water. 

Crews have begun flushing the water lines throughout the city to clear the lines of debris and said it is beginning in critical areas like near Middlesex Hospital. 

While the debris and cloudiness are is normal and non-toxic, city officials are asking people not to use cloudy water. If you must use it, boil it first or get some bottled water for today. 

Pressure is expected to return to normal early this afternoon, but crews will be flushing areas of pipe for several days to avoid rapid pressure changes and further bursts of pipe. 

City officials are asking people to avoid using the tap whenever possible to allow time to replenish pressure and flush pipes. That said, if water is clear it can be used safely. 

Mutual aid tanker trucks are stationed at each of the city’s three fire departments as a backup in the event of a structure fire. Southeastern Connecticut towns have also sent an additional five tanker trucks and two hose tenders that will have Middletown Police escorts in the event of a fire. This provides us with tens of thousands of gallons of backup water for fire suppression. 

The emergency operations center is open with a unified command. 

Middlesex Hospital is diverting ambulance patients to other hospitals and the city is coordinating additional potable water tanker deliveries for hospital patients. 

The state Department of Public Health will be collecting water samples in conjunction with the city water and health departments to ensure water quality. 

Most of the Westfield section of town will be relatively unaffected because it is being fed off of an already-treated tank at the Higby facility. 

Middletown public schools, Vinal Tech, Middlesex and all of the parochial schools are closed so that the city can flush and replenish pipes.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

William Petit to Address Attack Ad Against Him


Dr. William Petit is set to hold a news conference Wednesday to address what he said are campaign issues that have recently been raised by Democratic operatives against him.

Petit is the Republican candidate vying for the State House of Representatives in the 22nd District, representing parts of Plainville and New Britain.

Some, including Petit's wife, Christine, have come out to blast a campaign ad published on Tuesday, that urged voters to "Stop Donald Trump and Republican William Petit's attack on women and families."

Dr. Petit was the sole survivor of the 2007 Cheshire home invasion in which his wife and two daughters were murdered.

It is unclear who is responsible for the ad, though Petit's opponent, Democrat Betty Boukus, said it was not connected to her campaign.

"I am horrified by the tasteless and offensive attack ad against my opponent. It was produced by a third party with no connection to my campaign, without my knowledge, and without the involvement of anyone associated with my campaign," Boukus said in a statement on Wednesday. "I am asking those responsible to pull the ad and issue and apology to Dr. Petit and his family."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

New Haven Police Arrest 2 on Gun Charges


Two men were arrested after New Haven police spotted a loaded handgun in a car, according to New Haven police.

Police said they responded around 2:40 a.m. to the Regal Inn at 1605 Whalley Avenue Wednesday on a report of a suspicious car circling the motel parking lot. The caller reported that one of the men in the car had a gun.

According to police, they found a silver Honda Accord parked in front of a room at the motel. Officers approached the driver, later identified as Martez Johnson, who told police he did not have a license, registration, or insurance for the vehicle. When the driver refused to exit the vehicle, officers removed him. Police said Johnson had been reaching for a loaded handgun under the car seat.

A second suspect, identified as Marquise Rumley, was arrested when he exited the motel room and said he had just gotten out of the car.

Johnson was charged with interfering with police, weapon in a motor vehicle, criminal possession of a firearm, and six motor vehicle violations. Rumley was charged with weapon in a motor vehicle and criminal possession of a firearm. Both men are convicted felons, police said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

HIV Epidemic Started Spreading in NY in 1970s: Study


A new genetic study confirms theories that the global epidemic of HIV and AIDS started in New York around 1970, and it also clears the name of a gay flight attendant long vilified as being "Patient Zero."

Researchers got hold of frozen samples of blood taken from patients years before the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS was recognized, and teased out genetic material from the virus from that blood.

They used it to show that HIV was circulating widely during the 1970s, and certainly before people began noticing a "gay plague" in New York in the early 1980s, NBC News reported.

"We can date the jump into the U.S. in about 1970 and 1971," Michael Worobey, an expert on the evolution of viruses at the University of Arizona, told reporters in a telephone briefing. "HIV had spread to a large number of people many years before AIDS was noticed."

Their findings also suggest HIV moved from New York to San Francisco in about 1976, they report in the journal Nature.

Photo Credit: Ian Cuming/Getty Images/Ikon Images

Observant Off-Duty Officer Helps Solve Shelton Burglary: PD


An observant off-duty Shelton police officer helped solve a burglary Wednesday morning.

Shelton police said around 1:30 a.m. police responded to a burglary alarm at Scooters convenience store at 484 Bridgeport Avenue. When they arrived thy found the front door glass smashed and the store burglarized.

Surveillance video showed two men pull up to the store in a silver Pontiac just before the alarm went off, police said.

Meanwhile, Detective Christopher Nugent was working a private duty job on Bridgeport Avenue and noticed a silver Pontiac pass him. He passed the plate number along and after a BOLO was issued Bridgeport police located the vehicle around 3 a.m.

The driver, identified as 21-year-old Kenny Xavier of Bridgeport, was wearing clothing similar to one of the subjects in the surveillance video. Police said they also found burglary tools and rolls of coins in the vehicle.

Tapia was arrested and charged with burglary, larceny and criminal mischief. He was arraigned Wednesday.

Police said the case is still under investigation and more arrests are expected.

Photo Credit: Shelton Police Department

Granby Man Has Been Missing for 4 Days


A Granby man has been missing for four days and police have issued a Silver Alert for him.

Police are asking for help to find 62-year-old Daniel Gilbert, who was last seen Saturday and might be driving a 1998 black Jeep Wrangler with Connecticut registration 299TWF.

He is 5-feet-10, weighs 200 pounds and has brown hair, hazel eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to call Granby police at 860-844-5335.

Photo Credit: Silver Alert

US Strike Targets Senior Al Qaeda Commander: Official


A senior al Qaeda commander involved in plots against the United States and Europe was targeted in a U.S. drone strike in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Nayef Salam Muhammad Ujaym al-Hababi and his deputy, Balal al-Utabi, were targeted in separate strikes in the Kunar province, a U.S. official told NBC News on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Sunday's attack was "the most significant al Qaeda strike in Afghanistan in several years," involving Hellfire air-to-surface missiles on each compound, which were "leveled," one of the officials told NBC News.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook confirmed Wednesday night that the strikes took place Sunday, saying, "We are still assessing the results."

Photo Credit: AP

22-Year-Old Injured in New Haven Shooting


New Haven police are investigating after a man was shot in the thigh Wednesday night.

The shooting occurred in the area of 688 Elm Street around 6:30 p.m. Police said the victim, identified as Nathaniel Griffin, 22, of New Haven, was found suffering a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the thigh.

Griffin told police he was shot by someone driving by in a car but provided no description of the vehicle or a shooter. He was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

21-Year-Old Danbury Man Sentenced to Prison for Ponzi Scheme


A 21-year-old Danbury man has been sentenced to federal prison for running a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the US Attorney’s office.

Ian Bick was sentenced to three years in federal prison and three years of supervised release.

Investigators said that Bick ran several Danbury-based companies, including This Is Where It’s At Entertainment, LLC, Planet Youth Entertainment, W&B Wholesale, LLC, and W&B Investments, LLC.

Bick obtained investments from friends, former classmates, acquaintances and their parents by promising high returns through the resale of electronics and by organizing and promoting concerts in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Investigators said Bick falsely represented the amount of profit he could generate to investors.

Authorities said Bick actually used the funds for unrelated businesses and to pay personal expenses. He also used funds to issue payments he claimed were interest payments and return of principal payments to some victims.

Bick defrauded more than 15 investors of a total of $480,635, investigators said. On November 25, 2015, a jury found Bick guilty on six counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. A judge ordered him to make full restitution to his victims.

Bick was indicted in January 2015.

The FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation Division, US Postal Inspection Service, Connecticut Department of Banking, Danbury Police Department and Hartford Police Department all participated in this investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

FBI Investigating White Powder Mailed to New Haven Register


The Federal Bureau of Investigation has responded to the New Haven Register building because of white powder that was mailed to them, according to New Haven police. 

New Haven Register Publisher Kevin Corrado told NBC Connecticut that two employees who came into contact with the white powdery substance had to be quarantined inside the building while everyone else was evacuated. The two employees then went through a decontamination process and were taken to the hospital as a precaution. 

As of 5:30 p.m., employees were allowed back into the offices.

NBC Connecticut reached out to the FBI, but they said at this stage they had no information to release and had not identified the substance.

No additional information was immediately available. 

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

West Hartford Passes Ordinance to Combat Entertainment Noise


The West Hartford Town Council has approved an ordinance that will require businesses apply for an entertainment license and shut the music off a half-hour before closing.

According to West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor an ordinance has been in the works since 2013. With more restaurants and businesses coming to the area the council wanted a measure to maintain a comfortable work and living environment.

“We have a really special center of town that is very vibrant, it's a regional draw,” Cantor said. “We also have an incredibly important desirable neighborhood for people to live in.”

Cantor says the town has received periodic noise and behavior complaints from the center, but more complaints were concentrated around Los Imperios, located at 904 Farmington Avenue.

West Hartford police requested a summary suspension for the restaurant through the Department of Consumer Protection after a shooting took place there at the beginning of September.

“It was frustrating and kind of scary to see the shots fired that night while we were home,” said Farmington Avenue resident Mark Grudzien. “I guess it is a question of finding the right balance to make sure everyone is safe and that everyone is comfortable living in this great community, but that people can still come here and have a good time.”

According to Cantor the ordinance is “not geared toward any one business throughout any area of our town,” instead she says it is being put in place to make sure all businesses are successful.

“The police chief will work with the business establishment to develop a plan on how they can best address their issues so they can be successful and be great additions to the neighborhood rather than a detraction,” Cantor said.

There is no fee for the entertainment license but businesses could face a $250 fine if they do not apply and receive one.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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