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Oklahoma Reckons With Spate of Quakes, Big Oil


Earthquakes are rippling through Oklahoma more quickly than ever, and strong too: forty-six since the beginning of the month, as powerful as magnitude 5.0, NBC News reported.

Scientists say that wastewater from fracking is very likely triggering the tremors at unprecedented rates, but the rise in the oil-tapping process has been a boon for the state's economy — roughly one quarter of jobs are tied to the energy industry.

Now stakeholders in the industry are in the midst of a reckoning over how to keep the ground from shaking, while many policymakers are careful to not implicate the energy industry directly.

"The oil and gas industry basically owns the state," said Oklahoma state Rep. Cory Williams (D-Stillwater). "Policymakers don't want to do anything that appears to harm the jobs created by the oil and gas sector."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Iran Reject Idea That Trump Could Scrap Nuke Deal


President-elect Donald Trump said during the campaign that he would scrap or renegotiate the Iranian nuclear deal, but leaders there said they expected the U.S. to stick to its agreement, NBC News reported.

"The results of the U.S. election have no effect on the policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said one day after the election, according to the state news agency IRNA. Rouhani added that improved economic ties are "irreversible."

Iranian leaders emphasized that the nuclear deal was not a bilateral agreement, but was also reached with China, Russia, France, Germany and the U.K.

"Every U.S. president has to understand the realities of today's world," said Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, one of the architects of the deal. "The most important thing is that the future U.S. president sticks to agreements."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Man Accidentally Shoots Friend in Branford Parking Lot: Police


An East Haven man accidentally shot his friend in the shoulder while handing him a gun in the parking lot of a Branford restaurant on Saturday morning, according to police.

Police were alerted to a shooting at 1:30 a.m., learned the victim, a 24-year-old East Haven man, was on the way to the hospital and told the driver to stop in East Haven so paramedics could treat the victim.

Officers spoke with the victim and other witnesses who said that the shooting occurred happened in the back parking lot at 624 West Main St.

They learned the victim was in the parking lot with two friends and one of them was handing him a gun that had been stored in a motor vehicle when it went off, hitting the victim in the shoulder.

Police are investigating and no charges have been filed.

Free From ISIS, Iraqi Kids Return to Classroom


Education was another casualty of war for 1,000 children, most of whom are only now starting classes after two years without school, at an Iraqi camp for displaced people, NBC News reported.

Their school is a tent, supplies donated hand-outs and their teachers are classmates' parents who have never taught a day in their lives. But after years under ISIS rule where boys' education was ideological indoctrination and basic martial training and girls couldn't learn at all, there's enthusiasm and hope for the future.

"I want to help people and being a doctor is nice," said one girl, named Malak, at the Debaga camp, near Mosul in northern Iraq.

Now it's up to relief agencies to make up for lost time for instruction and help abate the trauma the children suffered amid war.

Photo Credit: NBC News
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Bristol's Reservoir Levels Fall to 42 Percent


Bristol's water department superintendent says the city's reservoir levels have dropped to 42 percent.

The lack of rain continues to make the situation worse, though a mandatory water restriction issued last month has slowed the drop in reservoir levels.

"We have seen over 30 percent conservation since we first issued voluntary restrictions in late August," said Robert Longo, superintendent of the Bristol Water Department.

"Our customers have helped so much by conserving, but without some rain, we just continue to drop."

There's a good chance for at least a half inch of rain Tuesday, and that will help slow the drop in water supply. But it won't erase the drought.

Less than four weeks have past since the Bristol reservoir levels dropped to 50 percent.

Since January 1, 2015, the rainfall deficit in the Hartford area sits at 19.98 inches.

The latest drought monitor, released last Thursday, has central and western Connecticut in a severe drought.

"We need Mother Nature's help now," Longo said.

Photo Credit: Tyler Jankoski

Brush Fire in Cornwall, Warren Is Largest in Recent History


A brush fire caused by lightning strikes in mid-September on the Warren-Cornwall line is the longest burning forest fire, as well as the largest in the state in recent history, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The fire was contained within Wyantenock State Forest in Cornwall until this weekend, when it did spread to around 20 acres of private property.

The fire is now estimated to have burned around 250 acres, some of it from controlled burns used to manage the fire, according to DEEP.

The fire has not threatened any homes or structures, according to DEEP, and DEEP Forestry staff, as well as firefighters from departments in Cornwall, Warren and Washington were at the scene today.

Crews established a control area on the north side of the fire and set a “backburn” to the south to burn off leaves, branches and other natural debris to slow spread of the fire.

DEEP expects the back burn to  cover more than 100 acres today.


  • The ongoing drought conditions are a major reason why this fire has continued to burn.  It is also in an area with many ledges and heavy brush, making it difficult for fire fighters to combat it effectively.

Photo Credit: Merkushev Vasiliy, Shutterstock

Multiple Reports of Swastika Vandalism in Danbury


Danbury police are investigating multiple incidents of property found vandalized with swastikas.

Police said the first instance of vandalism was reported on Oct. 24, when a caller found a swastika scratched into the rear door of a vehicle belonging to Catholic Charities at 64 West Street. Several days later, on Oct. 31, the organization found a black swastika spray-painted on the front door of their building, police said.

Also on Oct. 31, a caller reported a black swastika spray-painted on a van belonging to Fish Window Cleaning at 70 West Street.

In another incident reported on Nov. 2, a resident reported a large black swastika spray-painted on the side of a vehicle. The victim lives on George Street but was not sure exactly where the vandalism actually occurred.

A resident on Division Street also reported similar vandalism to the Danbury News-Times Monday morning, though police said they were not aware of the incident.

In a Facebook post, Mayor Mark Boughton called the vandalism “troubling and horrifying.”

“Rest assured that The City of Danbury will not tolerate acts of hate. When the person or persons are apprehended they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Danbury is a peaceful compassionate community - there is no room for hate,” he wrote.

Danbury police are actively investigating. Anyone with information is asked to contact Danbury police Det. Robert Perun at 203-797-2167.

Photo Credit: Danbury News-Times

FEMA Rejects Request to Investigate Crumbling Foundations


FEMA has rejected Gov. Dannel Malloy’s request to set up an operation in northeastern Connecticut to investigate the crumbling foundations.

In October, the governor wrote FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate asking the agency to establish a field office in northeastern Connecticut to conduct a preliminary damage assessment to determine the extent and impact of what he describes as approximately 34,000 homes in the area with foundations that could be at risk of crumbling and actually collapsing.

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A state investigation concluded what the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters reported over year ago, that a chemical reaction involving a naturally-occurring mineral called pyrrhotite causes the in deterioration.

In a letter dated Nov. 8, Fugate responded that while the chemical reaction that caused the crumbling is natural, pouring foundations is a manmade event, therefore the issue is not a natural catastrophe.

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Fugate did offer to make a liaison available to assist the state in coordinating with other federal partners.

NBC Connecticut has reached out to the governor's office for comment.

See prior stories about the crumbling foundations issue.

KKK Video Was Shot in East Windsor: State Police


East Windsor police are investigating after video started circulating on social media showing people dressed in Ku Klux Klan outfits. The video was shot during a party in East Windsor, according to local police, and they are calling it "deplorable and reprehensible."

Police in East Windsor and other local communities learned this weekend about the video, which shows people -- some wearing white KKK robes -- dancing at a fire.

Detective Sgt. Matthew Carl said during a news conference on Monday afternoon that the video was taken at a party and they are trying to determine exactly where it was shot and who was involved.

"We take this matter very seriously," he said. "What we had seen on the post was disturbing. We consider the incident deplorable and reprehensible. The KKK and the symbol of KKK, which is a hood that you folks have all seen, is a hate crime."   

Carl added that East Windsor residents are "shaken to the core" and said they will file any charges that are applicable.

"With the sentiment of the country and the things that have been going on around it, we do not want anybody to think the police department is taking this matter lightly," Carl said. "It is a hate crime, in our eyes."

Police said the video It was not at a KKK rally, he said, but they are taking it seriously.

Posts on Facebook claimed the video was taken in Stafford and that some of the subjects in the video are Stafford residents, but police were able to determine it was actually taken in East Windsor.

In a post on Facebook, the Stafford First Selectman’s office said after meeting with local police, state police and two people who attended the event, they've determined the party did not occur in Stafford, but a Stafford resident did attend. The resident apologized and reportedly told officials they "they unequivocally denounce the KKK looking costume."

Carl said investigators are learning that around 30 to 50 people were at the party and they do not believe, based on interviews with people who were, there that it was a KKK-planned rally. They instead believe kids that kids were getting together.

The Stafford First Selectman also described the video as “disturbing and disgusting,” and said they would not tolerate such behavior.

"We have zero tolerance regarding bigotry or hate regardless of where it happens," a Facebook post from the office read.

Photo Credit: Facebook
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9-Year-Old Boy Dies in Meriden 'Suspicious' House Fire: Police


A 9-year-old boy who was in critical condition after fire engulfed a house on Davis Street in Meriden this morning has died. 

Firefighters responded to the house on Davis Street at 7:17 a.m. and found the boy and his mother, who both suffered from smoke inhalation.

The Fire Marshall advised officials that the fire appeared to be suspicious in nature, police said. 

The mother remains in critical condition.

The victims' identities have not been released. 

Anyone with information regarding the fire is asked to contact Detective Angelo Stavrides at (203) 630-6233. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woman Sues Zara Over Dead Rat


A Manhattan woman is suing Spanish fashion retailer Zara after she says she found a rat sewn into a dress she bought at one of their stores.

In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court last week, 24-year-old Cailey Fiesel says that she not only suffered emotional distress but was diagnosed with a rodent-born disease after wearing the dress.

Court documents say that Fiesel bought two dresses “off-the-rack” at Zara’s Greenwich, Connecticut, store back in July and hung them in her closet. In mid-August, she wore the black dress in question for the first time.

While at work, Fiesel says she started to notice a “disturbingly pungent odor” but couldn’t figure out where the offending smell was coming from. “She was unable to escape this odor,” according to court papers.

Throughout the day, Fiesel says she noticed something that felt like a loose string from her dress rubbing against her leg. She didn’t give much thought to it and reached down to try to find the string. That’s when she says she made the grisly discovery.

“To her utter shock and disbelief, as she ran her hand over the hem of the dress she felt an unusual bulge and suddenly realized that it was not a string that was rubbing against her leg but was instead a leg rubbing against her leg. The leg of a dead rodent that is,” court documents say.

“Paralyzed with fear,” Fiesel jumped out of her chair as coworkers gathered around her desk. Court documents claim that when she took off the dress she found a dead rodent sewn into its hem, the bulge of its body hidden beneath the fabric.

Photos of the dress included with the court papers “conspicuously [depict] the dead rodent with at least one of its appendages protruding.”

The lawsuit claims that Fiesel “has sustained significant personal injuries and emotional distress” and “a large rash that was diagnosed as a rodent born disease” as a result of Zara’s negligence.

It was Zara’s duty “to prevent its products from being manufactured and sold with disease causing rodents sewn into them,” the suit says.

Fiesel is seeking unspecified damages.

A spokesperson for Zara USA told NBC 4 New York the company is aware of the allegation and is investigating the matter.

"The brand has stringent quality controls and health and safety standards worldwide that are followed and met in manufacturing, including stitching and pressing," the spokesperson said. "We are committed to ensuring that all of our products meet these rigorous requirements."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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East Haven Man Charged in North Haven Bank Robbery


North Haven police arrested a man accused of robbing the Wells Fargo Bank on Washington Avenue Monday.

Daniel Toce, 29, of East Haven, faces charges of second-degree robbery and fourth-degree larceny.

Police said Toce walked into the bank around 12:30 p.m. and passed a note to the teller demanding money. The teller complied and Toce then fled, police said.

No weapon was displayed and no one was injured in the incident.

North Haven police, with assistance from East Haven police, identified Toce as the suspect.

Police located Toce at a motel in Branford and took him into custody without incident with the help of Branford police.

Toce was held on a $50,000 and is expected to appear in Meriden Superior Court Tuesday.

Photo Credit: North Haven Police Department

Most States Spotty on Reporting Police Use of Force Data


The Department of Justice's pilot program to collect data on how many people are shot or killed by police officers each year relies on voluntary participation by state and law enforcement departments, NBC News reported.

Historically, states have typically been reluctant on sharing such information, according to criminal justice experts. And without that data, federal officials don't know how many officers cause injuries through excessive "use-of-force."

Americans "actually have no idea if the number of black people or brown people or white people being shot by police is up, down or sideways over the last three years, five years, 10 years," FBI Director James Comey said recently.

Until recently, it wasn't required that this information be reported to the federal government, and there was no legislation requiring the 18,000 police departments across the nation to keep those statistics. Congress passed the Death in Custody Reporting Act two years ago, but the law still isn't in full effect.

Photo Credit: Sean Rayford/Getty Images, File

Silver Alert Canceled for Mansfield Man


Police have canceled a Silver Alert for Mansfield man they said who might have been in need of medication.

Police issued a Silver Alert early this morning for 32-year-old Jared Governale and said his ATM card was used around 5 a.m. on Route 80 in Pennsylvania.

Governale was believed to be driving a 2009 Honda Civic LX with Connecticut plates 274WEA and police have notified Pennsylvania State Police.

Photo Credit: Silver Alert

Brothers Suspected in Murder of Willimantic Man Found in Arizona


Two brothers suspected in the murder of a Willimantic man Saturday were taken into custody in Arizona Tuesday, according to police. 

Willimantic police identified the victim as Francisco Delazcruz-Coj and they were searching for Juan Chach, 24, and Ignacio Chach-Aperez, 26, who were taken into custody today in Arizona by Homeland Security Agents and the Phoenix Police Department Fugitive Task Force.  

Juan Chach and Ignacio Chach-Aperez are being held in custody at the Maricopa County Jail in Arizona as felony fugitives from justice and will be extradited to Connecticut.

The warrant for Chach carries the charges of murder and tampering with evidence, while the warrant for Chach-Aperez carries the charges of accessory to murder and-tampering with evidence

Bond for both has been set at $1 million.

Police found Delazcruz-Coj when they responded to a disturbance call at 38 Pulaski Court around 3 a.m. Saturday.

When officers arrived, they found Delazcruz-Coj with life-threatening injuries and paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. The two suspects were seen running and one was bleeding, according to state police.

All three men knew each other, according to police, but no information was available on their relationship. 

State police said they are handling the investigation at the request of the Willimantic Police Chief and the State’s Attorney office and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.

“This was not a random act and the parties involved were in fact known to one another. At this time there is no immediate danger to the community” Lt. Stanley Parizo Jr., of Willimantic Police, said in a statement.

Photo Credit: Willimantic Police

Mellen Street Bridge in Bristol to Close Wed. for Repairs


A portion of Mellen Street in Bristol will be closed for scheduled repaving Wednesday.

The road will be closed between Memorial Boulevard and Riverside Avenue from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 16 for bridge repairs and repaving, according to the Public Works Department.

Drivers should expect delays in the area and limited access to nearby parking lots. “No Parking” signs will be posted at the appropriate times, officials said.

Anyone with questions can contact the Bristol Public Works Department at 860-584-6297.

Photo Credit: Getty Image

Stratford Police Charge Man in Shooting


Stratford police have charged a man with assault in after a shooting on Nov. 11.

Rodney Johnson Junior, 20, was arrested in Stamford Monday evening. Police said when he was arrested at his father’s home, officers found a .380 caliber handgun that had previously been reported stolen and an electronic defense weapon.

Johnson was charged with first-degree assault, unlawful discharge of a firearm, criminal possession of a firearm, criminal possession of ammunition, carrying a pistol without a permit, and risk of injury to a minor. He was issued a $500,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 22.

Johnson also faces charges for the stolen firearm – sixth-degree larceny and illegal transfer of a firearm.

Photo Credit: Stratford Police Department

Route 8 South Reopens in Shelton


Route 8 South in Shelton has reopened after a a rollover crash.

The highway was closed for about an hour near exit 12 after the accident. State police said one vehicle was involved and the driver was trapped in the vehicle, but was able to speak to first responders and said he was not injured, just stuck.

No other details were available.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Crews Battle Vernon Brush Fire at Valley Falls Park


Crews are fighting a brush fire on the Rails to Trails at Valley Falls Park in Vernon, Tolland County Dispatch confirmed.

Vernon fire officials confirmed they were called out around 12:30 a.m. When they arrived they found the flames stretching about a half mile along the cliffs, along the rail line.

The dark and steep cliffs made the fire tricky to handle and crew safety was a major concern.

Vernon Fire Chief Stephen Eppler said drought conditions are also a concern.

"Because we have not received any rain in quite a while, all of the fallen leaves have dried and are very combustible and readily burn. The dry conditions we've had for this period of time significantly added to that fuel load that's out there," he said.

As of 4 a.m. the fire was contained and firefighters were working on small pockets of active fire and hotspots.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

More Hate Crimes Reported Amid Trump's Call to 'Stop It'


A family in Michigan awoke Saturday to find a wall of boxes scrawled with "Trump," "Take Back America" and "Mexicans suck" blocking their driveway. A doll made of balloons was also found hanging nearby and a vulgar message was spray-painted on the driveway, police said

In Maryland, parishioners arriving for Sunday services discovered the words "Trump Nation, Whites Only" scrawled on the walls of the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour in Silver Spring. The church offers weekly Spanish-language services.

In Brooklyn, a suspect spray-painted a swastika in front of a 78-year-old man's home. And three students were disciplined after a Confederate flag was brought to Coral Reef Senior High School in South Florida on Monday, officials said. 

Nearly a week after the election of Donald Trump, reports of hateful intimidation or harassment continue. By Friday, Nov. 11, the Southern Poverty Law Center received 200 such reports. By Monday afternoon, that number jumped to 315, the SPLC told NBC. 

Most of the cases appear to involve graffiti or intimidation directed at racial or ethnic minorities and in some reports the perpetrators indicated support for Trump. 

Ryan Lenz, a spokesman for the anti-intolerance watchdog said acts of hate and intimidation occurred in the U.S. during the campaign season with SPLC tracking the high-profile cases. But those incidents have increased sharply since Election Day on Nov. 8. 

"After the election these reports have become ever present, coming at us and everyone else at a level that was demanding our attention. And so what we did — we started to tally them," Lenz said. He added that the reports "are not completely confirmed."

After calls for Trump to address the hateful incidents, the president-elect said in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes," that he did not hear about the violence and harassment in his name or in some cases directed at his supporters, other than "one or two instances."

"I would say don’t do it, that’s terrible, ‘cause I’m gonna bring this country together," Trump said in addressing his supporters.

He added: "I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, “Stop it.” If it-- if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it."

During the campaign for president, Trump was criticized for being slow to condemn former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke after he gave the candidate his backing. The Republican has also repeatedly retweeted messages from white supremacist sympathizers. 

Lenz said the SPLC commends Trump for addressing his supporters in the Sunday interview. But he said that Trump's actions contradict his words. 

"This is an energized and angry movement that has been given legitimacy because of the election and suddenly to switch gears on them and tell them the hate we’ve been jamming down your throat and legitimizing and targeting Muslims and immigrants, 'oh by the way slow down on that,' I mean it doesn't seem to be an appropriate effort at this hour," Lenz said. 

Trump's directive to his supporters came on the same day he named Steven Bannon his White House chief strategist and senior counselor. Bannon, the Trump campaign CEO, came from Breitbart News, the site that under his leadership has pushed a nationalist, anti-establishment agenda and become one of the leading outlets of the so-called alt-right — a movement often associated with far-right efforts to preserve "white identity," oppose multiculturalism and defend "Western values."

On Monday, Breitbart.com published a story by a senior editor that cited a few cases of the reported hate crimes that turned out to be untrue or unverified, using the headline "Wave of Fake 'Hate Crimes' Sweeps Anti-Trump Social Media."

The story dismissed cases of intimidating behavior by students as "boorish" and argued "real crimes" are being committed by protesters at some anti-Trump protests. The media "narrative" of a wave of hate crimes is meant to tarnish the president-elect, the story argued. 

Lenz said Trump's appointment of Bannon, "someone whose website has trafficked and anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic memes for the better part of 18 months, seems to put a big red stamp of illegitimacy" on anything the president-elect says. 

Trump's transition team has not responded to NBC's request for comment on the new reports of hateful incidents and on Lenz's comments about Bannon. 

Bannon's pick was met with backlash from, in some cases, both sides of the political aisle.

John Weaver, a Republican strategist who worked for Ohio Gov. John Kasich's presidential campaign, tweeted, "The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office. Be very vigilant, America."

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that including Bannon in the new administration "is an alarming signal that President-elect Trump remains committed to the hateful and divisive vision that defined his campaign. There must be no sugarcoating the reality that a white nationalist has been named chief strategist for the Trump Administration."

The day after Bannon's appointment, The American Jewish Committee and the Islamic Society of North America, two of the nation’s largest Jewish and Muslim advocacy groups, announced they've joined forces to fight bigotry.

“We have to show the administration that as American Muslims and Jews — people of the faiths of Abraham — we are uniting to help the administration navigate in the proper constitutional manner, to uphold freedom of religion and constitutional rights for all American citizens," said Eftakhar Alam, senior coordinator at ISNA’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances.

The concept to form the council originated months before the election, Alam said, and would've been implemented even if Democrat Hillary Clinton won.

Meanwhile on Monday, the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting division released its annual "Hate Crimes Statistics" report, on the number of bias-motivated incidents in 2015.

More than 5,800 incidents of hate crimes were reported to authorities, involving 7,121 victims, the report said.

The number of hate crimes rose 6 percent in 2015. The number of reported anti-Muslim hate crimes jumped 66 percent that year, according to the report.

Lenz said the FBI's report is not surprising. 

"The year in question saw extreme growth in Anti-Muslim movement as a result of terror attacks in the U.S. and Europe," Lenz said. "It came at a time when there was tremendous fear of refugees coming from Syria as a result of conflict there and also came at a time when President-elect Donald Trump was traveling the country making promises about putting a complete ban on the immigration of Muslims to the United States a ban that’s arguably completely unconstitutional of the ground of prohibiting someone based on their race or religion."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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