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Dashcam Caught Video of Truck Involved in East Haven Fatal Hit-and-Run: Police


Video from a police dashcam help authorities capture the man suspected of hitting and killing a woman in East Haven on Saturday night, then fleeing the scene, police said. On Wednesday afternoon, the department released that video.

A police officer who was traveling through the Country House parking lot on the way to an unrelated call was the one to find 59-year-old Lynn Travisano lying in Foxon Road around 8:39 p.m. Saturday, according to police. 

Travisano later died from her injuries at Yale-New Haven Hospital, according to police.

When police reviewed the video from the dashcam, they realized it captured a silver 2013 Chevy Silverado with front end damage driving away from the scene and authorities said that video played a huge part in apprehending the suspects.

Officers found the Silverado in New Haven and have charged 33-year-old Edward Santomassimo with evading responsibility, resulting in death, and interfering with a police officer, police said.

His passenger, 33-year-old Jeanna Suraci, has been charged with interfering with a police officer and hindering prosecution.

Travisano was the mother of two grown children and two grandchildren. Her funeral services are planned for next week.

Santomassimo's bond was set at $750,000, while Suraci's bond was set at $75,000.

Photo Credit: East Haven Police

Teen Missing After Leaving Hamden Facility


Hamden police are asking for help to find a 16-year-old girl who left a Hamden facility around 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday. 

The facility called police around 9 p.m. to report Bianca Amendola left 1400 Whitney Ave. around 7:45 a.m. and did not return, according to police. 

Bianca is 5-feet- 3, weighs 190 pounds and has blonde hair. She was last seen wearing a gray sweat jacket with a hood and gray sweatpants. 

Anyone with information on where she is should call the Special Victims Unit at (203) 230- 4000.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Sold Cocaine at Stratford Bars: Police


Police have arrested a Bridgeport man who is accused of selling cocaine at bars in Stratford. 

Police said they took 56-year-old Evaristo Castro, of Bridgeport, into custody during a traffic stop on Tuesday and searched his home on 295 Putnam Street with help from Bridgeport Police. 

Police said they seized an SKS rifle, approximately $18,749 and 260 grams of cocaine. 

Evaristo has been charged with sale of cocaine, criminal possession of a firearm and operating a drug factory.

He was held on a $250,000 bond and is due in Bridgeport Court on Dec. 16.

Photo Credit: Stratford Police

Survivors, Veterans Observe 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor


Veterans and survivors gather in Oahu, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 2016 to observe the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor surprise attack 75 years ago.

Photo Credit: NBC News

Motorcyclist Killed in Crash on Route 39 in New Fairfield


A 32-year-old New Fairfield man was killed in a motorcycle crash on Route 39 North in New Fairfield the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 1.

Police identified the motorcyclist as Carlos Alberto Robles Flores.

He was thrown from his Kawasaki after colliding with  Kia Optima near Old Shortwoods Road at 2:22 p.m. last Thursday, according to state police.

Police said Flores crossed over the center lane and collided with the Kia and was pronounced dead after being transported to Danbury Hospital.

The other driver sustained minor injuries, according to police.

State police are asking anyone with information to call the New Fairfield Resident Troopers Office.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Grooming Linked to Increased Risk of STIs: Study


Grooming pubic hair may be linked to an increased risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, according to a new study.

The study, published in the Sexually Transmitted Infections journal, surveyed 7,580 people between the ages of 18 and 65. The researches asked the participants whether they trimmed or shaved their pubic hair; how often they did so and what tools they used. Researches also asked the participants how many sexual partners they've had and whether they've had a sexually transmitted infection. 

The results showed that participants who trimmed or shaved their pubic hair had a higher rate of contracting an STI, but did not prove a direct correlation between the two.  

Participants who regularly groomed their pubic hair were 80 percent more likely to report contracting an STI than those who never groomed, according to the study. 

The researchers note small tears in the skin created during grooming could allow STI-causing bacteria to infect someone who shaves their private parts. 

But the correlation could also be accounted for if the people who groom tend to have more sexual partners, thus putting them at greater risk of contracting an STI.

The study had other limitations, like not asking participants if they used condoms during sex, Debby Herbenick, an associate professor at Indiana University Bloomington, told Live Science. 

Photo Credit: Getty

Dow, S&P Close at All Time High


U.S. equities closed sharply higher on Wednesday as the Dow and S&P hit new record highs, while investors awaited a monetary policy announcement from the European Central Bank, CNBC reported.

The S&P 500 gained around 1.3 percent while the Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 300 points, and the Nasdaq composite rose 1.2 percent.

"I think this is more momentum from the Trump rally," said Adam Sarhan, CEO at 50 Park Investments. "You've got the financials, transports, steel stocks, small and mid-cap stocks all trading higher. The areas that have worked [since the election] continue to work."

"While all this is happening, you've seen virtually no selling. That's very good for stocks moving forward," he added.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Shooter Aiming at Man Hit Muhammad Islamic Center in Hamden: Police


A man shot at another man in Hamden early Sunday morning and ended up firing several bullets at the Muhammad Islamic Center, according to police. 

Police responded to reports of gunshots in the area of Dixwell Avenue and North Street around 1 a.m. and learned that a 53-year-old Hamden man was standing near his motor vehicle when someone fired gunshots at him.

No one was injured and the shooter ran and got into a minivan, police said. 

Officer Eric Hallstrom then saw a car crash on Arch Street. The shooter had been in one of those cars, which fled the scene, and was later found unoccupied on Morse Street, police said. 

Soon after, Hamden Police realized the Muhammad Islamic Center at 870 Dixwell Ave. was struck by several bullets and investigators believe that the damage happened during the initial shooting. 

Police are looking for a thin man in his 30s who has braided hair.

I-84 West in Danbury Reopens After Tractor Trailer Rollover


Traffic was backed up on Interstate 84 West in Danbury for miles over several hours after a CVS  tractor-trailer rolled over around 5 a.m. Wednesday.

State police said the highway was closed between exits 5 and 6 when the truck overturned around 5 a.m.

The crash caused major traffic backups for around six miles during the early part of the morning commute.

"I was in the traffic, getting into 84 from Milford Route 7," Johnny Cordero, of New Milford, said. "I had to go around." 

Traffic was not only backed up on the highway. It was also backed up on the back roads as well. 

“I got news of the accident and I tried to go around it," James DeAngelis, of Seymour, said. Lost about 45 minutes.” 

No injuries were reported in the crash. 

The highway is now open. 

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Stainless Steel Playground Slides Recalled Over Amputation Risk


Playworld Systems Inc. is recalling 1,300 slides that are used in school and municipal playgrounds after a defect caused two children to suffer finger amputations.

The Lightning Slides were sold by independent distributors between November 2000 and October 2016. They are made of stainless steel and the welds on the slides can crack and separate. A child's finger can get caught in the space.

The company said it is aware of 13 incidents of broken welds and two children who have suffered finger amputations.

Consumers were advised to stop using the recalled slides. They were sold to parks, schools and municipalities for between $1,500 through $4,000.

Playworld, based in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, is contacting consumers who purchased the slides directly. Buyers can get a free replacement.

For more information, consumers can call Playworld at 1-800-233-8404 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, send email to info@playworld.com or visit Playworld.com's Slide Recall Safety Information for more information.

Photo Credit: Playworld/NBC 5 News

Former Astronaut John Glenn Hospitalized


John Glenn, an astronaut who became an American hero and was later elected to the U.S. Senate, is hospitalized in Ohio.

Glenn, 95, was at The James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University on Wednesday. His condition and exact illness were not known, and officials said his stay at the hospital does not necessarily mean he has cancer.

Glenn had surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in 2014 to replace a heart valve and suffered a stroke, according to Cleveland.com. His health, including his eyesight, has declined in recent years.

"Anybody who's 95, any illness is always bad," Hank Wilson, a spokesman for the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State University, told Cleveland.com

Glenn, born in Ohio in 1921, was the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. One of the “Mercury Seven,” the first group of astronauts picked by NASA, he orbited Earth three times in 1962 aboard a spacecraft he named “Friendship 7." He spent five hours in space.

He returned to space in 1998 when he flew with six other astronauts on the space shuttle. He was 77 at the time.

Glenn was elected to the U.S. Senate from Ohio in 1974. A Democrat, he served for 25 years.

Photo Credit: AP

Trump Picks WWE's Linda McMahon for SBA Job


Donald Trump will nominate wrestling executive Linda McMahon to serve as administrator of the Small Business Administration, a Cabinet-level position.

Trump says McMahon will be a "champion for small businesses and unleash America's entrepreneurial spirit all across the country."

McMahon is the co-founder and former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, the professional wrestling organization.

She ran two expensive, contentious, yet ultimately unsuccessful campaigns for the U.S. Senate in her home state of Connecticut. She's also a sought-after Republican donor.

In a statement, McMahon says she's honored to join an economic team that will "promote our country's small businesses and help them grow and thrive."

Photo Credit: AP

Three Students Transported to Hospital Following Vernon Bus Crash


Three students were transported to the hospital following a bus crash in Vernon on Wednesday.

At 3:35 p.m., crews responded to the crash on Union Street near West Street where a pick up truck and school bus collided with each other, police said. 

The bus was full of elementary school children coming from the Skinner Road School and a few students with reported minor injuries were evaluated by EMS on the scene. 

Two students were transported to Rockville General Hospital and one student to CCMC by ambulance for futher evaluation.

The rest of the students were released to their parents or guardians.

The driver of the pick up truck was cited by Vernon Police for causing the crash but there identity has not been released.

Both vehicles sustained minor damages. 

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Most Popular Baby Names of 2016: Report


Babycenter has released its list of most popular baby names for 2016.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Brand X

Man Stole $600 Worth of Packages from East Hampton Homes: PD


East Hampton police have arrested a Portland man accused of stealing over $600 worth of packages from homes in the Skyline Estates area.

Jason Carrier was arrested Tuesday and charged with larceny.

The investigation began when a resident reported a stolen package to police and provided officers with surveillance video. Police said the video showed a male suspect in a silver Subaru Impreza stop at the home and steal the package.

Police were able to identify the suspect vehicle through the surveillance and spotted the vehicle on Waterhole Road a short time later. According to police, Carrier was driving the car when it was pulled over and he confessed to stealing the package.

Carrier was released on a $1,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 13.

Police said they recovered the stolen package and another package Carrier said he stole from the same neighborhood. Police estimate the merchandise to be worth over $600. Anyone missing a package scheduled for delivery on Dec. 6 is asked to contact East Hampton police at 860-267-9922.

The department remind residents to take safety measures when having packages delivered, such as making sure a resident or neighbor is home. Any suspicious activity should be reported to police.

Photo Credit: East Hampton Police Department

'Going to Be a Shock': Polar Vortex to Send Temps Plunging


The first arctic blast of the season has hit mainland United States, blanketing parts of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and the Dakotas with temperatures as low as minus 14 overnight, NBC News reported.

But meteorologists are warning about a second, perhaps even colder freeze that could spread into the East Coast and possibly portions of the South late next week. A shift in a weather system known as the Polar Vortex may be partially to blame, according to The Weather Channel.

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By Friday evening these frigid temperatures were expected to have swept most of the U.S. with temperatures in the 20s from Albuquerque to Buffalo, and from Atlanta to Seattle. New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston were also expected to flirt with freezing temperatures Friday night.

"It's going to be a shock," said Kevin Roth, senior meteorologist at The Weather Channel.

Photo Credit: AP

Memorial Service Today for Wethersfield Police Dog


A memorial service will be held today for Thor, a Wethersfield police dog that died from injuries sustained while pursuing a kidnapping suspect.

The service will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the community center on Greenfield Street in Wethersfield. You can watch the service live here. 

Wethersfield Police said they were responding to a call about a woman who was abducted from Hartford and being held in a motel on the Silas Deane Highway, near Executive Square and officers found the suspect in a thicket.

Thor started chasing the suspect and his handler lost sight of him, police said.  

Officers found someone matching the suspect's condition in Rocky Hill.

During the search, Thor got separated from his handler, Officer Nuno Martins.

Two hours later, a state trooper found Thor in a river, submerged to his chest.  

"He was found in a river, submerged up to the chest," Dr. Ben March, of Pieper Olson Connecticut Valley Veterinary Associates in Middletown, said.

Thor was shivering and had icicles on him, March said.

Thor received a blood transfusion, but somehow he got a blood clot and died, police said. 

At first, police thought the kidnapping suspect might have kicked Thor, but the veterinarian thought he might have fallen in the woods.

An ultrasound determined that Thor died of injuries related to the search.

Photo Credit: Wethersfield Police
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No Fire Alarms at Oakland Warehouse


The investigation into last week's devastating Oakland warehouse blaze has yet to reveal what caused the inferno, which claimed 36 lives and has been deemed the United States' deadliest fire in 13 years, federal officials said Wednesday.

City officials revealed that the building, which was used for artist's studios and illegal living spaces, hadn't been looked into by city building inspectors in over 30 years. And the NBC Bay Area I-Team found that there is no record that Oakland fire inspectors had been inside the warehouse in the last decade.

An electronic music party was in full swing at the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse when a three-alarm fire sparked around 11:30 p.m. Friday. City officials identified two more victims — Jason McCarty, 35, and Wolfgang Renner, 61, both of Oakland — on Wednesday, bringing the total number of names released to 28. 

The Oakland fire has the highest number of casualties in the United States since a 2003 nightclub fire killed 100 people in Rhode Island, said Jill Snyder, special agent in charge of the San Francisco office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Snyder, during a media briefing Wednesday, said there was no evidence a fire alarm or fire suppression system was installed at the warehouse, located at 1315 E. 31st Ave.

The fire appears to have started on the first floor of the warehouse and smoke trapped occupants on the second floor, Snyder said. It was "well developed" before second-floor occupants realized the building was engulfed. The building's two stairwells, which connected the first and second floors, did not lead to exits, she said. 

Reports pointing to a refrigerator as a cause for the fire are false, Snyder said, adding that investigators are not ruling it out. There is also no evidence the fire was intentionally set, she added.

Reporters grilled Darin Ranilletti, interim director of Oakland's Planning and Building Department, about a history of code violations at 1315 31st Avenue — the warehouse — and 1305 31st Avenue - the vacant lot next door.

"Our records didn't show that an inspector had been inside the building in the last year 30 years," Ranelletti said at a news conference. Building inspectors can only go inside a property when following up on a permit request or complaint about its interior, he said.

When asked about neighbors' complaints regarding house construction at the warehouse in 2014, Ranelletti clarified that their grievances were for the vacant lot adjacent to the warehouse. Not seeing construction on the vacant lot, inspectors dismissed the complaint, he said.

Most recently, Ranelletti said an inspector visited the vacant lot on Nov. 17 and 18, 2016, in response to a complaint about blight and an illegal interior building stucture. A notice of violation was issued, and the propety owner was given until Jan. 16 to respond.

"If we have an inspector that's looking at a particular property for which the complaint has been registered, he or she is not going to investigate adjacent properties on the street unless there's a physical obvious violation," Rannelletti said. "And at that time, that inspector did not see a physical, obvious violation at the warehouse."

The city employs about 11 building inspectors, Rannelletti said, who are tasked with handling an estimated 4,000 complaints a year. It's a similar situation at Oakland's Fire Prevention Bureau, which employs six fire inspectors, who had not stepped foot inside the warehouse in over a decade

One retired fire inspector told the I-Team that it is clear from pre-fire photos of the conditions there that such an inspection would have led to citations at the warehouse.

City Mayor Libby Schaaf said she will be working with city agencies to reform Oakland's building complaint system to prevent future tragedies.

However, Shelley Mack, a former tenant of the now-devastated warehouse where about 18 artists lived and worked, believes it was just a matter of time before the building that felt more like a maze went up in flames.

"This was senseless," Mack said. "This was exactly what I was trying to prevent."

Mack said she shelled out nearly $600 a month in rent, but lease-holder Derick Almena refused to make the building safer, instead profiting off those living inside.

"Derick isn’t a victim of the housing crisis," Mack said, but "a predator of the housing crisis."

Wednesday's updates to the investigation came hours after crews and cadaver dogs completed a search of the warehouse, with the death toll holding at 36. 

According to Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly, the investigation has taken its toll, especially as those looking into the fire heard stories of people sending farewell texts to family members as the warehouse burned.

Families have received "messages of 'I am going to die. I love you,'" Kelly said, "and so those have been hard."

Thirty-two victims' families have been notified of their deaths, while three were being informed as of Wednesday afternoon. One victim needs scientific identification, officials explained.

"We will no longer find other victims — that's huge," Kelly said.  

On Tuesday, Oakland officials declared a local state of emergency because of the fire. The city council is scheduled to ratify the state of emergency on Thursday, which makes the city eligible for state and federal aid.

Mayor Schaaf said Wednesday that her top priority is making the city safer and addressing issues drudged up by the fatal fire.

"Oakland will move forward with compassion and an unwavering commitment to safety in all of its forms," Schaaf said.

Toward that end, she has spearheaded a national fire safety task force with help from the National Fire Protection Association — three representatives of which are currently aboard a flight heading to the East Bay — and U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell, Jr. 

"My immediate priorities for this task force are enhanced building safety, event safety and complaint procedures," Schaaf said. "Some areas where we'll be considering new regulations include smoke alarms, carbon monoxide monitors, enhanced fire inspections, stronger emergency exit requirements, the permitting of events and the monitoring of illegal events."

Schaaf stressed that it is essential to "clarify the responsibility of city employees to properly report any obs of dangerous living condtions and illegal events."

However, she stressed, "We will not scapegoat city employees in the wake of this disaster."

The city's Artist Housing and Workspace Task Force will also be reconvened and expanded, according to Schaaf, to "ensure that the arts community is fully engaged in this conversation."

Photo Credit: Provided to NBC News / Getty Images

Person Who Prompted Milford School Lockdown Taken to Hospital


Things are back to normal at Meadowside School in Milford after police responded for an emotionally disturbed person with a knife outside apartments nearby.

Police said they responded to apartments near the school to deal with an emotionally disturbed person outside who was threatening to harm himself and have taken the person to the hospital.

The school was on lockdown, but the scene is now clear. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

6.5M Earthquake Off California


An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 struck Thursday morning about 100 miles of the coast of Ferndale, in Humboldt County, California.

There were no immediate reports of damage. The US Geological Survey originally reported the 6:50 a.m. PT quake as having a magnitude of 6.8. About 90 minutes later, the USGS reported a quake with a magnitude of 5.0 in the nearby area.

An area police dispatcher told NBC Bay Area that she barely felt it on land, and a USGS "did you feel it" map shows light shaking was felt in Eureka and the nearby California coast.

According to USGS responses, the quake was felt in Arcata, Fortuna and Fort Bragg with some responses as far away as San Francisco and Santa Cruz.

A tsunami is not expected for California, Oregon, Washington state and Alaska, the National Weather Service tweeted.

There are roughly 56 earthquakes in that range of the Richter scale each year, according to the USGS.

Photo Credit: USGS
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