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Suspect Accused of Running Man Over With Truck: Police


East Hampton police have arrested a suspect accused of assaulting a man and then running the victim over with a truck.

Alex Banning, 24, is facing a variety of charges including second-degree assault with a motor vehicle, third-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, DUI, and second-degree threatening.

According to police, they responded to a home on Coughlin Road around 1:45 p.m. When they arrived they found that several people had been threatened by the suspect with a metal pipe. Witnesses reported that Banning attacked a 30-year-old man and then ran him over with a pickup before taking off.

The victim was taken to Middlesex Medical Center for treatment.

Banning was located in his vehicle and arrested. He was held on a $50,000 bond and expected to appear in court Monday.

Photo Credit: East Hampton Police Department

Hoverboard Blamed for Deadly Fire


A fire that killed a toddler and critically injured two others, and also led to critical injuries to a responding fire official, appears to have been sparked by a recharging hoverboard, authorities said.

Toddler's Death Is First in US Linked to Hoverboard Fires: CPSC


Hoverboards have long been considered a fire hazard, but this weekend brought the first death in the United States linked to the popular gadgets, and it may lead to another round of recalls.

A toddler died Friday in a fire possibly sparked by a charging hoverboard in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, according to the local fire department. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which oversees U.S. product safety guidelines, has been warning about the dangers of the toy for a year and a half. 

“This issue goes back to fall of 2015,” said CPSC communications director Scott Wolfson. “We have long recommended that consumers not charge them overnight. They should not be charged in an area not observed by the consumer and they should have a fire extinguisher nearby.”

The CPSC is now working to open a federal investigation into the fire that led to the girl's death, Wolfson said. CPSC has investigated more than 60 fires since fall 2015.

Hoverboards first hit the market in 2014, according to Wired. Quickly, people began reporting the two-wheeled self-balancing scooters were catching fire, prompting a warning from the CPSC in February 2016. By July, more than 500,000 hoverboards were recalled nationwide due to exploding batteries.

The hoverboard that sparked the Harrisburg fire was plugged in before it caught fire on Friday night.

The Lehigh County coroner’s office pronounced toddler Ashanti Hughes dead around midday on Saturday morning. Authorities said she was 3 years old, but family told NBC News she was just shy of her third birthday.

Two other children, Savannah and Raelynn Wolfe, were severely injured as well.

"I'm so mad," Laina Wolfe, mother of Savannah and Raelynn, told the "Today" show. "I can't replace a child. There's no replacing my baby, ever." 

Authorities haven't identified the brand of the hoverboard that caught fire.

If it was a previously recalled model, the tragic death of the toddler could cause the CPSC to re-announce a recall, Wolfoson said. If it was not previously recalled the CPSC will take a “closer look” at the model.

Despite Hughes' death, the overall safety of hoverboards has increased since last year, when CPSC announced that there were no safe models of hoverboards on the market. 

Underwriters Laboratories, EXPLANATION, established a fire-safety standard for hoverboards that the CPSC has endorsed.

“If a consumer is in the market for a new hoverboard, we strongly recommend that they look for a label that shows the product complies with UL 2272,” Wolfson said.

Wolfson also stressed that it is not too late to recall a hoverboard model that was flagged in July.

Ten hoverboard companies were involved in that recall. They offered refunds or replacement batteries that complied with the UL 2272 safety standard.

Photo Credit: WGAL/family photo
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Police Locate Teen With Autism Reported Missing in Colebrook


Connecticut State Police have located a 13-year-old boy with autism reported missing from Colebrook Monday morning.

Police said they responded to a report that the teen may have wandered into a wooded area on Fritz Road at 11:23 a.m. Around 1:30 p.m. the boy was located. Police said he will be evaluated by EMS.

More information was not immediately available. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Historic Northeast Snowstorms in Photos


See photos of some of the worst snowstorms to hit the American northeast in history.

Photo Credit: Press Herald via Getty Images

After Brexit, Scotland to Seek Its Own Independence Vote


The latest fallout from Britain's vote to leave the European Union is the looming possibility of Scottish independence, NBC News reported.

Scotland's leader said Monday she is seeking a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom as early as next year, following a failed attempt to withdraw in 2014.

But that was before Britain voted for "Brexit," triggering complicated negotiations over its exit from the trading bloc. Scotland was against Brexit, however, and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she has encountered a "brick wall of intransigence" in dealing with the British government over the terms for withdrawal.

Sturgeon said she will seek the constitutional authority to hold a new referendum by early 2019. U.K. Prime Minster Theresa May replied that Sturgeon's Scottish National Party showed "regrettable" tunnel vision in seeking the vote.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

Prepping for the Storm


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

7 Tips to Keep Pets Safe in a Storm


As we prepare for a March storm that is expected to bring up to two feet of snow, there are some special steps pet owners can take to keep animals safe. 

PETA, the Red Cross and the ASPCA makes the following recommendations: 

Keep animals indoors, especially puppies and kittens, elderly animals, small animals, and dogs with short hair, including pointers, beagles, pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Doberman pinschers. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure that their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles. 

Wipe off your dogs' or cats' legs, feet and stomachs after they come in from the snow. Salt and other chemicals can make them sick if ingested. Increase the amount of your animal’s food during cold weather because they burn more calories in an effort to stay warm. 

Stock up on pet food and medicine your pets might need

Have a coat and booties ready for any dog who needs them. 

Make sure your pets wear identification at all times. 

Have leashes, carriers and water handy. Know where your pet’s favorite hiding places are so you can easily find them during emergencies.  

Keep your dog on a leash after heavy snowfall so he or she does not get lost.  

Check out snow prep emergency checklist for 15 things to do now. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hero Images

2 Men Charged in Assault, Robbery of Elderly Glastonbury Man


Glastonbury police have arrested two men accused of assaulting and robbing an elderly man in Glastonbury in September.

Police were called on Sept. 16 to investigate after the victim was robbed and assaulted in his home the day before, police said.

After investigating, police obtained arrest warrants for 21-year-old Isaiah Riggins, of Hartford, and 25-year-old Sean Callahan, of East Hartford.

Both were charged with home invasion, first-degree burglary, second-degree robbery, third-degree assault, assault of an elderly person, fifth-degree larceny, disorderly conduct and conspiracy.

Bond for Riggins was set at $500,000 and bond was set at $100,000 for Callaghan.

Photo Credit: Glastonbury Police

6 Tips to Keep You Safe in a Snowstorm


Here are six things that may help keep you and your loved ones safe in a snowstorm.

Photo Credit: Getty

State Attorney General Gives Opinion on Third Casino


The state's attorney general gave his opinion on the proposed third casino in Connecticut to the governor.

Attorney General George Jepsen wrote to Governor Dannel Malloy that while risks may be "minimal",  they can not be "mitigated with confidence."

"We are not in a position to opine on the nature or extent of the economic or other benefits that may result from approving such an entity or whether any such benefits justify the risks described in this letter, however minimal they may be," Jepsen wrote to the governor. 

Jepsen said the risks of authorizing a casino gaming facility operated by the Mashantucket and Mohegan tribe partnership is "impossible to quantify with precision" but should still be recognized. 

Last week, dozens of people signed up to speak at a public hearing regarding the plans to build Connecticut's third casino at the site of an abandoned Showcase Cinema and Wal-Mart off Interstate 91 in East Windsor. 

Connecticut's two other casinos are on tribal land, while the property in East Windsor belongs to the state. 

Tribal leaders said the new casino would bring more than 1,700 jobs, $8.5 million annually to the town of East Windsor and the state would receive 25 percent of the revenues from slots and table games. The casino would be in direct competition with the MGM casino in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

Photo Credit: Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes

Illinois Congressman Handcuffed After Refusing to Leave ICE Office


Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez was briefly handcuffed after refusing to leave a meeting with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Chicago, saying he planned to risk arrest by staying at the agency’s office in The Loop until demands are met.

The Democratic congressman led a sit-in following a meeting that began around 10 a.m. Monday with a delegation of activists that included about 22 advocates, attorneys, community leaders and other local elected officials, according to Gutierrez's spokesman Douglas Rivlin. 

“They were asking about specific cases and about the general conduct of ICE and deportations,” Rivlin said at a news conference Monday afternoon. “The congressman has decided that he did not get the answers he was looking for from the ICE regional director and he’s going to be staying inside until he gets answers, even if that means risking arrest.” 

Seven others from the meeting refused to leave alongside Gutierrez, who tweeted that he “was arrested, cuffed then cuffs were cut off” around 1:30 p.m. “Waiting for further word on if/when we will be arrested.” 

Specific immigration cases discussed in the meeting included the pending deportations of Army veteran Miguel Perez Jr., according to Rivlin, as well as Francisca Lino, whose husband and four of her six children are U.S. citizens.

"The congressman first met with the same ICE regional director in 2008 about this case, about getting a deferral from deportation," Rivlin said. "Ms. Lino came in regularly for meetings with ICE every year as a condition for her deferred deportation, and a couple of weeks ago she was told that she would need to get her bags together and has a specific date for when she is going to be deported in July. The congressman is asking that that deportation be canceled." 

"The congressman said this is reprehensible that immigrants are being treated this way, that the rules are changed without any information or notice, that low priorities for deportation are being removed from the country and the congressman wants to get answers from the staff here, and he has not been getting any answers," Rivlin continued. "They need to call Washington, they need to call the White House."

"This is the same situation that we had when there were people arriving at the airports and they couldn’t get information out of CIS and ICE officials about how they were being treated," Rivlin said, referring to the rollout of President Trump's Jan. 27 executive order halting refugee resettlement and suspending entry of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days.

That order, which was put on hold by a federal judge, caused immediate chaos and protests at airports in Chicago and around the country as travelers were detained.

"We even had one ICE officer say, 'Well, you should just call the White House to get information,'" Rivlin said of immigration authorities' response to Gutierrez's questions on Trump's controversial order. "Well, maybe they need to call the White House."

Trump signed a new version of the travel ban on March 6 that leaves Iraq off the list of impacted countries and does not apply to those with valid visas or green card holders. That order is scheduled to take effect on March 16, though it already faces legal challenges from states including Hawaii, Washington, New York and more.

"They need to get some answers for the congressman and the congressman is prepared to get arrested if that’s what it takes," Rivlin continued. 

Gutierrez was among a group of Hispanic congressmen barred from a meeting with a top federal immigration enforcement official in February. 

According to Gutierrez, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were scheduled to speak with the acting director of ICE on Feb. 14 in a meeting the congressman said was abruptly canceled and rescheduled for two days later.

At that point, Gutierrez said it was transformed into an invitation-only affair, and he was asked to leave by an aide to House Speaker Paul Ryan.

"In 20-plus years, I have never heard of the Republicans controlling what meetings Democrats can have with officials of the Executive Branch and never had a staffer ask me to leave a meeting to which I am entitled to attend," Gutierrez said in a statement following the incident.

A spokeswoman for Ryan told Politico that the speaker’s office organized the event at the request of the Department of Homeland Security, limiting attendance to "members with jurisdictional interests in immigration enforcement."

"There has been no dialogue, no transparency, no consultation, and no accountability – just like every other aspect of how this White House does business," Gutierrez said in a statement about Monday's incident. "It is heavy-handed government in secret all to make the new strongman President look tough and to satisfy the cravings of his coliseum audience for some immigrants to sacrifice."

"Chicago officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations agreed to an informational meeting on March 13 with Congressman Luis Gutierrez and various community groups. During this meeting, ERO Chicago officials responded to the Congressman’s requests for information. However, when the Congressman sought actions and assurances that ICE officials couldn’t provide, he and other meeting attendees staged a sit-in and refused to leave the ERO office at the conclusion of the meeting," ICE Public Affairs Officer Gail Montenegro said in a statement.

"Federal Protective Service officers were called by ERO to the scene because the individuals would not leave the ERO office. FPS provided three separate verbal warnings and after each warning FPS provided the individuals several minutes to comply. When the group refused to leave, they were briefly placed in flexible plastic restraints before ICE officials relayed that they no longer wanted the individuals removed from the building. The Congressman and other individuals were placed in the restraints for approximately two minutes before the flex cuffs were removed by FPS. FPS did not cite these individuals."

Photo Credit: twitter.com/RepGutierrez
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Trump’s Backing a Health Care Plan That Breaks His Promises


President Donald Trump rode to the White House making big promises on health care — pledges that he is now in serious danger of breaking, NBC News reported. 

One example: Trump said in his speech announcing his run for president that he would "save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts," and bragged on Twitter that he was the first Republican contender to make that pledge.

But the Congressional Budget Office has found Trump would break his promise — by a mile.

Obamacare expanded Medicaid to cover about 11 million more people, but the House bill would reduce Medicaid spending by $880 billion by 2026, at which point it would spend a full 25 percent less than under current law.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Governor Activates Statewide Travel Ban


The governor has activated a statewide travel ban for Connecticut.

The ban on state roads went into effect at 5 a.m. on Tuesday and will stay into effect until further notice.  Gov. Dannel Malloy said you should not travel unless your job requires you to get on the roads.  If you do not have to travel for work, state officials urge you to stay home.

Residents are adhering to the ban, which will allow state crews to get ahead of the snow and avoid cars getting trapped on the highway, the governor said during a news conference.

"I don't close the roads too often, folks. I think 2013 was probably the last time," Malloy said during a news conference Tuesday.

"It's important that only essential travel be engaged in, so please continue to stay off the roads," he said. "We understand that there are some essential staff that must travel, like doctors, nurses and public safety personnel,  but we remind everyone  to take your time and be very careful. Let's make sure that if you are on the roads because your job requires it that you arrive safely." 

From 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., state police have responded to 14 no-injury crashes, 34 motorist assists and 342 calls for service.   

"I think that's a demonstration of what happens when people stay off the roads and we're very thankful for that," Malloy said.  

Malloy announced that he signed an order proclaiming a civil preparedness emergency of Connecticut ahead of the blizzard hitting the state on Tuesday. 

The state's fully activated Emergency Operations Center started at 5 a.m.

Malloy directed nonessential first- and second-shift state employees to not report to work on Tuesday.

“Snowfall is expected to begin shortly before sunrise and will increase quickly, with peak blizzard conditions reached only several hours later. Everyone in Connecticut is urged to plan ahead – wherever you are at sunrise Tuesday morning, expect to remain there throughout the remainder of the storm and into the night,” Malloy said.

“With snow coming down at rates in excess of three to four inches per hour at points and winds reaching as much at 60 miles per hour, white out conditions will severely limit visibility. Residents are urged to make safety a priority and to not make any attempt to travel.”

The governor is also asking residents to continually monitor local media outlets throughout the day as further announcements are made. 

Check full weather coverage on NBC Connecticut here

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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Wave of Hate Incidents Hits LGBTQ Centers Across the Country


In February and March, several hate incidents occurred at LGBTQ community centers and similar venues around the country, NBC News reported.

In Washington D.C., a man broke into a center for transgender women called Casa Ruby, destroying the door and physically attacking a trans worker. 

Other instances include a drive-by shooting of the headquarters of Oklahomans for Equality, hate graffiti at centers in Los Angeles and Milwaukee and a brick thrown through the window of a First Unitarian Church in New Orleans.

New York’s Anti-Violence Project’s Communications Director Sue Yacka told NBC that she sees a connection between direct attacks on community venues and the more than 100 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation that has been proposed since the start of the year.

Photo Credit: Casa Ruby LGBT Community Center

Pi Day 2017: 3.14 Things to Know About Pi


Tuesday is Pi Day, a national celebration of the mathematical concept, which is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter and equals 3.14... Two years ago, 3-14-15, was the only day this century that matched pi, commonly approximated as 3.14159. 

Schools and museums often plan events to celebrate the concept, which has fascinated humans for centuries.

In the spirit of the holiday, here are 3.14 things you may not know about pi:

1. No one is certain who discovered pi as we know it today

But we do have some ideas. It seems that the Egyptians used pi in the construction of the Great Pyramid because when the perimeter is divided by its height, one gets a close approximation to 2π. It’s the same result if one divides the circumference of a circle by its radius.

But the most significant pi research might have come from the astronomer, Archimedes, around 250 B.C.

His mathematical calculation showed that pi was "between three and one seventh and three and 10 seventy firsts,” Steven Strogatz, an applied mathematics professor at Cornell University, told NBC in a 2015 interview. “He approached that putting a six sided figure into a circle, then made it 12 sided, and went all the way up to a 96-sided polygon.”

He proved that pi was found somewhere between these two numbers, which applied to all circles.

2. You can find your identity in pi

One myth is that since pi is a continuation of numbers, people’s identities can be found in the pattern: like social security numbers or birthdays.

This theory, which had circulated around Reddit for years before getting a popularity jolt from a George Takei Facebook post (that post appears to have been taken down), posits that all number combinations can be found within the digits of pi. 

A version of this theory posted on Reddit says of pi: "Converted into a bitmap, somewhere in that infinite string of digits is a pixel-perfect representation of the first thing you saw on this earth, the last thing you will see before your life leaves you, and all the moments, momentous and mundane, that will occur between those two points."

But Professor Strogatz stressed that the meme is misleading.  Even if it is true (which is not yet known), the digits in pi would tell us nothing about a person's life or identity, because along with correct social security numbers and birthdays, there will also be wrong social security numbers and birthdays.

3. Proving pi with matches

You can prove pi exists with matches, toothpicks, a pen, or anything else that is the same length, explained Johnny Ball, the author of “Why Pi? (Big Questions).”

“There’s a wonderful way to find pi for yourself. You find a floor with parallel lines; you find matches, pins, pens, exactly the same length. If you drop a hundred of them at random on the floor, the points touching a line will equal pi,” Ball said.

The matches' length must be equal to the distance of the two parallel lines. After the matches are dropped, you multiply the number of matches thrown down by two and divide it by the total number of matches that touched a line, which will equal pi.

This problem was discovered in the 18th century by French mathematician Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon.

Check out this video on Dr. Tony Padilla's YouTube channel Numberphile where he demonstrates Buffon's Needle Problem:

3.14...Legislating against pi

In 1897, Indiana state legislators tried passing a Pi Bill that legally defined pi as 3.2. Edward J. Goodwin, a physician, convinced a well-known mathematical monthly newspaper that he had solved what mathematicians had tried to do for generations: squaring the circle. Simply put, squaring the circle is the impossible task of finding the area of a circle by finding the area of a square around it. Goodwin claimed that pi was 3.2 instead of a continuous number. The bill never became a law thanks to Professor C. A. Waldo who convinced the Indiana Senate that Goodwin’s discovery was not possible.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Person Hit By Car in Middletown


A person was hit by a car in a parking lot at Apple Rehab on Highland Avenue in Middletown, according to police, and they said the person is stuck under the car.

No information was available on injuries.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bristol Man Has Been Missing Since Saturday


Bristol police are asking for help to find a 21-year-old Bristol man who has been missing since Saturday. 

Police have issued a Silver Alert for Jakob Michaud. He is around 5-feet-10, weighs 140 pounds and has brown hair and green eyes. 

When he was last seen, he was wearing a black baseball cap with “RAB” across the front, according to the alert from police. 

Michaud might be driving a blue 2011 Subaru Outback, blue with Connecticut plate AC25680.

Anyone with information on where he is should call police at 860-584-3011.

Photo Credit: Silver Alert

Snow Totals for March 14, 2017


Snow is continuing to fall down, so snow totals will change, but these are the current totals available:

  • New Fairfield: 14.5 inches 
  • Monroe: 10 inches
  • Wilton: 9.2 inches
  • Burlington: 9 inches
  • Salisbury: 9 inches  
  • Danbury: 7.5 inches
  • Newtown: 7 inches
  • Thomaston: 7 inches
  • Southington: 6.1 inches
  • Colebrook: 6 inches
  • New Britain: 5.8 inches
  • Farmington: 5.5 inches
  • Glastonbury: 5.3 inches
  • Granby: 5 inches
  • Bridgeport: 4.5
  • Suffield: 4.5 inches
  • West Hartford: 4.5 inches
  • Ellington: 3.5 inches
  • South Windsor: 3.5 inches
  • Woodstock: 2.9 inches
  • Vernon: 2.7 inches

Note: More towns and snow totals will be added through the day.

How much snow do you have?

Photo Credit: Dee

Solitary Confinement Has 'El Chapo' Hearing Things: Lawyers


Notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who twice escaped from prison in his native Mexico, has lodged a complaint about his small, isolated, erratically heated jail cell in Manhattan.

Lawyers for the Sinaloa cartel boss filed a challenge Monday to the conditions under which he's being held. They say Guzman's isolation under solitary confinement at the Metropolitan Correctional Center is far more extreme than what he experienced while in detention in Mexico, leaving him with auditory hallucinations and almost no one to interact with.

"His meals are passed through a slot in the door; he eats alone. The light is always on. With erratic air-conditioning, he has often lacked enough warm clothing to avoid shivering. ... He never goes outside," the complaint reads.

Guzman was extradited from Mexico on Jan. 19 and flown to New York to face drug trafficking, money laundering and other charges in United States federal court. He has pleaded not guilty. 

He had already been held under intense surveillance after his second escape from a Mexican prison, which involved a long tunnel and a motorcycle on tracks that whisked him to freedom. He was on the run for about a year before being recaptured.

Today, Guzman is left in his windowless cell at least 23 hours a day, with one hour of exercise in another cell on weekdays, according to the complaint. A small clock he purchased from the commissary was removed without explanation, his defense team said, seeking the lifting of what are called Special Administrative Measures, which restrict the communication inmates can have with the outside world.

Guzman is also unable to speak with his family, can't call his lawyers and, because he speaks no English, must communicate with most guards through gestures, according to the motion.

The complaint cited an Amnesty International report that called for a review of those mesaures, and the six-cell unit where he is being housed, over concerns about the effect of "extreme isolation and solitary confinement" on prisoners.

Last month, his attorneys said Guzman was denied water and that his conditions were too restrictive, NBC News reported. The federal judge deferred to security arrangements set by the Justice Department and jail.

Photo Credit: NBC New York
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