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Pokémon Go Fest Attendees Refunded as Glitches Plague Event


Thousands of people descended on Chicago Saturday for Pokémon Go Fest – an event that was billed as a celebration of the smartphone game’s first year but instead became a debacle plagued by massive lines and connectivity issues.

Organized by the game’s developer, Niantic, the all-day festival in Grant Park was the company’s first official live event for players of the augmented reality game.

However, upon arrival, the roughly 20,000 attendees were met with hours-long lines to enter the festival, and then technical problems preventing play once inside the event.

Niantic’s chief marketing officer addressed the crowd to boos in the late morning, citing three specific problems that rendered attendees unable to access the game.

“One is a network issue. One of the providers is trying to pump in some more bandwidth so that’s something that we’re working with them closely on,” CMO Mike Quigley said onstage.

“The other two issues are on the Niantic side. There’s a crash bug issue that we’ve identified. I know some of you have had that issue, as well as an authentication issue, so we’ve got it completely pinpointed to those three things.”

Quigley said the company would offer players a refund on the $20 ticket price, as well as $100 in the game credit Pokecoins.

However, even with a refund, many attendees – some of whom traveled to Chicago from around the world – will only receive a fraction of what they actually paid.

Tickets to the festival, which promised rare Pokémon encounters, special challenges and exclusive rewards, sold out in just minutes last month.

Many were then listed for resale on sites like eBay for as high as $400.

Despite the connectivity issues, the festival was scheduled to continue as planned while the engineering team worked on a fix, Quigley said.

Photo Credit: NBC Chicago

Ellington High School Student Killed in Crash


An Ellington High School student was killed in a car crash over the weekend, according to school officials.

Ellington Superintendent Scott Nicol wrote in a statement that Olivia Wentworth died after an accident Saturday night. She was a rising junior at the high school.

Grief counselors will be made available at Ellington High School on Monday, July 24, for students.

"Our collective prayers and thoughts go out to Olivia's family and loved ones," Nicol wrote.

The statement did not provide any details of the crash.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

1 Dead, 2 Hospitalized After Bridgeport House Fire


One person is dead and two hospitalized after a fire gutted a home in Bridgeport Sunday morning.

Fire officials said when crews arrived at the home at 335 Seltsam Road around 2 a.m. the house was like a “fireball.”

“The first arriving units found the house fully involved. Fire coming out of every window and every door. We couldn’t go inside to make an attack,” said Bridgeport Fire Chief Richard Thode.

Neighbors described the terrifying scene.

“I looked out the window and I saw that the house was engulfed in fire. It was totally orange. This fire was humongous,” said Mari Ali.

Three adults were at home. Two were transported to the hospital, but a third victim did not survive.

Off camera, one victim’s sister recounted his description of the events that unfolded. She says he told her that he was woken up by the smoke alarm, and came into the kitchen where he found the water running. As he went to turn off the sink, his wife's adult daughter told him she was trying to put out a fire. He turned to see their couch engulfed in flames. He woke up his wife and told her to take their dog out the back door. Later at the hospital, he learned that neither made it out alive.

Witnesses described hearing explosions during the blaze.

“The flame woke me up and when I stepped out in less than ten seconds that’s when the explosions started,” said Carl Augustin.

Investigators haven’t said what caused those blasts but the next door neighbor, Chadrick Ashley says one of the victims used an oxygen tank. The fire severely scorched the siding of his home, and melted his shed and his deck.

Fire officials said that while the fire does not appear suspicious, the exact cause remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Norwalk Mother Explains Decision to Defy a Deportation Order


A Norwalk mother is explaining her decision to defy a deportation order and find sanctuary inside a New Haven Church.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE described Nury Chavarria as a “fugitive” for not boarding a flight to Guatemala on Thursday.

“I’m not a fugitive. I’m not,” Chavarria said.

Chavarria came to the US in 1993 and has attended yearly check-in meetings with immigration officials since 2011. Each year she was given the approval to remain in the US, until this June, when ICE officials ordered her deportation.

Since Thursday, Chavarria has found refuge in the Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal on East Pearl Street.

She’s preparing for the reality it could be weeks or months or even longer before she might be able to leave.

“I’m fine here. I feel safe,” Chavarria said.

On Saturday she was visited by several of her children.

“I don’t know how to describe it but it’s a little bit scary,” Hayley Chavarria, Nury’s 9-year-old daughter, said. “I really want her to come back home.”

Chavarria says all she wanted was to stay close to her four children.

“I’m scared to be in more big trouble, in big trouble. But at the last moment I decide to stay here in this church,” Chavarria said.

Chavarria – who still wears her ankle bracelet - is grateful for her supporters.

That includes recent visits by Governor Dan Malloy and members of the congressional delegation.

Now she hopes ICE agents change their mind and allow her to stay in the country she’s lived in for the past 24 years.

“I’m not a criminal. I’m not a criminal. They need to look for them, not good people,” Chavarria said.

Previously federal immigration officers told us they would not raid a church and arrest people.

A vigil is planned for Chavarria outside the church at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Lawmakers Seek Fund to Help Crumbling Foundation Homeowners


Connecticut may not have a deal on a new state budget, but one key senator says there's agreement on creating a fund to help thousands of homeowners whose concrete foundations are crumbling.

Democratic Sen. Cathy Osten, a co-chair of the General Assembly's Appropriations Committee, says she's hoping about $60 million will be set aside, enough to help homeowners with the most immediate problems.

She says a number of ideas for financing that account are still being considered, including a surcharge on all Connecticut residents' home insurance policies.

The founder of the Connecticut Coalition Against Crumbling Basements says the $60 million won't help everyone whose foundations are cracking and crumbling due to a mineral. But he says it could help those in the greatest need.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Man Shot in Face During Shootout in New Haven


A 21-year-old man was shot in the face when two groups exchanged gunfire in New Haven Sunday afternoon.

New Haven police said the victim, identified as Devin Davis of Ivy Street, was injured around 1:30 p.m. when two groups in cars on Walnut Street between Wallace and East Streets exchanged gunfire.

Police found Davis on East Street, about five blocks away. He was shot in the face and arm. He was taken to Yale-New Haven hospital for treatment. The injuries do not appear life-threatening, according to police.

Witnesses reported that there were two vehicles involved – a grey Audi station wagon and a red car. Davis was in the station wagon, police said. Police have not located the red car or its occupants.

Detectives are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Haven Police Department at 203-946-6304. Tips can remain confidential.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Route 15 South Reopens in Hamden After Car Fire


Route 15 south has reopened near exit 60 in Hamden after being closed for a car fire, according to Connecticut State Police.

A passerby captured images of the flames, which appeared to have spread to brush on the side of the road.

Police said no injuries were reported.

Photo Credit: John Landergan

Body Found at Silver Sands Beach in Milford


Milford Fire Department said a body fitting the description of a man swept off of  Charles Island sandbar near Silver Sands State Park in Milford on Friday has been recovered. 

The body was located Sunday evening. 

According to officials the medical examiner's office has been notified. A positive identification has not been made, but the man matches the description provided by family members. 

On Friday, two men were swept into Long Island Sound by a receding tide while walking on the sandbar. One man was rescued, while the other, 28-year-old George Swaby, slipped below the surface.

Emergency crews conducted an extensive two day search but were ultimately unsuccessful as of Saturday afternoon and the search was called off. 

Emergency responders continue to urge people avoid walking on the Charles Island sandbar. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

World's Oldest-Known Manatee Dies in 'Heartbreaking Accident'


Snooty, the world’s oldest known manatee, died Saturday in what the South Florida Museum called a "heartbreaking accident," just one day after celebrating his 69th birthday.

The museum in Bradenton made the announcement Sunday afternoon in a statement on its website and in social media postings.

“Our initial findings indicate that Snooty’s death was a heartbreaking accident and we’re all quite devastated about his passing,” museum CEO Brynne Anne Besio said in the statement.

Besio added that the museum staff members "deeply mourn his passing."

Early indications show that an underwater door leading to a plumbing area, which is normally bolted shut, had been dislodged. Snooty was able to swim in but was not able to get out.

The animal was no longer alive when workers got to him. Three other, smaller manatees that also swam in were able to swim out.

Officials are investigating the exact circumstances of Snooty's death and how the door opened. The museum's aquarium remained closed on Sunday.

A necropsy, or an animal autopsy, will be performed at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Marine Mammal Pathobiology Laboratory in St. Petersburg. 

Snooty, according to the museum, was born July 21, 1948, and was the first manatee born in captivity. He became the mascot of Florida's Manatee County in 1979 and welcomed more than a million visitors in his lifetime.

Snooty also participated in scientific research programs that studied manatee biology and behavior.

Photo Credit: South Florida Museum

Christopher Darden Says Bill Cosby Was Mentor After OJ Trial


After O.J. Simpson was granted parole in a highly covered hearing Thursday, Christopher Darden recalled the personal costs he paid for being one of the Los Angeles prosecutors who tried the 1994 murder case against the former athlete. 

The former prosecutor spoke with NBC News about that famous trial, saying it was "a very dangerous time" for him. Darden explained that he and his family were harassed and threatened by those who didn't agree with the prosecution and he was seen as a "traitor" to his own race. 

"I was in a constant state of anger," Darden said. 

Darden also revealed to NBC News for the first time that a week after the verdict he took a phone call from an unlikely mentor: Bill Cosby. 

“[Cosby] was there for me. He supported me. He would have done anything for me,” Darden said. “He wanted me to try and understand why the black community acted the way that it did [and] not to be bitter. He was a sort-of mentor.” 

He added that "it's painful" as he watches Cosby go through his own legal battles. 

Photo Credit: Reed Saxon/AP/pool, File

John McCain Spends Weekend Outdoors With Daughter, Friend


Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., spent the weekend outdoors about a week after undergoing surgery and being diagnosed with brain cancer, NBC News reported.

McCain, 80, tweeted a photo Sunday afternoon of himself and a friend, Joe Harper, with their feet in the Oak Creek of Zebra Falls in Arizona.

The senator's daughter Maghan McCain also tweeted a photo of the outing, which she used to thank supporters for their well wishes in the wake of her dad's diagnosis.

McCain underwent surgery to remove a blood clot on July 14 and was subsequently diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Photo Credit: 414088103 /AP, File
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Hundreds Attend Vigil for Norwalk Mom Defying Deportation


Hundreds of people attended a vigil Sunday night outside a New Haven church for Nury Chavarria, a Norwalk mother who is defying a deportation order, and they said they hope she can stay in the state. 

Last week Chavarria skipped a flight to her native Guatemala and found refuge in the Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal on East Pearl Street. 

Since then U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has considered her a fugitive. 

On Sunday, Chavarria briefly walked outside the church to thank those who had gathered there. 

“I wanted to support Nury and her children,” Theresa Govert, of East Haddam, said. 

“I’m a Christian and I believe that sometimes God calls us to stand against injustice,” Diane Dynia, of Hamden, said. 

Among those supporting Chavarria’s fight to stay in the country are New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, who promised he and his city will help Chavarria and her four children. 

“To make sure that her family can stay in their home, can stay in school, can have food on the table,” Rilling said. 

In an interview with NBC Connecticut this weekend, Chavarria explained why she raced to the church. 

“I made this decision because I want to stay near to my family, to be together,” Chavarria said. 

For now, she’s avoiding the fate of leaving behind her children and the country she’s lived in for the past 24 years. 

Federal immigration agents have told us they will not raid churches and Chavarria said she is preparing to stay at the church for quite some time.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

White House Gives Mixed Messages on Pardons


Newly-hired White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said Sunday that President Donald Trump is "thinking about pardoning nobody" in connection with the Russia investigation, according to NBC News.

"The truth of the matter is that the president is not going to have to pardon anybody because the Russia thing is a nonsensical thing," Scarmucci said on CNN’s "State of the Union." However, on "Fox News Sunday," the communications director acknowledged that he and the president discussed pardons "last week."

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow also told ABC's "This Week" that the president's legal team has not been researching the power to pardon. A Washington Post report last week had claimed that Trump asked his advisers about his power to pardon family members, aides and even himself.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted about his power to pardon, saying, "While all agree the U.S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.FAKE NEWS."

Photo Credit: Alex Brandon/AP

Bush Announces Recall of Baked Beans Products


Bush Brothers & Company is voluntarily recalling some of its 28-ounce cans of beans due to potentially defective side seams on the cans.

Bush says its internal quality assurance checks identified the problem, which has since been corrected, and it is now working with retailers to have the affected cans removed from shelves.

The Baked Beans involved in the recall includes 28-ounce cans of Bush’s Brown Sugar Hickory Baked Beans, Country Style Baked Beans, and Original Baked Beans. The affected cans were distributed nationwide in retail stores.

"No illnesses or other adverse consequences have been reported in connection with this voluntary recall," Bush said in a statement. "However, we urge you to dispose of these affected products immediately even if the beans do not look or smell spoiled. We are working with our retailers to ensure timely removal of affected product from their warehouses and shelves."

To view the affected lot numbers and best by dates, please visit www.bushbeans.com. Customer's with any questions or concerns can call Bush's at 1-800-590-3797 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. ET and 5:00 p.m.

Photo Credit: Bush Brothers & Company

Men Went Into Police Station for Money to Buy Cocaine: PD


Two men were arrested after approaching a police officer to buy cocaine from him, then walking into the Hartford police station to try to get the money to buy the cocaine, according to police.

Police said Noah Yankowski and Zachary Pillarella, both of Cromwell, approached a man on High Street in Hartford around 2 a.m. Sunday, told him they wanted to “buy coke,” asked if he would sell them some and said they would have to go to an ATM to get cash, according to police.

The man who Yankowski and Pillarella approached happened to be a Hartford police officer who had just finished his shift and was walking to his personal vehicle. He told them there was an ATM in the front lobby of the police department, so Yankowski and Pillarella went inside to get $60.

The officer then notified police on duty about what transpired and an officer arrested Yankowski and Pillarella and seized the $60 as evidence, police said.

Yankowski and Pillarella were charged with criminal attempt to possess narcotics and conspiracy to possess narcotics.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Teen Arrested After Armed Carjacking in Newington


A 17-year-old Hartford boy is accused of an armed carjacking outside a Newington school Sunday afternoon and police are looking for another person who was also involved. 

Newington police said they responded to the area of the CT fastrak station at Willard Avenue and West Hill Road around 4:30 p.m. Sunday and the victim told officers he was in the parking lot of Anna Reynolds Elementary School on Reservoir Road when two males approached him. One of the males pulled a gun, forced the victim into his own car, demanded that he drive to the fastrak station, then made him get out of his vehicle, according to police. 

The carjackers drove the victim’s car, a 1999 Mercedes Benz, onto the CT fastrak and headed toward Hartford, police said. 

Hartford police saw the car at Westland and Vine streets and chased it until the Mercedes crashed at Clark and Judson streets in Hartford, police said. 

The driver, a 17-year-old Hartford boy, was arrested and charged with first-degree kidnapping with a firearm, first-degree robbery, robbery by carjacking, second-degree larceny, possession of a weapon on school grounds, carrying a pistol without a permit, first-degree threatening, first-degree reckless endangerment and other charges. 

Police said the teen has an extensive criminal history that goes back to 2010.

He was transported to a juvenile detention center and will appear in New Britain Superior Court Juvenile Matters on July 28. 

Police are looking for the other person involved in the carjacking and ask anyone with information about the incident or who the other person is to call (860) 666-8445.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

Fiancé of Slain Australian Woman Speaks Out


The fiancé of Justine Damond, the unarmed Australian woman killed by a police officer last week in Minneapolis after calling 911, says he keeps thinking about the circumstances of the fatal shooting "over and over."

Don Damond, who is also Australian, told Justine to call 911 and stayed on the phone with his fiancé until the police arrived. Damond was in Las Vegas at the time of his fiancé's death.

"I have played this over in my head over and over," Damond told The New York Times in his first interview since the shooting. "Why didn't I stay on the phone with her?"

Investigators are trying to figure out what went wrong on that Saturday night when Justine, a 40-year-old life coach, called police to report a possible sexual assault happening behind her home.

Officer Mohamed Noor, the officer who shot Damond, and his partner, Officer Matthew Harrity, did not have their body cameras on. Harrity said that he was startled by a loud noise before the shooting, The Associated Press reported. Noor has remained silent amid outcry over the case, having yet to speak with investigators. 

Minneapolis police Chief Janee Harteau resigned on Friday at the request of Mayor Betsy Hodges in the aftermath of the shooting.

"I've decided I am willing to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the MPD to be the very best it can be," Harteau said in a statement on Friday.

Photo Credit: Dean Lewins/AP
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Milford Man Charged With Attempted Murder


Milford police have charged a local man with attempted murder after he punched a woman and choked her until she nearly passed out and threatened a man with a knife, police said.

Police said they responded to Milford home around 7:45 a.m. Saturday after receiving reports of a threatening with a knife.

When officers arrived at the residence, they learned that 27-year-old Patrick Kiraly, of Milford, got into an argument with a female inside the residence, punched her in the face and then began choking her with his hands, police said.

The victim said she almost blacked out before another male in the residence heard the commotion and separated the two.

Kiraly then pulled a pocket knife and threatened the male with it, police said.

When the male told Kiraly to leave, Kiraly picked up his 2-year-old child and left to go to another Milford residence, police said. The male victim then called 911 and officers took custody of Kiraly, while a family member took custody of the 2-year-old child.

Kiraly has been charged with criminal attempt to commit attempted murder, risk of injury, second-degree strangulation, second-degree threatening and reckless endangerment.

He was held on a $250,000 bond to appear in Milford Court.

Photo Credit: Milford Police

Lanes Reopen After Tractor-Trailer Jackknifes on I-95 in Bridgeport


Lanes have reopened after a  tractor-trailer has jackknifed on Interstate 95 North in Bridgeport.

State police said the left and left center lanes have reopened.

No injuries are reported, according to police.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

US Military Plane Intercepted by Chinese Fighter Jets


U.S. military officials confirmed two Chinese fighter jets intercepted and almost collided with a U.S. military surveillance aircraft in the East China Sea this weekend, NBC News reported. 

One of the Chinese J-10 fighter jets flew underneath U.S. Navy EP-3 on Sunday and then suddenly was in front of the aircraft. The maneuver forced U.S. reconnaissance jet to take "evasive action" to avoid a collision, officials said.

U.S. military officials described the maneuver was unsafe and unprofessional as they have with similar past incidents earlier this year.  

Photo Credit: AP
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