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10-Year-Old Montville Boy Reported Missing


Police are asking for help to find a missing 10-year-old Montville boy.

John Mathis was reported missing today and was last seen wearing a green Celtics T-shirt, blue or black shorts and gray sneakers.

He is 5-feet tall, weighs 100 pounds and has brown hair and green eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to call Connecticut State Police, Troop-E, at 860-848-6500.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Serious Injuries After Driver Fleeing Police Crashes: Police


Railroad Avenue in Bridgeport is closed at Iranistan Avenue after a driver fleeing from police crashed into another vehicle and life-threatening injuries are reported, according to state police.

Troopers were conducting a traffic stop on Interstate 95 just before 1 p.m. and the driver stopped, but fled and got into the crash, state police said.

The driver then ran and was taken into custody.

State police warn drivers to expect delays at Interstate 95 near exit 26.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

1 Injured After Tree Falls on House in Fairfield


One person was injured after a large tree fell on a Fairfield home, the fire department said. 

Firefighters were called to the scene at 6:18 a.m. on Thursday and saw a tree had fallen on the home.

The woman inside was injured and transported to a local hospital.

The tree's fall caused significant structural damage to the home.

"While there were injuries and significant damage to the home, this situation could have been much worse," Fairfield Fire Department Assistant Chief Schuyler Sherwood said.

No other details were provided. 

Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department

Benchmark Capital Sues Former Uber CEO Kalanick for Fraud


Benchmark Capital, one of Uber's earliest investors and largest shareholders, is suing Uber co-founder and ex-CEO Travis Kalanick on claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.

It's an unusual and dramatic move in Silicon Valley to see a venture firm sue one of the executives it backed, CNBC reported.

Benchmark is seeking to remove Kalanick from the company's board of directors and exclude him from the Uber CEO search already underway.

Uber is valued around $70 billion, and Benchmark owns about 13 percent of the ride-hailing pioneers.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File

Google to Hold 'Town Hall' After Controversial Gender Memo


Google will be holding a company town hall on diversity Thursday afternoon following days of scrutiny over a controversial memo on the company’s diversity initiatives written by engineer James Damore.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is expected to lead the town hall with other members of the company’s leadership.

Pichai has since released a memo of his own addressing the importance of self expression in the workplace while being aware of the company’s code of conduct.

“To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” said Pichai in the memo sent to Google employees Tuesday. “ 

In the controversial 3,000 word memo sent by Damore, the 28-year-old engineer blamed the gender pay gap in the tech industry on biological differences between men and women. He also criticized what he called a politically correct bias in the Google culture.

“People get offended because it goes against the left’s ideology,” Damore said during an interview on a conservative talk show. “And then they just think, ‘OK, it offends people, therefore it’s wrong and there it’s an opinion.”

The town hall will take place at the Google Campus at 4 p.m. PST.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Man in Serious Condition After New London Stabbing


A man is in serious condition after a stabbing in New London on Thursday morning. 

Police received a report about a possible drug overdose on Prest Street at 2:34 a.m.

Responding officers learned that a cab, possibly associated with the report, had just left and was heading to Lawerence + Memorial Hospital.

New London police went to the hospital and found the cab transporting a man with an apparent stab wound to his torso. 

The victim was allegedly stabbed following a physical confrontation with another man, who immediately fled the scene, New London police said. 

Police said the victim remains in guarded and serious condition. The victim's identity was not released.

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to contact the New London Police Department's Detective Division at (860) 447-148 or anonymous information can be submitted via the New London Tips 411 system by texting NLPDTip plus the information to Tip411 (847411).

Injured Hiker Rescued at Mt. Higby in Middlefield


An injured hiker was rescued at Mount Higby in Middlefield on Thursday morning. 

Middlefield firefighters responded to the scene just after 11:30 a.m. for a reported injured hiker. 

Crews from Middlefield and Westfield fire departments used ATVs to access the remote location where the hiker had hurt themselves.

Due to the location, crews also used a rope haul system to help rescue the hiker and bring them to flat ground, Middlefield firefighters said. 

The victim was transported to Hartford Hospital for their injuries. 

It took emergency crews about 3 1/2 hours to rescue the hiker. 

"Remember to avoid hiking alone and always try to use the buddy system. Also, when you go hiking, tell someone where you are going and when you will return," Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company said.

UConn Students to Have Access to Express Bus Service to Downtown Hartford


Students, faculty, and staff at the new Downtown Hartford UConn campus will have an easy way to go from Storrs to Hartford.

The Department of Transportation, UConn, and Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Thursday the first express bus service between the main UConn campus in Storrs and the new campus in Hartford.

“I can actually see and project that this service will grow mightily as these campuses, long-isolated in West Hartford, Storrs, and in Farmington are for the first time in their existence linked in a very practical and low-cost way,” Gov. Malloy said during a press conference on the steps of Union Station in Hartford announcing the new service.

The bus will make additional stops in both directions including the Shoppes at Buckland Hills, a mall in Manchester.

Senior Austin Anderson says that is a benefit all its own for UConn students that do not have cars.

“We’re in the middle of nowhere up there in the woods. It’s beautiful there,” Anderson said. “We have Storrs center there with one grocery store. It’s nice to be able to say I can go to Manchester where there’s multiple restaurants. I can go to Hartford, go to bars with my friends. It’s overall better.”

The bus service is included with UConn student fees. This year a new $20 per semester fee was added for students to have unlimited access to all CTTransit systems, as well as trains on Metro-North, a benefit that specifically took into consideration the needs of UConn students at the Stamford campus.

The expansion of express bus service between Storrs and Hartford does the same for students in the greater Hartford area.

“To be a great university for all of Connecticut, UConn needs to be accessible to all of Connecticut,” said Scott Jordan, UConn’s Executive Vice President.

Gov. Malloy predicts this kind of bus service will expand access to UConn, leading to making the entire system more marketable.

“It gives us an opportunity to link the campuses,” Malloy said. “I love UConn and we’re very supportive but I think UConn’s proximity to Hartford is a great strength which has long been ignored and so I think making that connection will be quite powerful.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Torrington Looking at Budget Options as State Continues Without One


The City of Torrington is in better fiscal shape than other larger municipalities in Connecticut.

The city approved a balanced budget months ago and it carries a fund balance that’s equal to about seven percent of city spending.

Even with that responsibility, Torrington finds itself in a difficult situation like every one of the 169 cities and towns in Connecticut as the state works without a budget for the 41st day.

"Every mayors' nightmare is unpredictability," Mayor Elinor Carbone said.

Carbone said the city is looking at all options as it deals with losing what could be as much as $30 million in state funding for everything from basic operating expenses to cash specifically set aside for education.

"These are tremendous," Carbone said of the possible cuts. "For a distressed municipality such as Torrington, with an already oppressive mill rate, we really can’t afford to bear any more of the burden than we already do."

Since the state doesn’t have a budget that’s signed into law by the governor, Governor Dannel Malloy has been running the state by executive order, only spending what the state has where the state is legally obligated to spend money. Without a budget, basic expenses like municipal aid, which accounts for about 25 percent of all state spending, is on hold in some form or fashion.

When asked Thursday about the stalemate, and his role in the budget dysfunction, Malloy said, "This is all a balancing act and these are difficult decisions to make and I fully appreciate and that’s why I don’t speak with anger, I speak with a level of understanding, but ultimately we need to have a budget."

Carbone said Torrington is even looking at short-term borrowing as a way to plug the hole left by the lack of a state budget.

"We're doing everything we can but unless and until the state does something with its budget, we are at wits’ end,” Carbone said. She finds herself in the same position as just about every other local elected official in Connecticut, saying, “I am preparing for the worst and hoping for the best," Carbone said. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Homeowner Find Cracking After Concrete Poured 4 Years Ago


An Ellington homeowner said concrete poured for her four years ago is already deteriorating, according to testing.

The case is so recent it could become one of the first where the concrete manufacturer at the center of the crumbling foundations' situation, or its insurer, could be on the hook.

Not only did cracked basement walls of Marya Mahoney’s 1998 home test positive for the naturally occurring mineral pyrrhotite, which some experts believe is the cause of crumbling concrete, so did the core sample from the concrete frost wall, poured along with a slab for Mahoney’s detached garage in 2013.

Most concrete does not show outward signs of cracking from pyrrhotite for well over a decade. Core samples can detect it earlier. The one from Mahoney’s garage was taken from a spot where small cracks had appeared, analyzed by TEC Services of Lawrenceville, Georgia.

"They characterized the deterioration as strong to very strong, which is the same language they used to characterize the level of degradation in the main foundation," Mahoney said.

Mahoney said concrete from her basement and garage came from J.J. Mottes, the company at the center of the state's investigation into crumbling foundations. J.J. Mottes said it has been out of the concrete business since the end of 2015.

Mahoney said her homeowners’ insurance policy does not include replacing her basement, but the company was willing to negotiate a settlement to cover a portion of it. The repair can cost upwards of $200,000.

Mahoney adds her insurer will not pay to replace her garage since the concrete was poured in 2013. State law allows people to make a defective product claim within ten years of purchasing a product and three years after noticing a problem. Mahoney first just asked the company to make the repairs. It refused, so now she will sue the company, the concrete installer and concrete supplier.

Since concrete for Mahoney's garage was poured four years ago, whoever insured J.J. Mottes could be on the hook, according to Mahoney's attorney, Brenda Draghi.

A Mottes spokesperson said the company is not commenting since it is out of business. A representative previously told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters it believed the problem was caused by installers, not its product.

Draghi said it’s a tough realization for people to realize they can’t go after J.J. Mottes, "but the difference now is, that people that have a product that was made within the last 10 years, can."

Lyle Wray with the Capitol Region Council of Governments has been assisting more than 30 Connecticut towns with crumbling concrete.

Wray believes proof concrete poured in 2013 had pyrrhotite is significant. It could greatly increase the group's estimate of well over 4000 homes with crumbling concrete.

"The issue in terms of this latest aspect is troubling for a couple reasons. I mean one is that (it is) way after the time frame we had originally thought and that concrete was still being poured," Wray said. 

Wray adds newer homes with pyrrhotite may have less chance of cracking. The mineral creates cracks when exposed to oxygen and water. Many newer basements have to waterproof which is required by state code. It is not mandatory for an above ground garage like Mahoney’s.

The Department of Consumer Protection said it has a small number of reports regarding foundations poured after 2000 and it hopes more affected homeowners file complaints so the state can better understand the scope of the problem. Our attorney general and Department of Insurance both declined to comment.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Wall Street Starts to Pay Attention to North Korea Tensions


Wall Street reaction to threats between President Donald Trump and officials in North Korea was muted earlier in the week, but cracks are beginning to show, NBC News reported.

The Dow saw its biggest dip since mid-May on Thursday, down 205 points, following similar drops in the Asian and European markets.

The VIX, or volatility index widely used as a proxy to gauge market fear, soared by 44 percent to its highest level since Trump was elected. Still, some market observers downplayed the tensions as verbal bluster.

Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute, attributed this week’s downturn in the major indices mainly to economic indicators rather than geopolitical brinkmanship.

Kent Boydston, a research analyst at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said that "historically, there’s relatively little volatility when it comes to stock market and North Korean provocations.” But if North Korea were to launch missiles toward Guam or Hawaii "that would certainly be more of an escalation" that could potentially roil markets more.

Photo Credit: AP

Wrong-Way Driver on I-84 Was Under the Influence: Police


Three people were taken to the hospital after a driver suspected of going the wrong-way on Interstate 84 in Hartford just before 10 p.m. Thursday while she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol struck two vehicles, according to state police.

Police said Theresa Brownell, 45, of Colchester, was going in the wrong direction on Interstate 84 West near exit 44 and her Ford Escape hit a Subaru Legacy and a Ford F250.

The people in the Subaru Legacy were taken to UConn Medical Center to be evaluated.

Police said Brownell did not perform field sobriety tests to standards. She has been charged with going the wrong way on a limited access highway, evading responsibility, operating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and reckless endangerment.

Bond was set at $5,000.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Video: BMW Plunges 7 Floors Off Texas Parking Deck


Security cameras were rolling when a BMW plunged off a Texas parking deck, nearly crushing an SUV on the ground below.

The incident happened in an Austin alley on July 13.

The driver of a Chevrolet Tahoe was turning around when he heard a noise and suddenly braked. That noise turned out to be a BMW falling seven stories from a parking garage.

Security camera footage showed the front end of the sedan crashing into the pavement before bouncing onto the rear of the Tahoe. People nearby are then seen running to help the woman inside the upside-down wreckage.

KXAN reported the woman driving the BMW mistook the gas pedal for the brakes and crashed through the garage barriers. She was seriously wounded from the crash.

The driver of the Tahoe was not hurt.

In September 2016, a 24-year-old man crashed through the barriers on the top level of the same garage. The wire barrier caught the SUV as it was falling, leaving it hanging over the side of the garage.

The garage was later cited by the Austin Code Department for unsafe barrier cable systems, according to the KXAN report.

Photo Credit: Austin PD

5 Die After Being Fitted With Obesity Devices, FDA Says


At least five people have died after receiving gastric balloons to help them lose weight, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday. 

It’s unclear whether the balloons or the surgery to implant them could have caused the deaths, but the FDA issued an alert to doctors to monitor patients who have the devices, according to NBC News. The balloons are intended to treat severe obesity by reducing how much a person can eat by filling the stomach, closing off part of the stomach or surgically reducing stomach volume.

Two different balloon devices have been involved in reports of the deaths, which came as quickly as a day after surgery: one made by Apollo Endo-Surgery, the other by ReShape.

Apollo said the company has sold 180,000 of Orbera balloon devices worldwide.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

Man Pointed Gun at Campers in East Hampton: Police


A man is accused of pointing a gun at campers at Nelson's Family Campground in East Hampton Thursday night and has been arrested.

Police responded to 71 Mott Hill Road around 8 p.m. to investigate a report that a man was driving erratically, pointing a handgun at campers and driving south toward Lake Drive.

Officers saw the vehicle on Lake Drive, so they stopped the driver and saw a loaded handgun on the front seat of the vehicle, police said.

Campers notified the campground management, who called the police.

“We were notified of the unfortunate incident, immediately worked with police to have the person removed, and no one was injured,” Glenn Gustine said.

Lee Mitchell, 33 of Augusta, Kansas, was arrested and charged with threatening in the first degree, breach of peace, reckless endangerment in the first degree, possession of a firearm while under the influence, weapon in a motor vehicle, illegal discharge of a firearm, driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, drug or both, and operating under suspension.

He was held on a $25,000 surety bond and is due in court this morning.

Photo Credit: East Hampton Police

Man Accused of Hiding Gun in Hartford Playscape Arrested


Hartford police have arrested a man accused of hiding a gun in a playscape in Pope Park last summer.

Police said they found three shell casings at 493 Zion St. on Sunday, July 17, 2016 and an anonymous witness saw someone running toward the park where police found the abandoned pistol, police said.

Police conducted an investigation and obtained an arrest warrant for 26-year-old Brayan Villegas, of Hartford.

He was taken into custody during a probation meeting Thursday and has been charged with reckless endangerment and altering identification marks on a firearm.

Police said Villegas confessed to shooting the weapon, fleeing the scene, and abandoning the shotgun at the playscape. 

Oakland Cancer Nurse, Husband Face Deportation After 23 Years


An Oakland cancer nurse and her family are facing deportation after living a law-abiding, productive life in the United States for the past 23 years.

Maria Mendoza-Sanchez, a nurse at Highland Hospital in Oakland, and her husband Eusebio, who works nights so he can take care of their children by day, are facing deportation to Mexico next week.

The couple has three U.S.-citizen children and an adult Dreamer daughter who plan to attend medical school.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and a representative of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., visited the Mendoza-Sanchez home on Plymouth Street Thursday afternoon to meet with the family. 

The Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a statement Thursday, saying in part the courts long ago deemed the couple was in the U.S. illegally, and their case is not exempt from the law.

"Over the last 15 years, this couple’s immigration case has undergone exhaustive review at multiple levels of the Department of Justice’s immigration court system," the ICE statement said. "The courts have consistently held that neither of these individuals has a legal basis to remain in the U.S."

Feinstein also released a statement Thursday before her meeting with the family. She said tearing the family apart doesn't make the U.S. safer, it merely creates a hardship for their three children who will be left behind.

"Maria and Eusebio Sanchez have lived in this country for more than 20 years. They are hardworking parents raising four children, three citizens and one protected by DACA," Feinstein said. "They have no criminal records. They pay taxes, own their home and contribute to this country. These are the kind of people we should welcome into the United States with open arms."

Feinstein added that the Sanchez family has tried for two decades to obtain legal status.

Mendoza-Sanchez worked as a housekeeper in a nursing home before earning her nursing degree. She now provides urgently needed care to cancer and heart patients at Highland Hospital.

The Justice Department said this week that 57,069 people have been ordered for removal from the country in the first six months of Trump’s presidency. That’s up nearly 31 percent since the same period in 2016 under former President Barack Obama.

Here is the full statement from ICE:

“Over the last 15 years, this couple’s immigration case has undergone exhaustive review at multiple levels of the Department of Justice’s immigration court system, which is administered by the Executive Office for Immigration Review. The courts have consistently held that neither of these individuals has a legal basis to remain in the U.S.

"Since Mr. Sanchez’s court-issued removal order became final in 2013, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has granted the couple two one-year stays of removal. In May of this year the agency granted them a third stay of removal, for a period of 90 days, to afford them additional time to get their personal affairs in order and make preparations for their departure.

"While ICE continues to prioritize its enforcement resources to focus on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security, the agency’s Acting Director has made it clear that ICE will not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of our nation’s immigration laws may be subject to arrest, detention and, if found removable by the immigration courts, as this couple was, removal from the United States.

"This administration is committed to the rule of law and to enforcing the laws established by Congress. When we fail to enforce those laws, what message are we sending to the millions of people who respect that process and are waiting outside the U.S. now for visas that will enable them to enter the country lawfully."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

WATCH LIVE: 20 Treated After 'Chemical Release' at Hospital


Emergency crews are responding to a New Hampshire hospital for a report of a chemical release that is affecting multiple people.

Kingston Fire said it has sent two ambulances to a report of some sort of "chemical release" in the emergency room at Exeter Hospital. They said 20 people are being treated in the parking lot.

Epping Fire said it was dispatched for a "carbon monoxide problem."

Aerial footage from the scene shows more than a dozen people in beds set up in a cordoned-off area of the lawn across the parking lot from the hospital.

A hospital spokeswoman told the Union Leader that staff and patients began complaining of dizziness and nausea around 11:15 a.m. The emergency room and operating room are currently closed but the rest of the hospital is still open.

A mother taking her newborn to the pediatrician at the hospital said staff told her that only the emergency room is impacted.

The extent of the chemical release  is not yet known.

No further information was immediately available.

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Police Trying to ID Man Found Dead in Shetucket River in Norwich


A man’s body was found in the Shetucket River in Norwich last month and police are asking for help from the public to determine who he is.

Two people who were fishing saw the man's body floating in the Shetucket River off Hamilton Avenue, near Palmer Street, just after 8:30 p.m. on July 22 and police said the man appeared to have been dead for a while.

An autopsy was performed on July 23 and the results are undetermined, pending further study, police said, but they do not suspect foul play.

The man was around 6-feet tall and 200 pounds or more. He appeared to be between

45 and 60 years old, had brown eyes, medium-length brown hair and a medium-length brown and gray beard.

He was wearing khaki cargo shorts with a size 34 waist and an extra-large short-sleeve olive colored plaid button down shirt.

Police have released a photo of the clothing and artist sketches in the hopes of identifying the man.

Anyone with information should call the Norwich Police Department at 860-886-5561, extension 6, or the department’s anonymous tip line at 860-886-5561, extension 4.

Photo Credit: Norwich Police

21-Year-Old Man Dead After Shooting in Derby


A 21-year-old man is dead after a shooting on Anson Street in Derby Friday morning and police are calling his death a homicide.

Police said they responded to Anson and Fifth streets at 1:49 a.m. after receiving reports of gunshots and found 21-year-old Jajuan Benavides with gunshot wounds.

He was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:40 a.m.

The state police major crime squad is assisting with the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call 203-735-7811 or 203-617-1906.

Anson Street will be closed during the investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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