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Crews Responding to Fire in Hartford, Reports of Person Trapped


Firefighters are responding to a fire on Henry Street in Hartford and there are reports of a male who is trapped, according to file officials. 

Crews are at the scene and they are conducting searches. 

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Police ID Man Found Dead in Tolland


State police have identified the man found dead near a lake in Tolland on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

Robert Cayne, 51, of Storrs was found near the shore of Shenipsit Lake just before 7:30 p.m. that night, according to state police.

Police said there is no criminal aspect of his death.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Lawyer in Trump Tower Meeting Said Mueller Has Not Called


Natalia Veselnitskaya says she feels like a character in a movie told NBC News in an exclusive interview.

American investigators are trying to determine whether it's a spy thriller or a farce.

Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who was at the center of that now-infamous June 2016 meeting with key Trump aides in Trump Tower, says she has been inundated with messages on social media since her role was publicized — even marriage proposals.

But one person who has not reached out to her is the man investigating any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Special Counsel Robert Mueller — or anybody working for him, she told NBC News in an exclusive interview. In fact, no U.S. officials have asked to speak with her, she said.

Photo Credit: Yury Martyanov/Kommersant/AP

US Sorry for 'Highly Offensive' Anti-Taliban Leaflets


United States military forces apologized Wednesday for dropping leaflets that were considered "highly offensive," NBC News reported.

They showed a passage of the Quran superimposed over the image of a dog — considered unclean by many Muslims. The pamphlets, which urged people to report insurgents, were dropped in Parwan province on Tuesday.

"I sincerely apologize. We have the deepest respect for Islam and our Muslim partners worldwide," said Maj. Gen. James Linder, American and NATO special operations forces in Afghanistan, in a statement.

The move quickly sparked criticism, with a Taliban commander telling NBC News on condition of anonymity saying that dropping the pamphlets was "stupid."

Photo Credit: Cpl. George Huley/U.S. Army handout, File

Policeman in Utah Nurse Arrest Video Fired From Medic Job


A Utah police officer seen on video roughly arresting a nurse who refused to draw blood from a patient was fired Tuesday from his part-time paramedic job.

Salt Lake City Detective Jeff Payne's termination came after he said on the video that he'd bring transient patients to the hospital and take the "good patients" elsewhere to retaliate against nurse Alex Wubbels.

Those remarks were concerning for Gold Cross Ambulance President Mike Moffitt, who said he'd heard them for the first time when the video was released last week.

"That's not the way we conduct our business, that's not the way we treat people in our city," Moffitt said.

Wubbels was following hospital policy when she refused on July 26 to let Payne take blood without a warrant or formal consent from the patient who was unconscious in the hospital burn unit.

He had been in a car accident that started with a police chase. Payne maintained in his report that he wanted the blood sample to protect the man rather than prosecute him.

There were no answers Tuesday at publicly listed phone numbers for Payne. The Salt Lake police union didn't immediately return messages seeking comment

Police body-camera video shows Wubbels calmly explaining that she could not allow a blood draw from a patient who hadn't been arrested or consented, unless police had a warrant. They did not, but Payne insisted and put her on the phone with his lieutenant who said she would be arrested if she didn't agree.

The dispute ended with Payne handcuffing Wubbels and dragging her outside while she screamed and said, "I've done nothing wrong!"

Her lawyer, Karra Porter, said she can understand ambulance company would be troubled by his comments and the decision to let him go wasn't surprising.

Payne was put on paid leave by Salt Lake City police after the video emerged. A second officer was also put on leave after authorities opened a criminal investigation into the arrest.

The other officer has not been identified. Police have said the lieutenant's actions are also under review.

Payne joined Salt Lake City police more than 20 years ago and worked for Gold Cross as an EMT and paramedic since 1983. He was generally a hardworking, conscientious employee who followed the rules, so his behavior on the video was shocking, Moffitt said.

Gold Cross is a private company that contracts with Salt Lake City to respond to medical calls in the city.

Photo Credit: Salt Lake City Police Department
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Hurricane Irma Could Impact UConn Home Game Against USF


UConn football is scheduled to play the University of South Florida at Pratt & Whitney Field in East Hartford on Saturday, but Hurricane Irma still could affect the game.

Officials from both schools and from the American Athletic Conference are reviewing contingency plans for the game due to the potential impacts of Irma in Florida, according to a release from UConn.

USF is located in Tampa, Florida.

The game is scheduled for noon on Saturday.

According to the release, options include moving the game to an earlier kick-off time or even canceling the match-up.

UConn and USF don't have a common bye week to reschedule, according to officials.

A final decision is expected before Thursday afternoon.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Police ID Woman Found Dead in Meriden


Police have identified a woman who was killed in Meriden Friday and said it appears the homicide case and a man's suicide on Interstate 691 are connected.

Police said they were conducting multiple investigations Friday night when they found the body of 20-year-old Sara Rose Magnanini on Britannia Street. Police determined her death was a homicide.

As Meriden police were investigating the homicide, State Police were responding to a crash on Interstate 691 in Meriden, where a 31-year-old man was struck and killed on the highway. Police said the man, who was believed to be homeless, committed suicide.

It is early in the investigation, police said, but it appears the murder and suicide are connected.

No additional information was released.

Motorcycle and Minivan Collide in Bristol


A 21-year-old motorcyclist injured in a crash with a minivan on Divinity Street in Bristol Saturday has died, according to police.

Police said Gabriel Cruz-Salgado, 21, of Bristol, was riding a motorcycle west on Divinity Street around 6:45 p.m. when he was struck by a minivan that was turning left from Tulip Street on to Divinity Street.

Cruz-Salgado was airlifted to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and later died, police said.

The Bristol Police Department Traffic Division is investigating. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call police at 860-584-3035.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Dog That Attacked Plainfield Woman Lived in Her Home: Police


Police said they discovered several inconsistencies in the story a Jewett City woman and her boyfriend told about a brutal dog attack in Plainfield on Saturday.

It was determined that the dog did not lunge at the woman from the woods like she previously said. Police said the attack happened in the woman’s own home.

The 21-year-old woman, Jade Santiago, said she was walking with her boyfriend, Nicholas Guarneri, on South Walnut Street in the Wauregan section of Plainfield when she said a dog they didn't recognize lunged from the woods.

The woman went to the local hospital and was transferred to Hartford Hospital after treatment so a specialist could take a look at her face.

Police said they spent part of Monday canvassing the neighborhood, trying to locate the dog and were unable to find any evidence consistent with what was reported. They were also unable to find any witnesses. 

After viewing the media interviews with the woman and her boyfriend, police said they noticed several discrepancies and determined that the attack happened in the victim’s house in Wauregan and the dog was another resident’s pet. 

The dog, a brindle pit bull, was found in Sterling and is being quarantined at the Plainfield Animal Control facility. 

Police said they are continuing to investigate.

Killingworth Dumpster Company Sends Products Down to Texas


One of the things that cleanup crews will need as the recovery from Hurricane Harvey begins is dumpsters.

A Killingworth company is hoping to meet some of that need and getting a head start on the cleanup efforts by shipping thousands of their product, the Bull Bag, to areas of Texas impacted by the storm.

The Bull Bag, a collapsible dumpster that’s soft-sided and easy to transport. Thousands of bags are headed to Texas for the Hurricane Harvey aftermath during the first week of September.

“Who knows in a disaster how long it’s going to take to get a traditional dumpster,” Paul DiSpazio, northeastern general manager for Bull Bag, said. 

The company is preparing to ship about 5-thousand of the bags which can hold up to 4,500 pounds of debris; Things like drywall, sheetrock and all of the water-logged elements that made up the countless homes flooded by the storm.

The company is sending their trucks like this one down south to pick up the bags when they’re full. DiSpazio said they’re making the trip because there’s a good chance local dumpster businesses can’t.

“The dumpster companies that are down there… who knows what happened to their dumpsters. With the flooding and everything, a lot of trucks and dumpsters could’ve been destroyed,” the general manager said.

Bull Bag’s leaders said they’re proud that something made in the nutmeg state will have a hand in helping a region as it begins to rebuild.

“One part of their whole business is at a standstill. If they can’t get a dumpster, they can’t continue to do their work and they can’t continue to build these people’s houses so they can get back in,” DiSpazio said.

Bull Bag is expecting to hire a team of workers in Texas once they’re on the ground in Houston and San Antonio. It’s possible the company’s team could be there for several months.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Lifeguard Working During Stamford Near Drowning Arrested


The lifeguard who was on duty while a 5-year-old nearly drowned at Chelsea Piers in Stamford on Aug. 3 was arrested on Wednesday, police said. 

Stamford firefighters responded to the scene at Chelsea Piers' Splash Zone on Blackley Road at 12:37 p.m.

Zachary Stein, who was one of three lifeguards on duty, had pulled the boy from the water and were performing patient care upon firefighters' arrival.

Officials found that the child was unconscious but breathing on his own before transporting him to Stamford Hospital.

The 23-year-old lifeguard was assigned to the pool where the incident occurred.

Video shows that the child was under water for about four minutes before Stein saw him, police said. 

The Stamford Police Department collaborated with the Attorney’s Office and a warrant was issued for Stein, of New Canaan.

Stein turned himself in on Wednesday for reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor.

He was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 19 in Stamford.

The 5-year-old victim "is home and shows signs of an excellent recovery," Stamford police said. 

Photo Credit: Stamford Police

House Speaker Plans Budget Vote Next Week


Connecticut’s Speaker of the House said he intends to call a vote on a state budget for Sept. 14.

However, Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, in his first term in charge of the House, could not guarantee what a budget would look like by that time or even whether it would pass.

The priority, he said, is passing a budget before Governor Dannel Malloy’s executive order on spending cuts to city and town education takes effect.

“If October first happens without all of us taking some sort of step to avert it, we all share the blame,” Aresimowicz said following a meeting of his caucus at the State Capitol.

He would not commit that he had garnered enough votes to pass a spending plan next week.

Senate Democrats said they are in close alignment with House Democrats on what a budget may look like, but President Pro Tem Martin Looney said there are still changes they want to see.

Overall, Looney said the pressure is mounting to get any spending plan approved to avoid the dire consequences of spending cuts.

“It’s essential to get to a budget and I think people need to be able to compromise on their pet projects, or their ideological checklists, or whatever, to give priority to the need to get a priority in place,” he said.

On the Republican side in the Senate, Republican Leader Len Fasano maintains that he wants to see a bipartisan solution, so long as it closely resembles Republican spending plans that made steep changes to collective bargaining and reaped savings as a result.

He said he wants to see Democrats support his plan, but would not commit that any Republicans would support a Democrat-sponsored budget.

“I want to know if any Democrat is going to turn around and vote for our budget. If it’s a bad budget we’re not going to vote for it, pure and simple,” Fasano said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Connecticut Families Prep Florida Homes for Irma


As Hurricane Irma hurdles toward Florida, promising to pack a punch just as it has in the Caribbean, Connecticut resident Frank D’Amato can’t help but think of his beloved winter home in Boynton Beach.

"We have somebody that goes there and checks the house once a month and the same people are going to take care of the shutters and stuff, make sure that everything is tight just in case we get the hurricane," D’Amato said.

Meanwhile, passengers traveling from Florida to Connecticut on Wednesday, like Darrin Wright, know there’s only so much prep work that can be done.

"We throw all of our lawn furniture in the pool every time there's a hurricane, just throw everything in the pool and then dig it out after," Wright said.

Wright is in Connecticut to see his first grandson for the first time, his delivery is a scheduled birth. Banking on a Monday flight returning home is a gamble for Wright.

"I don't know I've already checked and they jacked them up so much they jacked the flights up to $900 to fly back early so I don't know," Wright said.

"Every channel, while we were down there, had the whole storm on it," Brittany Palladino said.

Palladino happy to make it home from her Florida vacation in the nick of time.

“I have a lot of friends and family that are in Florida and everyone is kind of panicking,” Palladino said.

“That's about really the only thing you can really do,” D’Amato said.

Those who call Florida home both part and full time, bracing for its impact while in Connecticut and hoping for the best.

“Say a prayer for us,” D’Amato said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Martin Shkreli Puts Famous Wu-Tang Clan Album for Sale


Martin "Pharma Bro" Shkreli within a two-day period this week offered $5,000 bounties for people who plucked some of Hillary Clinton's hair from her head and gave it to him, and also put his one-of-a-kind copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album up for sale after having bought it for $2 million more than two years ago, CNBC reported.

Shkreli's Clinton hair prize offer led to an inquiry from the U.S. Secret Service, according to Shkreli himself.

And his eBay auction of Wu-Tang's "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" as of late Wednesday had attracted a top bid of more than $710,000.

Shkreli, 34, was convicted in Brooklyn federal court in early August of three counts of securities fraud, but was acquitted of five other criminal counts. Shkreli was accused by prosecutors of defrauding a group of hedge fund investors, and then of ripping off the drug company he founded, Retrophin, to pay back their money.

Photo Credit: AP

Police Search for Suspect in Middletown Shooting


Police are searching for the suspect in a Middletown shooting on Wednesday night.

The shooting happened in the parking lot of the Community Health Center on Main Street.

Responding officers found a victim with non-life threatening injuries.

The victim was transported to the hospital. 

Middletown police are investigating and ask anyone with information to contact them at (860) 638-4000.

The victim's identity has not been released. 

Westport Student Makes Threat in Online Gaming Chat: Police


A Westport student made a threatening comment in an online gaming chat room in August, police said. 

Westport police were notified of the threat on Wednesday.

Police found that a Westport student threatened violence at a school near his home on Sept. 8.

The student's parents were notified and cooperative with FBI investigators.

At no time did the student have access to any weapons, police said.

The student was interviewed by FBI and Westport investigators before being charged with breach of peace and threatening. 

Westport police said they worked closely with Westport Public School administrators and are confident the safety of students is not in jeopardy. 

The school will be following up with disciplinary action, police said. 

Beacon Falls, Seymour Fire Trucks Help With Harvey Relief


Last week, fire department trailers usually used for carrying antique fire trucks made a very different kind of trip.

The trailers went to Texas carrying relief supplies for people impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The trip was made possible by firefighters from Beacon Falls, Seymour, and the generosity of the communities they serve.

The idea to send relief was first floated in a group text message between firefighters.

Beacon Hose Company #1 used social media to solicit donations from the community and in just over a day they received some $250,000 in cash donations and supplies

"We’re all firemen. We always step up and do something when we need to and other people are in need," Captain Cal Brennan of Beacon Hose Company #1 said.

"Our troops are always willing to stand up and help out. That’s basically what the fire service is about," Chief Michael Lombardi of the Seymour Fire Department said

Firefighters loaded a trailer from Beacon Falls and one from the Seymour Fire Department with things like canned goods, pet supplies and baby food. They said they felt the support for their journey from the beginning.

"Everybody beeping horns, waving at us. Once we got down there, for people to see the supplies we were bringing and realizing how far we came was a real uplift for them," Brennan said.

One of the Seymour firefighters who made the trip, Michael Lombardi, even adopted one of the pets in need thanks to the storm: Isabella, from the Houston SPCA.

"We found her and she came up to us and here she is," Todd Nihill said.

Firefighters said the road to recovery in Texas will be long and they’re just glad to help get it started.

"What happened down there was devastating. But we were able to give our portion and what we could do and our helping hand from our community," Lombardi said. 

As Hurricane Harvey recovery begins in Texas, in Florida there’s now the concern about Hurricane Irma. The chief of the Seymour Fire Department said they’re watching how this storm progresses and may also send relief to people impacted there.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

CT Latino Lawmakers Plan Hurricane Irma Relief Events


Some of Connecticut’s Latino lawmakers are planning a series of events for Hurricane Irma relief.

New Britain Representative Robert Sanchez has family all over Puerto Rico. While they dodged a direct hit from Irma, the cash-strapped nation could have a tough time cleaning up any flood or wind damage.

"We sat around the table and we said what can we do to help our island," Sanchez said.

The goal of the fundraisers is to ease any financial burden the storm may bear. Still waiting on an updated status from her own relatives, Representative Minnie Gonzalez said the hope to raise funds fast and distribute them effectively.

"We want to be sure that if we collect $5, Puerto Rico will receive five dollars," Gonzalez said.

The first event will take place Saturday, Sept. 9 at the New Britain Puerto Rican Festival.

Other events are scheduled on the following:

New Haven
Grand Avenue & Ferry Street
Sept. 16

East Main Street
Sept. 23

Park Street
Sept. 30


New London

Photo Credit: AP

Inside Trump's Surprise Oval Office Deal With Democrats


The president was in deal-making mode Wednesday, so at a meeting with congressional leadership in the Oval Office he sided with Democrats instead of his own party on a deal that raises the government's debt limit for just three months, multiple sources told NBC News.

President Donald Trump cut into a discussion between his own treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, and Senate Minorty Leader Chuck Schumer, accepting Schmer's proposal to raise the debt limit for far less time than Republicans wanted while providing funding for Hurricane Harvey aid and keeping the government open for three months as well.

One person who received an account of the meeting described Mnuchin as seeming initially "wounded" and "surprised" by the president's action. House Speaker Paul Ryan was blindsided and started growing angry.

The deal even stunned presidential advisers. "We did not know this was going to happen," one administration source said. "I don't think anyone did."

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Catholic Church Needs 'Illegal Aliens': Bannon


Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon sharply criticized the Vatican’s support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, saying in an interview the Catholic Church relies on “illegal aliens to fill the churches,” NBC News reported. 

Bannon, who returned as chairman of Breitbart News after being ousted as one of Trump’s top aides last month, added that the Catholic Church had “an economic interest in unlimited immigration.”

“The bishops have been terrible about this. By the way, you know why? You know why? Because, unable to come to grips with the problems in the church, they need illegal aliens,” Bannon told CBS' “60 Minutes.”

“They need illegal aliens to fill the churches. That's — it's obvious on the face of it,” continued Bannon, who is Catholic. “They have an economic interest. They have an economic interest in unlimited immigration, unlimited illegal immigration."

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
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