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Crowds Gather to Watch World Cup Match


Large crowds of soccer fans congregated across Connecticut to see the U.S. battle Belgium in the World Cup.

Hours before the match started, Pitkin Plaza in New Haven was already crowded. It has been transformed to World Cup Village and a big TV is set up for fans to cheer for the home team.

There are also several World Cup viewing parties, thanks to local chapters of American Outlaws, a national group that has united to support the United States National Soccer Teams. Find the list here.

The United States team has advanced to Round of 16 and is taking on Belgium for a spot in the last eight, according to NBC Sports.

The match was broadcast live on ESPN.

Team USA fell to Belgium 2-1, dashing hopes of a U.S. World Cup victory.

Gas Line Struck in Monroe


Yankee Gas is responding to Rockview Circle in Monroe after a private contractor struck a gas line in the area.

Repairs are underway. Any evacuations that may have taken place when the incident happened are no longer in effect, according to Mitch Gross of Northeast Utilities.

No additional information was immediately available.

Crackdown on Marshmallow Fight


Even San Diego police admit it will be tough to stop people from throwing marshmallows in Ocean Beach this Fourth of July. 

Town leaders and other community members tried at a news conference Tuesday to convince people to bring an end to the marshmallow fight that takes place every year in the seaside community west of San Diego.

The marshmallow fight is a gooey, sticky and time-honored tradition for the small beach community. It's been going on for decades, but officials say it has grown dangerous, with reports of children and elderly people hurt by the flying treats.

“It’s gotten completely out of control and has desecrated our community,” said Gretchen Newsom, president of the town council. 

She said they received reports last year of flaming and frozen marshmallows and even of batteries found inside marshmallows.

As a result, the town council has launched a campaign for the holiday crowds to "mallow out," in an effort to shift their expectations.

They've asked businesses along Newport Avenue to limit marshmallow sales and have put out a call for volunteers to serve as peace patrol officers, though Newsom said there will be no vigilante citizen arrests.

"We will go to the beach and collect marshmallows – peacefully," she said.

San Diego police plan to have 100 officers on San Diego's beaches to handle the holiday crowds, and a good portion of those will be based in Ocean Beach.

"It would not be realistic for us to be able to cite every marshmallow thrower out here, but we are hoping to see a reduction in that activity," Capt. Joe Ramos said.

Roger Kube with the Surfrider Foundation did not have specifics on the environmental impact of marshmallows left behind by the annual street battle but did say the litter left by revelers last year was overwhelming.

Newsom recalled that last year, in the fight's sticky aftermath, her flip-flops got stuck while crossing the street in what she described as an inch of gooey mess.

“Come to Ocean Beach and enjoy the fireworks, but leave the marshmallows at home,” she said.

Body Found in Car Behind YMCA in Middletown


The Major Crimes Unit in Middletown is investigating after a man was found dead in a car behind the YMCA over the weekend.

Police found the man’s body in a green SUV parked at 99 Union Street around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday after receiving a report that a body might be in a car, police said.

Police have not released the man’s name, but said he is a 53-year-old resident of the area.

The medical examiner’s office will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of the man’s death.

Anyone with information about the man’s death should call Detective Louis Julia at 860-638-4147

Route 30 Reopens in Tolland


Route 30 has reopened in Tolland and power has been reestored to the area after a large tree brought down wires earlier Tuesday.
The road was closed for a couple hours between Doyle Road and 191 Crystal Lake Road and power was out.
Connecticut Light and Power responded to the scene.

Photo Credit: Town of Tolland

Police Search for Litchfield Burglar


Police are searching for the man who broke into and stole from three Litchfield homes early last month and need help identifying him.

According to police, a heavyset Hispanic man burglarized three houses during the day on June 2 and stole a number of items.

One home had a security camera set up and captured surveillance footage of the suspect, which shows him taking off window screens to get inside.

Police said he was driving a light-colored sedan with the front left hubcap missing.

Anyone with information is urged to call State Police Trooper Holm at 860-626-7904. Calls will remain confidential.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Protesters Block Bus of Immigrants


Buses carrying migrant families arrived to the U.S.-Mexican border station of San Ysidro after being blocked by protesters in Murrieta.

Protesters waving American flags blocked the buses Tuesday afternoon.

The undocumented immigrants were on federal buses and were being transferred to the Riverside County city at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility.

Updates: Download the NBCLA News App

The first group out of an estimated 140 total was flown from detention facilities in Texas to San Diego, then taken by bus to Murrieta, where some local residents camped out to protest beginning early in the morning.

Stories, A vocal group of protesters blocked the buses, filled with families detained after entering the country illegally in Texas, when they arrived just after 2 p.m.

The three buses turned around and headed south on the 15 Freeway to the San Ysidro border station.

The plan was for the immigrants to be be given background checks before being reunited with family members across the country while their cases are processed. Authorities said most of the immigrants are families, and the move is designed to ease overcrowding at border facilities strained by an influx of unaccompanied children that have flooded the system.

City leaders in Murrieta oppose the transfers, saying they are burdens on their town and raise safety concerns.

Mayor Alan Long said on his Facebook page Monday that while he continues to oppose the use of Murrieta’s facilities to handle the transfers, he and other city officials have put together a system of checks to ensure the community’s safety.

“This decision was made by the federal government and is not within our local authority to change. Clearly, this is a failed system that is spreading the cost and needed resources to handle these situations on the backs of local communities. Nevertheless, we must react and put a plan in place,” he said in the statement.

Randon Lane, a Murrieta city councilman, stressed that the families arriving will be reunited with relatives already in the U.S.

“They have to know the person, so (officials) are calling them up and verifying the information, and that’s where they’re sending them,” he said.

After leaving the processing center, the immigrants will be taken to transportation centers. Nonprofits and several Central American consulates are expected to help fund the last leg of transport.

Some local residents have loudly opposed the use of Murrieta’s facilities. In addition to the protest outside the facility to coincide with the buses' arrival, the Tuesday night Murrieta City Council meeting is also expected to be full of opponents of the plan.

"What's going to happen to our schools? What's going to happen to the community in general?" asked resident Jim Pace.

The move comes amid a massive increase in the number of children and adolescents making the dangerous desert trek alone, without family, officials say, sparking what President Barack Obama has deemed an "urgent humanitarian crisis.”

Last year, the federal government housed about 25,000 minors who were going through deportation proceedings alone. This year, that number is expected to swell to 60,000.

The president has asked Congress for more than $2 billion in emergency funding to deal with the situation, and has said the crisis is forcing the hand of legislators to move on immigration reform, lest he take executive action to ease the pressure on the borders.

Immigrants rights advocates in Los Angeles have called on the president and local leaders to move swiftly on immigration reform.

“There is no logical reason why this backlog exists. It exists because they keep denying people their due process and their ability to reunite with their families,” Xiomara Corpeno, lead organizer for the nonprofit Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles, said at a press conference Monday.

A second wave of immigrants is expected to be transported to Murrieta on Friday.

Gadi Schwartz and Tony Shin contributed to this report.

Christopher Plummer's Former Darien Home for Sale


A Darien home that a famous actor used to live in is for sale.

209 Long Neck Point Road is listed at a $12.5 million asking price.

Christopher Plummer owned and resided in the home at one time. He is known for several acclaimed roles like Captain Von Trapp in "The Sound of Music" and his Oscar-winning performance in 2012 as Hal Fields in "Beginners."

The 148-year-old beach-side home along Long Island Sound has "200 plus feet of direct waterfront," as well as more than two acres of "manicured grounds, including a private beach, system pool/spa and expansive stone terrace,' according to Halstead Property's website.

The real estate group also lists the house as having a gourmet kitchen, a formal dining room, a library, an office, a guest suite with beach views, four balconies, five fireplaces, central air conditioning, a gym, a full bath and sauna and a recreation room.

There are also four "en-suite bedrooms and a luxurious master suite" that has "his/her baths" and two walk-in closets, according to Halstead Property.

For more information, contact real estate agent Eileen Hanford at 203-656-6570or ehanford@halstead.com.

Photo Credit: Halstead Property

Sen. Blumenthal to Introduce Railroad Safety Bill


It's a message that we've heard from commuter groups time and time again: after a series of derailments, crashes and service interruptions on Metro-North, commuters want changes.

“Commuters deserve a safe and reliable ride,” said John Hartwell, vice president of the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal is preparing to introduce a bill that would require railroads to implement certain safety measures, such as alerters, inward- and outward-facing audio and image recorders and redundant signal protection.

Although Metro-North has already taken some of those steps, this legislation would hold all railroads to the same standards.

“Only federal law can provide the enhance protocols and standards that are necessary to bring new technology, better inspections, stronger oversight, and other measures that are vitally necessary,” said Blumenthal.

The legislation would also give the Federal Railroad Administration more oversight and would increase the penalties it could dole out. It would additionally require the FRA to take certain steps to deal with railroad safety.

"Safety is our top priority, and 2013 was the safest year on record for our nation’s railroads, exceeding the historic safety records achieved in 2012," a spokesperson for the FRA said in a statement Tuesday. "These results were achieved in part thanks to new steps undertaken by the Federal Railroad Administration, including issuing new rules to improve rail inspections, initiating system safety regulations for passenger railroads and launching Operation Deep Dive when it became clear there were problems at Metro North. However, the FRA continues to seek new ways to improve its safety record and we will review Mr. Blumenthal’s legislation when it is publicly available."

Jim Cameron, founder of the Commuter Action Group, is a strong proponent of new legislation.

“I think we have to do more than just take the railroad at its word when they say they're doing everything that they can to maintain safety. That's why we have federal oversight,” said Cameron.

The bill is still being drafted, but Blumenthal plans to introduce it in the Senate in the next few weeks.

"We haven't seen the legislation so we can't comment, but we look forward to working with Senator Blumenthal to improve rail safety," Metro-North said in a statement.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Mulch Spontaneously Combusts in West Hartford Parking Lot


Firefighters outside the Office Depot on New Britain Avenue in West Hartford said mulch in the parking lot spontaneously combusted because of today's sweltering heat.

A car parked next to the mulch island received some heat damage from the flames. Trees and bushes were scorched before the fire department could douse the flames.

Residents who have mulch outside their homes should water it periodically to minimize the risk of a fire, according to the fire department.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Groton Man Leaves Baby in 130-Degree Car: Police


New London police have arrested a Groton man accused of leaving a 6-month-old child in a 130-degree car while he went grocery shopping Tuesday afternoon.

According to police, 33-year-old Brian Pavao parked his car outside the ShopRite on North Frontage Road in New London and left the baby inside while he entered the supermarket.

A passerby called police around 2:30 p.m. after spotting the child. Officers and detectives arrived on scene to find the baby alone in the car, which had been left unlocked.

Police said the temperature inside the car was more than 130 degrees and the child had been inside for at least 30 minutes. Three of the windows were rolled up and the fourth was open less than an inch, according to police.

Authorities contacted the store to ask that Pavao return to the parking lot. He was arrested and charged with risk of injury to a minor. The police department also notified the Department of Children and Families.

The child, who was breathing and alert, was taken to the hospital for treatment, police said.

Pavao is being held on a $75,000 bond.

Photo Credit: New London Police Department

Suspicious Man Approaches Kids at Little League Game


Police are searching for the man who approached children during a Little League game at a Waterford elementary school Monday, identified himself as a doctor and asked to check them for ticks.

According to police, the man went up to two children on the playground at Quaker Hill Elementary School and asked them their grade level and other questions about local schools.

He left and then returned, caliming to be a doctor and explaining that he wanted to check them for a new kind of tick, police said.

Surveillance footage shows him walking through the area. He's described as a white man standing about 6 feet tall and weighing 200 pounds. Police said he has brown hair and was wearing a dark blue sports jacket, brown pants and black shoes.

Police said he was driving a newer model white, four-door Audi registered in Connecticut.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Waterford police Officer Spearrin at 860-442-9451 and mention case number 2014-01286.

Photo Credit: Waterford Police Department

Fire Destroys Boat in Old Lyme


Investigators are searching for the cause of a fire that destroyed a boat in Old Lyme.

According to firefighters at the scene, a boat went up in flames around 7 p.m. Tuesday while dry-docked outside a home on Sandpiper Point Road.

It took firefighters about 30 minutes to snuff out the flames. While the boat was charred, the home did not appear to be damaged.

Sandpiper Point Road was blocked off in the area while police and fire officials responded to the scene.

No one was injured in the fire.

The cause is still under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

18 Hartford Sex Offenders Arrested in Citywide Sweep


Eighteen sex offenders living in Hartford are facing new charges for registry violations as part of a citywide sweep known as “Operation City Guardians.”

Hartford police, Connecticut State Police and the Connecticut Adult Probation Department tracked down 31 sex offenders the morning of June 30 and arrested 18 of them. Two other men were arrested in the sweep on unrelated charges.

The following known sex offenders were arrested (all charged with at least one count of failure to register their addresses unless otherwise specified):

  • Carlos Albert, 32, of Mortson Street, charged with violation of probation
  • Juan Correa, 50, of Mountain Street
  • Christopher Choser, 29, currently incarcerated
  • Matthew Currin, 36, of Sigourney Street
  • Vito Dadeo, 32, of Huyshope Avenue
  • Ahtony Davis, 52, of Enfield Street
  • Carlos Davis, 40, of Capitol Avenue
  • Michael Davis, 33, of Crown Street
  • Justino Diaz, 68, of Washington Street
  • Heriberto Garcia, 32, of Zion Street
  • Janeely Garcia, 27, of Hamilton Street
  • Sergio Gomez, 48, of Bedford Street
  • Robert Hinton, 34, currently incarcerated
  • Alisandro Hernandez, 31, of Capen Street
  • Jorge Huertas, 58, of Sherbrooke Avenue
  • Maria Lebron, 38, of Madison Avenue
  • Rafael Padilla, 24, currently incarcerated
  • Bashon Whitley, 23, of Oakland Terrace, charged with first-degree larceny and violation of probation

These non-sex offenders were also arrested:

  • Alfredo Rivera, 50, of Park Street, served three separate warrants and charged with third-degree criminal mischief, failure to respond to an infraction and violation of a town ordinance; failure to respond to an infraction and violation of a town ordinance; failure to appear, criminal trespassing, interfering with police and disorderly conduct
  • Angel Sanchez, 25, of King Street, charged with carrying a dangerous weapon

12 Hurt in Philly Food Truck Blast


A propane tank exploded inside a food truck in Feltonville on Tuesday, severely burning one woman and injuring at least 11 other people.

The tank on the left side rear of the La Parrillada Chapina truck ignited and flew about 50 feet into a nearby backyard, according to police. Officials say 12 people in all were injured.

Of the 12 victims, a 27-year-old woman and a 14-year-old girl are in critical condition. The woman suffered second- and third-degree burns to her entire body. Four other victims are in stable condition, while six other people were treated and released.

Shaquille Glover, one of the witnesses, told NBC10 what he heard was almost as horrific as what he saw.

"The sounds of the screams," Glover said. "I'll never forget that."

Glover was about to go inside his home on Wyoming Avenue in the Feltonville section of the city around 5:30 p.m. when he heard the blast.

"I heard a loud boom like a bomb," Glover said. "So I turned around and this truck just started instantly smoking. The propane splashed all the way across the street on a pole. That's why the pole was on fire and people that were walking by got burned. A lady got burned on her back. Another lady got burned on her face. It was just the sounds of the screams. There was a good two minutes of screams before the cops even came."

Nicole Ellis, who lives in the same home as Glover, told NBC10 she felt her house shake. 

"We thought something fell over," Ellis said. "Then all of a sudden we heard screams. We walked outside and the truck was billowing fire."

Ellis claimed she heard from other witnesses that one of the victims was ejected out of the truck from the force of the explosion.

"A girl was walking by from the nail salon and her whole back got sprayed with debris," Ellis said. "She was screaming all the way up the street, 'I'm on fire! I want my mom! I want my mom!' And then a man sitting on his porch actually got caught with fire as well. It was pretty bad."

Ellis then called 911 in a panic.

"I was screaming and yelling on the phone," Ellis said. "I started panicking, because the lady was just sitting there and she was on fire. You could see the fire coming from her body." 

Responding firefighters were able to control the flames.

Officials have not yet revealed the identities of the victims.

"We noticed that somebody was sitting at the table still that was burned, but the smoke was just going past her and getting to us," Glover said. "They said they couldn't touch her because she was burned. Two minutes later, they grabbed her and put her in the ambulance."

This story is developing. Stay with NBC10.com for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com

Bridgeport Police Nab Armed Robbery Suspects


Two men have been arrested in connection with an armed street robbery in Bridgeport this past Thursday.

Robert Stovall, 25, and Darell Foreman, 24, have been charged with first-degree robbery, third-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor.

According to Bridgeport police, the robbery took place near the intersection of Reservoir and Woodrow avenues.

Police said the victim was physically assaulted, threatened with a firearm and robbed of a cell phone and cash.

Investigators identified the suspects and set up surveillance at their home on Douglas Street on Monday.

Stovall was the first to be arrested. Police said Stovall got into a car parked outside his house and officers pulled him over and took him into custody.

Later in the day, offices went back to the Douglas Street home to tow Foreman's vehicle. Foreman was arrested when he walked outside to to find out why his car was being towed, police said.

Members of the Bridgeport Robbery Squad searched the address and found a loaded .32-caliber firearm, along with a box of ammunition.

Bond is set at $150,000.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department

Motorcyclist in Critical Condition After Norwich Crash


A 20-year-old New London man is in critical condition after his motorcycle collided with a truck in Norwich on Monday night, according to police.

Police said Emanuel G. Rivera was riding his motorcycle on West Town Street near the intersection with Route 2 in Norwich when he got into an accident with a commercial truck.

Rivera suffered serious head injuries. LifeStar flew him to Hartford Hospital, where he’s listed in critical condition, police said.

The truck driver was not injured.

An accident reconstruction team is investigating the crash. Anyone with information should call Norwich police Officer Thomas Lazzaro at 860-886-5561 ext. 6.

Monroe Man Facing Child Pornography Charges


A Monroe man is facing charges after reportedly sharing child pornography on the Internet, according to police.

Anthony Bocchino, 31, of 81 Partridge Drive in Monroe was arrested Tuesday after authorities searched his home and found that he had been sharing pornographic images online, according to police.

The search was part of an investigation launched in March after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received copies of the images. Police said five of the files were confirmed to be explicit photos of children under the age of 16.

Bocchino was arrested and charged with first-degree possession of child pornography, importing child pornography and promoting a minor in an obscene performance.

He was held on $100,000 bond and is due in court July 2.

Photo Credit: Monroe Police Department

Arthur Could Contribute to Rainy Holiday


Tropical Storm Arthur has formed and that could mean heavy rain here in Connecticut on Thursday and the Fourth of July.

The storm is expected to become a category 1 hurricane as it approaches the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

According to Chief Meteorologist Brad Field, the center of the storm will miss Connecticut, but an indirect impact will likely contribute to a rainy Thursday.

Increased humidity will be the telltale sign of the threat of thunderstorms here as we move toward the Independence Day holiday. 

While there is a small chance of a storm this afternoon, the probability increases a bit tomorrow and moreso on Thursday.

On Thursday night into Friday, there is a rising chance for heavy rain indirectly associated with Arthur accompanied by the potential for some flooding.

We're not expecting any wind damage from the storm.

Some towns have already postponed fireworks displays because of the forecast.

The best news is that the rain is expected to move out as the day progresses on Friday, leaving the second part of the holiday weekend dominated by fair weather.

Saturday and Sunday look spectacular.

The town of Old Saybrook is preparing by launching StormArthur.com to communicate with residents.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Blaze Forces Evacuations in Napa


A rapidly spreading vegetation fire that has burned more than 4 square miles in the Pope Valley area of Napa County has damaged five structures and prompted the mandatory evacuation of 180 homes, Cal Fire said late Tuesday.

Smoke from the 2,700-acre fire was visible from several counties -- including Sonoma, Marin and Contra Costa. The smoke was also visible from nearby wineries.

The fire was about 30 percent contained as of 6 p.m., according to Cal Fire.

Residents of the Berryessa Estates subdivision in Pope Valley were being evacuated, Cal Fire said. Evacuations were also are in effect on Snell Valley Road to the Lake County line.

Two evacuation centers have been setup at at Polk Valley School and at Middletown High School.

The blaze erupted at 12:08 p.m. in the 7800 block of Butts Canyon Road, according to a Cal Fire spokesperson.

Butts Valley, Snell Valley and Aetna Springs roads are closed. The fire reportedly jumped Butts Canyon and Snell Valley roads.

Firefighters from the City of Napa, St. Helena and the Lake County and Napa County fire departments, the California Highway Patrol and the Napa County Sheriff's Office have also responded.

Bay City News Service and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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