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1 Shot at New Britain Park


Authorities are investigating after a person was shot at Willow Street Park in New Britain, according to police.

Police said the victim suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

It's not clear if authorities have identified a suspect.

Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call New Britain police 860-826-3000.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

More Bacteria Found in Water at Windham School


Just two weeks after E. coli was discovered in the well water at Windham Center School, forcing the school to close for several days at the beginning of the year, tests have revealed another kind of bacteria in the water.

Windham Supt. Dr. Patricia Garcia and Windham Center School Principal Kathleen Goodwin wrote a letter to parents on Wednesday informing them of more bacteria in the school water.

“We have been conducting tests of the water over the last week and, unfortunately, the most recent test came back positive for coliform bacteria,” the letter says.

Traces of E. coli were identified in the school drinking water late last month, prompting officials to shut off the water, set up hand washing stations and bring in bottled drinking water.

The system was flushed, and further testing showed no E. coli in the water but revealed the presence of another, less harmful type of bacteria.

Windham Center School was closed for several days while the water was treated.

More bacteria has shown up in school water, according to the letter, but the state and local health departments have determined that "it is safe for students to remain in school while the well is being sanitized," the letter says.

The school has once again set up hand washing stations and brought in bottled water. Cafeteria procedures have been altered to avoid using contaminated water in meal preparation, according to the letter.

“Due to the water sanitation treatments that were applied last week, and the precautionary measures that have been put in place, health officials and district administration are confident there is no risk to your student,” the letter says.

Officials are working toward a long-term solution that could include treating well water before it reaches the school storage tank, according to the letter.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

WATCH: Bear, Cub Climb SoCal Tree


Dozens of curious spectators showed up to watch a bear and her cub resting in a Monrovia neighborhood on Wednesday.

"They’re just strolling around the yard like they own the place," said a boy who looked on with a crowd that grew to about 75 people over the course of the day.

The duo was seen roaming a yard in the area of Ivy and Olive avenues (map) about 10 a.m. They snacked on avocados in a resident's yard before climbing up a tree when neighbors and Fish and Wildlife officials showed up.

"They’re pretty high up, but I’ve seen them come down," said Fish and Wildlife Warden J.C. Healy. "They ate a little, they drank a little and then they worked their way back up the tree."

The cub, which officials said appeared to be about a week old, and its mother eventually climbed down. Fish and Wildlife officials gave them their space so they could make their way 2 miles north back to the mountains under the cover of darkness.

Healy said they had no plans of tranquilizing the bears because the mother may still be nursing.

Police said it was unusual for bears to roam so far south from the mountains during the day.

Former Officer Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges


A former Middletown police officer has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges, according to the U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts.

Samuel DiProto, 63, of Cromwell, was arrested in May 2013 after authorities traced child pornography files back to his IP address. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said he downloaded sexually explicit photos and videos of children between 2009 and 2013.

DiProto was a Middletown officer from 1987 to August 2009, according to the Middletown Police Department. It’s not clear if he downloaded pornographic content while he was an officer.

Police said after his arrest that a search of DiProto’s computers, hard drives and thumb drives turned up 20-40 videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit behavior, including prepubescent children under the age of 12.

The images were found on an Internet file sharing network and linked back to DiProto’s IP address, police said.

While police were investigating, they determined that DiProto had had inappropriate contact with a child and arrested him on additional charges, including risk of injury to a minor, first-degree unlawful restraint and first-degree reckless endangerment.

DiProto pleaded guilty to child pornography possession in federal court on Wednesday and will be sentenced Dec. 2. He could face between five and 20 years behind bars, along with a lifetime of supervised release.

Ph.D. Students Use Crowdfunding to Finance Research


Two UConn doctorate students say say national funding for research has clammed up in recent years, so the pair is doing what many scientists, along with movie makers, artists, and others have done to raise money: crowd funding.

"Learning how that bacteria interacts directly with a host like a squid will give implications for how our bacteria might interact in our stomach," said UConn Ph.D. student Andrea Suria.

Using a site called experiment.com, scientists like Suria and fellow student Sarah McAnulty advertise their project through a video seeking donations.

"We just ask people if they are interested to donate anything they can-five, ten, twenty dollars," explained McAnulty.

The return on investment can be tangible, like naming rights, or something tough to put a price on.

"If you feel good about learning about science, these basic discoveries, maybe you want to give to us," said Suria.

The duo is also working with UConn’s pharmacy school to see if their research has any benefits for humans "that we could maybe develop into antibiotics years down the line," said Suria.

"The way you really do research that's cutting edge – you have to have money for it," explained McAnulty.

2 Men in Ski Masks Hold Up East Haven Bank


Police are searching for the two men in ski masks who robbed an East Haven bank at gunpoint Wednesday afternoon.

According to police, the suspects held up the First Niagara Bank at 50 Frontage Road around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. They made off with an unknown amount of money and got away on foot.

No one was injured.

Police said both suspects had black ski masks over their faces. One was wearing a tan plaid shirt and dark-colored hat and the other was wearing a light-colored shirt.

Anyone with information is urged to call East Haven police at 203-468-3820.

Photo Credit: East Haven Police Department

Shell Fisherman Upset Over New Regulations


New leasing terms for state shell beds are causing a stir among shell fishermen in Connecticut, who say the new terms set by the state Department of Agriculture are unfair and unacceptable.

“It makes it very difficult to operate and takes away every bit of security that we have in growing our businesses based on state leases,” said Joe Gilbert, of Briarpatch Enterprises.

Fishermen say the new leases will allow the state to take away their fishing beds if they don't pay the lease invoice within 10 days, and will only give them 30 days to remove crops if they default on any part of the lease.

“Thirty days is not enough time to get all the product off, all the shellfish off. The 10-day problem in the new lease states that even if you don't receive a bill, and it's not paid within 10 days, they can take a lease away from you,” said Jim Salce, of Nutmeg Shellfish Farm.

The state Department of Agriculture says the 10-day rule actually takes effect after fishermen are granted an initial 14 days to pay the invoice.

“They're paying up front, so what we don't want to have a situation where people are actually out shell fishing for 30 days, 60 days, not paying that lease," said David Carey with the Connecticut Department of Agriculture. "We won't ever recover that shellfish nor will we recover that revenue without going through a long process.”

State officials say the new leases are not meant to hinder the shell fishing industry, but bring it up to modern standards and make sure that all fishermen are paying their leases.

“This is not about the department taking away anyone's property rights. The department's demonstrated historically that we're willing to work with people when they fall behind on lease payments,” said Kristin DeRosia-Banick with the Connecticut Department of Agriculture.

Man Who Killed Ex, Brother Executed


A man convicted of gunning down his former common-law wife and her brother more than two decades ago in Houston was put to death by lethal injection Wednesday evening.

Willie Trottie's execution was carried out about 90 minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his last-day appeals. He had contended he had poor legal help at his trial and questioned the potency of the execution drug.

Trottie repeatedly expressed love to witnesses -- both people he selected and relatives of his victims, Barbara and Titus Canada -- and several times asked for forgiveness as he was about to be executed.

"I love you all," he said. "I'm going home, going to be with the Lord. ... Find it in your hearts to forgive me. I'm sorry."

As the lethal dose of the powerful sedative pentobarbital took effect, he closed his eyes and breathed quietly. After about eight breaths, he opened his mouth to exhale, then closed it. There was no further movement.

Trottie, 45, was pronounced dead at 6:35 p.m. CDT -- 22 minutes after the injection began.

His was the eighth lethal injection this year in Texas, and the first in the nation's most active death penalty state since recent executions went awry in Oklahoma and Arizona. Unlike those states, where a drug combination is used for capital punishment, Texas uses a single lethal dose of pentobarbital.

Trottie had acknowledged shooting Barbara Canada, 24, and her brother, Titus Canada, 28, at their parents' home in Houston. But Trottie said the May 1993 shootings were accidental and in self-defense, and not worthy of a death sentence.

Prosecutors said he had threatened to kill Canada, who had a protective order against him, if she didn't return to him. They said he carried out that threat when barging into the house and opening fire.

His attorneys had argued to the Supreme Court that Trottie's lawyers at his 1993 trial were deficient for not addressing his self-defense theory and for failing to produce sufficient testimony about Trottie's abusive childhood with an alcoholic mother.

State attorneys scoffed at the argument, saying Trottie's self-defense claim was absurd and had been rejected in earlier appeals.

Trottie's attorneys also contended the dose of pentobarbital for his lethal injection was past its effectiveness date and could subject him to unconstitutional "tortuous" pain.

The state responded that the drug doesn't expire until the end of the month and that tests showed proper potency. They argued the appeal seeking details of the drug was merely another attempt to force prison officials to disclose the compounding pharmacy that provides the execution drugs, something the courts repeatedly have refused to order.

Coors Billboard Featuring Husky Mascot Sparks Controversy


The UConn Husky mascot has found its way onto billboards advertising alcohol, and university officials say they're sending the wrong message.

Billboards for Coors have cropped up along Interstates 84 and 91 in the Hartford area, featuring a large photo of a Coors Light bottle alongside the Husky mascot printed on the image of a football. “Huskies Love the Cold” is written across the advertisement in large letters.

Some of the advertisements have already been removed, and others are on their way out, according to university officials.

UConn Athletic Director Warde Manuel said in a statement Wednesday that IMG Sports, which holds the marketing rights for UConn athletics, has a sponsorship contract with Coors that allows the company to use UConn trademarks.

Manuel said UConn has not received direct funding from Coors and does not have a direct partnership with the brewing company.

“Over the past week, the University has been working with IMG to facilitate the removal of the Coors billboards. As of today, the advertisement has been taken off the electronic billboards where it appeared, and IMG is working to remove the ad from static billboards,” Manuel said in the statement.

“UConn does not condone irresponsible drinking and will continue to work within the University community and with external partners to promote safe and healthy living habits,” he added.

University President Susan Herbst and UConn Board of Trustees Chairman Lawrence McHugh echoed Manuel’s words in a joint statement Wednesday.

“Whatever the intention was, we believe that this billboard sent the wrong message and are pleased that it has been taken down,” they said. “Adults are free to drink responsibly, but UConn cannot appear to endorse drinking among our students, particularly if they are under 21.”

Former state GOP chairman Chris Healy first brought up the controversy in his blog Wednesday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

UConn Bomb Threat Suspect Part of Swatting Ring: Authorities


The 21-year-old Wethersfield resident arrested in connection with a bomb threat at UConn in April is now facing federal charges, and officials say he had a hand in at least five other threats.

Matthew Tollis was arrested on federal charges Wednesday.

Tollis was a member of an online community known as “Team Crucifix or Die” (TCOD), comprised of X-Box gamers who use Skype to call in false bomb threats, hostage situations, gun scares and mass murders, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He has been involved in at least six “swatting” incidents, including a bomb threat at UConn and other schools in New Jersey, Florida, Texas and Massachusetts, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.

Tollis was arrested Sept. 3 in connection with the April 3 bomb threat at UConn, which sparked a “multiple hour, campus-wide lockdown” that drew UConn police, a state police bomb squad and SWAT teams to the scene, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Morning classes were canceled and the Tasker admissions building was evacuated. School officials said the caller claimed someone had planted explosives in the building and wanted to “kill people.” Tollis is not a UConn student.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says TCOD members have been found responsible for six additional swatting incidents in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Three of the suspects live in the United Kingdom and have made swatting calls from abroad.

The FBI is working with UK officials to identify those suspects.

Tollis is charged with conspiring to engage in a bomb threat hoax, aiding and abetting a bomb threat hoax and aiding and abetting the malicious conveying of false information regarding an attempt or alleged attempt to kill, injure or intimidate or to unlawfully damage or destroy a building or personal property by means of an explosive.

He could face a total of 15 years in prison if convicted on federal charges.

Tollis appeared in court after his arrest and remains in custody.

He's due in court Sept. 11 to answer to state charges and will face a judge on federal charges Sept. 12.

Alderman Who Went on Drunken Tirade to Stay on Board


A push to oust a New Britain councilman who admitted to going on a drunken tirade in the mayor's office and screaming homophobic slurs at a local bar failed Wednesday night.

The difference of one vote means the New Britain City Council cannot move forward with a hearing to remove Alderman Mike Trueworthy.

“I think the people of New Britain were done a disservice today,” said Alderman Jamie Giantonio.

Both Democrats and Republicans have voiced their concerns about Trueworthy’s behavior and ability to serve the public. “I think the Alderman’s actions on July 22 were reprehensible,” Giantonio said.

In July, Trueworthy admitted to going on a drunken tirade at City Hall that prompted police to show up.

Their report shows he demanded alcohol from Mayor Erin Stewart and called her vulgar names. That night, he was kicked out of the West Side Tavern for getting drunk and screaming homophobic slurs.

“I made a mistake and its certainly and error in judgment,” Trueworthy said. He told NBC Connecticut he takes responsibility for his actions. He has since resigned as council president, but maintains he can still serve the public on the council and said he does not plan to resign.

Some aldermen disagree and worry about the community’s trust and perception.

“It doesn't send the right message to young people that you can make fun of someone’s sexuality if you want to or you can threaten them. It doesn't send the right message to our community and it’s unfortunate,” Giantonio added.

NBC Connecticut tried speaking with the aldermen who voted against the resolution but they would not comment.

Man Steals Autistic Man's Birthday Money: Police


Stamford police are searching for the person who stole brithday money from a 27-year-old autistic man in the area of Veterans Park on Tuesday afternoon.

The victim was on his way to the Stamford Town Center to but video games when a stranger approached him around 3:30 p.m. Sept. 9, followed him into the Old Town Hall and struck up a conversation, according to police.

When the victim “excitedly” showed the other man the $100 his family had given him for his birthday, he was tricked him into it over money, according to police.

Surveillance video shows the man taking the cash and taunting the victim by holding the money away from him, then pretending to place it in the victim’s pocket and leaning in for a hug before walking away.

The victim did not realize his money is gone until it was too late.

The man who stole the cash was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt with a white rectangle printed on the front and black pants with a white stripe down the sides.

Police are asking for help from the public to identify the man who stole the cash.

In the meantime, Stamford Police Officers and the Police Union have started a collection for the victim, unbeknownst to him, to get him his money back. 

Several Stamford residents have also come forward to make contributions because of the crime. 

Anyone with information on the crime should call the Stamford Police Detective Bureau at 203-977-4417. Do not approach the suspect.

Photo Credit: Stamford Police Department

Driver Sustains Serious Injuries in Newington Rollover Crash


The driver of a car that rolled over in Newington early Thursday morning was transported to Hartford Hospital to be treated for serious injuries, according to Newington Police.

The driver lost control of the car on Willard Avenue by Stoddard Avenue just before 5 a.m. and hit a pole, accoriding to police.

Route 173, is closed in both directions between Stoddard Avenue and West Hill Road until further notice, according to police.

To get around the area, take Fenn Road or Main Street.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Matthew D’Esposito at (860) 594-6212.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

12 Displaced by New Britain Fire


Twelve people are displaced, but safe after fire broke out at a multi-family home in New Britain this morning.

Someone passing by the house at 875 and 877 East Street just before 6 a.m. saw flames and alerted the residents.

Everyone was able to get out and no injuries are reported.

Much of the front of the building is charred and officials said it will be awhile before the residents can return home.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Boston Honoring Victims of Sept. 11 Attacks


Thursday marks the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and the city of Boston is among those honoring the 3,000 people lost in the tragedy.

The attacks hold a strong connection with Boston, not only because of the 210 people connected to Massachusetts who died that day.

The two planes that struck the twin towers — United Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11 — took off from Boston’s Logan International Airport the morning of the attacks. More than 150 people were aboard the planes, which were both headed to Los Angeles.

Mayor Marty Walsh told people gathered at an early morning wreath-laying ceremony at Boston Public Garden that the day would never be an easy one for the city.

 "I want to thank the families of the 206 people connected to Massachusetts," Walsh said. "I want to thank the families of the 3,000 loved ones who were lost on that horrific day."

Bagpipers from the Boston Fire Department played and the Boston Fire Department Quartet sang "God Bless America" as victims' families honored their loved ones.

At 8:30, there was a flag-lowering ceremony at the Massachusetts State House led by Gov. Deval Patrick. The names of the 210 people from Massachusetts who died on Sept. 11 were read. During this event, at 8:46, the moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center, a moment of silencewas held.

At 9:30 in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, there will be a special memorial service for victims’ families and survivors.

Photo Credit: AP

American Flag Unfurled at Pentagon for 9/11


Sept. 11 commemorations got underway in the D.C. area at dawn with the unfurling of an American flag down the side of the Pentagon. The tradition began the day after the Sept. 11 attacks when firefighters unexpectedly got onto the building's roof and draped a large flag across the damaged building -- a quiet symbol of America's determination.

Kent Unveils 9/11 Plaque After 5-Years of Negotiation


A 9/11 memorial in Kent divided the town, but it will be unveiled this morning after five years of negotiating.

The plaque honors a local man who was killed in the attacks 13 years ago, as well as all the victims. 

James Gadiel worked as an assistant trader at Cantor Fitzgerald on the 103rd floor of the North Tower when the World Trade Center was attacked. He was 23 when he was killed and the memorial plaque honoring him was at the center of controversy in town because of what his father wanted it to say.   

 James Gadiel’s father, Peter Gadiel, asked for the memorial to include “Murdered by Moslem extremists,” but town officials thought that was not appropriate. 

  It took five years of negotiations, but a compromise was reached and the memorial will be unveiled during a memorial service this morning.
  It says:  “In Memoriam. To the 2,997 people killed by Islamist Extremists on Sept. 11, 2001. Among those murdered at the World Trade Center in New York City was lifelong Kent resident James Gadiel, 23, a Gentleman and a Gentle Man." 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Computer Tech Accused of Touching Teen to Appear in Court


A technician who is accused of inappropriately touching an 18-year-old girl during an appointment to repair her Internet modem in Monroe is due in court today.

The teen told police that Inpanh Thammavongsa, 58, of Meriden, a technician with Tri-Wire Service technician, massaged her back and repeatedly touch her during the appointment in Monroe just before 11 a.m. on June 19, according to police.

Thammavongsa was working as a subcontractor for Charter Communications, according to police.

"The person who came out from Tri-Wire arrived, and according to the victim, began massaging her and then repeatedly began to touch her inappropriately," Lt. Brian McCauley of the Monroe Police Department, said.

The teen left the room, waited for Thammavongsa to finish his work and called the police to report what happened.

"She was very afraid," McCauley said.

Police found Thammavongsa, arrested him and brought him to police headquarters.

He has been charged with fourth-degree sexual assault and disorderly conduct and released after bond was posted. Thammavongsa is due in court on July 29.

Charter Communications released the following statement in response to the incident:

"Charter recognizes that it is a privilege to be allowed into our customer's homes and their safety is of the utmost importance. We require criminal background checks on all in-home contractors prior to performing any work for Charter. We are cooperating fully with the Monroe Police Department to aid in this investigation."

Thammavongsa is expected to enter a plea when he appears in court.

Photo Credit: Monroe Police

Teen Burglarized Watertown Home as Residents Slept: Police


Watertown police have arrested a teen who is accused of breaking into a Greenwood Street home several times and stealing several hundred dollars in cash.

Police arrested a suspect, Nicholas Emmons, 19, this week, after the residents set up a "Deer Camera" to find out who was breaking into their home, police said.

The residents set up the camera after discovering that money was missing because they suspected someone was breaking in and wanted to catch the burglar in the act.

On Tuesday, the Watertown family contacted police and said there had been a burglary overnight. The surveillance video they gave police showed someone in a black ski mask go through a sliding glass door to a bedroom just after 4:10 a.m., police said.

He crawled on the floor at the foot of the bed while the victims slept and rifled through their pants pockets, then crawled out of the home with a small amount of money he had taken from those pockets, police said.

Police found fingerprints and sent them to the State Forensic Laboratory, which identified the suspected burglar as Emmons, someone who the victims know.

Police obtained a warrant for Emmons, who confessed to the burglary on Sept. 9 and also said he committed several burglaries at the same residence in the same manner before, according to police.
Investigators seized the mask worn during the burglary described as a black ski mask.

Emmons was charged with first-degree burglary and sixth-degree criminal attempt at larceny.

Emmons was held on a $150,000 court-set bond and was arraigned at Waterbury Superior Court on Sept. 10.

He is being represented by an attorney from the public defender’s office, according to the online court records.

Police expect to file more burglary charges.

Emmons is due in court on Sept. 25.

Photo Credit: Watertown Police

Ari Fleischer Recounts 9/11 Events on Twitter


Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer used Twitter on Thursday morning to recall what the 9/11 terror attacks were like for President George W. Bush and the White House staff.

Fleischer went into great detail about what he heard and saw 13 years ago while being with President Bush while at an elementary school in Florida as planes struck the twin towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

The following is a collection of his tweets:


Photo Credit: Paul Morse/The White House/Getty Images
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