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Manchester Residents Concerned about DOC Group Home


A home for convicted sex offenders is making neighbors angry in Manchester, and now those upset homeowners plan to voice their concerns at a meeting Monday night.

"Why put them here? Find somewhere else to go. Take them out of our neighborhood please," said neighbor Celestine Hamilton.

The Manchester Town Manager says multiple convicted sex offenders live in a home on Clinton Street, and neighbors can't understand why.

"I want to know why they were put here and no one was told. I have six grandchildren in this house," said Hamilton.

Hamilton says she found out they were living there weeks after the offenders moved in. The town manager says Manchester has a number of group homes and that the Department of Correction, like other agencies, is under no obligation to alert towns when they arrange for the facilities.

Just half a mile away lies Charter Oak Park which is filled with play sets for kids. Also half a mile away is Elisabeth Bennet Academy.

Currently there is no law in Connecticut outlining where convicted sex offenders can reside. Connecticut's ACLU has stated in the past that restricting where offenders live does not deter sex crimes and has had disastrous consequences in other states, forcing them into homelessness or to stop registering in order to avoid arrest.

Still neighbors say they don't want them anywhere near where children play.

"It's so family-oriented around here. It's a little scary knowing something like that is very close," said neighbor Krystal Schlichting.

The meeting with the DOC and neighbors is scheduled to take place Monday night at 6.30 at the East Side Neighborhood Center on Spruce Street.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Indiana Aid Worked Feared Death


The parents of an Indiana aid worker held captive by the Islamic State group say he told them in a June letter he's afraid to die but that he converted to Islam voluntarily and is at peace with his beliefs.

The group has threatened to behead 26-year-old Peter Kassig, who was captured Oct. 1, 2013.

Ed and Paula Kassig say in a Sunday statement that their son, now known as Abdul-Rahman Kassig, indicated he wasn't forced to convert. They say an ex-hostage told them he converted when he shared a cell with a devout Syrian Muslim.

In the letter Kassig says he's scared but that if he dies his parents should take comfort knowing he "went out as a result of trying to alleviate suffering and helping those in need."

Photo Credit: AP
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Hot Air Balloon Lands in Ocean


A newly engaged couple had the experience of a lifetime when their sunset hot air balloon ride ended with an emergency landing on a beach north of San Diego Sunday.

Hundreds of people along the coast near Cardiff-by-the-Sea just before 7 p.m. watched as the balloon drifted off course and hovered over the waves.

Eric Barretto was proposing to his fiancee when he said the balloon veered over the water and the pilot could not get the balloon back to shore.

Barretto said they threw a line to the water below and some surfers helped pull the balloon back to shore.

"It's unforgettable. That's all I can say," Barretto said. "I don't know if we'll do it again."

The pilot who identified himself as Tim with Panda Air Bear Balloon Flights, said that as the winds pushed the balloon to the west, he thought the best thing to do was get to the water and have the onshore winds help push the balloon back to shore.

The balloon basket landed in the surf and took in several waves, according to Encinitas Marine Safety Capt. Larry Giles.

"Between the lifeguards and the bystanders in the water, the surfers here at Cardiff reef, everyone did a great job and they got the balloon back up onto the beach without injury," Giles said.

No one was hurt. 

Photo Credit: Spencer Thornburg
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Cameraman With Ebola Flying to U.S.


An NBC News freelance cameraman from Rhode Island who contracted Ebola is on his way back to the U.S.

Thirty-three-year-old Ashoka Mukpo of Providence was working in Liberia, a country for which his family and friends say he cared deeply.

He will be treated at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, the same hospital where Dr. Rick Sacra of Holden, Massachusetts, was treated for Ebola.

Ashoka Mukpo's mother, Diana, told NECN Friday just how difficult the news is.

"There's no way to feel alright about it. It's incredibly stressful," said Diana Mukpo. "We're getting him th best medical care we can, but it's only stress and anxiety for all of us."

After he began showing symptoms, Ashoka Mukpo quarantined himself. He is in the early stages of the disease, his mother said.

Diana Mukpo arrived in Nebraska Sunday night to greet her son when he lands.

"Ashoka feels tremendously connected to the Liberian people," said Diana Mukpo. "He wanted to document the impact that this is having socially and economically."

A friend and former classmate who studied with Ashoka Mukpo at Georgetown University agreed about the cameraman's desire to help the people of West Africa.

"I just always knew him as a very thoughtful, caring person," Chad Bilyeu told NECN Friday. "I saw that the studies, and his interest in Africa, was very altruistic."

NBC News hired Ashoka Mukpo Tuesday to work on a team with Chief Medical Editor and Correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman, covering the outbreak of the illness in Liberia.

As concerns over the virus mount in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control sent some tweets reminding those concerned about how the virus is spread.

Boat Destroyed in Fire at Bridgeport Marina


A 26-foot boat was destroyed in a fire at Dolphin Cove Marina in Bridgeport Sunday morning.

About 28 firefighters responded to 421 Seaview Avenue on Saturday after receiving a report about the boat fire at 2:45 a.m. There was a fully involved fire on the Hydra-Sport boat when crews arrived at the dock.

About 500 feet away on the dock, a "large barge was off-loading fuel," according to Bridgeport police.

Firefighters battled the fire with hard lines from the dock and from Bridgeport Fire Department's boat.

Meanwhile, fuel tanks on board "split" and about 190 gallons of fuel poured onto the water and ignited, sparking a fire "on top of the water in the dock area," police said.

Firefighters had the fire under control within 15 minutes.

The Hydra-Sport was destroyed in the blaze and a nearby boat had minor damage as a result of the fire.

"The crews did a tremendous job to hold the fire to just one boat while working in a dangerous environment on the docks," Assistant Chief William Hathaway said.

No one was injured.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Bomb Squad Investigates Cannonball Brought to Winsted PD


The State Police bomb squad was called to the Winsted Police Department Sunday afternoon to investigate a cannonball brought to the station.

A concerned antique store owner came to the police department with a softball-sized cannonball with a plug. A commanding officer went to the man's car and called a State Police bomb squad after seeing the cannonball in his car.

Route 44 was closed between Case Avenue and Elm Street in Winsted for a little more than an hour while police investigated.

The scene was cleared by 2:11 p.m.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Track Down Suspects in Rash of Armed Robberies


Police arrested a Vernon man Friday in connection to an armed robbery at Rubia Mart last month and have obtained arrest warrants for his suspected accomplice, police said.

John Papin, 32, of Vernon, is facing multiple charges including robbery in connection to the Sept. 23 robbery at the store.

Hartford police arrested Papin at a Hartford hotel and brought him to Vernon. The department worked with Manchester, Newington, South Windsor and state police on the case as part of a task force investigating "a series of armed robberies in the Greater Hartford" area," police said in a news release.

Police also obtained two arrest warrants for Joseph Dennis, 32, of Vernon, who they believe worked with Papin to rob Rubia Mart, police said. The other warrant is tied to a robbery at the On the Way convenience store on Hartford Turnpike in Vernon Sept. 27, police said.

Dennis is in custody at the Manchester Police Department and Vernon police plan on serving the warrants once he is arraigned in court on Manchester charges.

Connecticut's state forensics laboratory also assisted with the investigation, as well as East Hartford police and Connecticut adult probation and Intelligence Center officials, police said.

Papin was charged with first-degree robbery, sixth-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit the crimes. Police held him in custody on a $500,000 cash/surety bond and he is due in court Monday morning.

Police continue to investigate and expect further charges.

Vernon police ask anyone with information to call Det. Charles Hicking at 860-872-9126 at extension 224.

Photo Credit: Vernon Police Department

New Canaan Student Hit By Car Near High School


A 14-year-old New Canaan High School student was injured after a car hit him near the school on Monday morning.

Police responded to Farm Road near New Canaan High School at 7:29 a.m. after receiving a report of a crash involving a car and a pedestrian.

A 49-year-old man was driving eastbound on the road when he struck the student as he was crossing, police said. The pedestrian hit was not using a crosswalk, according to police.

The teenager sustained possible leg injuries and New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps transported him to Norwalk Hospital, police said.

The driver, who was the only person in the car, stayed at the scene.

Police are investigating the crash. No charges have been filed at this time.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Manchester Robber Connected to 2 Other Robberies: Cops


Manchester police arrested a gas station robbery suspect who is also facing charges in Vernon for two other robberies.

Joseph Dennis, 32, of Rockville, was arrested in connection to a robbery at Best Gas Station at 134 Tolland Turnpike in Manchester that happened Sept. 25. The arrest comes amid a multi-town task force investigation into several armed robberies in towns in the Greater Hartford area, according to police.

"I am truly sorry this happened and I know better than this. I will fix this and do my punishment. I will also do everything I can to better myself so I won't mess up like this again," Dennis said in the court documents.

Vernon police also have obtained two warrants for his arrest in connection to robberies at the Rubia Mart and On the Way convenience stores in Vernon from late September. Police are waiting until he is arraigned on his Manchester charges before they arrest him on those other charges, Vernon police said. Officers arrested John Papin, 32, of Vernon, his suspected accomplice in the Rubia Mart robbery.

Vernon, Newington, South Windsor and state police are part of the task force investigating a rash of armed robberies in the region.

Manchester police charged Dennis with first-degree robbery, fifth-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit those crimes in  connection to the Best Gas robbery.

Police held him on a $250,000 bond and he is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 6.

Manchester police as anyone with information to call detectives at 860-645-5510.

Photo Credit: Manchester Police Department

Driver Hits QU Student Crossing Road


A Quinnipiac University student and driver were injured after a car struck the student while he was crossing Sherman Avenue near the Hamden university early Sunday morning.

Hamden police responded at 4:30 a.m. Sunday to a report that a pedestrian was hit on the road near the entrance to the York Hill Campus of the university.

The student, Peter Lawnes, 21, of Huntington Station, New York, was hit while crossing a part of Sherman Avenue where there isn't a crosswalk, according to a preliminary police investigation. A 39-year-old New Haven resident was driving the car that struck him, police said.

An ambulance transported both Lawnes and the driver to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The name of the driver has not been released at this time.

The accident remains under investigation. No charges have been filed at this time.

Ebola in Dallas: What We Know About the 1st U.S. Case


As the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States fights for his life and health officials try to contain the deadly virus' spread, a portrait of him -- and of the web of contacts he may have made in the days since he arrived in Dallas from West Africa -- is emerging.

Here's what we know so far about the patient, how he got here, whom he may have exposed to Ebola, how the virus may have been spread and what could happen next.


Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man with family in the United States, boarded a Brussels-bound plane in his hometown of Monrovia en route to Dallas on Sept. 19, days after neighbors in Monrovia said he helped take a woman dying of Ebola to the hospital. It is unclear whether he knew of her diagnosis before traveling. The New York Times reported that the woman had been turned away because there was no room in the hospital's Ebola ward. She died several hours after she was brought back home.

His brother in Phoenix, Arizona, told The Associated Press that Duncan had headed to the United States to be with his girlfriend and child. He said he did not believe Duncan knew he had Ebola before he left Liberia.


Duncan is believed to have flown to the U.S. via Brussels on Sept. 20. United Airlines believes he took two connecting United flights that day to get to Dallas — flying from Brussels to Washington Dulles on Flight 951 and then from Dulles to Dallas-Fort Worth on Flight 822 the same day.

He boarded those flights, according to the Liberian government, after answering "no" at the airport to a health screening form's questions about whether he had cared for anybody with the virus or touched the body of anyone who died in an area where Ebola is prevalent.

Liberia says it will prosecute him for lying on the forms, though it is unclear whether Duncan knew the woman he had helped had Ebola. Texas officials have also said they are considering whether to bring charges against Duncan.


Duncan was taken to the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital after 10 p.m. Sept. 25 — not Sept. 26, as officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had earlier said — with a low-grade fever and abdominal pain.

Hospital officials at first said Duncan told a nurse that he had traveled from Liberia, but that information was not passed on to other workers there. Doctors, apparently not suspecting Ebola, diagnosed him with a low-risk infection and sent him home with antibiotics. The hospital initially said flaws in its electronic health record-keeping, not human error, had caused doctors to miss the diagnosis but later acknowledged that doctors did have access to the information that Duncan had traveled from Liberia.

Duncan returned to the hospital by ambulance on Sunday, Sept. 28, and was isolated. NBC News reported that a neighbor said that Duncan was "throwing up all over the place" as he was bundled into an ambulance.

A specimen sent to a state lab in Austin confirmed Tuesday, Sept. 30, that Duncan had contracted Ebola. Those test results were confirmed by the CDC in Atlanta.

When Duncan was hospitalized, he was listed in serious but stable condition, but is now in critical condition. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Thomas Frieden, said on CNN on Oct. 5 that Duncan is "fighting for his life."

Relatives in North Carolina say doctors have told them he is on a respirator and a dialysis machine. He has been given an experimental drug called brincidofovir.


The four people living in the apartment where Duncan was staying when he fell ill — a woman, her 13-year-old son and two young men — were moved to a new apartment Friday, after earlier being ordered to stay in their contaminated apartment in court-ordered quarantine under armed guard.

Duncan and the woman, Louise Troh, had a son together in the early 1990s after meeting in a refugee camp in the Ivory Coast, where both had fled Liberia's civil war, The New York Times reported. They had recently revived their relationship and were planning to marry, Troh's pastor has said.

Texas health officials, meanwhile, are focusing their efforts to contain the virus. They have narrowed their monitoring to a group of about 50 people who may have had some level of exposure to Duncan, after earlier saying they would reach out to as many as 100 who may have had direct contact with him.

Among those are 12 to 18 people who came in direct contact with Duncan, including an ambulance crew and a group of school children. Three siblings who attend Wallace Elementary School in Richardson were sent home Thursday after authorities learned they may have come in contact with him, after five students at four different Dallas schools were sent home earlier in the week.

A homeless man who was the next patient to ride in the ambulance used to transport Duncan to the hospital disappeared. But he has since been located and also is being monitored.

None of those people is showing symptoms, but health officials have educated them about Ebola and told them to contact them if they fall ill, a health official told The Associated Press.

Because Duncan did not fall ill for several days after he arrived in Dallas, the CDC says the other passengers on the flights he took are not at risk. Duncan showed no symptoms of Ebola when he traveled to the U.S., and he registered no fever when his temperature was checked at the Monrovia airport, CDC chief Frieden told reporters on Thursday.


Duncan may have been infected with Ebola from helping to get his landlord's Ebola-stricken daughter to the hospital in a taxi.

Ebola can only be spread by infected people who show symptoms. The virus can be spread through the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person, or an infected person's body. It can also be spread by objects contaminated with Ebola, like syringes or other medical equipment, and by infected animals or meat. Contaminated objects can be disinfected with bleach.

If an exposed person does not develop symptoms within 21 days of exposure, the person will not become sick with Ebola, according to the CDC — though the virus has been found in semen for up to three months after exposure.


The four people with whom Duncan was staying were moved to a new, clean apartment on Friday, Oct. 3, just after crews finished decontaminating their apartment.

For days they had been ordered not to leave that apartment. On Friday, that changed, after the apartment was cleaned and the sheets and dirty towels Duncan had used while sick were removed.

A Dallas County official apologized to the family for how long it took to remove those items from the apartment; officials said they had had trouble finding a contractor willing to clean up the apartment.

Man, 71, Arrested in Parking Dispute


Police arrested a 71-year-old man Friday after a West Hartford parking dispute that escalated into an assault, police said.

James Richardson, 71, of West Hartford, is facing multiple charges including strangulation.

He assaulted an "innocent person" after a dispute over parking at 74 Park Road, police said. The commercial building houses WH Medical Center, The Siegel Law Firm and other businesses.

Police didn't provide further details on the specifics of the parking dispute. It's unclear whether Richardson was going to one of the businesses in that building when the incident happened.

Police charged him with third-degree strangulation, third-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace.

He was issued a $5,000 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 16.

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police Department

Gas Leak Closes Wethersfield Avenue in Hartford


A gas leak has closed Wethersfield Avenue in Hartford Monday morning.

A construction crew struck a gas line, Hartford police said. 

The road is closed in the area. Traffic was already affected on the street due to the construction before the gas leak.

The gas company is on scene and is shutting off the line as they investigate, according to Hartford police.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Sex Offender Arrested After Incident With Young Girl


South Windsor police arrested a 77-year-old registered sex offender on a charge of risk of injury to a minor on Friday.

Police received a complaint in August that Ronald Cheney, 77, of East Hartford, hugged a 10-year-old girl and made inappropriate comments, police said.

Officers arrested Cheney Friday on a warrant at Manchester Superior Court while he was held there for other charges

Cheney is listed on the Connecticut Sex Offender Registry for a first-degree sexual assault conviction from March of 1997. He was released from prison in July of 2009, according to the registry.

Police charged him with risk of injury to a minor and disorderly conduct.

He was held at court on a $15,000 surety bond and had a court appearance on Friday.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police Department

Bible Saved at Ebola Patient's Home


A hazardous materials team worked all day Sunday removing contaminated items from the apartment at the Ivy Apartments in Dallas where the first person diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the United States was visiting. 

But neighbors fear the contamination spread well beyond the apartment Liberian native Thomas Eric Duncan had visited for several days while showing symptoms of the virus.
“Right now people are really freaked out,” said Rojina Rai, who lives in Ivy Apartments.
The other family members who had contact with Duncan are now staying at a larger home provided by the faith-based community. The location is not being made public.
“We haven't gone to the laundry because they said he went to the laundry a couple of times,” said Rai. 
Work crews focus only on the known contaminated building placing a majority of the family’s possessions in sealed bins to be destroyed.
Crews were able to salvage some important documents, jewelry, a Bible, a laptop and trophies.
The contaminated items will be moved from the Ivy Apartments to another location where a company called Stericycle will incinerate them later in the week. Dallas city officials would not disclose the location of the disposal site. 

The Liberian Community Association held a meeting Sunday night to inform members of the Liberian community about Ebola. But very few people attended. 

Organizers say misinformation about the virus has many Liberians in the community reluctant to go into largely populated places.  

"Some people in the larger community don’t understand what Ebola is and how it’s transmitted,” said Alben Tarty with Liberian Community Association. “Some Liberians are like that [too].” 

Photo Credit: Ivory Taylor, NBC 5 News

Woman Pries Open Car to Rescue Crying Baby Left Alone: Cops


A 20-year-old woman was arrested for allegedly leaving her 10-month-old boy alone in a car while she went shopping at a Long Island store Sunday after a good Samaritan who heard the child crying pried open the vehicle with a car antenna and called police, authorities say.

Police responding to the 911 call found the baby's mother, Tirza Artiga-Acosta, at the Huntington Station complex on East Jericho Turnpike and arrested her on child endangerment charges. She had allegedly left the baby alone for about half an hour.

The baby was taken to a hospital for evaluation and released to a family member.

It wasn't immediately clear if Artiga-Acosta had an attorney.

Photo Credit: Handout

200 Cigarette Cartons Stolen in Bridgeport


Police are investigating after 200 cartons of cigarettes were stolen from a tobacco shop in Bridgeport early Saturday morning.

Officers arrived at S&A Cigar and Tobacco on Huntington Turnpike around 8 a.m. Saturday to find that someone had cut a hole in the sheet rock between the shop and a vacant store next door.

Police said the tobacco shop's cash registers had been opened and about 200 cartons of cigarettes were taken.

Authorities are investigating the robbery. It's not clear if police have identified a suspect.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bear Cub Dead in NYC's Central Park


A black bear cub was mysteriously found dead in Central Park Monday, police said.

A dog walker found the dead bruin in the brush near West 69th Street and West Drive shortly before 10 a.m. and notified a Central Park Conservancy worker, who called police.

It had suffered some type of trauma and had lacerations on its side, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the discovery.

Police said no bears were reported missing from the Central Park Zoo, and there are no black bears in the habitat. A necropsy will be conducted to determine how the cub died and where it came from.

No people in the park were injured.

Police say the department's animal cruelty squad is investigating.

"Whenever any wildlife is hurt or harmed we are upset about it," said Elizabeth Kaledin, a spokeswoman for Central Park Conservancy.

Local parks and state wildlife officials, as well as the NYPD, are investigating. The carcass will be sent to the state's Department of Environmental Conservation labs in Albany for examination. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

Greenwich Woman Charged in Home Burglary


A 29-year-old Greenwich woman is facing charges after allegedly breaking into and stealing from a home on King Street last month.

Ashleigh Singer, of Forest Avenue in Greenwich, turned herself over to police on Friday. She's accused of burglarizing a home on King Street on Sept. 18.

Singer was charged with second-degree burglary, second-degree criminal trespass, two counts of credit card theft and fifth- and sixth-degree larceny.

She was released after posting $5,000 bond and is due in court Oct. 10.

Photo Credit: Greenwich Police Department

Teen Urges Person to Shoot Victim Near Park: Cops


Police arrested a teen accused of inciting another person to shoot a male victim near Willow Street Park in New Britain last month.

Christian Martinez, 18, of New Britain, was present during a verbal argument between two groups near the park at the corner of North and Willow streets and reportedly told another man with him to "shoot the victim or he would," police said.

The man with Martinez then shot the male victim, who suffered from gunshot wounds in both his legs, according to police. The victim's injuries were  non-life-threatening.

Martinez was charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit assault and inciting injury to a person.

Police continue to investigate the shooting and are seeking the public's help to identify the shooter. The department asks anyone with information to call Det. Kevin Artruc at 860-826-3149. Callers can also leave anonymous tips at 860-826-3199, online at www.newbritainpolice.org or text a tip to 860-801-1004.

Photo Credit: New Britain Police Department
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