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Students Home Amid Ebola Concerns


Two students from Africa who were scheduled to start classes at a New Jersey school Monday will instead stay home past a 21-day waiting period due to Ebola concerns, despite the fact that they are symptom-free and are not from an area affected by the virus.

A nurse at the Howard Yocum School in Maple Shade Township, New Jersey sent a letter to staff members informing them that two new students from Rwanda, Africa would be arriving at the school on Monday.

“This is not an area identified as a country with an Ebola outbreak, however l am taking precautions as per the health guidelines of the Burlington County Health Department,” the nurse wrote.  “I will be taking the students' temperature three times a day for 21 days.”

In the letter, the nurse cites a Centers for Disease Control recommendation that all healthy people who arrive in the United States from an Ebola affected area be checked for fever daily for 21 days. She also acknowledges in the same letter however that Rwanda is not an area affected by Ebola.

The nurse informed the school staff she would check the students before they start school, at lunch time and at the end of the day.

“They may continue their usual activities during this time," the nurse wrote. "If they remain healthy during the 21 days, they are not at risk for Ebola. If they get sick the 21 days after returning from an Ebola affected area, they are not at risk for Ebola. This means that they are ill from another source. If there is a fever of 100 or greater, the student will be sent home.”

Bryan Huff, a custodian at Yocum Elementary, told NBC10 the letter caused a panic among parents of children at the school as well as staff.

"A lot of people were going to pull their kids out of school," Huff said. "A lot of people weren't going to go to work."

Gina Mulherin, a parent of a student at Howard Yocum, told NBC10 she sympathized with the parents of the new students but ultimately agreed with the school nurse's decision.

"It's a little unsettling to think that your child would be getting their temperature taken three times a day," she said. "But again, it's better to be safe than sorry."

Anxiety from parents turned to relief Saturday however when Maple Shade School District Superintendent Beth Nocia announced the parents of the new students chose to keep them home past the 21-day waiting period.

“The Maple Shade School District takes the health of all students and staff very seriously,” Nocia wrote. “As many of you are aware, we have students who have spent time in the eastern portion of Africa that were scheduled to start in our schools on Monday.  This area of Africa has been unaffected by the Ebola virus.  Despite the fact that the students are symptom-free and not from an affected area, the parents have elected to keep their children home past the 21-day waiting period. The family is looking forward to joining the Maple Shade Schools the following week.“

Nickiesha Samuels, another parent at the school, told NBC10 she's happy with the choice the parents made.

"Them taking an extra week beyond the 21 days before coming to school is more than appreciated," she said.

Huff also said he was relieved by their decision.

"Now we don't have to worry about anything," Huff said. "We actually know that they're going to be fine when they come to school. So we have no worries on our shoulders."

NBC10 reached out to the school nurse as well as Nocia. We have not yet heard from either of them.

The first confirmed case of Ebola in the United States sparked immediate concerns about who may have been exposed and helped shed light on how the potentially deadly virus is, and isn’t, spread.

Ebola can only be spread by infected people who show symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. 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.

CLICK HERE for more information on Ebola.

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Police Issue Arrest Warrant After Threat to Milford High School


Milford police have issued an arrest warrant after a resident made what police are calling an indirect threat against Jonathan Law High School.

Police began investigating after receiving information about a Lansdale Avenue resident making a threat made that referenced Jonathan Law High School, police said.

It is unclear when the threat was made, but police said it was not directed at any specific person. After speaking with the resident on Friday evening, police determined there was no present threat to the school community.

The resident, identified as James Piccirillo, 48, was admitted to a secure medical facility for evaluation.

During a search of his home, police seized guns and commercial grade fireworks. The Connecticut State Police Bomb Squad also responded to assist as a precaution.

Milford Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Feser said in a statement that Piccirillo has no affiliation with Law High School or Milford public schools.

Police said Piccirillo will be taken into custody upon his release from the hospital. Charges are still being determined.

Police continue to investigate and are working closely with the Milford Board of Education.

Berlin Turnpike Reopens


The Berlin Turnpike (U.S. Route 5) has reopened on the Berlin/Newington line after a vehicle struck a pole in Berlin.

The crash happened around 10:15 p.m. Sunday, police said. There were no injuries, but the crash caused high-tension wires to come down across the road.

The downed wires also caused power outages on the Newington/Berlin line and Connecticut Light & Power crews responded to repair the damage. Power has since been restored.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Stolen Ambulance Sparks Pursuit


A patient stole a Los Angeles Fire Department ambulance in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday night and led officers in a pursuit that ended in a crash a few miles away, police said.

Two paramedics were in the back of their ambulance about 7:40 p.m. treating the patient in the 200 block of N. San Pedro Street, LAFD officials said.  The patient refused medical attention and left the vehicle, but later came back charging at the paramedics, who took cover in the back of the ambulance and locked the doors, police said.

That's when the patient got into the cab of the ambulance and drove off with paramedics leaping out of the back, officials said.

A fire engine followed the ambulance until Los Angeles Police Department officers took over the pursuit, police said.

The short chase ended when the driver lost control of the ambulance and collided with a minivan at Beverly Boulevard and Union Avenue in the Westlake District, police said.

The driver of the ambulance was taken into custody.

Two people who were in the minivan were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, officials said. They were expected to be OK.

No one else was hurt.

Photo Credit: Gadi Schwartz (@GadiNBCLA via Instagram)

Body Found in Windham Woods


The state police major crimes unit is investigating after the body of a female was found in the woods in Windham.

The body was found in the area of Routes 203 and 32 on Sunday morning.

Police said this was initially a missing person case and it’s too soon to say if the death is suspicious.

No additional information has been released.

3 Convenience Store Robberies in 3 Days in Willimantic


Police are investigating three robberies at convenience stores in Willimantic in since Friday.

The latest robbery was reported at the Chucky’s Convenience Store and Shell Gas Station at 1563 West Main Street just before 9 p.m. on Sunday, according to police. 

Police said they received the 911 call at 8:52 p.m. and learned that this robber implied he had a weapon, but did not show one, and fled with cash from the register.

The robber was around 5-feet-9 and was wearing blue jeans, a dark mask and a black hoodie.

Less than 24 hours earlier, police received a 911 call from SunMart Convenience Store at 9:20 p.m. on Saturday night and learned that the robber implied he had a gun, but did not show one, and ran off with money from the cash register. 

This robber was described as 5-feet-11, wearing a dark ski mask and a black shirt.

Early Friday morning, police responded to a robbery at the Cumberland Farms after  man with a black handgun demanded cash from a store clerk and stole money from the cash register, the clerk told police. The robber fled on foot. Police said that 911 call came in at 1:57 a.m

None of the store clerks were injured during the robberies.

The Willimantic Police Department Criminal Investigation Division is investigating and asks anyone with information about it to call the Willimantic Police Department at (860) 465-3135.

Photo Credit: Willimantic Police

New Haven Alderman Wants to Add Police Substation


A New Haven alderman wants to add a police satellite station in his district to fight what he's calling a surge in crime.

There is one police substation for the Westville-West http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/Police/Districts/Westville.asp Hills District and Darryl Brackeen said the district is too big for just one substation, so he is pushing for satellite station at Davis Street School or “another suitable Westville location.”

“This year, our community experienced several home invasions, shootings, stabbings, car thefts, and muggings of long-time residents,” Brackeen said in a statement  

He is asking concerned residents to attend the Board of Alders Public Session meeting at 6:30 p.m. before the full Board of Alders Meeting.

Federal Decision Orders Electric Companies to Issue $30 Million Refund


Connecticut utility companies owe local customers a $30 million refund, according to a decision handed down by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week, and that is expected to cut at least part of the utility rate.

On Oct. 16, the federal agency issued the ruling, which comes after legal claims from the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, along with other New England officials about the return on equity rate to the owners of electricity transmission certain facilities.

"Notwithstanding our ongoing claims regarding FERC ROE methodology flaws, this FERC ruling is a victory for Connecticut electric ratepayers," Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Chairman Arthur H. House said in a statement.

In all, several companies, including Northeast Utilities Service Company and The United Illuminating Company, owe New England customers approximately $70 million in refunds.

According to PURA, you will not be getting a check in the mail. Instead refunds will show up as an adjustment on your bill and that is expected to reduce the rate in the future.

How much that will affect customers here in Connecticut has not yet been determined.

In June, the federal agency agreed with Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority’s finding that return on equity rate was too high, according to the decision. 

The FERC ruling set a 30-day deadline for the refund to be issued to the states.

Cops: Man Told 10-Year-Old Rape Victim "I'm Gonna Kill You"


A man accused of crawling through the bedroom window of a home in downtown Meriden and raping a 10-year-old girl while she was sleeping placed a pillow over the child's face and told her he was going to kill her, according to court documents.

Jose Gonzalez, formerly known as Desmond James, 23, of Waterbury was arrested on Friday evening in Waterbury. Police said he ran from officers and was found with "several bundles" of heroin.

According to police, Gonzalez climbed through the girl's bedroom window early Wednesday morning. As Gonzalez was leaving, the victim woke up the rest of her family. Her mother caught a glimpse of him just and was able to provide a partial description to police.

The girl told police that her attacker said "nothing was going to hurt," and placed a pillow over her face, according to court documents. She tried to fight Gonzalez off and kick him, but she was not able to.

Police said DNA evidence taken from the victim helped them identify Gonzalez as the perpetrator.

Gonzalez also matched the description police received the scene. He was charged with home invasion, first-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor, unlawful restraint and threatening.

Gonzalez was also wanted on an outstanding warrant for escaping from the Connecticut Department of Correction's Parole Division, according to police.

Meriden police have not disclosed whether Gonzalez knew the family prior to the assault, but said he is not on the list of people associated with the victim's home. In an effort to protect the victim, authorities have not released the location of the residence.

Court records show Desmond James has been previously convicted on burglary and robbery charges out of Meriden in 2011 and 2012.

He will appear in New Haven Superior Court on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Meriden Police Department

Car Fire Spreads in Windsor


A car fire in Windsor this morning spread to two other vehicles.

Police said a car caught fire at Konica Minolta, located at 550 Marshall Phelps Road, and spread to the two cars on either side of it.

The original car is a total loss, police said, and they believe the other two will be as well.

The fire marshal responded. No additional information was released.

Photo Credit: File Photo

81-Year-Old Bicyclist Killed in Guilford Crash


An 81-year-old man has died after he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle in Guilford on Friday.

Police said William Mack, 81, of Guilford, was involved in a crash at 1200 Boston Post Road around 9 a.m. Oct. 17. He was rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment, where he died the next day.

Authorities are investigating the crash. No charges have been filed and police said none are pending.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Police Lock Down 2 Naugatuck Schools


Two Naugautck schools were locked down as a precaution on Monday morning while police investigated the report of a suicidal person in the area who may have been armed with a handgun.

Police responded to May Street around 9:30 a.m. and asked the Naugatuck Board of Education to lock down City Hill Middle School and Maple Hill School while authorities investigated, according to police.

Authorities found the man in question at his home "safe and unharmed" and the lockdowns were lifted after about half an hour, police said.

No one was injured and police have not released any additional information about the incident.

Ansonia Man Had Drugs, Gun in Car With Kids: Police


A 21-year-old Ansonia man led officers on a chase Friday and was caught with drugs and a stolen handgun in the car with two children, according to police.

Police said Howard Rumley, Jr., 21, was driving without a license in the area of South Street in Ansonia on Friday. Officers tried to pull him over, but he drove off and led police on a car chase on Central and Beaver streets. He got away on North Main Street.

Shortly thereafter, officers spotted Rumley getting picked up in a different car on Beaver Street, near the ABC Learning Center daycare. Police stopped the vehicle and took Rumley into custody.

Police said a woman driving the car had two young children inside. Officers found Rumley with a stolen 9mm handgun, 8.4 grams of crack cocaine and 9 wax folders of heroin with him. Rumley is accused of stealing the gun from a home in Ansonia on Sept. 2.

He was arrested and charged with a number of motor vehicle violations, including reckless driving and engaging police in pursuit, along with weapon and drug charges, including theft of a firearm and possession of narcotics within 1500 feet of a daycare.

He was held on $500,000 bond and appeared in court Monday.

Photo Credit: Ansonia Police Department

Johnny Damon Coming to Hartford


Johnny Damon is part of a small group to win World Series with both the Red Sox and Yankees, and he is coming to Hartford this week for a YMCA fundraising event.

Damon, who established a charitable foundation and serves as a spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Project, will be the honored guest and speaker at the YMCA celebrates champions event on Thursday night at the Connecticut Convention Center.

This is the signature fundraising event for the YMCA of Greater Hartford, which supports the annual campaign and “Read to Success.”

Tickets are $200 a piece or $2,000 for a table of 10.

The VIP reception is at 6:30 p.m., while the general reception gets underway at 6:45 p.m. and the program starts at 7 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

43 Removed From Ebola Watch List


Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said four dozen people being cleared off the Ebola watch list Monday should be treated with "dignity and respect" and welcomed back into the community.

“There’s zero risk than any of those people on the list have Ebola,” Jenkins said. “We have to believe in science. It’s what separates us from other mammals."

At midnight, 43 people showing no sign of the Ebola virus fell off the list and another five are expected to fall off sometime Monday. All of them either had direct contact with index patient Thomas Eric Duncan, or the ambulance that carried him to the hospital. The additional 75 health care workers who cared for Duncan will clear their 21-day monitoring period on Oct. 29.

Jenkins singled out five children who are returning to school after missing about three weeks, and requested help from Dallas-area parents to ensure they are treated with respect. He said that Louise Troh was worried about how her middle-school aged son would be treated and he agreed with the concerns.

“Middle schoolers are some of the most ferocious and scariest animals on the planet,” he said.

Jenkins added that the way people handle the reintegration process could show the city as a “beacon for how others can deal” with such adversity when “the next Ebola case happens to America.”

"The world is watching Dallas,” he said.

43 Removed from Ebola Contact List

The 43 people who were on the watch list after coming in contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, who died Oct. 8, before he was put in isolation have shown no signs of contracting the virus.

“Continuous vigilance in confronting this threat and the cooperation of those affected is what has brought us to this point, and we look forward to the day when the remaining individuals can also be removed from active monitoring,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry said.

The fight is not over, though. Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, two Dallas nurses who contracted the virus while caring for Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, remain hospitalized. Investigators said they don't know how or when they contracted the virus.

“They are blameless in this situation,” said Jenkins. “They are victims of Ebola. They are not at fault for contracting this disease in any way.”

All the other health care workers who cared for Duncan while in isolation are being monitored for 21 days. More than 70 of them will be closely watched until Oct. 29 as long as they continue to show no signs of having the virus.

“We cannot be relieved,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said. “We are still in a situation where we are cautious. We're cautiously optimistic, but we're still very cautious.”

Jenkins said with each day that passes, the chances of another health care worker contracting the virus from Duncan decreases. If no new cases of Ebola appear before Nov. 6, North Texas will no longer be monitored for the virus.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Monica Lewinsky Joins Twitter


Monica Lewisnky joined Twitter on Monday, posting the hashtag: #HereWeGo under the Twitter handle @MonicaLewinsky.

Almost an hour later, the 41-year-old tweeted that she was “excited (and nervous)” to speak at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia on Monday.

Lewinsky's Twitter bio describes her as a social activist, public speaker, Vanity Fair contributor, and "knitter of things without sleeves."

Vanity Fair retweeted her and welcomed her to the social networking site.

This year, Lewinsky has been making a slow return to the public eye after a decade away from the spotlight. 

In May, Lewinsky penned an article for Vanity Fair reflecting on her affair as a White House intern with then President Bill Clinton, saying “it was time to "burn the beret and bury the blue dress."

Lewinsky also talked to "Today" in July about the day details about the affair were revealed by a report from prosecutor Kenneth Starr, saying, “I was the most humiliated woman in the world.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Marie Curie
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Man to Serve 5 Years in Prison for Robbing 5 Pharmacies


A 53-year-old Marlborough resident convicted of robbing five Connecticut pharmacies, at least some at gunpoint, will face five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, David Haney pleaded guilty in February to robbing the CVS pharmacy at 525 Buckland Road in South Windsor last September. Authorities said he showed the pharmacist what appeared to be a handgun in his waistband and demanded oxycodone. The pharmacist handed over 2,000 pills.

Haney also admitted to robbing four other pharmacies between September and November 2013, including Walgreens stores in Manchester, Meriden and Vernon and a CVS location in East Hartford, according the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He disclosed an addiction to pain medication and told authorities he took most of the pills himself, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Haney was sentenced Monday and ordered to pay restitution to the pharmacies he robbed.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Suspects in North Haven Home Break-In Arrested


North Haven police have arrested two men accused of breaking into a home in broad daylight thanks to an astute neighbor who saw something suspicious.

Police responded to an attempted burglary in progress and a resident reported noticing two young men walking from the back yard of a Dixwell Avenue home, police said.

Police searched the area and located Edward Clini, 22, and Chris Dynia, 23, both of North Haven, walking near Ridge Road. 

Police said they had removed a window screen and gotten into an unoccupied home. 

Both were arrested; charged with third-degree burglary, conspiracy, and criminal mischief; and held on a $5,000 bond.    

Dallas Nurses Speak Out on Ebola


Top nurses at the Dallas hospital where two nurses fell ill treating the nation's first Ebola patient spoke out for the first time Monday, affirming their pride in their hospital amid scrutiny and vowing to reaffirm the public's trust.

"The reason we're here today is to make sure people know that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital is still a great hospital, an excellent hospital," chief nursing officer Cole Edmonson said at a brief news conference in front of the hospital Monday afternoon, flanked by nurses he called part of a "proud family."

"We're proud to tell people that we work here," he added."We will reaffirm your trust in Presbyterian."

"We are experts in our field, and we don't want to be judged by this one incident," emergency department nurse Julie Boling said, overcome by emotion. "This could happen to any hospital."

The nurses gave their well-wishes to their two coworkers who remain hospitalized in isolation for Ebola, after they contracted the disease treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed in the U.S. He died Oct. 8.

Amber Vinson is being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, the same hospital where Fort Worth's Dr. Kent Brantly and American aid worker Nancy Writebol were successfully treated, and her coworker Nina Pham is being treated at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland.

On Monday, health officials' efforts to contain Ebola's spread cleared a key hurdle when four dozen people were being cleared from the watch list.

Police Detail NH Festival Chaos


Eighty-four people were arrested during riots at a New Hampshire community's annual pumpkin festival that spilled over to a nearby college over the weekend, and authorities are asking for the public's help in identifying more rioters.

The violent parties in Keene led to the destruction of private and public property, resulting in the injuries of more than 30 people on Saturday.

Local police say they planned ahead, based off previous years riots, but say this year things were different when the rioters moved out onto public streets and neighborhoods.

"I think, unfortunately, we were caught by surprise when things started earlier than expected," said Keene Police Chief Kenneth Meola. "We thought we had it well in hand, to be quite honest, but we fell a little short."

The incident happened around Keene State College during the city's Pumpkin Festival, which is when the community tries to set a world record for the most carved and lighted jack-o-lanterns in one place. Police responded to the violence with riot gear, tear gas and pepper spray in an attempt to control the crowds.

The area was cleaned up by college students on Sunday.

New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan said the Granite State's higher education institutions must "take swift action to hold students involved accountable."

Keene State College President Anne Huot was a witness to Saturday's riot.

"I'm gravely concerned" about the unruly behavior, she said.

According Mayor Kendall Lane, between 55,000-60,000 people were attending the festival and were safe during the violent parties, adding that the future of the festival is uncertain at this time.

According to Keene city officials, the riots seem to have begun in several places, including Wilcox Terrace and Winchester Court, around 1 p.m. Saturday with more than 1,000 people in each location, with some throwing rocks, bottles, cans, even billard balls, injuring some.

Keene Police Chief Kenneth Meoloa said his department communicated with Keene State College students before the festival, adding that it was "outside forces" that was part of the "riotous behavior."

As police tried to disperse the crowds, the crowds turned their attention to law enforcement, according to the city; police say they used pepper spray, tear gas and fired "sponge rounds" at some of the rioters. The crowd then moved through the neighborhood to Butler Court, where the riots continued, the city said; another crowd moved from Winchester Street to Blake Street, where a fire was set in the middle of the road.

Keene officials say the riots continued for the next eight hours as the crowd moved to Keene State College property. Crowds damaged college, city and private property, including an overturned car, officials said.

Chief Meola said there was also riotous behavior last year, adding that this year the rioters entered public domain, but last year was an "organized party."

Click here to make an anonymous tip to the Keene Police Department regarding this incident.

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