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Mass. Researchers Create Disinfectant to Fight Ebola


Massachusetts researchers are playing an integral role in combating Ebola.

The researchers are from the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center in Natick. They have created a very potent disinfectant system that kills the Ebola virus on surfaces.

"To know that's it's really working and helping people in a crisis like this, I think, is just magnificent," said Dr. Christopher Doona, a lead inventor at the lab.

Researchers say the disinfectant is now being used on the front lines of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

It's a method of combining chemicals to generate chlorine dioxide gas. However, what makes Natick Labs' disinfectant so different is that the one they created is easy to carry and portable.

It can fit in a suitcase and can be activated in places where clean water isn't readily available. The disinfectant can also be made without power or caustic acids, ideal for places like West Africa.

Dr. Doona says the lab has even developed a handheld sprayer which can target Ebola surfaces.

Right now, a private company in New Jersey is marketing the product, so it's available commercially.

Another plus for the disinfectant - it can be made quickly by combining the chemicals contained in the suitcase and can also be made in different potencies.

"Just to know that's it's being useful, to know we had a part in it, it's just thrilling," said Research Microbiologist Florence Feeherry.

The researchers say they now have inquiries from U.S hospitals to use the disinfectant system.

Police Seek Man After Unusual Encounters


Authorities are looking for a man after a string of unusual encounters with women in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Police say in three incidents this month, the man pulled his car over to the side of the road, talked to young women walking alone and said some things they find concerning.

The first woman said he pulled over and asked her if she wanted to see his pantyhose. The second said he asked if she wanted to see his panties.

The third woman said she was asked to get in his car.

All three women quickly took off.

"At this point, we don't have a crime, but we're looking to speak with this individual and find out why he's approaching strangers and asking these unusual questions," said Portsmouth Police Sgt. Dave Keaveny.

Two incidents happened at the busy Parrott Avenue Parking Lot, packed on a Friday night. The other took place along State Street.

All three incidents took place earlier in October, but were not reported until this week.

"It's concerning that it's happening in a smaller town too, in New Hampshire," said Emily Unger, who now lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

"Kind of uncomfortable, I don't want my girlfriend being approached by someone saying that," said her boyfriend, Matt LaPine. "Yeah, it's awkward."

In each case, the women described a very overweight man in his mid to late 50s with a dark, greyish, unkempt beard and brown hair and wire rimmed glasses.

"It's concerning, and obviously the people that were approached were concerned enough to come report it to us," said Keaveny. "So we want to find out and talk to this guy and see what he's doing."

Though two happened during the day, one was in the evening.

"It's always concerning to hear something, because you worry about your safety or your friend's safety or your children's safety. But I just think it's a reminder, if anything," said Kathy Bergeron.

The man has been seen driving an older-style dark colored four-door sedan, possibly a Toyota Corrolla, with Maine license plates.

If you have been approached by this man or know who he is, call Portsmouth Police at (603) 427-1500.

Milford Restaurant Launches Pizza in Honor of Maren Sanchez


Papa's Pizza launched a pizza Saturday in honor of a Milford teen stabbed to death at Jonathan Law High School on April 25.

It's been six months since Maren Sanchez, 16, passed away, but she is by no means forgotten.

The Bridgeport Avenue pizza restaurant in Milford released its new pizza Saturday afternoon and family members were scheduled to be present, according to Donna Cimarelli, Sanchez's mother.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Route 2 in Marlborough Reopens After Crash


Route 2 westbound has reopened after a serious crash in Marlborough Saturday morning.

The crash happened between exits 16 and 15. The area was closed  for a few hours as police investigated.

More information was not immediately available. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Driver Arrested in Norwalk Fatal Crash


Police have arrested the driver who struck pedestrians, killing one, in a fatal hit-and-run crash Friday night in Norwalk, police said.

Hugo Cruz-Gregorio, 33, of Norwalk, faces multiple charges including manslaughter with a motor vehicle and police say he was under the influence when the crash happened at about 8:30 p.m. Friday on Woodward Avenue.

Cruz-Gregorio got out of the car and fled the scene on foot after running into three people walking near 50 Woodward Avenue, police said. Two were injured and a man died at the hospital.

The identities of the man killed and others injured have not been released at this time.

Police charged Cruz-Gregorio with second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle, evading responsibility resulting in death, evading resulting in property damage, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, unsafe movement of a motor vehicle, operating an unregistered motor vehicle and operating without a license.

Police held Cruz-Gregorio in custody on a $750,000 bond.

Norwalk police accident reconstruction investigators continue to investigate the fatal crash. The department asks anyone with information to call the routine dispatch line at 203-854-3114 or the police tip line at 203-854-3111. Members of the public can also send anonymous tips on the Norwalk Police Department website at www.norwalkpd.com or text anonymous tips to CRIMES (274637) with NPD and the info in the text field.

Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department

Dr. With Ebola Gets Blood Donation


Dr. Craig Spencer, the physician being treated for Ebola at Bellevue Hospital, has entered the next phase of the illness: the onset of gastrointestinal symptoms, health officials said.

To combat his symptoms, he received a plasma transfusion from the second American Ebola patient Nancy Writebol on Saturday. The blood donation was confirmed by the Christian organization, SIM, that Writebol worked with before she was admitted to Emory University Hospital in August.

Authorities updated Spencer's condition as his fiancee, Morgan Dixon, returned to their Hamilton Heights apartment, where she will remain under quarantine. Dixon had been quarantined at Bellevue, though she had not developed any sign of the illness. Workers in protective gear cleaned the apartment on 147th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue earlier in the day.

Spencer is awake, communicating and undergoing plasma and antiviral therapies, treatments that have been used to treat Ebola patients at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and at the Nebraska Medical Center, city health officials said in a statement.

Because Spencer caught the virus early, it was expected that his condition might deteriorate at first.

"People tend to get worse before they get better," said Dr. Mary Bassett, the commissioner of the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "So he remains in stable condition but we are aware that this is the natural course of this disease." 

Dixon's family said they have not been in physical contact with their daughter and future son-in-law since Spencer returned from volunteering with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea. 

"We have confidence in the medical care Craig is receiving and we are hoping for a complete recovery," the family said in statement.

As Spencer fought the disease in hospital bed, Mayor Bill de Blasio and city officials returned on Saturday to many of the spots the doctor visited before he fell ill.  De Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray and Bassett had lunch at The Meatball Shop, where Spencer ate two days before his diagnosis. 

"At 6 o'clock last evening we opened up the doors and I was a little nervous to see what would happen," said Daniel Holzman, the owner of Greenwich Avenue eatery, addressing the press alongside the mayor. "But we had a line down the block and we filled up immediately and we were busy all night last night."

De Blasio reiterated that New Yorkers are not at risk from Ebola and do not need to alter their daily routines.

"It is a rare instance in which Ebola is transmitted," the mayor said. "It requires, bluntly, intimate contact."

Spencer's work in Guinea included direct contact with sick people: taking their temperature, following the evolution of their cases, taking their vital signs and ensuring the clinic was properly maintained.

He was hospitalized at Bellevue Thursday, six days after returning from Guinea. Health officials said he began feeling tired on Tuesday, spent a day out in the city on Wednesday, and then alerted authorities when he developed a fever Thursday morning.

Experts have repeatedly assured the public that there is little chance that Spencer spread the virus prior to developing symptoms, but his case prompted the governors of New York, New Jersey and Illinois on Friday to order a mandatory quarantine for any arriving international travelers who had contact with Ebola patients in three West African countries.  

The first health care worker to face that mandatory quarantine after arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport, criticized the process, calling it "a frenzy of fear disorganization (and) fear."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized Spencer, saying he should have stayed home until any danger period for the disease had passed. The virus can hide in the body for up to 21 days before a person develops symptoms.

"Dr. Spencer is a valued fellow and was a volunteer and did great work, but that was a voluntary quarantine situation for 21 days. He's a doctor and even he didn't follow the voluntary quarantine, let's be honest," Cuomo said.

Neither the U.S. Centers for Disease Control nor Doctors without Borders ask health care workers returning from the Ebola hot zone to quarantine themselves, but they do recommend that they monitor their temperature at least twice a day. Spencer was complying with that guidance, officials have said.

2 Dead in SoCal Shooting: Sheriff


A man apparently shot and killed his wife and then himself inside a San Clemente store on Saturday afternoon, sheriff's officials said.

A female employee called 911 about 2 p.m. to report that someone had been shot inside Bliss Boutique, a clothing and gift shop in the 100 block of Avenida Del Mar, the Orange County Sheriff's Department said. The bodies were found about 40 minutes later when authorities made their way inside.

No one was sought in connection with the shooting and no arrests were made, deputies said. A handgun was found inside the store, investigators said.

Authorities identifed the deceased as John Patrick Dillard, 59, and Cynthia Jean Rosier, 64, of San Clemente. Sheriff's officials said they were married.

Witnesses described the frantic moments after the shooting that prompted a response from SWAT team members.

"The girl working at Bliss came running out yelling that there were six shots fired, and that her boss was taken into the back room by her husband and they were in an ugly divorce," said witness Jeff Chambers.

People who knew the man and woman were stunned by the killings.

"Half my wardrobe is from there and it's kind of like having your childhood disrupted in a sense," said customer Alexa Corbett. "She didn't deserve this, she was such a good woman."

"I've shopped their for over 10 years and I saw her earlier this week, I can't believe it," said Melanie Flaherty, who was at the scene.

Calls to the business were not answered.

Willian Avila contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Kate Larsen (@KateNBCLA via Twitter)

I-91 North Reopens After Fatal Crash in Wethersfield


I-91 northbound in Wethersfield has reopened after being closed for several hours following a fatal accident near the Exit 25/26 off ramp.

State police say the accident occurred just after 4 p.m. on Saturday. The victim, identified as 37-year-old Elena Maria Alvarez of New Britain, was riding a motorcycle in the right center lane when she lost control trying to stop for slow traffic ahead of her.

The motorcycle skidded and struck the rear bumper of a Chevy Cavalier. Police say Alvarez was thrown from her vehicle and suffered extensive injuries. She was transported to Hartford Hospital where she died.

The road was closed between Exits 24-27 for almost four hours while police investigated.

This accident is still under investigation and anyone with information should contact Trooper Krynski at Troop H by calling 860 534-1070 ext: 6016.

First Cat Cafe Opens in Oakland


America’s first cat café opened its doors Saturday in Oakland.

At the Cat Town Café, people can buy a latte and an hour of playtime with adoptable felines.

The owners hope this new business will help find homes for East Bay cats.

Internationally, cat cafés are popular in urban areas. This new venture in Oakland was the first to master the logistics and health code approvals in the U.S.

A similar idea is in the works in San Francisco.

The Cat Town Café features an area called the Cat Zone — where cats will roam freely and are available for adoption.

Walk-ins are welcome if space permits, but for a $10 donation, you can make a Cat Zone reservation ahead of time.


Cat Town and OAS volunteer Katie K. plays with Glynda, the first @cattowncafe cat!

A photo posted by Cat Town Oakland (@cattownoakland) on

Juvenile Injured in Hit and Run Accident


Plymouth police are investigating after a hit and run left a juvenile with serious injuries Saturday.

Police say a boy was riding his bike in the area of 85 North Main Street in Terryville when the accident occurred. Witnesses reported a Chrysler minivan traveling north struck the boy and continued driving, dragging the victim’s bike under the bumper. The suspect took a right onto North Riverside Avenue, a left onto East Plymouth Road and a right onto Matthew Street toward Bristol.

The boy was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury with serious injuries.

The suspect’s vehicle is described as a dark blue/slate charcoal color Chrysler minivan with front end damage. A portion of the front bumper and a full headlight assembly were recovered by police. The bicycle was also recovered, in the area of Firestone on James P. Casey Road in Bristol.

Anyone with information should contact police at 860-589-7779.

Photo Credit: Plymouth Police Department

Girl Learning to Drive Kills Boy


A 16-year-old learning to drive killed a 12-year-old boy Friday evening after accelerating out of her driveway in Lewisville, Texas.

According to the Lewisville Police Department, the girl's father told her to start the car and was teaching her basic car operations in a mobile home park in the 1700 block of Bunker Hill Lane.

Officers said the girl placed the 4-door Nissan Sentra in reverse and accelerated out of the driveway. She crossed the street striking 12-year-old Eric Lozano and his 10-year-old cousin. Lozano was pinned against a home after being hit.

The Lewisville Fire and Police Department were dispatched to the accident at 6:37 p.m. Officers said Lozano was transported to the Medical Center of Lewisville where he was then pronounced deceased. The 10-year old was not seriously injured and was released from the hospital Friday night.

The girl did not have a driver's license and the case is under investigation.

I-291 East in South Windsor Reopens After Crash


Interstate 291 eastbound in South Windsor has reopened after a crash.

Emergency crews, a tow truck and an ambulance responded. 

There was no information immediately available on the patient or the person's condition.

The highway was closed briefly in the area.

The road reopened close to 9 a.m.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Decision 2014: Recapping the Forum


This week's episode of NBC Connecticut's "Decision 2014" provides a recap of one of the most animated political debates and forums of the campaign season.

Republican candidate Tom Foley did not accept NBC Connecticut's invitation to appear in a gubernatorial candidate forum Thursday night and his chair was removed from the studio minutes before the contest went to air.

  • WATCH: Even though his Republican rival wasn't on stage, Gov. Dan Malloy still found ways to attack his GOP counterpart. Petitioning candidate Joe Visconti said the race is about the issues, not Tom Foley.

NBC Connecticut anchor Gerry Brooks led the first part of a discussion with moderators Susan Haigh, political reporter for the Associated Press, and NBC Connecticut political reporter Max Reiss.

  • WATCH: The moderators discuss Foley's absense and how it changed the tenor of discussions between Visconti and Malloy. How did Visconti fill the void of a Republican as he went toe-to-toe with Malloy?

The second time of the roundtable analyzing the forum focuses on Malloy and Visconti's heated discussions around education and gun control.

  • WATCH: Brooks, Haigh and Reiss break down the candidates' stances on gun legislation and the Common Core. Visconti accused the governor of politicizing the tragedy at Sandy Hook, while Malloy defended the state's toughest-in-the-nation gun laws.

The talk of the week in Connecticut politics is the release of the latest Quinnipiac University poll, which shows Malloy with a one-point advantage over Foley, 43-42 percent, and Visconti pulling 9 percent of the vote.

  • WATCH: NBC Connecticut anchor Todd Piro breaks down some of the numbers. Key figures in the poll include the gender gap and how it weighs into support for the candidates.

Motorcyclist Seriously Injured in Crash on Newtown Turnpike


A 36-year-old man from Flushing, New York was seriously injured after crashing his motorcycle on the Newtown Turnpike (Route 53) in Weston, police said.

The motorcyclist passed at least two cars and turned "blind corners" at a high speed and lost control before crashing at about 4:15 p.m., witnesses told police. Weston police, fire officials and EMS responded.

The man was injured and an ambulance took him to Danbury Hospital. He was wearing a helmet, police said on Facebook.

The Newtown turnpike remained closed for several hours at Valley Forge Road as an accident reconstruction team investigated the scene and "removed the motorcycle," according to police.

The road reopened at 7:30 p.m.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: Weston Police Department

Car Crashes Through Brick Office Building


A vehicle crashed through a brick office building on Airport Road in Hartford late Saturday night, police said.

Hartford firefighters forced entry into the 70 Airport Road building to see if anyone in the car were thrown from the vehicle after seeing no one in the car itself, but they didn't find anyone. Police also responded at about 10 p.m.

Hartford License and Inspections inspected the building to ensure it was "stable" and the property owner also came to the scene, police said.

The car was towed from the scene.

Police found the driver at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford and said that he was "evasive" when police questioned him, telling them that the car had been jacked and that he was kidnapped at the Albany Avenue and Oakland Terrace intersection at 10 p.m. Saturday.

Police continue to investigate and will examine the car. Officers have reviewed surveillance footage from businesses in the area.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Fire Officials Continue to Investigate Two-Alarm Fire in New Haven


The New Haven fire department is still investigating a two-alarm fire at a power conversion station on Connecticut Avenue that burned through Saturday night.

Laurence Grotheer, spokesperson for New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, confirms that this was an electrical fire involving a major transmission line for United Illuminating and Cross Sound Cable.

According to the fire department, the call came in at about 5 p.m. Saturday as a transformer explosion at an oil terminal. Crews on scene said the fire reignited several times.

Fire officials were inside Halvarsson Converter Station Sunday morning searching for a leak and trying to determine more specifically what sparked the fire. They were also taking a look at the transformer. New Haven police were there guarding the entrance.

People in the area told NBC Connecticut that they heard a loud boom and saw smoke shooting 50 feet in the air Saturday.

"When we arrived, we had a fire involving about 16,000 gallons of mineral oil," New Haven Deputy Chief Brian Jooss said.

People nearby were concerned because of the oil inside.

"I thought it was going to blow because I thought it was oil in there," Stephanie Cullimore, of Westport, said.

Firefighters could not immediately put water on the fire due to the live power lines. Both United Illuminating and Cross Sound Cable were working to shut off power.

A representative for United Illuminating said that the location of the fire was the Halvarsson Converter Station, which is owned by Cross Sound Cable.

No injuries have been reported.

Firefighters said the air is safe to breath.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded as a precaution.

Check back for updates.

Police Locate Driver from Plymouth Hit-and-Run: Police


Plymouth police have identified the driver in a  hit-and-run crash that injured a bicyclist under 18.

Police received a call from a witness on Saturday at about 7 p.m. who reported seeing a vehicle on Interstate 84 in Waterbury that was suspected of being involved in an earlier accident on North Main Street in Plymouth, police said.

The caller provided police with a partial license plate number, helping police locate a car possibly tied to the crash. Plymouth and Waterbury police found the suspect vehicle at a Waterbury home. Officers identified the driver and police said that the person has been cooperating with investigators.

Police have not released the name of the driver at this time and have not made any arrests so far.

The juvenile hit by a car is scheduled to be transferred to Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The crash remains under investigation.

Flanders Road in East Lyme Reopens After Crash


Flanders Road in East Lyme reopened following a crash Sunday afternoon.

The road was closed between the intersections with Society and Roxbury roads just before 2 p.m. It reopened around 5 p.m.

Details of the accident are not immediately available. 

Check back for updates.

Water Main Break Closes Route 154


A water main break has closed Route 154 in Deep River.

The road closure is between Spring Street and Bridge Street and affects about 30 customers in the area. Officials on scene say the road will be closed for about six hours while crews make repairs.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Discovers Stranger Sleeping Next to Him: Cops


A Clinton man woke up in the middle of the night to find a stranger sleeping next to him overnight into Saturday.

Police arrested Tyler Sullivan, 26, of the Higganum section of Haddam, on charges including criminal trespass.

At 1:35 a.m., a man in a home on the 100 block of East Main Street heard the front door open and thought that it was his wife. He rolled over expecting it to be her, but instead saw an intruder he didn't know sleeping next to him. When the stranger wouldn't leave at the resident's request, the man called 911.

Sullivan was still in the man's bedroom when police arrived and was very drunk, according to police. He later told police that he forgot what happened and "thought he was at his mother's apartment in the same complex, police said in a news release.

Police charged Sullivan with first-degree criminal trespass and disorderly conduct and took him in a police cruiser to the station for processing. He was released on a $1,000 surety bond and is scheduled to appear in Middlesex Superior Court in Middletown on Nov. 4.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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