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Dirt Bike Riders Arrested during Chaotic Scene


Hartford police officers attempting to break up a gathering of people riding dirt bikes and quad vehicles at an address in the city's South End found a chaotic scene when they arrived on Sunday. 

Police arrived at 31-33 Mountford St. to a frenzy of bike/quad operators trying to flee the rear of the property.  Police said the vehicles are the subject of citizen complaints during the day and a number of officers had observed these vehicles racing around the city.  

Officers were able to detain five individuals and sieze nine dirt bikes/quads.  Those arrested were Frankie Morales, 23, of Hartford, Jose Carrasquillo, 28, of South Windsor, Tyquann Whitehead of Hartford, Donovan Orie, 29, of Hartford, and Hector Vasquez, 31, of Hartford.  All suspects were charged with Reckless Driving, Trespassing and Interfering with Police.  The vehicles seized were identified as being among the pack operating recklessly throughout the city. 

The areas of Main Street, Forest Street, and Wethersfield Avenue were among the sightings of these vehicles.  Police said the operators have been seen riding in packs, pulling wheelies, running red lights and ignoring traffic laws.  

An unknown number of males were able to flee on other bikes/quads.  A Hartford police cruiser was struck by one of the fleeing bikes/quads, damaging the driver's door of the vehicle. 

2 Dead in Murder-Suicide in NH


Police in Nashua, New Hampshire, say a man likely died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he killed his longtime girlfriend, the New Hampshire Attorney General's office confirms.

Around 11 p.m. Saturday, police responded to a report of a deceased female on the Baldwin Street Bridge. Investigators say she appears to be a homicide victim.

Shortly after the discovery of the body, police responded to a residence at 1 Hutchinson Street in Nashua. According to police, the man was inside the residence, alone, with multiple firearms.

After a standoff, the Nashua SWAT team entered the home and found the man deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"It's a quiet neighborhood," said neighbor Scott Michaelwicz. "There's never any trouble."

The couple had been out earlier in the evening with friends, but those friends became suspicious when they returned to the house.

"They became concerned when the female wasn't there and the male was there," said Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin. "When they saw him, saw his appearance and based on some of the things he said, they became concerned he had done something to her."

He then pulled out a gun, according to investigators. The friends got away and alerted police. Then, a tense standoff with officers lasted through the night.

"This morning, about 6 o'clock, we woke up to some loud bangs," said Michaelwicz.

No officers fired their weapons during the incident; however, officers used tear gas. Some nearby residents were evacuated from their homes as public safety concerns grew.

The couple was not married, but the man and woman each had grown children. The entire ordeal was a shock to those who knew them.

The names of those involved are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Photo Credit: NECN

Puppy Rescued From Fire in West Haven


 Firefighters in West Haven attacked a blaze at a single family home on Main Street on Sunday afternoon.

A passerby noticed smoke coming from the third floor of the home at 437 Main Street around 3:20 p.m. and called 911.  When fire crews arrived the fire had spread to the second floor.

The West Haven fire chief said three adults and four children live in the home but were not there at the time of fire.  There was a puppy inside the house that was rescued and was unharmed.

The fire caused extensive damage to the third floor and there was smoke and water damage to the second floor of the home.  It was unclear if the family would be able to return to the home.

Fire investigators were working to determine the cause of the fire.

No Ebola Symptoms for Patient Who Traveled to Liberia


Griffin Hospital in Derby enacted its Ebola response plan as a precaution after an ambulance transported a man who recently returned from Liberia but did not show symptoms consistent with the disease.

The patient's condition is not related to Ebola, but the adult had returned from Liberia within the past 24 to 48 hours, according to Griffin Hospital spokesperson Ken Roberts.

After activating the hospital's Ebola response protocol, medical providers determined that the patient did not have Ebola symptoms, Roberts said.

The patient was transferred to Yale-New Haven Hospital at 4:15 p.m. and was kept isolated until the Ebola protocol was completed, according to Roberts. The hospital contacted the Centers for Disease Control and the state Department of Health to notify them.

Caregivers who had contact with the patient wore personal protective equipment until medical personnel determined he was not a high risk. They are asked to take their temperature twice per day as a precaution.

Teens Attack, Rob Other Teen: Cops


Hamden police have arrested three teens who they said hit another teen in the head, knocked him down and robbed him.

The victim, a 16-year-old Hamden boy, was walking on Woodin Street in Hamden on Saturday night when he was hit in the head from behind, police said.

One of the three teens who attacked him held him down while another stole his cell phone and $2 from his pockets, police said.

Police received the report of a street robbery around 7:46 p.m. and responded to the area of Dixwell Avenue and Arch Street to investigate.

With help from the victim’s father, police located the three suspects leaving a restaurant at Dixwell Avenue and Morse Street. One teen had a black BB gun, police said, and officers were able to recover the victim’s cell phone.

Police arrested two 16-year-olds and one 15-year-old from Hamden and charged them with robbery in the second degree, assault in the third degree, larceny in the second degree and breach of peace.

One of the 16 year-olds was also charged with illegal use of a facsimile firearm.

All three are due in juvenile court in New Haven on Dec. 12.

Armed Robbery at Prospect Citgo


Police are investigating an armed robbery at a Citgo station in Prospect on Sunday night.

Police said a man with a gun robbed the Prospect Citgo, at 20 Union City Road, around 7 p.m. on Sunday.

He was alone when he went into the store and demanded that the attendant open the cash register, police said.

After getting the cash, the man ran to a dark sport utility vehicle parked nearby and left the scene, police said.

He was wearing a light-colored hooded sweatshirt.

No injuries were reported.

The Central District Major Crime Squad from Troop I in Bethany is investigating and anyone with information about the robbery should call Det. Dunham at 203-393-4200.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Cat Killed, 6 Displaced in Meriden Fire


A cat was killed and six people have been displaced after fire tore through a home in Meriden on Monday afternoon.

The fire broke out at a triple-decker home at 291 Britannia Street.

Belinda Fluker, a neighbor, said 3- to 4-foot high flames were shooting out the side of the building. 

"The smoke was unbelievable," she said.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

East Rock Road Bridge in New Haven Could Reopen Early Next Year


East Rock Road Bridge in New Haven has been closed for more than a year due to construction, but the bridge could reopen early next year.

Work began on the bridge in spring 2013, after it was listed in “poor” condition. Drivers have been forced to take a detour around the project, wondering if it will ever reopen.

"It seems like there are long pauses between construction periods," Soni Clubb, an East Rock resident, said. "It does seem like they work on it for a while and then they're gone for months and then they come back," Clubb said.

East Rock alder, Anna Festa, said she expects the railings to arrive in January and the bridge should reopen soon after the installation.

"Because it is a restoration, it took longer to fix than a normal bridge that would've been torn down. The delay now is the railings are being made," Festa said. "So, now they're anticipating an opening of January, February time frame, weather permitting."

Residents said they're looking forward to the finished project.

"I'm glad they're working on projects to improve things," Clubb said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bomb Threat at Bulkeley High School Prompted Lock-In


Police responded to Bulkeley High School in Hartford on Monday afternoon due to a bomb threat at the school was placed on lock-in, until police determined the scene was clear. 

Police searched the building and did not find any devices, according to police.

Students were told to stay in the classrooms and the doors were shut, according to David Medina, spokesman for Hartford schools.

The bomb squad was not been called in, nothing was evacuated and no one was sent home.

How the threat came into the school is not known.

Scene Clear After Gas Line Rupture in New Haven


Emergency crews evacuated 100 Waterfront Street in New Haven after a work crew ruptured a gas line  on Monday afternoon, but the scene has since cleared.

Assistant New Haven Fire Chief Thomas Neville said crews using excavators for private work hit a 2-inch gas line, which feeds Greenleaf Biofuels at 100 Waterfront, and the building was evacuated.

A team from Southern Connecticut Gas responded and shut down the gas line, which had just been updated, as well as heat to Greenleaf Biofuels.

The fire department used meters to ensure that the buildings are safe and a hazmat also responded.

The scene is now clear.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

New Britain Police Arrest Suspect in August Homicide


New Britain police have arrested a suspect in an August murder in the city.

Cory Earl Washington, 19, of New Britain, was found suffering from a gunshot wound at 10:49 p.m. on August 18, when officers responded to several calls reporting gunshots in in the area of 62 Roberts Street, police said.

He was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

After three months of investigating, police obtained an arrest warrant on Nov. 26 for Bryant Wilson, 21, of, New Britain, charging him with one count of murder in connection with Washington’s death.

Police said Wilson has been in prison since Aug. 21 in connection with unrelated assault and firearms charges.

The warrant for his arrest includes a court-set bond of $1 million and it will be served when Wilson appears in court in New Britain on Dec 19.

Police are continuing to investigate and are using the services of the state forensic lab

Anyone with information about the shooting should call Detective Tran at 860-826-3140.

You can leave an anonymous tip on the Community Tip Line at (860) 826-3199 or given online at newbritainpolice.org.

Photo Credit: New Britain Police

Fire Damages Unit in Milford Housing Complex


Fire that caused damage to a unit at a housing complex at 71 Jepson Drive in Milford around 1 p.m. on Monday started in a second-floor bedroom, according to fire officials.

The residents of the unit were away when the fire broke out, officials said. Other people who live in the six-unit building evacuated after hearing the fire alarm and called 911, according to fire officials.

Crews determined the fire started in a back bedroom and firefighters were able to quickly extinguish it.

The fire was contained to one unit, which suffered heavy damage, officials said, but there was some minor smoke damage to other units.

Investigators are trying to determine what sparked the fire.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

State to Meet With Frontier Over Transition Trouble


In the wake of a transition that was shaky at best, state regulators have scheduled a meeting with Frontier Communications to address problems that arose during the changeover from AT&T and left customers with lingering service interruptions.

Frontier acquired about 1.3 million AT&T U-verse voice and Internet accounts last year, and when the transition took effect in October, thousands of customers began complaining of service outages.

The state announced its plan to step in last month and has now set up a meeting for the morning of Dec. 22, according to a spokesperson for the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. It comes at the request of the Office of Consumer Counsel and Office of the Attorney General.

Frontier will be asked to speak to the following:

  • Technical or infrastructure issues that contributed to delays in successfully transitioning service
  • The current status of customer complaints to Frontier
  • Response times to customer complaints and whether the company gave those customers accurate information
  • Whether any issues have arisen with technicians making the repairs at customers’ homes
  • Whether Frontier is talks with any video and streaming service providers
  • Whether channel lineups for former U-Verse customers have changed or will change as a result of the transition
  • Whether Frontier has properly notified and customers who have experienced problems
  • Issues that Frontier considers to be partially or fully resolved
  • Other transition problems pertaining to customer satisfaction

A top company executive apologized to customers last month, and the state Department of Consumer Protection created a system to coordinate customer complaints.

You can submit a complaint by filling out a form posted to the state website or emailing dcp.frauds@ct.gov.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Tries to Rob Store With Finger: Cops


Police are looking for the man who pretended his finger was a gun and tried to rob a New Haven convenience store on Saturday evening.

The would-be robber was wearing a full face mask and sunglasses when he passed a note to the clerk at the Sam's Mart at 14 Kimberly Avenue and demanded money, but he then pointed the finger of his bare hand at the clerk, police said.

He never tried to disguise the fact that he didn't have a weapon by putting it in his pocket, according to police, so the clerk grabbed the man's finger and told him he'd break it if he didn't get out of his shop.

The man ran off empty-handed.

Shoplifter Almost Ran Down Police Dog, Pedestrian


A suspected shoplifter was arrested on several charges after almost hitting a pedestrian and a police dog while trying to get away, according to Milford police.

Edward Madden, 42, of Hamden, is accused of stealing three purses worth $750 from a Marshalls store at 1413 Boston Post Road in Milford on July 19.

He ran away, and almost hitting a pedestrian and a police dog while speeding away, police said.

Police identified Madden as the suspect and he was arrested on Nov. 28 after police obtained a warrant, charging him with third-degree robbery, fifth-degree larceny, interfering with police, first-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving and disobeying an officer’s signal.

Bond was set at $5,000 and Madden is due in court on Dec, 23.

Local Whole Foods Stores Recall Apple Tart


Three Whole Foods locations in Connecticut are recalling "tartes aux pommes," or apple tarts, over almonds that are not listed on the label.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, tartes aux pommes made and sold in West Hartford Center, Bishops Corner and Glastonbury have been mislabeled and contain almonds that are not listed among the ingredients.

The affected pastries are six-inch tarts that were mislabeled "Tarte Aux Pommes 10 in." and have "best by" dates from Nov. 20 to Dec. 1, according to the FDA.

The tarts were sold in stores between Nov. 16 and Nov. 28.

The FDA said no illnesses or allergic reactions have been reported, and all affected products that have not been sold have been removed from store shelves.

A search of the Whole Foods website shows no available products called "tarte aux pommes."

Photo Credit: Food and Drug Administration

Foxwoods Ice Skating Rink Opens Thursday


Foxwoods is celebrating the holiday season by opening a brand new outdoor ice skating rink and winter patio on Thursday.

U.S. Champion figure skater Sasha Cohen and Brian Boitano will kick off the event at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 4 with a three-minute routine, according to a release from the casino.

New York Ranger Dan Girardi and "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Amber Marchese will join them for opening day. Guests can also skate with Santa, drink hot chocolate and admire the rink's 30-foot Christmas tree.

The outdoor rink includes more than 100,000 lights and is right next to the new winter patio, where skaters can warm up around fire pits while enjoying hot chocolate or toasting s’mores.

The Foxwoods Rink & Winter Patio will be open seven days a week through March 8. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for kids. Skate rentals are $5 for adults and $2 for kids.

Foxwoods Resort guests pay $8 apiece.

More information is available online.

Beware: These Toys Could Be Dangerous, Study Warns


Shoppers should still be on the lookout for potentially hazardous toys this holiday season, according to a survey released Monday by a consumer advocacy group.

Although there has been progress in toy safety, dangerous or toxic toys like rubber ducks, dolls and magnets are still on shelves across America as detailed in U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s 29th annual "Trouble in Toyland" report.

Laboratory testing reveals that toxic chemicals, such as lead, chromium and phthalates, can be found in toys “well over legal limits,” according to the report.

The group found that one toy, named "Jake and the Neverland Pirates tambourine” distributed by Greenbrier International, contained metal chromium over nine times the legal limit. A response from the company was not immediately available.

Other toys detailed in the report are the “Our Generation: Sydney Lee and Stars in Your Eyes” doll by Maison Joseph Battat that includes a yo-yo that can be a choking hazard, and the “Leopard Pattern Rubber Duck” by Infantino had phthalate above the legal limit.

But the Toy Industry Association challenged the report's claims, which it called "consistently erroneous," pointing out that the report hadn't led to any product recalls. The industry group also said the study had not tested toys with regulator-accredited methods and had included products that weren't toys.

Infantino said to NBC in a statement on the report's findings that "many testing methods out there that can lead to false positives," adding that  they "go to great lengths to ensure compliance with all safety regulations."

Battat told NBC in a statement that the report was "incorrect," commenting that the company has "the small parts choking hazard label on all of our items.”

“We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe. However, until that’s the case, parents need to watch out for common hazards when shopping for toys,” said Sujatha Jahagirdar, U.S. PIRG's public health campaign director.

The next steps would be to work with chains to move retailers towards adopting policies that disclose their toxics in their products to consumers, Jahagirdar said to NBC.

However, a toy industry representative has disputed the facts detailed in the group’s annual reports, noting that over the past six years none of the "supposedly hazardous toys identified by PIRG has resulted in a recall by the Consumer Product Safety Commission due to PIRG’s allegations."

“Instead of sharing accurate and informative toy safety data with parents and caregivers, PIRG’s reports spread misinformation and confusion,” the Toy Industry Association's vice president of strategic communications Ken Seiter said in a statement.

The PIRG has urged parents or caregivers to report any toys that they suspect may be hazardous to the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) at www.saferproducts.gov.

The full report can be found here.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Hackers Take Down Fla. City's Site


Computer hacker collective Anonymous took down Fort Lauderdale’s website Monday, taking aim at the city's ordinance that bans feeding the homeless outdoors.

The city of Fort Lauderdale’s homepage was not accessible for hours Monday afternoon. In addition, the mayor's political site, jackseiler.com, was also knocked out, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler's assistant Safeea Maloney told NBC News.

"It certainly isn't about doing good work or good deeds in the community; it's a group trying to disrupt things," said Mayor Seiler.

The downed websites came less than 24 hours after Anonymous issued a threat to the city to overturn several ordinances dealing with the homeless or see the city’s home page and other pages hacked.

The city of Fort Lauderdale said when the Anonymous attack began, they took down the website as a precaution.

Anonymous called the latest volley in the fight over the city’s homeless laws “Operation Lift the Bans.” The group posted a YouTube video in which a person in a Guy Fawkes mask used a computer-generated voice to issue the following statement.

“Hello, citizen of the world and Fort Lauderdale. It has come to our attention that Mayor John Seiler has become an embarrassment to the law abiding citizens of Fort Lauderdale, arresting Arnold Abbot, who is 90 years old and served our country, for feeding the homeless. You are a disgrace, Mayor John Seiler. So therefore, we have a list of demands, and if not met, then we shall shut down the main site of Fort Lauderdale, among other sites. Our demands are to lift the ordinance C-14-38, which makes panhandling illegal at busy intersections for not only homeless but also charities; C14-41, which makes it illegal for anyone to sleep in public in the downtown area; and C14-42, which prohibits citizens from being able to hand out food unless certain requirements are met. You have 24 hours or less, depending on whether this reaches you, Mayor John Seiler — 24 hours to comply with our demands or the site will be shut down, along with other sites belonging to Fort Lauderdale. Operation Lift the Bans engaged. We are anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. You should have expected this, Mayor John Seiler.”

"There is no celebration or achievement or anything like that," said Steve Grant, a member of Anonymous. "It's just consistency. Anonymous is a non-violent, peaceful collective. It doesn't mean we can't be aggressive."

Anonymous made headlines last year when it helped expose the cover-up of a rape case in Steubenville, Ohio.

Photo Credit: YouTube
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Ex-Va. 1st Lady's Conviction Tossed


A federal judge has overturned one conviction against former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell, but affirmed other corruption verdicts against her and her husband.

Judge James R. Spencer rejected the McDonnells' request for a new trial or for their convictions to be overturned.

But Spencer did toss a jury's decision that Maureen McDonnell was guilty of obstructing justice. Spencer said prosecutors did not prove that she attempted to mislead a federal grand jury investigation.

The couple was convicted of multiple public corruption charges nearly three months ago.

With Monday's ruling, Maureen McDonnell is now guilty of eight counts instead of nine. Her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, was convicted on 11 counts.

Defense lawyers had filed the motions asking U.S. District Judge James Spencer to acquit the couple, or at least order a new trial.

Spencer had presided over the couple's nearly six-week trial during the latter half of the summer.

During the trial, bombshell testimony revealed the McDonnells were living separately, and that Maureen McDonnell had frequently texted and emailed the wealthy businessman whose gifts and loans to the couple were at the center of the case.

A jury convicted the McDonnells in September of illegally trying to help a dietary supplement maker in exchange of more than $165,000 in gifts and loans.

The McDonnells are expected to be sentenced early next year.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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