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Meghan Trainor Scraps 4th of July Performance at Mohegan Sun


Pop sensation Meghan Trainor has postponed her Fourth of July concert at Mohegan Sun, citing a vocal cord hemorrhage, according to the casino.

Mohegan Sun posted the announcement on its website Friday, along with a statement from Trainor herself.

"I don't want anyone worrying but I have had a haemorrage on my left vocal chord. The doctors wants me on complete vocal rest until they are healed so I have to postpone my first two shows in Atlantic City and Connecticut," the singer wrote. "I promise I will make it up to my Megatronz. I have never missed a tour date before so this is killing me. I love you all very much and want to get healed quickly so I can show you this amazing tour we've been working on. I'm so sorry to everyone who have bought tickets and made travel plans. I am truly sorry."

The performance will be rescheduled, although the casino has yet to announce a new date. Mohegan Sun will honor all tickets, but refunds are also available at the original place of purchase.

Trainor will still be featured on the "Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular" Saturday night on NBC since her performance was prerecorded, according to sources within the network.

You can watch the fireworks live on your phone or computer here.

Photo Credit: WireImage

Milford's Anchor Beach Closed Due to High Bacteria Levels


Shoreline residents won’t be spending the holiday weekend on Milford’s Anchor Beach.

High bacteria levels have prompted officials to block off the sand and surf in the Woodmont section of Milford.

It’s the first time in three years the beach has been closed during the summer months, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It was closed for a total of 15 days in 2011, but remained open in 2009 and 2010.

The Milford Health Department will retest the water Monday, so swimming is off-limits at Anchor Beach through the Fourth of July weekend.

According to the city's environmental health division, officials made the judgment call after sampling water on July 1 and July 2.

Learn more about Connecticut beach closures here.

Photo Credit: See It Share It

Woman Hurt in Fall at Enders State Forest in Granby


Emergency responders rescued a woman who slipped down a waterfall Friday evening at Enders State Forest, which spans Granby and Barkhamsted.

Firefighters from Granby and neighboring East Hartland were called out, along with an ambulance from Granby. East Hartland firefighters said they trained at this exact location days ago.

They managed to pull the woman out of the water and bring her to the waiting ambulance, which brought her to a hospital for medical treatment.

Photo Credit: East Hartland Volunteer Fire Department

"Zero Tolerance" for Drunken Driving Over Holiday Weekend


State and local police are already doing brisk business nabbing drivers who have been drinking this holiday weekend.

Trooper Giancarlo Ardolino says Independence Day is among the busiest times of year for such offenses.

"It's up there especially with the nice weather we're having lately," Ardolino said Friday night.

In fact, he says he actually expects to encounter at least one or two alcohol-affected drivers during his shift, even though he's doing routine speed patrol, not manning a sobriety checkpoint.

"With the amount of cars out there, you've got a good chance of running in to someone who's been drinking and driving," the 11-year veteran says of the Fourth of July weekend.

DUI checkpoints are as much a part of Independence Day as barbecues and fireworks. Almost every local police department NBC Connecticut contacted says it will be holding sobriety roadblocks throughout the weekend.

"Especially with the long weekend," Ardolino said, "we have a lot of cars coming in and out of Connecticut."

Asked how far people will go to avoid a drunken driving arrest, Ardolino says troopers know every trick in the book.

"There's a lot of videos out there, people learning from, trying to get out of a DWI test. There are certain tests that you can't fake," he said.

With so much at stake, Ardolino offers advice straight out of driver's education, urging those behind the wheel to be patient, alert and, of course, sober.

"Zero tolerance; it's not worth it," he said. "Just make sure we all get back home to our family at the end of the day, and have a great weekend."

Middletown Fireworks Go Off Without a Hitch


Fireworks lit up the sky Friday, but that may not be the case on the actual Fourth of July.

Rain is in the forecast Saturday, and already, the city of Waterbury has postponed its show until Sunday.

Other municipalities didn't have to worry about the weather. Middletown’s "Fireworks Over the River" went off as scheduled Friday and drew applause from thousands.

"People know about it. It’s a big event. People come for this every single year. It’s huge. People know that this Middletown show is incredible," said Mayor Dan Drew.

Skies were clear, and the crowd nearly 20,000 strong left umbrellas at home.

"It’s great. It’s perfect weather. I wish July 4 was today, honestly," said spectator Shayla Ranmal.

Attendees enjoyed live music and food. They also hoped the mild weather would last.

"We have plans for the beach. So, hopefully not," said Kathy Donovan.

Fire Breaks Out at Home in Oakville Section of Watertown


Crews were called to the scene of a house fire in the Oakville section of Watertown late Friday night.

Dispatchers said flames broke out at 60 Norway Street sometime before 10:30 p.m.

It's not clear what caused the blaze.

Crews were still at the scene as of 11 p.m.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Mike/See It Share It

Heightened Holiday Security Amid Terror Threat


As crowds gather across the country for Fourth of July celebrations, there is heightened concern about the potential threat of terrorist attacks.

That could have an impact on Independence Day festivities here in Connecticut.

"Fourth of July is family, picnics, coming here and enjoying the weather," said Edie Arill, a Florida resident who traveled to Connecticut to celebrate July 4.

Law enforcement, from the local level up to the federal level, has a different goal this weekend – to keep Americans safe. It comes at a time when ISIS and other terror groups are calling for July 4 attacks.

Arill noticed extra security along her journey to Connecticut from the Sunshine State.

"It’s a little scary. Even just coming here and traveling on the airplane is a little scary," she said.

There will be added patrols on the ground across Connecticut. In West Haven, for example, police posted a message on Facebook letting residents know the department will be out in force during the holiday weekend with "a full complement of officers, uniformed and in plainclothes, working undercover assignments."

"With the kids, you’ve got to be wary of everything you do and everywhere you go but… you have to keep going," said Arill.

At this point, law enforcement officials stress that there is no credible threat on their radar but say there is still enough reason for everyone to be on alert.

Police say if you see something out of the ordinary, report it to authorities immediately.

Boy Stands on Corner for Days, Asks Drivers to "Honk for USA"


A 14-year-old New Jersey boy eager to express his patriotism has been standing on a street corner in front of his house with an American flag and a sign reading "Honk if you love the USA," and he says he'll continue to stand there until the fireworks go off on the Fourth of July. 

Shpejtim Zenelej has been standing on the corner of Harold Avenue and Franklin Street in Rahway all day every day since Sunday, inspired to show his love for America after he saw reports of flag burning last week. 

"It's the best country in the world," he said.

Zenelej was born in the U.S. but his parents are from Kosovo. He said he's been to the republic and knows how fortunate his life has been in America. 

In recognition of Zenelej's efforts Thursday, Rahway put on an impromptu parade of police and other first responders. It only lasted a couple minutes, but "it was the best day of my life," the teen said. 

The parade was organized by the mayor and some city employees during break and lunch times, with a hidden motive, according to Rahway Mayor Samson Steinman.

"There's people that are deplorably trying to hang onto the Confederate flag," he said. "He's reminding them there's only one flag in the U.S.A. It has the colors red, white and blue." 

The boy's parents say they're very proud of their son, whom they characterized as "14 going on 40." 

Trump Blames Border for SF Shooting


Donald Trump on Friday blamed the United States' vulnerable southern border for this week's fatal shooting of Kathryn Steinle at Pier 14 in San Francisco.

“This senseless and totally preventable act of violence committed by an illegal immigrant is yet another example of why we must secure our border immediately," the Republican presidential hopeful said in a statement.

Steinle, 32, of Pleasanton, was gunned down Wednesday evening near the Embarcadero and Mission Street in the city's South Beach neighborhood. Police arrested Francisco Sanchez following what they believe is a random incident.

New details emerged about the suspect Friday when the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency reported that Sanchez is an undocumented immigrant with nearly a dozen aliases and a long criminal history. He has previously been deported to Mexico five times, according to authorities.


San Francisco County Sheriff's Legal Counsel Freya Horne told NBC Bay Area Friday that the city and county of San Francisco are sanctuaries for immigrants, and they do not turn over undocumented people – if they don't have active warrants out for them – simply because immigration officials want them to.

For his part, Trump deemed the situation “absolutely disgraceful” and blasted his fellow candidates for lacking the “guts to even talk about it.”

“The American people deserve a wall to protect our jobs, economy and our safety,” he added. “I am the only candidate who would build it. I will make America great again!”

Trump’s candidacy announcement June 16 had a similar flavor.

"The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems," he said. "And these aren't the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best...they're sending people that have lots of problems...they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

But several business organizations — including NBC, Univision, Macy’s and NASCAR — have disassociated themselves from Trump after his incendiary comments came to light.

Hispanic leaders have also pressed the rest of the GOP presidential candidates to condemn Trump. So far, most of the candidates have either stayed mum or quietly sidestepped his statements. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has even defended him, saying that "I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration."

Only Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who is Hispanic, denounced Trump's statements as "not just offensive and inaccurate, but also divisive."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Serial Stowaway Arrested Again


The "serial stowaway" was arrested twice at two different airports within 48 hours after being released from jail on Thursday, where she spent nearly two months behind bars for trying to board planes without a ticket.

Marilyn Hartman, 63, was first arrested at Midway International Airport on Friday and then again at O'Hare International Airport on Saturday.

Hartman was charged with one count of misdemeanor reckless conduct for causing a "disturbance" inside the cabin of a Southwest Airlines plane leaving Midway around 5 p.m., according to Chicago Police News Affairs. Authorities did not say what kind of disturbance Hartman caused, but they say she did have a ticket to board the plane.

The Southwest Airlines plane was headed for LaGuardia Airport, officials said. 

She was caught again at O'Hare Saturday afternoon in Terminal One. Hartman was charged with criminal trespassing to state land and violation of bail bond, which she was given Friday after the disturbance at Midway, according to Chicago Police News Affairs. 

Hartman was nicknamed the "serial stowaway" after she made five attempts to get past security at O'Hare and Midway Airports in late April and early May. She was arrested twice at O'Hare, and a third time at Midway May 3. As she left the jail, she insisted her stowaway days are over.

During hearings Wednesday and Thursday, two different Cook County judges accepted Hartman's guilty pleas on separate charges, sentencing her to the two months she had already served.

It was not known if Hartman had an attorney.

Driver in Hartford Crash Arrested on Gun Charges


Hartford police arrested a convicted felon after finding a stolen gun in a car while investigating a motor vehicle crash in the capital city Friday night.

Alex Lopez, 32, of Bloomfield, is facing multiple weapons charges.

Police responded to the intersection of Woodland Street and Albany Avenue Friday at 2:43 p.m. after receiving reports of a motor vehicle crash with injuries. As police were responding, a dispatcher reported that an argument was underway at the crash site.

When police arrived, Lopez was bickering with Hartford firefighters and refusing to get out of his car, police said. He didn't listen to police either when a patrol officer ordered him out of the car. He tried to drive away, but firefighters had put wheel locks on his tires so he couldn't leave, police said.

The patrol officer opened his door and pulled Lopez from the car. Police said he seemed to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs and that he was combatant and spoke incoherently.

After a struggle, police arrested Lopez and an ambulance transported him to Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford.

Police searched the car and found knotted plastic wrappings discarded that looked like packaging for crack and/or cocaine, police said. The floor mat had a bump under it and seemed to be "manipulated," so police looked underneath it and found a .40 caliber Glock model 23 pistol that was fully loaded, police said.

The gun showed up in police records as stolen out of East Hartford. Police seized the gun.

Lopez, already a convicted felon, was charged with interfering with police, following too closely, having a weapon in a motor vehicle, criminal possession of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

Hartford Police Seize $5,000 in Illegal Fireworks


Hartford police expect to make an arrest after discovering about $5,000-worth of fireworks in a van Friday night while investigating reports of someone selling illegal fireworks.

The suspect is a 35-year-old man from East Hartford.

"HPD North End CSOs discover 'the mother load,'" Hartford police Deputy Chief Brian Foley tweeted along with a photo of several boxes of about 179 fireworks units found.

Police responded to 592 Garden Street on Friday night at 8:03 p.m. to investigate reports of an illegal fireworks selling operation out of a blue van. Police found the van full of illegal fireworks, but the person suspected of selling them fled on foot when police arrived.

The bomb squad was called in to store and dispose of the fireworks because of the volume of them, police said.

Police said an arrest warrant is forthcoming.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

Man, 22, Critically Injured in Hartford Shooting


Hartford police are investigating after a 22-year-old man was shot early Saturday morning and critically injured.

The police department Shot Spotter system to detect gunfire in the capital city activated at 3 a.m. and indicated gunshots were fired in the area of 2195 Main Street in Hartford.

Police found a male victim, 22, with two gunshot wounds, one to the hip and the other to the waist. He may have been shot after a dispute at the Ranch House, police said.

A car was also discovered at the scene that had several bullet holes in it.

The victim was transported to St. Francis Hospital, where he is in critical but stable condition.

No arrests have been made at this time.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Route 32 Reopened After Car Strikes Pole in Mansfield

9 Hurt as Fireworks Hit Crowd in Colo.


A set of fireworks malfunctioned at a Colorado fireworks show Friday night, sending fireworks into a crowd of people and injuring nine spectators, fire officials said.

About 17 minutes into the "Salute to the USA Fireworks Show" in Avon, a shell in the middle of a rack of fireworks exploded in its tube instead of shooting into the air, the town confirmed to NBC News.

The explosion then caused the rest of the shells to tip over, sending "two or three" fireworks over Nottingham Lake and toward the tightly-packed spectators.

"There was not a lot of room in between groups of people, so when it happened no one could really get up and run," a spectator, Jane Imber, told NBC News. "It was so scary."

The nine injured people suffered "minor abrasion burns" at the scene, and were quickly helped by police and medical teams who were at the event, the town said in a statement.

"This is Avon's 29th year of presenting one of the most spectacular fireworks displays in Colorado, and we have never had any failure in the production," said Deputy Chief Greg Daly, who oversaw the response. "It is wonderful news that the injuries were very minor."

The town also said the "safety distance" between the crowds and the fireworks, as well as the firework crew's rapid shutdown of the show, likely prevented any further harm.

Photo Credit: YouTube / Jesus Ramirez
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George Washington Plaque Rededicated in New Haven


A piece of New Haven's past that went missing is now back in its rightful spot.

The plaque, which commemorates George Washington's visit to the Elm City in 1789, was stolen and sold as scrap metal.

Robert Greenberg walked past the plaque many times while growing up in New Haven. He noticed it was missing and helped police track it down in 2011.

Saturday the plaque was rededicated.

“Because the most fabulous thing for New Haven is its history, I felt that retrieving that marker, putting it back on the wall, would help younger people read that George Washington came to that very location,” said Greenberg.

The plaque marks the spot where Washington attended Sunday services at Trinity Church.

After the church was torn down, the property was redeveloped.

Today, the fast food restaurant Five Guys sits in its place.

The plaque was rededicated on the marble wall outside the restaurant’s entrance.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

2 of Oldest Pearl Harbor Survivors Reunite


Two of Pearl Harbor's oldest known survivors, veterans Ray Chavez, 103, and Jim Downing, 102, share an unbreakable bond.

The two met for the first time Friday, sharing the same eyewitness moments and deep memories of the horrific, surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 74 years ago. Still, for Downing, “most of what happened is just as clear as if it were last week.”

Downing, who lives in Colorado Springs, believed he was the oldest survivor of the attack until he read a news article about Chavez, who lives in Poway and is 103 years old.

“Well, I’m not going to check your birth certificate, so I’ll take your word for it”, Downing joked after meeting with Chavez.

Downing was asked to speak during a Fourth of July celebration in San Diego and decided to take the opportunity to meet with Chavez. Each of the men have an incredible story of service and bravery.

In the early morning hours of Dec. 7, 1941, when the waters and skies surrounding Pearl Harbor were still quiet, Quartermaster First Class Chavez and his crew were out on the water.

“We were sweeping restricted water. Nobody was supposed to be there except us” Chavez remembers.

Somewhere near the harbor they spotted a Japanese submarine and immediately notified others. A short time later, another ship bombed and sank the sub and Chavez went back to his Navy housing nearby to sleep.

But it was just a couple of hours later that Chavez’s wife shook him out of a deep sleep. She told him the Japanese were invading and that the “whole harbor was on fire."

“The first thing was surprise. Then I was scared. I thought the next plane would get the right angle, then I was angry,” Downing says of the experience.

Downing was 28 years old at the time and served on the USS West Virginia, though the morning of the attack he wasn’t on board the ship. If he had been he says he wouldn’t be here today.

“The saddest thing I saw that morning was sailors being blown off the ship, come up out of the water, feel the oil on their bodies...and they just became human torches.”

He and the other survivors did their best to defend the harbor but he says the power quickly went out and “they couldn’t even get off one shot.”

“Once the Japanese had sunk our ship they didn't care so all we had to do was fight the fires and take care of the wounded,” Downing says.

But it's what Downing did after the initial attack that’s had more of a lasting impact.

He began memorizing the name tags of the dead and wrote letters to as many of their families as he could to let them know what had happened to their son.

He says it was so “gratifying” that he decided to go to where many of the wounded were being treated and offered to write their families letters also.

Downing and Chavez shared many memories from decades ago. But all of the stories make celebrating the birth of their country so much more meaningful.

The lesson Downing learned from Pearl Harbor is: “Weakness invites aggression...keep America strong.”

Photo Credit: Matt Rascon

New Haven Remembers First Independence Day


Saturday, the city of New Haven stepped back in time to celebrate the first Independence Day and the founding fathers from Connecticut who helped give the United States its liberty.

“It’s such a different way to commemorate the 4th of July than fireworks and picnics and all that stuff,” said Towle, a Member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Towle was tasked with laying a wreath at General David Humphrey’s grave in the Grove Street Cemetery. Her husband is a descendant of Humphrey’s.

Humphrey and Roger Sherman were one of 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence. At Sherman’s grave historian Damien Cregeau explained the important role this founding father had in the birth of our nation.

“What’s unique about Sherman is that he is the only signer of the Declaration of Independence to sign all four founding documents,” said Cregeau.

He added that Sherman’s lasting contribution was the creation of the United States Senate.

“He comes up with this so-called Connecticut Compromise where he’s able to get a bicameral legislature, two houses,” he said.

That gave smaller states, like Connecticut, equal representation in one house of Congress.

Re-enactors brought history to life for the more than 100 people who attended Saturday’s event.

One man dressed as Humphrey’s sat on horseback and recounted the general’s life and contributions.

“I learned a whole lot. I didn’t know anything about David Humphrey’s so it was wonderful,” said Scott Haight, a New Haven resident who visited the event for the first time.

Others said they’d made the reading of the Declaration of Independence an annual tradition to kick off their 4th of July.

The ceremony was full of reminders of why we celebrate the holiday and the people who gave us our freedom.

“I think it’s the essence of what makes July 4th a special holiday for our patriotism,” Cregeau added.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Teens Injured by Explosive Device


Six teenagers in northern California were hurt Friday night when an explosive device was tossed into a backyard party, according to Manteca police.

Officers arrived on the 300 block of Santiago Way at roughly 11:15 p.m. in response to reports of “numerous” injuries due to an explosion.

A department statement said that roughly 60 “high-school aged kids” were at the house party when “an unknown subject intentionally threw an explosive device over a fence.”

“The device exploded in close proximity to the party goers, injuring many of them,” the statement continued.

"Preliminarily, we're thinking that it's a modified firework that was thrown into the backyard," Manteca police Chief Nick Obligacion told NBC News.

Police said that two victims were seriously injured while one was airlifted to a Bay Area hospital for a "more severe facial injury that doesn't require surgery," Obligacion told NBC News. 

All of the victims were juveniles, Obligacion added.

People with information about the incident can call the Manteca Police Department at (209) 456-8101.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Stamford First Responders Save Young Man Who Overdosed


Stamford Fire Department Emergency Medical Technicians used an opioid-blocking drug to revive a young male adult who overdosed recently, according to fire officials.

All Stamford fire vehicles have been carrying Naloxone (Narcan) for the past two weeks. The drug blocks the effects of opioids like heroin or pain killers, working to "reverse the effects of an overdose," Stamford fire officials said.

A young man found unconscious wasn't breathing, suffering from an apparent overdose on an unknown drug. So EMTs gave him a dose of Narcan and administered "artificial respirations" and he started breathing again within a few minutes. Then he regained consciousness as medics continued to tend to him.

Fire officials said that his friend called 911 to report that he passed out and Stamford fire and EMS officials responded quickly. They said that those factors and using Narcan may have saved the young man's life.

Stamford fire officials are not releasing the patient's name, the date of the incident or the location because of privacy issues.

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