<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Connecticut News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:22:34 -0400 Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:22:34 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Police Respond to East Hartford Armed Robbery]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:42:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/East+Hartford+police+cruiser.jpg

Police are investigating the armed robbery of a gas station convenience store in East Hartford on Wednesday night.

According to police, a robber stole from the store at 58 Ellington Road in East Hartford just before 7 p.m. Authorities are still at the scene investigating.

No additional information was immediately.

Police said no arrests have been made.

<![CDATA[Police Nab Suspect in 2 West Haven Armed Robberies]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:30:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/wayne+bunting+west+haven.jpg

Police have arrested the man accused of robbing two West Haven shops in June.

Wayne Bunting, 22, of Chapel Street in New Haven, is accused of robbing Sam’s Food Mart at 663 Campbell Avenue on June 15 and the Great Way Food Store at 502 Sawmill Road on June 18. Police said he may also be tied to robberies in surrounding towns.

Bunting was arrested Sept. 24 and charged with two counts each of first-degree robbery, second-degree threatening, sixth-degree larceny. He was held on $90,000 bond and appeared in court the day of his arrest.

West Haven police and members of the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force worked together to take Bunting into custody.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Dangerous Fugitive Commits More Crimes: Police]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:57:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/gregory+lewis+composite.jpg

Police are still searching for the Massachusetts man accused of raping a child and seriously assaulting a family member last month, and authorities say he also kidnapped and assaulted a woman in North Carolina before stopping in Connecticut.

Gregory Lewis, 26, of Southbridge, Massachusetts, is wanted on multiple felony counts for repeatedly raping a child, according to police. Lewis is considered armed and dangerous and is believed to be carrying a 9mm handgun, baton and handcuffs.

Police said he has made suicidal threats and has threatened to harm others.

He has been on the run since he cut off his GPS monitoring bracelet Sept. 15. He was spotted in Kentucky and made a stop in Vernon, Connecticut, after assaulting a family member and leaving the house with a gun on Sept. 25, police said.

Lewis is wanted in Massachusetts and is also facing charges in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he’s accused of kidnapping, robbing and assaulting a woman on Sept. 23, just prior to returning home to Southbridge, according to police.

Police said Lewis stands 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 270 pounds. He has brown eyes and brown hair.

He’s believed to be driving a blue 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee with Massachusetts license plates 85GF63, but police said he may have covered or swapped out the plates to avoid recognition.

Authorities from North Carolina and Massachusetts are working together to track him down. They expect him to continue committing crimes and stealing money to find his flight from police.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call Southbridge, Massachusetts police detectives at 508-764-5420.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

Photo Credit: Southbridge Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Enfield Elementary School Student Diagnosed With Enterovirus]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:46:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/nathan+hale+elementary+school.JPG

A student at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Enfield has been diagnosed with Enterovirus-D68, according to the school superintendent.

Supt. Dr. Jeffrey Shumann said the child is receiving medical treatment and has not been in school. Family members alerted the school district when the student was diagnosed.

Shumann said parents received a letter Tuesday informing them of the case and how to take precautions. No other students have exhibited symptoms.

"Enfield Public Schools has been notified of our first confirmed case of Enterovirus D68 infection (EV-D68)," the letter begins. "A case has been reported in your child's school."

"Good hygiene is your best defense against getting infected with Enterovirus," it continues, citing handwashing, avoiding contact with sick individuals and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

Custodial staff sanitized the section of the school where the student usually spends time, according to the superintendent.

The school serves students in Kindergarten through second grade and is located at 5 Taylor Road.

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<![CDATA[Mass. Fugitive Faces N.C. Kidnapping Charges]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:49:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/gregory+lewis+composite.jpg

A Massachusetts man wanted in connection to a child rape case also faces kidnapping charges in North Carolina.

Twenty-six-year-old Gregory Lewis of Southbridge has been on the run since Sept. 15, when police say he cut off his GPS ankle bracelet and fled the state. Lewis came back 10 days later, which is when officials said he broke into a family member's home, tied the homeowner up, and stole a gun.

Wednesday, officials in North Carolina said they believe Lewis kidnapped, robbed and assaulted a woman in Charlotte on Sept. 23.

Lewis is considered armed and dangerous, and anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Southbridge Police at 508-764-5420. 

<![CDATA[Tractor-Trailer Crashes in Middlefield]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:52:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tlmd_01generic_police_lights1.jpg

A tractor-trailer driveway was taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after driving too fast and crashing on Jackson Hill Road in Middlefield, according to state police.

Police said Mehmedovic Hamdija, 56, of Jacksonville, Florida, lost control and rolled onto the guardrails along the northbound lane of Jackson Hill Road.

Hamdija was taken to Hartford Hospital for treatment of "incapacitating injuries" and was issued an infraction for driving too fast in the rain, according to police.

Police said the tractor-trailer was totaled.

<![CDATA[Suffield Police Identify Suspected Bank Robber]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:07:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/suffield+bank+robbery+suspect.jpg

Suffield police have identified the man suspected of ripping off a Webster Bank in town and are preparing an arreste warrant charging him in the robbery.

Police said the suspect is on parole and is currently being detained by the Department of Corrections Parole Unit.

Authorities initially said the suspect may have been linked to other bank robberies in Trumbull, Stamford and White Plains, New York.

Trumbull police arrested a bank robbery suspect on Monday. George John Bratsenis, 65, has been charged with four felony counts, including first-degree larceny, first-degree robbery, second-degree arson and illegal possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle, according to court records.

It's not clear if Bratsenis is the suspect police believe may be connected to the Suffield case.

The Suffield robbery suspect has not been publicly identified.

Photo Credit: Suffield Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Chick-fil-A Opens in Brookfield Next Week]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:13:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/185*120/chick-149652889.jpg

Chick-fil-A will be opening its first stand-alone restaurant in Connecticut in Brookfield on Thursday, Oct. 9 at 6:30 a.m.

However, dedicated customers can arrive at 6 a.m. on Wednesday Oct. 8 for a chance to will win a free meal every week for a year.

The giveaway is Chick-fil-A’s “First 100” promotion and a spokesperson for the restaurant said the first 100 customers camp out overnight to get their hands on the chicken sandwich Consumer Reports readers dubbed “tastiest chicken sandwich” in 2014.

Those living in specific zip codes, roughly within a 25-mile radius of the 156 Federal Road location, are eligible for the “First 100” promotion.

The new restaurant will create 80 jobs and is the first of four to open in Connecticut within the next six months.

The Wallingford location will open on Nov. 6 at 1098 N. Colony Road. and will also offer the “First 100” promotion.

Locations are also planned for Danbury and Enfield.

The Brookfield Chick-fil-A will offer take-out, drive-thru, free Wi-Fi, an indoor play area and enough room inside to seat 109 people.

Devon Scalon, the owner of Brookfield location, said she thinks opening the restaurant will have a positive impact on her hometown.

“I couldn’t be more excited to bring Chick-fil-A’s freshly prepared food and signature customer service to Connecticut,” she said.

On Wednesday, Oct. 8, the new restaurant will also host a new book drive to benefit the Brookfield Public Schools District between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

You can stay up to date on construction progress and grand opening festivities on the Brookfield Chick-fil-A's Facebook page.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[State Police Investigate High School Soccer Coach]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:11:32 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Edwin+O+Smith+High+School+1200.jpg

A high school soccer coach in Storrs is under police investigation.

State police said they started investigating Jeff Sirois, who also owns a local market and deli, after officials from E.O. Smith High School contacted them about an issue concerning the coach.

No additional information has been released on the nature of the investigation, but police said they have not made an arrest.

"I know he's coached girls' soccer for a number of years and the kids always enjoyed him as a coach, from what I understand," said Mike Okonuk, Sirois' neighbor in Lebanon.
Neither the school nor Sirois have commented on the investigation and the status of Sirois' employment with the school is not clear. He is not listed on the staff and faculty directory on the school Web site.
NBC Connecticut spoke with Sirois' wife, who confirmed that her husband is under investigation, and said it's "inappropriate," but added that she could not talk specifically about it.

"He's also a referee," Marilu Sirois said. "So soccer really is his life. I'm the soccer widow. It's been my nickname in his pool forever."

She also would not comment on her husband's employment with the school and said she had not been contacted by authorities.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[No Anthem Coverage at 5 Local Hospitals as Talks Break Down]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:02:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/midstate+medical+center+2.JPG

Several months of failed negotiations between Hartford HealthCare and Anthem have left five Connecticut hospitals out of network for patients covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state's largest health insurer.

Thousands could now be facing higher health are costs as a result.

“For the past several months, we have been working diligently to negotiate a new contract with Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Unfortunately, our talks with Anthem were unsuccessful,” said Tina Varona of Hartford HealthCare.

Anthem officials said in a statement Wednesday the insurance provider "has been negotiating in good faith with Hartford HealthCare in an effort to reach a new contract. Unfortunately, a contract agreement was not reached."

As the Oct. 1 contract deadline comes and goes, the groups remain at a stalemate. Starting today, Anthem patients will no longer receive in-network coverage at the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain, MidState Medical Center in Meriden, William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, Windham Hospital, the Institute of Living and Jefferson House at Hartford Hospital.

"We are profoundly disappointed that Anthem and Hartford Healthcare have been unable to reach an agreement by deadline, and we are very concerned about the impact that this situation will have on the thousands of Connecticut residents who now find that their hospital provider is no longer in network. We strongly urge the two parties to put the quality and continuity of patient care first and resolve this matter as quickly as possible,” Attorney General George Jepsen and Healthcare Advocate Victoria Veltri said in a joint statement Wednesday.

If negotiations continue to fail, Natchaug Hospital, Rushford mental health and addiction services, VNA Healthcare, Southington Care Center and the Jerome Home will also be out-of-network as of Nov. 1.

The changes do not affect office visits to Hartford HealthCare Medical Group providers, according to Hartford HealthCare. Patients hospitalized at a Hartford HealthCare facility prior to Oct. 1, or who had surgery and require post-operation procedures after the deadline will continue to receive in-network coverage.

Those receiving Continuation of Care benefits will continue receiving in-network care for a set period of time. Patients are encouraged to call the Anthem number on the back of their insurance cards to see if they qualify.

"Our priority right now is to our members and ensuring that they have access to ongoing and uninterrupted high quality healthcare," Anthem said in a statement. "Anthem is doing everything we can to facilitate a smooth transition for our members. Our nurse case managers are working closely with our members to transition their care to other high quality in-network hospitals and providers, or continue their care at HHC's hospitals when clinically necessary."

Varona said Hartford HealthCare pledges to continue negotiating in hopes of reaching an agreement.

"We are extremely disappointed that Anthem Health Plans, Inc. and the Hartford HealthCare Corporation have allowed their contract to expire today without negotiating a new one,” Gov. Dan Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said in a joint statement.

“We're not interested in assigning blame. We want to make sure that everyone in our state has access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. We simply cannot let profit margins stand in the way of that goal. Both companies need to return to the table and work out a deal that protects the health of Connecticut residents," the statement continues.

Anyone who has problems receiving care because of the failed negotiations should contact Anthem at 203-677-4000 or go online to find alternate in-network providers or request to continue care with his or her current provider.

Patients can also call the Office of the Healthcare Advocate at 866-466-4446 or the Office of the Attorney General’s Healthcare Advocacy unit at 860-808-5318 for more information, or visit Hartford HealthCare online for a full explanation of the changes and their consequences.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[Woman, Toddler Hide While Intruder Ransacks Home]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:15:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/plainfield+home+invasion+1.jpg

EDITOR'S NOTE: Police have determined the home invasion was staged.

Police are investigating after someone broke into a Plainfield home and ransacked the residence Tuesday night while a woman and her 2-year-old child were hiding inside.

According to police, an intruder smashed the bedroom window of a home on Juniper Lane in the Moosup Village of Plainfiled around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. Police arrived to find open doors and said the home had been looted.

The resident told police she and her 2-year-old were home at the time. The victim said she knows the suspected intruder but didn't disclose the details of their relationship.

Officers searched the area with a K-9 but couldn't find a suspect. Police said the home was targeted but didn't elaborate on a motive.

Authorities have identified a suspect and expect to issue an arrest warrant.

The suspect has not been publicly identified.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Gas Leak Prompts Evacuations, School Dismissal]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:14:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Vernon+gas+leak+1200.jpg

Buildings near an old factory building at 200 West Main Street in Vernon were evacuated early Wednesday afternoon following a gas leak, according to Vernon police.

The old commercial building is under construction and is being remodeled, but it is not clear if that caused the leak. Police said the building houses several small businesses.

Authorities responded to the scene around 1 p.m. Crews from Yankee Gas were called out and stopped the leak. Connecticut Light & Power cut power to the building, police said.

Students at Maple Street Elementary School were dismissed early as a result.

The building was ventilated around 2 p.m. and any hazards to the area had been mitigated, according to police. Crews are now working to fix the damaged gas line.

West Main Street has been closed at the intersection of Maple Street and is expected to reopen around 4:30 p.m.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Crash Causes Closures on I-84 in West Hartford]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:29:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/10114+I84+Crash+3+Edited.jpg

The exit 43 off-ramp on Interstate 84 eastbound has been shut down for most of the afternoon after a tractor-trailer struck a guardrail and fell onto the ramp late Wednesday morning, according to police.

State police said a freightliner belonging to Penn's Best, Inc., based in Pennsylvania, veered off the roadway to the left and struck a guardrail on I-84 west just before exit 42 in West Hartford.

Police said the tractor-trailer went down an embankment and ended up on the ramp at exit 43 for Trout Brook Drive on the eastbound side of the highway.

The ramp at exit 43 eastbound, as well as the left and center lanes and exit 42 ramp on the westbound side, where closed while authorities responded to the scene and cleaned up a fuel leak.

The exit 43 ramp remains closed as of 5:30 p.m.

No one was injured, but the tractor-trailer was totaled, according to police.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Sandy Hook Elementary School Dismissed After Bomb Threat]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:05:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bomb+threat+at+Sandy+Hook+in+Monroe+1200.jpg

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Monroe, Connecticut, was evacuated this morning because of a bomb threat and students were dismissed around noon.

Police said a bomb threat was called into the school at 9:39 a.m. Wednesday. The school was evacuated to another building on campus around 10:45 a.m. and parents were notified through reverse 911 calls.

A statement from town officials calls the event "no threat-low threat", but the superintendent dismissed students out of an abundance of caution. 

"All students and staff are safe," First Selectman Patricia Llodra said in the statement.

The school was evacuated and students were brought to a neighboring school. The building and grounds were checked, and no evidence of the actual threat was found.

"Although there was little to no danger at any time with the alleged threat the decision was made to make sure that every precautionary step had been taken for the safety of the Sandy Hook staff members and students," Newtown Supt. Dr. Joseph Erardi said in a statement Wednesday. "This same decision would have been made for all other Newtown school."

Students from the Sandy Hook School have been going to classes in the former Chalk Hill School in Monroe since January 2013, weeks after a gunman killed 20 first graders and six staff members during a rampage in their Newtown school.

Police said the building in Monroe has been cleared for students to return at the start of the school day Thursday.

Town officials will address the threat at a public meeting Wednesday evening. It will begin at 7 p.m. at Newtown High School.

The Newtown Recovery & Resiliency Team will provide counselors to parents and students who "experience emotional reactions and concerns" starting tomorrow between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 28 Trades Lane. Call 203-270-4612 for information on after-hours appointments.

Architects have designed plans to build a new school on the Newtown site, but construction has not started. It is expected to begin in spring 2015.

The investigation continues.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[West Hartford Daycare Evacuated for Small Oven Fire]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:30:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Elmwood+Center+Daycare+1200.jpg

A daycare inside the Elmwood Community Center has been evacuated because of an oven fire.

No injuries are reported.

Police said a pan was on fire in an oven and it’s a very minor scene.

The community center is located at 1106 New Britain Ave. in West Hartford.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Electrocuted While Trying to Steal Copper Wires: Cops]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:29:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Cut+Copper+wire+theft+112213.jpg

A copper thief was electrocuted while he attempted to steal copper wires former public housing apartments in Waterbury more than a week ago, police said.

Jose Ortiz, 48, was attempting to strip copper from electrical wires in a transformer box at the closed William V. Begg Apartments complex in Waterbury at 1106 Bank Street when he was shocked, police said. An unknown person dropped him off in front of Waterbury Hospital at about 10 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21 and he arrived without a shoe. Police found the other shoe at the crime scene.

Ortiz was in cardiac arrest when doctors found him and medical staff tried to save him, but he soon died at the hospital.

It's unknown at this time whether Ortiz had any accomplices.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com
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<![CDATA[Suspects Defraud UI Using Children's Names: Cops]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:15:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Travarus+Jones+Autum+Frimpter+Edited.jpg

Police arrested two people in Stratford who are accused of using children's names to sign up for electrical services from United Illuminating Company.

Autumn Ann Frimpter, 40, and Travarus Jones, 40, both of Stratford, are accused of charging $3,492 to accounts that were opened under the names of minor children to avoid paying, according to police.

Both Frimpter and Jones were arrested on Wednesday, Sept 29 and charged with third-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit the crime and held on a $20,000 bond.

Stratford police and UI are investigating the case.

Photo Credit: Stratford Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[State Police Investigate Shooting in Stafford]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 09:08:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/88961749.jpg

State Police are on scene at a shooting on Diamond Ledge Road in Stafford.

There is no criminal aspect to the case, according to State Police.

More information wasn't immediately available.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Flickr RF]]>
<![CDATA[Homeowner Interrupts Car Burglary in Ledyard]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 09:01:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/police-lights-night-shutterstock_328107375.jpg

A K-9 unit apprehended a serial car burglary suspect at a vacant home in Ledyard after he ran from a homeowner who caught him in the act, police said.

Ledyard police arrested Robert Chapel, 34, on larceny and trespass charges. 

Police responded to Winthrop Road in the Gales Ferry section of town to investigate a reported active larceny in a car.

Chapel went into an unlocked car and was stealing change when the homeowner interrupted him, police said. He ran from the scene and police K-9 unit tracked him down to an unoccupied Bluff Road home, according to police. Chapel admitted to police that he broke into several vehicles in Gales Ferry Village and police retrieved multiple stolen items.

Police charged him with sixth-degree larceny and trespassing. The department held him in custody and he is due in court on Oct. 1.

Police ask anyone with information to contact Ledyard police at 860-464-6400.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Police Identify Body Washed Ashore in Westbrook]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:04:45 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Grove+beach+body+Westbrook.jpg

The state police major crime squad is investigating after the body of a 72-year-old woman washed ashore at Grove Beach in Westbrook this morning.

A person who lives near the beach found the body toward the End of Broadway South in Westbroook and contacted state police around 7:15 a.m., police said.

The woman has been identified as Carolee Bentley of Westbrook and White Plains, New York.

It's not clear how she ended up in the water or how long she was there.

They are investigating the circumstances of the death, including drowning and foul play. The cause has not been determined at this time.

Officials from the Office of the state medical examiner also responded.

The scene is blocked off as state police investigate.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Brandi Chastain Visits Connecticut With Olympic Gold Medal]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 08:27:18 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/10114BrandiChastainEdited.jpg

Donning red, white and blue at the opening ceremonies in Atlanta for the U.S. women's national soccer team's first Olympic Games bout in 1996 was "awe-inspiring" to soccer legend Brandi Chastain.

Now she is in Connecticut on Wednesday with her Olympic gold medal to visit sponsor Liberty Mutual Insurance's Wallingford office to talk about her Olympics experience and give thanks to their employees for their support.

"Today, I'm just showing my gratitude for them because they make winning these medals possible," Chastain said.

Chastain has won two gold medals (1996, 2004) and a silver one (2000) and was part of the FIFA World Cup championship team in 1999. After retiring from professional soccer, she has worked as a color commentator for NBC Sports and ESPN broadcasts.

She'll meet with three groups of Liberty Mutual employees and share stories with them about her professional soccer career. One of those moments was her iconic winning goal against China in the 1999 World Cup final and historic celebration still shown on television.

"In that moment it was just about being ready..." Chastain said. "You're going to practice and preparing so when you get this chance, you know you've done it."

She said that as an athlete you can't express gratitude enough for sponsoring companies and the "individual people who make it happen." Athletes who haven't reached the professional level yet rely on those sponsors to sustain themselves, she said.

Chastain is now mother of two kids, 25 and 8, and coaches three teams at the collegiate, high school and under-9 levels.

Liberty Mutual Insurance is a sponsor of the United States Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams. Chastain will be visiting the Wallingford insurance office on Barnes Road from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Tractor-Trailer Fire in Middletown]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:36:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/10114+Middletown+Tractor+Trailer+Fire.jpg

A tractor-trailer was on fire on Interstate 91 North near exit 20 in Middletown, which is the Country Club Road exit and  traffic was backed up.

The scene has since cleared.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Several Crashes Caused Problems for Morning Commute]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:07:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Charter+Oak+bridge+crash+2.jpg

Rain made roads slick this morning, which caused several problems during the morning commute.

Interstate 91:

A tractor-trailer was on fire on Interstate 91 North near exit 20 in Middletown, at Country Club Road, and traffic was backed up.

Several vehicles were involved in a crash on the Charter Oak Bridge in Hartford, heading to Interstate 91 South. Officials said a tractor-trailer has jackknifed.

There was a crash on I-91 South in Windsor at exit 38.

Interstate 84:

In Newtown, a tractor-trailer crashed into a tree in the median of Interstate 84 West at exit 11, Wasserman Way. No injuries are reported. One lane was closed and there were backups to exit 16.

There was a crash on I-84 West in Bethel at exit 8, to Route 6 West

Route 9:

The right lane of Route 9 North was blocked before exit 23, Christian Lane, and traffic was stop-and-go from exit 21, to Route 5.

Route 2:

One person was injured in a crash on Route 2 West in Hartford at the Founders Bridge. Two lanes of the highway were blocked, but the scene has since cleared.

A crash slowed the commute on Route 2 West in Glastonbury at exit 8.


In Middlefield, a tractor-trailer has rolled over on Jackson Hill Road near Route 66. Police said Jackson Hill Road could be closed for hours.

There were two crashes on Interstate 691 East. One was in Cheshire at exit 3 and another was in Meriden between exits 10 and 11, Traffic is stop and go.

Crashes on I-84 West in Southbury at exit 13, Route 8 South in Derby and I-84 East in Farmington at exit 39 have cleared.

Check our interactive traffic map for updates on your morning commute.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation Traffic Cameras
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<![CDATA[Crash on Charter Oak Bridge in Hartford Clears]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 09:09:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Charter+Oak+crash+1200.jpg

Several vehicles were involved in a crash on the Charter Oak Bridge in Hartford, heading to Interstate 91 South.

Officials said a tractor-trailer has jackknifed.

Traffic was backed up, but the scene has since cleared.

<![CDATA[Tractor-Trailer Rollover in Middlefield]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:33:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Tractor+trailer+rollover+in+Middlefield.jpg

A driver was injured after a  tractor-trailer roll-over crash on Jackson Hill Road near Route 66 in Middlefield.

Emergency crews responded and extrication was required, according to state police.

"It looks like it veered off the road, 100 or 200 yards up the road, for what reason, we don't know," Jason Wickham,  Middlefield Fire Department assistant chief.

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials also responded after the truck, carrying large pipes, started to leak fuel.

"We have a fuel leak, oil spill from the engine and the other mess from the guardrail," Wickham said.

The road is closed and could remain closed for hours.

“I see that it’s all blocked off and so I have to go around here through the church to get on 68 to get to work," Kathy Scherer said.

The condition of the driver is unknown.

Use Routes 147 or 157 as an alternative.

No additional information was released. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[1 Injured in Crash on Founders Bridge]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:37:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Founders+Bridge+Hartford+crash+1200.jpg

One person was injured in a crash on Route 2 West in Hartford at the Founders Bridge.

Two lanes of the highway are blocked and traffic is slow from exit 4.

No additional information was available.

Check back for updates.

<![CDATA[New Laws on E-Cigarettes, Reckless Driving and 'Robo' Calls]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 08:40:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/gavel12111.jpg

Several new laws will go into effect Wednesday, including heightened penalties against reckless drivers and e-cigarette bans for minors.

Drivers who seriously hurt or kill a pedestrian or biker will be fined as much as $1,000 on top of any other possible consequences. Over the past six years, 10,793 people were seriously hurt or killed by reckless drivers in Connecticut, according to a news release from Bike Walk Connecticut citing federal and state records. The law was signed in May.

E-cigarettes will now also be banned for minors. New safety checks will now be required for ski lifts.  The legislature has also raised the fine for "robo" calls for "commercial, business or advertising" purposes from $500 to $1,000.

Gas stations will also be required to display information on the gas pump about whether debit card users will be given cash discounts or have to pay the credit card price.

For more information on the new laws, visit Connecticut General Assembly's website.

<![CDATA[Two Killed in Southington Crash]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:57:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Southington+fatal+crash+1200.jpg

Two people were killed in a crash involving a motorcycle and car on Meriden Waterbury Turnpike in Southington on Tuesday night.

A motorcycle and car collided near Canal Street at 9:53 p.m., killing motorcyclist Adam Hicks, 37, and his passenger, Amanda Horvath, 26.

Hicks was pronounced dead at the scene and Horvath succumbed to her injuries at St. Mary's Hospital.

Police have not released the names of the people in the car, but said they weren't injured.

The road was shut down in the area for several hours, but it has since reopened.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Southington police ask witnesses to contact Officer Ward at 860-621-0101.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[New London Man Shoots Victim With Airsoft Gun: Police]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 23:04:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/new+london+flanders.jpg

A 20-year-old New London resident is facing charges after shooting another man with an airsoft rifle from his apartment window, then trying to run from police when investigators arrived to question him, authorities said.

Wesley Flanders, of Broad Street in New London, is accused of firing an airsoft gun out the window of his apartment. Police said the pellets struck and injured a man outside the Whaling City Spirit Shop at 291 Connecticut Avenue around 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Authorities traced the gun to Flanders’ apartment on Broad Street. Police said he was uncooperative and evasive, then tried to run when officers confronted him.

Officers stopped him in the doorway to his apartment and spotted packaging for an airsoft rifle designed to resemble an assault weapon. Officers found the rifle near a window facing the area where the victim was shot.

According to police, investigators also found heroin and marijuana in the apartment.

Flanders was charged with second-degree assault, interfering with an officer, operating drug factory, possession of heroin and marijuana, possession with intent to sell and two counts of possession with intent to sell within 1500 feet of a school.

He was held on $75,000 bond and appeared in court Tuesday.

Photo Credit: New London Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Wesleyan Student's Anti-Sex Assault Video Goes Viral]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 01:08:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/sally+rappaport.JPG

Women are never “asking for it” – that’s the point one student at Wesleyan University is raising in a viral video designed to spread awareness of sexual assault.

Sally Rappaport produced the video last spring when she was a freshman as part of “Project Not Asking For It.”

The campaign has since taken college and high school campuses by storm, and the message is this: No matter how a woman dresses, dances or behaves, she is not inviting an attack or violation.

“I think dancing and bodies touching in close quarters are such a part of the college and party experience,” explained Rappaport. “I wanted to make a video that showed people dancing – dancing in a certain way, and that some people normally label as ‘asking for it’ – and demonstrate that it wasn’t and nothing ever is.”

Rappaport produced the video – set to Lauryn Hill’s 1998 classic “That Thing” – in a freshman dorm last year with the help of some friends. She took up the issue amidst two sexual assault lawsuits that raised questions about the future of fraternities at Wesleyan.

But her vision spanned far beyond the Middletown campus.

“I thought the medium of Facebook was a really great way to spread that message,” she explained.

It wasn't long before colleges around the country, including Columbia University and the University of Kansas, followed suit, producing videos of their own and helping to spread the word about safety and respect.

“It’s all [in] spaces where people are uninformed, where people are under the influence of something and can’t make decisions,” Rappaport said, of sexual assaults among college students. “And that’s why I think it’s so important for people to know about this as much as possible.”

A spokesperson for the university said Wesleyan is proud of students who are making a difference by increasing awareness of sexual assault.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[Hartford Stadium Project Could Face Lawsuit]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 21:26:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/RockcatsPACpic00000000.jpg

The controversial plan to move the Rock Cats to a new stadium in Hartford could soon end up in court.

“We don’t feel like this process has been appropriate,” said Hartford attorney and political activist Ken Krayeske, who opposes the project.

Krayeske is planning to form a political action committee to raise money challenging the Downtown North development in hopes of derailing it. He said he’ll file paperwork with the Secretary of the State later this week.

“Has Rentschler Field improved East Hartford? No. So why are we so delusional as to think that a new minor league stadium in downtown Hartford is going to make Hartford yay better?” Krayeske challenged.

He said money raised by the committee could be put to a number of uses, including to support political candidates, hire an economist to study the numbers or file a lawsuit once the Hartford City Council approves the project.

“We want to have the option should we need to,” Krayeske explained. “Should City Council not come to its senses and reject the stadium as bad public policy, then we’re going to have to have to ability to take other measures.”

Supporters, on the other hand, say the project will transform the city for the better.

“Everyone is fine with the development except for the stadium,” said councilmember Ken Kennedy. “Then my question gets to be, ‘Folks, what’s wrong with the stadium?’”

<![CDATA[Masked Man Robs South Windsor Convenience Store]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 21:10:49 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tlmd_01generic_police_lights1.jpg

Police are searching for the masked man who robbed a South Windsor convenience store at knifepoint Tuesday night.

The suspect brought a knife to Oakland Express at 249 Oakland Road around 7:15 p.m. Tuesday and demanded money from the clerk.

He made off with an unknown amount of cash and was last seen running eastbound on Oakland Road toward Wapping Plaza, according to police.

A K-9 team was brought in but couldn’t track him down. The suspect is described as a man wearing jeans, a dark hooded sweatshirt and a mask over his face.

Anyone with information on the robbery or who may have noticed suspicious activity in the area is urged to call South Windsor police at 860-644-2551.

<![CDATA[Collection Jar for 9/11 First Responders Stolen]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:01:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/911moneypic93014.jpg

A jar collecting coins for 9/11 first responders was swiped from a Dunkin Donuts location in North Windham and representatives from the charity say the thief got away with about $150 in donations.

According to surveillance footage, the thief entered the Dunkin Donuts store around 5:30 a.m. Friday.

Jim Preston, a firefighter for 18 years and representative from the FealGood Foundation, owns a Willimantic bake shop that houses another collection jar.

According to Preston, the foundation typically collects $200-$300 between the two jars every couple weeks.

“It angers me because they are taking money out of the pockets of the people that desperately need it,” said Preston.

He believes the man caught on camera got away with about $150.

“These times people are desperate, whether it’s a habit they are trying to fix or a way to take care of their families,” said Preston. “I don’t know, but there are different ways of doing it.”

Preston said this is not the first time one of his jars has been stolen, but because so many people are still suffering from 9/11, he refuses to stop collecting.

He cites the hundreds of firefighters diagnosed with cancer following the 9/11 attacks and thousands of other volunteers dealing with various issues of their own.

“I’ll replace that one,” said Preston. “We’ll keep doing good things.”

It’s that attitude that has others lending a helping hand. Preston said this morning he received a call from a Norwich firefighter who donated $150 to match what was in the box.

“Blessings come from bad things,” Preston said.

If you're interested in making a donation, visit the FealGood Foundation online.

<![CDATA[New Haven Moves Forward With 2nd Phase of Downtown Crossing]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:32:55 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/530pnewhavenstill093014amanda00000000.jpg

New Haven's Downtown Crossing Project is moving forward with phase two: the development of the old coliseum site off Orange Street.

The site will soon be home to offices, retailers and residences and will also create a huge change along the Route 34 corridor.

Infrastructure changes will knock out the Route 34 highway and will create a more walkable, connected space.

“What's most important is that it connects the Hill neighborhood to downtown,” explained Mayor Toni Harp.

The project will also connect the city's Ninth Square by shifting the blocks that sit at the corner of the downtown area into the middle of it.

“It's going to create a density back into the area, that's going to be fabulous for all the business people here,” said Robert Greenberg, of ACME Furniture in the Ninth Square.

He only hopes the project happens sooner rather than later and that the city makes sure that the traffic flow in the area is taken into consideration.

“You have to have to have both cars, and bicycles and pedestrians cohabitate in the same land there, and it's a fine line. It takes a lot of engineering, but I think it's going to be done well,” said Greenberg.

That engineering has been a big focus of phase two of the project.

“There will be infrastructure changes. We'll have bike lanes that are raised and separate from roads, which I think everyone will appreciate, the drivers as well as the bikers,” said Harp.

More information on the project is available online.

<![CDATA[Security Breach May Affect 3 Shoreline Restaurants]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:02:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/abate+pizza.jpg

Credit and debit cards used at three shoreline restaurants between June and August may have been compromised, according to Signature Systems, the point-of-sale vendor for the group.

According to Signature Systems, customers of Abate Apizza in East Haven, Abate Restaurant in New Haven and Springdale Pizza in Stamford may have been affected by a recent security breach involving Signature Systems and Jimmy Johns, an Illinois-based sandwich shop franchise.

The company reported that an "unauthorized person gained access" to Signature Systems log-in information to "remotely access POS systems."

"The unauthorized person used that access to install malware designed to capture payment card data from cards that were swiped through terminals in certain restaurants," Signature Systems said on its website. "The malware was capable of capturing the cardholder's name, card number, expiration date, and verification code from the magnetic stripe of the card."

A notification on the company's website said that while the company does not have a list of the credit/debit card accounts compromised and that Springdale Pizza,  Abate Apizza  and Abate Restaurant in New Haven were at risk between June and August.

Loretta Abate, who owns the two Abate eateries, said the restaurants have been using Signature Systems for six or seven years and have had problems with the database before.

The company rewired the Abates' system in the spring after they complained that it was being sluggish. Abate said she called Signature Systems in June when she noticed it was even slower than usual and was told the company was performing remote security upgrades as a precaution.

According to Abate, the company did not elaborate and never let her know about the breach.

Fortunately, no customers have reported suspicious activity on their accounts despite the fact that 90 percent of business there is conducted using credit and debit cards..

Jibey Asthappan, director of National Security Studies at the University of New Haven, said smaller point-of-sale vendors must be more vigilant and is urging customers to check their bank statements for any fraudulent purchases.

“Not only do they need to step up the level of security, they need to step up the level of monitoring that needs to be done. You can collect all this information in server logs, but if no one is looking at the logs, no one knows that there's something going awry,” said Asthappa.

Using credit instead debit can serve as a safeguard, along with switching to new chip-and-pin credit cards, which encrypt your information, Asthappan said.

Signature Systems has not returned a request for comment.

The company recommends that customers of the affected restaurants review their credit/debit account statements and report any concerns about identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-438-4338. Other information on the data breach and tips on protecting yourself from identity theft are available on Signature System's website.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[2 Teens Charged After 1 Brings BB Gun to School: Police]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:15:18 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/Boy-Gun.jpg

Two teens are facing charges after one brought a BB gun to Emmett O’Brien Technical School in Ansonia and the other recorded video of the teen holding the gun at school and on the bus, according to police.

Both 16-year-old boys were arrested around 8 a.m. Tuesday at the school on Prindle Avenue in Ansonia.

According to police, the first teen, who lives in Waterbury, brought a black Taurus BB gun to school to impress the other student on Monday.

The second teen, from Bridgeport, took video of the first teen brandishing the gun both on school grounds and on the bus, police said.

School principal Laurie LeBouthillier learned of the incident Monday night after a parent sent her a copy of the video, which showed the BB gun protruding from the teen’s backpack, according to police.

Both students were arrested at school the next morning. Investigators searched the first teen’s house and found a second identical BB gun. Both weapons were turned over to the teen’s father, police said.

The teen carrying the gun was charged with carrying/sale of a dangerous weapon, risk of injury to a child, breach of peace/threatening, possession of a firearm on school grounds, conspiracy/intention of committing a crime, threatening and second-degree reckless endangerment.

He was released to his father on $5,000 bond and is due in court next month. Police contacted the Department of Children and Families regarding the incident.

The second teen was issued a misdemeanor summons and charged with breach of peace/threatening, conspiracy/intention of committing a crime and threatening. He was released into the custody of his parents and is also due in court next month.

<![CDATA[Fairness of Hartford Police Exams Questioned]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:14:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hartford+police+generic+2.JPG

The Hartford Police Department hired an outside firm to give promotional exams for open captain, lieutenant, and sergeant positions months ago, yet those promotions remain on hold since test results have not been certified by the city’s personnel department.

NBC Connecticut has learned there are questions being raised about the testing process. Specifically, sources are questioning whether it was curved to benefit minority applicants.

“We need to maintain faith in the process and when we’re given names or we’re given staff, we’ll put them to work,” said Deputy Chief Brian Foley of the Hartford Police Department.

The police union has raised concerns with the city, questioning the handling of at least one exam which is the exam for lieutenant positions.

“There were some concerns brought up by the membership in regards to the testing process and scoring of the test itself. We are working with the city to resolve these issues. Hopefully this can be resolved in the best interest of all parties,” said Sgt. Richard Holton, the police union president.

The specific concerns center around whether the written and oral portions of the exam were fairly curved, said Holton. He said there also are concerns over whether military veterans are getting all the preference points they’re entitled to.

Mayor Pedro Segarra acknowledged the questions that have been raised and said the city is working to resolve the problem.

“My objective is to have a highly qualified, efficient, and diverse organization but that needs to be done in conformity with the regulations and the laws,” said Segarra.

For now, promotions at the Hartford Police Department remain on hold.

“Certainly we could use those lists as soon as possible,” said Deputy Chief Foley.

Segarra said he hopes the issues surrounding the promotion lists will be resolved within two weeks.

<![CDATA[Jasper Howard Memorial to be Unveiled Nov. 1]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:06:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/032511+jasper+howard.jpg

A memorial statue honoring slain UConn football player Jasper Howard will be officially dedicated at the university’s Nov. 1 homecoming game at Rentschler Field.

According to the UConn Athletic Department, donations have been pouring in through grassroots fundraising efforts, as well as from fans, teammates and former UConn head coach Randy Edsall, who was leading the team when Howard was killed.

The 20-year-old football player was stabbed to death outside the Student Union after winning the season opener against Louisville on Oct. 18, 2009.

“Jasper Howard represented everything that is good about college athletics,” Edsall said in a statement Tuesday. “He loved being a student-athlete at UConn. His tragic death had a bonding reaction with the entire UConn community that none of us will ever forget for the rest of our lives.”

The design of the memorial statue has not been revealed, but UConn athletics spokesman Michael Enright said earlier this month it will likely be made of stone and will include Howard’s jersey number – six.

Eight people have been charged in Howard’s death, including John Lomax, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to 18 years behind bars.

You can donate online to the Jasper T. Howard Endowed Scholarship Fund, which is awarded every year to a UConn cornerback who embodies Howard’s qualities.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Milford Teen Charged With Sexual Assaulting Minor]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:16:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Milford+Police+cruiser1200.jpg

An 18-year-old from Milford is facing charges after sexually assaulting a minor at his home on Fairfield Street, according to police.

Henry Goerig was arrested Monday after authorities learned that he had “non-consensual sexual relations” with an underage victim.

He was charged with first-degree sexual assault, third-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor and first-degree unlawful restraint.

Bond was set at $150,000. Goerig appeared in court Monday following his arrest.

According to court records, his bond was lowered to $75,000 and he is due back in court Oct. 21.

<![CDATA[Shipments of Flu Vaccine Delayed Nationwide]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:00:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/flu-shot-120412.jpg

If you’re planning to receive a flu shot, you may need to be patient this year.

Although vaccinations are not in short supply, shipments from the country’s two manufacturers are delayed nationwide, according to the state Department of Public Health.

“About 150 million doses of the flu vaccine are being made, but because of some technical issues, they are going more slowly than usual,” explained Dr. Kent Stahl of Hartford HealthCare Medical Group.

As a result, it may be November before you are immunized.

“People may have to wait a little longer, but we are asking everyone to be patient and persistent,” said Bill Gerrish, a spokesperson for the state Department of Public Health. “The opportunity to get a flu shot is still wide open, and we should have an ample supply by the peak of flu season.”

Some residents said they’re frustrated by the delay.

“A lot of people don’t want to wait,” said Becky Green, of Hartford. “They don’t have the time to wait. They figure since the flu season is here, then they should [be accommodated].”

Gerrish said the health department has enough vaccines to immunize young children ages 4 months to 6 years through at their pediatricians’ offices.

“The influenza won’t come until late December, January, and by that time, we’ll have lots of flu vaccines available and they will have time to work before the flu season starts,” Stahl said.

If you plan on receiving a flu shot at a doctor’s office or pharmacy, call ahead to make sure a supply is available.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[4 Local Schools Receive National Recognition]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:08:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/school_generic.jpg

Four Connecticut schools have been nationally recognized as 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools for maintaining high student performance or closing achievement gaps.

Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge, Portland Middle School in Portland and Wamogo Regional High School in Litchfield have been named Exemplary High Performing Schools for high achievement and graduation rates, according to the state Department of Education.

Jefferson Magnet School in Norwalk has been recognized as an Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing School for improving student performance and increasing the graduation rate.

“The schools named today are exemplars of success and deserve great recognition for their accomplishment,” said Department of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor.

The Blue Ribbon School Program is a national initiative by the U.S. Department of Education designed to recognize academic excellence.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Flickr RF]]>
<![CDATA[Man Gambles Away Grieving Families' Gravestone Money]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:26:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/gravestone+thief+valeriy+sirovsky.jpg

A Newington, Connecticut, man is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from grieving families and never delivering the headstones they ordered and paid for.

New Britain police arrested 22-year-old Valeriy Sirovsky, of Newington, the owner of Farmingdale Monument Company in New Britain, after receiving several complaints from family members who had lost their loved ones.

During interviews with police, Sirovsky admitted to having a serious gambling problem and said he had accepted $18,000 for headstones and engraving from 15 clients and could not return the money because of his addiction, according to several arrest warrant applications.

Police received the first complaint about Sirovsky on June 13, when a woman told officers that she paid “Larry Sirovsky” $1,460 for a headstone for her mother in 2013 and he never provided the headstone or returned her calls, police said.

As police started looking into the case, they learned that Sirovsky had never submitted an application to the cemetery review the headstone for the victim’s mother, police said.

On July 18, police received another complaint from a woman who said she and her father paid Sirovsky $2,750 for a headstone for her mother in August 2013, which was never completed.

During one conversation, Sirovsky told the second victim that it was too close to winter for the headstone to be placed at the cemetery and they would have to wait. The victim was never again able to reach him.

Police received a third complaint on Aug. 14 from the attorney representing a woman who had paid Sirovsky $2,044 for a headstone for her husband in November 2013, but never received it. 

On Aug. 29, police took a complaint from another customers who told a similar story.

The customer said she paid Sirovsky $610 in September 2013 to have a headstone engraved. After several unsuccessful attempts to reach him, the victim’s son reached Sirovsky in April, who promised to get the work done by May. It was never completed, according to court documents.

Sirovsky and he met with investigators on July 31. He told them his business did well and he had completed several contracts, but developed a “very bad gambling addiction” in 2013 and it affected his ability to fulfill 15 contracts worth $18,000, according to the arrest warrant application.

Sirovsky worked out of the Paul Shaker Funeral Home in New Britain but was ordered out when customers began calling to complain about missing headstones.

"I let him know we had to get the restitution back, removed the sign from my lawn because it's going to cost me business, and I wanted to make it clear it had nothing to do with the Shaker Funeral Home," explained funeral home director Paul Shaker. "It was strictly the monument company."

Sirovsky has been arrested on four warrants out of New Britain and has been charged with four counts of second-degree larceny.

He was released on a promise to appear and is due in court on Nov. 18.

No one answered the door at Sirovsky's home Tuesday. Information on an attorney for Sirovsky was not immediately available.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/New Britain Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Police Seek Woodbridge Bank Robber]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:24:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Woodbridge+bank+robbery+suspect.jpg

Police are investigating after a TD Bank was robbed in Woodbridge on Tuesday afternoon.

According to police, a robber entered the bank at 128 Amity Road around 2:25 p.m. and handed the teller a note demanding money.

The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of money and was last seen behind the bank running toward the Amity Shopping Center, police said.

Surveillance footage shows the suspect to be a thin black man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information on the robbery is urged to call Woodbridge police at 203-387-2512.

Photo Credit: Woodbridge Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Parents Fume Over Fight at Plainfield Football Game]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 22:38:34 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/plainfield+football+field.jpg

Parents are outraged in the wake of a brawl between fans and players at a high school football game in Plainfield on Friday night.

After Plainfield High School won 21-17 on their home field against New London, 18-year-old Zachary Coons and 19-year-old Teaque Carignan began taunting New London players who were leaving the field, according to Plainfield Police Chief Michael Surprenant. 

"The kids were upset, screaming," said Jennifer Carrion, whose son is a 15-year-old sophomore. "They were screaming such ugly things at us. They were filled with emotion. Some were crying."

Coons and Carignan were arrested and charged with breach of peace. Police say they and two others sparked a fight that turned physical at the field.

"Everyone was on top of each other. There was a pile," Carrion explained. "Obviously, I was concerned for the safety of the children."

Plainfield High School Principal Tommy Thompson and players say the teens shouted racial slurs, and witnesses told police that punches were thrown.

"It was extremely upsetting for the kids," Thompson said. "Our kids have experienced racism, but this was right in your face. It was disappointing."

Police are investigating the claims and said no one was injured during the skirmish, but Michele Lucas said Tuesday night her 17-year-old son was "jumped by more than one person."

"I am outraged, first of all," Lucas said. "I don't condone racism, and I don't condone adults hitting a child."

Both arrested teens have been banned from any future event on school grounds.

Surprenant said the incident involved a "small percentage of individuals that ruined a good hard-fought game between two teams."

A freshman-sophomore game scheduled for Monday between Plainfield and New London was canceled following Friday's events and may be rescheduled.

Police have not released information on what triggered the fight or what specifically was said.

The Plainfield Police Department is working with Plainfield school administrators, New London school officials and New London's school resource officer to investigate.

"I think a message needs to be sent," Carrion said. "This is not acceptable. It's not tolerable."

A couple officers are typically assigned to Plainfield sporting events and roam the area for safety purposes and direct traffic after the game, according to Surprenant.

Police are evaluating how the incident may affect their future protocol at games.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Plainfield Police Department
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