<![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 Mon, 21 Apr 2014 06:22:49 -0400 Mon, 21 Apr 2014 06:22:49 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Coventry Man Dies in Motorcycle Crash ]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 23:23:09 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Generic+Police+Lights+bar.jpg

A 32-year-old man has died after losing control of his motorcycle and collided with a tree in Coventry Saturday afternoon, according to police.

Police said Michael Hastillo of Coventry lost control at around 1:40 p.m. in the area of 357 Flanders River Road.

Investigators said speed may have been a factor in the crash.

Anyone having witnessed the collision or having information about it is asked to contact Sgt. Mike McDonagh or Officer Jeff Spadjinske of the Coventry Police Department at 860-742-7331.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[New Traffic Changes at Middle School After Deadly Accident ]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 23:22:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Dawn+Mallory+and+RHAM+Crash.jpg

When RHAM parents and buses pull up to drop kids off for the start of another school week they'll be taking a different route, one school officials hope will be safer from what was in place before.

"I just started driving to school, so it's chaos. Lots of cars backing out, pulling in," said RHAM High School student Mykenzie Lanagan.
 
Beginning Monday morning the district is changing how RHAM students are dropped off in order to keep them safe. The issue was highlighted after Dawn Mallory was hit by a car on March 17th in the parking lot and died two weeks later.
 
Police say a parent accidentally drove into the bus lane and struck the middle school math teacher when the driver abruptly backed up.
 
"I'm surprised this is the first incident because after experiencing it for four years, you would think that more things would happen," said Casey Lavallee who graduated from RHAM High School last year.
 
Buses for middle and high schoolers will be dropped off behind the high school. Middle school students will then walk through the high school to reach their own building.
 
Parents will take another path. Middle and high school parents will drive through different entrances to hopefully ease congestion and confusion.
 
"It'll probably increase the safety because the buses are in one spot instead of going and cutting through all the student parking and drop off," said Lanagan.
 
The district is also planning other safety measures including signs, speed bumps, and Jersey barriers.
 

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<![CDATA[Fairfield Man Resuced After Getting Pinned by Truck]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 22:39:22 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Fairfield+Rescue.jpg

An elderly man from Fairfield was rescued after getting pinned between his garage wall and his truck Saturday.

The incident happened on Stratfield Road just before 6 p.m.

Firefighters and a police officer jumped into action to help the 86-year-old man by using their bare hands to pick up his truck and free him.

The man suffered three broken ribs and was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

 



Photo Credit: Doing It Local]]>
<![CDATA[Ansonia Man Arrested After Shooting Neighbor in Dispute]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 18:16:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Ansonia+Police+car.jpg

An Ansonia man is facing charges after shooting his neighbor Sunday morning, according to police.

Officers responded to 97 Woodbridge Ave at 9:15 a.m. after Steven Sentementes, 73, opened fire on his 39-year-old neighbor after an argument.

Police found a man inside the home bleeding profusely from his lower leg area.

Authorities said the man told police he was shot by his neighbor. The victim was shot 3 times and taken to Bridgeport Hospital, where he is expected to be okay.

Sentementes is charged with first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, burglary in the second-degree and unlawful discharge.

He is held on a $500,000 bond.

 



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Somers Celebrates First Service in New Church]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 18:30:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/New+Somers+Church.jpg

Singing echoed through the trees at the top of Soapstone Mountain as more than 100 parishioners of Somers Congregational Church gathered to watch the sunrise on Easter.
 
"This is the best sunrise I have seen on Easter on this mountain," said Dave Gavlak.
 
For more than 40 years breakfast has been served for this Sunday morning. The tradition started all that time ago by Gavlak.
 
"I was going to sleep this morning and at 4:55 it was like The Lord threw me out of bed and said,"Get up there!" said Gavlak.
 
The reason this year meant even more is because of something that happened more than two years ago. On January 1st, 2012, the church burned to the ground. For the first time on Easter Sunday parishioners were able to worship in their new sanctuary.
 
"It's kind of a resurrection for the church as well as celebrating the resurrection of Christ," said Pastor Barry Cass.
 
As dozens entered Somers Congregational Church everyone there knew there was a lot to be thankful for and a lot of blessings at their door.
 
"I'm just going to be thanking God for blessing us. Out of the tragedy we have done good things. We have a wonderful community that has supported us," said Cass.
 
The church will host an open house on May 10th to celebrate the completion of their meeting house and will hold a dedication the following weekend.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut ]]>
<![CDATA[Injured Climber Rescued from Ragged Mountain]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 13:46:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/RaggedMountain042014.jpg

A male climber had to be rescued from Ragged Mountain in Southington on Sunday after sustaining serious injuries from a fall.

The man was climbing the face of the mountain with other people when he fell approximately 25 to 30 feet.  His climbing companions called 911 around 10:37 a.m. and emergency crews responded to an area off of Andrews Street near Wassel Reservoir.

The rescue took approximately an hour and the injured climber was transported by Lifestar medical helicopter to St. Francis Hospital.

Police said the climber was from out-of-state.  Ragged Mountain is a well-known climbing spot that attracts climbers from around the region.

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<![CDATA[Woman Escapes Fire in Bloomfield]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 12:09:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/kitchenfirebloomfield2.jpg

A woman in Bloomfield called the fire department when smoke started seeping through the walls in her kitchen on Easter Sunday.

Firefighters said they believe it was an electrical fire in the wall that torched one wall of the kitchen inside the home at 24 Wade Avenue.   The woman inside the home was able to call the fire department and safely make it outside.

The fire was extinguished quickly and no one was injured.

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<![CDATA[Police Make 3rd Arrest in Strip Club Shooting ]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 06:57:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Rayshan+Smith+1.jpg

Waterbury police have made a third arrest in connection with a shootout outside a strip club.

Rayshan Smith, 35, of West Haven is accused of opening fire in the parking lot of Pandora's Cabaret the morning of March 22 at 141 Washington Ave.

Police say  three of the shooters were bouncers contracted by the strip club.

The incident began with a brawl inside the club that bouncers forced into the street, police said. The suspects then fired into the crowd, wounding three.

Just days after the melee, Mayor Neil O'Leary asked that the venue be shut down and urged the state Liquor Control Commission to deny its application for a liquor permit.

Investigators believe drugs and alcohol contributed to the incident.


 



Photo Credit: Waterbury Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[New Britain Man Charged with Murder]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 18:55:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Luis+Velez.jpg

New Britain police have made an arrest in an early morning murder.

Officers responded to an apartment building at 40 Newfield Street around  2 a.m. after receiving a call that a man living at that address was despondent and may be a danger to himself and others, police said.

Authorities said Luis Velez, 41, of New Britain, strangled a 33-year-old woman to death in a second floor apartment.

According to police, Velez and his victim have a domestic relationship. Police have not identified the woman.

Velez is charged with one count of murder and is being held on a $750,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Court on Monday.

 




Photo Credit: New Britain Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[Electronics Recycling Drive Held in Bristol]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 16:14:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Electronics+Recycling+Event+1.jpg

People lined up outside the United Bank branch in Bristol to drop off old electronics like TV's and computers. NBC Connecticut partnered with Green Monster E-Cycling out of West Hartford, Energize Connecticut and United Bank for three hours Saturday morning to  provide an environmentally friendly way for people to get rid of their unwanted electronic items.

“We have TV’s, computers, CD players, VCR’s, everything we have.  We’re moving and this was ideal!  We didn’t know what we were going to do with all our electronics,” said Debra Johnson of Derby.

With a crash, old electronics got tossed, and houses got rid of the extra items that had been piling up for years.

“When you have your computers, printers and televisions recycled in Connecticut’s infrastructure, you’re actually making sure that these materials go back into commerce to be used again,” said Diane Duva with DEEP.

According to Connecticut law, you can no longer leave electronics on the side of the road for trash pick-up.

“You can’t leave TV’s, CRT’s, computers and printers on the side of the road,” said Joe Galiatsatos, CEO and President of Green Monster E-Cycling.

Instead, Green Monster E-Cycling will take them, break them down and recycle the materials.  For computers, that means going as far as destroying the hard drives that may have sensitive information.

“I had already done that, but it’s nice to know that they’ll do that as well,” said Mickey Goldwasser of Bristol.

The drive provided a convenient way for many to finish up their spring cleaning.

“Two computers, actually a tower computer and a television that was haunted.  It just kept turning on by itself and we decided we didn’t want it anymore!” said Martha Kurilec of Wethersfield.

If you couldn’t make it to the drive, you can still get rid of your old electronics by seeing when your town has pick-ups.  You can find more information at www.ct.gov/deep/e-waste.

To get in contact with Green Monster E-Cycling, visit www.greenmonsterecycling.com.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Thousands Cast Lines on Opening Day of Fishing Season]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 11:37:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/opening+day+fishing+season.jpg

Fisherman and families alike celebrated Opening Day for fishing in Connecticut on Saturday.

The gates to Stratton Pond State Park in Simsbury opened at 6:00 a.m. and people were already patiently waiting to get in and set up in the right spot along the water line.

Stratton Pond is one of 11 designated “trout parks” across the state, which are categorized as fishing areas for families, and young, aspiring anglers. To many it has become a shared tradition.

“When I was a kid I went with my father and my brothers and they stopped coming,” said Tom Hawran of Enfield. “Now I have two boys and they’ve probably been coming seven or eight years, ever since they were old enough.”

The state has more than 400 ponds and rivers where people can catch fish and getting ready for trout season has been no easy task. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection expected to stock almost 390,000 trout in waters across the state, despite having to suspend their efforts several days this spring due to morning temperatures in the single digits.

A fishing license is required for those who wish to take part in Opening Day or the duration of the trout season. There is also a daily “creel” limit – or the amount of trout a person can keep from their catch, which is two per day.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Pedestrian Struck and Killed in East Hartford ]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 17:08:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/east+hartford+roberts+accident.jpg

A woman was killed after being struck by a car in East Hartford Saturday morning.

The woman was walking on Chester Street, not far from the intersection when a car jumped the curb at Forbes Street.

The busy intersection was closed to traffic while police investigated the fatal accident.

Police said Roberts Street is shut down between Forbes Street and Old Roberts Street due to an accident involving one vehicle. 

Police believe the driver first struck and hit a car on Roberts Street, near Rogo Distributors. Shards of glass littered the road.

The identities of the woman killed and man behind the wheel have not been released.

Police  said the intersection could remain closed for several hours. 



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Family Escapes Fire in Rocky Hill Home]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 06:57:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/rocky+hill+fire+saturday.jpg

A family escaped a fire in their home in Rocky Hill early Saturday morning.

Firefighters responded to the home at 3189 Main Street just after 1 a.m. after family members smelled smoke and saw flames coming from the kitchen area.

The fire house is just around the corner from the home, so firefighters arrived in just minutes. Firefighters did have some concerns because of the size of the property on which the house sits.

"It’s a very secluded location. We’ve got about a 500 foot driveway to get up here all uphill and we had to lay out a lot of hose just to guarantee our water supplies up here, said Michael Garrahy, of the Rocky Hill Fire Department.

It took a few hours for the fire to be completely put out.

The fire marshal is investigating to determine what started the blaze.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Police Address Dangerous Swatting Trend ]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 00:01:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/216*120/Hart_Dispatch_Racial_Slur_PKG_072413.jpg

Authorities have grown increasingly concerned over false emergency calls or reports made by unknown assailants. It's called "Swatting" and police in Connecticut say it's becoming all too common.

In the last month swatting hoaxes have been reported in at least five different communities. In all these instances police can't figure out a motive.

It's happening across the state and on Thursday night it put one Greenwich neighborhood on edge.

Greenwich police said they received a call just before 8 p.m. from someone who called 911, claiming to be armed and holding people hostage at a home on Round Hill Road.

"She couldn't approach from either direction," Larry Posner of Greenwich said. His wife ran into a heavy police presence that night.

"She spent a couple of hours sitting in a diner in Greenwich while this unfolded and in the end we learned it was purely a hoax the house was empty and the police left," Posner said.

Officers went to the private home and said no one was inside. Police said  they are trying to find the person behind the call.

"Swatting is using some sort of computerized technology to make it look as if a 911 call or any other emergency call is coming from here when in fact it's coming from somewhere else," said Officer Joseph Race of the Madison Police Department.

Police in Madison have dealt with three such incidents in town. All of them came over a two week span in January.

"One call was for a suspicious vehicle the other ones were threats of violence or an act of violence occurring which prompted a tremendous response," Race said.

Police swarmed the area around Horsepond Road for both incidents, but it turned a teenager from Long Island had made the fake call.

Investigators in Watertown, Willimantic and Old Saybrook have also dealt with these cases of swatting.

"It puts not only responding officers in danger, the motoring public in danger because now it's other cars that have to get out of the way for our emergency lights but also the homeowner," said Race.

Residents are hopeful police will find the prankster who put their Greenwich neighborhood into lockdown.

"It's still a little uncomfortable that someone would make a call like this," said Jason Kaltz who also lives on Round Hill Road in Greenwich. "It's just very quiet this is the first we've had any experience like this."
 

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<![CDATA[Fishing Season Opens]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 11:39:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/38dd29583e4e4261897c79c4bdb56b3b.jpg Images from opening day of the 2014 fishing season in Connecticut.]]> <![CDATA[Vandals Strike Camp for Kids in Lyme]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 06:57:32 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/camp+claire+vandalism.jpg

State police are looking for the person or people who vandalized a non-profit kids’ camp in Lyme.

Vandals smashed windows and televisions in several buildings at Camp Claire on Oakland Avenue.

"They broke into a lot of the cabins through the glass and the doors," said Steve Mattson, the camp's treasurer. "They went in and smashed TVs for no reason."

Camp organizers estimate the damage may run as much as $3,000 to repair.

The non-profit camp, which has been around for nearly 100 years, serves boys and girls ages 6-14.

"It's very disappointing. We run on a shoestring and this time of year as we're getting ready to open camp, any disruption really hurts us," Mattson said. "We immediately thought 'do we have the money to fix what's wrong? Can we afford the insurance increases if we make a claim?'"

The non-profit camp, which has been around for nearly 100 years, serves boys and girls ages 6-14.

Mattson hopes members of the community might pitch in to help cover the costs of the repairs. For information on how to make donations, click here.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Crash Closes Part of Route 83 in Ellington]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:50:21 -0400

At least one person was injured in a crash on Route 83 in Ellington and part of the road is closed.

Police said one patient has been transported after a two-car crash that happened just before 2 p.m. in the area of 100 West Road.

A second person might have to be transported as well.

Lifestar was called but could not fly.

Route 83 is closed from Autumn Chase to Lower Butcher Road.

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<![CDATA[Part of Route 1 in Darien Closed ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:42:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Route+1+in+Darien+1200.jpg

Route 1 in Darien is closed at exit 11 of Interstate 95 South because of a three-car crash.

Police said there is one possible injury.

A photo from police shows a car up an embankment and at least one ambulance at the scene.

No additional information was immediately available.
 



Photo Credit: Darien Police]]>
<![CDATA[Route 2A Closed at Route 12 in Preston]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:09:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Route+2A+in+Preston+closed.JPG

Route 2A is closed at Route 12 in Preston due to emergency pole replacement after an earlier crash.

Police did not have any information on when the road is expected to reopen.

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<![CDATA[Good Friday Walk Helps Fight Poverty and Homelessness]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:32:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/goodfridaywalk041814.jpg

More than 100 people spent their Good Friday morning walking in an effort to fight poverty and homelessness.

The 20-mile Rockville United Methodist Church's annual walk is a physical and emotional journey to provide for people who are less fortunate.

“Well, the Lord walked for us and we can walk for him,” said Jack Wilkie, of Rockville, who joined fellow church members on the walk.

Wilkie said it makes him feel good that he did something for somebody else on Good Friday.

“I can take that two minutes, or seven hours, or whatever time it takes to walk with my friends and be with the Lord on Good Friday,” he said.

The walk raises nearly $15,000 each year.

Judy Culy, the co-chairperson  of the walk said the event sends money to Sharing Inc. which helps daycare centers and farm co-ops in Mississippi and Alabama.

"To understand how valuable this money, how valuable the support is, and some of it money goes to the town shelters, which is also a good part of it, so it’s been a lot of fun," Dave Howe, of Vernon, said.

The money raised will also go to the Tri-Town Homeless Shelter in Rockville and other nonprofit organizations to help the homeless and those living in poverty.

“Because that's the way it should be on a religious day like this, and leading up to Easter it’s, just part of what we do for the last 30-35 years,” Wilkie said.
 

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<![CDATA[Silver Alert Issued for Missing Elderly Hartford Man ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:47:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/mateo+collazo+silver+alert.jpg

Hartford Police have issued a Silver Alert for a missing 85-year-old man.

Mateo Collazo was last seen at 403 Capitol Avenue around 7:30 a.m. on Friday. Collazo was wearing a blue jacket, black or tan pants, a brown hat and he was carrying a white shopping bag, according to police.

Collazo suffers from mild dementia, police said. He frequents the Park Street area of Hartford and may also attempt to get to the Ellis Manor at 210 George Street where his deceased wife used to live, police said.

Anyone who sees Collazo is asked to call Hartford Police Detective Arroyo at 860-757-4232 or Sergeant Liappes at 860-757-4482.



Photo Credit: Hartford Police]]>
<![CDATA[NoRA Cupcakes Make List of Best in the U.S. ]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 10:37:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NoRa+50+Shades+of+Chocolate.jpg

Cupcakes from NoRA in Middletown are heavenly. If you’ve ever had one, we’re pretty sure you’ll agree. The Daily Meal certainly does.

They have ranked the local cupcakery’s sweets among the 101 best cupcakes in America.

NoRA came in 63 and is the only Connecticut cupcake shop to make the list. 

“NoRA Cupcake Company proudly boasts over 100 cupcake flavors on their full menu, and promises their sweets will blow you away,” Daily Meal says.

NoRA is not what you might think of when you think of a “typical” cupcake shop. The company was actually born in a bar, Eli Cannon’s, which is located across the street, and the influence is clear in the selection of cocktail cupcakes, as well as some of the rockstar cupcakes.

The boozy-inspired creations include the Bourbon Blackberry Fizz, Jack Daniels cake bakes with blueberries; the cosmopolitan; the Oreo mudslide and more. Um? Yum!

“We are most intrigued by their cocktail-inspired line of cupcakes that harken to flavors found behind the bar. The “bourbon apple crumble cupcake” features a butterscotch chip cake, Jack Daniels simmered apples, vanilla buttercream, butterscotch drizzle and crumb topping that is fabulous for a more developed palette,” Daily Meal pointed out.

There are also Butterfinger cupcakes; the Funky Monkey, with banana chocolate chip cake, peanut butter frosting and chopped peanuts; the Fat Elvis, with banana, marshmallow, peanut butter frosting and candied bacon; and many, many more. (Don’t be afraid of the candied bacon. We’ve tried it. Trust us, your mouth with thank you.)

NoRA Cupcake is located at 700 Main Street in Middletown. 



Photo Credit: NoRa Cupcake Company]]>
<![CDATA[Stafford Springs Couple Killed in Massachusetts Crash]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:05:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ambulance-shutterstock_12161325.jpg

Two Stafford Springs, Conn. residents were killed in a crash on the Mass Turnpike in Framingham early Wednesday morning.

Massachusetts State Police responded to several calls reporting a serious crash on Route 90 in Framingham at 5:13 a.m. and found that a tractor-trailer had hit the side of a minivan driven by William Barnett, 20, of Stafford Springs.

Barnett and his passenger, Alyssa Grenier, 19, also of Stafford Springs, were killed in the crash. They had been dating for about five months, according to their Facebook pages.

The tractor-trailer driver was transported from the scene to Metro-West Medical Center with injuries that are not life-threatening.

Police said preliminary reports indicate that the van spun out and was hit by the tractor -trailer.

Troopers are looking at the possibility the crash was weather-related however, but said it is under investigation.
 
The left and middle travel lanes were closed for close to five hours after the crash.
 



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Man Accused of Trying to Steal Purse, Knocking Victim to Ground]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:38:15 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Richard+Labouliere1200.JPG

Bristol police have arrested a local man who is accused of trying to steal a 57-year-old woman’s purse and knocking her to the ground in the process.

The victim was walking on Gridley Street at 10:50 p.m. on Thursday when a man attempted to pull her handbag from her, police said. The woman was knocked to the ground and sustained minor injuries.

The victim screamed, but kept grip of the handbag and the assailant ran off, police said. 

The victim’s husband, who was on his way to meet his wife, shouted at the suspect as he fled.

A police officer was able to detain the man at Gridley and West streets and the victim and her husband identified him as the person who tried to steal the purse.

Police identified the suspect as Richard Labouliere, 29, of Bristol. 

He was charged with criminal attempt at robbery in the third degree, criminal attempt at larceny second degree, assault in the third degree, breach of peace in the second degree, illegal possession of narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Labouliere was held on a $50,000 surety and is due on Monday at the Superior Court in Bristol.
 



Photo Credit: Bristol Police]]>
<![CDATA[Car Rolls Over on Prospect Street on the Hamden-New Haven Line]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:31:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Prospect+Street+rollover.jpg

Hamden police are asking drivers to avoid using Prospect Street on the Hamden-New Haven line because a car flipped over.

Police said as of 2:30 p.m. that the road will be closed until further notice. It is only open to emergency vehicles.

Drivers should use Winchester, or Whitney Avenue.
 



Photo Credit: Erik Steckis @DXFlounder]]>
<![CDATA[Greenwich Hostage Situation Call Was a Hoax: Cops]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 10:06:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Greenwich+hostage+call+1200.jpg

Greenwich police received an alarming call just before 8 p.m. on Thursday from someone who called 911, claiming to be armed and holding several people hostage at a home on Round Hill Road.

It turned out to be a hoax and police said they do not yet know where the call came from.

Last night, Greenwich police set up a perimeter and tried to contact people inside the home, but no one answered at the number the 911 call was made from.

Authorities were eventually able to reach some family members who were not at the home, but some household members could not be located.

Police eventually went into the home and found no one inside.

"At this time we do not believe there was any actual hostage situation, and the Greenwich police are continuing to investigate the matter," Capt. Robert Berry said in an audio news release. "There have been no reported injuries from the incident and there is currently no reason to believe there is any threat to the community"

During the ordeal, authorities kept the public informed on Twitter.

No injuries were reported in the incident. 

Greenwich police are investigating the incident from last night and are trying to identify the people involved.

This is one in a serious of local hoax calls reporting seemingly serious crimes, prompting a massive police presence. Two prior calls involved "swatting," in which the perpetrators have used technology to appear that the emergency call is coming from the victim's phone. 

Sometimes it is done as a prank. Other times it is done for revenge, according to police.

Two recent cases have led to arrests.  

Earlier this week, police investigated a case in Willimantic where someone called police and said he'd shot his mother. Detectives identified a 14-year-old neighbor who is accused of paying someone in Great Britain to report the fake incident and make it look like it was coming from the home.

Police in Madison arrested a juvenile from Long Island who is accused of reporting three violent crimes in January.

 

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<![CDATA[Large Fire Damages Tobacco Barn, 5 Houses]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:11:09 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/East+Windsor+fire+tobacco+barn+destroyed.jpg

The East Windsor Fire Department and firefighters from several nearby communities spent hours battling a large fire that has damaged a tobacco shed and nearby mobile homes, displacing five families.

Just after 1 a.m., the fire department responded to the intersection of Elm Street and Grove Drive for a fire.

The blaze has damaged a large tobacco barn that sits directly behind the Red Hill Park Community.and five nearby mobile homes.

According to the East Windsor Fire Chief, propane tanks at the mobile homes caught fire and two of them are still under a controlled burn.

"The whole trailer park was affected for a little while due to the power issue," Warehouse Point Fire Chief James Barton said, "But we were able to isolate it and get power back to the remaining trailers."

Tammy Schmidt and her daughter Caitlin escaped from their burning home and ran to knock on neighbors’ doors to wake them up.

"And everybody kept saying, 'Oh it’s only going to go two houses, and then it went three. And then, 'Oh it’s not going to go there.' And then next thing you know, it went four. Next thing you know, five houses," she said.

Laurie Goodhue, a resident, said a neighbor woke her up by pounding on the door because he thought the propane tanks were going to blow up.

"So he's like 'Get out of the house!' Then I just looked across the street and the barn was just engulfed," Goodhue said.

Main Street was closed for several hours as crews responded and mutual aid was called in from several fire departments, including Warehouse Point, Broad Brook, Enfield, Windsor Locks and South Windsor. Firefighters left the scene a little after 7 a.m.

East Windsor Ambulance and officials form the Windsor Locks Police Department also responded.

Fortunately, no one was hurt and the American Red Cross is helping four families find shelter.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

 

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<![CDATA[Man Who Drowned in Lake Wepawaug Walked Away from Crash: Cops]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:17:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/orange+body+scene.jpg

Police have released the name of a man who drowned in Lake Wepawaug in Orange on Saturday afternoon.

The body of Vaughn Porteous, 27, of Hamden, was spotted about 15 feet from shore in off Grassy Hill Road, an area where people frequently fish.

Authorities believe Porteous had walked away from a car crash on Route 15 North in Bethany on March 19, but when officers got to the scene of that accident, no one was in the vehicle.

Police do not suspect foul play.

 

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<![CDATA[Suspects Sought in Multiple Burglaries Across Naugatuck Valley]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:06:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/VALLEY+ROBBERIES.jpg

Authorities are on the hunt for suspects believed responsible for several burglaries in three different towns in Naugatuck Valley.

Suds Laundromat, on Pershing Drive, in Derby is one of the businesses those crooks have hit. According to the owner, the men tried to break into her office and a coin machine, but had no success.

Police said it's likely the same suspects had better luck a few hours later at Ozzie Pizza in Seymour.

“I was mad very mad and frustrated,” said owner Leonora Trdevaj.  Trdevaj showed up for work the next day, the front door was smashed and the register was gone. “Now you think have you seen that person in here?” she questioned.

The crime spree did not stop there. Investigators said the salon just down the street of Ozzie's Pizza was also burglarized. The men took off with a laptop.

On Tuesday, Crave Restaurant on Main Street in Ansonia was also targeted, police said. 

"They busted the front door, stuck their hand in and turned over the latch," said Libby Meissner. The suspects broke into a safe and stole thousands of dollars.

"They rummaged through the whole place," Meissner said.

During the investigation at Crave, detectives were able to link some of the burglaries after they found a register from Ozzie’s Pizza tossed aside by the building. “The only reason police knew it was mine is because on the register I had a 'Like us' on Facebook sticker,” Trdevaj explained.

According to investigators, the suspects also ripped out and stole the video surveillance system so their steps could not be traced.

Police have sent letters to businesses warning them about the break-ins.

Seymour and Derby Police Departments are investigating similar type burglaries.  No suspect description available from the Ansonia burglary. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Ansonia Police at 203-735-1885.
 



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Memorial Built to Honor Soliders Killed in Iraq and Afghanistan ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:35:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/6ppmemorialstill041727.jpg

Small American flags marked the sites of 65 trees, each honoring one of the 65 men and women from Connecticut killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.  The trees will be planted later this spring in Veterans Memorial Park in Middletown.

"It's a living memorial," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, on stage at the park next to the governor and lieutenant governor.

Also on stage were the two spearheads of the project who tapped donors for money and materials, Sue Martucci and Diane DeLuzio.  They met at the funeral in 2010 for Sgt. Steve DeLuzio, whose picture was on one of 65 gold stars hanging near the 65 flags.

"This project is one I think will touch the entire state because we've lost someone from every corner of the state," said Diane DeLuzio. "We have dogwood, we have cherry, we have redbud, and snow crab - a crabapple without the fruit - so they'll be wonderful and they'll all be blooming in the spring, not exactly at the same time, and by next spring, it'll be beautiful."

Jessica Goodwin took her two-month-old daughter, Maya, to the ceremony.

"My brother was only 19 years old when he was killed by a roadside bomb," she said, of Lance Cpl. Philip Johnson, killed in Iraq in 2006. "He never got to meet his niece and this is a way she can come and still see a piece of him alive."

Next year there is to be a permanent pavilion and sculptures at the memorial, plus granite markers.

Ryan Dion, who lost a leg in Iraq, said it seems like it'll be a good place to be.

"It's something local that we can always pop up and have a couple hot dogs and hamburgers and share stories and cherish those people who gave the ultimate sacrifice," Dion said.
 

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<![CDATA[Man Pulled From Burning Home in West Hartford]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:57:23 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/fire+truck+generic.jpg

A man was pulled from a burning home in West Hartford on Thursday.

Firefighters responded to 15 Brainard Road around noon. They found the man unconscious in the house and pulled him to safety, according to fire officials.

Police officers who smelled smoke drove down the street and saw the house on fire and called the fire department, fire officials said.

It took firefighters about 30 minutes to extinguish the blaze.

A dog was found dead inside the home.

The fire began in the basement, but investigators are still trying to determine how it started.

The unidentified man is believed to be the homeowner. He was rushed to the hospital where he is in intensive care, fire officials said.

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<![CDATA[Firefighter Injured, 2 Cats Missing in Colchester Fire]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:05:32 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Colchester+fire+1200.jpg

One firefighter was injured while battling a fire at a home on O'Connell Road in Colchester on Thursday and two cats are missing from the residence.

No one was home at the single-family home at 120 O'Connell Road when fire broke out. 

Firefighters rescued a dog, but two cats are missing, officials said. 

No information was released on what happened to the firefighter, but the injuries are not life-threatening.

The fire destroyed the top floor. The cause of the blaze is not known.

 

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<![CDATA[Pedestrian Struck in Moosup Hit-and-Run]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:57:22 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/police_generic21.jpg

Plainfield Police are investigating a hit-and-run involving a pedestrian.

Police said Edward Grenier, 56, of Moosup, was struck near the exit of Chucky’s Convenience Store, at #219 Main St in Moosup, just before 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.

When police responded to the scene, he was lying on the side of Main Street, suffering from injuries that are not believed to be life- threatening.

Police said he was allegedly struck by a Silver Nissan Altima with a Massachusetts license plate and the driver left the scene, headed south on Main Street, and struck Grenier.

American Legion Ambulance brought the victim from the scene to Backus Emergency Care Center in Plainfield to be treated for his injuries. 

The Plainfield Police Department has several leads on the driver, but asks anyone who witnessed it to call the Plainfield Police Department at (860)564 -0804 or the anonymous tip line at (860)564-7065.

 

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<![CDATA[Arrest Made in New Haven Teen Murder]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:54:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/nh+shooting+scene.jpg

New Haven police have arrested an 18-year-old man and charged him with the murder of another teen.

Taijhon Washington, 17, of New Haven, was shot and killed near an elementary school in the area of Butler and Lilac streets. The shooting also critically injured his 16-year-old half-brother.

Both teens were found lying on the sidewalk near Lincoln Bassett Elementary School.

"When I see the sun shining, that's when I think of my son. Just happiness," said Natasha Pettigrew, mother of Taijhon Washington.

Pettigrew spoke with her son less than an hour before he was killed.

"He said he was coming from a friend's house and I said okay. Make it home and that was that," Pettigrew said.

Her son never made it home. Police believe Jeffrey Covington, 18, shot and killed Washington.

The cause of Taijhon Washington's death was determined to be gunshots to the chest, according to the affidavit.

As police investigated, they received a tip about Covington bragging about being responsible for the homicide, according to the affidavit. The documents also say there had been a history of issues because the suspect and his friends and the victims.

According to one statement police received, Covington said one of the victims had snitched on him. 

Police arrested Covington and picked him up on an outstanding probation violation warrant on Wednesday night.

When Covington spoke with police on Wednesday night, he denied any involvement in the shootings or being near the scene at all. 

He said he learned about the shooting after watching the news, but admitted to having a problem with one of his family members, according to court documents.

On Thursday morning, he was charged with murder, first-degree assault, criminal possession of a pistol or revolver, criminal use of a firearm and carrying a pistol or revolver without a permit.

Covington was arraigned this morning and held on $2 million. He is due back in court on May 6.

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<![CDATA[Missing 3-Year-Old Coventry Boy Found]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:46:23 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Coventry+missing+boy+1200.jpg

A 3-year-old Coventry boy who was missing for an hour was found safe in the woods near his home.

The little boy is fine, according to police.

Police said the child was walking to a relative's house in what appears to be a compound of houses when he apparently wandered off.

Officers begain searching for the boy in an area along Main Street just before noon.

Trooper Michael Zella, who was off-duty at the time, and his K9 partner "Hero" responded to the scene to help search for the boy.

After a short time, Trooper Zella and "Hero" located the boy on a trail in the woods and near a pond, according to state police. They escorted the boy out of the woods to safety.

The search was focused on the Main Street area of Coventry.

Police did not release the boy's name or a photo.

 

 



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Water Main Break Washes Out Part of Road in Thomaston]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:22:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/waterbury+water+main+thomaston.jpg

Part of Waterbury Road in Thomaston has been washed out because of a large water main break this morning and drivers are asked to avoid using Waterbury Roa and Thomaston Avenue near the Thomaston-Waterbury town line until repairs are done.

According to the Waterbury Bureau of Water, there was a water main break early this morning on the 42-inch high-service transmission main.

The break has been closed and repair work has started.

Waterbury residents who normally receive water from this main are getting water from the other high-service transmission line.

Officials warn that there might be some discoloration in the water because water flow has increased.
Water levels in some of the city’s water tanks were lower than normal because of the break.

Until the repair is completed, customers are asked to limit unnecessary water usage.
 



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Congress Members Tackle State’s Heroin Problem]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:47:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Tainted+heroin1.jpg

Heroin use is on the rise in Connecticut and elected officials are coming together to address the problem.

This morning, U.S. Rep. Rep. Elizabeth Esty met in Waterbury with Mayor Neil O’Leary, Torrington Mayor Elinor Carbone, local law enforcement and public health professionals about ways the federal government can help local efforts reduce illegal drug trafficking and support mental health.

According to her office, 257 Connecticut residents died from heroin overdoses in the state, and Torrington and Waterbury are among the cities in her district struggling with the problem of heroin use.

Esty is urging the Federal Drug Administration to approve Narcan, a drug to reverse overdoses, to be available over-the-counter and as well as in a form that is easier to use than an injection.

She is also working toward more federal funding for law enforcement to help stop drug trafficking, as well as for treatment and prevention.

In February, the state Department of Health issued a warning about an increase in deaths due to heroin contaminated with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than morphine or heroin, that can cause death. 

At 10:30 a.m., another meeting will take place in New Haven.

Police in several communities have been battling the problem of tainted heroin and Hartford police have made several busts.

Meanwhile, local rehab centers said they don't have the resources to deal with the problem, and patients are in desperate need of help.

These meetings come weeks after state leaders asked Congress to step in and help stop the heroin epidemic.

In New Haven, Michael Botticelli, acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, will meet with U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, as well as representatives from the New Haven Police Department, Yale-New Haven Hospital physicians and researchers and treatment experts from Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center.

The meeting will be held at Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center, at 400 Columbus Boulevard, in New Haven. It starts at 10:30 a.m.


 

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<![CDATA[New London Police Searching for Galaxy Convenience Store Robbers]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:38:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/New+London+police.jpg

New London police are looking for the two men who robbed a convenience store on Wednesday night and hit the clerk in the head.

Police responded to Galaxy Convenience Store, at 121 Montauk Avenue in New London, at 9:18 p.m. on Wednesday after receiving a report of an armed robbery.

The clerk told officers that two men robbed him and one hit him over the head with a “facsimile handgun” before running from the store with the cash.

The clerk suffered a minor laceration and declined treatment.

The man who hit the clerk was heavy, 6-feet-tall and was wearing black clothing, police said.

The other man was thin, 5-feet-8 and had green eyes and a tattoo around the corner of one eye, according to the description given.

He was wearing a white jacket and jeans.
 



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigating Home Invasion In Bristol ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:31:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/police_generic21.jpg

Bristol Police are searching for a man who forced his way into the apartment of a young women on Wednesday night and threatened her.

A man with a gun forced his way into a Shawn Drive apartment that was occupied by a 20-year-old woman.around 9:50 p.m. on Wednesday, according to police.

The woman had just finished emptying the trash and was going back into the apartment when the man prevented her from closing the door, forced his way inside the apartment and ran without stealing anything, police said.

The intruder is between 5-feet-8 and 5-feet-10, with a medium build. He was wearing black pants, a jacket, a black mask, black gloves and black Nike sneakers.

Police ask anyone with information is asked to call the Bristol Police at 860-584-3011.

 

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<![CDATA[Cromwell Man Accused of Selling $5 Million in Fake Diplomas]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:10:22 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/diploma1.jpg

A Cromwell man is facing federal charges, accused of selling $5 million worth of fake diplomas around the world.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, James Enowitch, 48, put together an elaborate scheme that allowed thousands of people across the globe to get false college degrees without actually going to school. The so-called “diploma mill” began operating as early as 2003.

Enowitch is facing federal fraud charges after he and an accomplice allegedly created seven different “school” Web sites where buyers could purchase fake degrees. All it took was a few keystrokes and a few hundred dollars – degree packages sold for between $475 and $550.

Some of the sites had local URLs, including suffielduniversity.com and suffielduniversity.org.

Enowitch declined to comment when NBC Connecticut stopped by his home on Wednesday night.

“I have no comment,” Enowitch said. “This is a misunderstanding and I don’t know what to say.”

He’s also accused of making up a fake organization called the National Distance Learning Accreditation Council to put the stamp of approval on the diplomas so they looked legitimate.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Enowitch falsified transcripts with detailed course work and created a fake verification service in case employers probed the buyer’s background.

If convicted, Enowitch could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Runs Across Shoreline for Cancer]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:00:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/TeenRunsAcrossShorelineForCancer041614.jpg

A senior at Suffield High School is challenging himself to run the entire Connecticut shoreline in just five days.

As if signing up for the ROTC program at UConn in the fall wasn’t enough, Ryan Jones is running to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

The shoreline covers 125 miles, and Ryan’s dad is also along for the ride, biking alongside him for most of the journey.

Jones says that he was inspired by an ESPN film about the “Marathon of Hope” across Canada and The Terry Fox Foundation. He’s also seen how cancer has impacted friends and family around him.

Even if Jones has a setback this week, he vows to persevere.

“Keep fighting, don’t stop, cause I can’t quit, they can’t quit.” Said Jones

His initial goal was to raise $1,000, and he has exceeded that before even starting his journey. The new goal is $2,000.

If you would like to help you can send donations to:

Ryan Jones’ Marathon of Hope
c/o Suffield High School
1060 Sheldon Street
Room 409
West Suffield, CT 06093

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