<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Connecticut News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Sun, 26 Apr 2015 11:42:32 -0400 Sun, 26 Apr 2015 11:42:32 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Run for Today: Run for Babies Benefits March of Dimes]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 11:15:01 -0400

More than 5,000 walkers and 200 runners were expected at Rentschler Field Sunday for the Run for Babies to benefit the March of Dimes.

It's the second year March of Dimes has added a 5-kilometer run to the event.

As part of the Run for Today partnership with The Today Show, NBC Connecticut Traffic Reporter Heidi Voight, our TV personalities and station staff ran in the 5K, which was followed by the walk.

The event benefits the mission of the March of Dimes, which is to give all babies healthy start at life.

Earlier this week, NBC Connecticut introduced you to one family from Manchester whose baby was born four months premature. Kaleb Mason is 3 years old now and was there leading his own team in the walk portion of the event.

The run kicked off at 8:30 a.m. and the walk stepped off at 10 a.m. with more than 5,000 walkers.

<![CDATA[State Police Seek Somers Armed Robber]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 11:00:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Somers+Robbery+Suspect+1200.jpg

State police are looking for an armed robber who robbed a gas station convenience store in Somers just after midnight Sunday morning.

A man wielding a handgun demanded money at gunpoint from a clerk at the Sunoco Xtra Mart at 169 Main Street in Somers. State police received a 911 call at about 12:29 a.m.

The clerk was not hurt in the armed robbery and the man with the gun ran from the store.

He is described as a 30-year-old who is 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds and who has salt and pepper scruffy facial hair and sunglasses, state police said.

State police ask anyone with information to call detectives at the Troop C barracks in Tolland at 860-896-3200 or 860-896-3230. Calls will remain confidential.

Photo Credit: State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Merritt Parkway in Trumbull Reopened after Crash]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 08:29:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/merritclosed.jpg

The Merritt Parkway in Trumbull was closed for over sx hourse after an early morning crash.

According to state police, multiple people were injured in the two-car crash around 1:45 Sunday morning at exit 52 on the southbound side of the highway.

Following the crash, police began diverting traffic off the highway at exit 53. A pedestrian was struck by the diverted traffic and taken to the hospital.

<![CDATA[East Haven Police Investigate Untimely Death]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 22:53:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/East+HAVEN+Police_722_406.jpg

East Haven police are investigating after a body was found in the woods Saturday evening.

Police say a deceased person was found in the woods off Main Street around 4:55 p.m. Saturday. The case is being investigated as an untimely death. Police are not saying whether the death is suspicious at this time.

No other information about the deceased individual was immediately available. Police say more information will be released after next of kin is notified.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Local Nepalese React to Deadly Earthquake]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 23:22:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Local_Nepalese_React_to_Deadly_Earthquake_1200x675_434449475845.jpg

The Nepalese Association of Connecticut is figuring out how to help after a destructive earthquake hit Nepal.

This as many of its members and the Nepalese community in the state try frantically to make sure their family members in Nepal are okay.

The association says several loved ones of Connecticut families were killed.

“It’s kind of hard because I want to go there and help out but there’s nothing we can do about it here just support them from our hearts,” says Sanskriti Pandey of West Hartford.

The Pandey family of West Hartford heard devastating news about their grandmother in Nepal Saturday.

When a deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country, Kathmandu was hard hit. Sanskriti and Suraj Pandey’s grandmother was home with relatives there.

“She told all the family to run because they can run easily because she was like I’m going to go inside and try to get under my bed. She tried to do that. Half the body went in but she couldn’t make it in time and the whole roof just collapsed on her,” says Suraj Pandey of West Hartford.

The 85-year old was one of at least 1,800 who were killed.

“I tried to call my parents and the line is not working,” says Madhav Atreya of West Hartford.

Atreya says he was finally able to confirm his family in Nepal was okay after Saturday’s disaster.

After a 7.8- magnitude earthquake, ancient temples have been destroyed and an avalanche was triggered on Mt. Everest, which killed an American.

There are about 1,500 people in Connecticut from Nepal and some say this earthquake, which is the strongest in nearly a century, was always a fear.

“Everybody say some time it’s going to happen. Our country is very danger zone for the earthquake,” says Atreya.

As the search for survivors continue, the country was rattled by nearly two dozen aftershocks.

A magnitude-6.6 aftershock hit an hour after.

Hospitals are packed with injured people, homes are damaged, and phone lines are jammed, making it hard for people in Connecticut to connect with their loved ones in Nepal.

The U.S. has already pledged $1 million to help and is preparing to send a disaster response team.

“Everybody needs to pray for the Nepalese people,” says Atreya.

<![CDATA[Sleeping Giant at Full Capacity in Hamden]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 17:43:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/72d3437e78e343e5a85ef2a0cae5fa40.jpg

Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden is at full-capacity Saturday.

The parking lot was full as of 2 p.m., according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

<![CDATA[Fisherman's Fire Spreads Over Half Acre in Haddam]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 17:38:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/fire+truck+generic.jpg

Haddam firefighters responded to a half-acre brush fire Saturday afternoon on Saybrook Road.

The small fire a fisherman built near the shoreline sparked leaves in the area and the fire spread up the hill to the road, Haddam firefighters said. He noticed the blaze as he was fishing.

The brush fire spread about an acre.

Haddam Fire Chief Sam Baber saw the smoke as he was driving in the area and called Valley Shore Dispatch Center to report it.

It required two hose lines and rakes for firefighters to put out the flames, but only took about 20 minutes to extinguish the fire.

<![CDATA[LifeStar Airlifts Person Injured in ATV Crash]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 18:00:50 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/coventry+lifestar.jpg

One person was injured in an all-terrain vehicle crash near 589 West Main Street in Hebron Saturday night, according to Tolland County dispatch.

The person was transported to a clinic in Marlborough for treatment after a crash at 5:06 p.m. on Saturday and LifeStar airlifted the individual from there to Hartford Hospital.

The extent of the injuries and the patient's condition are unknown and the identity of the person hasn't been released.

Hebron firefighters and state police responded.

<![CDATA[High Turnout for Comcast Cares Day Electronics Recycling Drive]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 17:25:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Comcast+Recycling+Drive+1200.jpg

Comcast and NBC Universal employees spent their day volunteering in Connecticut and across the country as part of Comcast Cares Day.

In West Hartford, NBC Connecticut hosted an electronic recycling drive in the Corbin’s Corner shopping plaza.

Turnout exceeded expectations.

People drove from near and far to donate their unwanted televisions, laptops, monitors and much more. Volunteers filled boxes and trailers as a steady stream of cars turned out for the event.

“I said, ‘Oh my Gosh. This is the best opportunity.’ It was great. It was quick. Everybody was friendly,” said Amy Beup of Burlington.

“I’ve been holding on to this stuff for five years. This is great. I can get rid of it. They’re taking it for free,” said Doug Shumski of Newington.

Besides the electronic recycling drive, there were eight other community service events around Connecticut and many more around the country.

“This year we’re expecting to do about 700 projects, have 95,000 Comcast/NBC Universal employees not only in the United States but around the world do special projects,” said Janet Uthman, vice president of marketing for Comcast.

The West Hartford company Green Monster e-Cycling is hauling away all the outdated electronics and will break them all down to recycle the parts so nothing ends up in a landfill.

“We’re looking for people to get rid of their old stuff the right way and do an environmentally responsible way and not just throw it on the side of the road,” said Joe Galiatsatos, the owner of Green Monster e-Cycling.

Comcast Cares Day started back in 2001 with about 40 projects around the country.

<![CDATA[Quassy Amusement Park Opens for 107th Season]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 17:18:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/frantic+opening+1200.jpg

Thrill seekers and ride and game lovers celebrated the opening of the amusement park portion of Quassy Amusement & Waterpark for the season Saturday.

The Middlebury park kicked off its 107th season, inviting guests to try its newest thrill ride called Frantic, which spins guests 360 degrees and flips them high above the ground. The new bumper cars for kids were also revealed to the public.

The family-friendly amusement park promises fun for all ages. According to the Quassy website, “The park features more than two-dozen rides and attractions, setting the stage for an interactive day of family fun.”

The Splash Away Bay waterpark and Quassy Beach are scheduled to open on May 23. 


Photo Credit: Quassy Amusement & Waterpark]]>
<![CDATA[Motorcyclist in Critical Condition After Crash]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 16:56:34 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/new+haven+motorcycle+ax+2.jpg

A motorcyclist remains in critical and unstable condition at the hospital after crashing on Route 34 at Church Street in New Haven late Friday night.

A 59-year-old Branford man was thrown from his motorcycle after losing control of it around 10:15 p.m. He sustained significant head trauma after hitting the pavement. Police don't believe he was wearing a helmet.

No other vehicles were involved, police said.

The man was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital and is still in critical condition there.

The exit ramp for North Frontage Road was blocked off while authorities investigated and traffic was diverted off Route 34 at exit 1 into downtown.

An ambulance and accident reconstruction team responded and investigators were at the scene overnight.

Police said it could take days and even weeks to finish the investigation.

While the cause of the crash is unknown, police are looking into whether speeding was a factor.

Police are not releasing the name of the motorcyclist until his family is notified.

<![CDATA[Felon Hid Gun From Police in Pants: PD]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 16:20:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Hartford+gun+arrest+1200.jpg

Hartford police arrested a felon armed with a gun on Friday.

Christopher Gilliard, 27, of Hartford, is facing multiple weapons charges.

Police stopped a car he was believed to be traveling in at 11:15 p.m. on Friday in the area of 59 Beldon Street after officers launched an investigation into a felon with a gun in his possession, police said.

A passenger in the back seat tried to hide an item in his pants as police approached and officers discovered a gun concealed in his waistband during a pat down after they had him get out of the car.

Police seized the firearm, a Hi-Point 9-millimeter Model C gun with four live rounds, and handcuffed the passenger, who was Gilliard.

He was charged with carrying a pistol without a permit, having a weapon in a motor vehicle and criminal possession of a firearm.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[Plane With Reported Electrical Problems Lands Safely: Danbury Mayor]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 13:06:15 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/187*120/small-plane-generic.jpg

A plane with reported electrical problems headed to Danbury Airport landed safely, according to Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.

Boughton tweeted Saturday just before 1 p.m., "Currently tracking a plane having electrical problems headed towards Danbury Airport. Few details at this point. #Danbury."

Then, just after 1 p.m., he tweeted, "Plane lands fine - a little long, but everyone ok. #Danbury."

No further details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: clipart.com]]>
<![CDATA[Slain Teen's Life Celebrated 1 Year Since Stabbing]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 22:37:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Maren+Sanchez+5K+1200.jpg

Marking one year since a Milford teen was stabbed to death in her high school, friends and family gathered to celebrate her life on Saturday.

The event, called Peace, Love, and Music from Maren, showcased some of Maren Sanchez’s favorite high school activities. There was a 5K run, a street art exhibit featuring some of her own works and musical acts throughout the day at Jonathan Law High School.

Purple balloons dotted the softball field and many people wore the color, which was Sanchez’s favorite.

The school’s principal, Fran Thompson, said in the days after Sanchez’s death the community rallied around the school.

So, this was a way to give back to the city. There were also food trucks, a raffle and 18 inflatables.

The day was less about mourning a loss and more about celebrating what Maren loved.

“I think it’s just clearly evident the impact she made on Milford, and Milford rallied together for her. She’s a great girl,” said former classmate Gabrielle Verdura.

Chloe Soto’s older sister was Sanchez’s best friend.

“It was very hard on all of us,” Soto said of finding out that a fellow classmate had stabbed Sanchez in the school’s hallway hours before her junior prom.

Many of her friends said her death was still too difficult for them to talk about.

An avid artist, Maren didn’t limit herself, also participating in academics and athletics outside of class.

“She was a photographer, she was a singer, she was a manager of the swim team and the softball team,” said Thompson. "The thing I remember most about Maren was just how kind she was. She was the type of person who transcended all areas."

Many spoke of Sanchez’s personality.

“She always had a smile on her face. Always,” said Verdura.

“She opened up to us and welcomed us, and she was really funny and nice even though they were all upper classmen,” added Colleen Goodwin, a freshman who took drama with Sanchez.

Friends said the outpouring of support Saturday was a testament to how much Maren was liked.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[State Police ID Man Killed in Shelton Crash]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 14:40:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/police-lights-shutterstock_1318124126.jpg

A person was killed in a one-car crash on Route 8 north in Shelton on Saturday morning.

Thomas Sulier, 31, of Naugatuck, was driving northbound on Route 8 when he veered off the state highway and crashed into trees on the grass median between exits 12 and 13. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash happened at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday.

His airbag was deployed and he was wearing a seatbelt, state police said.

Route 8 north was closed temporarily, but as of 11:02 a.m. just the left lane remains closed as crews work to move the car away from a tree.

Shelton firefighters and police responded to assist state police.

The crash remains under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Trooper Kores at the Troop I barracks in Bethany at 203-393-4200.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Silver Alert Issued for Missing 74-Year-Old Woman]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:50:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/joan+cuomo.jpg

A Silver Alert has been issued for a 74-year-old New Haven woman who has been missing since the beginning of the week.

Joan Cuomo was last seen on April 21 in New Haven. Police said she has white hair and blue eyes, and wears glasses. Cuomo is 5-foot-2 and weighs about 180 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Haven Police Department at 203-946-6316.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Police Make Arrest in Teen's Balcony Fall]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:49:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/middletown+police+department.JPG

Police have arrested a 21-year-old man in connection with a teen's three-story fall from a Middletown balcony earlier this week.

James Brown Jr. has been charged with third-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor, second-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace.

Police haven't said how Brown is linked to the case but that he was somehow involved when a 15-year-old boy fell from a third-floor balcony at 70 Ferry Street the night of April 20.

The teen was taken to Hartford Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Brown was released after posting $75,000 bond.

<![CDATA[Community Plans Perfect Prom Night for Special Needs Student]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:37:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/christian+ramos+2.jpg

Prom season is a rite of passage for most high schoolers, but East Hartford High School junior Christian Ramos has has to fight for his rite – and for his life.

"Christian wasn't supposed to live past the age of 3," his mother Maritza told NBC Connecticut on Friday, "and he's 18 now."

Indeed, Christian has been besieged from birth by a plethora of health challenges, including scoliosis, cardiology issues, asthma, muscular disease and chronic respiratory failure.

Once able to sit in a wheelchair, now Christian is confined to a bed and dependent on a respirator. But this oldest of five siblings wasn't about to let that keep him off the dance floor.

"I think the love he gets every single day is what sustains him," his home special education teacher Denise Beaulieu explained.

Beaulieu has known Christian since he was in first grade and says he's worked just as hard to learn as any of his peers.

"We do research projects, we do PowerPoint, we do a lot of typing on the computer," she described.

Some of that typing has recently included authoring a brochure that helped generate donations to make Christian's prom night a complete success: a tuxedo from J.T. Ghamo, flowers courtesy of Buettner Florists, tickets from East Hartford High School principal Matt Ryan, photographs by Lifetouch and even a "limo" ride from EMTs at American Medical Response.

Beaulieu says Christian also typed a formal invitation to his date, East Hartford High School student Shaneece Jack, who also has faced many mobility challenges since a car accident when she was just a toddler.

Although his speech is compromised, Christian and Shaneece both exclaimed "excited!" when asked how they felt about the upcoming evening with their classmates at the club level of Rentschler Field.

And as dinner gave way to dancing, the two fit right in with their peers, not quite able to dance the same way, but all smiles and dressed to the nines.

A night Christian and his family might not have dared dream of is now a dream-come-true, according to his mother.

"I don't even know what words I can say, to say how I feel," she said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Parents Thank Officer for Helping Special Needs Son]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 21:26:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/nhpdfoundation04232015.jpg

Parents of a special needs man are thanking a New Haven police officer for his kindness toward their son after he was robbed and their help in tracking down his stolen wallet.

Last month, the son of Pennsylavnia residents Fran and Mitch Dolan had his wallet taken while waiting for a bus in New Haven on March 26. The victim called his parents and put the phone by his side while an officer took his statement.

"It wasn't far into your conversation when you realized [he] had some special needs and was a member of the Chapel Haven community," the Dolans wrote to Officer Suchy. "At that point, you went above the call of duty by bringing [him] back to Chapel Haven and speaking with staff."

The Dolans were very pleased with the conversation they overheard touched by the way Suchy handled the situation. They said his "kindness continued" when he called their son the next day to check up on him and see how he was doing.

"That phone call helped John feel safe again," they wrote. "It was a very caring, thoughtful gesture and we are grateful for your efforts."

Police were able to recover and return the wallet.

"Some may think that is the best part of the story. We disagree," they wrote. "[Our son] meeting you at a very difficult time was a blessing."

The Dolans expressed their gratitude – especially as worried, out-of-state parents. The letter highlighted the kindness, understanding and respect Suchy showed their son during a time of need.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds Pay Respects to Slain New Haven Teen]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:39:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/jericho+scott+wake.JPG

As detectives continue searching for answers, hundreds gathered Friday night to pay their respects to a 16-year-old who was shot and killed near his New Haven home last weekend.

Long lines formed outside the Ebenezer Chapel as community members waited to say goodbye to slain Wilbur Cross High School student and star baseball player Jericho Scott.

"Not only my family, but the city is mourning," said Scott’s uncle, Jason Jacobs, moments after leaving his nephew’s wake. "A lot of love and lot of sorrow but a lot of people came and supported us."

Police have not identified any suspects and said they lack solid leads. They believe someone likely saw what happened and are urging witnesses to come forward with information.

Scott's parents said the teen was leaning into a car outside his Exchange Street home when someone who was driving or running by opened fire. Two other people were struck by bullets but survived.

Many in the crowd Friday night were his peers.

"He’s very special to us so we want to show everyone we are here for him," said Jasaira Perez, who was among Scott's fellow students who made T-shirts and pins as small tributes to their fallen friend.

Police were highly visible at the wake and plan to maintain a strong presence at Saturday's funeral as well.

"I know that the police officers are working diligently to solve this crime, but it was just a senseless, senseless act," said Scott’s uncle.

<![CDATA[Madison Turns Out for Food Trucks]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 19:51:09 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/6PMADISONSTILL0424115DOUG00000000.jpg

Friday was Food Truck Appreciation Day in Madison, where up to five lunch wagons serve food on School Street in the face of some critics who find it unbecoming for the town.

Lines were long at most of the trucks around lunch time. The organizer of the event said it's a show of support to prove the accuracy of a town government survey the critics disputed.

"I said OK, let's get the people down here, tangible evidence of the people wanting this," said Rik Lammers.

Even in the unseasonable wintry weather, some families had a picnic with food from the trucks.

"We actually ate at Taco Pacifico. It was very good," said Lynsey Eno, of Westbrook.

It's not just the food that makes the trucks so popular in Madison. Some regulars have real relationships with the people behind the counters.

"The people that work here are so friendly and so nice. It's something different than what I make at home," laughed Lauren Bova.

<![CDATA[Wolcott Police Collect Donations for Fire Victims]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 19:38:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/WolcottFireFamilyPic00000000.jpg

A Wolcott family was in for a sweet surprise after losing everything in a fire earlier this week.

"Please accept this on behalf of the police union: a Target gift card of $1,000," said union representative Rich Hamel, as he presented the victims with the gift Friday. "And also, the dispatchers and the civilian workers of the Wolcott Police Department took up collection and they put it in a card here for you guys, and they want you guys to have it also."

"Thank you so much," fire victim Katie O'Brien said through tears.

Her brother, Colin, shook Hamel's hand.

The money was a total surprise for the O'Brien siblings, who are struggling to move forward after flames engulfed their home on Garrigus Court earlier this week. The brother and sister were able to escape on their own, but their mother was trapped on the second floor and needed to be rescued.

"You saved my mom's life," Katie O'Brien told the officers who rescued her.

She said her mother is doing well and was expected to be out of the hospital by the end of the Friday.

"The mother starts coming out of the second-floor window, and we were able to get on a Billco door and climb up and grab onto her," described Officer Peter Garguillo, one of the woman's rescuers.

Now, being able to stand inside the police department alive and safe gives the O'Brien family a new perspective.

"This just shows me that now I need to work even harder for what I want because you don't know when it's going to end," Katie O'Brien explained. "And you want to make life as great as possible."

The family plans to use the gift card and donations to buy a bed and clothes for their mother, and to pay for a hotel room until they find a permanent place to live.

If you’d like to donate to the family, contact the Wolcott Police Department at 203-879-1414.

<![CDATA[Stamford BOE Employee Sexually Assaulted Coworker: Police]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:45:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Diego+Norena.jpg

A Stamford Board of Education employee has been placed on leave and charged with sexual assault after groping a female coworker and trying to kiss her in the stairwell of the office building, according to police.

Police said Diego Norena, 41, approached the victim while she was walking up the stairs on April 16 and made "sexually unwanted comments" and tried to kiss her. Police said he then pushed her against the wall and groped her.

The victim reported the incident to a supervisor and coworker immediately, who in turn contacted the police. She said it was the second time Norena made unwanted advances, although she never reported the first incident, which allegedly occurred in October, according to police.

Norena admitted his involvement in the incident and turned himself in to police on April 24. He was arrested and charged with third-degree sexual assault and second-degree unlawful restraint.

Police said Norena was placed on administrative leave at the Board of Education and ordered to have no contact with the victim.

Photo Credit: Stamford Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Developer Wants to Build Casino in East Hartford]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:48:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/CASINOEHTFDPIC04242015.jpg

A developer wants to build a new casino at the former Showcase Cinemas off of Silver Lane in East Hartford.

Right now, the state is weighing whether to allow Connecticut’s two Native American tribes to open three additional casinos to help fight off the financial threat from Massachusetts, where a casino is under construction in Springfield.

"There’s an opportunity here in terms of speed to market, moving this project along very quickly. I think it’s important for Connecticut to get up and running fast. We certainly have the place, location to do that," said Tony Ravosa Jr., president of the Vince Group, which has put in a bid to develop the casino.

The casino would cost $140 million and include 1,000 gaming machines, along with several restaurants and bars. The site is close to Rentschler Field and several highways, including Interstate 84.

"I think we have an opportunity in East Hartford to do what I consider the most transformative opportunity for a gaming and entertainment destination in the Greater Hartford area," said Ravosa.

He said the casino would create about 240 jobs with a payroll of about $10 million.

While it’s presently just an idea, East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc said she’s remaining neutral, though sees some benefits from a casino in her town.

"We have significant stretches of properties on, along Silver Lane that have gone and lived their usefulness and we’re ripe for redevelopment," said Leclerc.

The state legislature is currently working on a bill to allow for the three additional casinos.

State Sen. Tim Larson, the Senate majority whip, said committee work on the bill should be wrapped up next week. He expects about another month of meetings before the bill can be voted on by the full legislature.

Patty McQueen, a spokesperson for the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, said the two councils met for a joint meeting Thursday to discuss the development of a casino.

McQueen said they "are encouraged by the increasing number of towns that are expressing interest in developing an alternative gaming facility."

"The tribes believe that votes like the one taken by East Windsor selectmen this week, and proposals like the one from East Hartford, show an increasing understanding from businesses and municipalities that the potential for job loss from competition over the state border is real, and protecting them will be good for the state and the region," said McQueen.

<![CDATA[Officials Identify Woman's Body Found in Reservoir]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:07:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/east+haddam+body+found.JPG

Authorities have identified the woman whose body they discovered in East Haddam's Upper Moodus Reservoir on Thursday afternoon.

Officials with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said the death of Louise Coulombe, 55, of Colchester, has been characterized as untimely.

DEEP said Thursday she may have been the victim of a boating accident.

State police and DEEP Environmental Conservation officers spent Thursday afternoon investigating at the intersection of East Haddam Colchester Turnpike and Beebe Road in East Haddam.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Groton City Wants Independence From Groton Town]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 19:55:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/city+of+groton.jpg

Groton Town Hall, where all the property tax money goes, is just a two-mile drive from City Hall in the city of Groton, but officials in the two buildings are not getting along.

In fact, Monday night, the city council passed a resolution to seek "financial independence," with some councilmembers calling for outright secession.

Mayor Marian Galbraith, head of the city government, is exploring the city's options after the town council cut her request for funding by $830,000. She'll certainly take the matter to mediation, as she did two years ago, but said she wants a longer-term solution.

"There are so many things that the town and city should be working on jointly that it makes it very difficult to move ahead with those things, when there's this issue between us," Galbraith said.

Groton Town's population of more than 40,000 includes the city, as well as Noank, Groton Long Point and Mystic west of the river.

But the city has nearly 10,000 residents. They depend on the town government for funding for roads and police under the legislature's special act of 1904, which establishes the dependent city government.

"The city always seems to get cut back all the time. The city does have Pfizer's and EB, which are two of the biggest taxpayers, so you would think the city should have more," said Groton City resident Linda Landry.

"Where it's gonna go will depend on politics, and who's in charge," said Groton Town resident Nelson Harris said.

<![CDATA[Freeze Warnings Issued as Temperatures Fall]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 09:19:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/april+24+freeze+warnings.png

For the second night in a row, freeze warnings were issued Friday night for seven of the state's eight counties as temperatures are expected to once again drop to unseasonable lows.

Freeze warnings were issued for early Saturday morning in every county except Litchfield. Many areas of the state fell into the 20s overnight.

Warnings were also issued overnight Thursday into Friday after snow showers and even some sleet and hail moved through parts of the state.

The air is about 15-20 degrees colder than usual this time of year, according to Chief First Alert Meteorologist Brad Field. The National Weather Service is urging residents to cover outdoor plants to protect them from the cold.

We'll see a bit of a warm up going into the weekend. Saturday and Sunday will be 60 degrees with some cloud cover.

Send your weather photos to shareit@nbcconnecticut.com.

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<![CDATA[Firefighter Quarreled Before Shooting: Cops]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 18:19:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Firefighter_Accused_of_Shooting_Man_1200x675_434180675608.jpg

Authorities are investigating after a 25-year veteran of the Hartford Fire Department shot another man in the stomach late Friday afternoon in the city's North End, according to police.

Hartford police spokesman Deputy Chief Brian Foley said firefighter Donald Brown, 54, was involved in an altercation with Lascelles Reid, 31, of Simsbury, at 131 Hebron Street in Hartford shortly before 4 p.m. Friday. Brown is accused of shooting Reid in the abdomen in the driveway of the single-family home. Police said the two knew one another but haven't released the details of their relationship.

Brown told police he had a neighbor call 911 and police received an emergency call at 4:58 p.m. reporting someone was shot in the driveway at the address.

Police found Reid conscious and lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to the torso when they arrived. An American Medical Response ambulance transported him to Saint Francis Hospital and he is listed in serious condition. Police said Reid's  injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

"We heard a pop... and my mother looked at me and said, 'That sounded like a gunshot,'" said witness Marcia Clark. "I walked up the street as far as I could go because you had to stay behind the yellow tape and I saw a guy lying on the ground, and he seemed to be moving."

Police said Brown was legally carrying the gun he used, a 9mm Sig Sauer pistol. He has a valid Connecticut pistol permit and no criminal history, police said. He was taken in custody for questioning and is cooperating with detectives.

Brown told police he shot Reid once because he was afraid of him. Police seized the gun and a shell casing matching it found in the driveway.

Police said he was released from the police department after he was questioned. No arrest has been made and no one is in custody in connection to the incident.

Reid hasn't been available for police to question because of his serious condition, but police plan on interviewing him to further understand the details of what happened.

A source within the fire department said up until recently, Brown was a member of Engine 10 on Franklin Avenue. He has been transferred to Engine 14 at the corner of Blue Hills and Albany avenues but has not yet reported to the station because he's on workman's compensation.

Police said Brown has been a Hartford firefighter for 25 years and that he was off-duty at the time of the incident due to a work-related injury.

"I was just surprised it was a firefighter, someone that takes care of us and protects us," said Clark. "Unbelievable."

Hartford Fire Capt. Helene Lynch said in a written statement that Brown is a Hartford resident and that he "has been off the line on a work related injury since March 2014."

"His involvement in an off-duty shooting incident at 131 Hebron Street, Hartford is under investigation by the Hartford Police Department and the States Attorney’s Office," she said. "We are confident that both agencies will conduct a thorough and exhaustive investigation of the incident and the status of his employment will then be determined."

Police sources told NBC Connecticut that the man shot may have been the boyfriend of Brown's sister. Brown owns the home where the incident occurred and his sister's boyfriend was helping with some renovation work when the two men got into an argument, police sources told NBC Connec;ticut.

The case remains under investigation and Hartford police detectives in the Major Crimes Division are handling it. They secured the scene for processing.

Police said the state's attorney will have a hand in the investigation and they plan to remain in constant communication about the case.

<![CDATA[Teacher Says School Forced Him Out Over His Safety Concerns]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:59:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/woodworking-generic-80399823.jpg

A former wood shop teacher at Norwich Free Academy is suing the school for wrongful termination, claiming he was forced to resign after bringing up safety violations in the school’s woodworking room.

According to a lawsuit filed in Hartford Superior Court, Pomfret resident Keegan Day was hired as a technology education teacher for the 2014-2015 school year and was assigned to teach woodworking.

Right away, Day “noticed that the [woodworking] room was deficient in safety systems and that its use presented safety and zoning violations/hazards that put the Plaintiff and students at a serious risk of injury,” the lawsuit alleges.

According to the suit, the wood shop lacked a proper ventilation system, did not have enough space for the students or machines, had broken or missing safety mechanisms and inadequate sanitation for eyeglasses.

Day brought his concerns to the department head in September 2014, who “seemed dumbfounded” to hear about the issues and said she was unsure of the regulations, the lawsuit claims.

He met several more times with school faculty, and in October, the academy hired a consultant to perform a mock OSHA audit. The consultant returned an 18-page report detailing the wood shop’s safety violations and, according to the suit, characterized the room as “an extremely unsafe working/learning environment with a number of very serious safety compliance hazards for both students and employees.”

The consultant recommended students stop working in the shop until safety problems were corrected because the violations “put the students and the employees at serious risk,” the lawsuit alleges. The school superintendent allegedly told Day those upgrades would cost at least $200,000.

Day said the next month, the principal sat him down to review “performance deficiencies” even though he had only received positive feedback up until that point.

The principal allegedly told Day he would be terminated and gave him a resignation letter to sign, saying he would “never work as a teacher again” if he didn't step down.

The lawsuit claims Day was “frightened and intimidated” into resigning. He is now suing the academy for more than $15,000.

The school contested Day’s claims in a statement released Friday.

“Norwich Free Academy provides a healthy and safe place to learn and work for all students and employees. The health and safety of students and employees are among the Academy’s highest priorities, so no student or employee learns or works in an unsafe environment. All issues relating to health and safety are addressed, not ignored. NFA’s wood shop classroom, including equipment, meets all safety standards for its intended use,” the statement says.

The school added that “the Academy does not comment on personnel matters or pending litigation.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Funeral Saturday for Teen Killed in New Haven]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:25:29 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Jericho+Scott+1200.jpg

Family and friends will pay their final respects on Saturday to a 16-year-old New Haven boy and standout baseball player who was shot and killed over the weekend in front of his home.

Jericho Scott was killed early Sunday as he was leaning into a Volkswagen hatchback outside his house on Exchange Street near Blatchley Avenue when someone opened fire into the car.

according to his family, and police are searching for the killer and urging anyone with information to come forward.

During his short life, Scott made a name for himself as a talented baseball player and had a room full of trophies.

His mother, Nicole Scott, said Jericho started making headlines on the baseball field when he was 9 years old, throwing pitches so fast that other Little League teams refused to play against him.

His obituary mentions not only his talents in baseball, but also his infectious smile tendency to be an outgoing jokester. 

"No parent deserves to bury their child, no parent," said his father, Leroy Scott. "You shouldn't have to bury your child."

Scott was a junior at Wilbur Cross High School, where grief counselors were available this week to provide support to students affected by their classmate's death.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with this child's family, his friends and with the entire school district community," New Haven Supt. Garth Harries said in a statement. "While the complex circumstances surrounding the loss of this child leave us deeply saddened and perplexed, we stand resolved to find ways to bring an end to these acts of violence among our city youth, and engage all students on positive paths for their future."

As family prepares for the funeral, police are searching for leads in the case.

“We are beyond frustrated, knowing that there were people out there, knowing there had to have been people, perhaps dozens of people who witnessed this, and who aren't coming forward,” Officer Dave Hartman, of the New Haven Police Department said.

Calling hours are Friday, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., at Ebenezer Chapel, at 50 Dwight Street in New Haven. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. at the chapel.

Photo Credit: Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Hartford Firefighters, Paramedics Save Choking 2-Year-Old]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 16:44:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hartford+fire+department+generic.jpg

Hartford firefighters are being credited with saving a 2-year-old who was choking on Thursday.

The fire department posted a letter from Aetna Ambulance on its Facebook page, thanking responding firefighters for their quick thinking.

According to the letter, EMTs and firefighters were called to the city's South End around noon Thursday. They found the toddler unresponsive with a "complete airway obstruction." Firefighters performed chest compressions and the Heimlich maneuver.

Medical personnel worked with firefighters to remove the food from the child's airway and give the toddler oxygen.

Aetna Ambulance director of operations Mark Hannegan said the emergency responders' teamwork kept the child alive.

"There is no doubt that without quick, calm and professional actions by all on scene, the child would have died," Hannegan said in a letter to the fire chief thanking the firefighters of Engine 10. "The attending physician called and said that prehospital care 'legitimately saved this kid's life.' He said that the child is doing well."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[Witness Says Officer Punched Teen Before Struggle]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:12:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/officer+headlock+video.jpg

 A student who witnessed an altercation outside a Hartford Burger King that left a police officer with injuries and led to charges for a 17-year-old boy said there is more to the story and claims the police officer punched the teen.

Keylee Scott, of Hartford, said she was there during the struggle on Tuesday night at on Main Street, at a spot where police said teens are known to loiter.

A 17-year-old high school student facing charges, including assaulting an officer and inciting a riot, and he is accused of nearly causing Police Officer Roberto Maldonado to lose consciousness. 

Several witnesses recorded the struggle between the officer and teen, but Scott said there is another side and the officer told the group of teens to leave the restaurant even though they were waiting for food.

“He said, ‘You need to come outside before I drag you outside,” Scott said.

Her friend argued with the police officer to stay and things escalated from there, she said.

Video that surfaced shows the officer take the teen outside and, seconds later, the teen had the officer in a chokehold.

Scott says what matters happened in the seconds before and does not show up on the video.

“And that’s when he dragged him outside and hit him twice in the head,” Scott said.

Hartford Police had no comment beyond what they said soon after the incident happened, stressing that there have been no reports of police brutality or excessive force.

“If you look at the raw uncut, you can see how potentially dangerous (the) situation it is for everybody involved,” Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said.

The department has launched an internal investigation into the incident and said they are asking witnesses to come forward.

That is why Scott is sharing her side with officers today.

“I felt like he tried to calm down the cop because he was dragging him and punching him in the face. What else can you do? You’re not just going to sit there and take the hit,” she said.

The officer, a 16-year veteran on the force, has not been charged aand has since recovered from his injuries.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Men Arrested After Fight With Gun and Machete ]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:57:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Derby+Machete+crop+top+only.jpg

Derby police have arrested two men accused of getting into a fight with a machete and a gun.

A report of a man with a machete sent police to the area of the Derby Green around 3:15 p.m. on Thursday and officers subdued the man, identified as Esteban Gonzalez, 37, of Derby.

As police investigated, they determined that Gonzalez and Lamar Copeland, 19, also of Derby, had gotten into an argument on Anson Street and Copeland threatened that he had a gun, so Gonzalez went home, grabbed a machete, and went back to Anson Street to confront Copeland, police said.

On his way, Gonzalez saw Copeland coming toward him with a gun, police said.

When officers responded to Anson Street, they detained Copeland. He did not have a gun, but witnesses reported seeing him run into his nearby apartment just before police arrived, so they searched the home and found a .9mm handgun, police said.

Copeland was charged with possession of a dangerous weapon, carrying a pistol without a permit, breach of peace, threatening, reckless endangerment, assault in the third degree, criminal mischief and risk of injury.

He was held on a $100,000 bond and will appear at Derby Court today.

When police searched Copeland’s apartment, they seized drug paraphernalia and cash were seized and plan to ask for a warrant.

Gonzalez was charged with possession of a dangerous weapon, breach of peace, threatening, and reckless endangerment. He was held on a $50,000 bond and will also appear at Derby Court today.

Photo Credit: Derby Police]]>
<![CDATA[20 Pounds of Marijuana Found in New Milford]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:03:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/new+milford+fugitive.JPG

Police and federal agents captured a fugitive wanted in Illinois in the Gaylordsville community of Milford on Wednesday and found 20 pounds of marijuana while searching the house.

Jeremiah Clement, 37, was wanted on a federal warrant for conspiracy to distribute marijuana, according to a news release from New Milford Police.

He was taken into custody at 173 Kent Road in Gaylordsville and police said they found the marijuana, a handgun and more than $20,000 while searching the home after obtaining a warrant.

K-9 units, federal agents and New Milford Police were all involved in the case. 

Investigators also checked a home on Park Lane Road.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

<![CDATA[Historic Oyster Barge Heads From CT to NY]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:55:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Oyster+Barge+to+be+Restored.JPG

A piece of history from the Northeast’s oyster industry is leaving New Haven, Connecticut and heading to New York, where it will get a new life.

Earlier this month, work began to deconstruct a more than 100-year-old oyster barge. What was once used in New York in the 1800s as a floating sales room for oysters from Connecticut.

The barge, which has been on the Quinnipiac River Marina in New Haven for the last few decades, was once part of a large group of oyster barges between the East River and the Hudson River, Robert Greenberg, a historian, said.

“It’s the last remaining example of its type that we know survives,” John Herzan, of the New Haven Preservation Trust, said.

The boat fell into disrepair after the bar it housed closed in the 1980s.

“It was land-bound and it was used for all these different things in the city of New Haven, Fair Haven, from bars, to speakeasies, to garage storage,” Lisa Fitch, owner of the Quinnipiac River Marina, said.

Now, two brothers from New York plan to restore the barge and reopen it.

“Put it back onto the water and hopefully put it back near the Brooklyn Bridge, where it came from originally,” Fitch said. “It’s going to be saved and that it will be, it will have its part as a museum piece. Because that’s what it is. It’s a museum piece. It has a lot to offer historically and tell a nice story.”

Reopening the barge will be an expensive and time-consuming project, but those who have watched it languish for years are excited about the possibility of new life for the historic vessel. 

“Going back to New York City will be able to educate the public as to this fabulous industry, about the oyster industry that used to exist,” Greenberg said.

The deconstuction is expected to be complete by early May.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[DOT Worker Thrown From Truck on I-91 in Hartford]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:59:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Interstate+91+North+Hartford+1200.jpg

A state Department of Transportation worker was thrown from the back of a work truck and down an embankment during a crash on Interstate 91 northbound in Hartford on Friday morning, according to state police.

Police said the DOT truck was parked in the shoulder of the road, placing the last cone for a survey project, when another driver swerved for some unknown reason, hit the back of the DOT truck in the area of exit 27 for Brainard Road, and the truck rolled over.

Glenn Gove, 53, of Wethersfield, was thrown from the bed of the DOT truck, over the rail and down the embankment, according to the news release from police.

Gove, the driver of the DOT truck, Ray Romano, 51, of South Windsor; and the driver of the other car, a 24-year-old Meriden resident; were taken to Hartford Hospital.

State police said neither of their injuries is serious.

No charges are listed.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation]]>
<![CDATA[Man Stole $9K in Materials from Machine Shop: Cops]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:13:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/travis+worthington+mug+shot+1200.jpg

Police have arrested a man accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of manufacturing material from a South Windsor machine shop.

Travis Worthington, 27, of Enfield, is accused of stealing around $9,000 worth of carbide cutting heads used in manufacturing from a business in March.

Investigators tracked some of the stolen items to a Massachusetts scrap yard and identified Worthington as the suspect.

On Thursday, police obtained an arrest warrant and served it on him.

Worthington was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary in the third degree, burglary in the third degree, conspiracy to commit larceny in the third degree, larceny in the third degree and criminal mischief in the third degree.

Worthington was held on a $150,000 surety bond and is due in Manchester Superior Court later this morning.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police]]>
<![CDATA[Crashes Cause Traffic Nightmare in Hartford]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:09:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Traffic+congestion+in+Hartford+new+1200.jpg

Several crashes are causing a nightmare of a commute in the Hartford area on Friday morning, causing congestion on three of the four major arteries in the city. 

A state Department of Transportation worker was thrown from a work truck when it rolled over on Interstate 91 north in Hartford and people were taken to the hospital, according to state police. The injuries are not life-threatening, according to officials.

State police said the crash involved a car and truck in the area of exit 27, or Brainard Road, and the truck rolled over. Three lanes were closed, causing backups for miles. The scene has cleared, but there are residual delays to Middletown. 

Traffic on Interstate 84 East is stop-and-go between Hartford and Farmington after a three-car crash near exit 48. Two lanes are blocked. 

Another two-car crash has closed the center lane of I-84 West at exit 58 in East Hartford and traffic is backed up to Manchester.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation]]>
<![CDATA[Car Hits Pole in East Hartford]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 07:54:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/East+Hartford+police+cruiser.jpg

 A car hit a pole on Long Hill Drive, at Burnside Avenue, and the road is closed so the pole can be repaired, officials said.

Wires were brought down in the crash.

<![CDATA[81-Year-Old Man Dead in Apparent Drowning]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:56:55 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Willimantic+River+1200.jpg

An 81-year-old man is dead after an apparent drowning in the Willimantic River in Stafford Springs on Thursday evening, according to state police.

At 6:07 p.m., state police responded to the river, near the Town of Stafford Commuter Lot at 24 River Road, and determined that Jacob Wytas, 81, had been fishing along the bank near Town of Stafford Commuter Lot and fell into the water.

He was later found dead and state police are investigating.

They ask anyone who saw Wytas or was in contact with him between 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday to call Troop C at 860-896-3200 ext. 8045.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Shot in Leg in Hartford]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:47:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hartford+police+cruiser+generic+new.jpg

Hartford police are investigating after a man was shot in the leg overnight.

The victim is at Hartford Hospital and is expected to be OK, according to police.

Investigators are trying to determine where the shooting happened.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Stole Dying NYC Fashion Exec's Identity: Police]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:31:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/chase+bank+fraud+suspect.jpg

A woman stole a New York City fashion executive's identity, withdrawing thousands of dollars from her bank account and opening credit cards in her name as she was dying of cancer, state police and relatives say. 

State Police say the woman pictured in the bank surveillance images fraudulently withdrew $9,200 from Kate Sullivan's account from Chase branches at Commack and Freeport on Long Island, and then opened several store cards in New Haven, Connecticut, to make nearly $4,000 in merchandise purchases. 

A woman identifying herself as Sullivan's sister posted the suspect's photos on her Facebook page, detailing how she uncovered the alleged fraud a week before Sullivan died last September.  

"When Kate was in the ICU I answered her phone, it was the bank manager in Long Island," Sarah Sullivan wrote. "He said a woman came in with a fake ID as Kate, and when he questioned her, she ran out." 

Because the suspect had already withdrawn money at another branch, the family moved immediately to shut down all of Kate Sullivan's accounts. 

"A few weeks after the funeral, I got Kate's mail and there were all these new store credit cards and bills, they had already been maxed," wrote Sarah Sullivan. "Somehow she had her Social Security number, address, last four digits of bank # and copied signature from her license." 

"I've had to fax death certificates and affidavits to all of the creditors and fly in to meet with the police and lots of other stuff I didn't need to deal with while I'm mourning my sister's death," she said. 

Kate Sullivan, 50, was a marketing executive who had worked for fashions designers like Kimora Lee Simmons and Diane von Furstenerg before her death from lung cancer on Sept. 28, Newsday reports. She lived in the Financial District. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police Troop L at 631-756-3393. 

<![CDATA[Autism Advocates Fight for Funding at Capitol]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 23:43:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/autism+funding+petitioners.jpg

Several dozen supporters of funding for Connecticut’s autism programs met at the Capitol Thursday to deliver nearly 12,000 signatures to the governor, who proposed millions in cuts to the state Department of Developmental Services.

"It's disgusting, honestly. I don't know how else to put it," said Dr. Michelle Rivelli, mother of a 20-year-old who has autism.

Rivelli helped to start a MoveOn.org petition that has collected thousands of signatures over the course of two weeks.

She said the funding cuts directly affect the plans she had for her daughter, Jessie. Rivelli and her husband had planned to move Jessie into a state-funded facility for adults to live while they work with therapists.

"You know, these cuts eliminated funding for when she turns 21, so she would just be sitting at home," Rivelli said. "I didn't know what we were going to do."

GOP lawmakers at the event said they are going to work to put the funding back into the budget. House and Senate GOP leaders and their caucuses will unveil their budget Friday morning.

"There's a lot of holes to fill within the budget and we are working day in and day out with our leadership to try and make things right and try to get the services for the most vulnerable people in the state of Connecticut," said Republican State Rep. Jay Case, of Winchester.

A spokesman for Gov. Dannel Malloy responded to the activists with the following statement:

"When it comes to government spending, we need to make tough but smart decisions today to build a brighter Connecticut tomorrow. The Governor’s budget does propose an increase in spending for DDS and mental health services, and while these are difficult decisions, they are nevertheless ones that will put our state on a path to success in the long-term."

Democrats in the legislature have discussed potential tax hikes to deal with the state’s budget hole for the next fiscal year. They have said publicly that some elements of the governor’s budget are unworkable. A revised spending plan for the state is expected to be voted on during a committee meeting on Monday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Elderly Woman, Son Burned in Condo Fire]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:43:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ridgefield+condo+fire+2.JPG

An elderly mother and her son are being treated in the burn unit after the woman's Ridgefield condo caught fire on Thursday evening, according to the fire marshal's office.

Firefighters said the woman, believed to be in her 70s, was trapped on the top floor of her two-story condo on Cook Close as flames engulfed the unit and her sons, in their 30s or 40s, tried to rescue her before emergency crews arrived.

"It was futile. The flames were pretty intense. The firemen were able to knock the fire down first because they couldn't even get in to her," said Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi. "The sons did make a valiant effort trying to get to Mom."

Officials originally said the mother and both sons were taken to Danbury Hospital for treatment, according to the fire department and that one man – who suffered burns on his head, hands and arms – was more seriously hurt than the other.

On Friday morning, the fire marshal's office said the mother and one son were injured and they have been taken to the Bridgeport Burn Unit.

There has been no official word on their mother's condition, but Marconi said she seemed to be in bad shape. Now officials can only hope the woman survives.

"We're hoping for the best and saying a prayer, and her sons are at the hospital with her right now," said Marconi. "We're just praying that she makes it."

Firefighters remained at the scene until around 5:30 a.m. on Friday and Marconi said the family's condo is uninhabitable.

The town fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire and officials are waiting to speak with the injured son. 

Meanwhile, the building inspector is determining the status of the other condo units.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[SkyWest Plane Returns to Service After Emergency]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 23:43:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/sky+west+united+express+emergency+landing.jpg

Unable to determine what made passengers sick aboard a SkyWest flight from Chicago to Hartford, Connecticut, that made an emergency landing on Wednesday, the airline is returning the aircraft to service.

Police and fire officials, along with SkyWest maintenance crews, checked over the plane and could find nothing wrong after 14 people reported feeling ill and three lost consciousness, according to the airline.

"It's done a complete top-to-bottom evaluation to make sure there is no kind of a cabin pressure issue. Everything's coming back negative, so at the moment the airline is stumped," said NBC News reporter Tom Costello.

The first passenger lost consciousness late Wednesday morning about an hour into the flight from O'Hare to Bradley International Airport.

The pilot, initially concerned there may have been a pressurization problem, descended to 10,000 feet where air pressure outside is bearable, before making an emergency landing in Buffalo, New York.

"The captain had said all the symptoms led him to believe it was a lack of cabin pressure, so he dropped us down real quick," said Dave Barkley, passenger from South Bend, Indiana, after he finally reached Bradley about seven hours late.

Barkley said the turbulence on the approach to Buffalo was rougher than the descent of 27,000 feet over seven minutes.

"That descent was rapid, certainly, and probably you wouldn't want to do that too often. You scare people, especially after some of the things that have happened," said former Pan American pilot Ed Spellacy. "But no, I don't think that's an excessive rate of descent."

He said a typical emergency descent of that distance would take just two minutes.

Passengers reported feeling better on the ground in Buffalo. One person aboard the aircraft said some 30 passengers received oxygen after landing at the airport. According to SkyWest officials, no passengers went to the hospital.

Photo Credit: NBC Newschannel]]>