<![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 Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:55:47 -0400 Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:55:47 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Gas Line Breaks in North Branford]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:47:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/fire+truck+generic.jpg

Crews are on scene at a gas line break in an industrial section of North Branford, according to fire officials.

A gas line was broken on Enterprise Drive while a trench was being dug up. The road is closed in the area of the gas line break. North Branford firefighters are on scene.

No one was injured and the area has not been evacuated at this time.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

<![CDATA[Crashes Cause Traffic Delays on Wet Roads]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:13:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/191*120/102414+Manchester+Crash+Edited.jpg

As rain caused slick roads Friday morning, there were some minor crashes on the wet roads for the morning commute.

Minor accidents in Manchester on Interstate 84 westbound on the left shoulder between exits 64 and 63, Norwalk on Route 7 southbound near I-95 on the right side, Trumbull on Route 8 southbound near exit 7 and  Enfield on I-91 northbound by exit 47E are causing delays.

Check back for updates and follow NBC Connecticut First Alert traffic reporter Heidi Voight on Twitter at @HeidiVoight for more information.

Photo Credit: DOT]]>
<![CDATA[Does A Recent Airbag Recall Apply to CT Cars?]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:58:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tlmd_recall_airbag.jpg

A massive recall of cars with potentially deadly airbags likely does not apply to cars sold in Connecticut, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But a Connecticut lawmaker is pushing for a nationwide recall regardless.

The recall includes nearly 8 million cars nationwide, including Honda, Toyota, Subaru and BMW vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that it mostly affects drivers in humid states because the humidity may play a role in the defect.

However, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and the president of the CT Auto Retailers Association are calling for a nationwide recall as a precaution.

"There needs to be a national recall and car owners need to be provided with loaners or rental cars at no cost to them, Blumenthal said.

Drivers in Connecticut are still urged to check their vehicle identification number to check whether any recalls apply to their cars.

Blumenthal  is scheduled to hold a press conference encouraging a national recall.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[No Additional Sex Offenders at Manchester Group Home]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:59:29 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Manchester+house+resized.jpg

The Department of Correction has stopped placing sex offenders at a group home on Clinton Street in Manchester after residents began to fight back out of concern for the safety of their children and families.

According to DOC spokesperson Karen Martucci, DOC Interim Commissioner Scott Semple sent a letter to Manchester town officials explaining that no additional offenders will take up residence there.

Manchester Mayor Jay Moran said the DOC promised to keep a close eye on sex offenders currently living at the group home to help maintain neighborhood safety.

It comes after more than 100 Manchester residents spoke up at a meeting with the DOC commissioner earlier this month and implored him to take action, arguing that the home is too close to schools, bus stops and public parks.

DOC officials and Manchester town leaders are planning future meetings but haven't set dates yet. Moran said he's pleased the DOC commissioner has opened the lines of communication.

He considers the development a "step in the right direction" but said he ultimately wants to see the group home shut down and the sex offenders moved out of the neighborhood.

Neighbors and Manchester officials said they weren't alerted when sex offenders began moving into the group home over the summer, but there is no law that requires the DOC to inform them.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Fire at Hartford Nursing Home Where 16 Died in 2003 Blaze]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 03:32:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hartford+nursing+home+fire.JPG

Fire broke out Thursday night at a nursing home on Greenwood Street in Hartford, the same facility where more than a dozen people died in a blaze 11 years.

Hartford fire officials said flames broke out in the laundry room around 7:45 p.m. The fire was contained to just that area, but firefighters struck a second alarm as a precaution since a number of residents can't walk.

Everyone made it out safely, but one staff member was taken to the hospital for treatment of possible smoke inhalation.

Firefighters extinguished most of the flames by around 8 p.m. and began leaving the scene about an hour later.

Sixteen nursing home patients died and dozens more were injured in a blaze at this facility in 2003.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[State Police Endorse Malloy for Governor]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:57:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/dan+malloy+4.jpg

The Connecticut State Police Union and National Troopers Coalition are throwing their support to Gov. Dan Malloy as election day draws near.

"As Troopers we are trained to not only listen to the words people say, but we spend considerable time and effort studying their actions and statement," said State Police Union President Andy Matthews, in a statement dated Oct. 22.

"When we reviewed and considered the words and history of candidate Tom Foley for Governor, we became concerned about the risks to our memberships [sic] future," Matthews continued. "We felt compelled to speak out not just on behalf of our members, but also on behalf of the people and communities we serve."

Matthews said that, although the union doesn't always agree with Malloy's decisions, "true leaders make difficult decisions, even when some may not agree."

He said Malloy has worked to strengthen his relationship with the state police department and improve public safety in Connecticut.

"State Troopers are confident and proud of our current leadership," Matthews said.

The National Troopers Coalition also endorsed Malloy on Wednesday, explaining in a press release that Malloy "has taken consistent steps to consult State Police leadership and he has worked with rank and file troopers to imrpove public safety and officer safety."

Malloy will face GOP challenger Tom Foley and unaffiliated candidate Joe Visconti on Election Day.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Biomedical Research Facility Opening Branford]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:36:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/doctor-health-generic-1200-03.jpg

A new biomedical research facility opening in Branford is expected to attract top scientists and promises breakthroughs in medical science.

“We want to better assess what’s happening at a personal level — whether it's cancer or some other disease — to better diagnose and treat a given condition by generating a much deeper molecular information on an individual,” explained Dr. Eric Schadt, director of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is opening the Branford facility.

The new research center also promises to create new jobs in Connecticut.

“We’ve got 10 on staff right now," explained Todd Arnold, managing director of the Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Lab in Connecticut. "The goal by the end of the year is 25, and we’re hoping to grow to about 150 in the next three to five years.”

The state is providing a $9.5 million loan in support of the research center and will forgive up to $7 million of that loan if the facility can reach its jobs goal.

The announcement comes less than a month after another biomedical research facility, Jackson Laboratory, opened at the UConn Medical Center in Farmington, with state support.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[No Halloween Parades at Newington Schools]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:18:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/newington+school.JPG

Newington's public schools have eliminated Halloween costume parades this year out of respect for religions that object to the idea, but some parents object to that decision.

"To these kids," said Kami Astorino, mother of a fourth grader at Anna Reynolds Elementary School, "it has nothing to do with religion, it has nothing to do with exclusion, and it has nothing to do with evilness. They come to school, they wear their costumes, they celebrate, and that's how they ring in the fall."

Astorino said she respects and appreciates all religions, she doesn't want to exclude anybody and she thinks the world of the principal of her daughter's school.

But, she said, "I'm outraged."

Newington is not trying to cancel Halloween. Teachers can still display ghosts or skeletons or "Happy Halloween" signs.

But the idea is that if some students can't participate in a Halloween costume parade for religious reasons, then there will be no Halloween costume parade.

Student Aubrey Aukstolis hasn't decided whether she'll be a mermaid or a witch next Friday night. She participated in a costume parade when she was in Kindergarten at Anna Reynolds Elementary School.

"I remember her doing it a couple of years ago and it was nice," said her father, Michael Aukstolis.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Fund Set Up for Kids of Stamford Mom Killed in Crash]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:20:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/stamford+police+cruiser+generic.jpg

A memorial fund has been set up to benefit the two children whose mother died in a Stamford crash Oct. 18.

Angela Lopez, 34, was killed when she was struck by a car on Hope Street while standing with her husband, Rafael Escobar, as he filled their food truck's gas tank, according to police.

Lopez was rushed to Stamford Hospital for treatment but died the next day.

She leaves behind a son and daughter: 9-year-old Luis, who is in fifth grade at Scofield Magnet Middle School, and 14-year-old Angie, a freshman at Wright Technical High School, according to Stamford police.

Donations can be mailed to:

The Luis and Angie Fund
1127 High Ridge Road #165
Stamford, CT 06905

More information is available by email.

Lopez was born in El Salvador and worked as a housekeeping manager at the Delamar Hotel in Greenwich, according to her obituary.

Calling hours are Thursday evening at the Jehovah Shammah Church of the Nazarene and a funeral will be held Friday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Counselor Back to School After "Slasher" Film Controversy]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:35:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/sage+park+middle+vnuk.jpg

A Connecticut middle school guidance counselor returned to work today after agreeing to stop making the erotic horror films that prompted school officials to place him on administrative leave earlier this month, according to the school system.

Aaron Vnuk, a counselor at Sage Park Middle School in Windsor, and Dr. Mark Foley, principal at Granby Memorial Middle School, are accused of using aliases to make independent horror movies featuring violence and nudity through their company Moongoyle Entertainment.

Vnuk was placed on administrative leave after school officials learned of the production company and began investigating.

Windsor Public Schools Supt. Dr. Craig Cooke sent a letter home to parents on Wednesday letting them know that Vnuk would return to work today.

"After a thorough investigation, we concluded that no students were involved in the films produced by the company, and the teacher's involvement was limited to outside of school hours," Cooke wrote in the letter. "Moreover, we have been assured that the teacher would have no involvement in the future production of any films of a similar nature."

Cooke posted a statement on the Sage Park Middle School Web site on Oct. 3 announcing Vnuk's suspension while school officials investigated. He assured parents that students were never at risk or in danger.

Foley was also placed on administrative leave after the allegations came to light. Tim Cunningham was appointed to serve as interim principal.

Neither Foley nor Vnuk responded to requests for comment.

Photo Credit: Sage Park Middle Schoo/NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[Power Outage Closes UConn Avery Point Campus]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:42:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/uconn+avery+point.jpg

The University of Connecticut Avery Point campus in Groton closed at 3 p.m. Thursday due to a power outage that left much the area without electricity, according to university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz.

All classes and campus activities in the afternoon and evening have been canceled, Reitz said. No other UConn campuses are affected.

The outages are expected to be resolved by tomorrow and Friday classes will be held as scheduled, unless university officials announce otherwise.

Strong winds overnight knocked down tree limbs and cut power to parts of the region.

More information is available through University Communications at 860-486-0871.

Photo Credit: University of Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested in Newington Convenience Store Robbery]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:45:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Anthony+Marrero+1200.jpg

Newington police have arrested a man suspected in an armed robbery at a convenience store two years ago. 

Three men with a long gun robbed the clerk of the Valero Fas-Mart in Newington on June 26, 2012 and Anthony Marrero, 27, of Hartford, has been identified as one of the suspects. Police said DNA led them to him.

Marrero was arrested Marreo on a warrant on Tuesday.

He has been charged with first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree, third-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny in the third degree. 

Police expect to make more arrests.

If you have information on the robbery, call the Det. Derek Aivano at the Newington Police Department (860) 666-8445 and reference case number I20122459.

Photo Credit: Newington Police]]>
<![CDATA[Merritt Parkway Reopens After Crash in Greenwich]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:04:50 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Greenwich+crash+injuries+1200.jpg

The southbound side of the Merritt Parkway has reopened in Greenwich after a car crash and fire closed the highway between exits 27 and 28 on Thursday afternoon.

Greenwich police said the road has partially reopened and the scene is clear.

After the fire was out, police warned of long delays and said it would take time for Connecticut State Police to investigate the incident and clean up the scene.

Local traffic is back to normal, according to police. 

Photo Credit: Greenwich Police]]>
<![CDATA[Farmington Burglar Steals Jewelry and Apologizes]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:39:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/Police+Line+Police+Tape+Police+Generic+Frankford.JPG

Police are searching for the woman broke into a Farmington home in broad daylight Thursday and apologized to the resident before leaving with stolen jewelry in her backpack.

The intruder entered a house on Copper Mine Road through a window around 1 p.m., then rummaged through rooms and stuffed jewelry into her bag, according to a resident.

The resident was home, and the burglar apologized and left when the resident confronted her. The victim told police the intruder appeared to be in her late teens or early 20s and was wearing a dark blue or black hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.

West District School in Farmington was placed on "lock out" while police investigated the incident. During a lock out, all the doors are locked and no one is allowed in, but everything inside the school functions normally.

Authorities are working to identify and arrest the suspect.

Anyone with information is urged to call Farmington police.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Charged in Threat Against Jonathan Law High School]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:10:29 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Milford+Police+cruiser1200.jpg

Milford police have arrested a man accused of making a threat against Jonathan Law High School.

Police began investigating on Oct. 17 after receiving information that a Lansdale Avenue resident made a threat referencing Jonathan Law High School, police said.

After speaking with James Piccirillo, 48, of Milford, police determined there was no present threat to the school community and Piccirillo was admitted to a secure medical facility for evaluation.

During a search of his home, police seized guns and commercial grade fireworks.

Piccirillo was released from the medical facility around 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday and taken into police custody. He has been charged with second-degree threatening,illegal possession of explosives and illegal possession of an assault weapon. 

He was held on a $250,000 bond transported to Milford Superior Court GA22, where he was arraigned. 

Piccirillo remains in prison.

Milford Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Feser said in a statement that Piccirillo has no affiliation with Law High School or Milford public schools.

<![CDATA[Student Charged in Bristol Central High School Bomb Threat]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 03:16:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bristol+Central+High+School+1200.jpg

Bristol police have arrested a student in connection with a bomb threat at Bristol Central High School on Oct. 9.

The school was evacuated after someone found a note on a desk saying a bomb would go off in the school, police said, and firefighters and the bomb squad were called in.

The building was determined to be safe, the investigation began and a juvenile was charged with first-degree threatening and breach of peace.

The student arrested is a juvenile and no additional information has been released on the case.

This was the latest in a string of  bomb threats at Bristol schools.

In September, police increased their presence at Bristol schools and arrested a student after the message "bomb school" was written on a bathroom wall at Greene-Hills School.

In June, two 10-year-olds and a 13-year-old were arrested in connection with a string of school bomb threats in the city. The arrests came after eight bomb scares over a span of nine days.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Masked Man Fired Gun During Hamden Home Invasion]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 23:13:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hamden+police+department.JPG

Two men, one of whom was wearing a Halloween mask, followed Hamden residents into their home Wednesday night, pistol whipped one of them and fired a gunshot before the homeowners' dog attacked and scared the intruders away, according to police.

Authorities responded to the home on Pine Rock Avenue at 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday and learned that two intruders followed two residents into the house and demanded money.

Police said a scuffle broke out during which one suspect struck a resident in the head with a gun. The resident’s dog attacked the intruders after a gunshot rang out and the men ran off.

Police said the resident who was struck suffered a head injury and cuts to the face but was otherwise OK.

One of the intruders is described as a thin man standing between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches tall. Police said he was wearing dark clothing and a white Halloween mask.

The other suspect was also thin and was wearing dark clothing and a mask, police said. Both suspects are believed to be in their early 20s and were armed with semi-automatic handguns.

Authorities believe the attack was not random but have not elaborated on the possible connection between the suspects and residents.

It's at least the fifth home invasion in the area in recent weeks. Neighbors said the sight of crime tape has become far too common.

"It has to stop," said Hamden resident Andrea Ciaccio. "It truly has to stop."

Police said they've seen an increase in criminal activity in the area and have stepped up patrols in the area to help keep residents safe.

Anyone with information is asked to call Hamden Police Major Crimes Det. William Onofrio at 203-230-4040.

<![CDATA[Local Hospitals Hold Ebola Drill]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:41:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Ebola+drill+at+Midstate+1200.jpg

An Ebola drill is underway this morning as Connecticut hospitals prepare in the case that they had to treat an Ebola patient.

At Midstate Medical Center in Meriden, medical  crews, as well as the person posing as the patient, were covered from head to toe in protective gear. It was part of a test to ensure that the Hartford HealthCare system is ready.

Last week, Gov. Dannel Malloy ordered all hospitals in the state to perform a drill within the coming week to assure that their procedures and Emergency Medical Services are up to standards should they become necessary.

This came after a Yale University graduate student came down with Ebola-like symptoms following a researching trip to West Africa. Tests revealted that the student did not have Ebola. 

Malloy said that made it clear that preemptive action was necessary.

“I believe we must go above and beyond what the CDC is recommending, just as we did last week when I issued a preemptive declaration.  I want everyone to know – from the nurses in our emergency rooms to our first responders and our law enforcement personnel – we will provide whatever resources we have at our disposal so that you can do your critically important jobs safely and effectively,” Malloy said.

There have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in Connecticut.

A family who traveled in West Africa is in quarantine in West Haven for the next three weeks as a precaution. Mayor Edward O’Brien said they do not have symptoms and the quarantine is precautionary, in compliance with the state guidelines

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Police Make Arrests in Manchester Robbery]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:44:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/James+Crane+and+Keron+Parkman.jpg

Photo Credit: Manchester Police]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Car in Water]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:21:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bridgeport+police+generic.jpg

Police are responding to Seaside Park in Bridgeport, where there is a vehicle in the water near the boat launch.

Officials said it appears no one is in the vehicle, but emergency crews are checking to make sure.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[2-Alarm Fire at New Haven Strip Mall]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:32:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Fire+at+1460+Whalley+Ave+New+Haven+1200.jpg

Part of Whalley Avenue in New Haven was closed this morning after fire broke out at a strip mall at 1460 Whalley Ave., but has reopened.

The fire started in the back of Vip Dry Cleaners around 5:30 a.m. and firefighters opened a hole in the roof over the dry cleaner and a salon to ensure fire had not spread.

It's not clear where the fire started or how many businesses it spread to, but there was heavy smoke at Bruegger's Bagels when firefighters arrived.

It's not clear if anyone was inside.

Fire officials said a good firewall prevented the fire from doing further damage, but the strip mall will be closed at least for today.

The health inspector will be heading to the scene to check Bruegger’s Bagels before it can open.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Downed Wires Cause Hartford Road Closure]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:04:29 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/102214+Hartford+Wires+Down+Edited.jpg

Police have responded to the area of 595 Broad View Terrace in Hartford due to downed wires and are closing the road there.

More information wasn't immediately available. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Gas Fire Shoots Up Into Night Sky]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:56:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Wethersfield+Fire+Edited.jpg

Emergency crews worked through the night in Wethersfield after fallen wires came in contact with natural gas, sparking a fire that reached the heights of power lines and trees on Wednesday night.

The Wethersfield Fire Department was dispatched to Goff and Wells Road for a structure fire, Wethersfield Fire Capt. Paul Thompson said, but crews determined that wires came down during the storm and one hit a valve that turns a gas main on and offi.

"Arriving fire officials found that we had a natural gas vent fire that had been ignited by the primary wires coming down," Thompson said. 

No one was injured, but it was a bit of a shock for neighbors who heard a loud noise.

"All of a sudden, I hear a huge explosion and my window lit up with white and the next thing you know, there's a fire right down our street," Patrick Dowd said. "...  It was like the movies. ... It was a huge clap. it wasn't quite ground shaking, but it was pretty loud."

Wethersfield resident Gary Sharkevich said he heard a "loud pop" and "crack" that sounded like "a big firecracker big explosion."

Firefighters sprayed water into the fire as they dug to access the gas leak.

Crews also secured the scene, evacuated the house and monitored the situation to make sure the fire did not spread to the home.

Connecticut Light & Power officials also responded to cut power to the wires so CT Natural Gas could shut down the affected gas feed, Thompson said.

"It's the wind we watch so the flames don't get blown in direction of house," Thompson said. "...Natural gas, obviously there's always a fire explosion risk associated with it. ... While the fire looks spectacular, it's actually burning off that gas, which puts us in a better position than having an open leak like that so we can see where that gas is going. See how it's burning and we can keep it contained at this point."

The power has been turned back on.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[State Launches Ebola Information Website]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:29:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tlmd_file_ebola_cdc.jpg

The state of Connecticut has launched a website to keep residents informed about the Ebola virus after a few reported cases and scares nationwide.

“Many residents have questions and concerns. For that reason, we felt it was important to create a localized site where information will be updated on an ongoing basis,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. “While there are no cases of Ebola in Connecticut, we are taking safety measures to prevent the spread of this virus should someone in our state become sick with Ebola. Our health officials and Unified Command Team have been meeting to prepare for a potential case here in Connecticut.”

State Department of Health Commissioner Jewel Mullen said that "a widespread outbreak of Ebola" is unlikely in the United States, but that officials want residents to be informed and know the preparations Connecticut is taking in the event of any cases in state. 

"“This site provides people with access to timely and accurate information about Ebola and the work the state and its partners are doing to protect Connecticut," she said. 

The new website also has resources for health care providers, such as information about protective gear and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

You can visit the state website at www.ct.gov/ebola. The United Way also has more information on its own website, www.211ct.org.

<![CDATA[High Winds Knock Down Trees, Cause Power Outages ]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:48:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Glastonbury+Three+Corners+Road+1200.jpg

Power remains out for more than 2,000 households and businesses after high winds and heavy rain through the night and more rain and wind are in the forecast for today.

Winds took down trees in towns from New Haven and Middlesex counties to the northwestern tip of New London County and the southern tips of Tolland and Windham counties.

Connecticut Light and Power is reporting around 1,900 outages this morning and United Illuminating is reporting more than 350.

There were also delays of up to 10 minutes on Metro-North because of slippery rain conditions.

In Guilford, a portion of Sachem Head Road is blocked because a power line and pole are down across the road. A tree is also down on Podunk Road.

Ledyard police are reporting a tree down on Gallup Hill Road near the back of Ledyard High School and said traffic is limited until Connecticut Light and Power clears the wires.

A CL&P spokesperson said last night that the power company is working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power due to weather-related outages statewide.

One of the problems was in Manchester, where a tree fell on wires on Highland Street at about 7:19 p.m. CL&P workers responded to repair the damage.

The Waterford Police Department responded to several calls reporting downed electrical wires due to storms on Braman Road, Third Avenue, Shore Road and Niantic River Road.

"Please use caution and do not approach or touch any wires that may be down," the department said on Twitter just after 9 p.m.

State Police said that they have received many calls about trees down in Lebanon and Preston, including one that fell on wires on Route 165 in Preston near Brand Road.

Thursday will be cool and windy with gusts up to 35 miles per hour, according to NBC Connecticut meteorologist Bob Maxon.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Physician Accused of Sexually Assaulting Patient ]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:16:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Glenn+Giarratana+Edited.jpg

Police arrested a New London physician Wednesday who has been accused of sexually assaulting a patient, police said.

A patient of Glenn Giarratana, 58, of Madison, told New London police that a woman filed a complaint on June 9 reporting that a Hartford Dispensary physician sexually assaulted her during her annual physical. The doctor's office is located at 931 Bank Street in New London.

After an attending nurse left the room, the woman said that Giarratana subjected her to "sexual contact without her consent during her physical exam, police said. The woman immediately reported the incident to a nurse on site after she left the exam room, police said.

Detectives interviewed Giarratana, other physicians and several Hartford Dispensary employees.

Giarratana turned himself into police on a warrant and police. He faces a charge of fourth-degree sexual assault.

Police released him after he posted a $25,000 court-set bond.

Police ask anyone with information to contact the New London Police Department at 860-447-5269.

Photo Credit: New London Police]]>
<![CDATA[Oil Slick Causes Crashes on Route 8 in Beacon Falls]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:47:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Beacon+Falls+Route+8+Crash.jpg

The southbound side of Route 8 was closed in Beacon Falls for about an hour Wednesday after an oil slick caused a number of crashes, according to state police.

The oil covered about 100 yards of the highway between Exits 23 and 24, police said. The accidents were described as fender-benders, according to police.

Troopers were trying to determine how the highway became oily in that section.

The highway reopened around 6:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Russ Sullivan]]>
<![CDATA[CT Residents Complain of Health Insurance Cancellation Notices]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:56:43 -0400

For about the past week or so, health insurance broker Stephen Hunt has been getting phone calls from unhappy clients.

“They just keep building up and up and up and up and up," Hunt said.

The calls are coming from clients who have been notified by their insurer that their policy expires at year’s end and most will have to purchase plans with much higher premiums and much higher deductibles, he said.

“We’re not talking about a minor difference in premium. We're talking about a mortgage payment difference in premium for a lot of people," Hunt said.

Anne Melissa Dowling, the deputy commissioner of the Department of Insurance, said “that’s something we’re really concerned about."

Dowling says some 55,000 people across the state will have their policies canceled either because  it no longer meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act or because grandfathered policies that didn’t need to meet requirements have simply been canceled by the insurer.

It is important, Dowling said, that they consider their options and, in particular, options available through Access Health CT, which may provide significant subsidies for individuals and families.

Anyone with questions can call the Department of Insurance, where well-versed experts can answer all questions, or they can call Access Health CT or consult with a knowledgeable broker, she said.

<![CDATA[State Police ID Body Found as Missing Man]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:22:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/David+Godwin+1200.JPG

State police have identified a body found earlier this month near Interstate 95 in New London as a Middletown man who has been missing for a year.

David Godwin Sr., 65, of Middletown, was last seen Oct. 13, 2013 at the Passport Inn on Main Street in Middletown. State police are treating the discovery of his body as a suspicious death at this time, state police said. Lt. J. Paul Vance, state police spokesman, said that is standard protocol until investigators can determine what caused his death.

In a Nov. 5, 2013 news release, police said that "it is believed that Mr. Godwin then traveled by train from Old Saybrook, CT to Penn Station in New York City" and arrived there on  Oct. 14, 2013" and that "the last communication anyone had with Mr. Godwin was on October 16, 2013."

Police said in that release that Godwin Sr. was likely "suffering from memory loss."

<![CDATA[First Niagara Bank to Consolidate New Haven Branch]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:38:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/First+Niagara+Bank+New+Haven+Edited.jpg

Customers at a First Niagara bank branch in New Haven will have to go to Woodbridge for bank business in the New Year due to consolidation plans.

Harvey Feinberg has been with the New Haven bank branch at 36 Fountain Street for decades, even maintaining the account when the bank changed hands and became First Niagara.

“I became a depositor in 1948. I still have that account,” said Feinberg.

So when he heard that First Niagara was consolidating his branch with the one on Amity Road in Woodbridge in January, he was devastated.

“People come and get their money, it's easy. The Amity bank doesn't have safe deposit boxes. It will become a tremendous inconvenience,” said Feinberg.

Other customers said the same thing.

“As far as having to travel-wise, it is going to impact me. It's far, because I live around the corner,” Monae Washington said.

First Niagara put out a news release Friday.

"Across the financial services industry branch traffic, and the number of transactions handled per branch, are declining and self-service transactions are increasing. First Niagara is no different," Mark Rendulic, First Niagara executive vice president of consumer financial service, said.

The statement also said more customers are using online services, but branches will still be available in the area for customers who need them.

Local leaders are now looking for answers. They say First Niagara made this decision without consulting anyone in New Haven.

“We have worked with that bank for decades, and we found out in a press release, that's it. No discussion of how these people's jobs would be protected, how our economy and our tax base will be protected,” said State Rep. Pat Dillon.

Some customers are taking their accounts into their own hands.

“I'm moving it to Webster because I like being able to come down here either walking or on my bicycle to do business,” said George Jafferis.

<![CDATA[Two Arrested in Drug Bust at Stratford Inn ]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:40:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bischoff+Lowe+Mug+Shots.jpg

Police arrested two men on drug charges at a Stratford inn Tuesday following a narcotics and prostitution investigation.

Haji Bischoff, 31, of Waterbury, and Nevin Lowe, 25, of Meriden, are accused of possession and intent to deal crack cocaine and heroin, police said.

Stratford and Milford narcotics officers searched the Honeyspot Motor Inn room where Bischoff was staying on warrants stemming from an "investigation into alleged narcotics and prostitution activities at the motor inn," according to police. When they arrived, Lowe was with him, as well as four women, police said.

The women weren't arrested, but police charged Bischoff with three counts of possession of crack cocaine with intent to sell, three counts of possession of heroin with intent to sell and two counts of possession with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a school. Lowe was also arrested on one count of each of those charges.

"These arrests are part of ongoing investigations into such activity that impacts the quality of life in town," Stratford police said in a news release.

The state "reprimanded" Lowe return to custody after police found him in violation of his probation terms due to the incident, police said.

Photo Credit: Stratford Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[West Haven Family Quarantined After Return from West Africa ]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:03:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tlmd_ebola13.jpg

A family of six from West Haven has been quarantined after returning from West Africa, according to Mayor Edward O’Brien. They do not have any symptoms, the mayor said.

The quarantine is precautionary and complies with an emergency order Gov. Dannel Malloy issued earlier this month to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus in the state of Connecticut.

On. Oct. 7, Malloy signed an order that gives the Commissioner the Department of Public Health the ability to quarantine anyone who might have been exposed to the Ebola virus.

About a week later, after a Yale University student was in isolation with Ebola-like symptoms, Malloy issued stricter guidelines, requiring anyone who traveled to affected areas or was in contact with an infected individual, to stay at home for 21 days and take his or her temperature twice a day. 

Public heath health workers will contact residents by phone twice a day by phone to see how they are doing. 

Anyone who develops a fever or other symptoms that suggest the Ebola virus during the quarantine period will be sent to a hospital for evaluation and placed in room separate from other patients.

In accordance with the order, the family will quarantined in their home for 21 days.

Malloy's order also calls for anyone who became sick with a fever a fever with and/or any of the symptoms of Ebola virus disease such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and  traveled to Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea in the last 21 days or had contact with a person who has Ebola virus disease to be sent to the hospital to be evaluated and placed in isolation.

The Yale student who was quarantined tested negative for Ebola.


<![CDATA[Ex-Bank Employee Stole $100,000 from Customers: Officials]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:21:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/money_handcuffs_generic_nbc.jpg

A former employee of a Newington bank has been arrested on federal charges, accused of stealing more than $100,000 from bank customers and diverting bank statements.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Alexander Alvarez, 32, of East Lyme, is accused of stealing $100,806.85 from one bank customer and $11,137.01 from a second bank customer between December 2012 and May 2013, while he was a bank employee.

Federal documents don’t state what bank Alvarez worked for, but say he targeted accounts with little bank activity and changed the mailing addresses on them so the owners would not discover the activity, officials said.

He then created fake transfer slips to move money to dormant accounts or to accounts he had control over, then withdrew the money or transferred it to his own account, officials said.

A grand jury handed down an indictment on Tuesday, charging him with two counts of bank fraud.

Alvarez was arrested on Wednesday, appeared in court in Bridgeport and is detained.

A detention hearing is scheduled for Oct. 24.

<![CDATA[ Police Arrest Man on Gun, Burglary Charges]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:58:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/102214+Kyle+Eckweiler+Edited.jpg

Shelton police arrested a 21-year-old man Wednesday on five warrants for gun, burglary and larceny charges.

The arrests stem from a search following the initial arrest of Kyle Eckweiler, of Shelton, on Sept. 23. Police found several credit cards, GPS devices, three purses and other items stolen from vehicles, police said.

Police served five warrants for his arrest at Derby Superior Court on Oct. 22 and charged him with theft of a firearm, criminal possession of a firearm, four counts of third-degree burglary, three counts of sixth-degree larceny, fourth-degree larceny and violation of probation.

The department held him on a $92,500 bond.

Photo Credit: Shelton Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Huge Bear Spotted Roaming Through Farmington Neighborhood]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:56:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/farmington_bear_video_1200x675_346303043544.jpg

People in a Farmington neighborhood woke to quite a sight on Wednesday morning.

A large bear took a leisurely stroll through yards on Bailey Court. Dozens gathered to watch the animal lumber through the neighborhood.

Police were called to the street and said officers were able to quickly guide the bear back into the woods and away from homes.

There have been 442 reported bear sightings in Farmington in the past 12 months, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  Only Avon had more bear sightings reported in the same time period, DEEP said.

<![CDATA[Police Continue to Investigate Girl's Death in Plymouth]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:32:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/101914+Plymouth+Untimely+Death+Edited.jpg

Plymouth police continue to investigate after a girl was found unresponsive in town of Sunday and pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police received a report of an unresponsive girl under the age of 18 at 211 Main Street, a building with stores and apartments, in the Terryville section of Plymouth at 9:05 a.m. on Sunday.

Officers responded and an ambulance transported the girl to Bristol Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to police.

The medical examiner conducted an autopsy on Monday and the cause of death has not been determined.

Police have not said whether they believe foul play was involved and the girl's name and age have not been released.

"Any death for a child is terrible," said Kris Nass, who lives in town. "But to not know what happened, to not know if it's natural causes, to not know was it violent? Did somebody break into that child's room like you hear on the news all the time? So that we can be prepared, to watch, to see what's going on in town."

The State Police Western District Major Crimes Squad also responded to the scene and continues to investigate.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Vineyard Vines Gives Back Through Charity]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:01:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Vineyard_Vines_Gives_Back_Through_Charity_1200x675_346356291664.jpg Vineyard Vines has Connecticut roots and part of the company's mission is to give back. See some of the ways they are helping charities.]]> <![CDATA[Minor Injuries Reported in South Windham Crash]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:49:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Crash+on+Route+32+in+South+Windsor.jpg

People were injured in a crash on the South Windham-Willimantic line this morning and the road has been closed.

Two cars are involved in the crash on Route 32 around 11:30 a.m. and police said the injuries are not life-threatening.

The road has been closed between Richmond Avenue and Route 32.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Liquor Bottle Could Hold Clues in New Haven Gun Theft]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:09:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/new+haven+police+generic1.jpg

A 12-gauge shotgun was stolen during a burglary in New Haven on Tuesday afternoon and a liquor bottle apparently left behind at the scene could hold clues in the case.

Police responded to a home in the 700 block of Elm Street around 4 p.m. to investigate a suspected burglary after a tenant on the second floor reported hearing noises coming from a neighbor's apartment.

The caller knew the neighbor wasn't at home and owned a gun, police said.

Police and SWAT officers responded and the tenant reported that the only thing missing was a Mossberg 500 pistol-grip 12 gauge shotgun.

As police spoke with witnesses, they told officers they saw a woman standing outside who appeared to be a lookout and man leaving the building.

Police said the burglar and lookout might have left an empty bottle of Alize liquor behind by the front door because the tenant said it wasn't his.

Police said fingerprint technicians responded to the scene and the liquor bottle was taken into evidence.

The burglar was described as a man in his late-20s to early-30s with an average build. He was wearing a teal T-shirt.

The woman was thin, around 5-feet-6 and has short hair. She was wearing a gray T-shirt.

Police are investigating.

<![CDATA[Scene Clear After Bomb Threat at Hamden High]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:01:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Hamden+High+School+bomb+threat+1200.jpg

Hamden High School was evacuated as a precaution after someone called school administration and said there was a bomb in the building and it was "going to go off," police said.

Police were called at 11:41 a.m. on Wednesday, students were moved from the school to bleachers by the football field, then to the Hamden Ice Rink. 

The bomb squad responded, swept the building and determined that the scene was clear.

Police did not allow parents in to pick up their children, but some said they understood.

Students were allowed back into the building as of 1:45 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Principal Points Out Why New London High Renovation Is Necessary]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:28:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/New+London+High+School+1200.jpg

When New London voters head to the polls in less than two weeks, they will be making a decision that will have a major impact on New London High School and the principal took some time on Wednesday morning to point out the repairs he said the school needs. 

Principal Tommy Thompson pointed out loud heaters in the back of a classroom and said it’s just one of many issues plaguing the facility, which was built in the late 1960s.

“This is consistent with how other heaters are performing throughout the building,” Thompson said.

He’s also concerned about the windows, pointing out one that is held together with electrical tape and cannot keep the cold air out.

A plan has been proposed to renovate New London High School, as well as another school in the area, and Thompson said the renovations are crucial.

The leaky roof needs to be fixed, he said, and New London High School is on probation, not having complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act for more than 20 years.

“Wheelchair-bound students need to be able to access any place in the building," Thompson said.

Thompson hopes that outlining the problems will encourage voters to support a referendum on the City Council’s approval of up to $168 million in bonding.

There is already and approval on reimbursement for 80 percent for the school projects, which leaves the city to pay a balance of more than $30 million.

“I think every investment in our future is absolutely worth it,” Thompson said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Memorial Garden Honors Maren Sanchez]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:32:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Maren+Sanches+garden+1200.jpg

A garden will be dedicated at Jonathan Law High School in Milford today to honor the memory of a popular teen who was killed in the school last year.

Maren Sanchez was killed in the hallway of the high school in April, hours before she was supposed to attend her senior prom. She was only 16 years old.

In the days following Maren’s death, the community came together to remember her.

Friends decided to dress up in what they had planned to wear to prom and went to Walnut Beach, bringing Maren’s gown with them, and paid tribute. Vigils were held and now Maren's Memory Garden will be dedicated.

It has purple plants, Maren’s favorite color, and plaques stating, “Maren, forever in our hearts,” have been placed on two benches.

The school is holding a small dedication ceremony at the garden at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, followed by a small reception in the area near the new gym/freshmen wing.

After the garden dedication and reception, a girls volleyball game – Law vs. Foran --- will be dedicated in Maren’s memory.

Attendees have been asked to wear something purple.

Donations from members of the community and local businesses paid for the garden, according to the school.

A memorial fund has been set up to help support the family of Maren Sanchez and to honor her memory.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Car Hit Pedestrian in Hartford]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:00:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Person+hit+at+Oakland+Terrace+and+Albany+Avenue+Hartford.JPG

A pedestrian was struck by a car in Hartford around 1 a.m. on Wednesday.

The person was struck at Oakland Terrace and Albany Avenue.

No information is available on the victim's condition.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Pedestrian Struck in Newington]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 07:28:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/newington+police+cruiser+generic.jpg

A pedestrian was badly injured when he was struck on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington last night.

Police said the man was hit in the northbound lane near Hoffman’s Gun Center around 11 p.m. and sustained serious head and leg injuries.

The driver who struck the man stopped and is cooperating with investigation, police said.

The road was closed for around three hours, but has reopened.

Police have not released the name of either person involved.

<![CDATA[21 Displaced by Hartford Fire]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:06:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/115+Blue+Hills+Avenue+Hartford+fire+1200.jpg

A two-alarm fire displaced 20 adults and an infant in Hartford this morning and is causing traffic problems on Blue Hills Avenue.

Firefighters were called to 115 Blue Hills Ave., a 12-unit apartment building, at 6:39 a.m. and the fire was shooting out of the roof.

All the residents made it out of the building safely and the fire was contained to the third floor and "cockloft," according to fire officials, but there is water damage, so the residents are not able to return to their homes at this point. 

Ten of the 12 units were occupied at the time of the fire.

Two firefighters were injured and have since been treated and released from an area hospital.

A school is located across the street and buses were forced to seek an alternate route.

The American Red Cross and the Special Services Unit are assisting people and helping relocate everyone displaced. Investigators have ruled the cause of the fire as electrical.

The apartment building was built in 1930, according to assessor's records.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>