<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Connecticut News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.comen-usFri, 28 Apr 2017 16:04:29 -0400Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:04:29 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Contents Seen Inside New Haven Home After Explosives Arrest]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:53:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/pasquale+criscio+explosives+fireworks+arrest.jpg

After a New Haven man was arrested for having hundreds of pounds of explosives throughout his house, police released documents detailing what exactly was found in the home. 

Pasquale Criscio told police officers he is not a terrorist, claims he was doing nothing illegal and said he makes the fireworks every year to put on a show for the neighborhood

On Wednesday, police responded to 35 Westminster St. at 5:52 p.m. on Wednesday to investigate a domestic dispute and a woman told the officers that she was at the house, trying to take her belongings, when she got into an altercation with her ex-husband, Criscio, because of the fireworks he had there, according to court documents. 

When police entered the home, a 6-year-old child in the house presented a tube used to light off projectiles. The child was inside with two other juveniles, according to court records. 

Police on the scene said they further pressed Criscio about explosives and the man opened the door to his basement. Officers said they noticed devices with a cylinder type shape, approximately 6 inches in diameter and 8 inches long, with what appeared to be a "tail", the officer's report said. 

That's when police ordered everyone out of the house and sent pictures to the department. 

Bomb Squad technicians and New Haven Police Hazardous Devices Units then responded to the home.

Responding crews entered the home. According to court documents, they could see black explosive powder on the floors of the kitchen and living rooms, plus smell it in the air. 

"There was commercially purchased black powder in the residence as well as evidence of the manufacturing of black powder and flash powder throughout the residence with the residence being grossly contaminated," the arrest warrant said. 

Officers contacted Connecticut State Police and found out Criscio does not have an explosives or pyrotechnic license. 

When officers walked down the hallway, in one bedroom, they saw several boxes of plastic containers that held explosive precursors powder in plain view. This substance is used to make improvised explosives, the documents said. 

In the next bedroom, police saw several large PVC mortar tubes that are the type that could be used for firing aerial fireworks. There was also a box of improvised fuses and more containers of precursor powder, the documents explained. 

The last bedroom had more boxes of precursor powder and several boxes of commercial grade fireworks. In plain view, officers also saw needles and vials along with numerous pill bottles that were opened, sitting on a dresser drawer, the arrest warrant said. 

When officers walked to the basement, they located at the bottom of the stairs two large cardboard boxes with several improvised mortars inside, each being approximately 6 inches in diameter and eight inches long with a green fuse at the end. 

On Thursday evening, police have also charged Criscio with illegal manufacturing of explosives and bombs, illegal possession of explosives, illegal possession and storage of fireworks, in addition to his prior charges of breach of peace and risk of injury

Another person in the home was charged with beach of peace, third-degree strangulation and risk of injury after the domestic incident. Police have not publicly identified the person. 

The children in the home have been placed with other family members.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/New Haven Police]]>
<![CDATA[Stonington Man Struck By Lightning]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:04:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Lightning-Generic-Chalfont.jpg

A Stonington man was struck by lightning during storms Friday morning. 

Police said a resident of Barnes Road called 911 just after 6 a.m. and said he’d been struck, police said. 

The man suffered burns to his left arm.

Photo Credit: Ray Leichner]]>
<![CDATA[Man Charged After Explosives Bust: ‘Not a Terrorist’]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:29:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/pasquale+criscio+explosives+fireworks+arrest.jpg

The New Haven man arrested after officers found massive amounts of explosives in his home told police officers he is not a terrorist, claims he was doing nothing illegal and said he makes the fireworks every year to put on a show for the neighborhood. 

Police responded to 35 Westminster St. at 5:52 p.m. on Wednesday to investigate a domestic dispute and a woman told the officers that she was at the house, trying to take her belongings, when she got into an altercation with her ex-husband, Pasquale Criscio, because of the fireworks he had there, according to court documents. 

She told them she took photos of the fireworks and the argument then got physical. 

Police then asked the 49-year-old Criscio about whether he had fireworks and he initially lied about them, but then a child in the house presented a tube used to light off projectiles, according to court records. 

When officers continued to ask about the fireworks, Criscio opened the basement door, revealing what appeared to be an explosive device. 

Officers then ordered everyone out of the house, reported what they found to the department and sent along photos of what they were able to see, according to the court documents. 

While Criscio was sitting in the police cruiser, he said he “made the fireworks and is not a terrorist,” according to police. 

He told authorities he was embarrassed about the bomb squad showing up at his house and that his neighbors would “think he is a terrorist,” police said. 

Criscio went on to explain that he “makes fireworks every year to do a show for the neighborhood,” court records say. 

He also told them he was in the process of trying to get a license to build explosives, but he’s a hobbyist and what he does is legal because he “wasn’t selling them.” 

Criscio was charged with breach of peace and two counts of a risk of injury because 15-year-old and a 6-year-old children were present, according to court documents.

After evacuating the house, police called in the bomb squad. Once they were sure there was no imminent danger, they secured the scene and waited on a warrant to go inside and investigate further.

That is when authorities found what they called hundreds of pounds of explosives, which New Haven Fire Chief John Alston said could have exploded the entire block if they went off. 

Officer David Hartman said there were piles of explosives in virtually every room of the home and some were the same type used during the Boston Marathon bombing. 

On Thursday evening, police have also charged Criscio with illegal manufacturing of explosives and bombs, illegal possession of explosives, illegal possession and storage of fireworks. 

In Friday, he appeared in court and shook his head as prosecutors described what they say could have been a catastrophe.

Bond was set at $40,000. 

Another person in the home was charged with beach of peace, third-degree strangulation and risk of injury after the domestic incident. Police have not publicly identified the person. 

The children in the home have been placed with other family members.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/New Haven Police]]>
<![CDATA[Connecticut Drivers Rank Near Bottom]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:35:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/car-key.jpg

Do you think you are a good driver? You are a rarity in the northeast, and especially in Connecticut, according to a study that ranks this state near the bottom of the list for safe driving. 

The 2017 Safe Driving Report report EverQuote released this week ranks Connecticut 49th and the only drivers ranked worse are those in Rhode Island. 

The report says drivers in the Northeast tend to speed the most while also using their cell phones while drivers in Western and Midwestern states most closely adhere to driving laws. 

Worst Driving States:

50. Rhode Island - overall safe driving score of 70
49. Connecticut - overall safe driving score of 71
48. Pennsylvania - overall safe driving score of 73
47. New Jersey - overall safe driving score of 73
46. New Hampshire - overall safe driving score of 74

Best Driving States:

1. Montana - overall safe driving score of 90
2. Wyoming - overall safe driving score of 89
3. Alaska - overall safe driving score of 88
4. South Dakota - overall safe driving score of 87
5. North Dakota - overall safe driving score of 87 

While Connecticut has a distracted driver law that makes it illegal to use handheld devices while driving, the report says 31 percent of Connecticut drivers use phones. 

It also finds 53 percent of drivers sped, 20 percent accelerate aggressively, 33 percent brake harshly and 14 percent are involved in poor turning.

 Of all the states in the Northeast, Vermont ranked best, with an overall score of 87. 

The report looked at phone use, speeding, risky acceleration, hard braking and hard turning.

"It's clear that driving behavior differs significantly by region, but unfortunately cell phone use in each state remains unacceptably high," Seth Birnbaum, CEO of EverQuote, said in a statement. "It's our hope that as more people monitor their own driving habits, everyone in the country will be able to improve their skills. Our goal is for the data to shed light on regional differences, empowering those in every state to be alert to the common bad habits and avoid costly and dangerous accidents." 

EverQuote said its the EverDrive app uses GPS, an accelerometer, device screen on/off and gyroscope from the phone to measure and rank driving skills.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Many xfinity Customers Can Now Find NBC CT on Channel 1030]]> Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:33:34 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*134/xfinity+front.jpg

As part of a national reorganization of channel lineups on its systems, Comcast is moving NBC Connecticut to channel 1030 for all its xfinity customers in Connecticut.

This is a decision made by Comcast.  NBC Connecticut has no control or say over our channel placement on cable providers.

This will only impact NBC Connecticut if you watch us in HD.  Channels over 1000 are impacted.  Channels 1-999 will stay the same.  But all HD customers are impacted and will see a new channel lineup.

Scroll down to search the dates of xfinity's channel lineup changes by your city or town:

  • Andover - April 25
  • Ansonia - June 20
  • Avon - April 26
  • Beacon Falls - June 20
  • Berlin - April 25
  • Bethany - June 20
  • Bloomfield - April 20
  • Bolton - April 25
  • Bozrah - June 15
  • Branford - April 26
  • Bristol - April 26
  • Burlington - April 26
  • Canaan - April 20
  • Canton - April 26
  • Chester - June 14
  • Clinton - June 14
  • Colchester - June 15
  • Cromwell - June 13
  • Deep River - June 14
  • Derby - June 20
  • Durham - June 14
  • East Haddam - June 15
  • East Hampton - June 13
  • East Hartford - April 20
  • East Haven - April 26
  • Ellington - April 25
  • Essex - June 14
  • Farmington - April 26
  • Franklin - June 15
  • Groton - June 14
  • Guilford - April 26
  • Haddam - June 14 & June 15
  • Hamden - June 22
  • Hartford - April 20
  • Hebron - April 25
  • Killingworth - June 14
  • Ledyard - June 14
  • Lisbon - June 15
  • Lyme - June 15
  • Madison - April 26
  • Marlborough - April 25
  • Middlebury - June 20
  • Middlefield - June 13
  • Middletown - June 13
  • Naugatuck - June 20
  • New Britain - April 25
  • New Haven - June 22
  • Norfolk - April 20
  • North Branford - April 26
  • North Canaan - April 20
  • North Haven - April 26
  • North Stonington - June 14
  • Norwich - June 15
  • Old Lyme - June 15
  • Old Saybrook - June 14
  • Oxford - June 20
  • Plainville - April 25
  • Plymouth - June 20
  • Portland - June 13
  • Preston - June 15
  • Prospect - June 20
  • Salem - June 15
  • Salisbury - April 20
  • Seymour - June 20
  • Sharon - April 20
  • Shelton - June 22
  • Simsbury - April 20
  • Sprague - June 15
  • Stonington - June 14
  • Tolland - April 25
  • Vernon - April 25
  • Voluntown - June 14
  • Wallingford - April 26
  • Waterbury - June 20
  • West Hartford - April 20
  • West Haven - June 22
  • Westbrook - June 14
  • Windsor - April 20
  • Wolcott - June 20

As of those above dates, xfinity customers will find NBC Connecticut on channel 1030 on your xfinity systems.

If you are an X1 user, you will not need to reprogram your favorites or DVR recordings.

If you are a traditional xfinity cable box user, you will need to reprogram your favorites and DVR recordings.

We recommend setting NBC CT at channel 1030 as a favorite once the new lineup is effective in your town.  This way you can easily get access to NBC Connecticut's newscasts as well as your favorite NBC programs, like "Saturday Night Live," "This is Us," and "The Voice."

<![CDATA[4 Shot in Hartford, 1 Critically Injured]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:52:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Shooting+on+Franklin+Avenue+Hartford+April+28.JPG

Hartford police are investigating after four people were shot on Franklin Avenue Friday morning. 

A community service officer saw a fight, witnessed the shooting, jumped a couple of fences, conducted a chase, caught one suspect and recovered a gun, police said. 

Police said the victims are at Hartford Hospital and one person is in critical condition.  The injuries to the other three victims are not life-threatening, according to police. 

Several people are in custody and police said they seized three guns. 

Franklin Avenue has been shut down in both directions near Barker, but is expected to open soon.

Major Crimes and the Focused Violence Reduction Team are investigating.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Closes Route 20 West Near Bradley]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:32:49 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Car+fire+on+Route+20+Windsor+Locks.jpg

Route 20 West is closed at Route 75 in Windsor Locks near Bradley Airport after a vehicle fire.

A tow truck was hauling three cars and one of them caught fire, which spread to all of the other vehicles, according to state police. 

Police advise drivers to take Old Country Road as a detour

State police said everyone is OK.

Photo Credit: Brittany Natasha]]>
<![CDATA[Maintenance Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Woman]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:15:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Santos+Nunez+West+Hartford+mug+shot.jpg

A maintenance worker at an apartment complex in West Hartford is accused of sexually assaulting a resident in the complex, according to police, and they said a 2-year-old child was sleeping in the home when the attack happened. 

Santos Javier Nunez, 43, of New Britain, is accused of knocking on the door of the woman’s Caya Avenue apartment under the guise of delivering a flier around 11 a.m. Thursday and refusing to leave when the woman asked him to. 

He then tried to coerce her into performing a sex act on him and he sexually assaulted her after she refused, according to police.

A child was sleeping in the apartment when it happened, police said. 

Before leaving, Nunez told the woman not to notify anyone, according to a news release from police. 

After speaking with the victim, police found Nunez performing maintenance in the building and charged him with first-degree sexual assault, home invasion and risk of injury to a minor. 

Police said, based on various stages of his versions of the story, they did not think he was being truthful.

The judge found probable cause for the charges of first-degree sexual assault and home invasion, but denied probable cause for the risk of injury charge because the toddler was sleeping.

Nunez's attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, said his client is a married father of four and grandfather of two and received four character letters, including one from his former pastor in Puerto Rico.

The Nunez family did not comment and NBC Connecticut reached out to the apartment complex, but they did not comment.

Bond for Nunez was reduced from $500,000 to $400,000 and he posted it.

The judge ordered him stay away from the victim.

The arrest report has been sealed and Nunez is due back in court on May 16.

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police]]>
<![CDATA[Plan for Third Casino Moves Forward After East Windsor Vote]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:59:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/East-Windsor-casino-renderings.jpg

Plans to build a third casino in Connecticut are moving forward after residents of East Windsor rejected an ordinance, submitted by petition, that town leaders said could have shut down casino plans. 

During a town meeting, residents debated the proposed ordinance that would have required a minimum distance between a gaming establishment and a state-licensed residential treatment facility, which many believed the proposed casino would violate. 

"This proposed ordinance is about doing something the town already does plenty of: regulating what, where and how certain private and business activities can be carried out in our neighborhoods," said Brianna Stronk, who submitted the petition. 

"Do we really want a gaming facility within a 10-minute walk of a facility that currently provides mental health and addiction support?" asked another East Windsor resident who was in favor of the ordinance. 

Town Counsel Joshua Hawks-Ladds said the proposed ordinance was illegal and that it would invite lawsuits and other problems down the road. 

"What happens once the casino is built and there's a state order to build a facility? You’re going to have a million dollar empty building on your hands?" Hawks-Ladds said. 

Supporters of the ordinance argued that it wasn't about eliminating the casino, but others said that's exactly what it boiled down to. 

At the end of the debate, town residents lined up to vote to accept or reject the ordinance. If they had accepted the ordinance, it would have gone to referendum. The proposed ordinance was rejected, 198 to 112. 

The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribal partnership -- MMCT Venture – wants to build a casino at the site of the abandoned Showcase Cinema and Wal-Mart off Interstate 91 in East Windsor. 

"While we think it is unfortunate that the residents of East Windsor have been denied a chance to voice their opinion on hosting a casino in their town, the news of the past few days regarding the state's finances has been eye-opening. Given the magnitude of the growing-by-the-day fiscal crisis, it would seem like a really bad idea to jeopardize a guaranteed revenue stream of $250 million a year -- which is what the Attorney General has said might happen if the Legislature approves a casino in East Windsor," Uri Clinton, senior vice president and legal counsel for MGM Resorts International, said in a statement. 

The state legislature still needs to approve the building of a casino.

Photo Credit: Tecton Architects ]]>
<![CDATA[Death of Woman in Torrington Ruled a Homicide]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:47:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/IMG_45161.JPG

The medical examiner has ruled the death of a 79-year-old woman in Torrington a homicide.

Phyllis Gervais died of blunt-impact injuries to her head and upper extremity, according to the office of the chief medical examiner.   

Police found Gervais early Saturday morning. They responded to a home on Cider Mill Crossing around 4:15 a.m. Saturday to check on an unresponsive person and determined the death was suspicious. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut ]]>
<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut on Echo: 'Alexa, Tell Me The News']]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 13:14:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Amazon-echo.jpg

There's a new way to find out what's going on in Connecticut: Ask Alexa.

Amazon Echo owners can now listen to top stories from NBC Connecticut through Alexa's Flash Briefing. Just opt in to NBC Connecticut in your Alexa app, then ask your echo to tell you the news.

Alexa, the Echo's personal assistant, will read four top local stories from NBC Connecticut . The briefing lasts about 90 seconds. NBC Connecticut is the first local news source in Connecticut to provide updates on Alexa.

If you have an Echo, this is how to access the Flash Briefing:
·         Launch the Alexa app on your phone
·         Choose Flash Briefing in Settings in the menu
·         Select one or multiple NBC station(s). 
·         Ask Alexa to “Play Flash Briefing”

Echo owners can access the NBC Connecticut Flash Briefing with the following steps:

  • Launch the Alexa app on your phone
  • Choose Flash Briefing in Settings in the menu
  • Select NBC Connecticut
  • Ask Alexa to “Play Flash Briefing”

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Truck Carrying Strawberries Overturns on I-95 North Ramp in Old Saybrook]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:57:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Strawberry+truck+Route+9+Old+Saybrook.JPG

A tractor-trailer carting strawberries crashed on Route 9 South in Old Saybrook.

The exit 1 ramp to I-95 North was closed, but has reopened.

Police said the truck, which is carrying 30,000 pounds of strawberries, was on its side, but it has been turned back to its upright position.

No injuries are reported. 

Traffic is being diverted to I-95 South and Consumer Protection was been called to the scene.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Bristol Girl Reported Missing After Going to Carnival Found]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:58:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Monica+Da+Silva+missing.jpg

Police have canceled the Silver Alert for a 14-year-old Bristol girl who had been reported missing after leaving home to go to a carnival. She has been located and she is safe.

Police said Monica Da Silva left home around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. She told her mother she was going to the local carnival on North Main Street, then left her Chestnut Street home.

The alert was canceled just after 8 a.m. 

Photo Credit: Silver Alert]]>
<![CDATA[Lembo Enters Already Heated Governor's Race]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:25:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Lembo1.JPG

Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo entered the 2017 governor's race Thursday, becoming the third Democrat vying to replace Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Lembo announced that he would for an exploratory committee, aimed at raising enough money through small contributions to qualify for public financing.

The focus for Lembo on his first official campaign day was to showcase what could look like a campaign aimed at middle class workers and building the state's economy.

He said the state's strategy for both crafting a budget and recruiting business has been problematic due to revenue issues that have led to difficult decisions.

“It’s really hard to grow when you don’t what the rules are going to be and you don’t know what the path forward really looks like," Lembo said.

Lembo, who is in charge of the state's checkbook, has also taken a stand against initiatives of the Malloy administration. He voted against a package of bond projects that included $22 million for Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund, based in Westport.

“I don’t think it’s a really good idea to take money and shovel it over to hedge funds, the really wealthy hedge funds in the world, when we’re not focusing on middle class job growth.”

The same week Lembo announced his candidacy, Democrat Chris Mattei unveiled an a pledge to not take any lobbyist money. He asked all candidates to sign on.

During an interview, Mattei said of the pledge, “This, to me, should be an easy thing, right?" Mattei asked. "It shouldn’t be hard to say that as people who are considering public office, the only people we want to represent are the average people who are voting for us.”

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, a Republican who has also formed a statewide exploratory committe criticized Mattei for not prosecuting more Democrats when he worked in the Office of the US Attorney, and also asked him to sign on to a different pledge to not raise taxes if elected, and to look out for the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[GOP Provides Budget with No Tax Increases]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:19:22 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/CT-GOP-Budget.jpg

Republicans in the General Assembly's House and Senate provided their vision on what spending should like for the next two years.

Their spending plan is a two $40 billion plan that spends $300 million less than Gov. Dannel Malloy's budget that proposed back in February and it removes some of the most controversial elements that the governor had proposed.

The budget includes no tax increases, maintains the state's payments for teacher pensions without shifting costs to cities and towns, changes the way local education is funded which is aimed at sending more money to cities and towns.

Republicans say their budget should be the starting point for negotiations with Democrats, which they claim weren't serious over the past two months.

“We can be a better state than what we have but we got to get real with the consequences facing our state," said Sen. Len Fasano, the Republican President Pro Tem. "We have to get real with what we have and what we see and not turn a blind eye and get to business. It starts now.”

There are some cutbacks, however, in the GOP plan. Even though it spends less than the Malloy proposal, it withholds more than $300 million that had been reserved for cities and towns, meaning operating budgets would need to be adjusted. It also cut property tax breaks for middle class families without children, saving $80 million in the budget, but taking $200 away from hundreds of families that claimed the break.

The GOP budget was unveiled on the same day news circulated that income tax receipts are down by a combined $1.1 billion over the next two fiscal years. The update could prove to be devastating to already fragile state finances facing a $3.5 billion budget over the next two-year cycle.

Malloy's spokesperson Kelly Donnelly said in a statement that the GOP plan, "appears to be an earnest effort to balance our state budget."

Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said he wants to put partisanship aside and come up with a bipartisan solution.

"Let’s just stop, no political stuff, no reelection stuff, let’s just get into a room and do what’s right for the state of Connecticut.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Death of Infant Found in Bridgeport Ruled Homicide]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 07:24:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AMBULANCE+NYC.jpg

The death of an infant found in a Bridgeport apartment building has been ruled a homicide, police said. 

Bridgeport Police said they responded to a report of an unresponsive baby boy on April 24 at 11:15 a.m.

The baby was transported to Bridgeport Hospital before being transferred to Yale-New Haven hospital for advanced care. He passed away the following day. 

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner performed an autopsy and classified the infant's death as a homicide on April 26.

The investigation is ongoing as detetives continue to process evidence and interview witnesses. 

The victims identity will not be released due to his age.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Bridgeport Police at 203-576-TIPS (8477).

<![CDATA[Groton Man Accused of Threatening Woman With Shotgun: Police]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:02:18 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/alexander-pickett.JPG

A Groton man accused of making sexual advances toward a woman who came back to his home is also accused of threatening her with a shotgun, police said.

A woman reported that she had met Alexander Pickett, 31, of Groton, at a bar in New London just after midnight on March 9 and they went back to Pickett's residence on Buddington Road. 

While she was there, Pickett pulled out a shotgun, but put it away after she asked him to do so, police said.

Quickly after putting the gun away, he began to make sexual advances toward the victim and she told police she hit Pickett in the face with a drinking glass, cutting her own hand in the process, according to Groton Police. 

Pickett then grabbed his shotgun again and started to point it at the woman, saying he would shoot her, police said.

The victim begged for him not to kill her and eventually convinced him to go to the gas station to get her cigarettes, police said. 

When they were at the gas station, the victim called a taxi to come pick her up. 

On March 10, police located Pickett at home and executed a search warrant at the residence. Groton Police found an AR-15 lower receiver.

Pickett turned himself into police on Thursday and was charged with threatening, reckless endangerment, possession of an assault weapon and carrying a firearm while under the influence.

His bond was set at $100,000. 

Photo Credit: Groton Police]]>
<![CDATA[Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim to Run For Governor: Sources ]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:15:18 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/bridgeport+joseph+joe+ganim+1.jpg

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim is taking a chance at a statewide office, sources tell NBC Connecticut.

The one-time federal convict will announce plans on Friday for a campaign exploratory committee with his eyes on the highest state office: governor.

Ganim won the Bridgeport mayor's race in 2015. He held the job from 1991 until 2003. 

The mayor spent seven years in a federal prison on corruption charges until his release  in 2010. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Mitchell College Student Beaten With Crowbar-like Object: Police]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:25:55 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Mitchell-College.jpg

A Mitchell College student was hospitalized after he was hit in the head with a crowbar-like object, but the person responsible is still at large, according to New London Police.

About ten people, students and non-students, were involved in the brawl on the New London college campus on April 7 just before 1 a.m., said Acting New London Police Chief Peter Reichard.

“I heard screaming, which coming from a college, I thought it would be normal. It would be some sort of party or people being loud and obnoxious. But it sounded kinda more like a devious scream. Like a higher pitch, I would say. It just sounded odd, it sounded different,” described Christian Kai-Nielsen, a junior at Mitchell College.

Kai-Nielsen heard people scurrying and then looked out his window to find police cars filling the road. 

“Obviously the first thing I think of is, ‘Wow, something dangerous happened.’ But I didn't think to that extent,” Kai-Nielsen said. “Because normally we have police here for like, minor things.”

The group of people, who were mostly under 21 years old, were involved in a fight on campus, said Reichard. That’s where a 20-year-old male seemed to be beaten in the head with a crowbar-type object. An email sent later that day to the college community confirmed it was outside the residence halls on upper campus.

Officers are reviewing surveillance video, conducting interviews and still looking for the person responsible for the violent attack.

“A local nightclub that was hosting an under 21 party,” Reichard said. “Something transpired at that party, which was not too far from the campus. And after that, the assault. They confronted each other back on the campus of the school.”

Mitchell College freshman Breanna Gagnon said she was at that club that night, but saw nothing there. She did hear yelling when she got home and said she alerted her resident assistant (RA), who called campus safety.

“There was a lot of yelling so I told the RA and she went outside and told us to ‘just stay inside.’ And I was worried about my friends,” she said.

Mitchell College released a statement that reads, in part, “The College has a strong security presence in place and responded very quickly to the incident. The College will also continue its ongoing commitment to implementing security measures and will respond vigorously at times of heightened risk.”

The school said Campus Life saw the group enter Mitchell College and immediately alerted Campus Safety, who responded within 63 seconds. According to call logs, New London Police were on scene within two minutes.

The school also sent out emails to students and staff about the incident, hosted informational meetings and increased security. New London Police, Connecticut State Police and campus safety officers monitored the entrances to campus in the days following the assault.

“They definitely stepped up what they’re doing to protect us,” Gagnon said.

A spokesperson for Mitchell College said the school has maintained close contact with the victim and his family. The school will continue to provide support as he begins to return to classes.

Safety records reviewed back to 2010 show no similar instances, according to school representatives, who call the incident “a rare occurrence,” in a statement.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Connecticut Couple Stumped in Tree Removal Contract Dispute]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:06:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tree-removal.jpg

A Connecticut couple is in a dispute with a tree removal contractor who they said didn’t finish the job.

Ted and Edie Sowa were excited to start building their retirement home; a tranquil log cabin by the lake. Before starting construction, all they needed were some trees cleared from the lot.

The Sowa’s solicited bids through a community forum and in January and signed a contract with the owner of one tree service, who said he could get started right away and finish in two weeks.

“It sounded perfect. I was so happy,” Ted Sowa told NBC Connecticut Responds he was initially delighted with the contractor’s timeline.

They accepted the contractor’s $3,500 bid for the job and agreed to pay half of that upfront as a deposit. However, the completion date listed on the bid passed, they said, with no communication from the contractor. Worried when they couldn’t reach him and unable to check on the lot earlier, the Sowa’s visited their property three weeks later.

With progress weeks behind deadline, the Sowa’s were dismayed to find some trees felled on top of other trees and brush and, they said, it didn’t appear any trees or brush had been cut and stacked for fuel as the bid specified.

“My stomach sunk- sunk to the ground. How could he do that?” Ted Sowa recounted.

When the Sowa’s demanded a refund, the contractor told the couple they owed him more money for the work he said he completed. Both sides are threatening legal action to recoup money they believe they’re owed.

There are few standards and guidelines specific to cutting trees or tree service businesses in Connecticut. Contractors do not need a state license to cut trees, and permitting rules vary from town to town.

The state Department of Consumer Protection has some tips to help residents make sure they get the work they expect:

  • Request quotes from multiple companies to help hone in on what to expect in terms of pricing, and what may be considered standard services.
  • Contact local, established businesses with reviews and references residents can check out on their own.
  • Make sure the contractor has a valid certificate of insurance and is clear about who will pay for any damage, whether it’s to their equipment, their property, or their neighbor’s property.

“Read your contract, get references, make sure you know what you’re signing before you sign it. Ask all your questions that you have so you don’t end up in a place where you’re unsatisfied with the work someone does,” Lora Rae Anderson, the director of communications for the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), told NBC Connecticut.

The Sowa’s have filed a complaint with the state attorney general’s office. In the meantime, they’re looking for a different service to continue the work and clean up the mess.

“So far, it’s got a little snag going, that’s all. We’ll get through it,” Ted Sowa said.

Anyone experiencing a problem with or have any concerns about the health of trees on your property can consult an arborist. The state’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection does license arborists, who have knowledge pertaining to different species of trees and insects. To find a DEEP licensed arborist, click here.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested for Setting Norwich Apartment Building on Fire]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:12:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Fire+on+McKinley+Avenue+Norwich+1200.jpg

One man accused of burning a Norwich apartment building has been arrested for arson. 

Daniel G. Elliot-Villarreal, 28, has been charged with first-degree arson and criminal mischief. 

Residents were taken to the hospital after fire broke out on the first floor of a home on McKinley Avenue in Norwich and 10 people have been displaced on April 20. 

The fire cased $50,000 in damages in the four-family residence. Nine adults and a child were displaced. 

Eight people were in the building at the time of the fire and three suffered smoke inhalation and transported to the William W. Backus Hospital for treatment. Two dogs and one cat died in the fire.

Two Norwich firefighters required medical attention for minor injuries. 

Elliot-Villarreal was one of the people transported to the hospital after being rescued from his burning apartment. He was later transported from Backus to Bridgeport Hospital for a higher level of care.

An investigation found that the fire ad started in Elliot-Villarreal's apartment and ruled it incendiary. 

Elliot-Villarreal's bond was set at $100,000. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Warmer Weather Brings Showers & Thunderstorms]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:02:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Friday+High+Temperatures1.png

Warmer air is working into the state and some areas could hit 80 degrees Friday and Saturday.

High temperatures Friday are expected to reach the upper 70s to near 80 degrees. Here's a look at Friday's town by town high temperatures 

The warmer weather also brings with it the chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms. Showers rolled through Friday morning and we could see thunderstorms on Saturday.

Here's a look at 'Future Radar' Saturday morning which shows a line of thunderstorms moving through the state. Sunshine and warm air will return by the afternoon hours. 

Unfortunately for the warm weather fans the temperatures become much more seasonable by Sunday. High temperatures on Sunday are expected to reach the middle to upper 60s. The average high temperature for this time of year is 65 degrees. 

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Body of Man Who Jumped off Middletown Bridge Found]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:01:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Search+for+jumper+from+Arrigoni+Bridge.JPG

Police believe they have found the body of a man who jumped off a bridge in Middletown. 

On April 11, police said they were looking for the body after a man reportedly jumped off the Arrigoni Bridge. 

The body found on Thursday in the Connecticut River is believed to be the body of the person who jumped off the bridge.

Police said they are waiting for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to confirm the identity of the person found. 

A man jumped off the Arrigoni Bridge on Tuesday and has not been found. 

Photo Credit: Submitted]]>
<![CDATA[Students Report Minor Injuries After School Bus Stops Short]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:43:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/generic-school-bus.jpg

Students reported minor injuries after a school bus suddenly stopped in West Haven to avoid a collision. 

West Haven police and firefighters responded to the scene on Medford and Jaffrey Streets around 3 p.m.

Approximately 10 to 12 students had minor complaints of injury after the bus stopped abruptly, West Haven Police said.

No other information was available on the incident. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Warrant Sheds More Light on What Police Found Before Charging New Britain Man in Wife's Murder]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:40:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/patrick+miles_amber+alert.jpg

A New Britain man charged in the murder of his 33-year-old wife had made prior threats, deleted text messages indicating that he planned the murder and told a friend he “snapped” and didn’t know what happened after that, according to court documents.

Patrick Miles, 36, of New Britain has been charged with the murder of 33-year-old Yasheeka Miles. Police arrested him days after they say he shot and killed her and fled with their 2-year-old daughter, sparking an Amber Alert.

The investigation began with a 911 just before 10 p.m. Friday, April 7 from someone who said it sounded like someone being thrown around at a neighbor’s apartment.

When police responded to 48 North Mountain Road, they found Yasheeka Miles bleeding profusely. She’d been shot in the head and police found two shell casings on the floor next to her.

They then realized that Patrick Miles and the couple’s 2-year-old daughter were gone.

Police later found the little girl in Brooklyn, New York with one of Patrick Miles’ family members, but there was still no sign of her father until authorities located him days later in West Springfield, Massachusetts, police said.

As police investigated the death, the medical examiner ruled Yasheeka’s death a homicide.

During the course of the investigation, police spoke with people who knew the victim and learned that she was no longer living with Patrick Miles but planned to go to a club that night and had gone to his home to retrieve some items. Then, court documents say, they got into a fight and Patrick Miles is accused of shooting his wife.

One of Yasheeka’s family members would tell investigators that Patrick Miles had had been abusive and threatened to kill his wife the month before, but it was not reported to police, according to court records .

Court documents also state that police found a conversation on Yasheeka Miles’ cellphone in which she was talking about ending the relationship with Patrick and he had deleted text messages indicated that he planned the killing several days before it happened.

Before the located Patrick Miles, police spoke with one of his “known associates,” who told them he had a conversation with Miles about the fact that he was considered a potential suspect and he asked Miles what happened.

“I don’t want to tell you. I don’t know. I snapped. I don’t know what happened after that. I took the sucka (sic) way out,” he said, according to court documents, then added that he was probably never going to see his daughter again.

When police located Patrick Miles, they found him with two cell phones and said he was removing the battery and swapping the SIM card from one to another to avoid being located.

His bond was set at $2.5 million and he is due back in court on May 30.

Photo Credit: New Britain Police]]>
<![CDATA[Man Accused of Threatening Victim at New Britain Court]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 14:01:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Jeremy+Sykes+mug+shot.jpg

A Bristol man is accused of violating a protective order and threatening a victim at New Britain Superior Court Wednesday.

Police responded to the courthouse just after 11:30 a.m. and took 28-year-old Jeremy Sykes into custody.

He was charged with first-degree harassment and violation of protective order.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Hernandez's Estate Currently Worthless; House to Be Sold]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 18:43:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_17069615993974.jpg

Someone could soon be moving into the home of former New England Patriot star Aaron Hernandez.

The $1.2 million property in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, has a potential buyer, and attorneys for the Hernandez family moved quickly to secure it Thursday.

During a hearing at Superior Court in New Bedford, a judge agreed to allow the home to be transferred from Hernandez's name to an estate that is controlled by his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez. The legal maneuvering enables Jenkins Hernandez to accept an offer on the house, which expires Friday. Details of the offer, however, were not made public at the request of attorneys.

"I think that any speculation about the nature of the sale, who the buyers might be, is injurious," said George Leontire, an attorney for the Hernandez family.

The move had support from attorneys who represent Hernandez's murder victim, Odin Lloyd. They currently have a pending wrongful death lawsuit, filed on behalf of Lloyd's mother, and hope to gain access to money from the sale.

Hernandez lived in the home with his fiancee and their daughter until he was arrested for Lloyd's murder in 2013.

According to court records, the property has federal and municipal liens and is currently uninsured.

"This asset is in danger of being lost if it is not sold," the records state.

The potential sale comes amidst other potential legal action by the Hernandez family against the Massachusetts Department of Corrections DOC in connection with Hernandez's suicide.

Thursday, attorneys slammed investigators with the DOC and the Worcester County District Attorney's Office for apparent leaks to the media about the case.

"Individuals within the government who are leaking such information are in violation of the policies and procedures of their respective agencies and should be immediately terminated," wrote Leontire in a letter addressed to both agencies.

Leontire also stated that investigators had obtained copies of letters written by Hernandez to his legal team, which he argued is a violation of attorney-client privilege.

"We hereby demand that the originals of such communications be provided to the defense team, and any and all copies of such writings within your custody or control be accounted for and destroyed."

See the full letter below:

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Charged in Robbery at Milford Hotel]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 13:37:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Jacqueline+Steck+Milford+mugshot+.jpg

An 18-year-old Milford woman is accused of being somehow involved in restraining a person at a Motel 6 in Milford and robbing the victim.

Police have arrested 18-year-old Jacqueline Steck, of Milford, after investigating what happened in a hotel room at Motel 6 at 111 Schoolhouse Road on April 12.

The victim reported being attacked by four people, including one who had a handgun. The victim’s mouth was covered in duct tape and he or she was restrained with zip-ties, police said.

Then a large sum of cash and clothing was taken.

Steck was charged with home invasion, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping with a firearm, criminal use of a firearm and first-degree larceny.

She was held on a $250,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Milford Police ]]>
<![CDATA[Police ID West Haven Man Killed in Motorcycle Crash]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:08:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/West-Haven-Campbell-Avenue-Crash.jpg

A 22-year-old West Haven man was killed in a motorcycle crash on Thursday afternoon.

Police identified him at Jose Luis Rodrigues.

His motorcycle and another vehicle collided at Campbell Avenue and Lamson Street in in West Haven.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Our New Home Page: What You Need to Know]]> Fri, 03 Jun 2016 00:45:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/cthomepage1.jpg

Giving you the information you need as fast as possible — that’s the guiding principle for the new NBCConnecticut.com home page, which has been revamped to highlight live video and the news you need to know right now.

The new design on desktop and mobile web highlights all the live video available on the site — everything from newscasts to campaign speeches to the latest episodes of The Voice and Blindspot. A revamped "This Just In" module provides information you need to know from our reporters and social media. And our interactive radar is now available right on the home page.

So what’s new?

  • A sleeker header that follows you across the site. It provides easy access to live video as well as convenient ways to connect with us.

    The header immediately highlights key sections like News and Weather, and when you hover over the “…” you can find all of the depth of coverage that our site provides.

    The “Watch Live TV” nav item serves as a hub for all of our live video, including a 24-hour-a-day stream of what’s on our on-air channel via NBC.com.

    The “Connect” nav item makes it easy to reach us. Use this nav item to submit breaking news tips, photos or videos, connect with us on social media or sign up for one of our newsletters.

  • A live video bar that highlights important live video that is happening right now, including our on-air broadcasts, news conferences and special events. These live video bars will provide a link to the coverage as well as a few bullet points with more information.
  • Interactive radar has been added directly to the homepage, allowing you to zoom in and out to track storms in your neighborhood and across the country. In times of severe weather, look in this area for the latest weather alerts and school closings.
  • A “This Just In” section that is constantly updated with the latest news and views, especially on social media. News updates happen fast, so this will be an area of focus during breaking news situations and severe weather events.

  • A “Quicknav” on mobile web that allows you to easily navigate between sections on your phone’s browser. Swipe left to see the main navigation items on the site. The “Quicknav” will follow you throughout the site for your convenience.

We hope you like the enhancements we’ve made to the site and mobile web experience! Have comments or suggestions for future improvements? Let us know by clicking here.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Best Day to Buy Gas in Connecticut Is Monday: Study]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:29:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Best+Day+of+the+Week+to+Buy+Gas.jpg

If you don’t need to fill up your gas tank immediately, you might want to wait until Monday to go to the gas station because that’s the day the prices are lowest in Connecticut, according to a new study.

Gasoline prices are the most expensive they’ve been in more than 19 months and will continue to increase with summer driving season approaching, according to GasBuddy, which analyzed three years-worth of fuel price data

They found that average prices are lowest on Monday in Connecticut, as least this year. 

GasBuddy.com lists the average price of gas in Connecticut as $2.51. Check the gas map to check the differences in prices at gas stations near you.

Thursday is the worst day to buy gas in some states, but the worst day to fill up in Connecticut is Saturday. 

“The rise in average prices towards the weekend could be to blame on an influential report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued weekly on Wednesdays, which could push prices higher the day after, depending on if data in its report is as expected or a surprise,” Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, said in a statement. “Since commodities trading isn’t active over the weekend, it typically allows stations to ‘let it ride’ over the weekend, culminating in lower prices by the start of the work week.”

They said, should every driver in the United States buy gasoline on Thursday for an entire year, they’d collectively spend an extra $1.1 billion versus filling up on Monday.

In 2017 so far, Monday is the best day of the week in 23 states.

Photo Credit: GasBuddy.com]]>
<![CDATA[Groups Fear Hartford Budget Cuts Will Have Devastating Consequences]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 10:25:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/MayorsRacePic00000000.jpg

The City of Hartford's budget crisis means deep cuts, but many groups say the cuts would have devastating consequences. 

"What I'm putting forward is not the budget we want to put forward, but it's the budget we have to put forward," Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said. 

Many groups facing proposed cuts for the 2018 fiscal year spoke during a public hearing at Bulkeley High School Wednesday night. 

Dial-A-Ride and senior centers see reduced funding in the proposed budget, which Hartford activist Hyacinth Yennie and others said would hurt services that cater to some of the city's most vulnerable population. 

"Dial-A-Ride is critical for seniors. They can't get out of the house if they don't have a ride," Yennie said. "We can stay at the level right now, but please do not cut seniors." 

Other organizations find themselves facing a total cutoff in funds. 

Hartford Public Access TV broadcasts public meetings, including Wednesday night's hearing, and the executive director said they're facing a nearly $50,000 slash, which is about 20 percent of their total budget, and that would greatly affect their ability to provide services for the city and its constituents. 

The proposed budget would also do away with city funding of Journey Home, an organization that works to end chronic homelessness. 

Journey Home would lose $85,000 and executive director Matthew Morgan said all the progress they've made would be in jeopardy. 

"It is an achievable goal to end chronic homelessness and we are closer than any other state, so these cuts could reverse that and put us on a road back toward increasing chronic homelessness in our region," Morgan said. 

Mayor Bronin said he values the work Journey Home does and pointed out that the organization serves a large region but that Hartford is the only city that gives a significant amount of money to them. 

"I hope you go with the same passion and same energy and same forcefulness to the West Hartford town council, East Hartford town council, Windsor, Wethersfield, Simsbury and Avon and say the same. And if everyone gives you five grand, we'll get you that $5,000 and make you whole," Bronin said. "The City of Hartford cannot continue to bear regional responsibility on our own. We need partnership." 

The mayor said a big reason the city is in a fiscal pit is because so much of their property is non-taxable. 

"Not only is half the property non-taxable, but the property that is taxable is much less than our peer cities like New Haven, Bridgeport. It's even less than West Hartford. We have less taxable property than a suburb that's half our size," Bronin said. 

"We have made tough choices. We know how tough those are, and this budget has some more. But remember, at the end of the day, even with all of that, we cannot do this alone. That's why we have to show the state we have done everything we can because acting alone, there is no path to solvency for our city,” Bronin said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Arrest in Massive New Haven Explosives Bust]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:37:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/pasquale+criscio+explosives+fireworks+arrest.jpg

Police have arrested a 49-year-old man after a large amount of explosives was found in a home in New Haven.

Emergency crews found hundreds of pounds of commercial-grade explosives in a home in New Haven that included the same types of explosive material used during the Boston Marathon bombing.

Police responded to 35 Westminster St. around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to investigate a domestic incident and responding officers found so many explosives that local officials said they could have leveled all the houses in the area had they gone off.

Pasquale Criscio was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with illegal manufacturing of explosives and bombs, illegal possession of explosives, illegal possession and storage of fireworks and risk of injury to a minor.

The risk of injury to a minor charge stemmed from the fact that there were a 15-year-old and a 6-year-old children in the house along with the explosive materials, police said.

Criscio lives in the house, but is not the homeowner, according to police.

"We're talking several hundreds of pounds of black powder that you can obtain legally, but with all the other chemicals that were there, rightfully so, they elevated it to an explosive manufacturing factory," said New Haven Fire Chief John Alston Jr., who gave credit to the officer who noticed the substantial amount of explosives and acted quickly. 

On Wednesday evening, the New Haven Police bomb squad, as well as state police, were called in and authorities determined there was no imminent public hazard and the house was secured overnight until crews obtained a search warrant Thursday.

During a news conference on Thursday afternoon, officials said the explosives were found throughout the home, as well as in storage outside.  

"This was not stored in any organized way. There are piles and piles in virtually every room of this home. This was a tinderbox waiting to go," Officer David Hartman said.

Alston said they had concerns about heat, friction and shock impact that could cause the materials to explode.

"It's very close to other residences, so you could have had a major catastrophe had that officer not given the heads up right away," he said.

The investigation is still ongoing.

"There's a lot in that house. There's a lot for investigators to go through, so this is going to take some time," Hartman said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/New Haven Police]]>
<![CDATA[State Capitol Briefly Evacuated After Fire Alarm Goes Off]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 11:25:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Connecticut+State+Capitol+edited.jpg

The state Capitol was evacuated after a fire alarm went off Thursday morning. 

State Capitol Police said they do not know why the alarm went off.

The Hartford Fire Department responded.

People were allowed back into the building a short time later.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Free Cone Day at Carvel]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 08:48:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Free_Cone_Day_at_Carvel_2_1200x675_437015107645.jpg

Today is “Free Cone Day” at Carvel. Between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., you can get a free junior soft serve cup or cone at participating Carvel locations.

Carvel will donate $1 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief for every coupon book bought today while supplies last.

If you live in Connecticut, you probably do not have to go far to get to a shop because there are 21 across the state:

Here’s the full list, or go to the online map.

  • 401 West Main St., Avon: 860-409-0582
  • 1668 Park Ave., Bridgeport: 203-333-7200
  • 650 Farmington Ave., Bristol: 860-845-8736
  • Carvel Express - 20-A Killingworth Turnpike, Clinton: 860-235-4537 (offers a limited menu.)
  • 1 Padanaram Road, Danbury: 203-792-3428
  • 2864-A Main St., Glastonbury: 860-633-2881
  • Carvel Express -- 1 Civic Center Plaza, Hartford: 203-318-1566 (offers a limited menu.)
  • Carvel Express, I-95 Southbound at Exit 39 in Milford (offers a limited menu.)
  • 1081 Bridgeport Ave., Milford: 203-874-1427
  • 778 New Haven Road, Naugatuck: 203-723-7770
  • 1018 Main St., Newington: 860-667-1467
  • 14 Danbury Road, New Milford: 860-354-3554
  • 324 Connecticut Ave., Norwalk: 203-831-0300
  • 456 Main St., Norwalk: 203-846-3002
  • 113 Danbury Road, Ridgefield: 203-438-7424
  • 1060 Long Ridge Road, Stamford: 203-569-3600
  • 1980 West Main St., Stamford: 203-569-7910
  • 1575 Barnum Ave., Stratford: 203-380-0033
  • 650 S Main St., Torrington: 860-489-8405
  • 243 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon: 860-75-2278
  • 700 Watertown Ave., Waterbury: 203-754-5518
  • 1300 Main St., Watertown: 860-274-1462
  • 1025 Post Road East, Westport: 203-227-6070

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Ringling Bros. Circus Comes to CT for the Last Time]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 18:24:49 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_838620063643-ringling-bros.jpg

The Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus has arrived in Connecticut for the last time and it will be here through Sunday.

The final curtain is coming down on the “Greatest Show on Earth” after a 146-year-run due to declining attendance, increased operating costs and controversial battles with animal rights groups.

“It’s the end to an era,” said Emma Conover, of West Hartford.

“It’s sad but I think it’s time has come,” said Bob Meditz of Wethersfield.

The circus has deep ties to Connecticut.

P.T. Barnum, who made Bridgeport his home, will always be remembered as the 19th century businessman, showman and entrepreneur who brought to life “The Greatest Show on Earth.” 

Bridgeport is also home to the Barnum Museum. 

There were darker moments as well. On July 6, 1944 at least 167 people died and more than 700 people were hurt in a fire during a Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus performance in Hartford.

The show will be at the XL Center in Hartford from today through Sunday.

These are the show times: 

  • Thursday, April 27: 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Apr 28: 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 29: 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, April 29: 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 29: 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 30: 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 30: 5 p.m.

The last stop of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME show will be in Providence, Rhode Island from May 4 through 7.

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Out Of This World ends its tour at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. It will be there from May 12 to 21.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Developer Temporarily Pulls Plan To Build Hundreds Of Apartments In Hamden]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 23:36:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/233*120/Capture181.JPG

The fight to stop 288 luxury apartments from being built along a narrow and winding road in Hamden continues.

Neighbors who believe the project is too large were celebrating a small victory on Wednesday. After months of voicing their concerns about the plan, neighbors said they were more confident that they can 'Save Rocky Top'.

There are many things Tim Mack said he does not like about the plan to build nearly 300 luxury apartments along Rocky Top Road. “Excavation, drilling, blasting, rock crushing on site," are among the items Mack does not want to see. The 18-acre proposed construction site is right beyond Mack's backyard.

On Wednesday, Mack and dozens of other concerned neighbors who live around the hilly terrain in between Sherman and Shepard Avenues received some welcome news.

“It was a sigh of relief because now we're going to get a little break," said Mack.

Gary Richetelli, the developer behind Mountain View Estates, LLC, withdrew his applications from the town's Planning & Zoning board and the Inland Wetlands Commission. “We aim to strike a balance and resubmit a full set of plans addressing the neighbor's concerns to the town soon," Richetelli wrote in a statement.

Those concerns, neighbors have said, include the environmental impact, hundreds of additional cars on such a narrow road, and a massive excavation of trap rock from the top of the ridge.

Since January, neighbors have been vocal at town meetings, have set up road signs, as well as a website and social media pages. The group has also raised thousands of dollars in hopes of stopping the project, or at least slowing the approval process down.

“We've made an impact on the community and so far so good," said Ronald Colaresi of Hamden. "We've saved Rocky Top.”

But those same neighbors said the fight to save the place they call home is not over, knowing now that the developer will submit revised plans in June.

“It's time to dig in and get ready for the next wave, because it's going to be bigger," said Mack.

Even though the developer's application is no longer on the agenda for the May 3 Inland Wetlands Commission meeting, many of the concerned neighbors said they will attend anyway.

"While much of the feedback at the hearings concerned density, traffic and wetlands, we have also heard from many other town residents who believe there is a need for affordable housing in Hamden, and there is a desire to live or stay in Hamden," Gary Richetelli, President of Mountain View Estates wrote in a statement.

"We aim to strike a balance and resubmit a full set of plans addressing the neighbor's concerns to the town soon. This project would create hundreds of construction jobs and pay close to a million dollars to the Town of Hamden, all while providing much needed affordable housing and meet the State of Connecticut requirements," he wrote.

<![CDATA[Infant Located in Rhode Island Man's Car with 12 Ounces of Heroin]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 23:28:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Juan-Hazard.jpg

An infant was inside of the car when police arrested a Rhode Island man for possessing a large amount of heroin in Ledyard, police said. 

While investigating heroin being sold in Ledyard, the police department collaborated with the Regional Community Enhancement Task.

The investigation resulted in the arrest of Juan Hazard, 41, of Canston, Rhode Island. 

Police located Hazard in a Cadillac Escalade on Wednesday at 5:24 p.m. When Hazard was found, police said an infant was inside the car, along with 13.2 ounces of heroin. 

Ledyard officers seize the heroin, a cell phone and the car. 

The estimated street value of the drugs is $34,500.

Hazard was charged with possession of heroin with intent to sell over one ounce, possession of heroin, risk of injury and operating a car with a suspected license. 

His bond was set at $150,000. 

Photo Credit: Ledyard Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[New Program Connects Overdose Victims With 'Recovery Coaches']]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 22:38:01 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/168*120/GettyImages-517243144.jpg

With a significant uptick in opioid overdoses in the southeastern part of Connecticut, the state is creating a way to connect people battling addiction with others who can "coach" them. 

The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) teamed up with the Connecticut Community for Addiction and Recovery (CCAP) to create the program that provides support to overdose victims in the emergency department by connecting them to "recovery coaches".

These coaches, who have battled addiction first-hand, help connect these patients to treatment and services.

The program launched last month at Manchester Memorial Hospital. Lawrence and Memorial (L+M), Windham and William Backus Hospitals are now part of it, too.

So far, coaches have been able to connect more than 40 people to recovery, according the emergency department recovery coach manager for CCAP.

“I have nine years clean off of heroin,” said Katie Siekiera, one of the recovery coaches.

Siekiera said that success came after nine to 14 detoxes or inpatient treatments. It was when she became pregnant with her first child that she made a permanent life change.

As a recovery coach, she’s shared her experiences with overdose patients.

“You could see hope in her eyes from sharing my story and letting her know that I didn’t get it on the first time, either,” Siekiera said. 

Over the last three years, doctors at L+M have seen heroin overdoses more than double: rising from 74 in 2014, to 98 in 2015, to 164 last year.

In 2016, more than 900 people died statewide from accidental overdoses. Most involved opioids, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

“It’s work to be done. Recovery is a process,” said David Santiago, another recovery coach.

For 27 years, Santiago has worked to recover from his heroin and cocaine addictions, battling relapses along the way. He's now been clean for close to two years and wants to help others do the same.

“Here I am, just trying to help others help themselves,” Santiago said. “It helps me every day.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Crash Closed Route 9 in Chester]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 06:58:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/police+lights+rain5.jpg

Route 9 in Chester was shut down after a car and motorcycle collided Wednesday night. 

Police said the highway was shut down going south near exit 6 between the on- and off-ramp.

Injuries have been reported but the details are not clear. 

<![CDATA[Family, Friends Welcome USS New Mexico]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 22:11:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/uss-new-mexico.jpg

The Virginia Class, fast-attack submarine, U.S.S. New Mexico, returned to its homeport Wednesday at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base, New London after a six month deployment at sea.

“I'm just going to hug him,” said Ret. Chief Quartermaster Rick Perritt of the U.S. Navy. He waited for his grandson to arrive on the submarine. For Perritt, it’s a new, proud experience being the one waiting on the pier.

"He picked a career that I was proud of,” he said. 

U.S. Air Force veteran, Capt. Edward Denalsky, flew B-17s. The 95-year-old was waiting to welcome his grandson-in-law back.

"The livelihood and the excitement and the (exuberance), you know? It's just terrific!” Denalsky said.

This homecoming was a birthday present for military mom, Cristy Barham.

She comes from a military family, but said, “As a wife it's hard, but as a mom, somehow it's harder. It's just on a different level.”

The first coupd to hug one another was producer Alexandra Rizk Keane and her husband, Lt. Junior Grade Michael Keane.

In the six months he was gone, Alexandra Rizk Keane produced the movie "Literally, Right Before Aaron," starring Cobie Smulders, Justin Long, and written and directed by NBC’s "The Blacklist" star Ryan Eggold. It premiered on Saturday at the Tribeca Film Festival and her husband will see the last screening on Thursday night. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Waterbury Schools Revoke Dress Code Suspensions ]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 06:56:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Wilby+High+School+Dress+Code.jpg

More than 150 students at Waterbury’s Wilby High School missed a day of class for violating the dress code, but now the school district is removing those suspensions from their records.

“They decided to suspend everyone that was not in the dress code,” Wilby student Jessica Rivera said.

Four of Rivera’s friends were suspended as part of the dress code enforcement sweep, she said.

“They were surprised, some of them were mad, because there’s only two months left, so why would they worry about that now?” Rivera said.

The 1,086 students were warned last week about the dress code crackdown.

“We were left in the dark, we had no knowledge” said Robert Brenker, the Waterbury Public Schools’ interim chief operating officer.

While the district officials support dress code enforcement, Brenker said Wilby administrators did not follow the proper protocol of progressively disciplining students.

“Each one of those 156 should have had a review based on their individual record,” Brenker said.

Some of the students should only have received a written warning or an afterschool detention. District police calls for a suspension only after a fourth dress code violation.

“All the suspensions have been revoked for the 156,” Brenker said of the district’s decision after a parent notified them Monday about the mass suspension.

The Waterbury schools dress code prohibits high school students from wearing hats, caps and hoodies.

“It teaches them how to be professional to a degree,” parent Lygia Rinaldi said.

But Rinaldi does not like how Wilby High School is trying to enforce the dress code.

“I think suspension is a little much for dress code,” she said, “c’mon for clothes, what if people can’t afford it.”

NBC Connecticut reached out to the Wilby High School Principal Michele Buerkle for comment, but she did not respond to our email.

<![CDATA[New Britain Man Arraigned as Victim’s Mom Speaks Out ]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 19:50:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/paisley+and+patrick+miles.jpg

The man accused of killing his wife and then fleeing the state with their 2-year-old daughter faced a judge on Wednesday. 

Patrick Miles, 36, was arraigned on charges of murder, criminal possession of a firearm and criminal use of a weapon at New Britain Superior Court.

Miles is being held on a $2.5 million bond.

New Britain Police found his wife, Yasheeka Miles, dead with a gunshot wound to the head at their New Britain apartment on April 8.

Police quickly realized the couple’s 2-year-old daughter Paisley was missing. An Amber Alert was issued and the search began, as police believed she was with her father Patrick.

The child was found hours later unharmed at the home of relatives in Brooklyn, New York.

Miles was found five days later in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

After he was arraigned in court and ordered to be held on a $2.5 million dollar bond, Adriene Lauray, the victim’s mother, spoke with NBC Connecticut about her daughter.

“Yasheeka had changed her life. And he just didn’t understand it. Yasheeka was in college, she was working. She was taking care of her kids,” Said Lauray. “When she changed. He didn’t want to change. And I know he’s responsible for her death there’s no question in my mind about that.”

Yasheeka was 33 years old at the time of her death. She was also a student at Capital Community College and a mother of two.

Lauray describes her daughter as sweet, charming and always smiling.

“That’s her nickname, ‘Mouda.’ We called her ‘Mouda.’ We called her Ti-Ti. She was doing a good job—a fantastic job. I was very proud of Yasheeka and what she was doing.”

Instead of being by her daughter’s side today, she has her daughter only in spirit.

“My daughter is gone and all I can wait for is justice. That’s it,” said Lauray.

Now the victim’s mother said she will be the caretaker of her daughter’s two children.

Miles’ affidavit was not available after his arraignment today.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Historic Goodwin Hotel to Reopen in Hartford]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:00:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/goodwin+hotel+reopening.jpg

Hartford’s historic Goodwin Hotel is set to reopen after nearly ten years.

“The Goodwin was a well-known name and it’s nice to have it back,” said Al Bourjaili, of Southington.

The Haynes Street hotel has been shut down since 2008. The owners at the time reported more than $6 million in losses.

Two new Connecticut-based developers purchased the building last year for $5 million and transformed the space.

The hotel is being promoted as an upscale boutique hotel. It now has modern rooms, a gym and brand new restaurant, the Harlan Brasserie.

“I think it’s great for Hartford, especially the restaurant on the first floor,” said William Moran of Simsbury. “It’s nice to have development on the main level.”

Following the opening of Dunkin' Donuts Park, local business owners say they’re hoping this is another sign of Hartford’s redevelopment.

“Now that the hotel is opening we’re really looking forward to the guests coming in and the increased traffic flow,” said Nigel Clark, owner of the Juiced Up Juice Bar.

The Goodwin is taking reservations beginning May 5. The restaurant will open to the public May 2.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Silver Alert Canceled for 10-Year-Old Stamford Girl]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 06:46:15 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/MISSING-PERSON-GENERIC.jpg

A Silver Alert has been canceled for a 10-year-old Stamford girl.

When police issued the alert, they said Cashmere Robinson was taken by a non-custodial parent, Samantha Cuevas and they believed the child and parent could be in the Bronx, New York.

The Silver Alert was canceled early Friday morning.

No additional information was released.

<![CDATA[New Britain High School Valedictorian Accepted Into 4 Ivy Leagues]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:56:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Saimun.jpg

New Britain High School's valedictorian has been accepted into four Ivy League universities: Yale, Dartmouth, Harvard and Princeton. 

Saimun Habib, who aspires to be an engineer, was recently ranked among the top 30 finalists in the statewide Chemistry Olympiad Competition. 

The New Britain High School senior is a co-captain of the school's robotic team which is ranked in the top 20 percent of teams around the world. 

Habib said he has narrowed his school selection down to two universities. 

“This is a decision I do not take lightly. I have always worked hard to do well in both my classes and extracurricular activities, and I am excited to study chemical or biochemical engineering at either Harvard or Princeton,” Habib said.

Teacher Manila Mathur said Habib is one of her most passionate and driven students. 

“I have come to know Saimun as a strong student and a role model for his peers. Saimun is a rare type of student who combines exceptional natural ability with a willingness and eagerness to learn. Although he is aware of his natural ability, Saimun is constantly challenging himself, asking advanced questions in chemistry class in pursuit to deepen his level of understanding of concepts,” Mathur said. 

In addition to his intelligence, the high school's principal Joseph Pinchera notes Saimun's remarkable character. 

“I can’t say enough about Mr. Habib. His academic record speaks for itself. He is a great young man who cares about people. I personally enjoy his humorous approach in everything he does. There is no question that Saimun Habib is a game changer. His future is beyond bright!” Pinchera said. 

Photo Credit: New Britain School District]]>
<![CDATA[Historic Goodwin Hotel to Reopen Next Week]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:57:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/Goodwin+hotel+6.JPG

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>