<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.comen-usTue, 25 Jul 2017 06:54:38 -0400Tue, 25 Jul 2017 06:54:38 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Police Revoke Los Imperios' Entertainment License ]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 23:25:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/West_Hartford_Nightclub_Could_Lose_License.jpg

West Hartford police have revoked Los Imperios' entertainment license following a series of violations and a suspension.

The restaurant's entertainment license was suspended from July 18 after various disturbances and complaints about the business on Farmington Avenue.

In a letter dated Monday, West Hartford Police Chief Tracey Gove notified the restaurant's owner that the entertainment license will be revoked once the suspension period ends on August 2.

West Hartford first suspended the restaurant's entertainment license following a hearing about the restaurant's disturbance violations on July 17.

The suspension of the restaurant's entertainment license includes putting an end to the music but still allowing alcohol.

The town adopted an ordinance last October which requires businesses to turn off the music at least a half hour before they close.

But police found that a DJ at the restaurant played music past the allowable time for the entertainment ordinance.

Additionally, police said there have been fights and disturbances at the location multiple times.

In the letter, Gove wrote that the restaurant offered DJ entertainment despite the suspension and previous warnings and that the department received a noise complaint from neighbors as recently as July 20.

The business has the right to a hearing, which the police department has set for August 8.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Several People Injured in a Crash Involving a Bus]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 06:44:54 -0400

Police said there was an accident between a bus and a car early Tuesday morning.

Suffield police said more than ten people were involved and have multiple injuries including serious and critical.

It is unknown at this time who was on the bus and what caused the accident.

<![CDATA[Federal Judge Blocks Mass Deportation of Iraqis]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 01:25:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_17172716428292.jpg

A federal judge in Detroit Monday halted the deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals, NBC News reported.

The Iraqis, many of whom are part of their home country's Christian minority, could face "grave harm and possible death" if sent back to Iraq, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith ruled, granting a request for preliminary injunction.

Goldsmith said the government's position to deport them is "inconsistent" with the Constitution.

The government targeted the Iraqis, who have criminal convictions or overstayed their visas, over long-standing deportation orders. More than half had been in the United States for more than a decade because Iraq refused to issue travel documents, the ruling says.

Photo Credit: Carlos Osorio/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[29 Employees on Paid Leave for Months Amid Abuse Allegations]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:39:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/whiting-forensic-services.jpg

Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being paid to dozens of state hospital employees, while they remain on administrative leave during an investigation.

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters wanted to know how this happened.

The investigation centers around allegations of patient abuse at the Whiting Forensic Division, a state psychiatric hospital. It’s a story the Troubleshooters broke earlier this year.

Twenty-nine employees are on administrative leave in connection with an investigation into alleged abuse and failure to report it.

Some have been out as long as 14 weeks so far while receiving full-time pay. That totals $400,000, and counting, according to information provided to the Troubleshooters in response to a Freedom of Information request.

State regulations say employees only get administrative leave pay for 15 days. Yet the agency overseeing Whiting tells the Troubleshooters the union contract that covers most of these employees “allows for extensions of administrative leave due to extenuating circumstances.”

And these employees may be on leave quite a while longer. First, a state police investigation must wrap up. Then the agency in charge of Whiting conducts its own investigation. When that ends, decisions on continuing administrative leave pay are made.

At the same time, state tax dollars are paying for replacements to work for many of the 29 employees now out on administrative leave.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Man Stole $23K in Jewelry from Watertown Store: Police]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:57:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/STEVEN-CARLOTO.jpg

Watertown police have arrested a man accused of stealing around $23,000-worth of jewelry from a store in August 2016.

Police said that on August 10, 2016, someone smashed the front door of David Jewelers on Straits Turnpike around 3 a.m. on Wednesday, then smashed several display cases. Valuable jewelry was stolen, along with sample jewelry, which is not made of precious metal or real stones.

On Monday Carloto, who was already incarcerated in the Connecticut Department of Correction, was charged with first-degree larceny, third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree criminal trespass in connection with the incident.

Police said physical evidence, including DNA, was recovered at the scene and led them to Carloto. The accused has a history of burglary and larceny arrests, police said.

He was issued a $35,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Watertown Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[New Haven Community Leaders Concerned About Recent Violence]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 23:26:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/New_Haven_Clergy_Voice_Concerns_About_Gun_Violence.jpg

Members of the clergy came together in New Haven Monday to voice concerns over recent gun violence in the city.

New Haven police have released the shooting crime statistics for the year so far, and compared to recent years, homicides, non-fatal shootings and shots fired cases are actually down. But members of the community are concerned about recent shootings, including the killing of a 14-year-old boy, which have leaders looking for solutions.

“We are encouraging the community to come forth and help us put these people behind bars that have killed innocent children,” said Pastor Charles H. Brewer III of the Trinity Temple Church of God In Christ.

Brewer announced a coalition of Young spiritual leaders who are coming together to try to tackle recent violence in communities like theirs by engaging those who are most at risk.

This comes in response to the shooting of a 14-year-old boy near Bassett and Newhall Streets on July 16. Police said the victim, who later died at the hospital, was targeted by the shooter.

On July 22, a 13-year-old boy was shot in the leg near Shelton Avenue and Ivy Street. And a day later, a 21-year-old man was shot in the face near East Street.

In a statement about the violence, New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell wrote:

"This is a situation which cannot and will not be tolerated. This is the time where both the New Haven Police Department and the community can utilize the relationships which have been built over the years to ensure that this type of behavior stops immediately!"

The chief also said that there is no place in the city for people who don’t value the safety of the community and the sanctity of life, and called for anyone with information on the recent violence to come forward. Tips can be made anonymously.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Shelton Man Charged with Assaulting Juvenile Relatives]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 19:54:01 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Robert-Hoha-Jr.jpg

Shelton police have arrested a man accused of assaulting two juvenile relatives by grabbing them by the neck.

Robert Hoha Jr., 39, of Shelton, was charged with risk of injury to a minor, strangulation, assault, and disorderly conduct.

Police said the investigation started when the victims told their mother that Hoha, their uncle, had grabbed each of them by the neck while they were visiting with their father for a weekend.

After interviewing several family members, police obtained an arrest warrant for Hoha. He was placed on a $100,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Shelton Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Silver Alert Issued for 8-Day-Old Baby and Her Mother]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 21:08:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/MERIDEN-SILVER-ALERT.jpg

A Silver Alert has been issued for an 8-day-old baby and her mother.

Meriden police are trying to locate 8-day-old Esperanza Lopez and her mother, 23-year-old Ashley Correra-Graham.

The pair was reported missing Monday.

Correra-Graham is described as 5-foot-5, around 140 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She has a tattoo on her right side of her upper chest.

Anyone with information on either Lopez or Correra-Graham’s whereabouts is asked to contact Meriden police at 203-238-1911.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Concern Growing for Undocumented Immigrants in Connecticut]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 19:00:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Immigration+Concerns.jpg

An immigration lawyer in New London said there’s a culture of fear amongst people who are undocumented but trying to become lawful American residents or American citizens.

“I think there’s been a lot of word on the street about round-ups by ICE so people are starting to think, ‘maybe I need to prepare for myself,’” said attorney Marcy Levine.

Levine said under Donald Trump’s administration, she’s been getting flooded with calls from both undocumented and documented immigrants concerned about deportation. They’ve been making plans for guardianship for their children and finding a power of attorney for their belongings.

“People who are undocumented are not safe. Even if they’re not out committing crimes. A lot of us believe that people who had pending criminal cases or violent criminal histories would be the ones targeted for removal,” Levine said.

She referenced Nury Chavarria’s case. A Norwalk mom of four who’s lived in the United State for 24 years. Chavarria is now seeking refuge at a New Haven church, refusing deportation. 

There’s uncertainty about the future of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Levine added. And to have a case heard before a judge could take years.

“I wanted a changed life. And over there, I (didn’t) have milk to give to my children. I needed to take a chance for them,” said Lizbeth Polo-Smith, who left her young children in Peru in 2002 and came to America.

Polo-Smith wanted to be able to afford meals, diapers and create a better life for her children. But she was in the U.S. for 14 years before being able to get her green card.

Polo-Smith was able to lawfully bring two of her children to American when they were eight and six years old since their father was an American citizen.

“We’re not criminals. We’re working in (American) houses, we’re working in their yards, we’re working in their restaurants. We’re working – We’re not criminals,” she said.

At Centro de la Comunidad at 109 Blinman Street in New London, Levine and Polo-Smith are hosting a forum and discussing legal options for non-citizens. It starts at 7 p.m. Monday, and there’s another discussion on July 29 at 10 a.m.

People who attend are asked to donate a pack of diapers for families in need.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Connecticut Father May be Deported]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:51:47 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Connecticut_Father_May_Be_Deported.jpg

A Connecticut couple is fighting to stay together after hearing one of them is going to be deported.

Joel Colindres came to the U.S. from Guatemala 13 years ago. And seven years ago, he married Connecticut native Samantha.

Since then, the two have been fighting for the necessary documents for Joel to stay in the U.S.A.

"Let's do it the right way, you've been paying into money for social security, you're not going to be having retirement," said Samantha Colindres.

Colindres said problem is, back in 2004, when he was 20 years old and living in Texas, he missed an immigration court date.

"There's a deportation order on him because he missed a court hearing," said Samantha, "They had his address completely wrong, his first name was spelled with a k, his last name was wrong, he never even received the order to go the court."

Because of the order, Colindres said he cannot apply for citizenship. Instead, he has been granted several Stay of Deportation or "stays,"

which is an Immigration and Customs Enforcement-approved order allowing him to remain in the country for one year. Last Thursday, the couple received the results from their most recent "stay" application.

"Denied, your stay has been denied, and you have thirty days to leave the country. I broke down in tears, how can you do this!?" said Samantha.

It's news the couple has not been able to share yet with their six-year-old son, and two-year-old daughter.

"How do you tell them? Hey, I'm sorry I got to leave. I don't know when I am going to see you again," said Joel Colindres.

ICE tells NBC Connecticut they are not going to take Colindres into custody at this time. Instead, they placed him on a GPS monitoring program. ICE also said "he was instructed to report back to ICE with an itinerary as proof he intends to comply with his removal order."

Until the time comes, the couple is working with attorney's to clear up the court date issue, and keep her family together in the country they say they love.

"We have to prepare for the worst, but no matter what, I am always going to love this country," said Colindres.

The couple plans to hold a rally Thursday on the 300th block of Main Street in West Hartford.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Damages Hartford Firefighter’s Home]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 08:30:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Fire+at+home+of+Jamaal+Gibson.JPG

A Hartford firefighter’s home was damaged by fire early Monday morning.

Fire broke out at the two-story home at White Street and Grandview Terrace around 3:30 a.m. and smoke detectors woke 33-year-old Jamaal Gibson, his girlfriend, their daughter and Gibson’s uncle. They were able to escape and no injuries are reported. 

Deputy Fire Chief William Kerr said the heaviest fire was on the porch and it spread to the second floor. 

Gibson, who has been with the fire department for six years, said he was told the fire is believed to have started outside the residence. 

The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Ellington High School Student Killed in Plainville Crash]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:16:23 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Ellington+High+School+student+killed+in+Plainville+crash.JPG

Grief counselors were available at Ellington High School Monday after a 17-year-old student was killed in a car crash in Plainville over the weekend.

Ellington Superintendent Scott Nicol wrote in a statement that Olivia Wentworth, a rising junior at the high school, died after an accident Saturday night.

Grief counselors will be made available at Ellington High School today for students and the school will open at 8:30 a.m.

"Our collective prayers and thoughts go out to Olivia's family and loved ones," Nicol wrote.

Wentworth was killed in a crash on Route 10 and Townline Road in Plainville just after 11 p.m. Saturday, according to police.

A 2002 Dodge Dakota pickup and a 2007 Volkswagen Rabbit collided and people who were in both vehicles were seriously injured. Wentworth was a passenger in the Volkswagen, police said. 

Plainville police are investigating the crash and they are asking for witnesses to come forward and call 860-747-1616.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Fact Checking Trump's Remarks on Health Care]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 21:57:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tru6AP_17205761619358.jpg

President Donald Trump on Monday, in delivering remarks about health care, said the former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act has caused "nothing but pain."

He concluded Obama's health bill has "broken our healthcare system, it’s broken, it’s collapsing, it’s gone."

Despite the president's claims about the existing health bill, there’s little evidence of an imminent failure, NBC News reported.

The Congressional Budget Office has indicated Obamacare exchanges are stabilizing, although it suggested some sparsely populated areas may struggle to find insurers. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Immigrant Sanctuary Movement Grows Under President Trump]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 19:20:15 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NURY-Chavarria-NORWALK.jpg

A Connecticut mother who has taken refuge in a church to avoid deportation is one of a dozen immigrants staying in houses of worship nationwide under a sanctuary movement invigorated by President Trump’s positions on undocumented immigration.

The case of Nury Chavarria, which has received national attention, comes after the Trump administration expanded the categories of people to be deported and specified that no one was protected.

Chavarria refused to leave for Guatemala last week as ordered by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement, instead fleeing to Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal in New Haven. The 43-year-old single mother of four, who entered the United States illegally in 1993, said she did not want to be separated from her children.

Her oldest, her 21-year-old son, has cerebral palsy, according to the Hartford Courant. Her youngest, 9-year-old Hayley, issued a public plea on behalf of her mother. 

While Chavarria remains in the church, it is unlikely that ICE agents will move to detain her. The agency typically avoids making arrests at what it calls sensitive locations, including houses of worship, schools and hospitals and doctors' offices, though exceptions can be made. ICE also tries to steer clear of religious and civil ceremonies such as funerals and weddings.

The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the status of the policy -- though according to its website, it remains in effect.

Kica Matos, the director of immigrant rights and racial justice for the Center for Community Change, who is representing Chavarria, said she expected ICE to fully honor its policy and not try to deport Chavarria while she remains inside the church.

The Church World Service, a coalition of Christian denominations that has assisted refugees for 70 years, said it knows of no instances in which ICE agents entered a congregation. There have been cases of ICE agents waiting across the street, it said, and of arrests taking place near a church and school.

In Fairfax, Virginia, in February, ICE agents detained men who had just left a church shelter, where they had gone to stay warm. ICE told Time magazine that the location was a coincidence and that it was not targeting churches. In Los Angeles in March, a father who had been ordered deported, Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, was taken into custody blocks from his 12-year-old daughter’s school, where he had dropped her off. Another daughter was in the car with him.

The sanctuary movement began in the 1980s under President Reagan and was revived under President Obama.

“It’s grown a lot, and after the election is when we saw just a bigger spike,” said Myrna Orozco Gallos, an associate with The Church World Service’s Immigration and Refugee Program. 

The number of congregations offering to provide sanctuary has jumped from 400 to 800 since Trump took office. Although raids took place during the Obama administration too, ICE's detentions have gotten new attention because of Trump's stance on undocumented immigrants. The organization has kept track of 29 public cases in the last three years, she said.

Chavarria, a housekeeper who has no criminal record and pays taxes, applied for asylum when she arrived but was denied. She was granted repeated stays of her order of deportation to allow her to raise her American-born children -- until June, when an ICE official told her she had to depart by Thursday.

“I told him, 'I’m not a criminal,'” she said last week. “I’m a mother of four children. They are citizens, USA. I want to stay here to help them and keep my family together.”

Chavarria’s supporters are hoping to win her another reprieve.

Among the dozen people who have sought refuge is Ismael Delgado, who has been staying at a church in Phoenix, Arizona, since October 2015, according to the United Church of Christ. Delgado, who ran a restaurant, has lived in the United States for 20 years and has two children.

Another undocumented immigrant, Jose Juan Federico Moreno, took shelter in a church on the South Side of Chicago more than a year ago rather than return to Mexico. Moreno, who worked for a furniture moving company, was targetted after getting a DUI in 2009.

Others will stay only a few months.

There have been successes among the movement. Two immigrants, Jeanette Vizguerra and Arturo Garcia from Denver, both received two-year reprieves in May. Vizguerra, who is from Mexico and who has lived in the United States for 20 years, left a Baptist church in Denver after she got a stay until 2019. Garcia, who is also from Mexico, had lived in the basement of a Unitarian church in 2014 and 2015 but emerged when he was told his case was not a priority, according to the Denver Post. Garcia, who owned a floor tile-laying business with his brother, was arrested in April 2016 and later was granted a stay, the newspaper reported.

The Church World Service is holding a meeting in Texas on July 28 and July 29 at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Its goal is to provide training and to develop a framework for the sanctuary movement.

Here are the other undocumented immigrants living in houses of worship across the country, according to published reports and the Church World Service:

Rosa Sabido, a Mexican national, has taken refuge in a church in Mancos, Colorado. She had lived in the United States for 30 years on visitor visas or through stays of deportation but faced immediate deportation in May. Residents have volunteered to stay overnight at the church to make sure she was not alone. Her lawyer told the Los Angeles Times she had no criminal record and had worked as a church secretary and tax preparer at H&R Block. Sabido applied for permanent residency in 2001, a case that is pending, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Juana Ortega, an undocumented grandmother from Guatemala, took sanctuary at a church in Greensboro, North Carolina, in May. She came to the United States in 1993, seeking asylum, and when her attempts failed got repeated stays on her removal order, according to CNN. At her first check-in with ICE under Trump’s administration she was told she had until the end of May to leave. Ortega is married to an American citizen; her youngest child is a teen-ager, CNN reported.

Minerva Garcia is a mother from Mexico who has worked temporary jobs, has no criminal record and has paid taxes for 17 years, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. She also sought refuge at a church in Greensboro, North Carolina, when she was facing deportation at the end of June. Garcia came to the United States looking for better care for her oldest son, who is blind and who was 5 at the time.

In Philadelphia, Javier Flores, the father of three U.S.-born children, moved into a church in November, according to Philly.com. He entered the country illegally in 1997 and has been deported multiple times. He re-entered, also illegally, to be with his wife and children. He applied for a special visa available to undocumented immigrants who assist authorities in the prosecution of a crime in which they were injured. Flores was attacked with box cutters in an apparent failed robbery.

A Reno, Nevada, church gave sanctuary to David Chavez-Macias in April. Chavez-Macias, who has lived in Reno for 29 years, had a work permit that was revoked because of a traffic ticket — he turned left on a red light. He has Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that weakens his heart, and he relies on treatment in the United States, according to NBC affiliate KRNV.

Emma Membreno-Sorto, a Honduran immigrant who has been ordered deported, took shelter at a church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in March. Membreno-Sorto applied for political asylum when she arrived from Honduras about 25 years ago, but did not receive notice of a court date, according to the Albuquerque Journal. She moved from Atlanta to Colorado to New Mexico and learned of the deportation order when she was taken into custody at her home in 2011. She has only one traffic ticket and no criminal history, the newspaper reported. Her husband is a U.S. citizen.

Sixto Paz, a homeowner and the father of three U.S. citizens, moved into a church in Phoenix, Arizona, in May 2016. He started working in the United States through a government amnesty program in the 1980s, but an immigration court in Phoenix denied his petition to stay in the country, according KPHO. He had been working as a roofer.

Lorenzo Solorzano Morales has been staying at the Faith, Life and Hope and St. Peter the Apostle Mission in Chicago with his wife and 7-year-old daughter since October. He faces deportation for an arrest on a domestic battery charge in November 2011, according to the Chicago Tribune. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge, accused of pulling a woman’s hair during an argument, the newspaper reported. A landscaper, he has lived in the United States for 30 years.

A woman who has remained anonymous sought refuge at a church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in May. She told the Boston Globe that a man took her against her will from her hometown in Ecuador to the United States. She was arrested crossing the border in 2012 and was detained in Arizona for about a year because she could not pay $7,500 in bail; eventually she was released and went to the Boston area. She got a job as a cook, had two children with a partner but lost her asylum case and an appeal, according to the Boston Globe.

Correction: an earlier photo caption identified Nury Chavarria as Nury Charvarria.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[Shots Fired on Ward Street in Vernon: Police]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:31:55 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Vernon+Police+cruiser+generic.jpg

Vernon police are investigating reports of shots fired in the area of Ward Street and Prospect Street Monday afternoon.

Police said they received a report of gunshots in the area around 12:50 p.m. No injuries were reported, but officers did find evidence of gunfire in the area.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective DiVenere at 860-872-9126 ext. 3765.

Photo Credit: Vernon Police]]>
<![CDATA[Warmer Weather by Midweek]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:49:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Warmer+Air+Web+Lead.gif

The weather has been cool and dreary to start the week but changes are coming by Wednesday.

Temperatures Monday afternoon ranged from the upper 50s to middle 60s which is 20 to 30 degrees below normal. 

Expect a cool night ahead with temperatures falling into the low to middle 50s for inland areas of the state and near 60 along the shoreline. 

Temperatures on Tuesday will be a few degrees warmer with high temperatures forecasted to reach the upper 60s to near 70. 

More summer-like weather moves in by Wednesday with mostly sunny skies and temperatures forecasted in the upper 70s to low 80s. 

Take a look at the temperature trend over the next seven days.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Norwich Police Investigate Arson on South Second Avenue]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:08:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/3-7-South-Second-Street-Norwich-arson.jpg

Norwich police are investigating a fire at a building on South Second Avenue earlier this month as arson.

On July 3 around 5:25 a.m., fire crews responded to 3-7 South Second Avenue for a reported fire. When crews arrived they found heavy fire within the commercial structure, which also contained two apartments.

All the residents escaped unharmed and no injuries were reported.

Fire investigators have determined the fire was incendiary.

Police said they are looking into whether there is any connection to another arson case at an apartment building on Third Street Monday morning, but as of this writing no clear connection had been established.

Anyone with information on this fire is asked to contact the Norwich Police Department Fire Investigation Team at 860-886-5561 ext. 6, the Norwich Police Department’s Anonymous Tip Line at 860-886-5561 ext. 4, or the Connecticut Arson Hot Line at 800-84ARSON/800-842-7766.

Photo Credit: Norwich Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Norwich Police Investigating 2 Arsons in Recent Weeks]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 23:23:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NORWICH-APARTMENT-ARSON.jpg

Norwich police are now investigating if two arsons in the past three weeks might be connected, as they offered a $2,500 reward for information about the first case on July 3.

The most recent fire on Monday morning forced a family of eight to run from the flames in their home.

“When I saw the smoke I immediately got the kids out of the house,” Sky Partee of Norwich, said.

There were frightening moments for Partee, her husband, and her six kids as flames raced through their Norwich apartment around 5:30 a.m. Monday.

“I asked what was going on. She said the house was on fire. I said, ‘What, where the kids at?’” Lisa Davis, the kids’ grandmother, said.

Thankfully everyone in the building’s two apartments made it safely out onto Third Street.

From the outside, it’s hard to see the damage inside Partee’s apartment including all their destroyed belongings.

Now investigators say that someone intentionally started the fire, which Partee saw coming from the back patio door.

“It’s scary. It’s really scary because you’re in a house. Why would someone do it to us? We just moved here. I mean, I don’t have enemies or anything,” Partee said.

This comes exactly three weeks after police say someone purposefully started a fire several miles away on South Second Street.

“People live here. People could have been hurt. Luckily no one was hurt,” Lauren Gallimore of Norwich, said.

Now reward flyers are tacked to the boarded up commercial building, which also included two apartments.

“It’s kind of surprising to hear that people are lighting fires in the area. That it’s Norwich. Why would you do that?” Gallimore said.

Right now police say there is no direct evidence that connects the two fires – which took place around the same time in the morning.

But they are investigating the possibility of a link.

“I hope they find whoever did this, for real,” said Frances Williams, who lives in the apartment building that burned this Monday.

Partee and her family are staying in a hotel for now.

They’re not sure where they’re headed next.

Anyone with information about either fire is asked to call police.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Road Closed in Suffield After Tree Brings Down Power Lines]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 14:26:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/North+Stone+Street+Suffield.jpg

North Stone Street in Suffield is closed after branches came down and brought power lines with them. 

North Stone Street is closed north of Oak Street.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Hartford Commuter Rail Service to Launch in May 2018]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:40:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/051716+train+tracks+generic.jpg

Gov. Dannel Malloy made a couple announcements today on the future of the high-speed New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail line, which is under construction.

One was that a service provider has been selected and it’s a joint venture of TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts. The other is that the service launch date is now in May 2018.

The Joint Venture of TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts (TASI/ACI) has entered into a $45 million contract with the state Department of Transportation for five years, plus approximately 10 months of preliminary mobilization work that is required to prepare for the launch of the service.

TASI/ACI will be responsible for operating trains, maintaining stations and parking facilities, and performing various customer service functions.

There will be 17 round-trip trains between New Haven and Hartford each weekday, with 12 of them continuing to Springfield. On weekends, 13 round-trip trains will operate between New Haven and Hartford, with nine continuing onto Springfield.

Trains will top out at 110 miles per hour, DOT officials said. A trip between New Haven and Springfield could be as short as 81 minutes long.

Longtime Wallingford resident Bobbie Bourne said she can’t wait to take advantage of the new rail service for travel with her husband.

“Train travel is the way to go in my book,” Bourne said. “It’s much more convenient to have more trains coming through Wallingford. In the past we’d have to go to New Haven and catch a train there.”

Amtrak will remain responsible for maintenance of the railroad infrastructure, including track signals, train dispatching and right-of-way security, according to state officials.

Officials said Amtrak’s existing service will not be altered by Hartford Line service and CTrail trains will operate together with Amtrak trains on the rail line to provide seamless Hartford Line service.

The existing stations are New Haven Union Station, New Haven State Street Station, Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor, Windsor Locks and Springfield. Future stations will be in North Haven, Newington, West Hartford and Enfield.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[US Military Plane Intercepted by Chinese Fighter Jets]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:20:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/chinaJ10jet_1200x675.jpg

U.S. military officials confirmed two Chinese fighter jets intercepted and almost collided with a U.S. military surveillance aircraft in the East China Sea this weekend, NBC News reported. 

One of the Chinese J-10 fighter jets flew underneath U.S. Navy EP-3 on Sunday and then suddenly was in front of the aircraft. The maneuver forced U.S. reconnaissance jet to take "evasive action" to avoid a collision, officials said.

U.S. military officials described the maneuver was unsafe and unprofessional as they have with similar past incidents earlier this year.  

Photo Credit: AP ]]>
<![CDATA[Lanes Reopen After Tractor-Trailer Jackknifes on I-95 in Bridgeport ]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:48:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/95+jacknifed+tractor+trailer.jpg

Lanes have reopened after a  tractor-trailer has jackknifed on Interstate 95 North in Bridgeport.

State police said the left and left center lanes have reopened.

No injuries are reported, according to police.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation]]>
<![CDATA[Milford Man Charged With Attempted Murder of His Parents]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 23:20:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Patrick+Kiraly+mug+shot.JPG

Milford police have charged a local man with attempted murder after he punched his mother and choked her until she nearly passed out and threatened his father with a knife, police said.

Police said they responded to a Milford home where the suspect lives with his parents around 7:45 a.m. Saturday after receiving reports of a threatening with a knife.

When officers arrived at the residence, they learned that 27-year-old Patrick Kiraly got into an argument with his mother over the care of his 2-year-old. Kiraly punched his mother in the face and then began choking her with his hands, police said.

“He assaulted her, he hit her, hit her on the face and he actually started to strangle her, choke her. Both of his hands were on her neck. She stated later that she started to black out,” said Milford Police Officer Michael Devito.

The suspect's father heard the commotion and separated the two.

Kiraly then pulled a pocket knife and threatened his father with it, police said.

When the father told Kiraly to leave, Kiraly picked up his 2-year-old child and left to go to another Milford residence, police said. The father then called 911 and officers took custody of Kiraly, while a family member took custody of the 2-year-old child.

Kiraly's mother was treated by paramedics on scene and refused transportation to the hospital, police said. 

Kiraly has been charged with criminal attempt to commit attempted murder, risk of injury, second-degree strangulation, second-degree threatening and reckless endangerment.

He was held on a $250,000 bond and appeared in court Monday afternoon. He is next scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 22.

Photo Credit: Milford Police]]>
<![CDATA[Fiancé of Slain Australian Woman Speaks Out]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 11:36:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/flowersonbeachfeuerherd.jpg

The fiancé of Justine Damond, the unarmed Australian woman killed by a police officer last week in Minneapolis after calling 911, says he keeps thinking about the circumstances of the fatal shooting "over and over."

Don Damond, who is also Australian, told Justine to call 911 and stayed on the phone with his fiancé until the police arrived. Damond was in Las Vegas at the time of his fiancé's death.

"I have played this over in my head over and over," Damond told The New York Times in his first interview since the shooting. "Why didn't I stay on the phone with her?"

Investigators are trying to figure out what went wrong on that Saturday night when Justine, a 40-year-old life coach, called police to report a possible sexual assault happening behind her home.

Officer Mohamed Noor, the officer who shot Damond, and his partner, Officer Matthew Harrity, did not have their body cameras on. Harrity said that he was startled by a loud noise before the shooting, The Associated Press reported. Noor has remained silent amid outcry over the case, having yet to speak with investigators. 

Minneapolis police Chief Janee Harteau resigned on Friday at the request of Mayor Betsy Hodges in the aftermath of the shooting.

"I've decided I am willing to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the MPD to be the very best it can be," Harteau said in a statement on Friday.

Photo Credit: Dean Lewins/AP
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<![CDATA[ Teen Arrested After Armed Carjacking in Newington]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:59:15 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Newington+Hartford+carjacking.jpg

A 17-year-old Hartford boy is accused of an armed carjacking outside a Newington school Sunday afternoon and police are looking for another person who was also involved. 

Newington police said they responded to the area of the CT fastrak station at Willard Avenue and West Hill Road around 4:30 p.m. Sunday and the victim told officers he was in the parking lot of Anna Reynolds Elementary School on Reservoir Road when two males approached him. One of the males pulled a gun, forced the victim into his own car, demanded that he drive to the fastrak station, then made him get out of his vehicle, according to police. 

The carjackers drove the victim’s car, a 1999 Mercedes Benz, onto the CT fastrak and headed toward Hartford, police said. 

Hartford police saw the car at Westland and Vine streets and chased it until the Mercedes crashed at Clark and Judson streets in Hartford, police said. 

The driver, a 17-year-old Hartford boy, was arrested and charged with first-degree kidnapping with a firearm, first-degree robbery, robbery by carjacking, second-degree larceny, possession of a weapon on school grounds, carrying a pistol without a permit, first-degree threatening, first-degree reckless endangerment and other charges. 

Police said the teen has an extensive criminal history that goes back to 2010.

He was transported to a juvenile detention center and will appear in New Britain Superior Court Juvenile Matters on July 28. 

Police are looking for the other person involved in the carjacking and ask anyone with information about the incident or who the other person is to call (860) 666-8445.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police]]>
<![CDATA[Men Went Into Police Station for Money to Buy Cocaine: PD]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 09:59:32 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Hartford00000000.jpg

Two men were arrested after approaching a police officer to buy cocaine from him, then walking into the Hartford police station to try to get the money to buy the cocaine, according to police.

Police said Noah Yankowski and Zachary Pillarella, both of Cromwell, approached a man on High Street in Hartford around 2 a.m. Sunday, told him they wanted to “buy coke,” asked if he would sell them some and said they would have to go to an ATM to get cash, according to police.

The man who Yankowski and Pillarella approached happened to be a Hartford police officer who had just finished his shift and was walking to his personal vehicle. He told them there was an ATM in the front lobby of the police department, so Yankowski and Pillarella went inside to get $60.

The officer then notified police on duty about what transpired and an officer arrested Yankowski and Pillarella and seized the $60 as evidence, police said.

Yankowski and Pillarella were charged with criminal attempt to possess narcotics and conspiracy to possess narcotics.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Bush Announces Recall of Baked Beans Products]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 11:00:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bush%27s+Baked+Beans+Recall.jpg

Bush Brothers & Company is voluntarily recalling some of its 28-ounce cans of beans due to potentially defective side seams on the cans.

Bush says its internal quality assurance checks identified the problem, which has since been corrected, and it is now working with retailers to have the affected cans removed from shelves.

The Baked Beans involved in the recall includes 28-ounce cans of Bush’s Brown Sugar Hickory Baked Beans, Country Style Baked Beans, and Original Baked Beans. The affected cans were distributed nationwide in retail stores.

"No illnesses or other adverse consequences have been reported in connection with this voluntary recall," Bush said in a statement. "However, we urge you to dispose of these affected products immediately even if the beans do not look or smell spoiled. We are working with our retailers to ensure timely removal of affected product from their warehouses and shelves."

To view the affected lot numbers and best by dates, please visit www.bushbeans.com. Customer's with any questions or concerns can call Bush's at 1-800-590-3797 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. ET and 5:00 p.m.

Photo Credit: Bush Brothers & Company]]>
<![CDATA[White House Gives Mixed Messages on Pardons]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 08:26:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/scarAP_17202665084579.jpg

Newly-hired White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said Sunday that President Donald Trump is "thinking about pardoning nobody" in connection with the Russia investigation, according to NBC News.

"The truth of the matter is that the president is not going to have to pardon anybody because the Russia thing is a nonsensical thing," Scarmucci said on CNN’s "State of the Union." However, on "Fox News Sunday," the communications director acknowledged that he and the president discussed pardons "last week."

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow also told ABC's "This Week" that the president's legal team has not been researching the power to pardon. A Washington Post report last week had claimed that Trump asked his advisers about his power to pardon family members, aides and even himself.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted about his power to pardon, saying, "While all agree the U.S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.FAKE NEWS."

Photo Credit: Alex Brandon/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds Attend Vigil for Norwalk Mom Defying Deportation]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 08:07:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Vigil+for+Nury+Chavarria.JPG

Hundreds of people attended a vigil Sunday night outside a New Haven church for Nury Chavarria, a Norwalk mother who is defying a deportation order, and they said they hope she can stay in the state. 

Last week Chavarria skipped a flight to her native Guatemala and found refuge in the Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal on East Pearl Street. 

Since then U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has considered her a fugitive. 

On Sunday, Chavarria briefly walked outside the church to thank those who had gathered there. 

“I wanted to support Nury and her children,” Theresa Govert, of East Haddam, said. 

“I’m a Christian and I believe that sometimes God calls us to stand against injustice,” Diane Dynia, of Hamden, said. 

Among those supporting Chavarria’s fight to stay in the country are New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, who promised he and his city will help Chavarria and her four children. 

“To make sure that her family can stay in their home, can stay in school, can have food on the table,” Rilling said. 

In an interview with NBC Connecticut this weekend, Chavarria explained why she raced to the church. 

“I made this decision because I want to stay near to my family, to be together,” Chavarria said. 

For now, she’s avoiding the fate of leaving behind her children and the country she’s lived in for the past 24 years. 

Federal immigration agents have told us they will not raid churches and Chavarria said she is preparing to stay at the church for quite some time.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Norwalk Mother Explains Decision to Defy a Deportation Order]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 14:53:01 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NURY-Chavarria-NORWALK.jpg

A Norwalk mother is explaining her decision to defy a deportation order and find sanctuary inside a New Haven Church.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE described Nury Chavarria as a “fugitive” for not boarding a flight to Guatemala on Thursday.

“I’m not a fugitive. I’m not,” Chavarria said.

Chavarria came to the US in 1993 and has attended yearly check-in meetings with immigration officials since 2011. Each year she was given the approval to remain in the US, until this June, when ICE officials ordered her deportation.

Since Thursday, Chavarria has found refuge in the Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal on East Pearl Street.

She’s preparing for the reality it could be weeks or months or even longer before she might be able to leave.

“I’m fine here. I feel safe,” Chavarria said.

On Saturday she was visited by several of her children.

“I don’t know how to describe it but it’s a little bit scary,” Hayley Chavarria, Nury’s 9-year-old daughter, said. “I really want her to come back home.”

Chavarria says all she wanted was to stay close to her four children.

“I’m scared to be in more big trouble, in big trouble. But at the last moment I decide to stay here in this church,” Chavarria said.

Chavarria – who still wears her ankle bracelet - is grateful for her supporters.

That includes recent visits by Governor Dan Malloy and members of the congressional delegation.

Now she hopes ICE agents change their mind and allow her to stay in the country she’s lived in for the past 24 years.

“I’m not a criminal. I’m not a criminal. They need to look for them, not good people,” Chavarria said.

Previously federal immigration officers told us they would not raid a church and arrest people.

A vigil is planned for Chavarria outside the church at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>