<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Sat, 28 Mar 2015 21:07:55 -0400 Sat, 28 Mar 2015 21:07:55 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Icy Roads Cause Spinouts, Crashes]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 20:47:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/slippery+conditions.jpg

Snow falling throughout the day has left wet spots on the roads that are icing over and causing crashes and spinouts as temperatures drop.

State police said slick roads are causing problems "all over the place," particularly in the southern part of the state.

Traffic is being diverted off Interstate 84 westbound at exit 39 in Farmington while police respond to a crash there.

Meanwhile, Route 8 southbound is closed in Derby near the Shelton town line while emergency crews respond to a six-car pileup, according to firefighters.

Crashes have been reported on Route 8 northbound in Beacon Falls and Interstate 91 southbound in Middletown. Multiple cars have spun out on Interstate 691 near the Cheshire/Southington town line.

Snow could continue falling through 2 a.m. as temperatures dip below freezing into the 20s.

Skies will clear Sunday, with highs near 40.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation
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<![CDATA[Lockdown Lifted at Naval Submarine Base]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 15:12:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Groton+Naval+Base+Edited.jpg

The lockdown at the U.S. Naval submarine base in Groton has been lifted after reports of a suspicious vehicle near the main gate of the base shut it down on Saturday afternoon.

Naval Submarine Base New London posted on its Facebook page that the submarine base went into lockdown after the public safety and security personnel at the base responded to the report at 11:55 a.m. Authorities investigated and determined there was no threat.

"The base appreciates the patience and understanding of all Navy members and patrons as this issue was being resolved," officials of the base said in a statement on Facebook.

Security was increased at the base as a result of the report per protocol and the base was placed in lockdown during the investigation. The base has since reopened.

Local police were notified.

Access to the base was restricted during the lockdown, but Gate 1 remained open to outbound traffic only.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[10 in Hospital, SoCal Train Crash]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 19:48:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*133/Metro+Crash.png

Ten people were hospitalized, including one in "grave" condition, after a Metro train derailed when it crashed with a car near the University of Southern California on Saturday morning, according to officials from the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The crash was reported about 10:50 a.m.near the intersection of Exposition Boulevard and Vermont Avenue.

In all, 21 people received medical attention, LAFD Assistant Chief Don Frazeur said. 

The most serious of injuries included the driver, who was taken to the hospital in grave condition after being rescued from the Hyundai Sonata, and the train operator, who was severely injured.

Eight others were taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries. Several others were treated at the scene.

LAFD officials initially said two cars had been involved in the crash with the train, but later changed that number to one.

Metro officials warned commuters to expect major delays on the Expo Line. Bus shuttles were requested between Jefferson Boulevard and Vermont Avenue. The line was expected to reopen by 8 p.m., said Metro spokesman Jose Ubaldo.

Refresh this page for updates on this developing story.



Photo Credit: Courtesy: Metro ]]>
<![CDATA[I-84 West Closed in Farmington Due to Crash]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 20:54:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/84+farmington+ax.jpg

Traffic is being diverted off Interstate 84 westbound at exit 39 in Farmington while authorities respond to a crash on the highway, according to state police.

It's not clear how many cars were involved in the crash or how many people may have been injured. Footage from the scene shows emergency responders searching the embankment off the side of the highway.

Slick conditions are causing spinouts and crashes around the state, and drivers are urged to take caution.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation]]>
<![CDATA[Route 8 South Closed in Derby Over 6-Car Pileup]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 20:11:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-0311.jpg

Route 8 southbound is closed in the area of exit 14 in Derby while emergency responders respond to a crash involving six vehicles, according to Echo Hose Hook & Ladder, a fire company based in Shelton.

The Department of Transportation reports that the highway is closed between exits 15 and 14 near the Shelton town line. State police are also responding to the crash and said icy roads have caused problems "all over the place."

Drivers are urged to use caution and take a different route.

There has been no word on injuries.

No additional information was immediately available.

<![CDATA[Canadian Sprinter, a Weaver High Grad, Drowns During Training]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 19:00:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/010711+man+running+generic.jpg

Canada's athletic federation is mourning the death of a runner on the Canadian track team, who went to high school in Connecticut, after he drowned in the ocean during training camp.

Daundre Barnaby, 24, of Brampton, Ontario, went swimming with teammates in the ocean during East Hub training camp at the West Indies island of St. Kitts when he disappeared at about 11 a.m. on Friday, according to Athletics Canada. The graduate of Weaver High School in Hartford was swept out to sea by a strong current and his teammates tried to rescue him, but were unable to, according to the federation's website. Crews searching for him found his body at about 3:30 p.m.

“This is such a sad and profound loss, Daundre was an outstanding athlete and an even better young man,” Rob Guy, chief executive officer of Athletics Canada, said in a statement on the federation's website. “On behalf of Athletics Canada I offer my sincere sympathies and condolences to Daundre’s family and teammates. Athletics Canada will do whatever is necessary to support the athletics family through this tragedy.”

Before becoming a member of the Canadian national track team, Daundre Barnaby was a standout track star at Weaver High School in Hartford. Barnaby ran the 400-meter dash for Canada in the 2012 Olympics in London.

The federation is making a grief counselor available to Barnaby's teammates, coaches and staff at St. Kitts.

Peter Eriksson, the head coach of his team, was heading to Ottawa from Porland, Oregon when the incident happened and will instead travel to St. Kitts to be with his team after hearing the news, according to Athletics Canada. He also recently competed in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Barnaby was born in St. Ann Jamaica on Dec. 9 in 1990 and became a Canadian citizen in time the year of the 2012 Olympics, according to Athletics Canada. He has also run for the Bramtpon Track Club, Project Athletics and the Flying Angels, according to the federation.

He ran at the NCAA level in college for the Mississippi State Bulldogs, according to the federation.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Union Refutes State Rep.'s Claims of Racial Profiling]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 19:41:45 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/norwalk+police+generic.jpg

The Norwalk Police Union is refuting a state representative’s claims that he was racially profiled during a traffic stop in the city.

According to the union, State Rep. Bruce Morris, a Democrat representing Norwalk, told the Judiciary Committee on March 20 that an officer had pulled him over for no apparent reason as he was returning home from meetings in Hartford one night.

Morris “made a claim that he was recently the victim of racial profiling when he was stopped by a Norwalk Police Officer” in a part of the city “that isn’t HIS area of town,” police union president Sgt. David Orr said in a written statement.

“If considered without any further information this might lead someone to believe that Mr. Morris was the victim of racial profiling,” Orr wrote.

According to the Connecticut Post, Morris said he drove through a green light the night of March 17, while the officer claimed it was red. Morris was not cited or charged.

"That gentleman knows he had no right. As a grown man, to go through the humiliation I went through was unnecessary. They treat us as less than human, less than equal. Racial profiling is alive and well in the state of Connecticut," Morris said at the Judiciary Committee meeting, according to the Connecticut Post.

Or, on the other hand, called the allegations “misleading, inflammatory, and just plain ridiculous” and said the officer who stopped Morris is a department veteran with nearly 20 years of experience. According to Morris, the officer is known around the state as a “prolific expert” in motor vehicle law and traffic enforcement.

Orr also said it’s “nearly impossible” to determine the race of another driver at night.

“Mr. Morris seized the opportunity to publicly make an accusation of racial profiling against a police officer knowing very well that because he hadn’t filed a formal complaint there would be no opportunity for the officer to refute the allegation and no real finding of facts to support Mr. Morris’ accusation,” Orr said in the statement. “The fact is that Mr. Morris committed a traffic violation in a highly active business district and that he was pulled over by an officer just doing his job. That’s all, nothing more.”

Morris has not returned a request for comment.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[CTfastrak Opens With Free Rides]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:00:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/CTFASTRAK03272015.jpg

Connecticut's new quick bus line between Hartford and New Britain opened Saturday morning.

CTfastrak buses began running at 5 a.m. at several brand new stations like the one on Flatbush Avenue in Hartford.

Commuters who were some of the first to board got to ride for free. And the free rides continue for eight days.

“My daughter Eloise loves the school buses," Betsy Sanborn said. "So, we promised we would take her for a ride.”

This opening day for CTfastrak was a chance for people to check out the shiny new rides and slick bus stations.

People can cruise between Hartford and New Britain on a dedicated busway without having to worry about traffic.

“I think it’s going to make it a lot easier for people to get around and I think people are into alternative forms of transit and I’m hoping a lot of people are going to use it,” Matt Gordon said.

That’s the hope of supporters.

On Friday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and others celebrated the start of the new bus system.

After more than a decade of debate, they hoped to put controversies involving this more than half-billion dollar project in the rear view mirror.

Saturday was a chance for people to see if it all was worth it.

“I think it’s great. You know, the access," Sanborn said. "It’s totally affordable and just the access to some of the bigger cities around here I think it’s going to be great.”

These green buses will stop at ten stations between New Britain and Hartford.

Normally the fare will be $1.50.

Supporters hope this changes how people travel in the most congested corridor in the region.
At least some say it likely will.

“I like that it goes right to downtown Hartford, go to the UConn games. That’s what I’m planning on doing," Paul Sanborn said.

CTfastrak will not charge riders for the next eight days.

Riders will be able to download apps for the smartphones, including Transit App and Ride Scout for live updates on when the buses will arrive.

For more information on the bus line, visit ctfastrak.com.

<![CDATA[Hartford Registrar Files Complaint Over Plans to Remove Her]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 19:00:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hartford+registrar+of+voters+2.jpg

Hartford's registrar has filed a complaint in court as the city moves forward with plans to remove her after issues at the polls this past election, according to her attorney.

Olga Vazquez filed a complaint against the city of Hartford and the Court of Common Council, including Kyle Anderson, Alexander Aponte, Joel Cruz, Jr., Raul de Jesus Jr., Cynthia Renee Jennings, Kenneth H. Kennedy Jr., David MacDonald and Shawn T. Wooden, arguing that a section in Hartford's charter allowing the removal of elected officials defies Connecticut's constitution and is therefore illegal, according to the complaint filed March 28. The provision is in Section 3a, Chapter IV of the city's 2002 charter revision.

The complaint also requests an injunction against the council to halt them from plans to remove her from her position as the Democratic registrar of voters in Hartford because "the Common Council does not possess the legal authority to remove elected officials," according to the court documents. A hearing is scheduled for April 7 on the subject of removing Vazquez as registrar.

The removal proceedings stem from issues at Hartford polling places Nov. 4, 2014, such as running out of ballots and delays, that led to an extension of voting beyond the usual 8 p.m. end time. The plan to remove her as registrar is due to the claim that she was responsible for the voting delays, according to the court documents.

Vazquez is blaming the delays on budget cuts and said funds were no longer available that would have funded hiring 8 to 10 more temporary employees to work the polls as needed, according to the court documents. Instead, the budget only covered hiring six more at most, the documents said.

Her complaint requesting an injunction would stop the council from removing her from her role as registrar until a court determined whether the action is illegal and unconstitutional so that the "status quo" could be preserved in the meantime.

<![CDATA[Residents Rebuild After NYC Blast]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 16:56:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/467637062_FireNY.jpg

Some of them had only moments to get out. The residents of the area surrounding the East Village explosion that destroyed three buildings this week ran for their lives. Now they're working to pick up the pieces.

Chelsea Blampied, who lived in one of the leveled buildings, said she'd stopped home to get a work file from her third-floor apartment when she heard and felt the blast.

"I thought a plane crashed into my building. Glass was blown everywhere, and it was just so surreal," she said.

"I just heard a really loud boom," recounted neighbor Justine Miller. "I could feel it in my chest."

Neighbor Troy Hinson was walking to the sushi restaurant when it "literally blew up in front of my face," and said "it really felt like my internal organs were reverberating. It just feels like everything was shaking, including my teeth."

"You just don't know what hit you, it just feels like a sonic boom, there's no real other way to describe it," he said.

Blampied left behind all her belongings and ran through smoke and debris down the stairs to safety as her building began to crumble. She's now staying with friends and is grateful she made it out alive.

"It's so overwhelming. Everyone lost everything," she said.

Blampied was among more than 125 people displaced at least temporarily by the blast. Aside from the three buildings leveled by the explosion, eight more were ordered vacated. As of Saturday, five of those had been partially reopened, and NYPD officers were allowing some other residents to return briefly to their apartments to grab pets and personal items.

At the time of the explosion, Gregory Dohdanowycz was in his top-floor apartment in the building next to where the blast happened.

"I look out the window, and I see two buildings south of me, there's smoke rising from the windows and their roof windows," he said.

He only had time to grab his dog before running outside, and was overwhelmed by the horrific sights and sounds when he got outside.

Neighbor Miller said: "There was blood on the ground. There were people laying up against buildings and other people trying to help them."

Actress Drea de Matteo is among the residents who lost her home and belongings in the explosion. She took to Instagram Thursday to share two dramatic photos of firefighters battling smoke and flames. "A hole where my NYC home of the last 22 years once stood," she wrote in one caption. "RIP 123 2nd Avenue." The photos appeared to be taken from a rooftop across the street.

Naya Jones, who spent the night at the YMCA after being told to leave her building near the blast site, went to the Tompkins Square Library Friday, where the Red Cross and other relief groups were offering financial assistance, food, vouchers and advocacy help.

The Red Cross said it has helped more than 120 people since the blast and gave housing assistance to dozens. The Standard Hotel is giving anyone displaced by the blaze three free nights of lodging. Sprint has also donated 25 cellphones.

The ASPCA is also providing pet supplies for owners in the affected area.

"It's a small community," said Bohdanowycz. "I think everyone is trying to help out when something bad happens."

Hinson, who's lived in the neighborhood four years, said, "I love the sense of community, and everybody comes together and helps each other out and is here for each other."

Several long-standing businesses were also affected by the destruction. Pommes Frites, a favorite spot for fries, was destroyed by the blast, and the nearby Orpheum Theater had to cancel performances of the off-Broadway production of "Stomp."

Robert Seniuk, the chef at Stage restaurant across the street, is determined to get back to work.

"We open, we don't give up. This city is 24 hours," he said.

Nevertheless, the frightening explosion has taken a toll on the psyche of New Yorkers everywhere.

"Yesterday was a very scary day. Now all I can do is think about the people who lost their homes and people who've been living here for decades," said neighbor Adam Mashaal.

Hinson said he had stopped on the corner to say goodbye to his friend just before the sushi restaurant exploded.

"The fact that I was literally - if I didn't stop and talk to my friend, I would possibly be in that building," he said. "That's kind of what's messing me up. ... All these crazy thoughts are going through your head after this happens, like, why me? Why am I safe, why is something again happening to me? It's just crazy. I'm having just a hard time processing it."

Health officials say the air quality in the area has returned to normal levels and that short-term exposure to elevated particulate levels Thursday didn't pose a significant risk to the public. They say the smoke odor may linger, but isn't harmful. Still, those with respiratory or heart problems should remain extra vigilant.

The explosion came a week after the one-year anniversary of the East Harlem explosion that leveled two buildings and killed eight people. The blast also injured dozens of people and left many homeless for months.

Since the 2014 explosion, the FDNY has been given a much greater role in responding to reports of possible gas leaks and New Yorkers are now encouraged to call 911 about gas leaks and odors rather than 311.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NYC Building Blast Search Continues]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 16:48:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/east+village+fire+explosion.jpg

Emergency workers continued searching Saturday for at least two people still missing after an apparent gas line explosion leveled three Manhattan apartment buildings while investigators piece together what exactly caused the blast that injured 22.

Authorities are investigating whether the gas line in a basement below a sushi restaurant was rigged in a possible gas-theft scheme, causing the leak that may have set off Thursday's fiery blast that leveled three buildings in the East Village.

"There is a possibility here that the gas line was inappropriately accessed internally by people in the building," but officials need to get access to the wreckage to explore it further, Mayor de Blasio said during a press conference Friday. He wouldn't say more about why officials believe that's a possibility.

Sources familiar with the investigation tell NBC 4 New York that in August inspectors found the gas line in the basement rigged with a rubber hose to circumvent the Con Edison gas meter. This could have saved money and perhaps allowed for gas to flow to some apartments that had not yet been cleared for service. Safety violations were registered and an immediate shut down was ordered until the problem was corrected, the sources said.

No one was charged with any wrongdoing at that time and the case was treated as a safety violation by inspectors, the sources said. Investigators now want to know if a similar gas-theft scheme was being employed again. The investigation is in its beginning stages and nothing has been ruled out, the sources said.

The contractors working on the Sushi Park restaurant did not have permits for gas work, the mayor said Friday.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office has joined the NYPD, fire marshals and building inspectors in the probe into the cause of the explosion that sparked a fire that could smolder for days in the rubble of three buildings that once occupied Second Avenue and E. 7th Street.

About 60 firefighters were still working to put out hot spots on Saturday, and rescue workers with K9 units were on the scene searching for the two missing people. Earlier, Con Ed shut off gas to 187 residential customers and 32 commercial customers in the area while the search and recovery work continued.

Residents of three nearby buildings were still barred from entering, but about 40 apartments in five other buildings were reopened to residents as of Saturday. Some 20 apartments in those buildings were to remain closed until damage could be repaired. Officers were escorting residents into buildings when possible to help them retrieve pets and personal belongings, officials said.

On the day of the explosion, inspectors with Con Ed had been to the East Village building to check on ongoing work to upgrade gas service. The utility said the work didn't pass inspection, so gas wasn't introduced to the line, and inspectors gave instructions and left at around 2:45 p.m. Inspectors didn't smell any gas, Con Ed said.

But at around 3 p.m., the sushi restaurant owner smelled gas and called the landlord, who then called a general contractor, Boyce said. No one called 911 or Con Ed, however, de Blasio said.

The contractor, Dilber Kukic, and the owner's son went into the basement and opened a door, and then the explosion happened, burning their faces, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said.

"The whole area was shaking," said Moishe Perl, who works next door. "We couldn't imagine what was going on."

The building had an existing gas line intended to serve the sushi restaurant; the work underway was to put in a bigger line to serve the entire building, Con Ed President Craig Ivey said. As for whether the apartments were getting gas from the existing line, "That's a great question," he said.

"We'll have to find out, through the investigation, what's going on there," he said.

Con Edison later added in a statement: "As we do in all cases when a customer is upgrading to a new gas service, we conducted careful inspections at 121 2nd Avenue. Our records show the work of the building's plumber failed two inspections, including the inspection our personnel conducted yesterday afternoon. At no time was use of the new service line authorized by Con Edison. That service was locked to ensure that it would not be used. The ground-floor restaurant was being served by its current, smaller gas service line."

Calls to the building owner were unanswered. The owner's son reached by phone in his hospital room declined to comment. The listed contractor did not return messages. A subcontractor hired to handle gas lines did not return calls for comment.

City records show the contractor, Dilber Kukic, got a permit last June for plumbing, flooring, removing partition walls and other work at the building.

Kukic had tried to help people escape the explosion and had been helpful to authorities, Boyce said.

The contractor -- who's facing unrelated charges of bribing an undercover investigator posing as a housing inspector -- was injured in the blast and declined through his lawyer to comment on the circumstances surrounding the explosion.

Kukic is a relatively minor player in a 50-person bribery case that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. and other authorities unveiled last month. They said city inspectors, landlords and contractors formed a network of graft that exchanged $450,000 in payoffs to get safety violations dismissed, procure phony eviction orders and get fast, favorable and sometimes nonexistent inspections.

Kukic is accused of paying $600 in cash to try to get housing violations dismissed at two upper Manhattan properties he owned. He has pleaded not guilty.

Twenty-two people were injured in the blast, four critically, city officials said Friday. Among the injured were six firefighters. Patients with non-life threatening injuries were continuing to be treated and released from local hospitals.

<![CDATA[Route 37 Reopens in New Fairfield]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:20:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/New+Fairfield+Incident+EDITED.jpg

Route 37 has reopened in New Fairfield after a two-car crash injured two people late Saturday afternoon.

One car crashed at the center line. The collision wasn't head-on, but it was close. The crash happened near Pine Hill Road at 3:30 p.m.

Two people were injured, one from each vehicle, and are in stable condition.

State police closed the road as they investigated, but the road has since reopened.

Firefighters and an ambulance also responded.

Photo Credit: Ryan Ptakowski]]>
<![CDATA[Moosup Man Accused of Deliberately Hurting 3-Month-Old]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 19:58:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/webplainfield.jpg

Plainfield police have arrested a man accused of deliberately hurting a 3-month-old girl in his care.

Robert P. Tarkowski, 36, of South Main Street in the Moosup section of Plainfield, was charged Saturday morning in connection with the alleged child abuse. Police said the baby suffered multiple fractures to her arm and skull.

She was taken to Windham Hospital in Willimantic, then transferred to Connecticut Children's Medial Center in Hartford, where she's undergoing treatment.

Police searched Tarkowski's home on Friday and arrested him Saturday morning at 14 Miller Road in Sterling. He was charged with first-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor and reckless endangerment.

Tarkowski is being held on $250,000 bond and is scheduled to appear at Danielson Superior Court on March 30.

<![CDATA[Dispute Over Woman May Have Triggered Shooting: Cops]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 14:57:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/32815+Waterbury+Shooting+edited.jpg

A man, 38, was seriously injured Friday night after he was shot in the leg during a possible argument with another man over a woman outside a Waterbury store on Willow Street.

The shooting happened at about 9:30 p.m. on Friday in the area of 185 Willow Street. Police said that it appears the shooting stemmed from a dipsute over a female.

He was taken to Waterbury Hospital to be treated for serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. The man is recovering in the hospital and is listed in stable condition. Police have not released the identity of the victim.

Police have identified a suspect, but have not released the name and have made no arrests. 

The road was closed near the Hillside Avenue intersection as investigators gathered evidence.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Submitted]]>
<![CDATA[Correction Officer Faces New Charges]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 11:04:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/bridgeport+fatal+patricia+daniels.jpg

A Bridgeport correction officer who pleaded guilty earlier this month to manslaughter charges in a fatal hit-and-run crash was arrested a few days ago on new charges.

Patricia Daniels, 46, of Bridgeport, was charged with two counts of risk of injury to a child and third-degree assault on Tuesday for an incident on March 14. Police have not released details on the incident that prompted the charges.

Days before on March 11, Daniels pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in the early December hit-and-run crash that killed Evelyn Agyei, 51, a mother of three and injured her 11-year-old son.

The court set her bond at $10,000 and a judge is awaiting her plea. She is scheduled to appear in court again for that case on April 8.

Daniels has served as a correction officer at the Bridgeport Correctional Center since 1998 and was placed on administrative leave after her arrest tied to the fatal hit-and-run, according to a Department of Correction spokesperson.

<![CDATA[Shots Fired at West Haven Home]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 13:19:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/west+haven+police+station+generic.jpg

Police are investigating after shots were fired at a West Haven home early Saturday morning.

Police found shell casings from a pistol outside a two-family house near the Washington Avenue and Leete Street intersection, police said. The gunfire happened at about 12:30 a.m. on Saturday and targeted the second floor of the house, police said. At least two bullets hit the house, according to police.

A dark SUV was seen speeding in the northbound direction on Washington Avenue soon after the gunshot incident, police said. The car may have been a Nissan Murano.

No suspects have been identified at this time.

Police ask anyone with information to call West Haven Police at 203-937-3905 or to reach out to them on Facebook, www.facebook.com/westhavenpd, or Twitter (@WestHavenPD).

<![CDATA[7 Shot at Spring Break Party: Cops]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 15:23:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/panama+city+mug+032815.jpg

A spring break party in Panama City Beach, Florida, turned violent early Saturday morning after police said seven people, including students, were shot.

Gunshots rang out at the house party around 1 a.m., according to NBC affiliate WJHG. Bay County Sheriff spokeswoman Ruth Curley told NBC News that some of the victims are students at Alabama A&M University who were visiting the area for spring break.

Officials said 22-year-old David Jamichael Daniels of Mobile, Alabama, was arrested after police set up a perimeter. Daniels is being held at the Bay County Jail on seven counts of attempted murder.

Curley said police recovered a .40-caliber handgun in the backyard of a nearby home.

Deputies responding to the scene found three victims shot in the street, one outside the house, and three others inside.

Police identified the victims who were visting from Mobile, Alabama, as 20-year-old Kearria Freed; 22-year-old Henton Franklin; and 22-year-old Tykeria Ethridge. Freed was shot in the head and remains in critical condition, Curley said, while Franklin was shot in the side and Ethridge was shot in the neck and shoulder.

Police identified the remaining victims as 21-year-old Devanta Moore, who was shot in the chest; 20-year-old Anesia Powell, who was shot in the left arm, chest, and knee; 22-year-old Jacole Young, who was shot in the back; and 21-year-old Kelli Curry, who was shot in the leg.

All of the victims were transported to area hospitals. Freed, Franklin and Moore are in critical condition, Curley said, while the others remain in stable condition.

Photo Credit: Bay County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Bikers, Runners Remember Sandy Hook Victims]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 16:20:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/Team+26+Newtown+Bikers.JPG

Runners, riders, and walkers battled the elements Saturday morning to remember the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy and put an end to gun violence.

“I wanted to do it for the babies of Sandy Hook. Even though it’s snowing out, it was well worth it, so rewarding, and I wouldn’t have passed it up for anything,” Kirsten Martin, of Brookfield, said.

About 1,500 people pounded the pavement in support of various Sandy Hook charities. Others, like a team of two dozen firefighters, walked the course in full gear to honor first responders.

“Every time I hear Sandy Hook, I say let’s go do something. This is our way of supporting them,” explained firefighter Jeff Kozo of Washington.

They were led by Team 26, a cycling group that uses pedal power to push for new gun laws. The group will ride 400 miles over the next four days, stopping for rallies in five states.

“It’s really energizing. It gives me a lot of hope that we’re moving in the right direction," team founder Monte Franke said, adding that as they "go to these communities and we lock arms and join together, Congress has to see that all of America’s coming together."

Before pedaling off to the nation’s capital, the group held a rally in Newtown.

“The fact is, we now have a voice we didn’t seek, and didn’t want,” Newtown First Selectwoman Patricia Llodra told the crowd of pastors, politicians, and parents.

“We’re creating communities. We’re connecting and we’re showing that we’re engaged and we’re willing to come together to do bring about change,” Dr. Jeremy Richman, who lost his daughter Avielle in the tragedy.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) said Newtown is inspiring the nation.

“By the men and women who light a candle rather than curse at the darkness, who keep moving forward on bicycles or on foot making sure that America remembers that we have a cause that we cannot abandon,” he said.

Whether on two wheels or two feet, Saturday’s participants were moving forward with a message for change.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Rescue 4 Trapped in Crash Wreckage]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 14:51:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/32815+Westport+MVA+edited.jpg

Fairfield and Westport firefighters rescued four people trapped in a serious double vehicle rollover crash on Interstate 95 north on the Fairfield-Westport line early Saturday morning and three were hospitalized.

Crews from both towns responded to the crash on the highway between exits 18 and 19 near the Sasco River Creek overpass at 1:55 a.m. Two cars were overturned on their sides. An uninjured person was trapped in one car and three people with moderate to serious injuries were stuck in the other vehicle, Fairfield fire officials said.

Firefighters extricated all four people from the crash wreckage.

“This was a serious accident and a very complicated extrication," Asst. Chief George Gomola said in a statement. "The high level of professionalism and cooperation demonstrated by the Fairfield and Westport Fire Departments during this extrication helped to saved lives and reduced the impact of this accident on the victims. This was a job well done by all.”

Two people were transported to Bridgeport Hospital and another was taken to Norwalk Hospital to be treated for injuries. There is no word on their conditions or the circumstances of the crash.

Firefighters cleared the scene by 3 a.m.

Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[Man Caught "Behaving Inappropriately" in CCSU Bathrooms]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 23:33:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ccsu+louis+card.jpg

Police at Central Connecticut State University are alerting students after a 27-year-old man who has previously been banned from campus was spotted "behaving inappropriately" in women's bathrooms on multiple occasions.

According to an email notification sent from the university, former student Louis Card, 27, has been recently seen "loitering near and behaving inappropriately in women's bathrooms." 

"I think she got followed into the bathroom," CCSU student Brandon Rochester said of a friend who may have had a run-in with Card. "So she called the police and made a report, and I guess they did something about it, which is good."

Card had been previously banned from campus and served with a "persona non grata." He stands 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs 140 pounds and has hazel eyes and brown hair.

Students are urged to be on the lookout and contact police immediately at 860-832-2375 if they see Card on campus.

He could not be reached for comment Friday.

Photo Credit: Central Connecticut State University]]>
<![CDATA[Vigils Held for Slain Calif. Cop]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 07:39:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/0327-2015-SJPD-vigil.jpg

The man who authorities said killed a San Jose police officer suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, depression and alcoholism, according to his niece, Amber Golart.

Scott Dunham died from a gunshot wound suffered from a shootout with police late Tuesday that left veteran Officer Michael Johnson dead.

Golart attended a memorial for Johnson held late Friday on Senter Road. More than 100 people showed up to the vigil held near the scene of the fatal shooting.

"We are sorry for the loss of the officer. This is a tragic accident," Golart said. "No one meant for this to take place. But as a family, we feel like we're caught in the middle. We're mourning for the officer, but we're mourning for our uncle."

Golart added the last few days have been also hard for the Dunham family, especially knowing it was a loved one who took an officer's life. Dunham's family is calling Tuesday's incident suicide by cop.

Another memorial for Johnson was held Friday night in the courtyard at San Jose City Hall and was hosted by Star of David Ministries and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association.

“We have suffered a very devastating loss to our community, and we need to show officer Johnson’s family and the SJPD that we support them, “ said Kathleen Flynn, president of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association.

A formal memorial service for Johnson will be held April 2 at 11 a.m. at the SAP Center at San Jose

In addition, Owen Nolan, a former San Jose Shark who is a part owner of the Brittania Arms, is hosting a fundraiser April 2 at the restaurant, located at 5027 Almaden Expressway.

Also, the San Jose Police Officers’ Association is helping raise fund to provide financial assistance to his family.

The 38-year-old Johnson was killed on Tuesday when he arrived at an apartment building after a caller told 911 that Dunham was drunk and despondent and was threatening to harm his wife. When Johnson arrived, Dunham killed him from his balcony with a high-powered rifle.

Dunham's body was found Wednesday morning on the balcony. He had died of a gunshot wound, police said.

Checks can be mailed payable to the SJPOACF at: 1151 N. 4th St., San Jose, CA 95112 or online.

Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Cops Chase "Support Police" Car]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 02:44:50 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/237*120/we+support+our+local+police+dept.jpg

The driver of a vehicle with a message on its rear window that read "We Support Our Local Police Dept" drove the wrong way in traffic and slammed into shopping carts in a parking lot before surrendering to authorities in Anaheim.

Police pursued the stolen car on Orange County freeways and city streets Friday afternoon near Disneyland, officials said. The pursuit began in Buena Park, said the California Highway Patrol.

The Toyota Corolla was rammed by a police car in a shopping center's parking lot, but evaded immediate capture. The vehicle slammed through shopping carts before exiting back onto the street.

After racing through red traffic lights and making a U-turn around a street median, the driver and passengers surrendered in the middle of a street just after 1 p.m.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Man Wounded in Shooting Outside Waterbury Store]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 14:52:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/wtby2fix.jpg

Waterbury police are investigating a shooting outside a store on Willow Street that left a man with serious injuries.

The 38-year-old victim was shot in the leg after an argument around 9:30pm Friday, according to police.  He suffered non-life threatening injuries and is recovering at Waterbury Hospital.

Police shut down Willow Street near Hillside Avenue to gather evidence. It's unclear if any arrests have been made.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Viewer Photo]]>
<![CDATA[15K Race to be Held on CTfastrak Busway]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 23:08:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/CTFastrak_Set_to_Launch_1200x675_417117763681.jpg

CTfastrak is giving runners the chance to race on the brand new busway during an upcoming 15K road race in May.

The race will get underway May 3 at the New Britain bus station. The busway, along with roads in Newington, West Hartford and Hartford, will be closed on race day to accommodate runners.

"The pristine, freshly paved CTfastrak roadway provides an optimal surface for road runners and the unique opportunity to enjoy a point-to-point course with convenient transportation to accommodate all participants," said Beth Shluger, executive director and CEO of the Hartford Marathon Foundation, in a statement.

The race will end in Bushnell Park, where participants will return to Union Station for a post-race party and awards.

Registration is now open and will be capped at 1,200 entries. To register for the race, visit www.hartfordmarathon.com.

The Hartford Marathon Foundation joined the Department of Transportation to celebrate the opening of the CTfastrak busway on Friday. Buses will begin running Saturday morning.

<![CDATA[Protests Erupt After New Haven Police Exonerate Officer]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 23:32:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/new+haven+protest.jpg

What began with the New Haven mayor and police chief announcing the exoneration of an officer captured on camera making a forceful arrest ended with a face-off between city leaders and supporters of the police union.

Those in support of the union are upset that just days earlier, Mayor Toni Harp placed Officer Joshua Smereczynsky on desk duty after protestors marched to her door.

"There's such a thing as due process, and we didn't have it. We weren't treated fairly, and that's why we're here today," said Louis Cavaliere Jr. with the Elm City Local New Haven Police Union.

"It seems to me any police officer would understand the need to diffuse a potentially and increasingly volatile circumstance," said Harp.

Tensions escalated after a video surfaced showing Smereczynsky forcing a handcuffed 15-year-old to the ground during the city's St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Police Chief Dean Esserman said the officer responded to a fight involving weapons at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant. While taking the teen into custody, he noticed a weapon in her bag and took her down, fearing for his safety.

"A police officer made his arrest and followed the training he received," said Esserman.

The police chief called the arrest "tragic." He said the department will not allow the city to become divided and will support the teen's family.

"A police department needs the trust and support of its community and a community needs its police department," said Esserman. "This is a family that needs the help and has asked for the help of the New Haven Police Department, and they're going to get it, today, tonight, all weekend and forever, if so need be."

But inside and outside City Hall, it was clear to see the lines had been drawn.

Chaos erupted as the police union clashed with supporters of the teen. The two sides screamed and chanted at each other. Despite the results of the internal affairs investigation, protestors still believe the officer used unnecessary force.

While the internal affairs investigation may be done, it's going to take a lot more to calm the storm.

Smereczynsky will be back out on the streets starting Monday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[Man Robs Dunkin' Donuts in New Haven]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 22:09:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/PoliceSafetyPic00000000.jpg

Officers responded to the Dunkin’ Donuts on 1350 Whalley Avenue in New Haven late Wednesday night after a clerk reported the shop had been robbed, according to police.

A masked man in his late teens or early 20s entered into the Dunkin’ Donuts sometime around 11:30 p.m., displayed a black handgun to the clerk, then left on foot, police said.

Police said he stood about 5 feet 5 inches tall and wore a black North Face jacket, light denim jeans and white sneakers.

Anyone with information is urged to call New Haven police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Boy Battling Rare Disease Becomes Honorary Police Officer]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 22:58:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hunter+pageau+north+haven+police.jpg

A 9-year-old boy battling a rare, debilitating disease has become the newest member of the North Haven Police Department.

Hunter Pageau, who is one of only about 80 people worldwide living with spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress, or SMARD, was sworn in Tuesday night as an honorary youth officer, according to the police department.

Photos from the ceremony show Hunter flanked by officers, wearing a police cap and grinning from ear to ear.

The boy spends his days dependent on a ventilator, wheelchair and life support. Although there is no known treatment or cure for SMARD, Italian researchers have made an apparent breakthrough and hope to begin human trials in the near future.

Hunter is raising money through a GoFundMe page to fund a trip to Italy so he can participate in those trials when they become available.

"Always have hope, love and never give up," he said earlier this week.

Photo Credit: North Haven Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Taraji Henson Apologizes]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 00:28:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/197*120/03-27-15_Racial-Profiling-Henson.JPG

After Glendale, California, police released a dashcam video that appeared to contradict claims by "Empire" star Taraji Henson that her son was racially profiled during a traffic stop, the actress apologized to the department on her Instagram account.

The dashcam video released by the Glendale Police Department seemed to contradict statements from Henson that her son was racially profiled by police during the Oct. 18 stop. She also said her son had been profiled by police at USC.

"I would like to publicly apologize to the officer and the Glendale Police Department," said the statement on Henson's Instagram. "A mother's job is not easy and neither is a police officer's. Sometimes as humans we overreact without gathering all of the facts. As a mother in this case I overreacted and for that I apologize. Thank you to that officer for being kind to my son. Love, Taraji P. Henson."

Henson's publicist called the department and confirmed that they post came from her, according to Glendale police.

Henson, an Emmy and Academy-award nominated actress, said in an interview with Uptown magazine released this week that her son was racially profiled by police in two different incidents, one in Glendale and one at USC.

The 40-minute video shows Henson’s son, Marcell Johnson, driving through a lit and flashing crosswalk with a woman walking in it. The officer pulls Johnson over and explains why he was stopped.

During the initial interaction, Johnson is asked if he has ever been arrested and if there is anything illegal in the car. Johnson discloses that there is marijuana in his backpack, and tells the officer that he has a medical marijuana prescription.

"I appreciate you being honest with me about the weed. I do appreciate that because I do smell weed," the officer said.

Later during the stop, Johnson also tells the office that he has Ritalin pills that he obtained from a friend in the car. Those are never found during a search of the car.

In the end, the officer issues Johnson a citation for the marijuana, and advises him that he can go to court with his proof of prescription and will then likely only have to pay a fine.

He tells Johnson that the marijuana citation is better than a ticket for illegally running through the crosswalk because it won’t have a lasting effect on his driving record.

"I am not going to give you a citation for running that yellow because that would actually put a moving violation on your driving license, and you are going to have to go to traffic school and all that stuff, so I am helping you by not giving you a violation on it. All I am going to do is take the weed from you," he said.

Johnson was also asked to take a field sobriety test because he admitted he had smoked marijuana two hours before the traffic stop. He passed the sobriety test.

Henson told Uptown magazine that her son was slated to attend USC but that he would now be attending Howard University in Washington, D.C. because she was concerned about the profiling.

The chief of USC's Department of Public Safety said in a statement Tuesday he was racially profiled as a teenager and was “deeply disturbed” to learn that Henson's son felt profiled because of his race.

"As someone who personally experienced racial profiling as a teenager, I have a stake in learning more about this incident and doing all I can to reach a just resolution," he said.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Glendale Police Department]]>
<![CDATA["Hero" School Bus Driver]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 05:32:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/03-27-2015-rsm-bus-fire.gif

A school bus driver helped about 35 students safely exit a burning bus Friday morning in front of an Orange County, California, school after flames spread from its engine area.

Two students were treated by firefighter-paramedics at the scene, but they did not suffer serious injuries, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

The full size school bus' engine bay caught fire in front of Rancho Santa Margarita Intermediate School at about 8:15 a.m. Firefighters, who initially thought it might be a wildfire due to the amount of smoke, extinguished the fire about 15 minutes later.

The 20-year-old driver Lisa Sherrill, who declined an interview, did "an excellent job" of getting all the students off the bus safely, according to the OCFA.

And she was praised by her boss at the First Student Bus Company, which contracts with the school district. 
"Of course she's shaken up, (but) she's very happy things turned out as well as they did." manager Melvin Florence added.

A thick column of black smoke could be seen from around the school campus and in the surrounding neighborhood. Explosions were heard as the bus tires burst due to the heat and fire.

Daniel Grantham had just dropped his son off at the school when he looked in his rearview mirror and saw the smoke.

"I saw (smoke) coming from the direction of the school and that was my first worry," Grantham said. "I flipped around and pulled up right in front of the school where the bus was. It was burning when I got there.

"I've got to give kudos to the bus driver. The bus driver is the real hero."

Sherrill noticed smoke coming out of the engine area as she pulled up in front of the school, said Steve Concialdi, of the Orange County Fire Authority. She calmly helped the children, ages 12 to 14, off the bus before using a fire extinguisher to fight the fire.

"These are her kids -- she takes them to school every day," said Concialdi

The front of the bus sustained significant damage. A location manager for the bus company told NBC4 the buses are inspected every 45 days, but did not have information regarding information specific to the bus that burned.

"Our students were safely evacuated to the PE school area when the school bus fire was reported," Principal Rick Jameson said in a statement. "This is our normal evacuation procedure. We take school safety when it comes to the safety of students as well as staff. Three kids had some emotional suffering, mostly just panicking and hyperventilating, but nobody was injured. Those three students were released to their parents. We will continue with regular school schedule for today."

Photo Credit: Daniel Grantham]]>
<![CDATA[Off-Duty Firefighter in Explosion ]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 21:29:55 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/mike+shepherd+east+village+fdny+hero.jpg

Off-duty FDNY firefighter Mike Shepherd didn't need to be in uniform to be a hero in the aftermath of the fiery East Village building explosion Thursday that leveled three buildings, injured about two dozen people and left two people missing. 

The Squad 41 firefighter is the man seen in widely viewed videos of the scene climbing up a fire escape to check for any possibly trapped residents inside 121 Second Ave. after the blast Thursday afternoon.

"I heard a loud explosion and I look down the block and I just started running toward the corner," he told reporters at an FDNY briefing Friday.

He helped to direct a woman down from the second-floor apartment on the fire escape.

Then "I just climbed it, started searching my way up from the second floor. Opened the window and looked in and the floor was collapsed," said Shepherd. He continued up to the third floor.

He didn't come down until he'd gotten all the way up to the top floor, and the danger to himself became all too real.

"I could feel the heat and the smoke, and I said, 'I gotta get outta here now,'" he said. "And I looked and I could see 9-truck coming and 33-engine, so I said, 'Worst case scenario, they'll have to put the bucket up and grab me."

Witness Troy Hinson recorded Shepherd climbing up the fire escape and told NBC News the crowd below was terrified as they watched. 

"You're kind of in awe at what this guy's doing but you're also kind of holding your breath and you're like, I don't want to see this guy die in front of me, but that was definitely going through my mind," he said. 

"Some people just react a certain way, and he just instinctively reacted to climb up there, and that guy is truly the hero," said Hinson. 

Shepherd said he thought of his family, his wife, son daughters and granddaughter -- but the third-generation firefighter knew he couldn't walk away without helping.

"Maybe it's just in your blood," he said. "But being a New Yorker, you're always willing to go out and help somebody, you know."

<![CDATA[CTfastrak Begins Operations]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 19:43:01 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/CTFASTRAK03272015.jpg

Gov. Dannel Malloy joined New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra in New Britain today to celebrate the launch of the new CTfastrak busway.

After 20 years of planning, debate and construction, the Hartford-to-New Britain busway is officially open for business and will begin servicing the public tomorrow, March 28.

Malloy, whose top priority this year is improving the state's transportation system, acknowledged that although it has been a bumpy ride to get here, the shiny new buses and bus stops are signs of good things to come.

"This is in some senses the first four years of our administration's down payment on improving transportation here in Connecticut for ourselves, for our economy, for our children and future generations," Malloy said as he stepped off the green bus at Friday's kickoff event.

Stewart and Segarra shared their support for the bus line, saying the link between the two cities will only help them and the region.

The federal government funded 80 percent of the $567 million mass transit system, but even with the project settled, critics say there will be more empty than filled seats along the way.

State Sen. Joe Markley is among those who doubt the system.

"Five years from now, 10 years from now, what do you think we're going to be saying about CTfastrak? I think it will be known as Malloy's folly," he said.

The first rides on CTfastrak will start Saturday morning at 5:02 am.

<![CDATA[Middletown City Worker Charged With Animal Cruelty]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:44:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/channing+middletown+pit+bull.jpg

A Middletown city employee is facing animal cruelty charges after allegedly neglecting her dog, a pit bull who was found severely malnourished, according to the mayor.

Middletown Mayor Dan Drew said Jacqueline Carraway, who is listed online as working with the city's Youth Services Bureau, turned herself in to police on March 20.

According to Middletown Animal Control, Carraway's pit bull, Channing, was emaciated and unable to walk when authorities found him. He was nursed back to help and is now up for adoption.

"It was the worst case the police department or Animal Control Office had ever seen," Middletown police spokesman Lt. Heather Desmond told The Middletown Press. "The vet said he probably wouldn't have made it another day or two."

Carraway, however, told The Middletown Press that Channing lost weight because he was eating bad food: Purina Beneful, which is facing a lawsuit for allegedly making animals sick.

Carraway has been charged with cruelty to animals, failure to vaccinate her dog for rabies and failure to comply with dog ownership requisites, according to her arrest record on the state Department of Criminal Justice website.

Photo Credit: Middletown Animal Control]]>
<![CDATA[West Hartford Students Support Boy With Rare Disorder]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:47:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Saint+Brigid+Yellow+for+Seth.jpg

Elementary school students in West Hartford joined a national campaign Friday to support a 5-year-old boy living with a rare disorder.

Seth Lane was born in England with severe combined immunodeficiency disorder (SCID) and his spent most of his life in and out of hospitals, isolated from others in a self-contained, germ-free plastic bubble.

His family posted a YouTube video asking people to wear yellow, Seth’s favorite color, to show support Friday as Seth underwent his second bone marrow transplant.

The viral video extended its reach across the ocean to West Hartford’s Saint Brigid School, a Catholic school for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

“As a Christian community Saint Brigid School is committed to making a difference in the lives of young people everywhere,” Principal Shevon Hickey said in a statement. “It is our hope that the awareness raised by the #WearYellowForSeth campaign will help other young people around the world and bring attention this dreadful disease.”

The only cure to date for SCID is a successful bone marrow transplant.

Photo Credit: Saint Brigid School]]>
<![CDATA[Southington Woman Sues Town After Crash on Icy Road]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:12:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/black+ice+sidewalk.jpg

A Southington resident is suing the town over allegations that an icy, untreated road prompted a head-on collision that left her with multiple injuries and “severe emotional distress.”

According to a notice of intent to sue filed with the Southington town clerk on March 20, Cindy Costello was involved in a serious crash the afternoon of Jan. 3 on Laning Street near the intersection of Doral Lane.

Costello was pulled over to the side of the road “due to excessive icy conditions on the roadway which had not been treated by the Town” when an oncoming car spun out and skidded across the center line, slamming head-on into Costello’s vehicle, according to the document. Costello suffered multiple fractures to her leg and ribs, soft tissue neck and back injuries and emotional distress.

“The cause of the accident was extremely icy conditions on Laning Street,” the document alleges.

Costello, who is being represented by Howard, Kohn, Sprague & FitzGerald of Hartford, is suing for unspecified damages.

<![CDATA[Dead Dogs Found in Garbage Bags Under I-84 in Middlebury]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:30:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ct+dot.jpg

A maintenance worker cleaning a culvert on Interstate 84 in Middlebury found two dead dogs stuffed in garbage bags, according to the Department of Transportation.

A spokesperson for the DOT said the worker was part of a bridge maintenance crew clearing out a culvert under I-84 near exit 17 in Middlebury.

The dogs, two bull mastiffs, did not have tags or collars.

The crew notified the DOT, which contacted animal control and state police.

It's not clear who left them there or how the dogs died.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Boston Police Officer, Suspect Shot]]> Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:19:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/John+Moynihan.jpg

A Boston Police officer honored for his role in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings is listed in critical condition after he was shot in the face following a traffic stop in the city's Roxbury neighborhood Friday evening, police said.

Officer John T. Moynihan, a 34-year-old who has been with the department since 2008, was transported to Boston Medical Center. Moynihan is listed in critical condition and remains sedated; however a senior Boston Police source said Saturday morning that he "had a good night" and is expected to survive and recover, NBC reported.

The 41-year-old suspect, identified as Angelo West, was killed in the shooting on Humboldt Avenue after police returned fire. Boston Police and the Suffolk District Attorney's Office have launched a thorough investigation and will determine if police were justified in the shooting death.

West was arrested in 2001 in another police-involved shooting.

Police say two other suspects that were in the vehicle are in custody "on unrelated matters."

"One of the occupants of the pulled over motor vehicle came out, he turned, he fired, he shot one of our officers under the right eye," Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told reporters Friday.

Moynihan is a decorated military veteran and active in the department's Youth Violence Strike Force, and a decorated veteran who served as a U.S. Army ranger in the Iraq War from 2005 until 2008, the year he joined the Boston Police Department.

MBTA officer Dic Donohue, who was injured in the manhunt after Boston Marathon bombings, confirms to necn that Moynihan helped rescue him back in 2013. The following year, Moynihan received the Nation's Top Cops Award from President Barack Obama, honoring him for his "heroic and relentless" response in Watertown.

"Last night was a tough night and it hit home when we found out who the injured officer was. John played a part in saving my life, and that's something I will never forget," Donohue told necn in a statement Saturday. "His record of service speaks for itself. Everyone is wishing him well and we know he has the strength to pull through."

"The doctors are working hard on him," said Evans, who added that Moynihan is fighting for his life. "All our prayers are going out for him. I just ask for everyone's support in helping him pull through.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the officer injured tonight, his family and friends and the entire Boston Police Department during this difficult time," said Mayor Marty Walsh in a statement. "These acts of violence have no place in our neighborhoods. Our community is stronger than ever, and tonight, we are thankful for all of those who put their lives on the line every day to protect our city."

A middle-aged woman who was caught in the crossfire as she drove by suffered a flesh wound to her right arm.

"She's fine," said Evans, who went to visit her. "She's in good spirits, thank God."

Evans added that three officers were taken to Brigham and Women's Hospital for stress.

Mayor Marty Walsh released a statement on the incident Saturday: 

"My thoughts and prayers continue to be with Officer John Moynihan, his family, friends, the innocent person caught in the crossfire, and the entire community impacted by Friday night's violence. I have spoken with Officer Moynihan's family and Commissioner Evans and I am hopeful that under the experienced and talented team at Boston Medical Center the Officer will continue on a strong path to recovery. It is clear that Officer Moynihan is a hero for our city, and the entire nation, and today we are thankful for all of those who put their lives on the line every day to protect us."

Anyone with information is asked to call 1 (800) 494-TIPS.

Photo Credit: Boston Police
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Man Stole Speaker From BJ's Store in Waterford]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 19:15:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/waterford+burglary+suspect.jpg

Waterford police are looking for the person who burglarized the BJ’s Club on Cross Road on Friday.

Police say security footage showed a man fleeing the store after stealing a BOSE Solo 10 Speaker.

According to police, the subject got away in a light blue car which was missing the rear bumper. The first three characters of the Connecticut license plate are either QAE or 0AE.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Waterford Police Officer Bunce at 860-442-9451 or email jbunce@waterfordct.org.

Photo Credit: Waterford Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Suffield Firemen's Carnival Canceled After 50 Years]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:30:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/suffield+fire+department+crop.jpg

After more than 50 years of rides, games, and fireworks, the Suffield Firemen’s Association has decided to cancel the town’s beloved summertime carnival.

A lack of volunteers, equipment repair expenses, and diminishing carnival attendance were among the factors that affected their final decision, according to the fire department.

Nonetheless, the Suffield Firemen’s Association wants the community to know it remains committed to its mission as the civic, social and charitable organization of the Suffield Fire Department.

The association plans to redirect its efforts to other fundraising activities while continuing its involvement in the community by providing fire prevention education, supporting local youth athletic teams and the Suffield Emergency Aid Association, and offering high school scholarships, according to the fire department.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Crash Closes Route 171 in Union]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:30:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/connecticut+state+police+cruiser+lights.jpg

Route 171 is closed between Cemetery Road and Bigalow Hollow Road in Union while authorities respond to a crash, according to state police.

The Department of Transportation reports a tractor-trailer drove down an embankment in the area. It's not clear if anyone has been hurt.

State police are investigating.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>