<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.comen-usWed, 04 May 2016 15:18:44 -0400Wed, 04 May 2016 15:18:44 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[City of Hartford Laying Off Around 40 Employees]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 13:54:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Hartford+city+hall+new+1200.jpg

Around 40 city of Hartford employees are getting layoff notices today, according to Mayor Luke Bronin, and he said they will be in almost every department in the city.

The budget proposal Bronin submitted to the town clerk last month includes 42 layoffs, the elimination of 95 positions and $15.5 million in cuts.

"It's almost every department in the city," Bronin said. "There will be layoffs in almost every department."

Bronin, who is serving his first term as mayor, warned during his State of the City Address that budget cuts would hurt and could eliminate some city services.

"The hardest part of this process is telling somebody that they no longer have a job," Bronin said today. "That weighs on me every day, but we have to get this city on track and we have no choice but to make the kind of cuts that are in the budget that I've recommended."

The employees who are being laid off are not getting severance packages, but will have health care through the end of June and will remain on the payroll for a few weeks, Bronin said.

"We will be doing our best to provide employee assistance, make some resources available to help employees prepare for the job application process and manage that transition, deal with COBRA benefits -- all of those things that can be helpful in a very tough time like this -- but there is no getting around that it's a very difficult, challenging thing for anyone who's affected," Bronin said.

When asked if this is the end of the layoffs or if more are coming, Bronin said his budget includes a large amount of hoped for and anticipated "labor savings" and his office is in negotiations.

"But if we don't get those savings, there will have to be other cuts and there will have to be deep cuts and I think there is no way to make those without even more layoffs," Bronin said.

The latest announcement comes the day after Hartford parents packed a meeting to discuss a $30 million budget gap and learned that layoffs are inevitable.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[NTSB to Give Updates on CT Plane That Crashed in NY]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 15:04:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/small+plane+crash+syosset+2.jpg

The National Transportation Safety Board will give updates about the plane crash on Long Island last night. 

Three people traveling from South Carolina to Connecticut were killed when the small plane they were in crashed on Long Island on Tuesday. 

The tail number on the plane is registered to a Bristol, Connecticut resident. 

Two men and a woman were on board the single-engine Beech BE35 aircraft when broke up mid-flight on Cold Spring Road in Syosset just after 2:30 p.m., the FAA said. 

The plane took off from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at 12:45 p.m., and was headed to Robertson Field in Plainville, Connecticut, according to the FAA.

During the flight, the pilot made a distress call over Farmingdale, New York, reporting some type of instrumentation problem -- something to the effect of, "'I have a partial panel loss,'" according to NTSB senior investigator Robert Gretz. 

The plane then disappeared off the radar and broke up in flight, leaving behind a debris field of about two miles. 

"Sometimes the higher up it breaks up, the larger the debris field," Gretz said. 

Recordings between responding police officers and dispatch revealed the sheer amount of wreckage that was scattered on the ground. 

Gretz said it's not clear why the plane broke apart in the sky. 

"It's not a common investigation for us," Gretz said of the plane breaking apart in the sky. "It does happen. In 18 years, I've probably worked five or 10 of them." 

Officials are looking at several factors in the crash, including whether the pilot was caught in bad weather. If the pilot didn't have functioning instrumentation in bad weather, it would be like driving through fog without lights or a dashboard, Gretz said.

Gretz said Nassau, New York police was assisting in the investigation by documenting each piece of plane debris.

A preliminary report is expected to be issued within five to 10 business days, and a final report, including a probable cause, will be issued in about nine to 12 months. 

The FAA will investigate the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause.



Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[Serve Here CT Accepting Application for Next Inaugural Class]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 14:48:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Fellows.jpg

The inaugural class of Serve Here CT kicked off this fall.

The program founded by Alva Greenberg of Old Saybrook allows millennials to help build a sense of community and social capital while also helping them with the cost of education.

“Connecticut is experiencing a brain drain,” Tom Gullotta, chief adviser of Serve Here CT, said. “Well-educated individuals are fleeing the state for other parts of the country, which will offer more opportunity."

The hope of the program is not only to help young adults build their careers right at home but to encourage them to help grow our local communities.

Serve Here CT partners with local non-profits to create jobs for its participants- organizations such as Safe Futures in New London.

Executive Director of Safe Futures Cathy Zeiner said she hired Amanda Boaz to improve on fundraising and the group's volunteer work. 

Boaz found support through Safe Futures after leaving an abusive marriage.

"Part of my healing was to give back and to find meaning in my life,” said Boaz, a member of the Serve Here CT inaugural class. “I didn't want to just be. I wanted to do."

In just nine months, Boaz has done wonders for the non-profit that helped her just four years ago, all while going to school part-time to finish her associates degree.

Serve Here CT helps supplement the cost of furthering education by granting each participant $10,000.

"She's created some energy and a fresh perspective in our work,” said Zeiner. “That's what we need to keep our agency energized and to keep our mission moving forward."

"I think what's been really great is the opportunity to meet with a lot of other people that I would not have had the opportunity to meet," Boaz explained. "Working here I don't have to be the victim anymore. I can be a survivor and I can start to thrive."

Serve Here CT is now accepting applications for the next class.



Photo Credit: Help Serve CT]]>
<![CDATA[Bristol Reservoirs Full After Recent Rain]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 14:31:22 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Water-Generic1.jpg

After eight months of water restrictions in Bristol the reservoirs are now at full capacity.

Bristol Water Department Superintendent Robert Longo said they lifted the mandatory restrictions on April 8 after the reservoirs were above 85 percent capacity for two consecutive months.

The recent rain certainly helps to keep them high, but it is tough for some, including Regis Letourneau, who owns Lachance Tree Service in Bristol.

"We need it but, enough is enough. We have to work for a living. We are going to go broke with all this rain," Letourneau, of Harwinton, said.

His crews have been at a standstill all week because of the rain.

“It is not safe to work in the rain, plus the ground gets so wet that we cannot drive our vehicles in to get to the trees," Letourneau said.

Others who live in the area recognize how crucial the rain is and said they are grateful for it.

"I am really sick of watering everything so I think it is great," Sarah Ryan, of Bristol, said.

"Other than trying to cut the lawn, it is not that big of a deal. It is something that you have to deal with always in the springtime anyways," Peter Grandy, of Farmington, said.

Although the reservoirs in Bristol are now at 100 percent capacity, Longo said that could all change if we get little precipitation and hot weather this summer.

]]>
<![CDATA[RedState Calls on Confirmation of Garland to SCOTUS]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 14:28:09 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/garland-GettyImages-515910394.jpg

A conservative website is calling on Republicans to confirm President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination Merrick Garland, NBC News reports.

"Republicans must know that there is absolutely no chance that we will win the White House in 2016 now. They must also know that we are likely to lose the Senate as well. So the choices, essentially, are to confirm Garland and have another bite at the apple in a decade, or watch as President Clinton nominates someone who is radically more leftist and 10-15 years younger, and we are in no position to stop it," Leon Wolf wrote on RedState hours after Donald Trump became the GOP’s likely nominee. 

But not all conservatives agree. Erick Erickson, the former editor of RedState, who is against Trump, doesn’t support the immediate confirmation of Garland, saying Republicans risk taking away "arguments that can persuade independent voters to go with a Republican Senate."

Republican leaders in the Senate, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, vow to block Garland’s confirmation, saying the next president should be the one to make the nomination.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigating Break-Ins at 2 North Haven Businesses]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 14:11:47 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/north+haven+police+generic+1200.jpg

Police are investigating break-ins and burglaries at two North Haven businesses on Wednesday morning.

Burglars broke into the Stop and Save, at 1895 Hartford Turnpike, at 2:30 a.m. by smashing the front glass window and took the cash register, police said.

Then, at 5 a.m. burglars forced their way through the front door to the Mobil Gas Station, at 88 Quinnipiac Ave., across town.

Anyone with information is asked to call the North Haven Police Department at 203-239-1616.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Rates Dropping for Eversource, UI Customers]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 14:06:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/shutterstock_2615831.jpg

Electricity rates are dropping for residents across the state who get service from Eversource and United Illuminating.

As of July 1, rates will go down by around $20.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority approved the new Generation Service Charge rates on Tuesday and said this will affect residential and business customers who get standard service generation from Eversource Energy and the United Illuminating Company. The new rates go into effect on July 1.

Eversource said the average user will save about $21 per month, based on an electricity usage of 700 kilowatt hours per month.

Eversource's residential generation rate will decrease from 9.555 cents per kilowatt-hour to 6.606 cents/kWh.

UI's residential generation rate will decrease from 10.7358 cents per kilowatt hour to 8.0224 cents, which would save customers who use an average 700 kilowatt hours per month around $19 per month.

“We are very excited to share such positive news with our customers,” Penni Conner, senior vice president and Chief Customer Officer at Eversource, said in a statement. “These are the lowest generation prices in over a decade and are coming at the time of year when customers are increasingly using more energy to cool their homes and businesses.”

The new rates will be in effect through the end of 2016, marking a nearly 20 percent reduction compared to the Eversource summer cycle rates from July to December 31, 2015, according to PURA. UI rates will decrease by 12 percent compared to the 2015 summer cycle.

Around two-thirds of Connecticut’s residential customers receive Standard Service generation from Eversource and UI.

Other residential customers get electricity from licensed electric suppliers, whose rates might be more or less.

You can compare UI and Eversource Standard Service generation rates to licensed suppliers' offers on Connecticut's official generation rate board.



Photo Credit: Shutter Stock ]]>
<![CDATA[How Trump's Rise Is Playing in China]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 13:37:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/TRUMP_AP_16122772500150.jpg

China urged people in the United States to take a rational and objective view of the relationship between the two countries as Republican front-runner Donald Trump all but clinched the party's presidential nomination on Tuesday, NBC News reported.

Over the course of his campaign, Trump has repeatedly attacked China, saying its trade policies are "killing" America, its currency devaluations will "suck the blood out" of the U.S. and accusing the country of "raping" the States.

Though China's state media has largely avoided responding to Trump's attacks, it seems the rest of the country may have missed the memo. The South China Morning Post referred to Trump Wednesday as a "brash man with no political experience" while the Global Times called him a "rich narcissist" and a "racist."

The criticism is unlikely to dent Trump's celebrity status in China or deter the legions of fans on social media.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[2 Dead at Texas Transportation Hub]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 12:55:18 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/knight-transportation-houston.jpg

A man recently fired from a Houston-area transportation center returned to his former workplace Wednesday morning with a shotgun, fatally shooting one co-worker and injuring two others before taking his own life, police said.

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said the employee, who had been terminated two weeks ago, returned to Knight Transportation's Katy Service Center at about 8:45 a.m. and walked through the front door carrying two guns — a shotgun and a pistol. Police initially said the gunman had been terminated earlier Wednesday.

Witnesses inside the facility told police the man fired a "warning shot" toward an employee break area before moving through the building as if he were looking for someone in particular.

"He parked right outside the building and came straight in," Hickman said. "That we know of, only the shotgun was used."

After gunning down a former co-worker, police said the shooter committed suicide.

The identities of those involved have not been released, but Hickman speculated the victim was the former employee's supervisor.

The surviving victims suffered only minor injuries from shrapnel and were not hospitalized, police said. An officer fell to his knee while entering the building and was taken to the hospital for treatment. No other injuries were reported.

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing and police continue to interview witnesses.

Four schools near the Franz Road service center — Franz Elementary, Morton Ranch Elementary, Morton Ranch Junior High and Morton Ranch High School — were locked down as a precaution Wednesday morning, school officials said. All lockdowns have been lifted.

Phoenix-based Knight Transportation provides nationwide truckload transportation services. At this time the company has not issued a statement.

NBC's Ari Mason contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[New Lake Compounce Roller Coaster Opens Saturday]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 13:17:15 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/LAKE-2015-Phobia-Phear-Coaster-KEY-ART_LRZ.jpg

A new roller coaster will open at Lake Compounce in Bristol on Saturday and 12 people have been chosen to be the first to ride it.

The Phobia Phear Coaster opens at 11 a.m. on May 7 and the first 12 people to get onboard shared their deepest, darkest phobias for the chance to take the inaugual ride. 

Lake Compounce said the rollercoaster, which goes 150 foot into the air, is one of the highest in existence and the tallest in the Northeast.



Photo Credit: Lake Compounce]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigating Untimely Death of Westport Officer]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 14:13:50 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/newtown+police+generic.jpg

Police are investigating what they called the untimely death of a Westport police officer who was a member of the Newtown Board of Police Commissioners.

Police officers responded to a home on Elizabeth Street in Newtown at 6:42 a.m. for a medical assist and then determined that it was an untimely death.

On Wednesday afternoon, police identified the person who died as Robert Myer, 48, of 6 Elizabeth St. in Newtown, He was a police officer in Westport and a member of the Newtown Police Department Board of Commissioners, police said.

“On behalf of Chief James Valdero and the Newtown Police Department, this day is a tragic loss for the family, friends and community of Newtown,” a news release from the Newtown Police Department says.

The medical examiner’s office will determine the cause of death. Police said there is nothing criminal at this point.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Showery, Cool Weather Continues]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 10:45:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Model+RPM4+Precip+Clouds+Floater%283%29.png

The cloudy, cool and wet weather looks to continue for the foreseeable future.

With the continued chance for showers, temperatures will only be in the 50s today.

The chance for showers continues again tomorrow, with highs in the upper 50s.

Organized rain returns Friday to close the workweek. Yet again, temperatures will be stuck in the 50s.

Saturday looks primarily dry, just in time to start the weekend! It will be warmer, with highs in the middle 60s.

Mother's Day looks mostly dry though a cold front will bring a few showers through the state, possibly confined to the morning hours. Not a washout. Highs will be in the lower 60s.

Early next week, dry weather returns and 70 is possible by Tuesday, but it won't last long.

Indications show wave after wave of low pressure next week.


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<![CDATA[Small Plane That Crashed in Long Island Linked to Bristol]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 10:27:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/small+plane+crash+syosset+2.jpg

Three people traveling from South Carolina to Connecticut were killed when the small plane they were in crashed on Long Island on Tuesday. 

The tail number on the plane is registered to a Bristol, Connecticut resident. 

Two men and a woman were on board the single-engine Beech BE35 aircraft when broke up mid-flight on Cold Spring Road in Syosset just after 2:30 p.m., the FAA said. 

The plane took off from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at 12:45 p.m., and was headed to Robertson Field in Plainville, Connecticut, according to the FAA.

During the flight, the pilot made a distress call over Farmingdale, New York, reporting some type of instrumentation problem -- something to the effect of, "'I have a partial panel loss,'" according to NTSB senior investigator Robert Gretz. 

The plane then disappeared off the radar and broke up in flight, leaving behind a debris field of about two miles. 

"Sometimes the higher up it breaks up, the larger the debris field," Gretz said. 

Recordings between responding police officers and dispatch revealed the sheer amount of wreckage that was scattered on the ground. 

Gretz said it's not clear why the plane broke apart in the sky. 

"It's not a common investigation for us," Gretz said of the plane breaking apart in the sky. "It does happen. In 18 years, I've probably worked five or 10 of them." 

Officials are looking at several factors in the crash, including whether the pilot was caught in bad weather. If the pilot didn't have functioning instrumentation in bad weather, it would be like driving through fog without lights or a dashboard, Gretz said.

Gretz said Nassau, New York police was assisting in the investigation by documenting each piece of plane debris.

A preliminary report is expected to be issued within five to 10 business days, and a final report, including a probable cause, will be issued in about nine to 12 months. 

The FAA will investigate the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause.



Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[Drivers Stop to Rescue Geese on I-84]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 10:00:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/goose+rescuers+on+I84.JPG

A mother goose and her babies are safe thanks to the drivers who stopped on Interstate 84 East in Waterbury this morning and guided them to safety.

The rescuers were spotted on traffic cams as they led the geese to the barrier and safely away from cars.



Photo Credit: Connecticut Deparment of Transportation]]>
<![CDATA[Kenya Reportedly Foils ISIS-Linked Anthrax Attack]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 11:34:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Kenya+Anthrax+Plot+.jpg

Kenyan police said Wednesday they have foiled a "large-scale" biological attack using anthrax by an ISIS-linked terror group, NBC News reported.

Mohammed Abdi Ali, an intern at a hospital in the south of the country, is accused of radicalizing and recruiting university students and other young people into "terrorism networks," Kenya's National Police Service said in a statement.

Ali was arrested under the country's terror laws in connection with the alleged plan, the statement said.

Police added that Ali's wife, Nuseiba Mohammed Haji — a student at Uganda's Kampala International University — and her alleged "accomplice," Fatuma Mohammed Hanshi, were also arrested in Uganda. The statement did not provide further details on their alleged involvement in any plot.



Photo Credit: Kenya National Police Service]]>
<![CDATA[It's Trump's GOP After Cruz Drops Out]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 06:40:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/TRUMP_AP_16125071253980.jpg

Donald Trump became the likely GOP nominee on Tuesday as top rival Senator Ted Cruz withdrew from the race, an outcome that was unthinkable to many just a few months ago. 

"We are going to win again and we are going to win again bigly," a confident Trump declared from Trump Tower in New York.

He will now represent the party of Abraham Lincoln in the general election despite little connection to the party's traditional trio of social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and national security conservatives, NBC News reported.

The real estate mogul won by tapping into a primal desire among GOP voters for a swaggering populist who would buck orthodoxy on trade, protect entitlements, build a border wall, deport all undocumented immigrants, and implement an "America First" foreign policy. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Reports of Abduction, Robbery at Hartford Auto Shop]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 10:21:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Hartford+241+Ledyard+Street+Hartford+1200.jpg

Hartford police are investigating reports of an abduction and armed robbery at an automotive shop in Hartford on Tuesday night.

Police responded to M&J Auto, at 241 Ledyard St., in the South Meadows neighborhood, at 10:41 p.m., a time they said the business is usually closed.

The victims told police they were working late when four to five men wearing ski masks and black clothing came in with guns and demanded money, police said.

One of the victims said his father, who had been in the shop with them, was abducted and the intruders took him in a small black Cadillac SUV.

About an hour after police brought the victims to the Hartford Police Department, officers learned the victim's father was on Interstate 91 South, by exit 8, and he was not injured.

Hartford Police then brought the man back to the Hartford Police Department to be interviewed.

Around $200 was reported stolen from the shop, but no cars, tools of electronics taken from the shop.

The investigation is ongoing.

Police said the motive is not clear and detectives are trying to determine why the auto shop, which is in an industrial neighborhood, would by the target of an armed robbery and abduction at that time of night.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Armed Jogger Defends Right to Carry]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 22:45:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/James-Moody-GoPro.jpg

If you see an armed jogger in Mount Airy, Pennsylvania, these days, it's not a "run-by" in progress.

He's trying to make a point.

James Moody, 49, who lives in the neighborhood and comes from a self-described "firearms family," said he began jogging with a handgun at his hip a couple months ago.

He admits a jogger with a gun in plain view on Vernon Road may be a bit "eye-opening," but Moody, a truck driver and city native who became Pennsylvania's Golden Gloves superheavyweight boxing champion in 1988, said he's doing it to raise awareness about gun rights.

One police officer walking the beat in the 14th District thought it jarring enough to stop Moody mid-run Monday — and the first 15 minutes of the encounter were caught on video shot by Moody's Go-Pro.

In it, which Moody posted to YouTube Tuesday, the officer, who identifies himself as Officer Cave, crosses Vernon Road to ask Moody about the handgun. Cave approaches with a coffee in one hand and asks Moody if he has a license to carry. Moody refuses to answer the officer's questions about a firearms license.

As other officers arrive, they too ask Moody about a license to carry or another form of identification. Cave, a sergeant and two other officers all in turn ask Moody as the group discusses the legality of carrying a firearm in public.

None of the officers nor Moody become angry, but at least one of the officers points to her phone and tells Moody he is not allowed to carry a firearm openly.

In Pennsylvania, Moody argued in the video and then in a subsequent phone interview Tuesday, gun owners with a license to carry firearms are free to "open carry" anywhere in the state — even Philadelphia.

"Clearly, the officers don’t know the laws that Philadelphia is governed by. They had no clue about what is lawful and unlawful," said Moody. "You can, under Title 18 Section 6108, open carry a firearm."

"We also don’t live in a stop-and-identify state. Do they stop everyone in a motor vehicle just because they’re driving? No, you need probable cause," he added. "You have no reason to detain me and question me. It may be a little eye opening, but it is not unlawful."

Moody's video of the encounter ends after about 15 minutes because his Go-Pro battery died, but he said police continued to question him about the gun and why he wouldn't show any identification. He said they handcuffed him briefly, searched him and found his license to carry inside his wallet. He was then let go.

"I love the idea of open carry. It’s our constitutional right. I do it all the time," Moody said. "I don’t see why anyone would impede my right to do so."

An attorney who has wrangled with the city of Philadelphia for decades over citizens' gun rights, Jon Mirowitz, said the law doesn't prohibit Moody from openly carrying his gun.

But, Mirowitz said, everyone, whether you're a cop or a civilian, should adhere to a simple rule: Act civil.

"In this sort of a confrontation, there is nobody that’s right or nobody that’s wrong," Mirowitz said. "Being civil is the key. All the guy has to do is say, 'Here's my ID.' All the cop has to do is say, 'I’m not giving you a hard time. I just want to see some ID.'"

The Philadelphia Police Department did not respond to requests for comment about the incident.

It occurred near April 24 shootings on Vernon Road that left two men dead, including one who had just been talking with a state House candidate. The shootings were related to one another.

Officers in the 14th should take heed: Moody said he doesn't plan to quit armed jogging anytime soon — even if his wife said she isn't happy about it.

"My wife is upset with me now because I put myself at risk," he said. "But I told her freedom isn’t free. I call it my exercising my mind, my body, and my Second Amendment rights."

]]>
<![CDATA[Crews Responded to Boater in Distress on Connecticut River]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 10:23:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/south+windsor+water+search.JPG

Emergency crews responded to the Connecticut River in South Windsor early this morning after a boat got stuck in a sandbar.

Emergency crews received a call for a boater in distress at 1 a.m. and they found the missing boater, but couldn't get to him because of sandbars in the river.

"Trying to get to him was a challenge because of the sandbar, so we actually had to deploy a smaller boat, a Zodiac, and put one of our firefighters in a cold water suit to actually be able to get to him and get him in a boat." Deputy Chief John Hofmann, of the South Windsor Volunteer Fire Department, said.

Officials believe the boater was trying to free the boat and did not fall in the water. They said he was able to walk out on his own.

He was evaluated in an ambulance, but was not transported to the hospital.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Killed, Firefighter Injured in Norwalk Fire]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 08:10:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Fire+at+13+Dock+Road+in+Norwalk.JPG

A pet Dachshund died in a fire at a home in Norwalk early Wednesday morning and a firefighter was injured in a fall down the stairs.

Firefighters responded to 13 Dock Road at 12:36 a.m. and found heavy fire coming from the back of the basement.

When firefighters went inside, they found a 13-year-old pet Dachshund dead in an upper level room.

There was heavy smoke throughout the house and one firefighter fell down a flight of stairs and sustained a minor shoulder injury.

The fire caused extensive damage to the basement and there was heavy smoke damage throughout the house.

Firefighters left the scene at 3:09 a.m. and the fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.



Photo Credit: Norwalk Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[Artist Hit Over Nude Trump Drawing]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 08:50:34 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/210*120/trump-artist-punched-050316.JPG

A 24-year-old Southern California artist who painted a portrait of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump in the nude said she was punched in the face by an attacker who yelled "Trump 2016."

The Los Angeles Police Department was investigating the assault Tuesday, but Illma Gore said the attack wasn't the first she has dealt with since painting Trump in a portrait depicting the GOP front-runner with small genitals.

"I have received threats of violence and people say they were coming to kill me," Gore said.

On Friday, Gore was suddenly confronted by a violent, shirtless stranger in broad daylight. She was walking to an art supply store near La Cienega Boulevard at the time.

"All I could hear was 'Trump 2016,'" Gore said.

A group of men traveling in a black Honda Civic stopped beside her on the sidewalk, according to Gore.

"He got out and punched me in the face and said 'Trump 2016' — then he drove off," Gore said.

Gore went to the LAPD and immediately reported the assault.

"She sustained severe injuries," said Mike Lopez of the LAPD. "We are aware of the incident and we are investigating."

Gore's controversial pastel drawing of a naked Donald Trump — titled "Make America Great Again" — shows the Republican front-runner with small genitals because of how he was "boasting" about his endowment during the March presidential debate, she said.

"I have no regrets. I would do it all over again," Gore said.

But it does make her concerned about free speech.

"I am scared for America, and for the future for myself and for artists," Gore said. "Whoever hit me should take responsibility for their actions as well. It's cowardly not to."

In an interview with police, Gore described the man who hit her as shirtless and wearing a red cap and red shorts. She estimated he was about 25 years old.

The LAPD is looking into whether any surveillance from the area may help lead to an arrest.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV
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<![CDATA[Police Investigate Armed Robbery at Berlin ]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 07:06:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Robbery+at+Berlin+Irving+Gas+Station+1200.jpg

Police are looking for the man who robbed a Berlin gas station at gunpoint on Wednesday morning.

The robbery was at the Irving Gas Station at 2005 Berlin Turnpike, close to the Meriden line, and the robber fled on foot, police said.

No one was injured.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Crash Closed Merritt Parkway Northbound in Greenwich]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 06:50:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Greewhich+fire+Merritt+Parkwway+crash+1200.jpg

The northbound side of the Merritt Parkway was closed in Greenwich for a short time on Wednesday morning.

The parkway was closed between exits 27 and 28 as emergency crews extricated a person.

One lane is now getting by, but there are heavy delays back to New York.

Police said the driver is OK.



Photo Credit: Greenwich Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[Plane Crashes into Florida Backyard]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 11:06:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/050316+plane+crash+aftermath.jpg

A Pompano Beach, Florida, homeowner, whose backyard was obliterated after a small plane crash in April, said Tuesday he is lucky the plane missed the house. 

Robb Shannon's backyard was annihilated eight days ago when a single-engine plane tore through his property.

"We're so lucky it didn't hit our house," Shannon told NBC 6. "Our neighbor's house got hit and there's damage over there. So tough because it's really inconvenient for them." 

Two men and a woman were on board the plane. All three survived the crash but suffered severe injuries with burns on 30-40 percent of their bodies, according to officials. 

The plane was piloted by 40-year-old Geoffrey White and flight students Sylvia Mena, 23, and Fernando Diaz, 25, were also on board, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

Cellphone video shows how fierce the flames were after the crash. Neighbors tried to put the fire out with hoses.

Shannon rushed home to find his backyard ruined and covered in soot. But his neighbor to the south got it much worse. The back-end of the house was torched; a pile of mangled metal that used to be furniture now sits in the backyard.

"The plane clipped the wires and between the fire and damage to the electrical, they'll have to do a total remodel. So it might be weeks before they even have power reinstalled," Shannon said.

Contractors have been working nonstop to clean up the mess and repair fences. Crews even drained Shannon's pool to make sure there were no submerged plane parts.

The entire wreckage was removed and loaded onto tow trucks last week.

The FAA and NTSB are trying to figure out what caused the plane to come down, although a pilot flying behind the aircraft reported the engine stalled.

Despite all the damage, Shannon said he's not worried about it happening again.

"They say lightning only strikes once in the same place so, the plane is out of the way. It's time to put everything back together and it'll be better than before," he said.

Florida Aviation Academy owns the plane. Shannon said the company's insurance, AIG, had been quick to respond.



Photo Credit: NBC6]]>
<![CDATA[Sanders Is Now a 3rd Wheel, Despite Indiana Win]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 07:10:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/SANDERS_AP_16125039010921.jpg

Bernie Sanders' upset victory Tuesday in the Indiana primary shows Democrats are not quite ready to name Hillary Clinton the nominee.

Every time the race seems headed to the finish, voters decide to extend it, as they did in Michigan in March, NBC News reported. Sanders' win does nothing to knock Clinton off her glidepath to the nomination, since the few delegates he picks will barely dent her massive 300-plus pledged delegate lead.

But it will be a much-needed fundraising and momentum boost to a fading candidate who has pledged to stay in the race until the Democratic National Convention in July, even though his only path to victory involves improbable landslides and fanciful schemes to flip superdelegates.

Clinton's campaign and nervous Democratic leaders may now reassess their indifferent attitude to Sanders. They had hoped for a head start on Trump, but the Republican will instead have the drop on them and Clinton will face incoming attacks on both sides.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Boar Attacks Couple in Mass.]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 14:32:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Mass+Farm+Boar+Attack.jpg

A husband and wife were hospitalized — one with life-threatening injuries — after being attacked by a boar Tuesday night at their small farm in Townsend, Massachusetts, authorities said.

Police and fire officials responded to the farm at 188 Fitchburg Rd. around 6 p.m. after the 150-pound male pig attacked 38-year-old Shannon Hernandez, according to the Townsend Police Department.

"It was scary, because, you know, blood coming down, I didn't know how bad I was," Shannon Hernandez said.

She said the 5-year-old boar she's had for three years escaped from his stall and went after her female pigs.

"The girls come into heat every 21 days, so it's my responsibility to keep him quarantined enough that he's not going to break through. And he did, he broke through," she said.

That's when she said the animal turned on her, goring her arm, leg and wrist. She was taken to Leominster Hospital, but less than two hours later, the same animal attacked her husband, 50-year-old Jose Hernandez, leaving him with serious, life-threatening injuries.

"He had went over to pick up the water to clean it out and refill it. And Boss (the pig) just came at him and gashed him," Shannon Hernandez said.

Two main arteries in his right hand were cut during the attack, she said. Jose Hernandez was rushed by Townsend EMS to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. A witness said he was conscious and alert on the way to the hospital. 

"He's lost a lot of blood. They said they put two pints of blood into him at the hospital," his wife said.

Jose Hernandez was upgraded to "stable" condition on Wednesday and police said he is expected to survive."

The pig is currently quaraintined on the Hernandez's property. Townsend Animal Control announced Wednesday afternoon that it had decided to euthanize the pig. A rabies test is also being conducted as a precaution.



Photo Credit: Shay Hernandez/Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Parents, Teachers Weigh in on Hartford School Cuts]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 23:30:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/BOEMEETINGHARTFORD.jpg

Tensions were high Tuesday night as parents packed the M. D. Fox School in Hartford to sound off on the proposed budget cuts being considered by the Board of Education.

With a $30 million budget gap, the district is scrambling to come up with the money after years of flat funding. It is a gap the city and the state cannot help them close, and one that they say is the product of years of flat funding, decreased grants and increased needs.

“The reality is there are things that are going to get cut that people care about,” Hartford Board of Education Chair Richard Wareing said.

Layoffs are inevitable and under the proposed budget, 235 positions would be cut including nearly 100 teachers. Schools like Bulkeley High School would be consolidated and resources would be slashed.

Parents are angry that the cuts fall on their children and the people who educate them.

“Our children deserve the best,” Milly Arciniegas of Hartford said. “They deserve better than this.”

At the last public hearing before the board votes on the budget, parents expressed frustration that class sizes would get bigger and learning would get harder.

Board members said there are only so many ways they can slice it and the cuts have to come from somewhere. The city cannot give less to education, but the state could, which would make the hole Hartford schools are facing even wider.

The board is scheduled to vote on the budget May 17.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[US Not Ready for Zika Virus: Experts ]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 22:56:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_71939457309-zika.png

Zika virus is going to start spreading in the United States and the country's not ready for it, experts said Tuesday.

It probably won't spread much — most areas in the U.S. don't have the right conditions for widespread transmission of the virus — but even a little is too much, the officials said, according to NBC News.

"We have nothing at the national level other than advice from the CDC and most states do not even coordinate their programs at the county level very well," said Scott Weaver, of the University of Texas Medical Branch, at a news conference at the end of a meeting of Zika experts in Atlanta.

Once mosquito season starts, the U.S. could have small, local outbreaks.

"Very likely we will," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told a separate briefing at the Pan American Health Organization's headquarters in Washington, D.C.



Photo Credit: AP]]>