<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Sat, 23 Aug 2014 01:37:43 -0400 Sat, 23 Aug 2014 01:37:43 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Driver Sentenced in Triple-Fatal Wrong-Way Crash]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 19:52:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/old+lyme+crash+2.jpg

A Rhode Island man will serve 14 years for for his role in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 95 in December that killed three people, including a mother and daughter.

State police said Frank Sundstrom, 52, of Warwick, Rhode Island, was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he got onto I-95 South in Old Lyme, driving northbound, and struck an oncoming car driven by Tamara Nolin, 71, of Branford around 9 p.m. on Dec. 11, 2012. The 14-year sentence is the result of a plea bargain.

Marjorie Minore, 90, of North Haven, and her daughter, Barbara Prato, 63, of East Haven, were also in Nolin's car. All three were killed.

Sundstom was charged with three counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence, operating under the influence, driving the wrong way on a divided highway and improper entry. 

When Sundstrom was arraigned, he appeared before a judge while in a wheelchair.

"He's still breathing," said Prato's daughter, Melissa Prato, outside the courthouse. "I really could care less what his ailments are. It actually means nothing to me. I lost my whole life."

Sundstrom, from Warwick, RI, has had five operations since the crash, his lawyer, John Manni, said last August. "He and his family are devastated over this, especially for the families of the victims," Manni said.

Tina Shaw, Minore's neighbor, said that she had last saw Prato pick up her mother to go to a casino.

The crash happened hours after the National Transportation Safety Board released findings on wrong-way crashes. Prior to this crash, there were fatal wrong-way crashes in eight states over nine days.

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<![CDATA[Man Shot in Arm in Hartford]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:29:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hartford+albany+shooting+scene.jpg

Hartford police are investigating a shooting at Albany Avenue and Baltimore Street.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, told officers he was approached by a stranger while walking down the street and was shot in the arm.

He's being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

No additional information was immediately available.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Community Mourns 1-Year-Old Stabbed to Death]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 22:43:49 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/zaniyah+vigil.JPG

Community members gathered Friday night to mourn the loss of a 1-year-old girl, who was stabbed to death by an extended family member in Bristol earlier this week, according to police.

The vigil was held in honor of baby Zaniyah Calloway, who died after being stabbed in the torso Monday at a home on Park Street. Community members walked along Divinity Street tonight holding candles, then gathered at Rockwell Park for a memorial service.

Residents said they're raising money to help the family give Zaniyah a proper burial.

Thirty-six-year-old Arthur Hapgood, an extended family member, has been charged with murder.

Hapgood’s mother was watching Zaniyah when family members say Hapgood suddenly grew angry and grabbed a knife. Zaniyah was stabbed in the stomach and died of her injuries.

Police said Hapgood admitted to the stabbing and said he had taken illegal drugs. According to the incident report, when asked which drugs, Hapgood said, “All of them.”

Hapgood is being held on $2.5 million bond and is due in court Sept. 9.

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<![CDATA[Hartford Holds Community Meeting to Address Violence]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:14:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hartford+violence+meeting.jpg

Hartford residents are calling for an end to violence in the city and gathered together Friday night to meet with city leaders and law enforcement officials.

Police chiefs from Hartford and surrounding departments joined Mayor Pedro Segarra, Governor Dannel Malloy and concerned residents for a community meeting at the Faith Congregational Church on Main Street.

It comes just days after 18-year-old Luis Anglero was shot with a Taser while police were trying to break up an unruly crowd.

The meeting was intended to open the lines of communication for better community policing, but instead, accusations were flung at Hartford police from neighbors who say they’ve crossed the line.

“You’re a threat to my community,” Angerlo’s mother, Maryann Yearwood, told police at the meeting Friday night. Yearwood and others accused police of using excessive force.

Malloy shared his reaction to surveillance footage that captured the incident.

“Watching that video, I was momentarily sickened,” he said.

But authorities say Anglero was aggressive and refused to cooperate with officers at the scene. He’s been charged with interfering with police and breach of peace.

“I think the charges need to be dropped, and I think that would be a good signal that there’s some type of good faith right now,” said Scot Esdaile, president of the Connecticut chapter of the NAACP.

Police Chief James Rovella said the department has launched an internal investigation into the incident.

“I’m not worried about putting stuff out there,” Rovella said Friday night. “I’m more interested in a fair investigation for the young man and for the officer.”

Segarra said crime has dropped significantly in Hartford because of collaboration between police and residents, adding that the city is hoping to continue building that partnership.

Community activists said the city needs to resolve this week’s tasing incident before they can move on.

Anglero is in good condition and was released from the hospital Thursday.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Victims Pulled From Cars After in Torrington Crash: Police]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 22:19:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Torrington+Police+cruisers+Generic.jpg

Authorities are responding to a crash at East Main Street and Torringford Road in Torrington, where  people are apparently trapped and being extricated from their vehicles, according to Torrington police.

There has been no word on injuries. The details of the crash, which was reported shortly after 10 p.m. Friday, are unclear.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

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<![CDATA[Cops: Couple Had Fake Babies]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:14:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/fake-baby-th.jpg

Police in the San Joaquin Valley arrested a woman on trespassing charges they say was trying to access a hospital maternity ward.

Merced police said 41-year-old Tonya Whitney and her husband carried dolls that looked like fake babies into Mercy Medical Center on two occasions in the past week. Whitney wore a nurses outfit, carried an old visitor’s pass and a fake baby in a carrier, authorities said. She is facing misdemeanor trespassing charges.

Whitney was turned away before she could get into the maternity ward, according to police, who said they found many life-like dolls inside the woman’s Merced apartment. Whitney said the whole thing is a misunderstanding. She said she sells the dolls and was only at the hospital to make a sales pitch.

Police said Whitney and her husband tried accessing the maternity ward at Mercy Medical twice, the first time on Saturday after visiting the emergency department. "They then returned Monday and they once again attempted,” Merced Police Capt. Tom Trinidad said. “Of course this prompted an immediate response from the hospital because they wanted to secure the safety of the children."

"If you look at it, could be suspicious,” Capt. Trinidad said. “Of course, the assumption could be made that she was there for the purpose of switching out a fake life-like baby with a real baby."

Authorities said hospital security staff noticed the couple's odd behavior, treating the dolls as if they were real, cuddling them and changing diapers.

Police said Whitney has at least one child. Her husband was not arrested.

Attempts to reach Mercy Medical staff for comment were not immediately successful.

NBC's Fresno affiliate KSEE-TV contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[Teens Charged in Bridgeport Armed Robbery]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 21:27:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/bridgeport+armed+robbery+suspects.jpg

Bridgeport police have arrested two 18-year-olds accused of robbing a man at gunpoint late Thursday night and stealing his iPhone and cash.

Nelson Busanet and Demetriuse Geyer were charged Friday.

The teens are accused of robbing a man at gunpoint in Went Field Park in Iranistan Avenue on Thursday. Police said a second victim was also involved, but it's not clear what may have been taken from that person.

Responding officers searched the area and spotted the teens in the area of Olive Street and Park Avenue. Busanet was found with the victim's phone in his pocket, according to police.

Geyer was taken into custody on Wood Avenue, police said.

Both Busanet and Geyer were charged with first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery. Geyer is also facing narcotics charges.

Busanet's bond was set at $50,000 and Geyer's was set at $100,000.



Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Waterbury to Welcome Home Local Astronaut]]> Fri, 20 Dec 2013 23:13:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP696810444829.jpg

Waterbury is getting ready to welcome home a local astronaut who has spent the past several months in space.

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio returned in May from a six-month expedition on board the International Space Station and will make an appearance Wednesday, Sept. 10 at Crosby High School at 300 Pierpont Road in Waterbury, according to a release from Waterbury Public Schools.

He'll discuss his recent mission and the emergency space walks required when the cooling system failed aboard the ISS in December.

Mastracchio has stayed well connected while in space. He hosted a video conference with students at Waterbury's Palace Theater, gave the 2014 commencement speace for the UConn School of Engineering and hosted several live interviews.

He's also been active on Twitter, sharing photos of all areas of the world snapped from space.

Mastracchio attended Chase Elementary School and Crosby High School in Waterbury and went on to study electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Connecticut.

He received a master's degree in electrical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master's in physical science from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

The release from Waterbury Public Schools called Mastracchio "one of the most prolific astronauts of all time."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Route 8 South Reopens in Naugatuck]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 21:17:01 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-0311.jpg

Route 8 southbound has reopened in Naugatuck following a motorcycle crash, according to the Department of Transportation.

The highway was shut down briefly Friday night between exits 25 and 26.

Police said crews worked to clear debris from the roadway and shortly afterward responded to a motorcycle crash.

The motorcyclist was not injured, according to police.

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<![CDATA[Thousands of Pot Plants Seized]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 00:31:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/marijuana+grow+1.PNG

More than 5,500 marijuana plants were seized and 14 people were arrested in connection with an illegal pot farm, officials said.

The seizure came from busts on Wednesday and Thursday from nine residences in unincorporated areas across the San Bernardino County, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials said.

Authorities seized up to 5,557 marijuana plants, about 170 pounds of processed marijuana, four firearms and a "large quantity" of Hydrocodone pills, which comes from codeine, the Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

The residences searched were in Joshua Tree, Landers, Bloomington and Helendale. They all had large-scale outdoor pot farms, officials said.

Some of the people arrested used fake medical marijuana recommendations as a front for their illegal cultivations, but the operations were "strictly for-profit," the Sheriff's Department said.

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<![CDATA[Hartford to Hold Gun Buy Back]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:51:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/081611+guns+generic.jpg

Hartford police will hold a gun buy back this Saturday and will exchange gift cards for working firearms.

The buy back takes place Aug. 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Pope Park Arroyo Center at 30 Pope Park Road in Hartford.

Police will be collecting unwanted handguns, shotguns and rifles and giving out gift cards in return.

Handguns can be exchanged for $200 gift cards, according to Hartford police. Those turing over shotguns and rifles will receive $50 gift cards.

Guns will be accepted from all residents in the area but only Hartford residents will receive gift cards.



Photo Credit: NBCMiami.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Beats "Possessed" Roommate]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 23:44:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/082214+joshua+diaz.jpg

A Miami man was arrested after he killed a cat and attacked his elderly roommate, police said.

Joshua Diaz, 24, is facing charges of animal cruelty, battery and battery on a person over 65 following his arrest late Thursday, Miami-Dade Police said.

Diaz was being held on $5,000 bond Friday and it was unknown if he has an attorney.

According to an arrest report, Diaz choked 72-year-old Elanor Wallace, his roommate, on Monday causing her to lose consciousness for a couple of minutes. When the woman woke up, Diaz was on top of her trying to wake her up, the report said.

Diaz told the woman if she called police he would kill her, the report said.

"He told me, 'If you cry... If I see even a tear or fear in your eyes, I will kill you right now,'" Wallace said.

Diaz later admitted to killing the cat, saying he did so because it scratched his head, the report said. The cat's body was found in a bag in a trash can, the report said.

He was also asked by officers if he had attacked his roommate.

"[Diaz] stated he did not, but believed that the victim was possessed," the report said.

A judge told Diaz in bond court he could not continue living with Wallace. When Diaz said he could stay with his uncle, the judge asked, "Your uncle doesn't have any cats, does he?"



Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[Calif. Bill: Dogs Can Eat Out]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 04:45:34 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/051213+Cupcake+dog.jpg

Sit. Stay. Dine.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Thursday allowing dogs to dine with owners if seated in an outdoor section of a restaurant.

"It will soon be legal to take your beagle with you to dinner," Mariko Yamada, the assembly member who championed the bill, said in a statement. "I wish everyone ‘bone-appétit’."

But those who aren’t as dog-friendly don’t have to worry – the law doesn’t force restaurant owners to allow dogs in establishments.

Owners have discretion on whether a dog is allowed to dine alfresco, according to the bill.

"Amidst all the horrific and depressing news around us, I hope this bill helps make people a little happier, and businesses who wish to accommodate diners with dogs safe from being unnecessarily cited," Yamada wrote on her Facebook page.

The restaurant also must have an outdoor entrance that doesn’t require the pet to walk through the restaurant to get to the outdoor area.

Dogs will have to be on a leash and well behaved, and they can’t sit on chairs or benches.

The bill also says that wait staff cannot have direct contact with a dog or pet them, and if they do, they must sanitize their hands.

Pets cannot be in the same area where food is being prepared.

Though the bill applies to restaurants statewide, cities can still pass local regulations that ban pooches from restaurant patios.

"We can't wait to legally come to dinner with our human friends," a Facebook group supporting AB 1965 wrote.

The law goes into effect Jan. 1.

Sutter Brown, the first dog of California and Gov. Brown’s pooch, was not available for comment.

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<![CDATA[Daughter of Murder-Suicide Perpetrator Speaks Out]]> Tue, 27 Aug 2013 11:31:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/COVENTRYMXPIC82214.jpg

The daughter of a Coventry man who fatally shot his wife and himself last year says state officials repeatedly ignored warning signs leading up to the tragedy.

She's asking leaders to take action.

Greg Pawloski fatally shot his wife, Janice Lesko, before turning the gun on himself last August. Pawloski’s 16-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, Rachel, of East Hampton, hosted a press conference in Coventry on Friday urging state leaders to make some changes.

“No child should endure what I haven. Yet they do, every single day. This must change,” Rachel Pawloski said.

The teen founded a nonprofit organization called Youth Alliance Against Violence in the wake of the murder-suicide. She said family members reached out to the Department of Children and Families for help 60 days before the shooting.

“DCF failed Janice Lesko. DCF failed Greg Pawloski. And the courts are to blame,” said Rachel Pawloski.

Her father’s ex-wife and Rachel’s mother, Kimberley Fontaine, said her former husband had previous domestic violence arrests.

“The night that I attempted to end my relationship with Greg Pawloski in 2001, he was trying to get his hands on a gun,” Fontaine said.

Court paperwork from October 2001 shows that authorities seized Greg Pawloski’s guns – including a .22-caliber rifle, antique rifle and 16-gauge shotgun – but the firearms were later returned to him.

“I believe in the right to bear arms afford to us in the United States Constitution... to the extent that those who have a history of perpetrating domestic violence should no longer be afforded that right,” said Rachel Pawloski.

Now she and other family members are pushing for changes, including improvements in record-keeping and communication between the Department of Children and Families and local police departments.

“I’m saying there’s an enormous paper trail, and if someone had actually looked to find it, they should have been able to find it,” Fontaine explained.

DCF issued a statement Friday afternoon following the press conference.

"The Department of Children and Families applauds the courage of Rachel Pawloski for speaking out in support of stronger measures to prevent domestic violence in Connecticut," said Josh Howroyd, of DCF.

"While DCF cannot disclose the specific case details regarding our involvement with her family, we can confirm that we did respond to a report in April 2013 which was processed as a Family Assessment Response Case, which provides a comprehensive assessment of child safety, risk of subsequent child abuse or neglect, family strengths and needs," Howroyd said. "After interviewing family members and collateral contacts over the course of five weeks, there were recommendations for counseling services and the Department closed our involvement in May 2013."

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<![CDATA[Waterford Police Search for DSW Shoplifting Suspects]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:08:15 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/dsw+larceny+suspects.jpg

Waterford police are searching for the people who stole shoes from a local DSW store Thursday evening.

Police said two people stole from the store at Waterford Commons around 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 21.

Surveillance footage shows the suspects to be two black women, one wearing a blue shirt and patterened pants and the other wearing a light-colored tank top and black shorts carrying a pink bag.

Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to call Officer O'Connell at 860-442-9451 ext. 391 or email toconnell@waterfordct.org. If you have a tip, reference case number 2014-01694.



Photo Credit: Watertown Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Torrington Resident Says Factory Fire Contaminated Home]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:43:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/torrington+fire+home.jpg

Nearly five months after a raging fire destroyed the Toce Brothers tire warehouse in Torrington, many neighboring homes have been cleaned up and repaired.

But Tara Holmberg says her home is uninhabitable.

“It’s coated with oil and tar and things from the fire; the soil is also contaminated,” said Holmberg, who lived directly next door to the warehouse at 94 Albert Street for nine years before being evacuated during the fire on April 3.

She hasn’t been back since.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, responded with a statement that reads, in part, “After assessing conditions resulting from the fire… there did not appear to be any significant health risks in the area.”

Holmberg, a two-time cancer survivor and asthmatic, is not convinced. She’s waiting on the results of environmental site testing ordered by her own insurance company.

In the meantime, she’s living elsewhere, but is still paying a $1,400 monthly mortgage on the 94 Albert Street house.

Representing Holmberg, Attorney Rachel Baird says O&G Industries, the warehouse owner, should be held responsible, but won’t respond to their requests for help.

“We believe that O&G, as the next door property owner, and or Toce Brothers, should buy this property and take it off my client’s hands,” said Baird.

One neighbor on nearby Wilson Avenue didn’t want to give his name, but said his insurance company told him to contact O&G after denying his claim for damages.

”Yeah they [O&G] wouldn't give us an answer. They always said we'll call you back, it's still under investigation, and I just gave up,” he said.

The Torrington Fire Marshal says the official cause of the fire was undetermined, and the case was closed.

O&G has not returned a request for comment.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Stop & Shops Holds Emergency Food Drive for Pantry]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:53:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/131732027.jpg

A Vernon food pantry is in desperate need of supplies, and four local Stop & Shop stores are holding emergency food drives to help.

The Hockanum Valley Community Council Food Pantry in Vernon serves about 2,100 homes in the area and “lately, the demand is greater than the supply,” according to HVCC CEO David Engelson. The pantry distributes some 7,000 food items every week.

Four Stop & Shop locations will hold food drives to benefit the pantry on Aug. 23 and 24.

Donation bins are available at the following stores:

  • 10 Pitkin Road in Vernon
  • 318 West Middle Turnpike in Manchester
  • 1739 Ellington Road in South Windsor
  • 50 Windsorville Road in Rockville

Each location will have a list of items in need, including non-perishable foods such as pasta and peanut butter.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SWAT Officers Put Skills to the Test in Simsbury]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:42:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/SWAT+Team+Challenge+West+Hartford.jpg

In an open field in Simsbury this week, SWAT teams from across the country are converging on Connecticut to compete in the SWAT Team Challenge.

The West Hartford Police Department is hosting the competition, which is not only an opportunity to win, but also to learn. 

“You can count on one hand how many events there are like this in the country,” Lt. Jeremy Clark, of the West Hartford Police Department said. “You can count on one finger how many of those do as much as we do. It’s only us.”

Twenty eight teams from across the region are taking part in the event, which is happening at a time when police presence is top of mind. Even those who are competing said it is hard to escape the images coming out of Ferguson, Missouri, where police shot an unarmed teen.

“Every situation is different, whether it’s Ferguson or Sandy Hook, our number one concern and number one goal here in Connecticut is to keep the public safe and have the best training so we can make the best decisions,” Lt. Clark said.

The training includes everything from sharp shooting to throwing flash bang grenades, and each team has a limited amount of time to complete each drill. They say making snap decisions is a big part of being on the front lines of a crime scene.

“I think just that stress they put on you to complete the event so quickly, it helps us in real-life events,” Joao Chaves of the New Bedford Special Reaction Team, said.

The SWAT Team members breathe a little easier knowing the courses are filled with fake targets, but it is all based on scenarios that are very real. It is the type of training they said is key for when it is not a drill.

“The world is getting to be kind of a crazy place and unfortunately these types of tactical teams aren’t going away,” said Michael Shaw, who responded to the bombings in Boston. “There’s a need for them.”



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Missing 6-Year-Old Found Hiding in Vernon Store]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 14:52:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/vernon+mon+and+son.jpg

Police have found 6-year-old Nate Stillman, who was missing for more than an hour from the Shops at 30 Plaza on Hartford Turnpike in Vernon.

Nate had been hiding in the Just Like New consignment shop, according to Vernon police. Authorities checked the store twice and, on the third pass, found him wedged in a bookcase.

His mom, Michelle Stillman, thanked authorities and community members for taking action.

"I'm just so happy to have my son back right now," she said. "And just thanks for getting the picture out and everyone responding so quickly. I'm so grateful and just want to say thank you."

Nate has dark hair and pale skin. Police said he is 46-inches tall and weighs 52 pounds. He's wearing a blue Star Wars T-shirt and dark shorts.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[57-Year-Old Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Teen]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 07:29:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Andre+Joseph.jpg

Stamford police have arrested a 57-year-old man they say sexually assaulted a teen girl who reported the abuse after learning she was pregnant.

Police say Andre Joseph, 57, carried on a sexual relationship with a girl for several years, after grooming her for years before that.

When the girl learned at 14 that she was pregnant, she came forward to police and told investigators she believes Joseph is the father.

Joseph was aware that there was an arrest warrant for him and moved to the New Haven and Bridgeport area to avoid authorities, who have been searching for him for weeks, police determined.

Police also learned that Joseph is a cab driver who makes airport trips to and from Stamford, so they used that to nab him.

Officers crafted a plan to make Joseph believe he was picking up a client in Stamford who needed to get to JFK Airport, police said.

Instead, Joseph was sent to an abandoned home on a dead-end street on the East Side of Stamford. When he arrived around 4:30 a.m. on Friday, police took him into custody.

Joseph was charged with first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury. The court set bond at $25,000 and Joseph will be arraigned today.

Police said they are seeking a higher bond after Joseph made comments to friends that he intends to flee back to Haiti.

DNA tests will be done to determine if Joseph is the father of the baby.

It is not clear if Joseph has an attorney.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: Stamford Police]]>
<![CDATA[Abandoned, Neglected Chihuhua Finds Forever Home]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:17:34 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/chihuahua+composite.jpg

After lots of love and medical care, neglected Chihuahua found tied outside Waterford-East Lyme Animal Control has found her forever home.

Six-year-old "Hope" was found tied to a pipe outside the animal control facility with a host of health problems. Her toenails were so long they had curled around her paws and were cutting into the pads, her teeth had rotted and her body was riddled with tumors and skin problems.

But with lots of TLC, Hope was nursed back to health and went home with her excited new owner on Firday.

"This little pup has touched all our hearts as we followed her journey through the animal shelter," an Animal Control officer wrote on the facility's Facebook page. "From her very sad entrance to her very happy exit, her turn around has been miraculous and I am very proud to be part of such a great community, the way people came together to get this pup the medical attention she needed made me very proud."

Hope's recovery was thanks in part to donations from community members who pitched in to help cover the cost of her medical expenses.



Photo Credit: Waterford-East Lyme Animal Control]]>
<![CDATA[Police Identify Man Killed in Willington Crash]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:55:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/221*120/Crash+on+Route+32+in+Willington.jpg

A 45-year-old Willington man has died after his car struck a pole on Route 32/River Road in Willington on Friday morning, according to state police. 

Thomas Anderson was driving southbound on the 200 block of Route 32 when his car veered off the road and collided with a tree and metal guardrail, according to police.

The crash happened around 6:45 a.m. and the road was closed for hours between Route 74 and Pinney Hill while emergency officials responded to the scene.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Parched California Finds Clever Ways to Save Water]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:00:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/0714-2014-DroughtPond.jpg

California communities are finding some ingenious ways to cope with the state's severe drought, one of the worst on record.

Their ingenuity comes as the severe shortage, now in its third year, puts increasing pressure on residents to save water.

Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a drought emergency, and last month, tighter restrictions went into effect on washing cars or trucks, cleaning driveways and sidewalks or using water fountains. New swimming pools in could be next in line, as Orange County considers a plan to prevent new pools from being filled.

As the drought drags on, here are a few of the more ingenious responses.

COLOR ME GREEN

There's a way to turn lawns green without watering them. A Los Gatos-based company called Green Canary uses a green, water-based coloring to transform brown, parched lawns.

The company had been working on foreclosed homes in California’s Central Valley, keeping lawns green to make the upkeep easier and keep criminals away from the abandoned homes, said its president Shawn Sahbari.

Now, his business is expanding to include other clients, though Sahbari said the service has not taken off, even if it is in the spotlight because of the drought.

“Obviously, this is a hot topic, because of the drought and the cost of water and people trying to conserve,” Sahbari said.

The Almaden Valley Athletic Club in San Jose is among its clients, prompted by its members' concerns about conservation.

“It provides immediate water conservation,” he said. “That's immediate savings, and that's immediate transformation.”

CASH FOR GRASS

Cities and towns across California are offering cash for grass to encourage homeowners to replace their water-guzzling lawns. 

Long Beach calls its program Lawn-to-Garden and pays $3.50 for every square foot of turf removed.

“We don’t want people to just take out the lawn,” said Joyce Barkley, the city’s water conservation specialist. “We want them to replace it with a beautiful garden.”

Some possible replacements, she said: sage, blue fescue, rosemary, lilac, lavender and olive trees.

"We have big hurdles," she said. "A lot of people love their lawn so it's just a challenge."

DIRTY CAR CHALLENGE

Ventura is urging car owners to skip washing their cars for the month of August with its “Don’t Wash Your Car” challenge.

The city is asking residents to post photos of their filthy rides on the Ventura Water Facebook page.

Among the photos: a no longer quite white Honda that has not been washed in four months and an electric Fiat with “Save H2O” written in the dust on the rear window.

Last month, the three vehicles that earned the most "likes" won complete professional car details. Professional car washes use far less water than do-it-yourself washes at home, county officials note. 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Nat'l Zoo's Panda Bao Bao Turning 1]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:40:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/BaoBao3+Thumbnail.jpg

For giant panda cub Bao Bao's first birthday, the Smithsonian National Zoo is holding a traditional Chinese ceremony to predict her future. But one thing's for sure: Her future contains cake.

As Bao Bao approaches this milestone, enjoy a Smithsonian video above, with highlights from her first year.

Bao Bao is more than just the poster panda for all things cute. Her birthday represents another success in the conservation of the highly endangered giant panda species.

The World Wildlife Fund estimate there are only 1,000 giant pandas living in the wild. About 100 live in zoos around the world for the purposes of breeding and conservation.

In just one year of life, the roly-poly cub has become famous in the District for her adorable antics. She even has a few celebrity fans. You may well wonder how we quenched our thirst for cute before Bao Bao came to town.

Some of our favorite highlights include the time she slurped down a frozen fruitsicle, her first foray into the outside world and the YouTube video that started it all: Bao Bao loudly protesting her tail being measured by keepers.

Bao Bao will be sent to China when she is four years old, but there's still plenty of time to celebrate before then, and the zoo is holding a party in her honor Saturday.

At 9 a.m., the giant panda cub will be given a traditional Zhuazhou (pronounced dra-JO) ceremony, similar to the one that many Chinese children are given on their first birthdays.

During the ceremony, a little one is presented with three symbolic objects to choose from, and the baby's choice is supposed to indicate his or her future. Bao Bao will be presented with three painted symbols on posters for either her or her mother, Mei Xiang, to pick from.

The event is closed to the public but Cui Tiankai, ambassador to the People's Republic of China, will answer media questions afterward to explain the significance of the ceremony.

Members of the "Friends of the National Zoo" program can attend the ceremony and will recieve panda party hats, a free game download and a piece of birthday cake.

At 11 a.m., the celebrations open up to zoo visitors, with a special panda-keeper demonstration. Bao Bao and Mei Xiang will be treated to a frozen cake.

There will also be an extra talk held at 1:30 p.m. and guests will be served complimentary Dandan noodles, a dish from the Sichuan province where the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Panda in Wolong is located. Food is first-come, first-served.

The zoo are asking guests to share photos and memories of Bao Bao's birthday on social media using #BaoBaoBday.



Photo Credit: Smithsonian Institution]]>
<![CDATA[Charter Oak Bridge Reopens in Hartford After Crash]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:24:19 -0400

The Charter Oak Bridge has reopened in Hartford following a tractor-trailer crash, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Route 15 southbound was closed Friday afternoon while police and fire officials responded to the scene.

State police said a tractor-trailer was towed away and four flatbeds were called out.

It's not clear how many cars were involved in the accident.

There has been no word on injuries.

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<![CDATA[Sam's Club Caesar Salads Recalled]]> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 18:18:34 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/sams_club1.jpg

A California firm is recalling chicken Caesar salad kits sold at Sam's Clubs nationwide for possible listeria contamination.

APPA Fine Foods is recalling more than 92,500 pounds of fully-cooked chicken Caesar salad kit products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday.

The salad kits were shipped nationwide and sold at Sam's Clubs' in-store cafes according to the USDA.

The following products are subject to recall were in 11oz. clear plastic containers and 6.5-lb. boxes labeled, "APPA Fine Foods/Sam’s Club Daily Chef CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD KIT" with case codes 141851, 141922, 141951, 141991, 142021, 142201 or 142131 with use by dates of 8/14/14, 8/21/14, 8/27/14, 9/1/14, 9/3/14 or 9/17/14. The kits were produced on July 4, July 11, July 14, July 18, July 21, July 25, Aug. 1 and Aug. 8, 2014.

The USDA's FSIS and the company said there have been no reports of illnesses, but anyone concerned about an illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. The invasive infection can spread beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems.

Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics.

More: California Firm Recalls Chicken Caesar Salad Kits For Possible Listeria Contamination



Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[James Foley's Dad: We Hoped to Negotiate With ISIS]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 04:42:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/james+foley+pic.JPG

The parents of slain journalist James Foley said they had hoped to negotiate with ISIS terrorists before their son was executed and his killing broadcast in a YouTube video.

“I didn’t realize how brutal they were and I actually hoped we would engage in negotiations with them if they were willing to send us any sort of communication because we had none prior,” John Foley said on NBC’s “Today” show Friday.

The group sent John and Diane Foley an email on Aug. 12, stating that their son would be “executed.” It was the first communication the Foleys received from the captors since December 2013. On Aug. 19, ISIS posted a video claiming responsibility for Foley's beheading.

A French journalist who was released in April and shared a cell with Foley reportedly said he was singled out for abuse because he was American. Yet Foley was said to be a source of comfort and strength for other captives.

“Jim’s courage and particularly his compassion and love in that box, which they called it, was an answer to prayer,” said Diane Foley. “We had so many people praying for Jimmy. We had begged for prayer but we didn’t need to. Everyone was so good in praying and Jim’s strength and love was the answer to prayer.”

U.S. special operations units were sent into Syria this summer to rescue Foley and other hostages, but the mission was unsuccessful because the hostages were not where they were expected to be, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

President Barack Obama denounced Foley's execution and pledged to continue to "do what is necessary" to protect Americans and support the Iraqi forces fighting back ISIS.

The Foleys said Friday they were deeply moved that Pope Francis called them after three of his relatives were killed in a car accident in Argentina.

“Pope Francis was so dear because he is grieving himself having just lost three members of his family, his nephew critically ill, so here in the midst of his tremendous grief he took the time to call and our whole family was there,” Diane Foley said.

The parents vowed to keep their son’s legacy alive and said they are praying for the release of Steven Sotloff, another American journalist held captive by ISIS, as well as other hostages.

“We pray that they are set free and Jim will live on we are going to establish a fund in his memory so that his compassion can live on,” Diane Foley said.
 



Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/FindJamesFoley]]>
<![CDATA[Experts Show Police Departments How to Diversify Ranks]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 09:36:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ferguson+courthouse+rogers.jpg

With the killing of an unarmed, black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, putting police departments under scrutiny, an expert on racial profiling says that the race of police officers tends not to make a difference on whether they use force.

“Blue is the most powerful color in terms of determining behavior," says Phillip Atiba Goff, a co-founder of the Center of Policing Equity at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an assistant professor of social psychology at the school.

Where race matters most is in the hierarchy of the force, among the officers who are in positions to make decisions, and to the community being policed, he said. Residents want to see themselves represented in the officers who make up their department.

The violence that erupted in Ferguson after the shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer has drawn attention to the racial make-up of police departments versus the communities they serve and ways to change the imbalance. The police force of Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, is more than 90 percent white in a community that is 67 percent black.

Goff’s group was brought in to look at racial profiling and other issues in the St. Louis County police department in the spring — one of about 20 law enforcement agencies it has worked with. Among the others are some that have had well publicized troubles, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, whose deputies have twice accidentally killed innocent men in the last four months, and the Oakland Police Department, which has been under a federal court order to make reforms.

Richard Rosenfeld, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said Ferguson did not fit the profile of a community where tensions, particularly between young black men and the police, would boil over into violence. It has pockets of economic disadvantage but also middle- and upper-income residents, and in fact has benefited from recent growth in the northern part of St. Louis County, he said.

There are "hundreds and hundreds" of communities like Ferguson across the country, Rosenfeld said.

His recommendation for those communities: get to work diversifying the police force immediately.

“That’s not a cure-all but is certainly a necessary first step to ease some of those tensions,” he said.

Growing Poverty in Suburbs

Recent economic progress aside, Ferguson’s unemployment rate rose from less than 5 percent in 2000 to more than 13 percent by 2012. Its poor population doubled, with about one in four living below the federal poverty line, according to Elizabeth Kneebone of the Brookings Institution. More poor residents now live in suburbs like Ferguson than in big cities or rural areas, a significant shift compared to 2000 when urban poor still outnumbered suburban poor, Kneebone noted in a research brief published in July.

“Suburbs often haven't developed the same infrastructure or safety net supports that cities have built up over decades for dealing with these issues,” she said. That fragmentation means many suburbs lack the staff and resources necessary to tackle the problem.

Goff's group tells police departments they have to devote resources to creating a more representative force, a step that can be difficult in a time of shrinking budgets.

"This is not something that’s going to happen overnight and it’s not something that’s just going to happen because you want it to," he said. "You’re going to have to devote money."  

Plus, he said, it is hard for police departments to attract candidates from communities with which police have had poor relations. Even after officers have been hired, retention can be difficult and burnout rates are higher.

“If you and your community feel there’s an organization that is set up to oppress you and your community, it’s very difficult for you then to decide, 'I’m going to feel good about going to work for them,'” he said.

Departments also have to consider how they are policing communities, he said. People tend to comply with the law when they see law enforcement officers behaving fairly and when they feel safe. If a community feels that it has been occupied, not policed, its resistance intensifies, he said.

A 1999 report, "Use of Force by Police," by the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics noted that the use of force appears to be unrelated to any officer's personal characteristics, such as age, gender and ethnicity. But the report cautioned that additional research was needed.

“If you’re involved in a use-of-force incident with an officer, it doesn’t make you feel any better if the person who is hitting you with a night stick is the same color as you,” Goff said.

A Problem of Trust

Victor Torres, a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer in San Diego, said he regularly gets calls from people who accuse police officers of misbehavior, from lying to physical assault.

“I think the problem is trust and when the police officers treat everyone like they’re at war with them, there’s not much trust,” said Torres, a director of the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association. “You have to actually speak to the people when there’s not some crisis going on. You actually have to ask people questions instead of accusing them.”

To address racial profiling, San Diego's police chief is appearing in a public service announcement to ask possible victims to report problems. Torres applauded the video, but said that many people in the community believe they are discouraged from making complaints.

“It’s great that she’s making an effort but she needs to be accountable and let us know what happens to the reports,” he said.

Goff's group has worked with police departments to determine whether they are engaging in racial profiling, improve training, help commanders identify implicit bias and address issues of race and gender.

It is also creating the first national database of police behavior, including pedestrian stops, vehicle stops and use of force.

“What we’re trying to do is create a broader, big data approach so that there’s evidence-based approaches to social justice,” he said.



Photo Credit: Phil Rogers/NBCChicago.com]]>
<![CDATA[1 Killed, 3 Injured in Newington Crash]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:18:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/newington+fatal+ax.jpg

One person has died and three more were injured in a crash at the three-way intersection of Main Street, Stoddard Avenue and Hartford Avenue in Newington early Thursday afternoon, according to police.

Police said three cars collided around 1:10 p.m. Thursday. Five people were involved in the crash, four of whom were rushed to Hartford Hospital for medical treamtent.

David Buckhout, 59, of West Hartford, was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday, according to police.

Stoddard Avenue was closed between Main Street and Walredge Road while an accident reconstruction crew investigated.

Anyone with information on the crash is urged to call Newington police at 860-666-8445.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Whole Foods Pulls Yogurt Over Sugar]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:14:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/whole+foods+yogurt+allegations.JPG

Organic supermarket giant Whole Foods has removed a version of its store-brand yogurt from shelves after lawsuits were filed in local courts over the dairy product's sugar content.

A company spokesperson tells NBC10.com Friday that the Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt is not being sold as they investigate how much sugar is in each serving.

Two class-action lawsuits were filed earlier this month on behalf of Pennsylvania and New Jersey shoppers.

The suits were brought forth after testing by Consumer Reports found yogurt samples to contain six times the sugar content that was displayed on the nutrition label. The label said 2 grams of sugar was in one container of the product, but the group's analysis found 11.4 grams per serving.

The lawsuit alleges the supermarket knew the label was wrong, but continued to sell the product.

Whole Foods has declined to comment on the specifics of the case, but the spokesperson previously said they were working to determine the discrepancy between their test results and what Consumer Reports found.

Attorneys for the lawsuits are seeking $100 per plaintiff and could represent some 35,000 people. Should they win, the supermarket chain could be forced to pay $3.5 million.

The company spokesperson said several other Greek yogurt options remain stocked for customers in the meantime.

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<![CDATA[3 Arrested After Berlin Resident Confronts Car Burglars]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:35:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/berlin+car+burlgars.jpg

Officers have arrested a man sleeping in a stolen car in Berlin and his two accomplices, who had been stealing from unlocked cars when they were caught and confronted by a resident, according to police.

Police said Wiliam Oathout, of Terryville, who was wanted for violation of probation, was found sleeping in the backseat of a stolen car on Spring Valley Drive around 1 a.m. Aug. 20.

Authorities learned that two other people, identified as Nicholas Roy, of Plainville, and Sara Byczynski, of Bristol, had been stealing from unlocked cars in the area, according to police.

A resident of Renn Lane encountered the two rummaging through parked cars and confronted them, police said.

Oathout, Roy and Byczynski were each charged with larceny and burglary and held on $50,000 bond.



Photo Credit: Berlin Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Sacred Heart Junior Struck, Critically Injured in Bridgeport]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 22:29:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/sacred+heart+pedestrian+struck.jpg

A junior at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield is in critical condition after she was struck by a car on Madison Avenue in Bridgeport on Monday afternoon, according to police.

The victim, identified as 20-year-old Kaitlyn Doorhy, of Mattituck, New York, was taken to Saint Vincent's Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries.

Police said Doorhy was crossing the street with another woman on the 200 block of Madison Avenue when she was struck by a red Nissan Coupe that was heading northbound around 12:30 p.m., police said.

The other woman, who was walking ahead of Doorhy, was not hurt, police said.

Investigators believe the car swerved to avoid hitting the first pedestrian and collided with Doorhy, according to police.

The CT Post reports that Doorhy was struck outside the sorority house where she lives.

The driver, a 28-year-old Bridgeport man, remained at the scene and is cooperating with police.

Sacred Heart released a statement, which police distributed with a news release.

"A Sacred Heart University student, who is a junior, was involved in a motor vehicle-pedestrian accident in the City of Bridgeport this afternoon. The student is being treated at St. Vincent's Hospital. The family is aware of the situation and out of respect for them, we are not releasing the student's name. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Sacred Heart University community are with the student and her family," the statement from the school states.

The accident is under investigation and no charges have been filed.



Photo Credit: News 12 Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Milford Motel Manager Kept $30K in Room Rental Fees: Cops]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:28:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Spring+Hill+Suites+Milford.JPG

The former operations manager for a Spring Hill Suites hotel in Milford is accused of stealing $33,000 from the hotel while she was employed there. 

Staff from the hotel at 50 Rowe Avenue hotel contacted police on November 26, 2013 after discovering more than $33,000 in unauthorized business transactions, police said.

Police said Tonisha Parker, 36, of New Haven, is accused of accepting payments for room rentals at the hotel, completing the unauthorized transactions and keeping the money between June 2012 and October 2013.

She was arrested and charged with first-degree larceny. Bond was set at $100,000.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Gave Victim Rocks Instead of Gaming System: Cops]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:00:23 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Milford+Police+cruiser1200.jpg

Milford police have arrested a New Haven man who they said pretended to swap gaming systems with someone through Craigslist but gave the victim a box of rocks instead.

The victim made arrangements through Craigslist to swap video game systems with Daryl Johnson, 19, of New Haven and the two met on New Haven Avenue  on July 2, police said.

After making the swap, the victim checked the gaming system box he was given and found that it held rocks, not the item promised.

Police seized the gaming system from Johnson during what they said was a separate and unrelated investigation the same day.

Johnson was arrested on Thursday and charged with larceny. He is due in court on Sept. 16.
 

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<![CDATA[Teen "Fire Challenge" Warning]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 11:53:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Fire+Challenge+NJ+Warning.jpg

Officials with the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety have issued a statewide emergency bulletin about a dangerous "fire challenge" teens are taking.

They are dousing their bare skin in flammable liquids, like alcohol, and lighting it on fire.

The teens are recording the acts and posting the videos on YouTube and Facebook. But the stunt has already resulted in serious injuries across the nation.

Derrick Robinson, an 11-year-old from the Miami-area, had to be hospitalized in a regional burn center after trying the challenge. He suffered burns to his torso, chest and shoulder and has to undergo weekly hospital visits as he heals.

“Do not do the burn challenge!” Robinson told our sister station NBC6 South Florida.

In Arkansas, a 14-year-old girl suffered second degree burns to 27 percent of her body after pouring nail polish remover on her skin and igniting it.

"I saw a lot of people do it, and I never saw anyone die from it," the girl, Monica Hamilton, told the NBC affiliate in Little Rock, Arkansas, as she discussed her motivation.

A mother in Charlotte, North Carolina, was arrested after police said she helped her 16-year-old son undertake the dangerous act.

While there haven't been any reported injuries to New Jersey teens, officials want everyone to be aware of how dangerous lighting yourself on fire is.

"I have seen some people who have died from burns. It's just devastating," said Frank Primavera, an official with the Hamilton Township, New Jersey, Fire Department.

Officials say that teens taking the challenge risk burns not only to their skin but also to their respiratory system, since they are inhaling the ignited vapors.

Primavera is hoping parents will talk with their kids to help put an end to the risky challenge.

"The adults need to speak with their teenagers and find out why they would even want to do something like this and explain to them how devastating burns can be. They're forever," he said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[Perry in NH: Charges All Politics]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 23:03:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/edtAP259994489655.jpg

New Hampshire wasn't kind to Texas Governor Rick Perry back in 2012. He's hoping voters in the granite state will give him a fresh start as he considers another presidential bid in 2016.

On Friday, Governor Perry returned to New Hampshire for a series of GOP sponsored events.

He met with business leaders in Portsmouth and focused many of his remarks on border concerns and the growing threat of ISIS, even connecting the two by speculating members of ISIS could enter the U.S. through unsecured borders.

"ISIS has said we are coming to America and they are going to attack us, I take them at their word," said Gov. Rick Perry.

Governor Perry also addressed his recent indictment on coercion charges by a Texas grand jury. He called the charges politically motivated and said he will fight them with every fiber of his being.

He also acknowledged making mistakes in New Hampshire back in 2012, saying he didn't spend enough time in the state and wasn't as prepared as he would have liked.

Governor Perry will make several more stops in New Hampshire through Saturday.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Husband and Wife Charged in Connection With Burglary]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 19:42:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Joseph+and+Kimberly+Dimaria-Smith.jpg

Watertown police have arrested a husband and wife suspected of committing robberies in Watertown and Naugatuck after determining that a person who they had previously arrested was not the robber.

On the morning of July 23, a man approached an 80-year-old woman while she was getting a cart inside the Stop & Shop supermarket on Straits Turnpike, grabbed her purse, knocked her to the ground and drove away, police said.

After the crime, police arrested a 28-year-old Waterbury man, but said they discovered some discrepancies.

No information was released on what the discrepancies were, but that led to police collecting more evidence and releasing the original suspect.

With a new investigation underway, police received some information about robberies in Naugatuck that had been committed by a man with a similar description to the culprit in the Watertown case, police said.

Joseph Smith, 29, of Waterbury, was identified as the new suspect and police obtained surveillance footage that showed him cashing checks in the company of a woman, police said. Police would later determine that the woman as Smith’s wife, Kimberly Dimaria-Smith, 26, and obtained arrest warrant for both of them.

Naugatuck police arrested Joseph Smith on Aug. 21.

As he was in Waterbury Superior Court on Aug. 22 to face charges out of Naugatuck, Watertown police arrested him in connection with their case and charged him with assault of an elderly person in the third degree, reckless endangerment in the second degree, larceny in the second degree, credit card theft, two counts of illegal use of a credit card, robbery in the third degree, breach of peace in the second degree, four counts of conspiracy to commit identify theft in the second degree, four counts of conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation, four counts of conspiracy to commit forgery in the third degree and four counts of conspiracy to commit larceny in the sixth degree.

Bond was set at $200,000.00.

Watertown police also arrested Kimberly Dimaria-Smith on Aug. 21 and charged her with four counts of identity theft in the second degree, four counts of criminal impersonation, four counts of third-degree forgery and four counts of sixth-degree larceny. She was held on a court-set bond of $100,000.00 court set bond and will be arraigned today.

Watertown Police investigators have been in touch with the Waterbury States Attorney’s Office about the original arrest of the 28-year-old Waterbury resident, said a nolle will be entered in the case and the defense attorney has made a motion to dismiss.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



Photo Credit: Watertown Police]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Battle House Fire in Enfield]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 07:59:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Elm+Street+Fire+UGC+1+1200.png

Firefighters battled a fire at a vacant house at on 394 Elm Street in Enfield on Friday morning.

The street was closed near Market Terrace as crews put out the fire.

The town assessor's office lists the owner of the property as the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

No injuries are reported and fire officials were beginning to clear the scene as of 7:30 a.m.



Photo Credit: Kerri Pliszka]]>
<![CDATA[Calif. Woman Fined for Saving Water]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:31:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/water-drops.P2.jpg

A San Ramon homeowner is up in arms over being punished for her efforts to conserve water during California's severe drought.

Fran Paxson recently spent thousands of dollars transforming her front lawn by replacing what used to be dead grass with drought-tolerant landscaping. She now faces fines from the homeowners association, who said the changes to her property were not approved.

Paxson said she presented her plan twice to the homeowners association and got denied.

"The only real reason they could give me for denying the ground cover against lawn was that it would look better," Paxson said, who went ahead with plan anyway because she wanted to save water.

Paxson was told she will be fined $50 a month by the homeowners association until she replaced part of her front yard with grass.

"For all practical purposes I thought they should have applauded her," said Frank Mellon, a board director for East Bay Municipal Utilities District. "Yes, she should have followed the rules. But if she had done something really ugly, I think I could understand it a little bit. But I don't understand this."

EBMUD is giving Paxson a rebate for taking out her lawn, but she said that's not the reason she made the move.

"I feel it was the right thing to do, given the fact that we're in the drought," Paxson said.

The homeowners association did not return requests to comment on the issue. Paxson said a board member told her the association will take another vote on the matter.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[State Officials Investigating Inmate Suicide]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:23:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/226*120/jail_cell_generic.png

Police are investigating the death of an inmate at Hartford Correctional Center and said she appears to have committed suicide.

Sherri Clarke, a 40-year-old New Britain woman who was serving a 25-year-sentence for murder, was found in her cell with a ligature tied to her neck at 10:42 a.m. on Thursday, according to the state Department of Correction.  She was the only inmate in the cell at the time.

Correctional and medical staff began treating Clarke, who was transported to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead at 11:33 a.m.

Clarke and her boyfriend, Michael LaBarge, were convicted of the murder of Cornell Johnson, who was found dead in 2009.

Johnson was reported missing in September 2009. Police found his body a month later. It had been dismembered into 15 pieces and his genitals were missing.

Police said Clarke and LaBarge killed Johnson when a drug deal went wrong.

Clarke had entered the York Correctional Institution on Sept. 18, 2009. 

The State Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause of death and The Department of Correction Security Division and the Connecticut State Police are investigating.

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<![CDATA[Police Save Newborn Baby]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:48:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hopatcong+baby+saved.jpg

A 5-day-old New Jersey boy is in critical but stable condition after he stopped breathing suddenly over the weekend, possibly because of a bacterial infection, his parents say.

The boy's grandmother called 911 Saturday afternoon to report the Hopatcong infant appeared jaundiced and "non-reactive," while the child's mother, Andrea Suarez, frantically tried to revive little Maddox.

Suarez said it seemed like a minute later when "Hopatcong police literally kicked my front door open and just took him."

Officer Bob Haffner, who is also an EMT, told NBC 4 New York he couldn't find a pulse. Haffner began to perform CPR and then he and his colleague, Lt. Bob Unhoch, transferred the boy to an ambulance.

Police dispatchers in Hopatcong alerted dispatchers in nearby Roxbury to the emergency, and Roxbury police stationed officers at every intersection on Route 46 on the way to St. Claire's Hospital in Dover.

Maddox's parents say his condition has improved since he was admitted to the hospital, and that doctors are investigating whether he may have a bacterial infection.

Haffner says he was glad to help.

"It's one of those things where you go home that night and you think about it, and you go, 'It worked,'" he said.

Suarez said there are no words to describe her gratitude.

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