<![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 Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:40:54 -0400 Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:40:54 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA["Windsor Purge" Rumors Circulate on Halloween]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:22:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/sage+park+middle+school+windsor.jpg

Authorities are ramping up security in Windsor on Halloween in response to rumors of a "Windsor Purge," which alludes to the 2013 horror flick in which crime is legal for a span of 12 hours.

Police said extra officers will patrol the town tonight in response to the "purge" event that local kids have apparently planned. In "The Purge," movie characters wearing a particular mask roam the city and loot, pillage, steal and kill.

Police informed school administrators of the rumors around 10:15 p.m. Thursday. School officials sent letters to parents of 8th, 9th and 10th-grade students alerting them of the rumors and police response.

"Windsor Police and Windsor Public Schools have been partnering together since this information was developed and are working quickly to prevent these intended acts of delinquency," officials at Sage Park Middle School wrote in a letter to families.

"We will be meeting with students identified as participating in such discussions to determine the validity of such plans and to very emphatically communicate both school and police expectations," the letter continues.

School officials said they also planned to contact parents of children to suspected be involved in such plans and urged families to "discuss expectations" for Halloween.

No illegal activity has transpired at this point and officers hope a proactive approach will prevent any criminal behavior, according to police.

"Halloween is going to be very safe tonight," police said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Malloy Designates Another $22M to School Security]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:18:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tlmd_school_bus_generic1.jpg

Gov. Dan Malloy has announced an additional $22 million in state funding to improve school safety.

Money will be divvied up among 380 public schools and 65 private and religious schools as part of the School Security Grant Program

Reimbursement for security improvements

State has now designated a total of $43 million for school security improvements

“With this latest expansion, we’re also including state-run schools that were not previously funded as well as private and religious schools,” Malloy said in a statement Friday. “We want our schools – both private and public – to make their institutions as safe as possible.”

The program was created in 2013 in response to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and was expanded this year to include all public and private schools.

Gov. Dan Malloy has announced an additional $22 million in state funding to improve school safety around the state, bringing the total amount to $43 million since the program was launched in 2013.

The money will be divvied up among 380 public schools and 65 private and religious schools to reimburse them for security improvements as part of the School Security Grant Program, according to Malloy’s office.

“With this latest expansion, we’re also including state-run schools that were not previously funded as well as private and religious schools,” the governor said in a statement Friday. “We want our schools – both private and public – to make their institutions as safe as possible.”

Tighter school security regulations took effect July 1.

<![CDATA[1 Dead in Virgin Spaceplane Crash]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:38:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/10-31-2014-spaceshiptwo-debris-3.jpg

One crew member was killed and another suffered a "major injury" after Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket plane, designed for suborbital commercial flights above the Earth, went down Friday during a test flight over the Mojave Desert in Southern California.

The test flight, in preparation for space tourism trips for which 700 customers have already paid up to $250,000, involved two crew members. Ground controllers lost contact with the crew shortly after the space tourism plane separated from a mothership that carries it to a height of about 50,000 feet, according to a Federal Aviation Administration statement.

One crew member was found dead in the vicinity of what authorities described as a widespread debris field. A second crew member was hospitalized, but details regarding a condition were not immediately available.

"At times like these, we recognize we engage in our craft freely," said Stuart Witt, CEO of Mojave Air and Space Port. "The test community is very small. We are human, and it hurts."

A witness told The Associated Press the space tourism plane exploded over the desert after its rocket motor ignited.

Parts of the plane landed in the Cantil area, about 25 miles northeast of Mojave Air and Space Port and 95 miles north of Los Angeles. Aerial video showed several pieces of aircraft debris marked with the Virgin Galactic logo.

Witt and other members of the test flight team watched the test flight from the base of the control tower. He said he "detected nothing that appeared abnormal."

"During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of SpaceShipTwo," according to Virgin Galactic. The "anomaly" occurred as the plane fired its rocket engine in flight, according to NBCNews.com. A tweet posted by Virgin Galactic's account Friday morning said, "#SpaceShipTwo has experienced an in-flight anomaly."

The tweet was posted just minutes after the plane, carried to 50,000 feet by a mothership called WhiteKnightTwo, began flying under rocket power, something the hybrid-rocket engine plane had not done in more than nine months, according to NBCNews.com. WhiteKnightTwo landed safety, according to Virgin Galactic.

Billionaire Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic's founder, had planned to be among those on the plane's first commercial voyage. Branson's company is considered a front-runner in the space tourism industry.

"Thoughts with all @virgingalactic & Scaled, thanks for all your messages of support. I'm flying to Mojave immediately to be with the team," Branson tweeted Friday afternoon.

Branson's tweet referred to Scaled Composites, Virgin Galactic's flight test partner.

Authorities did not comment with regard to a cause at a Friday afternoon news conference.

Virgin Galactic had switched the plane's fuel mixture since the last powered flight, NBCNews.com reported. The fuel change involved a switch from a rubber-based compound to plastic-based mix, NBCNews.com reported. Engineers were attempting to determine whether the new mix would boost engine performance.

Test flight officials said at a Friday news conference that the new fuel formulation had been tested many times on the ground.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[3 Brothers Charged in Bridgeport Murder]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:36:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/bridgeport+ortiz+brothers.jpg

Bridgeport police have arrested three brothers in connection with a fatal stabbing earlier this month.

Jesus “BeBe” Ortiz, 23, Jhonathan “Scarfice Ortiz-LaPorte, 25, and Jose Ortiz, 26, were charged Friday morning in the stabbing death of 51-year-old Ivan Rodriguez Mendez on Oct. 18.

The brothers are accused of fatally stabbing Rodriguez outside the multi-family home they share on Seeley Street in Bridgeport, according to police.

Rodriguez Mendez was pronounced dead at the scene in Bridgeport’s 10th homicide of 2014. An autopsy revealed he died of blood loss from a stab wound to the leg, according to police.

Witnesses told police Rodriguez Mendez was involved in a fight with the suspects during which several shots were fired. Police said the brothers showed up at the home looking for Mendez and found him outside the house.

Police said detectives Jose Ortiz’s cellphone at the scene, which helped police identify the brothers as suspects.

The Ortiz brothers were each charged with murder, conspiracy and other related offenses.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[CCMC Brings Trick-or-Treating to Patients]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:25:01 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ccmc+halloween.JPG

It was all treats and no tricks at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center for Halloween.

Doctors, nurses and surgeons dressed up as different characters and went “reverse trick or treating” from room to room at the Hartford facility.

“It was different than the hospital. You know for a second there, I forgot that I was even here,” said patient Aliya Stephens.

Chelsea Krance planned to go trick or treating with her friends before she got sick, but said seeing her doctor in costume is the next best thing.

“You get to see everyone in their costume which is really great,” she said

“We’re happy to see a smile on her face which we haven’t seen all week,” said her father, Herman Krance.

Patients and their families weren't the only ones who benefitted from the festivities Friday.

“Everybody dresses up and it’s just so exciting to see the kids so excited and the staff just as excited,” said nurse Laura Lally.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Teens Arrested, Accused of Totaling Watertown Cruiser]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:02:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/watertown+stolen+car.jpg

Watertown police have arrested four teens accused of ramming a police cruiser with a stolen car and running off around 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 20.

Officers were responding to reports of car break-ins on Georgetown Drive in Watertown when two people ran off and four others got into a BMW that had been stolen from Waterbury, police said.

The teens sped off on Bunker Hill Road, went through a red light and slammed the BMW into a police cruiser in the area of 535 Straits Turnpike, knocking off the back tire, according to Watertown police Lt. Tim Gavallas.

Sgt. David Ciarleglio, an 11-year veteran of the department, was hit, hospitalized for a brief time and was out of work for a few days, authorities said.

Police were able to obtain forensic evidence from the car, submitted it to the state lab and identified a 17-year-old boy. Waterbury police were able to identify another suspect and Watertown police were able to identified two other. 

All four teens are in juvenile detention and police said another person might have been in the car.

A 14-year-old, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old were charged with larceny in the first degree and interfering with a police officer.

Another 17-year-old was charged with larceny first degree, interfering with an police officer, assault on a police officer, criminal trover, risk of injury to a minor and reckless endangerment in the first degree.

"It's miraculous, once you see the damage to the cruiser, that our sergeant made it out alive," Deputy Chief Robert Desena, of the Watertown Police Department, said."Fortunately our sergeant made it through; unfortunately, we didn't find out who is responsible."

Police are continuing to investigate.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[15-Year-Old Brings BB Gun to Hamden High School]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:14:18 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hamden+bb+gun+crop.jpg

A 15-year-old freshman at Hamden High School is facing charges after bring a BB gun to school Friday morning, according to police.

Police said the school resource officer was notified around 10:30 a.m. Friday and found the teen in possession of a Colt Defender CO2-powered BB gun in his backpack.

School security took the student out of class and turned him over to police.

The teen was arrested and charged with carrying a dangerous weapon and breach of peace.

He was released to his mother and will face a judge at juvenile court in New Haven, according to police.

It comes two days after another teen was caught with two BB guns at Eli Whitney Techical School in Hamden and a week after a bomb threat at Hamden High.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Police Stop Traffic for Bear on Berlin Turnpike]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:33:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bear-Generic.jpg

A black bear is back in the wild after a stroll through Newington today.

A bear was spotted this morning in the area of Robbins and Maple Hill Avenues before making its way up to the area of Sequin and Walnut streets, snacking from bird feeders along the way, according to police.

The animal, which had tags in both ears, made its way across to the area of Theodore Street, Homecrest Street and Partridge Drive before disappearing into the woods, police said.

Later in the afternoon, the bear re-emerged and was seen near the Berlin Turnpike, across from the state Department of Transportation, so police responded to get the bear out of the busy dangerous area.

Officers stopped traffic and the bear eventually crossed the Berlin Turnpike and went into the woods on the east side of town.

Police watched as the animal wandered the area of Barn Hill Lane, Lamplighter Lane and Candlewick Drive before wandering into the unpopulated wooded area bordering Rocky Hill.

No additional sightings were reported.

Four black bears have been reported in Newington in the last year.


Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Boy Who Brought Airsoft Gun to School Shot Pellets at Peers: Cops]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:55:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Thomas+J+McDonough+Elementary+Hartford+1200.jpg

The seventh-grade student who brought an Airsoft pellet pistol to the Thomas J. McDonough School in Hartford on Thursday morning had used it to shoot paintballs at classmates the previous day, according to police.

Authorities said the 11-year-old boy had used the paintball gun to shoot at three female classmates who were walking home on Hillside Avenue the day before. Police said pellets struck one of the girls, but she was not hurt.

The next morning, administrators suspected the boy might have the gun in his backpack, so they called school security and Hartford police to investigate.

Police said the student tried to run and "threw items around the main office" when school staff first confronted him. Officers arrived at school and found the pellet pistol in his bag.

The student was suspended from school and referred to juvenile court. He was charged with reckless endangerment, second-degree assault, second-degree breach of peace, two counts of second-degree breach of peace, two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon and possession of a dangerous weapon in school grounds.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Drivers Scoop up Armored Truck Cash]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:57:47 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/police-lights-shutterstock_542372564.jpg

An armored truck lost an unknown amount of money on a Maryland interstate Friday morning -- and numerous drivers quickly scooped up the money, police said.

Maryland State Police are now "reminding" the drivers to that they are "welcome to turn in the money at the local barrack."

The incident happened shortly before 8 a.m. in the northbound lanes of I-270 near Route 80.

According to a preliminary investigation, a door lock on the armored truck malfunctioned, causing a side door to open. A bag of cash fell into the left lane of I-270, scattering cash into the air and across the highway, police said.

The truck driver pulled over to the shoulder and saw multiple vehicles had also stopped, with drivers picking up the cash. When a fire department official arrived at the scene, the drivers quickly left.

Maryland State Police, assisted by a K-9 team, recovered just over $200 from the scene.

Authorities have issued a warning to the drivers who grabbed the cash, telling them they can turn in the money at Maryland State Police's Frederick barrack. Those who don't return the cash could face theft charges if police learn their identities, authorities said.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[1 Treated for Smoke Inhalation After Stratford Condo Fire]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:18:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/SD-Fire-Engine-Generic.jpg

One person was treated for smoke inhalation after fire broke out at a condo complex in Stratford on Friday.

Fire officials said a resident called 911 around 9 a.m. to report smoke coming from a unit in the Oronoque Condo Complex at 144 Balbone Lane.

The residents made it out safely and none of the 24 responding firefighters was hurt, but the fire department said one person was taken to Bridgeport Hospital for an evaluation after suffering smoke inhalation.

Firefighters said the whole building sustained heavy smoke and heat damage but the fire was contained to the room in Unit A where it broke out.

The neighboring resident was allowed to return home but Unit A is uninhabitable, according to the fire department.

Firefighters have not released the cause of the fire but said it is not considered suspicious.

Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
<![CDATA[Farmington School Officials Say They Addressed Food Complaints]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:08:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/217*120/Farmington+High+School.JPG

Farmington school officials say they have addressed student complaints about school lunches and are making some changes to cafeteria procedures. 

Chartwells has run the school's cafeteria services for about three years, according to administrators and students expressed concerns about the food quality, portion size and price, along with a policy that included throwing out food.

Bill Silva, principal of Farmington High School, said in a statement on Friday that he met with students on Tuesday and held another meeting on Thursday with five students, representatives of Chartwells and members of the high school administration. 

They agreed to make some changes, revised the charge procedure in the cafeteria and will be sending the information to all families. The school will also be establishing a Cafeteria Advisory Committee, which will include students, to ensure an ongoing dialogue; and arranging for any complaints about the cafeteria to be immediately communicated to the Director of Dining Services.

Local produce will continue to be delivered twice a week and fresh bread deliveries will continue to be made daily, school officials said. The Farmington Valley Health District will continue regular inspections of the FHS cafeteria.

School officials said Chartwells "will maintain its current standard of 100% of the FHS cafeteria workers trained and certified in food handling" and a Chartwells on-staff dietitian will continue weekly visits to the Farmington Public Schools.

The policy also calls for Chartwells' regional chef to visit Farmington High School in early November and every month thereafter for special demonstrations, training and in-service.

Earlier this week, student Sarah White said she found one Chartwells policy humiliating and it was the last straw in students' frustration.

“I was told I didn't have enough money left in my account to charge it and they threw it out in front of me," White said.

Silva said in a statement on Friday that students who had unpaid lunch balances brought food to purchase at the register. 

"They were offered a complimentary alternative meal.  Unfortunately, the food that was brought to the register had been handled and in some cases partially eaten, thus per health code, the food was discarded," Silva said.  

Farmington Superintendent Kathleen Greider said in a statement that district officials "deeply respect our students' opinions and honor the dignity of every student that attends the Farmington Schools."

"The Farmington school district works closely with Chartwells to provide healthy, nutritious and appealing meals to students that meet national dietary guidelines," Greider said. "These guidelines changed the year that Chartwells joined the Farmington school district. Even with these changes, we are currently experiencing very favorable participation levels in our lunch program, especially at the high school level. Students are provided a significant number of food options at the high school level and Chartwells strives to continuously enhance these options. In fact, Chartwells sends out periodic surveys to determine strengths, needs and to determine ways to deliver food options that are locally grown, fresh and nutritious."

Greider said that administrators at the district values feedback from students and that the Farmington district "serves as a leader in ensuring student voice is a centerpiece of our continuous improvement efforts across all schools."

"Again, we deeply respect our students’ opinions and honor the dignity of every student in our schools," Greider told NBC Connecticut. "In turn, FHS administration and Chartwells are working closely with the group of students that expressed concern and we are investigating the issue highlighted in your broadcast on the procedure followed by Chartwells at FHS when unpaid lunch balances exceeded the district’s established level."

The Farmington Valley Health District issued a statement, saying they had not received any complaints about food safety or reports of food-borne illness.

"As required by the CT Public Health Code, the food service operations located in the Farmington Public Schools are inspected by the Farmington Valley Health District. Unannounced inspections are conducted three times a school year.  The most recent inspection was conducted on September 11, 2014.  Routine inspections include assessment of wholesome and unadulterated food products, proper heating and cooling as well as food handling. The facility at the high school has consistently received satisfactory inspection results. The Farmington Valley Health District has not received any complaints regarding food safety nor has it received any confirmed reports of food-borne illness," the statement said.

Chartwells released a statement saying the company is dedicated to the health and wellness of the students of Farmington.

"We have a good relationship with students and have remained open to discussions, including regular surveys and a forum today with the concerned students. Since the start of our partnership, we have worked with the district to bring a team of registered dietitians, culinary professionals and skilled operators to deliver a great food program while adhering to USDA requirements. We continue to enhance our options, including the recent introduction of a grab-n-go salad bar, yogurt and granola bar, hand-pressed turkey burgers and a once-weekly brunch, all the while expanding the use of fresh ingredients. As an example, we have sourced over $85,000 of produce from local farms. We are committed to an open and productive dialogue, and will continue to work with the Farmington school community to ensure the best quality meal program," the statement says.

<![CDATA[Turning Clocks Back Doesn’t Mean Extended Liquor Sales]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:58:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Beer-Tap-Generic.jpg

We turn the clocks back an hour come 2 a.m. on Sunday, be don’t expect to spend an extra hour at the bar.

They will not be able to continue serving alcohol until 2 a.m. comes around again, according to the state Department of Consumer Protection.    

Patrons and owners of cafes, bars and restaurants that sell liquor are not allowed a “do-over” of that last hour, state officials said in a news release.

“Although we turn the clock back to 1:00 a.m., the law does not allow liquor sales to restart or continue,” Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said in a statement. “On Sunday, once 2:00 a.m. is reached -- the first time -- all liquor sales and consumption must stop.”

<![CDATA["Grim Reaper" Stabs Woman: Deputies]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:46:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/grimreaperstabbing2.jpg

A woman was stabbed multiple times early Halloween morning by someone dressed as the Grim Reaper, San Diego County officials said.

It was just before 2 a.m. Friday in a home on Thibido Road in Vista when deputies say the person dressed in costume attacked the woman while she was in the bathroom.

The attacker ran out of the home.

Deputies found the woman alive and searched the area with deputies and police dogs but did not find the assailant.

The victim was rushed to Palomar Hospital with what’s described as non-life threatening wounds.

She told deputies she could not identify her attacker's face but did hear the person's voice and described it as female.

It's not known how the suspect gained entry into the woman's home, officials said.

Check back for more on this developing story.

<![CDATA[SCSU On Alert After 2 Armed Robberies on Campus]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:30:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/SCSU+sign.jpg

Southern Connecticut State University students are on high alert after a man robbed one student at gunpoint early Friday morning on campus and tried to rob another.

The incidents occurred just after midnight near the Jess Dow Field football field.

School officials said the students were not injured. The robber stole one student's backpack and wallet and tried to steal another's cell phone, according to school officials.

SCSU Police are searching for a man in his 20s who is between 5-feet-6 and 5-feet-8. He was wearing a black ski mask and gray and orange sweater, police said.

The school sent a campus-wide alert to students shortly after the robberies occurred, advising students to stay in their dorms and to use extreme caution when returning to their residence halls.

The robber is still at large and campus police are investigating.

Classes and university operations will go on as scheduled, according to school officials.

Anyone with information should call University Police at 203 392-5375. If you are in an emergency, call 911.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[Jets-Chiefs: It's Not a (Complete) Waste of Time]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:31:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP356575141239.jpg

Yes, there actually are a few reasons to watch Sunday’s Jets-Chiefs game. Well… it could get you out of weekend chores, if you can somehow convince the other members of your household that it’s a meaningful game (Good luck with that one!). Plus, there are many, many worse things to do that sit in your recliner watching football -- any football -- while stuffing your face with leftover Halloween candy.

Then again, there’s also the chance to see if Michael Vick actually has anything left in the tank as a starting QB, or if he’s become as bad as his play this year has indicated, as well as an opportunity to check out the Chiefs, who two potential candidates for Jets GM John Idzik’s job have helped build into a decent team.

Idzik’s imminent departure may not be a done deal -- unlike Rex Ryan’s -- but it’s pretty hard to believe that owner Woody Johnson will bring him back for another season after the disastrous campaign that’s occurred on Idzik’s watch. Scott Pioli, who was general manager of the Chiefs for four seasons before being canned amid Andy Reid’s 2013 arrival, is thought to be a contender for the Jets GM job, as is Chris Ballard, who’s currently Kansas City’s director of player personnel after having spent a decade as a Chicago Bears scout.

Pioli is now assistant GM with the Falcons, who may face a front office shakeup of their own after wining just six of their last 24 games. His Atlanta bio boasts of his having drafted such Pro Bowl talents as Eric Berry, Justin Houston, Dontari Poe and Dexter McCluster while at the Chiefs’ helm. That is an impressive run, and to those who would question how hard it is to select good players with really high draft picks (Berry and Poe were both chosen among the top dozen picks in their respective drafts), I’d say -- and I’m sorry to sound like a broken record -- Vernon Gholston and Dewayne Robertson. And, for those yearning for the good old days, let’s throw in Lam Jones and Blair Thomas for good measure.

My biggest issue with Pioli is that he had two chances to choose head coaches with the Chiefs, and his picks -- Todd Haley and Romeo Crennel -- made uninspired look inspiring. Considering anyone who’s ever watched Haley on the sideline inevitably wants to strangle him after 30 seconds, I can only imagine what his players felt. As for Crennel, I’ll simply say that his career record is significantly worse than Rich Kotite’s. My biggest issue with Ballard is that the definitive accomplishments he can list on a resume pale in comparison with that of my 10-year-old son.

Whoever is chosen to run the Jets will likely be choosing a QB with a very high draft pick in 2015. And whichever QB is selected will probably either sit behind (at least for a short while) or be shadowed by a veteran signal caller. Might that be Vick, who’ll be a very spry 35 next season? Stranger things have happened, especially for Gang Green.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Milford Bank Robbery]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:26:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Milford+bank+robbery+1200.jpg

Milford Police are investigating a bank robbery at the Webster located at 314 Merwin Avenue in Milford and searching for the man responsible.

Police said a man robbed the bank at 2:17 p.m. on Wednesday and fled after demanding money.

The robber was 5-feet-10 and had a medium build.

He was wearing a navy blue hooded sweatshirt with a white draw string, light cargo-style pants, black sneakers, yellow latex gloves and a dark open-faced knit mask. He was carrying a yellow plastic bag.

Investigators are comparing similarities to a bank robbery at the same bank on Oct. 16.

Anyone with information about the robbery should call Milford Police Detective Chris Cacchillo at (203) 783-4729 or submit a tip online. http://www.ci.milford.ct.us/police-department/webforms/crime-tips

Photo Credit: Milford Police]]>
<![CDATA[Police Ask for Help to ID Man in Credit Card Fraud]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:33:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Watertown+credit+card+fraud+1200.jpg

Watertown police are trying to identify a man who they said used stolen credit card information at several stores in Waterbury and Southington.

He has short brown hair, appears to be 25 to 30 years old and was driving a small silver four-door sedan, possibly a Chevrolet.

Police said he was wearing jeans and a gray sweatshirt with Adidas written vertically on the side, police said.

If you have information on who the man is, call the Watertown Police Department at 860-945-5200 or Crimestoppers at 860-945-9940.

Police said they are asking for information only and urge people not to make contact with the man.

Photo Credit: Watertown Police]]>
<![CDATA[Man Tries to Attack Officer With Ax]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:22:55 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/dc-police-ax.jpg

In a brazen attack, a man wielding an ax tried to hurt a D.C. police officer early Friday morning, striking his vehicle and getting into a struggle with the officer.

The officer wasn't struck by the ax, but he was injured in the altercation that followed as he tried to tackle the assailant.

The suspect got away, said D.C. police.

It happened shortly before 3:20 a.m. Friday, as an officer with the city's Fifth District was patrolling in a marked squad car in the 3800 block of 13th Street NE. The officer noticed what police called a suspicious person, who avoided the officer by entering an alley. The officer followed in his car, where he was ambushed by the man with the ax, police said.

The ax shattered the car's window, and the officer got out of his car and chased the man.

In a brief struggle that followed, the officer suffered a dislocated shoulder and injured knee. He was not injured by the ax.

The officer was taken to a local hospital and is expected to recover.

Police K-9 units tracked a suspect to the 1000 block of Perry Street NE, near Michigan Avenue, but have not found him.

Neighbors who usually describe the area as pretty quiet are horrified.

"Yeah, I did hear a yell. I heard a scream," said nearby resident Christopher Niosi. "I have a seven-car garage back year. I'm wondering if they tried to get in."

Niosi's backyard stretches to the alley where the officer got out of the cruiser and struggled with the suspect.

"Sadly, it's a comment on society today, you know?" Niosi said. "You're in the city, you know? Sad to hear it."

A motive in the attack remains unknown, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said. She said in a release that authorities have been urging members of the police force to remain vigilant at all times.

"While we do not have any information at this point on the motivation surrounding today's attack, this situation underscores the need to always maintain a very high level of situational awareness while we are working," Lanier said in a release. "Recent incidents targeting uniformed law enforcement officers in Quebec, New York City, and now to one our own here in Washington, D.C. are reminders that we must always be ready for any eventuality."

Officers were going door- to-door in the area, searching for the suspect. The assailant will face felony assault charges once apprehended.

The incident comes just days after two NYPD officers were injured in an attack by a man with a hatchet in Queens, reported NBCNewYork.com.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of a law enforcement source
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<![CDATA[Family of Hit-and-Run Victim Calls for Driver to Come Forward]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:27:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hamden+hit+and+run+dixwell.JPG

The family of a 67-year-old woman who was killed in a hit-and-run in Hamden last night is calling upon the driver to come forward.

Doris Gonzalez and her husband, 67-year-old Emilio Gonzalez, were on the way to their Hillcrest Avenue home when they were hit while crossing Dixwell Avenue near Haig Street at 8:10 p.m.

The driver fled the scene, according to police. 

Doris Gonzalez, a recent retiree from Covidien in New Haven, was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Emilio Gonzalez, who also recently retired from Coviden, was knocked out and taken to the hospital, but has been released, according to family members.

The couple's daughter, Magali Gonzalez, is asking the driver to come forward.

"I just want you to know I know you have a mom. I know you have a mom and you need to come forward, please, for our closure," she said.

She is also asking anyone with information about the crash to come forward.

"I miss her, I miss my Mom.  She was everything to me. She was my best friend I talked to her every single day," Magali Gonzalez said. "Take advantage of what you have today and tell your Mom you love her."

Doris also leaved a granddaughter, Jessica Gonzalez.

"She was the sweetest thing on earth. ... I don't know why, but they took my best friend from me," Jessica said.

Police are looking for a dark Saturn with damage to the front right windshield and hood.

"She was the only person that pulled me out of the darkest place in my life, and now she's gone and I'm asking anyone, anyone, please look out for this car," Jessica said.

Anyone with information about the crash should call Sgt. Edward Armeno of the Hamden Police Department Traffic Division at (203) 230-4036 or 230-4000.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Car Hits School Bus at School in Ellington]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:29:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Ellington+bus+crash+1200.jpg

A school bus was rear ended while pulling up on Maple Street  this morning and the school nurses is evaluating the students as a precaution.

The superintendent said the students and the driver of the car were not injured.

Police said an ambulance was called.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[3rd Grader Back to School After Ban Over Ebola Concerns]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:17:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/milford+meadowside+school.jpg

The third-grade student whose family sued the sued the Milford school system for keeping her out of class over Ebola concerns will return to school Friday, school officials said.

Milford school superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Feser released a joint statement with the 7-year-old's father on Thursday explaining that the two had reached an agreement.

The student was banned from school earlier this month after returning from a two-week trip to Nigeria where she attended a family wedding with her father. Her dad filed a lawsuit Oct. 28.

Although Nigeria has been declared Ebola-free and the student showed no symptoms of illness, administrators told the girl's family that she must stay home from Meadowside Elementary School until Nov. 3 “due to concern from certain parents and teachers that she could transmit Ebola to other children,” according to the lawsuit.

The suit was filed Oct. 28, four days after the girl completed a health assessment with her pediatrician which found her in good health and able to "participate fully in the school program," the suit says.

Although the lawsuit says Feser initially warned that the girl would be "removed from the school by police" if she showed up prior to Nov. 3, school officials agreed to allow the girl to return to school Oct. 31.

"The student does not present any health risk to any individual," the joint statement says.  "The parties are pleased to announce that the student will return to school on October 31. The parties wish to announce that the lawsuit in this matter will be settled."

The terms of the settlement will not be disclosed.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[I-95 South Congested from Bridgeport to Stratford]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:41:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/I95+closed+in+Bridgeport+1200.jpg

Only the center lane of Interstate 95 South in Bridgeport is getting by after a multi-vehicle crash at exit 27A.

Traffic is already backed up to Stratford.

State police said troopers just arrived at the scene and it’s not clear how long the highway will remain closed.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Connecticut DOT Traffic Cameras]]>
<![CDATA[Newington Schools Step Up Security After Threats]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:38:09 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Ruth+Chafee+Halloween+1200.jpg

Officials have increased security at Newington schools for Halloween after the district received threats from extremists groups following a decision to cancel costume parades at two elementary schools.

The Newington Board of Education convened a special meeting on Wednesday night, the night after receiving threats from "national extremist groups" after deciding to cancel Halloween parades at Ruth Chaffee and Anna Reynolds elementary schools, according to superintendent Dr. William Collins.

Collins wrote a letter to families clarifying that Halloween celebrations at school were never canceled altogether and that costumes will be permitted at after-school activities, but not during school hours.

Board members in favor of no costumes and no parades cited the time it takes away from learning.

“It’s not just about a half hour parade,” said Beth McDonald. “It’s about the anticipation and distraction leading up to it.”

Those opposed argued in favor of tradition and lobbied to let kids just be kids.

The decision to ban costumes during the school day has sparked controversy around the country.

Collins said he has received threatening calls from as far away as Washington state, prompting the request to beef up police security on Friday.

Collins said extra patrols will keep an eye on the town's four elementary schools.

"The threats I received are in no way meant to harm any of our children," Collins said.

The board apologized on Wednesday for its timing and the way the ban was communicated to parents. Board members promised improved communication going forward.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Thwarts Burglary at Neighbor’s House]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:27:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/bristol+police+crusier_1200.jpg

A Bristol man stopped a burglary at his neighbor’s house by calling 911 after seeing two suspicious people last night.

Police said a man and woman tried to force a door open at a home on Chippenwood Lane in Bristol just after 5 p.m. on Thursday, so a neighbor called 911.

Bristol officers responded and found two suspects and their vehicle at 20 Edgewood Street, police said.

Joseph Saluski, 39, of 20 Edgewood Street in Bristol, and Jamie Newberry, of the same address, were both arrested.

Saluski, a convicted felon, was charged with criminal attempt at burglary in the third degree, conspiracy to commit burglary in the third degree, criminal attempt at larceny in the sixth degree, criminal trespass in the third degree and conspiracy to commit criminal trespass in the third degree, police said. 

He posted the $75,000 bond, was released and is due in court on Nov. 10.

Newberry was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary in the third degree, conspiracy to commit criminal trespass in the third degree and conspiracy to commit larceny in the sixth. 

She posted the $25,000 bond, was released and is also due in court n Nov. 10.

<![CDATA[3 Officers Hurt During Police-Involved Shooting]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:22:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/new+britain+batterson+park+scene+with+mug+2.jpg

Three New Britain officers suffered injuries when gunfire erupted and a suspect tried to get away during an arrest late Thursday morning, according to the police department.

Police tracked accused criminal Richard Moore, 43, to the area of 456 Alexander Road around 11:30 a.m. to serve an arrest warrant charging him with felony offenses, authorities said.

Moore, who they found in a parked car near the Batterson Park boat launch, "became combative" when police approached and sped off through a parking lot, dragging an officer behind him, according to police.

Police said the officer was able to break free of the car as Moore accelerated toward other police nearby. The officer who was dragged pulled out his gun and fired at the car "in an attempt to stop further violent assaults."

"Turning a motor vehicle toward an officer, or any person, it's a deadly use of force," explained New Britain police Chief James Wardwell. "It certainly could have resulted in something a lot more serious."

Moore was not shot. Authorities said he crashed the car into a large boulder and struggled with officers who tried to arrest him. Police took him into custody and brought him to the hospital for treatment of injuries sustained during the crash.

The officer who was dragged was taken to the Hospital of Central Connecticut, where he was treated for minor injuries and later released, according to police and the mayor's office.

Two additional officers were hurt during the encounter, one of whom suffered a fracture. The other injured officer is still undergoing a medical evaluation, police said.

"Their injuries are significant, but they're going to recover and I'm thankful for that," Wardwell said.

Moore was charged with three counts of assault on police, criminal attempt to commit first-degree assault, interfering with police and motor vehicle and narcotics offenses, because officers found drugs in his car, according to police.

Police said officers had been attempting to arrest Moore in connection with an incident on Oct. 28 when police found him slumped over the steering wheel, sleeping in a running car.

Officers reached into the vehicle and put it in park, at which point Moore woke up and sped off, hurting one of the officers' arms, according to police.

He was charged with two counts of assault on police, reckless driving, interfering with police and driving with a suspended license in connection to the Oct. 28 incident.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/New Britain Police]]>
<![CDATA[Tactic Pushing Voter Turnout Irks Voters]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:28:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/MailTruck_NoSatMail.jpg

With the latest Quinnipiac Poll putting the governor's race at a dead heat

, both political parties are putting out all the stops.

But some voters say they're going too far.

"Instead of this being an attack on another candidate, this was an attack on me and my privacy," said Mansfield Center resident Paul Veilleux.

Veilleux, a U.S. Army veteran, said that when he checked his mail on Thursday, he couldn't believe what he saw. Inside was a letter from the Connecticut Democratic Party that Veilleux said came across like a veiled threat.

"I believe it is our responsibility, everybody's responsibility to vote, not just our right, but this is ridiculous," said Veilleux.

The letter reads, "We're sending this mailing to you and your neighbors to publicize who does and does not vote."

You can see the name and street numbers are hidden, but the voting records for Veilleux and neighbors are clear as day. At the bottom it says if you don't vote this year, party officials will be "disappointed."

"Shaming someone into voting, but not just voting, voting in a particular way because they say they may call and they're going to check," said Veilleux.

Voting records are public but how you vote is not. NBC Connecticut reached out to the state Democratic party and they sent the following statement in response:

"The foundation of our democracy is a citizens' right to vote – and it's our hope that every Democrat exercises that fundamental right on Tuesday. While Tom Foley wants to restrict access to voting to protect his $5 million yacht, two million-dollar-fighter jets, seven-bedroom mansion, and zero percent tax rate, we believe every registered voter should show up to the polls."

Democratic mailer:

State Republicans are also sending out their own mailers. NBC Connecticut was emailed an example of one which informs voters they've missed previous elections that the public can see who votes and who doesn't.

Republican mailer:

In a statement, campaign officials for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley said they "hope that everybody who has the right to vote exercises that right on November 4th."

"This is not good politics. This is not positive politics," said Dr. Paul Petterson, political science professor and chairman at Central Connecticut State University.

Experts said it's not only manipulative but disappointing. It's a trend that's been seen across the country, but Veilleux says it's not the right way to do it.

"Reminding folks to vote, that's great, but don't try to look over my shoulder with what I'm doing," said Veilleux.

Veilleux said the mailer will in no way impact whether he votes or how, but that it does have him wanting to talk to politicians about the tactic.

Other experts have called this sort of strategy a "hail mary" that can significantly increase voter turnout, which is what both sides are desperate for Nov. 4.

Photo Credit: NBC10
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<![CDATA[Connecticut Ghost Town Sells for $1.9 Million]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:46:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/johnsonville+ghost+town.jpg

A ghost town nestled in the Moodus section of East Haddam has a new owner and, hopefully soon, new life.

The village of Johnsonville, originally marketed for $800,000, sold for $1.9 million at a worldwide auction that ran from Oct. 28 to 30, according to Eat Haddam First Selectman Mark Walter.

Walter said the town is waiting for the auction house to identify the highest bidder and new owner of the long-abandoned 62-acre property.

Johnsonville is situated between two state parks and has been desolate for decades.

"We're excited," Walter said. "Hopefully now it will come back to life."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[New Haven Receives $21.5M to Redevelop Old Coliseum Site]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:14:50 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/New+Gaven+Coliseum+1200.jpg

More than seven years after the New Haven Coliseum came crashing down, the city received a $21.5 million financial boost to redevelop the site.

Transforming the old Coliseum site is the second phase of New Haven's Downtown Crossing project, which has been in the works for the past few years and aims to bridge two parts of the city that are now separated by Route 34.

The state announced on Thursday that it will contribute $21.5 million to the redevelopment of the former Coliseum site on Orange Street.

"It will allow us to really develop a vibrant and thriving urban neighborhood for New Haven and the state of Connecticut," said Max Rein, co-managing partner of site developer Live Work Learn Play.

What’s now an empty parking lot will eventually transform into a space containing a four-star hotel, restaurants, shops and residences.

The redevelopment project will also bring about a major change to the Route 34 corridor, knocking out the highway to create a more walkable, connected space that bridges the Hill neighborhood with Ninth Square.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Robert Greenberg, of ACME Furniture in the Ninth Square. “The whole Ninth Square area is really excited for it, and I think it’s going to change the whole dynamic of downtown New Haven and the way that people enter our city.”

Greenberg said he’s hopeful the project will get up and running soon. The developer anticipates shovels in the ground next summer, and with those shovels, about 4,700 construction jobs.

The completed project retain 2,800 permanent jobs, which translates into more customers for downtown businesses.

“It’s going to bring a lot of jobs,” explained Neville Wisdom, owner of Neville Wisdom Designs. “It’s going to bring housing for a lot of people who will live here, who needed dresses and garments that we design for our business. So it’s a win-win situation.”

The total bill for the development will reach about $395 million, with not only the state contributing but the federal government and the city pitching in as well.

<![CDATA[Dad of Boy Who Shot Pal Dead Pleads]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:44:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/anthony+senatore+guilty+plea.jpg

The father of a then-4-year-old New Jersey boy who fatally shot his 6-year-old neighbor with his father's unsecured gun has pleaded guilty to two counts of endangering the welfare of a child in exchange for less jail time, NBC 4 New York has learned.

Anthony Senatore of Toms River pleaded guilty Thursday to the charges in connection with the April 2013 shooting death of Brandon Holt. Senatore's young son shot Holt once in the head with Senatore's gun -- a .22-caliber rifle the father was accused of keeping loaded, unsecured in his bedroom.

Senatore's lawyer previously said his client was "deeply horrified over what took place and feels awful about it," but that the case should've been tried in civil, not criminal, court.

Last November, Senatore rejected a plea deal that would've required him to serve seven years in prison. In exchange for the guilty plea Thursday, Senatore will serve two three-year jail terms simultaneously when he is sentenced Feb. 5.

Senatore had originally faced six counts of child endangerment -- one for each of the five unsecured firearms investigators say they found accessible to his three children and one for endangering the welfare of Holt by leaving his gun in a place where his own child could get it. . 

The Holt family has filed a lawsuit against the Senatores accusing Senatore and his wife of recklessness that led to their son's death. .  

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Suspected Biohazard Turns Out to Be Vinegar]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:48:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/vinegar.jpg

Police said a possible biohazard reported in Rocky Hill turned out to be a container of vinegar.

Authorities were called to the state testing lab at 395 West Street around 7:30 p.m. to investigate after someone found a "drum of an unknown substance," according to police.

Lab tests conducted as a precaution showed the substance to be non-hazardous, police said.

That substance turned out to be vinegar, and the drum, a gallon container.

<![CDATA[Gore Still on Pole Days After Crash]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:27:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/human+remains+midtown.JPG

A Manhattan resident is frustrated by the runaround she says she's gotten from the city while trying to get gore removed from the scene of a gruesome midtown crash last week. 

Cassandra Dunn first contacted NBC 4 New York with photos of what appear to be small bits of remains spattered on a light pole at 33rd Street and Lexington Avenue.

Dunn said she believes the remains were left from a crash involving an SUV, taxi cab and several pedestrians last Thursday. The FDNY confirmed two pedestrians were hurt in the crash. 

She said the carnage included fat, blood and hair.

"It's pretty gross, definitely a major biohazard," she said. "People are walking by with their dogs, their children." 

Though the remains haven't been tested, biowaste worker Sal Pain of Bio Recovery Corporation said at the scene Wednesday he's positive they are human.

"You have human hair, all different types of fluids," said Pain, whose company has several high-profile contracts with the city, including for potential Ebola waste removal. 

Pain said the remains will likely "just sit there until someone decides to hose it down." 

Dunn has been on a mission to get the scene cleaned up since the accident, but can't find anyone to help. She called 311, who referred her to the NYPD, who referred her to the sanitation department. 

She then called the state health department, who referred her to the medical examiner -- who then referred her to the forensics department. 

She tried the CDC, who pointed her back to the state health department.

Dunn finally emailed the mayor's office, and she said she's still waiting for a response. 

"Basically, I've been run around and no one wants to help me with this," she said. 

NBC 4 New York's attempts to reach the same departments and agencies yielded the same results: each department referred questions to another. 

A spokeswoman at the city's sanitation department said it was their understanding that "NYPD generally calls a medical waste removal company to crime/accident senes to remove any potential medical waste." 

The NYPD did not respond to a message Wednesday. The FDNY said in certain instances, it hoses down accident scenes as a courtesy but they are not responsible for doing so. The department said it was not asked to do that in this case.

But the mayor's office said Thursday the FDNY typically does wash down the street in those situations and that it cleaned the scene the night of the accident, despite evidence of remains still there Wednesday night. A spokeswoman said a fire battalion went back after NBC 4 New York's report aired and washed it down a second time. 

-- John Chandler contributed to this report. 

<![CDATA[Passengers Seriously Hurt in 4-Car Pileup in New Canaan]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:32:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_tape_lights_generic2.jpg

Several people are in the hospital with serious injuries, some possibly life threatening, after four cars collided in New Canaan on Thursday evening.

Police said the crash happened around 5:30 p.m. on Silvermine Road near the intersection of Clapboard Hill Road. One person was ejected from a car and others were trapped inside.

Paramedics and fire officials from New Canaan and Norwalk responded to the scene to extricate the passengers and bring them to the hospital.

Authorities are investigating the crash. Police have not specified how many people were hurt or identified the injured passengers.

<![CDATA[Yale Doctoral Student No Longer Quarantined]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:00:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/yale+ebola.jpg

Two weeks ago medics in protective gear brought a Yale doctoral student recently returned from Liberia to Yale-New Haven Hospital for Ebola testing. Although his test acme back negative, state officials ordered him quarantined at home until Thursday morning.

Two of the state's four quarantine orders, one of which affected Yale student Ryan Boyko, expired at midnight Thursday, according to the state Department of Public Health.

The state has put in place a total of four quarantine orders on nine people, including a family of six from West Haven, Boyko and a second doctoral student who traveled to Liberia.

Boyko left his apartment building on Edwards Street on Thursday and couldn't be reached for comment. He told interviewers earlier in the week he felt unfairly confined.

"It was purely a political move to look like Gov. Malloy was leading — science be damned, basically," Boyko said in an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday. "Instead of leading by teaching people about the disease and trying to reduce the fear in a way that was productive and based on science, it was a decision to take what felt like the easier path."

Boyko, an epidemiology student at the Yale School of Public Health, said he had not been in contact with anyone showing Ebola symptoms while in Liberia. Ebola is only transmitted through infected individuals who are showing symptoms.

The 30-year-old doctoral student said earlier this week he had gotten involved with activists lobbying for consistent guidelines for people returning from Ebola-stricken areas.

<![CDATA["Mystery Signs" Share Kind Words]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:56:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/mystery+sign.JPG

What if the nicest thing you heard all day came from the back of a telephone pole?

It may sound strange, but “mysterious signs” leaving compliments for strangers are getting a lot of attention in southeastern Connecticut.

The small act of kindness is making a big difference.

Words of encouragement – including "People like you" and "You're a beautiful person" – are popping up on phone poles along Main Street in Mystic, and similar signs have also been spotted in other towns.

“I just saw the sign this morning as I was taking my daughter to music class,” said Mystic resident Merin Troutman. “It said, ‘Being nice is fun,’ and I think that’s a great message. That’s what I tell my daughter every day before she goes to Kindergarten.”

They’re simple ideas, and they’re also a mystery. Residents said the signs have been up for several days and no one knows how they got there or who to thank.

Town leaders said they don't have a clue.

Although residents may never know where the signs came from, most people say it doesn't matter who put them there. This random act of kindness is contagious.

“I think whoever is doing it, I think it’s the right message to send,” said Troutman.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Stonington Teacher Charged With DUI: Report]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:58:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-0311.jpg

A first-grade teacher at West Vine Street School in Stonington was arrested after flipping her car Wednesday night and has been charged with driving under the influence, according to police and The New London Day.

Police said 52-year-old Ann Collette, of Pawcatuck, was involved in a rollover crash at Route 1A in Stonington around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday. She was charged with driving under the influence and failure to drive right.

Collette was transported to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, according to police.

The New London Day reports that Collette is a first-grade teacher at West Vine Street School. The school Web site lists a first-grade teacher by that name.

Neither the Stonington superintendent nor the Vine Street School principal have returned requests for comment.

<![CDATA[Troopers Use Narcan to Save Person After Drug Overdose]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:26:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/narcan+naloxone.JPG

A month after being trained to use a drug that can counteract a drug overdose, a Connecticut state trooper used Narcan to save a life.

Medical responders were called to the report of a drug overdose in Griswold on Oct. 29. They arrived to find a 40-year old man unresponsive, so Trooper Steven Gardner was dispatched to assist, police said.

When Gardner administered a dose of Narcan, the man woke up and was taken to William Backus Hospital for treatment. Police said he's expected to make a full recovery.

Intranasal Naloxone, or Narcan, is given to counteract the overdose of opiate-based narcotics.

State troopers were trained to administer the drug in September following the passage of a new state law earlier this year.

“The Connecticut State Police and our fellow first responders experience first-hand the devastating effects of illicit drugs on individuals and families, and now, we can do something about it,” Department of Environmental Safety and Public Protection Commissioner Dora Schriro said in a statement Wednesday. “This initiative gives State Troopers and others on the front line the tools and training to help prevent drug overdoses and save lives.”


<![CDATA[LifeStar Called to Crash at I-95, Route 9 in Old Saybrook]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:20:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/crash+95+old+saybrook.jpg

LifeStar airlifted a crash victim to the hospital Thursday after a car struck a bridge on Route 9 near Interstate 95 northbound in Old Saybrook, according to state police.

All northbound lanes on I-95 were closed while authorities responded to the crash. At least two lanes of travel have since reopened to traffic.

One person was airlifted to the hospital for treatment. Police have not released any information on the victim's condition.

Avoid the area if possible and check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation]]>
<![CDATA[Injured Hartford Firefighter Released From Hospital]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:25:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/jason+martinez+hartford+fire.jpg

A Hartford firefighter who was critically hurt in the blaze that killed his colleague earlier this month was released from Bridgeport Hospital on Thursday, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Jason Martinez, 29, is recovering at home in Manchester.

"I do know his family – and Jason himself – is overwhelmed with the outpouring of support they have received," Hartford Fire Capt. Helene Lynch said during a press conference Thursday.

The president of the firefighters' union, Vincent Fusco, said in a letter to Hartford firefighters on Tuesday that Martinez is "up and able to move around" and has been working hard to get better.

"He is very determined to make a complete recovery and is focused on his therapies," Fusco wrote.

According to the Hartford Firefighters Association, flames forced Martinez to jump from a second-floor window while fighting a two-alarm fire on Blue Hills Avenue on Oct. 7.

He suffered burns over 10 percent of his body and remained in critical condition at the Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital for days after the fire.

"We continue showing our support for Firefighter Jason Martinez and his Family [sic] as he works toward recovering from his injuries in the Bridgeport Burn Center," Fusco wrote in the letter. "They are and will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers."

Fellow firefighter Kevin Bell died in the blaze, and Colin McWeeny and Kevin Burke received treatment for minor injuries. Both McWeeny and Burke were treated and released from Saint Francis Hospital.

"Firefighter McWeeny has burns on his head that are healing, and they don't want infection and are monitoring him," Lynch said at the media briefing.

McWeeny, of Engine 14, has not yet returned to work. Burke is back on the job at Engine 5, according to fire officials.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Hartford Fire Department]]>