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    Police arrested the clerk of a Hartford grocery store after he pulled a gun on a customer, according to police.

    Police responded to La Soberana grocery store at 11:50 p.m. on Wednesday to investigate a report of a store clerk pointing a gun at a customer and the clerk would not allow police in at first, police said.

    While investigating, police found a silver 380 caliber gun in the store clerk’s right front pocket. It contained three rounds, according to a news release from police.

    The victim told police she was in the store, making a purchase. when the store clerk pulled a small gray gun out, chambered a round and pointed it at her, police said.

    The clerk originally said he was Wilkin Rivas-Trinidad, but police later identified him as Luisito Rivas, 36, of Hartford.

    Upon further investigation, police found pills and two small clear bags containing cocaine.

    Rivas was arrested and charged with risk of injury, third-degree assault, sixth-degree larceny, second-degree breach of peace, improper container, possession of narcotics, first-degree threatening, carrying a pistol without a permit, interfering with police and illegal carry of a firearm.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    It’s a tiny tattoo with a lot of meaning, and chances are you’ve seen it somewhere on social media in recent weeks: the semicolon tattoo.

    At first glance, it’s a small, simple punctuation mark. Buts its meaning is more than skin deep.

    Amy Bleuel of Green Bay, Wisconsin, never expected this tiny symbol to take off in such a huge way.

    After losing her father to suicide in 2003 when she was just 18 years old, Amy struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts.

    “That was kind of the defining moment in my life. I didn’t know if I wanted to go on anymore without him,” Bleuel said.

    After seeking help, Amy rediscovered hope. In 2013, she founded her own nonprofit to share her story and inspire others struggling with mental illness and addiction.

    She called it Project Semicolon.

    “In literature, the semicolon is used when an author chooses not to end the sentence. You’re the author, the sentence is your life, and you’re choosing to continue,” Bleuel said.

    Topics like depression and suicide are often swept under the rug and surrounded by silence, Bleuel said. In order to “start a conversation that couldn’t be stopped,” she created a simple graphic to post on social media. It asked people to draw a semicolon on their wrists and post it with the hashtag #ProjectSemicolon.

    She hoped it would trend. She had no idea it would explode.

    Two years later, that simple concept has grown into a movement, with thousands of people around the world choosing to draw the symbol permanently.

    At Body Graphics tattoo in South Windsor, artist Joelle Wankowicz has seen an uptick in requests for the semicolon tattoo over the past month.

    “It’s been huge, actually, I’ve had so many people either message me or let me know they’re interested,” Wankowicz said as she buzzed away on her third semicolon tattoo appointment of the day. “There’s so many people that can relate to it. Who hasn’t struggled in their life? Who hasn’t had a hard time at some point?”

    That’s something Sara Elizabeth of Ellington knows firsthand.

    “I was bullied for a good while, from fifth grade all the way up to my senior year of high school,” she explained.

    The trauma, Elizabeth said, contributed to her depression, which was worsened by the loss of her beloved grandfather. After working up the courage to share her struggles with her parents, Sara was able to get the treatment she needed. Today, she’s much more optimistic about life.

    So as a gift to herself, she chose a tiny tattoo with a big meaning – a reminder that her own story is far from over.

    “I did have those moments but I fought through them and hopefully, I’m still here. I’m still fighting,” she said.

    Some local tattoo shops are offering special deals on the design.

    STATIC AGE INK: Semicolon tattoos: $40. 100 percent of cost will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (https://www.afsp.org/)
    5 Foxon Rd Suite 11
    North Branford, Connecticut
    (203) 208-1942

    BODY GRAPHICS TATTOO: Semicolon tattoos with Joelle: $50
    73 John Fitch Blvd # A
    South Windsor, CT 06074
    (860) 289-6534
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A woman who wanted to inspire others struggling with mental illness and addiction turned the semicolon into a worldwide movement and tattoo artists are getting requests to create a permanent mark on those who have embraced it.A woman who wanted to inspire others struggling with mental illness and addiction turned the semicolon into a worldwide movement and tattoo artists are getting requests to create a permanent mark on those who have embraced it.

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    With patio season in full swing, Nisha Bansal loves to enjoy a meal outdoors with her companion Coco.

    While her wagging tail and faded blue leash aren't offered a place at most establishments, the 2-year-old chihuahua-yorkie mix may soon be welcome at some of Bansa's favorite spots for a bite. 

    “Since I got her, I try to bring her wherever I can really,” Bansal said, as her 5-pound pup dismissed the water that was brought to her in a small paper cup at Le Pain Quotidien. “If I’m going to sit here by myself, I may as well bring her with me. I know other cities are dog friendly and I think as long as the owner is mindful of their dog it’s a good idea.”

    Bansal's wish has slowly become a reality in some cities and states across the nation, including California, which passed legislation that allows dogs to eat on outdoor restaurant patios in 2011. New York may become the next major state to adopt a "Dining with Dogs" law; a bill on the matter is currently on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk awaiting a decision.

    Even where the practice isn't explicitly allowed under state or local laws, catering to canine-owning customers can be good for business. Allowing animals to accompany their humans to meals helps restaurants gobble up a slice of the major cash Americans spend on and with their pets. That figure is expected to exceed $60.5 billion this year, according to the American Pet Product Association.

    As the money spent on animals grows, so do the number of pet-friendly businesses.

    Pet-friendly hotels and restaurants have blown up in recent years, according Becca Barnett, social media manager at BringFido.com, which hosts a database of dog-friendly hotels, events, attractions, and restaurants across the U.S. and Canada.

    Barnett said the site has seen its listings grow from 10,000 to more than 100,000 as "people integrate animals in their every day life.”

    "It’s really picking up in all the categories," she said.

    Restaurant owners are taking note. Nikki Leo, owner of Blunch in Boston, allows patrons to eat outside with their dog and provides a water bowl and occasional treat for the eager animals.

    “A dog is an extension of the family," she said. "If you’re walking it and want something to eat, they can get a sandwich and have their dog with them.”

    And many patrons appreciate the inclusion. Ben Hemani frequents Blunch often, and said being with Bode, his four-month-old Golden Retriever, relieves some of the guilt after spending the work days apart.

    “I don’t work from home very often, so it’s hard to be at work all day, come home and then leave for a few hours again…the most common reaction I get from people is they want to pet the dog and play with him," he said in a phone interview. 

    And at some places, it's not just dogs getting in on the dining scene. 

    Marcel’s in Washington D.C. is one of a smaller number of restaurants to allow both dogs and cats on its patio, though animals don't frequent to the upscale restaurant too often. 

    “Why not? It’s only for three or four months of the year, that’s not bad. Especially in a casual setting I don’t think it’s a problem," Adnane Kebaier, the assistant manager at the French and Belgian restaurant, said. 

    Despite the popularity among pet owners, the practice has drawn criticism from some health officials. While it doesn't rule on allowing dogs in outdoor eating spaces, the U.S. Department of Health states in its code that live animals are not allowed inside restaurants unless they are service dogs. 

    “We agree with the Food and Drug Administration and county health departments across the state that animals can create a risk to the health and safety of diners, restaurant workers, and other dogs,” Christopher Miller, the press secretary for the New York State Department of Health, said in a statement. “Dogs in restaurants create unsanitary conditions, and their presence outdoors at sidewalk cafes…invites opportunity for negative interactions and bites.”

    And some patrons believe the practice goes a step too far, and people should leave their pets at home.

    “I wouldn’t really like to be near a patio full of dogs if I’m going to go al fresco,” said New Yorker James Jones, who has managed restaurants in the past. ”There’s just certain places I don’t want to be. If I wanted to be exposed to dogs I would go to a dog park — or own a dog.”

    Diners like Jones may soon find themselves seated next to a furry companion more often, as more states and cities follow the lead of California and early adopters Alexandria, Virginia, and Austin, Texas, which changed local laws in 2006.  Animal lovers in New York have been working to overturn the state's law banning restaurants from allowing dogs to dine outdoors. 

    “This is about dogs, and dogs being man’s best friend, and having the right to sit at the dinner tables with their families,” said Judie Mancuso, founder of Social Compassion in Legislation, an animal rights organization that has worked on the effort to legalize the practice in New York and other places. “People love to do it, it’s already being done. Restaurants are breaking the law to give people the opportunity to do it. (The law) just screams ‘I’m old and outdated’ because everyone is breaking the law anyway.”

    The fate of the "Dining with Dogs" bill backed by Social Compassion in Legislation is in the hands of Cuomo after winning approval in the New York state Legislature. While Mancuso didn't predict an outcome, the group remains hopeful that a win in New York could set a precedent for the rest of the nation.

    “We have success, we put it out there as a model, and we move on,” she said. “That’s the beauty of having success and getting publicity. People go ‘Whoa, you put that down, we want that here.’” 



    Photo Credit: AP
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Fido is seeking a place at the outdoor dining table, or at least under it. And in some major cities and states, that's OK under the law.Fido is seeking a place at the outdoor dining table, or at least under it. And in some major cities and states, that's OK under the law.

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    Thirteen goats seized from a Cornwall farm in January as part of an animal cruelty investigation will be auctioned off by the Department of Agriculture.

    The goats up for auction include three adults and 10 kids between 7 and 9 months old. State Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky said the goats are intended for agricultural use.

    They're among 74 goats seized from the Butterfield Farm Company, which makes cheese, after investigators found most of the herd was malnourished or suffering from contagious diseases, according to the Department of Agriculture.

    The goats were relocated to the department's large animal rehabilitation facility in Niantic, where they have been ever since.

    Forty-eight of the goats were sold at a livestock auction and 12 others were taken to a rescue sanctuary, according to the agricultural department. About two dozen kids born in Niantic this spring will go to youth groups including 4-H programs and Future Farmers of America.

    If you're interested in bidding on the 13 goats up for auction now,

    visit the Department of Agriculture's website for more information

    , complete a bid questionnaire and send it back to the department by Aug. 10.

    Questionnaires can be emailed to steve.jensen@ct.gov or mailed to:

    Connecticut Department of Agriculture
    Attention: Steve Jensen
    165 Capitol Avenue
    Hartford, CT 06106



    Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Agriculture

    Goats seized from a Cornwall farm as part of an animal cruelty investigation recover at the state's large animal rehabilitation facility in Niantic.Goats seized from a Cornwall farm as part of an animal cruelty investigation recover at the state's large animal rehabilitation facility in Niantic.

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    Security cameras were rolling as a woman stole a package that had just been delivered to a Hamden home and police have arrested a suspect.

    Paula Regan, 62, of Hamden, is accused of stealing a package from the front porch of a home on Farm Brook Court on June 11, according to police.

    The package was stolen moments after a delivery service dropped it off and the resident’s surveillance camera recorded the theft, police said.

    After posting the surveillance camera images on social media, Hamden Police received tips on who was responsible and obtained an arrest warrant for Regan, who turned herself in to police on Friday.

    She was charged with sixth-degree larceny and third-degree criminal trespass. She was released on a written promise to appear and is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on July 31.



    Photo Credit: Hamden Police

    Paula Regan is accused of stealing a package from a porch in Hamden.Paula Regan is accused of stealing a package from a porch in Hamden.

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    Father Honore Kombo has been removed as pastor at St. Augustin Church in Seymour over allegations that he stole money from the parish.

    "We are all upset. The whole parish is upset," longtime parishioner Jackie Sarkes said Thursday. "We loved Father Kombo."

    Suspicion that Kombo broke the Eighth Commandment began, apparently, when the Archdiocese of Hartford discovered what it describes to NBC Connecticut as "financial irregularities."

    The archdiocese declined to comment further, but the public is speaking.

    "I think that's very sad because people do come to church believing in their preacher," said Amber Tillman, who lives near St. Augustin.

    The Archdiocese says it won't likely offer comment until its investigation is complete, and is offering no timetable.

    But those we asked say if Kombo is guilty of any wrongdoing, he shouldn't wait to speak.

    "Not to say they can't forgive him, but he definitely needs to make up for that and obviously stop," Tillman said.

    Meanwhile, Sarkes is holding on to her faith, not just in the larger sense, but specifically in the man she says churchgoers have come to know and love.

    "He was a good priest, and I'm sure he still is a good priest, and I hope this is going to go well for him and well for us," she said.


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    A 19-year-old Southington man will spend seven years in prison after throwing fireworks into a Southington home last June, which caused a fire that killed his friend's sister.

    Eric Morelli has been sentenced to 15 years, suspended after seven, and fives years of probation.

    He was arrested in connection with the death of Kristen Milano, a 19-year-old Southington woman who became trapped after flames broke out in her Summer Brook apartment around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 22, 2014. She died of smoke inhalation and her death was ruled a homicide.

    Morelli was charged with manslaughter, arson and reckless endangerment. According to a plea agreement he reached, Morelli was expected to be sentenced to 10 years in prison and five years of probation because of a plea deal.

    "There will never be a day that goes by I don't think about Kristen or her family," Morelli said during the sentencing proceedings. "I think about her every day and never thought a sparkler would cause her death."

    Prosecutors said Morelli has acknowledged that he threw a firework, or "popper," into the Milano family apartment in an attempt to wake Kristen's brother.

    When Morelli last appeared in court, Kristen’s mother, Mary Milano, was there and spoke about what was taken from her family a year ago. She said Morelli has shown no remorse for killing her daughter and asked for the maximum sentence allowed.

    “He did not stop to assist getting anyone out or put out the fire. He did not call 911. He went home, hid, leaving my daughter to suffocate to death -- from the fire he caused,” Mary Milano said, through her tears. “He has destroyed and broken my family apart forever. There is a hole that now will never be filled.”

    Mary Milano called the reduction in sentence a “slap in the face” to her family.

    “It minimizes all of our suffering and loss that we continue to try and fight through on a daily basis,” she said. “No amount of time is enough.”

    Milano went on to say her family is in excruciating pain, yet Morelli “is living his life as if nothing ever happened.”

    “Nothing will bring her back, but a maximum sentence will give my family a small bit of closure and some justice for my daughter Kristen,” Mary Milano said.
     


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    A Hartford police officer who has been banned for life from Foxwoods Resort and Casino now faces the prospect of losing his job.

    It comes in response to a report from the police department's internal affairs division, which details a night allegedly fueled by alcohol and filled with derogatory and racist statements.

    "These are very serious allegations and we at the police department take them very seriously," said Hartford police spokesman Deputy Chief Brian Foley.

    Police began investigating the conduct of Officer Kamil Stachowicz after a Foxwoods employee said Stachowicz drank too much while off-duty and caused problems at one of the casino's nightclubs in the early hours of Feb. 25.

    Stachowicz joined the Hartford Police Department in November 2008.

    According to the department's internal affairs report, Stachowicz traveled to Foxwoods for a private whiskey tasting event but drank too much and was asked to leave.

    Security and tribal police later found him passed out on the casino floor and woke him up, at which point Stachowicz started verbally attacking them and told them he was an off-duty Hartford police officer, the report says.

    Foxwoods staff told Hartford police Stachowicz spewed racial slurs and told them, "My grandfather owned your grandfather," according to the report.

    One Foxwoods staffer "reported that as a black man he found Officer Stachowicz (sic) actions offensive and was appalled and concerned with the actions and statements of Officer Stachowicz. Especially, as someone who identified himself as a member of law enforcement."

    Hartford police said Stachowicz was questioned and does not remember much of the night. He denied being racist.

    "Officer Stachowicz further stated that he does not make racial comments and that some of his best friends are African American," the report says.

    The police department's internal investigation found Stachowicz's actions were "unbecoming (of) an employee" and that Stachowicz violated policy by not reporting the incident to headquarters.

    "That officer has been taken off the streets and is on administrative assignment within the police department," said Foley.

    The union officials said the officer has a hearing on the issue next Thursday.

    Sources within the department said he could end up losing his job.

    Attempts to contact Stachowicz on Thursday were not successful.



    Photo Credit: Foxwoods Resort and Casino

    This image purports to show Hartford Police Officer Kamil Stachowicz at Foxwoods Casino the night he allegedly got drunk and spewed racial slurs at casino employees.This image purports to show Hartford Police Officer Kamil Stachowicz at Foxwoods Casino the night he allegedly got drunk and spewed racial slurs at casino employees.

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    A tractor-trailer crash on Interstate 91 northbound in East Windsor snarled traffic for hours Thursday night.

    Department of Transportation officials said a tractor-trailer collided with one other vehicle between exits 44 and 45 in East Windsor.

    Traffic was backed up to exit 40 for Bradley International Airport following the crash.

    Footage from the scene shows the tractor-trailer stuck on top of the median. The front of the big rig appears to have been sliced off in the crash.

    State police said troopers are investigating the crash. Minor injuries have been reported.

    The highway was clear and traffic was moving by about 10 p.m. Thursday.

    Check back for updates on this developing story.



    Photo Credit: See It Share It

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    Police have arrested a Hartford mom accused of leaving her 10-month-old son in a parked car with the windows rolled up while buying a cellphone case at Staples on Friday.

    Franswa Anique Noland, 21, of Hartford, was arrested around 8:30 p.m. Friday and charged with leaving a child unattended in a public place and risk of injury to a minor.

    Police said left the baby alone in the car while was shopping at the Staples store on Albany Avenue in West Hartford. Noland told officers she was buying a cellphone cover.

    Police said the car's engine was off and the windows were rolled up.

    Temperatures climbed to 82 degrees in the Hartford area on Thursday and were in the low- to mid-70s around 8:30 p.m.

    Noland's bond was set at $10,000.

    It's not clear if she has an attorney.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Partly cloudy skies are anticipated Friday with a pop-up shower in the afternoon. Northern and eastern areas of Connecticut stand the best chance of seeing a five-minute shower.

    Saturday will be the pick of the weekend, with a mix of sun and clouds. It would make a great beach day with temperatures in the lower-and-middle 80s.

    Showers are likely on Sunday as a cold front approaches. The front itself will die out before reaching New England, but the weather will still be unsettled with temperatures in the 80s.

    Sunday and Monday will both be humid. Other than those two days, the forecast remains comfortable in terms of humidity.

    The disturbance that brings showers on Sunday sticks around for Monday, though the chance of showers on Monday will be lower.

    A good signal for sustained heat and humidity arriving in the eastern United States exists next week. As of July 23, both Connecticut climate sites have yet to experience a heat wave this year.

    Tuesday appears to be the start of the surge of heat, with temperature readings potentially topping 90 degrees. It looks like Wednesday will also register 90 degrees inland, while temperatures near the water remain in the middle-80s.

    Stay with the NBC Connecticut First Alert weather team for the very latest forecast on-air, online and on the app.


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    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s newest satellite has reached orbit and it serves a purpose different from the typical weather satellite.

    Launched back in February, the Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, will be used primarily for solar wind measurements. The satellite will also send back pictures of earth on a frequent basis.

    Satellite pictures shown in First Alert weather forecasts are taken by different satellites that are part of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system, known simply as GOES. These satellites orbit the earth 22,500 miles above the ground and provide resolution up to one kilometer.

    Unlike the GOES weather satellites, DSCOVR is much farther away. It sits a whopping one million miles away from the surface of the earth at Lagrangian point one, also called L1.

    Lagrangian point one is where the gravitational pull of the sun and earth balances with the centripetal force, thereby allowing the satellite in L1 orbit to remain between the sun and earth at all times.

    NOAA’s space weather alerts and forecasts will benefit from having instrumentation at Lagrangian point one because it’s an ideal spot to track the solar wind.

    So, how does the solar wind impact people? It’s the only way to provide 15 to 60 minutes of warning before a geomagnetic storm.
    In this day and age when everybody and everything relies on technology, notification of an impending geomagnetic storm is crucial. These storms can take out major public infrastructure systems, including power grids, communications equipment and GPS.

    While it would be an inconvenience to lose GPS on a family trip, national security and economic stability would also be at risk should a geomagnetic storm take out power grids and GPS.

    In addition to taking solar wind observations, the satellite also carries other neat tools. NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) is used to take color pictures of the earth. Since the satellite is always between the sun and earth, the pictures will always be of the side of the planet in daylight.

    The very first picture taken by EPIC was back on July 6, 2015.

    By this September, images of earth from one million miles away will be publicly available in near real time. Photos will be published on a NASA webpage 12 to 36 hours after they are taken.


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    The line between good citizenship and going too far is blurring since last week's attack at a military recruitment in Tennessee, where a gunman shot and killed four Marines and one Navy sailor.

    There have been numerous reports of civilians standing as ad hoc volunteer armed guards outside recruiting offices in several states including Connecticut.

    "I'm against violence, I don't believe in that. But there are certain times when you do need to protect yourself and others," Southbury resident Fernando Rodriguez of Southbury said Thursday, while standing across Wolcott Avenue from the recruitment facility where a man reportedly stood sentinel Tuesday morning, drawing response from city police.

    "We have a law and order," veteran Al McMinn of Woodbury pointed out, "and we have to follow it, whether you like it or not."

    McMinn said he agrees with the Department of Defense policy that prohibits military recruitment staff being armed at their offices, while acknowledging that locked doors and a buzzer/intercom security system such as the one at the Waterbury center aren't infallible.

    "I mean, a person can just have a weapon and and say 'I'm just going to sign up,' or something like that," McMinn said.

    Perhaps ironically, Rodriguez, who isn't a veteran, says the current policy should be changed.

    "They should let them - allow them to carry weapons, to defend themselves," Rodriguez said.

    Police say the man involved in the Waterbury incident was licensed to carry a firearm and did nothing illegal. Nevertheless, they asked him to leave and he complied.

    Local recruitment staff are not authorized to speak with media about such incidents, but the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion near Albany sent a statement to NBC Connecticut Thursday, reading, in part, "In light of the attack, the Army will increase vigilance and review our security measures, particularly at stand-alone sites not connected to a military installation. We are America's Army and local communities can support our security by reporting suspicious activity, particularly around recruiting centers; if you see something, say something."

    The statement did not include a call to arms.

    Acknowledging that there are no easy solutions to security flaws, one woman, who asked not to be named, offered, "I don't believe in anyone having guns, to be honest with you."


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    Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Thursday that "Black Lives Matter" is a "slogan" and that Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley should not have had to apologize to activists for using the words "all lives matter" instead, NBC News reported.

    "We're so uptight and so politically correct now that you apologize for saying lives matter? " he told a reporter in New Hampshire. "Life is precious. It's a gift from God. I frankly think that it's one of the most important values that we have. I know in the political context, it's a slogan, I guess."

    O'Malley apologized over the weekend after being booed at a progressive conference for saying "Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter."

    Some progressive activists argue that using the phrase "all lives matter" ignores the specific injustices faced by African-Americans.


    In this photo taken June 27, 2015, Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks in Henderson, Nevada.In this photo taken June 27, 2015, Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks in Henderson, Nevada.

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    Anthem and Cigna are apparently reaching a deal to create the nation's largest health insurer.

    The takeover is to be announced Friday, according to CNBC, but what it means for more than 4,000 people who work at Cigna in Bloomfield and their families may not be clear at first.

    It's hard to get a look at the outside of the Cigna bunker from off the property. It's been equally difficult for the Bloomfield town manager to find out what's going on behind the windows of the largest employer in town.

    "You always live in hopes there'll be a reasonable transitional plan put into effect," said Phil Schenck.

    If Cigna lowers the flag in Bloomfield, Schenck knows the impact would hurt restaurants, retailers and contractors not just in Bloomfield, but in towns in all directions.

    "We're never going to lose Cigna. Cigna's not going to leave Connecticut," said West Hartford Town Manager Ron Van Winkle. "They have 4,200 highly skilled people that they're going to continue to employ, but there certainly will be some impact where individuals will find their job is not needed."

    "For sale" signs could spring up, in a definite impact on the housing market, despite Connecticut's efforts to grow.

    "These kinds of changes are moving in the other direction with those best jobs which are the ones we really want to grow," he said.

    Bracing for disappointment from Cigna but hoping for the best, Schenck said, "I think the biggest surprise would be if the governor and the legislature got involved and lured the headquarters of Anthem from Indiana to Bloomfield. That would be my dream."

    He said that's probably not going to happen but Bloomfield is part of an insurance cluster and that means something. Met Life said it was consolidating in Charlotte two years ago but it still has five or six hundred employees in Bloomfield.


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    Flames engulfed a tobacco barn on Plantation Road in the Broad Brook section of East Windsor on Thursday night.

    Emergency dispatchers said fire officials were on the way just prior to 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

    Footage from the scene shows flames gutted the barn and left nothing but a singed skeleton behind.

    Police are investigating the fire and ask anyone with information to call public safety at 860-292-8240.

    Check back for updates on this developing story.



    Photo Credit: Brad Magyar

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    An East Hartford woman is facing charges after allegedly starving her 11-year-old disabled son, withdrawing him from school and denying him proper medical treatment.

    Alison Rosa, 29, has been charged with first-degree assault, first-degree assault of a disabled person, first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree abuse, cruelty to persons and risk of injury to a minor.

    Police said the Department of Children and Families contacted them in April after the child showed up to an appointment at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center covered in bedsores and weighing just 28 pounds.

    Authorities said the boy lost 20 percent of his body weight between August 2014 and March 2015.

    The child suffers from a number of conditions, including cerebral palsy, and is severely mentally and physically disabled. Police said the boy is a quadriplegic and completely dependent on his mother.

    "He has cerebral palsy, he's blind. He can't talk; he can't communicate. So her day consisted of putting him on his feeding tube and bathing him," said the child's godmother, Karen Baker. "I've always known Alison to be a good mother, a loving mother. From the time I've known him, he's always been thin. He's never been a heavy boy, ever."

    Doctors at Connecticut Children’s said the boy was not just thin. They diagnosed the child with moderate to severe malnutrition due to "inadequate caloric intake" and said the boy showed "evidence of chronic malnutrition," according to the warrant for Rosa’s arrest.

    He lost two baby teeth that were "green and black and were falling apart due to decay" and suffered "refeeding syndrome," which happens when a person is so malnourished, the body’s metabolic rate surges upon receiving food, the warrant says. Refeeding syndrome can lead to heart problems, seizures and death.

    According to police, Rosa did not have proper medical equipment to care for the boy, claiming it had broken, and went seven or eight months without receiving a delivery of formula to feed him.

    She also skipped dozens of medical appointments, claiming she and the boy had moved to Puerto Rico for 22 months, although school records indicated otherwise. Police said Rosa later withdrew the boy from school and failed to re-enroll him.

    "I've taken her to doctors appointments myself. I was aware there were certain appointments she missed because the winter was so bad, she never made it to the doctor's office," Baker said. "I wasn't aware of the severity of it until DCF and I spoke."

    Police and medical providers concluded the boy suffered "physical abuse, medical neglect, physical neglect, and educational neglect." He was placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Families.

    Rosa was arrested Monday. She appeared in court Wednesday, where her bond was set at $350,000. Rosa is due back before a judge Aug. 21. She has not yet entered a plea, according to court records.

    "I think things just got away, were too much for her. She couldn't handle it by herself. She has no family here but her dad, and he's in Willimantic," said Baker, adding that she had considered fostering the child. "She tried on her own and I believe in my heart what happened wasn't an intentional thing."

    Since being admitted to New Britain's Hospital for Special Care in April, the boy has gained weight and his condition has improved, according to the police report.

    "He's getting chunky and he looks great. We've been to the hospital and he's doing much better," Baker said. "I'm hoping Alison gets the true help she needs to take care of him and hopefully someday have custody of him or at least see him, because right now, she can't have any contact with him at all."

    It’s not clear if Rosa has an attorney.



    Photo Credit: East Hartford Police Department

    Alison Rosa, 29, of East Hartford, is accused of starving her disabled son, withdrawing him from school and denying him proper medical treatment.Alison Rosa, 29, of East Hartford, is accused of starving her disabled son, withdrawing him from school and denying him proper medical treatment.

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    Police searched an Ansonia home Thursday night after an hours-long standoff, only to find the person they were looking for was gone.

    Authorities have identified that person as Ramon Acebedo.

    Police said the scene unfolded around 12:30 p.m. Thursday, when a road rage incident led to a fight on May Street involving about half a dozen people.

    Acebedo left the house at 14 May Street, where he was visiting a friend, and saw the fight. He went back inside, then returned with a gun and fired two shots toward the group, according to police.

    "Nobody was hurt. From the fight itself, a couple bumps and bruises and scratches, but from the shooting, we did not get any reports of anyone being hit or struck by anything from the gun," Ansonia police spokesman Lt. Andrew Cota said Thursday night.

    Police said Acebedo retreated into the home after opening fire. Officers swarmed the property, and a regional special response team was called out.

    After several hours of attempting to contact Acebedo, police entered the home. Acebedo wasn't there.

    Cota said police identified Acebedo after finding his driver's license on the ground. Authorities have checked homes where Acebedo has lived and are searching the town in an effort to track him down.

    They plan to obtain arrest warrants charging Acebedo with reckless endangerment and unlawful discharge of a firearm. Cota said there may be additional charges and police expect to arrest other people as well.

    No additional information was immediately available.

    Check back for updates on this developing story.



    Photo Credit: Hirriam Berrios

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    The Clinton, Connecticut, teen who garnered national media attention after posting a YouTube video of a drone firing a gun has been arrested for allegedly attacking officers in the lobby of the Clinton Police Department.

    Police said Austin Haughwout, 18, was wanted in connection with a suspicious motor vehicle incident that occurred July 19.

    According to police, officers approached Haughwout after seeing his car parked outside the library, which was closed at the time. Haughwout's father told NBC Connecticut the teen had been using the library Wi-Fi to do homework.

    An officer confronted Haughwout in the parking lot and told him to stay where he was, but Haughwout allegedly challenged the officer's authority to detain him.

    "Even if you are stopped by the police and it’s ultimately deemed unlawful, you still need to comply with the order of the officer," said Clinton police spokesman Sgt. Jeremiah Dunn.

    The officer called for backup and as other police arrived, Haughwout drove away. He pulled over when officers tried to stop him but refused to put the car in park, according to police.

    Police said Haughwout used a camera to record the exchange.

    According to Haughwout's father, the teen keeps a GoPro mounted on his car and records every drive for the sake of his own protection. He said the video shows his son is not at fault.

    "That’s his side of the story. That’s not our side of the story. He was legally detained as far as we were concerned under an investigative detention which we believe our officer had every right to pursue," said Dunn.

    Officers let Haughwout leave the scene and obtained a warrant charging him with interfering with an officer and failure to obey an officer's signal.

    "We did not want to put our officers in harm’s way because he was in a moving vehicle," said Dunn.

    Haughwout turned himself in Wednesday evening, but refused to cooperate once inside the police department, according Dunn.

    He allegedly tried to turn around and walk out when officers prevented him from bringing a GoPro camera inside. Officers seized the camera as evidence, along with a cellphone Haughwout was using the record the scene, police said.

    According to police, Haughwout fought with two officers who prevented him from leaving, "striking and kicking at them repeatedly" while they worked to put him in handcuffs. Both officers suffered minor injuries, including bruising and muscle stiffness, but did not need medical treatment.

    Haughwout was taken to a holding cell, where he vomited and had trouble breathing, according to police. An ambulance brought him to the Middlesex Memorial Shoreline Clinic in Westbrook for a medical evaluation.

    Once released from the hospital, Haughwout was taken back to the police department, where he was arrested. Police served Haughwout the original warrant and also charged him with two counts of assaulting an officer and one count of interfering with an officer.

    He was held on $20,000 bond and appeared in court Thursday morning. Haughwout's father said his son was released on $12,500 bond.

    Police said Haughwout's arrest is not related to the department's investigation into the drone video. Authorities have said the drone, while "alarming," does not appear to have broken any state laws.

    Federal authorities are also investigating the drone.



    Photo Credit: Clinton Police Department

    Austin Haughwout, 18, is accused of assaulting two officers at the Clinton Police Department.Austin Haughwout, 18, is accused of assaulting two officers at the Clinton Police Department.

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    A 38-year-old Terryville woman is facing charges after hitting a bicyclist in Hartford while driving drunk Thursday evening, according to police.

    The bicyclist, identified as Carlos Perez, 69, of Hartford, suffered life-threatening injuries. He was rushed to Hartford Hospital, where he's listed in critical condition.

    Police said Dalia Bourassa, 38, of Terryville, was driving through Hartford around 5:30 p.m. Thursday when she struck Perez on the 400 block of Wethersfield Avenue.

    Bourassa was charged with driving under the influence.

    Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the crash to come forward.


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