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    After an exceptionally mild winter, spring decided to show up early!

    This week’s record-breaking warmth is speeding up the need to care for your lawn.

    The owner of West Hartford Landscaping told me they're getting their work started early.

    "With this warmer weather we're probably starting at least a month to 3 weeks ahead of schedule compared to previous years," said Scott McIntyre.

    So now is the time to get to work!

    "With this warmer weather you can take advantage of doing your spring cleanup," explains McIntyre. "Doing your power raking getting the winter mold off of the grass and any type of debris um and also if it needs cut you can cut the lawn too."

    Once you finish the dirty work, you can even start your gardening!

    "The children planted a little garden, it's my grandchildren. So they planted a little garden," said homeowner Barbara Gavin. "So we're cool, we're ready to go"

    With the warm temperatures expected this weekend, you'll have plenty of opportunity to get out in the yard to start your Spring cleanup.



    Photo Credit: Consumer Reports

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    At the Cesar Batalla School in Bridgeport, both speech pathologist Jennifer Luckart and first grade teacher Jessie Gilbert have benefited greatly from DonorsChoose.org.

    “It allows us to continue to dream,” Luckart said.

    DonorsChoose is a website where teachers can request funding for various educational projects.

    “Well, I’ve had 169 projects funded,” Luckart said.

    “In the past 5 years, probably over $10 thousand, just for me alone,” Gilbert said.

    Luckart, Gilbert and another 384 teachers in Connecticut woke up Thursday morning to an email titled, “Your #BestSchoolDay Surprise,” alerting them of a national philanthropic effort to fully fund thousands of projects.

    In Connecticut, the Westport-based Dalio Foundation donated the money to make every one of them a reality.

    “I am very impressed by the resourcefulness of Connecticut teachers, and their ability to find the tools they need to teach their students well,” Barbara Dalio said. “Supporting them through DonorsChoose.org is a great opportunity to thank them for their care and dedication to children."

    Without DonorsChoose, Gilbert said her classroom wouldn’t look the same.

    “Classroom furniture such as easels donated, my library center was donated, I’ve also had some technology donated,” she said.

    Now that four of her recent requests are being fully funded, Gilbert said she is going to receive even more resources to teach her first graders reading.

    This #BestSchoolDay fundraising flashmob comes at a time when teachers are always concerned about budget cuts.

    “Let’s face it, no matter where you are, everybody is struggling to fund their education system right now,” Luckart said, “so with DonorsChoose you are not limited by some of those financial constraints.”

    From tablets to trombones to even beanbag chairs, about 40,000 students at 188 Connecticut schools will benefit from the classroom projects funded by the Dalio Foundation.

    “This is a great opportunity for us to feel appreciated and that we’re actually getting the materials we need to help our kids more than anything else,” Gilbert said.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Two inmates escaped while being transferred to a New Mexico prison, leading to a manhunt, NBC News reported.

    Joseph Cruz, 32, and Lionel Clah, 29, and three other inmates were being transported from the Penitentiary of New Mexico toward the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility when they fled, officials said in a statement on Thursday.

    The state correctional department said they may have escaped between Roswell, New Mexico, and Las Cruces. It appeared corrections officers didn’t check on the prisoners during two stops.

    Cruz was convicted of murder. Clah was convicted of armed robbery with a deadly weapon in 2006. Both men were fully shackled with leg irons, belly chains and handcuffs. They’re believed to be wearing white paper transport suits.  

    Both were spotted on surveillance video in Albuquerque, where police have set up a perimeter. 



    Photo Credit: New Mexico Corrections Department via AP

    Joseph Cruz (L) and Lionel Clah escaped from a prisoner transport van on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in the Roswell, New Mexico, area.Joseph Cruz (L) and Lionel Clah escaped from a prisoner transport van on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in the Roswell, New Mexico, area.

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    The union that represents nearly 2,000 staff members at UConn voted this week overwhelmingly to reopen contract negotiations with UConn and the state, scrapping a deal that had been brokered since last June.

    The issue became a political punching bag over the past month due to the facts that the deal included years of raises totaling roughly $94 million and lawmakers from both sides and the governor had said the deal didn't fit with the state's fiscal challenges.

    The UConn Professional Employee Association voted 970-272 to negotiate a new agreement. Seventy percent  of of the 1,833 bargaining unit participated in voting this week which closed Thursday at 2PM.

    UCPEA's president, Kathleen Sanner, slammed those who opposed the deal saying, "We will continue to work and ensure that our voice is heard in Hartford to support the collective bargaining process, which was so egregiously disrespected by the governor and the General Assembly.”

    Sen. Len Fasano, the top Republican in the Connecticut Senate, said the vote sends a positive message about the character of the employees, while also saying had the group come back with the same deal, the Senate would have likely struck down the contract on a bipartisan basis.

    “I think the University of Connecticut employees recognized the state of Connecticut is in trouble and I certainly appreciate the fact that they’re willing to withdraw their contract and that they’re willing to go back and talk about it" he said.

    "I wish the Democrats had the same foresight" he added.

    A spokesman for Gov. Dannel Malloy described the deal as "prudent," and that the administration looked forward to both parties coming to an agreement that reflects the state's "new economic realities."

    Sen. Bob Duff and Sen. Martin Looney, who described the contract as "awful" the day it was withdrawn over a clerical error last week, said, "We are hopeful that UConn and UCPEA will reach an agreement that is fair to workers, fair to taxpayers, and sustainable for years to come."

    UConn President Susan Herbst challenged the idea that her staff wasn't aware of the state's dire financial situation when it negotiated the agreement that was submitted to lawmakers last month.

    Herbst described the pay increases as "modest" and added that with an increased workweek from 35 hours to 40, it would increase productivity and save the university money in the long term. She said the university determined it could fund the cost of the final contract.

    She fired back at critics saying, "We would not have negotiated a contract that necessitated significant layoffs or required tuition increases to pay for it and we would not have signed a contract that our budget could not support, nor would the Board of Trustees have approved it."



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    UConn may be looking to close its regional campus in Torrington.UConn may be looking to close its regional campus in Torrington.

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    Torrential rainfall in the South has forced thousands of residents to flee their homes and head for higher ground, NBC News reported.

    Louisiana has been hit the worst — with 20 inches of rain in the city of Monroe and 16 inches in Shreveport. Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency in 22 parishes, deploying 750 members of the National Guard to help with evacuations. 

    At least three people have been killed in Louisiana since the heavy rain began and more than 3,500 people have been evacuated. Two other people, in Oklahoma and Texas, also died in storm-related drownings.

    More rain is expected for Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas, according to the National Weather Service.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Sarah Yatcko, left, holds her son Tucker Neal as they are evacuated by boat with her father Jim Yatcko, by Bossier County Sheriff personnel during rising floodwaters in Bossier Parish, La., Thursday, March 10, 2016.Sarah Yatcko, left, holds her son Tucker Neal as they are evacuated by boat with her father Jim Yatcko, by Bossier County Sheriff personnel during rising floodwaters in Bossier Parish, La., Thursday, March 10, 2016.

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    A proposal to commission a state funded independent study of a third casino was the major topic in the General Assembly's Commerce Committee Thursday.

    Rep. Chris Perone, (D - Norwalk) wants to see a study that hasn't been bankrolled by tribes that already operate gambling facilities in the state. He says some key questions haven't been adequately answered.

    “The question is does Connecticut have a handle on what the impact of starting new industries is going to be, relative to whether the market is saturated and that kind of thing," he said during the meeting.

    The chairmen of the Mohegan and Mashantuckett Pequot Tribes argued they've already conducted a study that concluded that the casino being built by MGM in Springfield could "devastate" the gaming industry in Connecticut, taking with it as many as 9,000 jobs. Their study showed a third facility would protect most existing positions at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, while creating 6,000 more, and adding more than $300 million in gaming revenue.

    "We are Connecticut based tribes with reservations that will be in this state forever" said Kevin Brown, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe. "We are business interested, but we are business interested in the state of Connecticut unlike any other business that might come in and purport that they have a better idea."

    Brown called the prospect of another study, a "diversion."

    MGM commissioned its own study that concluded a casino would be best suited in Southwestern Connecticut.

    MGM filed a lawsuit in Hartford Federal Court this week along with the Schagticoke Tribal Nation, challenging the legality of the process that allows the existing federally recognized tribes to search for a site of tribal land.

    Their attorneys contend the rules and laws are different now that Connecticut is authorizing a casino off of reservation lands.

    Chief Richard Velky with the Schagticokes told committee members he believs the tribe's equal protection rights have been violated.

    “It does not allow any other parties to participate except for the two privileged tribes" he said.

    Brown, the Mohegan Tribe, said he thinks MGM is transparent in its bid for a casino in Connecticut.

    “I think it’s disingenuous to use a tribe, another Connecticut tribe as a charrette for making your case on where you think a casino should go in the state of Connecticut.”


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    Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy refused to enter a plea Thursday to charges connected to a 2014 armed standoff with federal agents, NBC News reported.

    Bundy, along with 18 others, is charged with a confrontation with federal agents, in which the government backed down in the face of armed protesters. He allegedly sent a “call to arms” encouraging others to travel to his ranch and oppose officials who seized his cattle.

    About 100 demonstrators protested Bundy’s arrest and prosecution outside the court, calling it “federal oppression.”

    Bundy is being held without bail, and a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf.  


    Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy refused to enter a plea to charges connected to a 2014 standoff with federal agents.Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy refused to enter a plea to charges connected to a 2014 standoff with federal agents.

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    Fireman Jason Martinez recently returned to work after being badly burned and injured in the same fire that killed firefighter Kevin Bell. 

    "You're never promised tomorrow and that's one of the things I realized and I'm taking advantage of life as it goes," Martinez said. 

    It has been a long fight back but Martinez was determined to be reunited with the Hartford Fire Department which he's called home for nearly a decade. 

    Martinez  admits he's a changed man after surviving that devastating blaze in Oct. 2014. Not only did the fire leave Martinez in rough shape, it claimed the life of fellow fireman Kevin Bell.

    "Physically, I've come a long way and I feel a lot better as time went off," Martinez said. "And now, I feel pretty much 100 percent."

    At a quick glance, someone wouldn't be able to tell the procedures that were done to treat Martinez's burns. 

    "It's a skin graft," Martinez said. "They took it from my right thigh and they placed the skin there."

    The 30-year-old spent nearly a month hospitalized at the Bridgeport Burn Center suffering from burns covering 10 percent of his body. 

    "Burns to (the) back of my neck, as well as surgery to remove of the cysts on (the) burn as well," Martinez said. 

    He was knocked unconscious and fell from a second story window. 

    The fire department allowed him to speak to the Troubleshooters on the condition he couldn't talk specifics from the day or about the loss of Bell, all based on the city's ongoing litigation.

    But Martinez was able to elaborate on his training. 

    "My training even going back in and coming out of the building, the training just reverts back to you and it's like a light switch."

     And for two and a half weeks of his hospital stay, Martinez was sedated before he finally woke up. 

    "Just glad to be alive," Martinez said. "But, just knowing I missed two weeks of my life, it was kind of tough at first." 

    It would take more than 15 months and three surgeries along with intensive amount of physical therapy every week before coming back. 

    "It was tough at first, I'm very independent to have others try and assist me," Martinez said. "I was more hesitant but the physical therapy helped me out."

    After the whole experience, he said he wants to just focus on the future. 

    "I feel like I did what I had to do at the time, and I think I did the right thing as well. It's unfortunate things turned out the way they did."

    The firefighter said he'll always be grateful for his nurses, doctors, a supportive family, fellow firefighters and the community. 

     "It helped me a lot. I received a lot of notes and letters from all over the country," Martinez said "It's definitely a brother, and sister hood, so I definitely want to thank them all for that. Want to thank them all for their support."



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    State officials are issuing a warning about a W-2 phishing scheme that is targeting employees and even chief financial officers in an attempt to obtain sensitive personal information that can be used to commit tax fraud.

    Attorney General George Jepsen, Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan and Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris are warning consumers because hackers and cybercriminals are using a system that mimics employer’s email, often appearing as a request directly from the Chief Executive Officer, asking for the employee’s W-2s.

    W-2 forms have sensitive personal information, including Social Security numbers, full names and addresses, which can be sold or used for identity theft and financial fraud.

    W-2s give an identity thief almost everything they would need to commit tax fraud.

    Scammers targeting taxpayers by pretending to be the Internal Revenue Service are nothing new, and taxpayers should always stay vigilant, officials said.

    The W-2-themed phishing schemes directed at businesses are becoming more prevalent and organizations have been warning their employees to be wary of them, especially when filing their taxes, state officials said.

    Between October 2013 and August 2015 scams referred to “business email compromise,” exposed nearly $750 million in 2015 to scammers, according to the FBI.

    “Hardly a week goes by that my office doesn’t hear about a scheme where hackers or scam artists attempt to gain access to personal information such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and bank accounts,” Jepsen said in a statement. “Cybercriminals have begun to use sophisticated attempts to obtain this information as this W-2 phishing scheme demonstrates, while others may search garbage cans, use misleading emails or fake Web sites, or even just look over an unsuspecting consumer’s shoulder.”

    Commissioner Sullivan said criminals this year are posing as the IRS and DRS are even more aggressively out to steal taxpayer record information and taxpayer identities.

    If your business was targeted or has fallen victim to this scam, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

    If you are worried that a call or email from the IRS is real because you know you owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040 or go to www.irs.gov. Fraudulent emails purporting to be from the IRS should be forwarded to phishing@irs.gov.

    If you become a target of this scam, file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov, and add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

    If you have questions, call the Attorney General's Consumer Privacy and Data Security Department at 860-808-5440, the Department of Consumer Protection at 1-800-842-2649 or the Department of Revenue Services fraud hotline if they are a victim at 1-855-842-1441.
     



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

    Al igual que los formularios W-2 y 1099 (que incluye los períodos de su empleo), 'estos nuevos formularios, 1095, serán provistos al IRS por la entidad que le provee el formulario a usted', de acuerdo a la repartición federal.Al igual que los formularios W-2 y 1099 (que incluye los períodos de su empleo), 'estos nuevos formularios, 1095, serán provistos al IRS por la entidad que le provee el formulario a usted', de acuerdo a la repartición federal.

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    Police in North Hampton, New Hampshire, are investigating after a town firefighter found a political sign on top of his daughter's grave site.

    It's been 15 years since Amanda Francis's father, Lt. Peter Francis, has been able to give her a hug, but at the very least he has a special spot to visit.

    "Lt. Francis goes to the cemetery just about everyday to see his daughter," said North Hampton Fire Chief Michael Tully.

    When Francis came to Post Road Cemetery to visit his daughter last Friday, he found a sign stuck in the snow almost right on top of her grave.

    That sign urged voters to stand against the construction of a new fire and police complex.

    "For him and his family, they dealt with this loss years ago, and I think it just dredged it up all over again," Chief Tully said Thursday.

    Tully believes a town resident specifically targeted Lt. Francis, a well-respected, 28-year veteran of the department.

    "That's what makes it difficult, because he's the typical model employee in the community taking care of your family," Tully said. "He's the type of person who comes into work everyday ready to work, does his job, does his best, and goes home."

    When necn showed the photo of the political sign on the grave to residents nearby, reactions were all the same.

    "I think that is very disrespectful," said Hampton resident Lucy Boulter.

    "It's horrible, despicable," said Elliot Lundquist who was just in town for lunch.

    Former selectman Don Gould was appalled, saying, "As far as I am concerned, it's an act of pure evil."

    The sign is now being analyzed at the state forensic lab while North Hampton Police follow leads to figure out who did this and why.

    The new safety complex was voted down Tuesday night. But the fire chief says right now, that's the least of his concerns.

    "We're a community and we may disagree on things within the community, but when it becomes personal, I don't think that's a positive reflection on what North Hampton is and the people that live here," Tully said.

    "We're all supposed to be neighbors, and this kind of thing makes me sick to my stomach," Gould said.

    Since the report, police have been patrolling the cemetery.

    They're hoping the community will come together to help them solve this crime.

    You can call the PD at (603) 964-2198 or send an anonymous tip by going to www.tipsubmit.com and clicking on "Hamptons" as the region.



    Photo Credit: necn

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    The 13 bald eagles that were found dead last month on Maryland's Eastern Shore didn't die of natural causes, wildlife officials said Thursday, and authorities are offering a $25,000 reward to help find whoever killed them, NBC News reported. 

    The birds showed no signs of trauma when they were found Feb. 20 on a farm and in the woods in the town of Federalsburg in what Maryland Natural Resources police said was the biggest die-off of bald eagles in the state in 30 years.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday that necropsies had also ruled out diseases, such as avian influenza, a major threat in the region because of its many poultry farms and migratory birds.

    "Our investigation is now focused on human causes," said Catherine J. Hibbard, a spokeswoman for the agency, who said she couldn't release any more information to protect the investigation.



    Photo Credit: AP

    In this Feb. 20, 2016 photo, a bald eagle lies dead in Federalsburg, Maryland. Authorities say 13 bald eagles were found dead near a farm on Maryland's Eastern Shore.In this Feb. 20, 2016 photo, a bald eagle lies dead in Federalsburg, Maryland. Authorities say 13 bald eagles were found dead near a farm on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

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    “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan is under investigation for possible animal cruelty stemming from an incident filmed for his “Cesar 911” TV show, authorities said.

    Sheriff’s deputies and investigators with LA County Animal Control visited his Dog Psychology Center in Santa Clarita Thursday evening, but Millan was not there at the time. A family member told NBC4 he is out of town on a business trip.

    The investigation comes after animal welfare officials were flooded with tips following the airing of an episode when Millan used a live pig as part of a training session with a dog that had previously attacked two pet pigs.

    In the segment, the dog bit the pig’s ear before it could be stopped, causing it to bleed. Online reports and petitions have said it appeared part of the ear had been bitten off, but representatives for Millan's show insisted Thursday night that was not the case.

    According to Animal Control, a 24-hour notice was issued, requiring Millan to make contact with investigators. They would like to inquire about the whereabouts and well-being of the pig.

    The incident has caused a furor, with some animal activists taking to social media decrying the incident and petitions circulating calling for the end to his TV show.

    Laura Nativo is a professional dog trainer who helped organize a petition calling for the cancellation of Millan's TV show. Close to 8,000 people have signed it so far.

    "It was really difficult to watch," she said. "It's not the way to rehabilitate an animal that is fearful and and aggressive to pigs."

    Millan is a self-taught dog behaviorist who has several New York Times best-selling books on the subject to his name in addition to his television shows.

    A representative from Nat Geo WILD, which airs Millan's show, issued this statement:

    "Cesar Millan has dedicated his life to helping dogs and to showing how even the most difficult “problem dog” can be rescued and rehabilitated. In a recent episode of the Nat Geo WILD series "Cesar 911," Cesar works with an aggressive French bulldog/terrier mix named Simon, who has a history of attacking other animals, including his owner’s pet potbellied pigs. A short clip from the episode was shared online and showed Simon chasing a pig and nipping its ear, causing the ear to bleed. The clip caused some concern for viewers who did not see or understand the full context of the encounter.

    "We have included an additional clip from the same episode to provide missing context. Cesar has created a safe and controlled environment at his Dog Psychology Center (DPC) in California in which to rehabilitate some of the most extreme — or “red zone” — cases of dog aggression, such as Simon’s. It is important to clarify that Cesar took precautions, such as putting Simon on a long lead to assess his behavior, before making initial corrections and removing the leash. The pig that was nipped by Simon was tended to immediately afterward, healed quickly and showed no lasting signs of distress. As the additional clip reveals, Cesar and his animal pack effectively helped Simon to overcome his aggressive behavior toward other animals; as a result, Simon did not have to be separated from his owner or euthanized."

    The Nat Geo WILD footage that the company provided has been included in this article.
     



    Photo Credit: File – WireImage via Getty Images

    Dog behaviorist Cesar Millan attends the celebration for Season 2 of Nat Geo Wild's Dog behaviorist Cesar Millan attends the celebration for Season 2 of Nat Geo Wild's "Cesar 911" on March 13, 2015, in West Hollywood, California.

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    A man punched a guard at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and claimed he had an explosive in his suitcase, officials said Friday, NBC News reported. 

    The U.S. Embassy said a man with a suitcase approached the entrance to the building near Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate at around 1:25 a.m. ET and presented a passport he wanted to renew.

    "When the embassy's local guard offered a card with the address for passport services, the man struck the guard with his fist," the embassy said in a statement.

    Police handcuffed the man after the guard pinned him down but the suspect "yelled that he had a bomb in the suitcase" as he was led away by officers, the embassy added.

    A German bomb expert was called in and a robot was used to rule out explosives, the statement added. 



    Photo Credit: AP

    Police officers examine a suitcase in front of the U.S. embassy in Berlin, Germany, Friday, March 11, 2016.Police officers examine a suitcase in front of the U.S. embassy in Berlin, Germany, Friday, March 11, 2016.

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    A new record high temperature was set in Windsor Locks today at 72 degrees, breaking the old record of 70 set in 2006.

    Periods of rain will continue through tonight. Rain totals will be between a quarter inch and a half inch of rain.

    The rain will be done by daybreak tomorrow, though some roads will remain wet for the morning commute.

    It will be noticeably cooler tomorrow. Complete sunshine will make for a beautiful close to the workweek with highs near 60.

    The ski season is on borrowed time, at least in southern New England, so take advantage of these great days to hit the slopes.

    Complete sunshine will stick around Saturday, with temperatures reaching 60 degrees.

    Clouds will mix with sunshine come Sunday, but the unsettled weather should hold off until after the weekend ends. Temperatures will be near 60 degrees.

    Cooler air arrives Monday, accompanied by clouds and showers, especially late.

    Tuesday is the day when showers are likely all day long. Highs will struggle to reach 50 degrees,  which is still above average, believe it or not.

    Drier, more enjoyable weather should arrive Wednesday.


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    A Stamford High School student has filed a lawsuit against two classmates accusing them of sexual assault.

    The complaint also names school administrators, the district and the city as defendants.

    In Feb. 2014, a tenth grade student was locked in one of the school's bathroom, stripped of his pants and sexually assaulted by a male and female student, according to the lawsuit. 

    The lawsuit accuses the former superintendent Winifred Hamilton, the former principal Donna Valentine, the former vice principal Angela Thomas-Graves, the Stamford Board of Education and the city of Stamford of negligence and failure to protect a student from such circumstances. 

    "(The plaintiff) was required to seek medical and psychological attention and suffered the indignity and embarrassment as well as invasion of his personal privacy resulting therefrom," the complaint said was a direct result of negligence and carelessness of the defendants.

    The complaint also said the administration failed to inform the boy's parents of the assault.

    The Board of Education said former principal Valentine was fired earlier this year for not properly reporting a teacher who was suspected of having sex with a student.

    The teacher, Danielle Watkins, is now serving a five-year prison sentence.

    NBC Connecticut reached out to the school district for comment about this latest case. It declined comment citing the pending lawsuit.
     


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    A man and woman in their 20s were killed and another man was critically injured when a car crashed into a tree early Friday morning on Interstate 91 North near exit 10 in North Haven.

    North Haven Fire officials said the two men and a woman were in the small white car when it veered off the highway around 1:15 a.m., hit a tree and rolled over into a wooded area.

    The man and woman were thrown from the car. The man was killed instantly and the woman was rushed to the hospital, where she died.

    The third victim, another man in his 20s, was able to get out of the car and was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he is in critical condition.

    The right and center lanes of the highway were blocked but reopened around 5 a.m.

    State Police are investigating the cause of the crash.

    The names of the victims have not been released.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Two people are dead and one person was critically injured in a crash on Interstate 91 in North Haven.Two people are dead and one person was critically injured in a crash on Interstate 91 in North Haven.

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    A man and a woman from Florida are accused of scamming two elderly Connecticut residents into letting them into their homes and then stealing from them.

    Farmington police started investigating when the neighbor of a 96-year-old woman on Main Street reported that a man and woman were soliciting to do some tree work and appeared to have forced their way into the neighbor’s house.

    Police detained Virginia Demetro, 44, and Steve Nichols, 47, both of Fort Lauderdale, who are accused of telling the victim that her roof was leaking and she needed to have some tree work done, then stealing $340 from the woman’s purse when they got into her house.

    Demetro and Nichols also had some credit cards from an elderly Simsbury resident and that victim told police that Demetro and Nichols had pulled a similar scam on her earlier in the day.
    The Simsbury victim was also missing some jewelry, which has not been located.

    Demetro and Nichols were arrested and charged with second-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary in the second degree, sixth-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny in the sixth degree, criminal attempt to commit larceny in the second degree and conspiracy to commit larceny in the second degree.

    Both are in police custody, where they are on medical watch. 

    Neither has ties to Connecticut. and they told their public defenders they've only been here a few days.

    Authorities said Demetro has no record, but Nichols s been arrested in four states.  

    Farmington police said Simsbury police will be applying for arrest warrants for the incident there.



    Photo Credit: Farmington Police

    Steve Nichols and Virginia Demetro are accused of scamming elderly residents of Farmington and Simsbury.Steve Nichols and Virginia Demetro are accused of scamming elderly residents of Farmington and Simsbury.

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    A Wethersfield police officer who was hit by a car on Tuesday night was released from the hospital on Thursday and is back home, where he continues to recover. 

    Officer Peter McGee was responding to a minor fender-bender on Wells Road, near Wolcott Hill Road, around 7 p.m. on Tuesday night when another vehicle hit him.

    McGee sustained leg and back injuries and was transported to Hartford Hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery, according to police.

    No charges have been filed against the driver who hit McGee.

    Police are asking for any witnesses to come forward.


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    Police have identified the man found dead after a shed fire on Depot Road in Montville on Tuesday as Michael Dockray, 53, of Montville, and said his death was accidental.

    Firefighters from the Montville Fire Department responded to the report of a structure fire at 95 Depot Road in Montville at 3:40 p.m. on March 8 and found a small shed behind the house engulfed in flames, according to state police.

    Firefighters extinguished the flames and found Dockray dead inside the shed, state police said. They said there does not appear to be any foul play and the manner of death was accidental.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    One person was found dead after a shed fire in Montville.One person was found dead after a shed fire in Montville.

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    A garbage truck and a car have crashed in the area of 890 Quinnipiac Ave., in New Haven.

    The scene has cleared.

    No additional information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Garbage truck involved in a crash in New Haven.Garbage truck involved in a crash in New Haven.

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