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    A man with a gun robbed a Sunoco gas station in East Haven early Tuesday morning and police are searching for him.

    The robbery happened at the Sunoco gas station at 80 Frontage Road, right off Interstate 95 and the robber got away, police said.

    No one was hurt and it’s not clear if the robber got away with anything.

    He is around 5-feet-10, has a medium build and wore a black Northface-style jacket. 
     



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    File photoFile photo

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  • 03/15/16--06:45: New Virtual Reality Coaster

  • Six Flags Over Texas is putting a new spin on an old favorite this season.

    The park has equipped the "Shockwave" roller coaster with a state-of-the-art virtual reality system that puts riders in the cockpit of a fighter jet as they ride out all of the coaster's drops, turns and loops.

    They've also given the ride a fresh name: "The New Revolution."

    "We've actually been looking at doing something like this for a couple of years," said Sam Rhodes, director of design for Six Flags corporate. "Finally, the technology has caught up with us where we've had the opportunity to do this."

    With help from Samsung, Six Flags developed a visually stunning world that syncs with the coaster's track and gives thrill seekers a 360-degree view of a city under attack by aliens.

    "You have to try virtual reality to believe it," said Nick DiCarlo, vice president of virtual reality for Samsung USA. "And when you try it, you're like 'Wow, that's better than I expected.'"

    It's the first coaster in North America to use such technology.

    "Just this idea that they can change a roller coaster, you're fighting aliens, you can't see the track — it adds a whole new dimension that I thought was amazing," DiCarlo added.

    Another feature allows riders to tap their VR headsets and fire the jet's guns at targets that appear while the coaster slowly makes its way up the lift.

    "It's new and it's fresh," said Tim Baldwin, a roller coaster enthusiast. "This is really cutting edge."

    Baldwin has been going to Six Flags Over Texas for years and estimates he's ridden Shockwave hundreds, if not thousands, of times. He says he's impressed.

    "You're really flying through the sky," said Baldwin. "It's synced perfectly, which is why it's not disorienting. I mean, you're there."

    The New Revolution is open to Six Flags Over Texas season pass holders now through March 20. It opens to the general public on March 26.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

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    Two Massachusetts men have been arrested in connection with an armed robbery at Bud Country Store in Thompson in September.

    Police said they responded to Bud Country Store, at 759 Quinabaug Road, at 4:50 p.m. on Sept. 13 and found out that a man who was wearing a red bandanna over his face approached the counter, pulled a black firearm and demanded money from the clerk.

    Then he reached over the counter, took an undisclosed amount of money from the register and ran to a silver sedan, with Massachusetts registration plates, parked in a nearby parking lot.
    The sedan then headed toward Dudley, Massachusetts.

    Police said the robber was wearing a black sweatshirt with a skull emblem on the front, dark baggy sweatpants and black sneakers.

    William Barr, 26, of Webster, Massachusetts, and Christopher Julian, 23, of Dudley, Massachusetts, have both been arrested.

    Barr was charged with sixth-degree larceny and first-degree conspiracy to commit robbery.

    On Monday, police arrested Julian and charged him with first-degree robbery and sixth-degree larceny.
     



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    Christopher Julian, left, and William Barr, right, have been arrested in connection with an armed robbery in Thompson.Christopher Julian, left, and William Barr, right, have been arrested in connection with an armed robbery in Thompson.

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    East Windsor police have arrested a Broad Brook man who is accused of pulling a woman to the ground, dragging her by the hood of her sweatshirt to a bedroom, choking her to the point she was briefly unable to breath, then kicking and stomping on her as she was on the ground.

    Police said the assault happened on March 4 and was reported on March 7.

    They have obtained an arrest warrant charging Marcus Abatayo, 31, of Broad Brook, with third-degree assault, third-degree strangulation and disorderly conduct.

    He was released on $25,000 court-set bond and is scheduled to appear at Enfield Superior Court today.


     



    Photo Credit: East Windsor Police

    Marcus Abatayo is accused of assaulting a woman.Marcus Abatayo is accused of assaulting a woman.

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    The unsettled weather isn't done this week, but it will be put on pause for the daylight hours of tomorrow.

    For the balance of today, expect on and off drizzle with highs near 50.

    Overnight, an increasing amount of breaks will be noticed in the clouds as temperatures fall back into the 40s.

    Tomorrow looks like a nice day with sunshine blending with clouds. However, showers move in during the evening and last through the night. Highs will be well into the 50s.


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    There is a problem with gas service in Monroe and Eversource has been working to resolve it.

    Several residents reported issues with natural gas on Monday night and Eversource said 815 customers were affected, but that number is around 215 as of 10 a.m.

    Officials believe a faulty gas main valve caused the issue between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Monday. 

    Eversource has begun working in the roadway on Old Tannery Road and they are going door-to-door this morning.

    All Eversource employees have company-issued identification and need to get into affected houses to turn off all gas appliances, turn on the gas meter, relight pilot lights and check appliances.

    Customers should not attempt to do this on their own, according to Eversource and they hope to have the issue resolved by the end of the day.

    Monroe Police also have a mobile command unit working on fixing the issue.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Eversource is working on an issue with gas service in Monroe.Eversource is working on an issue with gas service in Monroe.

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    Hartford police have taken three people into custody after a chase this morning.

    Police said they received a report of a stolen car around 7:30 a.m. and spotted it around an hour later near 1200 Park Street.

    The chase then began and the driver backed into a police cruiser and hit a fence and a pole, police said.

    The three people in the car jumped out and ran, but police took them into custody.

    No additional information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Students at Northwest Catholic High School are competing for a cause and presented their business ideas to a group of judges, similar to what happens in the show "Shark Tank," to raise money for medical research.

    The economics students were divided into teams to raise money for the Vie for the Kids program to benefit the clinical trials program at Connecticut Children's Medical Center.

    “Seven teams are competing for really an opportunity for the kids who need our help so badly, but also they are learning a lot in the process through this business competition," Paul Shapiro, founder of Vie For Kids, said.

    The judges include business leaders and Connecticut Children's Medical Center patients who gave students advice on how to develop and execute their business plans.

    Students will be selling T-shirts, water bottles, sunglasses and even services. such as car washes.

    “When we’re working toward raising money for kids with cancer I think it’s definitely a very important thing in all of our lives because it touches everyone,” Mary Elizabeth Budnick, a student, said.

    Nineteen-year-old, Kyla Pokorny, who has been in treatment for bone cancer for five years, served as one of the judges.

    "Even a simple buying a $15 T-shirt -- how amazing just getting involved like that and how you can get involved in the simplest of ways and be making so much of an impact," Pokorny said.

    Teams have until May 15 to raise as much money as they can for the program. On that day, students will give their final presentation of the results and winner will be revealed.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Students at Northwest Catholic High School are competing for a cause and presented their business ideas to a group of judges, similar to what happens in the show Students at Northwest Catholic High School are competing for a cause and presented their business ideas to a group of judges, similar to what happens in the show "Shark Tank," to raise money for medical research.

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    Nina Coe, of Middletown, has been missing since July and a $20,000 reward is being offered to help solve the case.

    The 57-year-old Coe disappeared after a dentist appointment and was reported missing on July 16.

    Police said they suspect foul play because she had been in daily contact with family members up until she disappeared and it is not like her to lose touch with her family for such a long time.

    Days after Coe disappeared, her sister, Barbara Plourde, said siblings called and texted her, but received no response and they found broken glass and the lights off when they went to her apartment.

    Coe’s family said they still have no idea where she is and it’s tearing them up.

    We just want her home. Hopefully she can come home. It just breaks my heart every day,” Coe’s sister, Dale Ocelik, said.

    Coe’s brother said he cries almost every day, then dreams about his sister at night.

    “We missed her this Thanksgiving. We didn’t have her. Christmas we didn’t have her. New Year’s we didn’t have her,” Michael Plourde said.

    Searches near Coe’s Russell Street home and interviews with potential witnesses have not turned up any new information.

    “Our detectives have exhausted all leads, all suspects and have gone through every piece of evidence – every piece of evidence available – and right now we need something new,” Lt. Heather Desmond, of Middletown Police, said.

    On March 11, Gov. Dannel Malloy signed off on a reward up to $20,000 for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is found guilty of a crime in connection with Coe’s disappearance.

    Police and Coe’s family said someone does have the information necessary to solve this case.
    “Someone out there knows something and knows what happened to her. Please come forward because we need closure,” Michael Plourde said.

    The Middletown Police Department’s Major Investigations Division is actively looking into the case and they ask anyone with to call the Middletown Police Department at 860-638-4140.
     



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    Nina Coe, 57, has been missing since July.Nina Coe, 57, has been missing since July.

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    Stamford police have arrested two cousins who are accused of trying to scam an 83-year-old woman out of thousands of dollars.

    Police said Anthony Miguel, 23, of Norwalk, and his cousin, Steve Miguel, 35, of Philadelphia, approached the Dunn Avenue woman on Monday and promised her they could fix her overhead door for $4,000.

    They then drove the woman to the bank to withdraw the money, but the bank was closed, and the men told her they would come back the next day to pick up the money and start the job.

    The woman became suspicious and called police this morning to report the incident as a possible scam and police set up a sting.

    The same two men arrived at the woman’s home around 9:30 a.m. and they had no tools, receipt books or contracts that would be necessary to set up a contract.

    Anthony and Steve Miguel were charged with criminal attempt at larceny in the second degree and conspiracy.

    Police said they believe Steve Miguel was the mastermind and might be part of a larger criminal organization that preys on the elderly.

    He has been arrested several times in the Philadelphia area and charged with burglary, larcenies, deception, identity theft and receiving stolen property.

    On June 4, he was arrested in Philadelphia and charged with theft by deception, burglary, home improvement fraud, impersonation and being part of a corrupt organization.

    Police said the victim also told police she paid a group of people $35,000 last month to repair her roof and police said they believe that was also a case of deceptive practices. They are investigating.

    Anyone who saw these individuals in the Stamford area or are aware of any other victims should call the Stamford Police Property Crimes Division at 203-977-4407.



    Photo Credit: Stamford Police

    Anthony Miguel and Steve Miguel are accused of trying to scam an elderly woman.Anthony Miguel and Steve Miguel are accused of trying to scam an elderly woman.

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    To supporters of gun control, and those working to prevent deadly cases of domestic violence, making sure a person with a temporary restraining order against them doesn't have a gun is common sense.

    “The TRO bill is not just about guns" General Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. William Tong, (D - Stamford), said. "It is about our families. It is about keeping people safe."

    The measure under review by the Judiciary Committee would prohibit gun ownership or possession by someone with a temporary restraining order filed and granted against them.

    Currently, someone could have his or her guns taken away by a judge who deems the person to be a risk. This bill would go a step further, and it's being billed as a measure to prevent deaths as a result of domestic violence.

    According to state statistics, from 2000 to 2012 there were 14 homicides each year between intimate partners. In 188 total cases, a gun was used 73 times.

    The data is used for the bill by Democrats who support it, but the data is turned on its head by opponents who oppose new restrictions on guns.

    "In two thirds of all of those cases, guns were not used," said Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, the state's largest gun rights advocacy group.

    Wilson and others argue the bill won't keep anyone safe and he said such a law would strip residents of their constitutional rights.

    “It’s just another avenue for them to bypass our due process that’s been a part of our country since the 18th century," Wilson said.

    Rep. Tong disagrees and said, if guns are removed from the home then it decreases the likelihood that a future encounter between spouses turns violent or even deadly.

    “For those people who just want to talk about guns, and talk about due process, and talk about those issues, they’re missing the point,” he said.

    A similar bill made it through the committee stage last year, but it never made it through the General Assembly to the governor's desk.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    East Haven Police are searching for the man who robbed a gas station Tuesday morning.

    Police responded to the report at around 1:20 a.m. of an armed robbery at the Sunoco Gas Station on Frontage Roade. 

    The suspect entered the gas station with a semi-automatic handgun and demanded cash from an employee, police said. He took $200 from the business. 

    The man was approximately 5'10" or taller with a thin build. He was wearing a hoodie, black North Face jacket, mask, gloves and bright blue sneakers, according to the police.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact the East Haven Police Department at 203-468-3820.



    Photo Credit: East Haven Police

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    To leave behind the gray Central Connecticut state campus and spend Spring Break in Cuba has been the plan for the last year for nineteen journalism students.

    But President Obama lands in Cuba Sunday, and now the students have learned they can't go where they want to go: Havana.

    "To be like out, kicked out, two hours away - Varadero's where we're going - two hours away from them, to not get the direct impact of what the people have to say of the president of the United States going to their town, it's disappointing," said Kimberly Pena, a sophomore.

    Not only have the students been told there aren't enough rooms for them in Havana, they've been told there's not enough transportation for them to get to Havana.

    Analisa Novak, a CCSU junior, said, "I'm pretty, pretty bummed out about not being able to go to Havana. It was actually the main reason why I wanted to go on this trip, why I applied for so many scholarships, and worked really hard to pay for this experience. And to not be able to go to Havana is actually a pretty big blow."

    They're spending $3,000 for the week, expecting to interview Cubans on their turf, not resort staff on their sand.

    "You want to be where everything's happening," said Pena. "The president's going to be there. We would like to get their input about what they feel about Americans coming to their city and we're missing out on their side."

    Novak said she hopes the US government can help them find what they need in Cuba. "We're doing a Twitter campaign right now, help CCSU get into Cuba and nobody is really helping us. It's kind of sad," she said.


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    The Hartford Police Union has responded to the Hartford Police Department saying they were "embarrassed" by a Donald Trump sticker spotted inside a patrol car.

    "The Hartford Police Union does not feel our membership needs to be belittled by the command staff in the media by stating they were embarrassed by the officers actions based solely on the candidate the officer may have been supporting," Sgt. Rich Holton, president of the Hartford Police Union, said in a statement.

    Earlier this week, Hartford police apologized and launched an internal investigation after the Trump sticker was seed inside a patrol car and a photo of the sticker began circulating on social media.

    The sticker, which was on top of a police laptop, has since been removed and all officers have been reminded to "remain politically neutral," Deputy Chief Brian J. Foley said in an email.

    Foley said the department is "embarrassed and sorry for this lack of professional judgment."

    The Hartford Police Union said any violations of department policy should be investigated without prejudice and that the actions of an employee should not be commented on prior to an investigation. 

    "Our membership firmly supports every American citizens right to support whichever candidate they feel would be a valued addition to our government, yet we also feel someone should not be vilified in the media based on their political beliefs," Holton said on behalf of the Hartford Police Union.

    According to the Hartford police department, the officer in question was "counseled on the critical importance of remaining neutral and impartial." The department said they also reached out directly to many community leaders to apologize. 


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  • 03/16/16--03:59: DC Metro Closes for 24 Hours

  • EDITOR'S NOTE: This story is no longer being updated. Please see the latest updates on the Metro closure here.


    Hundreds of thousands of commuters, visitors and residents of Washington, D.C., are searching for travel alternatives Wednesday after the entire D.C. Metrorail system was shutdown for an emergency safety inspection.

    Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld took the unprecedented step of shutting down the entire system at midnight and keeping it closed until 5 a.m. Thursday so crews could check about 600 underground jumper cables.

    A problem with those cables caused a fire at the McPherson Square station early Monday, according to a preliminary investigation. The same problem also led to a smoke incident at L'Enfant Plaza in January, 2015, that killed one person and injured others.

    "While the investigation (into the McPherson Square incident) is ongoing, the preliminary findings show commonalities with the cable fire in L'Enfant Plaza a year ago," Wiedefeld said.

    "While the risk to public is very low, I cannot rule out a potential life safety issue here," he said. "This is why we must take this [step] immediately. When I say safety is our highest priority, I mean it." 

    Metrorail has never shut down, except for weather-related causes, since beginning to operate in 1976, Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans said.

    Federal employees have the option to work from home or take unscheduled leave, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced about 6 p.m. Tuesday. 

    D.C. public schools will be open Wednesday, the school system announced Tuesday evening. DCPS is working with Metro to add bus service. Absences and tardiness will be excused, DCPS said in a tweet.

    Wiedefeld said he chose to have crews inspect the entire system all at once rather than to spread out the work over a longer period of time.

    "If we do it piecemeal, this could take weeks," he said.

    The Metro boss said he thinks the work will be complete by the time Metrorail is set to open at 5 a.m. Thursday.

    "We feel that we can do it in that time period," Wiedefeld said.

    The closure of Metrorail, which transports about 730,000 people on an average weekday and is the backbone of commuting throughout the nation's capital and the region, will disrupt the daily routines of hundreds of thousands of workers. 

    Getting Around Without Metrorail

    D.C. Streetcar was among the other transit agencies that responded, reminding commuters that there are some other options. Still, traffic on area roads on Wednesday morning could be extremely heavy.

    Parking in all Metro garages will be free Wednesday for customers taking buses or carpooling, Metro announced.

    The DC Taxicab Commission will allow multiple passengers to be picked up together and dropped off at different locations without any additional surcharges.

    Transportation officals say restrictions for HOV and Express Lanes on area highways will remain in place Wednesday. 

    One Metro rider died and dozens were hurt Jan. 12, 2015 after a Metro train filled with smoke near the L'Enfant Plaza station. Carol Inman Glover, 61, of Alexandria, Virginia, was a beloved mother and grandmother who had just won her company's employee of the year award.

    Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.



    Photo Credit: File – Getty Images

    Commuters get on and off a Metro train at the Gallery Pl - Chinatown Station October 27, 2010, in Washington, D.C.Commuters get on and off a Metro train at the Gallery Pl - Chinatown Station October 27, 2010, in Washington, D.C.

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    House and Senate Republican leaders responded Tuesday to Gov. Dannel Malloy's request for ideas on how to fill a growing budget hole that currently sits at about $250 million.

    The minority party's alternative budget was largely panned last year but this year they argue is different. They say they have tangible solutions that can be incorporated into a bipartisan budget package.

    “The money we have, we need to make sure we use every penny to its fullest and we prioritize," said Rep. Themis Klarides, (R - Derby), the Minority Leader in the Connecticut House of Representatives.

    The package of ideas includes 15 percent spending cuts in specific programs across state government. They also want to have the General Assembly approve all labor negotiated contracts and enforce the state's spending cap.

    The Republican budget proposals fend off layoffs by instead calling for furloughs.

    The measure to restore millions in funding to hospitals came as Bristol Hospital is asking people to pen letters to lawmakers and the governor insisting that they be spared from budget cuts.

    “It’s preserving non profit funding. It’s preserving hospital funding. It’s preserving the things that we know need it the most, and right now, folks, we don’t have a lot of money," said Klarides.

    Sen. Len Fasano, (R - North Haven), the top Republican in the State Senate, said he wants to see action within the next ten days, roughly a month before the state gets news about income tax receipts. He criticized Democrats saying, “Their hesitation is devastation to the state.”

    House Speaker Rep. Brendan Sharkey said some of the proposals could be part of a bipartisan budget filling measure, but did criticize Republicans for their partisan rhetoric.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Freshman Mayor Luke Bronin was blunt during his first State of the City Address as to what measures are needed to get the city on solid fiscal ground.

    He discussed layoffs as if they're a certainty not an option. He talked about budget cuts that will hurt and potentially eliminate some city services, though he hasn't yet provided specifics.

    The most politically treacherous idea the mayor laid out: reopening existing union contracts in order to save city taxpayers money.

    "There must be significant changes in labor contracts even with those layoffs because there's no choice," Mayor Bronin said from City Council Chambers.

    NBC Connecticut reached out to the half dozen unions that represent city employees that include education employees, firefighters, and city hall staff, but none responded to requests for comment.

    New City Council President TJ Clarke says the possibility of reopening union negotiations is the first challenge of the new crop of city government officials.

    “There’s a way to negotiate with the unions before we take that extreme step," he said.

    The extreme step he describes is a state oversight board, that would thrust open the doors of contract renegotiation. Bronin floated the idea to state lawmakers who represent Hartford, and members of the City Council last week.

    Clarke wants to work with unions and keep a dialogue open before trying to get the state involved. He says there are ways to minimize reductions in the city's workforce through contract talks on pensions and health benefits.

    “It’s tough, meeting with everybody but I still have a hope that we can still come to some kind of agreement with every union that employs city workers before we even get to the point of layoffs," he said.

    Rep. Angel Arce, (D - Hartford), who endorsed Bronin during the mayor race, was at the meeting last week when state oversight was discussed.

    Arce says the political consequences of frustrating union leaders don't concern him right now.

    "I’m a union person. I love my unions. I hope they can work together," Arce said.

    He added that for the sake of the capital city, everyone has to step up.

    “It’s not about the unions. It’s not about getting me elected. It’s about a city in crisis.”



    Photo Credit: AP

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    Norwich’s fire departments are looking to replace their aging fleet of trucks, but the city says there’s not enough money in the budget.

    The city's fire departments consists of Norwich, Yantic, East Great Plain, Laurel Hill, Taftville and Occum. Fire officials there have been fighting to fund the purchase of equipment, such as new pumpers and tanker trucks, but city manager John Salmone said the approximate $3 million dollars needed, is too expensive for this year’s budget.

    About $120 million is what the city of Norwich will have to work with in the coming fiscal year. $8 million of that goes to the city’s fire deparments. Those funds are used to pay salaries and cover every day expenses.

    Yantic Fire Chief Frank Blanchard said his department needs a new pumper truck at a cost of about $650,000. The truck is 39 years old.

    “It is our most problematic truck in this department. It spends the most time in fleet maintenance. It’s old, significant rust, mechanical failures that have taken the truck out of service for at some point well over a week,” said Chief Blanchard.

    Other departments’ requests include replacements of rescue, tanker and engine trucks more than 25 years old. The equipment could cost anywhere between $300,000 and $700,000 dollars a piece.

    The city cannot afford the additional $3 million dollars worth of equipment requested, but Norwich officials say that could change in the coming months as the public safety committee creates a more comprehensive plan to fund the fire departments.

    “A system where we allocate the resources that are pretty scarce to each department in a meaningful way and try to take them all as a unit and say ok which is the next one that needs to be replaced based on a replacement schedule,” said city manager John Salamone.

    The public safety committee hopes to create that funding plan within the next 6 months. Until then, Fire officials will have to work with what they have.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

    FILEFILE

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    Across the board increases for parking violations went into effect Tuesday in West Haven after city council members unanimously approved them.

    Some parking tickets now cost five times more than before.

    From her experience working in downtown West Haven, Patricia Barber said she supports the increases.

    “People don’t really care where they park here,” Barber said, “They seem to have a tendency to park where they are not supposed to.”

    The cheapest tickets for violations like parking on a sidewalk jumped from $10 to $50. Violations that previously cost $15 are now $75.

    If caught illegally parking in a handicapped space, that penalty tripled from $50 to $150.

    “It is a big jump,” Mayor Ed O’Brien (D) said, “But that’s just a result of we haven’t done it in many years. Ideally, we don’t want to give out any tickets. Compliance is what we’re after.”

    The heftier tickets may help alleviate parking problems around the West Haven Veterans Affairs Hospital, O’Brien said.

    “There’s always parking issues there where people park all day long and we really have to leave those spaces open for our vets,” he said.

    The penalty for parking without a $10 guest sticker by the West Haven beach went up from $25 to $100.

    “If you don’t have a sticker and you’re an out of town resident and you didn’t pay, you will get a ticket,” O’Brien said.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    New Haven Mayor Toni Harp (D) and the Board of Alders held a press conference Tuesday afternoon in support of bill being considered by state lawmakers that would clarify which properties owned by colleges and universities should be subject to commercial property tax.

    The bill is titled, An Act Concerning the Tax on College Property.

    City officials say the law written in 1834 is outdated and too vague on specifying which of Yale University’s properties can be taxed and which should remain exempt.

    “The law is not clear which of Yale's commercial properties should be taxable,” said Board of Alders President Tyisha Walker, “in practice a Yale property becomes taxable only when Yale agrees not to contest it."

    Compared to 1901 when Yale covered 90 acres of New Haven, today it has grown to more than 1,000 acres.

    In New Haven, Yale University has grown from 90 acres in 1901 to over 1,000 acres today.

    "We are not trying to tax Yale's educational buildings, but Yale today is much more than just a small college," said Jacqueline James, director of the Small Business Service Center.

    West Haven Mayor Ed O’Brien (D) is also backing this bill. He said at the Yale West Campus, which the university bought from Bayer Pharmaceutical in 2008, researchers offer genetic testing to for-profit companies.

    “We want education institutions here in West Haven,” he said, “but if they’re going to turn a profit and sell it to the private world, it should be taxed."

    Mayor Harp said the bill is about promoting fair competition for small businesses that pay their fair share of taxes.

    "We need a level playing field,” Harp said, “A tax code that gives cities the tools to generate the necessary revenue from all commercial properties fairly and equally."

    A Yale spokesperson said the university pays taxes on all its non-academic buildings, adding the school is one of New Haven’s largest taxpayers.

    State lawmakers need to hold a public hearing before the bill moves forward.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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