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    Investigators are looking for answers after a vehicle plowed into a crowd and crashed through a wall at an auto auction site in Billerica, Massachusetts, on Wednesday morning.

    Police retured to Lynnway Auto Auction on Charter Way Thursday to see if the accident was caused by operator error, a medical issue or a mechanical problem.

    "The information we have right now suggests that this was a trautagic accident," Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said on Wednesday. State police said there is no indication that it was an intentional or terrorist act.

    The victims who were killed include a man and two women, Ryan said. She said nine others suffered injuries, one of them life-threatening; however, a Lahey Hospital doctor said two people were in critical condition.

    As of Thursday morning, there were three survivors remaining at the Lahey Clinic, with two in critical condition and one stable. Lowell General Hospital confirms one patient from the Billerica crash was still there Thursday morning after treating and releasing seven other patients Wednesday. The remaining patient's condition is unknown.

    The accident occurred at 10:13 a.m. at the Lynnway Auto Auction on Charter Way. There were 1,500 people in the building when the vehicle crashed.

    Although the names of the deceased victims have not been released by authorities, the brother of Leezandra Aponte of Lowell said his sister was killed in the car auction crash.

    Ryan said an auction was going on at the time of accident, just like every Wednesday. She said vehicles, which are only driven by employees in order to prevent accidents, are moved through the building during the day so people can bid on them. She said a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee was inside the auction site and someone was moving it when they lost control and hit a wall.

    She said the driver was an older male, in his seventies, and that he was an employee at the auction site.

    Although the cars generally don't travel more than five miles per hour, witnesses tell us the Jeep may have been going as fast as 20 miles per hour before it fatally struck three people standing near the safe lane.

    Lynnway Auto Auction President Jim Lamb expressed his company's shock and sadness through a statement.

    "We are stunned at the loss of life and serious injuries that occurred to our patrons. We are heartbroken that this accident occurred at our premises with a vehicle driven by one of our drivers," Lamb said.

    Lamb said that the driver, who has not been named, was very distraught and would not be driving cars at the auction until the investigation was complete.

    Investigators said they don't know yet exactly what caused the driver to accelerate. The driver was not hospitalized.



    Photo Credit: NBC Boston

    Another Sky Ranger view of investigators returning to the scene of the fatal auto auction crash in Billerica. Three people were killed and nine others were injuredAnother Sky Ranger view of investigators returning to the scene of the fatal auto auction crash in Billerica. Three people were killed and nine others were injured

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    We have issued a 'First Alert' for heavy rain and thunderstorms that will move through the state tomorrow.

    We're monitoring the threat for minor flooding as some towns could pick up 2 to 3 inches of rain in a short period of time.

    In addition to the heavy rain and thunderstorms we're also expecting strong winds. Gusts to 40 mph are possible in some towns.

    Here's a time-line of when we expect the rain to start:

    Rain showers will develop first thing tomorrow morning between 7 and 10. Here's a look at 'First Alert Future Radar' at 8 tomorrow morning. 

    The rain becomes move widespread by the lunchtime hour. Here's a look at 'First Alert Future Radar' at noon tomorrow. 

    Heavy rain continues into the afternoon hours with the chance for a few thunderstorms. The thunderstorms will be very scattered in nature. Here's a look at 'First Alert Future Radar' at 2 in the afternoon. 

    The heavy rain and downpours will continue through the afternoon right into the evening hours. We're expecting the chance for thunderstorms to increase during the evening and overnight hours. Here's  a look at 'First Alert Future Radar' at 6 p.m. tomorrow evening. 

    We expect a break in the action by tomorrow evening but make sure to have an umbrella handy. While the rain won't be as widespread we're still anticipating scattered downpours. This is what 'First Alert Future Radar' looks like at 8 p.m. 

    Heavy rain and thunderstorms will become widespread late tomorrow night and early Saturday morning. A few thunderstorms could be on the strong side with, frequent lightning, small hail, and gusty winds. 

    Rainfall totals by Friday night will range from 1 to 2 inches; a few towns could experience slightly higher totals. 


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    A part-time math teacher at Gateway Community College in New Haven is accused of sending inappropriate text messages and Instagram messages to one of his female students.

    James O'Toole, 44, of Cromwell, was arrested and charged with second-degree harassment on Tuesday.

    According to New Haven police, the 18-year-old victim went to authorities in November 2016 and said she had been receiving unwanted, sexually explicit messages from an anonymous sender. She told police she had been receiving the messages since mid-September.

    After a six-month investigation, police determined the messages were being sent by O'Toole, the victim's math teacher at Gateway.



    Photo Credit: New Haven Police

    James O'Toole, 44, is accused of sending sexually explicit text and Instagram messages to an 18-year-old female math students at Gateway Community College in New Haven.James O'Toole, 44, is accused of sending sexually explicit text and Instagram messages to an 18-year-old female math students at Gateway Community College in New Haven.

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    Eversource customers will see an increase in their bills as of July 1 while United Illuminating customers' bills will go down. 

    Eversource released a statement saying average customers who are signed up for the standard service generation rate will see their bills increase by about $1 per month.

    Public Utilities Regulatory Authority today approved the new residential Generation Service Charge of 8.01 cents per kilowatt-hour, up from 7.87 cents per kilowatt-hour. 

    A statement from Eversource said higher energy prices are caused by a reduction in the number of electric generation facilities available in the region. 

    PURA said the two utility companies recently submitted proposed summer cycle rates based on competitive auctions held earlier this year for energy needed to meet the forecasted load.  

    The new rate will be in effect from July 1 to Dec. 31 and Eversource says a residential customer who uses 700 kilowatt hours of electricity each month will see an increase of approximately 98 cents per month on the supply portion of their Eversource bill, but how much a customer actually pays will depend on how much energy is used, their rate category, and weather conditions. 

    United Illuminating's rates will go down from 9.26 cents per kilowatt-hour to 7.6 cents/kWh.

    PURA said around two-thirds of Connecticut residential customers receive standard service generation from Eversource and United Illuminating. 

    The standard service price changes twice a year, on Jan. 1 and July 1.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Fire broke out at 69/71 Lincoln Street in Hartford Thursday morning and spread to all three floors.

    Firefighters arrived to find fire throughout the building and heavy smoke, which was visible from East Hartford sky cameras.

    No one was inside the home when firefighters arrived.

    Lincoln Street is closed between Broad and Affleck streets as crews work on putting out the fire.

    It's not clear what started the blaze.



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    Twelve students are in stable condition at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, where they were taken as a precaution, after children at Eastbury Elementary School in Glastonbury became sick from a gaseous substance.

    Police said the fire alarm went off after several students said they were not feeling well and crews checked the building, but did not find anything hazardous.  

    According to the emergency management officer, the alarm came around 10:30 a.m. 

    Supt. Alan Bookman reached out to parents and said some students felt faint at school and school officials were contacting parents. They are also working with school staff and the fire department to determine what made the children sick.

    Officials from Connecticut Children's Medical Center said the 12 children are being evaluated and are in stable condition. 

    Eastbury Elementary School, at 1389 Neipsic Road, have been evacuated, and students have been taken to Gideon Welles School, which is located at 1029 Neipsic Road.  parents can pick their children up at Gideon Welles as of 11:45 a.m.

    The road is closed and there are additional road closures in the area.

    Check back for updates.




    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Jason Day has added his name to the growing list of top players to commit to play in the 2017 Travelers Championship.

    The 10-time winner on the PGA Tour is currently the third-ranked player in the world.

    “Jason has established himself as one of the best players and biggest draws in golf,” said Travelers Championship Tournament Director Nathan Grube. “We’re excited that our fans will be able to watch him again at TPC River Highlands. Our already strong tournament field just became even stronger.”

    Day, 29, is from Australia. It will be his third appearance at the Travelers Championship. He first played in the tournament in Cromwell as a tour rookie in 2008, according to a news release.

    He joins Rory McIlroy, the No. 2 ranked player in the world, who committed to the Travelers Championship in February.

    Others who have also committed include Bubba Watson, Justin Thomas and Jim Furyk, who shot a record 58 on Sunday during last year's tournament.



    Photo Credit: US PGA TOUR

    OAKMONT, PA - JUNE 18: Jason Day of Australia watches his tee shot on the 18th hole during the third round of the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club on June 18, 2016 in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)OAKMONT, PA - JUNE 18: Jason Day of Australia watches his tee shot on the 18th hole during the third round of the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club on June 18, 2016 in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)

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    Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps and Allison Schmitt are partnering with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to raise awareness about children’s mental health.

    They will chair a discussion Thursday night focused on the mental health care that kids need -- and how families can access mental health resources. 

    National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2017 will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET. Come back at that time to watch the event live in this story.

    During the event, the two Olympians will be honored by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

    The National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day event is a talk-show-style discussion that focuses on the importance of caring for kids' mental health, including substance disorders, just as families care for kids' physical health. 

    This year’s theme is “Partnering for Help and Hope.”

    The issue is important to both Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, and to Schmitt, an eight-time Olympic medalist. Both have been up-front about their own struggles with mental health and substance abuse. 

    Phelps had been arrested for driving under the influence in 2004 and 2014; a photo of him using pot at a party in 2009 cost him sponsorships and led to a brief ban from swimming.

    In an interview with NBC Sports’ host Bob Costas, Phelps said he thought about taking his own life.

    He checked himself into a rehab clinic in October 2014. Now, his Michael Phelps Foundation works to support active lifestyles for young people.

    Schmitt also experienced suicidal thoughts. She made her first Olympic appearance at the 2008 Beijing games. but depression hit after the 2012 London Olympics, CNN reports. Schmitt said she considered driving her car off the road on the way to her sisters’ hockey game after two seasons that did not land her a spot on the USA swim team. 

    The two have since turned their stories into powerful messages of change.

    "At the end of the day, no matter how many records you have, how many medals you have, any accomplishments you have, you’re still a human just like the person next to you," Schmitt told Swimming World magazine in 2016.

    Join NBC Washington for the livestream on this page tonight at 7 p.m. ET. 



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Stephen Lovekin
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

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    Police are investigating the death of a woman found just after noon in New Haven Thursday and they are trying to identify her. 

    New Haven police officers, firefighters and EMTs found the woman’s body when they responded to 39D Jennings Way just after noon to investigate a report that someone was dead. 

    Detectives from the major crimes division and bureau of investigation are at the scene and police are asking anyone with information to come forward and call 203-946-6304. 

    Callers can remain anonymous, police said.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    File photoFile photo

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    Donald Trump is still coming to New York City Thursday for the first time as president, but he won't be going home as initially planned -- or anywhere in midtown, apparently. 

    The president had been expected to leave for New York early in the afternoon, but his plans changed shortly before the scheduled departure from Joint Base Andrews -- and so did his agenda in the city. 

    Trump had planned to make at least a pit stop at his longtime home and office at Trump Tower, but the latest schedule has him skipping midtown altogether, much to the chagrin of protesters who had already started camping out in anticipation of his arrival. 

    He also delayed his arrival in the city by about three hours and plans to head right from JFK Airport to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, where he's set to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea, a critical World War II battle. Trump will meet with Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the museum prior to delivering his remarks. 

    According to the Associated Press, Trump delayed his trip in anticipation of House passage of legislation undoing much of former President Obama's health law, a long-sought GOP goal and top Trump campaign promise. 

    Security had been upped all over midtown in anticipation of the president's visit, with explosive-sniffing dogs canvassing the area outside Trump Tower, barricades erected and other safety and surveillance measures implemented. 

    It’s a $300,000 price tag for a day of security — though Congress has approved $61 million to reimburse New York’s security costs. 

    Trump's homecoming is expected to be less than welcoming. He received 18 percent of the vote in the city, and at least three protests have already been planned near the Intrepid and Trump Tower. 

    In Brooklyn on Wednesday, residents opposed to the president were making signs. 

    “I think it’s important that he hears all of our voices and we all stand united to fight him,” Will Sturdivant said. 

    During the campaign, Trump would fly thousands of miles back to New York City to sleep in his own bed, leaving the impression that he would make frequent trips home after he became president. But Trump said in an interview last week that he has avoided returning to the city of his birth because the trips are expensive and would inconvenience New Yorkers. 

    "I hate to see the New Yorkers with streets closed," Trump told Fox News. He has received some criticism for spending about half of his weekends as president at his waterfront estate in Palm Beach, Florida.


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    As the House voted Thursday on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump and legislators took to Twitter to argue their case up to the final moments.

    Trump mocked "Obamacare," Democrats and independents mocked the GOP's replacement bill and some Republicans urged caution over a bill that could not win enough support last month to get a vote. That failure was a major defeat for Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan and exposed divisions among the GOP on how to handle a health care law that had grown popular among many in their districts.

    But on Thursday, Republicans were confident that modifications made to the replacement, the American Health Care Act, were enough to pass the bill, which passed by a four-vote margin.

    Here's a look at some of the tweets about the health care bill:




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

    House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. greets guests as he walks to the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 4, 2017. The Republican health care bill, a top-flight priority the party nearly left for dead six weeks ago, headed toward a House showdown vote.House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. greets guests as he walks to the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 4, 2017. The Republican health care bill, a top-flight priority the party nearly left for dead six weeks ago, headed toward a House showdown vote.

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    More than 400 people packed into the Connecticut Convention Center Thursday for the 2017 Connecticut Governor’s Conference on Tourism

    Tourism is a $15 billion industry in Connecticut that employs more than 80,000 people. 

    This year, Gov. Dannel Malloy proposed $8.3 million for marketing. If legislators approve it, that would be an increase from the $6.5 million the industry received the two years prior. 

    Industry leaders said they believe when you invest money in tourism, you get money in return. For example, the hotel tax generates roughly $120 million every year for the state. 

    But, there are growing concerns the tourism budget will be cut as the state faces a combined $5 billion deficit over the next two years. 

    “There’s a lot of hard choices ahead and I don’t envy those who have to make them, but hopefully there’s broad recognition of the economic impact of investing in tourism. It really is an investment that pays back significant returns not only to the economy, but to the budget,” Tim Sullivan, the deputy commissioner for the Department of Economic and Community Development, said. 

    Business leaders spent much of Thursday networking, trying to find more ways to collaborate and attract out-of-state visitors to Connecticut.

    “The more people we can attract to come here from out of state, out of the country, to stay here, stay longer, stay overnight, spend more money, the better it is for the Connecticut economy,” said Sullivan.





    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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  • 05/04/17--11:53: Crews Battling Norwich Fire

  • Crews are battling a fire in Norwich, the fire department said. 

    Norwich Fire Department said the fire is happening at the intersection of Freeman Avenue and Spaulding Street. 

    It is not clear if there are any injuries.

    All Norwich fire officials are on the scene, the department said. 

    No other information was immediately available. Check back on this developing story. 



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A former magnet school principal in Norwalk was arrested for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a student fund, police said. 

    The former Jefferson Science Magnet School principal, John Reynolds, 46, is accused of stealing more than $20,000 from the Student Activities fund over several years. 

    The fund is used for student activities and special programs. 

    Reynolds, of Darien, was charged with first-degrees larceny and his bond was set at $100,000. 

    The investigation into the stolen funds is ongoing.


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    Diabetes, cancer and heart disease patients are among those with pre-existing conditions who could be affected by the new version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), NBC News reported.

    Pre-existing conditions are diseases, injuries or conditions that affect a patient before he or she purchased their health plan policy. Before Obamacare, health insurers routinely refused to cover people with preexisting conditions. Or, they charged high premiums, co-pays and deductibles.

    The new version of the AHCA doesn’t specifically let insurers refuse coverage, but it lets states ask permission to opt out of the requirement. The Health and Human Services Department will decide who can do it.

    States can also set up high-risk pools under the bill, which are policies that cover people with preexisting conditions who have difficulty finding insurance.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/OJO Images RF

    People with pre-existing conditions could be affected under the new version of the America Health Care Act.People with pre-existing conditions could be affected under the new version of the America Health Care Act.

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    Operation Martillo netted and offloaded an estimated $56 million worth of cocaine in Florida, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

    More than 1,730 kilograms of cocaine were seized and eight suspected drug smugglers were detained between April 12 and April 21 by Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment Teams in coastal waters along the Central American coastline.

    The drugs were offloaded and suspected drug smugglers were transferred by the crew of the Cutter Tarpon homedocked in St. Petersburg.

    “Overall, this offload represents our recent success in securing our borders and preventing illegal, regionally destabilizing narcotics from reaching our streets,” said Cmdr. Willy Carmichael, assistant branch chief of Coast Guard 7th District Response Enforcement.

    Martillo is an international operation launched in 2012 to counter illicit trafficking by merging air, land and maritime assets of the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.

    The operation has supported the seizure of nearly 693 metric tons of cocaine, $25 million in bulk cash, 581 vessels and aircraft and more than 1,800 detainees, according to the U.S. Southern Command. 



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

    More than 1,730 kilograms of cocaine were offloaded by the crew of the Cutter Tarpon, an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat homeported in St. Petersburg.More than 1,730 kilograms of cocaine were offloaded by the crew of the Cutter Tarpon, an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat homeported in St. Petersburg.

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    Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

    It will be open today, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It will be closed Saturday.It will be open today, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It will be closed Saturday.

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    A massager is probably one of the last items you'd expect to hurt you, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports some HoMedics handheld massagers can do just that.

    The recalled product's cord can break near the base of the massager and expose wires, posing an electric shock and burn hazards. 

    So far, about 400,000 of the massagers have been recalled.

    The recall involves three models of handheld massagers, HHP-375H, HHP-250 and the PA-MH-THP. All models of the massagers have a 120 VAC, 60 HZ power cord. “HoMedics” is printed on the massagers.

    HoMedics has received 140 reports of exposed wires, sparks, smoking and some reported flames shooting from the massagers. There have also been 15 reports of burn injuries to consumer's fingers and other parts of the body.

    Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled massagers and contact HoMedics to receive a refund in the form of a credit.

    • The HHP-375H model Handheld Dual Node Percussion Massager with Heat is white with a gray handle or black with a gray handle. The massager has three sets of interchangeable nodes.
    • The HHP-250 model Handheld Hot and Cold Massager is white with a gray stripe or gray with a blue stripe. The massager has three, five or eight interchangeable nodes.
    • The PA-MH-THP model Handheld Compact Percussion Massager with Heat is white on the bottom of the base with gray on top. The massager has two sets of interchangeable nodes.

    All manufacturing dates for all three models are included in the recall and the item date code can be found in either one of the cord prongs or in the rating label located on the underside of the product. Date codes can be identified as a 4-digit number WWYY where WW is the sequential week of the year and YY is the last two digits of the manufacturing year.

    The massagers were sold at Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy's, Rite-Aid, Walmart and other stores nationwide and on HSN from August 2013 through February 2017.

    For more information, contact HoMedics toll-free at 888-803-0509 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or online at http://www.homedics.com and click on the Product Recall tab.



    Photo Credit: CPSC

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    A Waterford neighborhood is fed up with people on four-wheelers and dirt bikes plowing through their yards and speeding down their quiet street.

    "It's like the Wild West out here in the afternoon. Especially on the weekends,” said Lou Pergiovanni, of Devonshire Drive, about the four-wheelers and dirt bikes cutting through his lawn.

    Pergiovanni said these riders have “total disregard” for his and his neighbor’s property.

    “They'll come up your lawn, they'll do terrible wheelies down the street going 40 miles an hour," he said.

    Anthony Farrell has tire marks imprinted into his yard. He said the dirt path behind his house leads to the former Waterford Airport property, where people illegally ride. He’s tried to block off one of the path’s entrances, but said riders then made their own.

    The problem grows in the summer. Waterford Police said these riders — several who appear to be minors — operate at high speeds, are unregistered and uninsured. Several even drive on local roads.

    Police have ramped up patrols. But according to officers, the challenge is that the drivers often don't stop for the police and there's no registration plate for officers to get an ID.

    "They’re going so fast and they know they can exit at the end of the woods. They're almost impossible to catch,” said Joe Parise, of Devonshire Drive.

    Parise said he and his neighbors know police are doing their best, but safety is a concern.

    “Coming on people's personal property with kids, and we all have pets and dogs, there could be an accident,” Parise said. “And we're just trying to prevent that.”

    Waterford Police are training to spot ATVs, UTVs and dirt bikes that are not where they're supposed to be and are warning the public to stay off private property.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Fifteen percent of adults in America have used an online dating site or app, according to the Pew Research Center, but a matchmaking service may appeal to those looking for a more personalized approach.

    That was the case for Dorothy Luhn and Kathleen O’Rourke.

    They have never met, but they share a similar experience with a matchmaking service called It’s Just Lunch (IJL).

    Luhn, who is divorced, heard about it from a neighbor. She said the sales pitch is very convincing.

    "They tell you all about all the wonderful things about how the matchmaking is going to go and how it's going to change your life," Luhn said.

    O’Rourke’s membership was a gift from a friend.

    “As you get older, you want that partner, right? You want that person you can travel with and go to family functions with,” she said.

    Luhn and O’Rourke had high hopes about the $2,800 membership, which is good for six months or four dates: whichever comes later.

    "I was expecting that putting that type of investment in, that I would also be meeting people that would be making a similar investment," Luhn said.

    The company’s website describes, “a dating experience personalized just for you.” But Luhn and O’Rourke said it didn’t feel very personal.

    “I got a real sense that the woman on the other end of the phone was just reading a script,” O’Rourke said of her initial interview upon signing up. That was followed by a video conference with an IJL representative.

    “And it really is a 10 minute back and forth with a person that you’ll never see again, you’ll never hear from again,” O’Rourke said.

    After her video conference, she was assigned a different IJL representative as her matchmaker.

    Luhn and O’Rourke both told NBC Connecticut Responds they didn’t feel the company was taking into account their preferences for potential matches.

    The IJL contract said, “All Date Introductions will be within the criteria provided by Client at the time of join with respect to age, religion and parental status.”

    It goes on to said that IJL representatives can present matches outside of those criteria, which the client can accept at his or her discretion. IJL representatives “may take into account the general criteria and guidelines specified by its Clients,” according to the contract.

    One of O’Rourke’s main criteria was location.

    "I was very clear that I live in lower Fairfield County," she said.

    The company’s website shows three locations in Connecticut: Hartford, New Haven and Stamford. That led O’Rourke to believe her matches would live within her geographic area.

    But the contract lists Hartford as the only designated It’s Just Lunch location in Connecticut.

    After traveling more than 30 miles for her first two dates, O’Rourke asked her matchmaker for dates closer to home.

    "They said they didn't have a hub in this area. And I explained that it was on your website and they didn't seem to have an answer to that," O’Rourke said.

    Over in Haddam, Luhn said her concerns started even before her first date. She passed on her first potential match because he did not meet her criteria.

    “Too old, and as far as the profile, we had nothing in common,” she said.

    The contract said, “Client may receive one Date Introduction before the Personal Interview,” which was the case with Luhn.

    She saidshe felt pressured to accept the next match. IJL is only obligated to present six matches. After that, any declines count as one of her four dates.

    She said the date was uncomfortable.

    "I was just really dumbfounded, of what was he really there for? It seemed like he was forced, like it was something that he had to do," Luhn said.

    She requested a refund, but was turned down. So she asked for a new matchmaker to be assigned to her. Luhn also decided to contact Responds.

    O’Rourke asked for her money back after her second date. Her request was also denied.

    According to their contracts, It’s Just Lunch will issue refunds “at IJL’s election and sole discretion” if it is unable to provide the agreed-upon four date introductions or six matches. The contract goes on to said, “all remaining monies will be refunded on a pro-rated basis, less a $500 interview processing charge and this Agreement will be automatically cancelled.”

    After NBC Connecticut Responds reached out to IJL with the women’s concerns, It’s Just Lunch offered Luhn a “good faith discount” of $500 on her membership fee.

    A spokesperson told us they consider O’Rourke’s case resolved because she accepted her fourth and final date. O’Rourke said the gentleman was the only one of her matches who lived within 30 miles of her home.

    Luhn and O’Rourke both agree that after this experience, they want a little more than just lunch.

    "I just don't feel like they're very good at what they do and they're not honest with their clients," O’Rourke said.

    "I believe that they need to take a second look at what type of matchmaking service they're offering," Luhn said.

    It’s Just Lunch provided the following statement to NBC Connecticut:

    Our clients are our highest priority and they have always been our highest priority. As such, It’s Just Lunch regrets to learn of any client dissatisfaction. We recognize that each of our clients is unique, and that their attributes, experiences, and life goals shape the type of relationship they are looking for.

    Matchmaking is our passion and our profession, and when initial matches don’t result in perfect chemistry, we dedicate ourselves to working with our clients to refine our selections and find a match that does. This is the foundation for our commitment to work with each and every one of our clients to understand their needs and provide a successful, fun, and productive dating experience.

    Responds asked IJL how many clients it has in Connecticut and how its matchmakers are trained. The company did not answer.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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