Articles on this Page
- 01/29/14--18:44: _Snake Hoarder Arrested
- 01/29/14--16:34: _Iraq War Crime Case...
- 01/29/14--17:26: _Funeral Honors Slai...
- 01/29/14--13:29: _Shelton Fire Victim...
- 01/29/14--15:35: _Rare Violin Stolen
- 01/29/14--15:07: _Man Accused of Stea...
- 01/29/14--16:43: _Malloy Delays Start...
- 01/29/14--16:45: _Police Substation O...
- 01/29/14--15:47: _Boy Turns Self In O...
- 01/29/14--14:45: _14-Year-Old Falls f...
- 01/29/14--16:18: _New Metro-North Pre...
- 01/29/14--11:11: _Tom Foley to Run fo...
- 01/29/14--16:43: _New Middle School t...
- 01/29/14--14:11: _UConn Audit Finds R...
- 01/29/14--19:13: _RHAM Student Killed...
- 01/29/14--18:40: _Caribbean Cruise wa...
- 01/30/14--05:18: _Suspected Prostitut...
- 01/30/14--05:33: _Teen Charged With D...
- 01/30/14--05:45: _Water Main Break in...
- 01/30/14--17:33: _Hartford Blaze Clai...
- 01/29/14--18:44: Snake Hoarder Arrested
- 01/29/14--16:34: Iraq War Crime Case Delayed
- 01/29/14--17:26: Funeral Honors Slain BART Officer
- 01/29/14--13:29: Shelton Fire Victims Begin to Rebuild
- 01/29/14--15:35: Rare Violin Stolen
- 01/29/14--15:07: Man Accused of Stealing $25,000 from Employer
- 01/29/14--16:43: Malloy Delays Start of Common Core Curriculum
- 01/29/14--16:45: Police Substation Opens in New Haven
- 01/29/14--15:47: Boy Turns Self In Over Killing
- 01/29/14--14:45: 14-Year-Old Falls from Mohawk Mountain Ski Lift
- 01/29/14--16:18: New Metro-North President to Start Feb. 10
- 01/29/14--11:11: Tom Foley to Run for Governor
- 01/29/14--16:43: New Middle School to Open in Hartford This Summer
- 01/29/14--14:11: UConn Audit Finds Room for Improvement on Crime Reporting
- 01/29/14--19:13: RHAM Student Killed in Hebron Crash
- 01/29/14--18:40: Caribbean Cruise was "Never-Ending Trip From Hell"
- 01/30/14--05:18: Suspected Prostitute Arrested in Glastonbury Used an Alias: Cops
- 01/30/14--05:33: Teen Charged With Drug Possession After Mom Calls Police on Her
- 01/30/14--05:45: Water Main Break in Norwich
- 01/30/14--17:33: Hartford Blaze Claims Lives of Mom, Daughter
An elementary school teacher was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty Wednesday after police found hundreds of mostly dead and dying ball pythons in his Santa Ana home, animal services officials said.
Photos: Adorable Zoo Babies
William Fredrick Buchman, a sixth grade teacher at Mariners Elementary School in Newport Beach, was taken into custody after police served a search warrant at his home, authorities said.
A substitute teacher has been called in to cover Buchman's class "until he resolves his personal matter," said Laura Boss, a spokeswoman for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, in a statement.
Shelly Rooney, a parent at Mariners, said Buchman has been a wonderful teacher at Mariners.
"I personally requested him as a teacher for the six years my son attended Mariners never having been granted him as a teacher," she said in an email to NBC4. "Mr. Buchman has always been a caring teacher and one who I would gladly be a character witness if called to do so."
Three years ago when his mother died, he broke down and cried when Rooney offered her condolences to him, she said. She was also an educator and would go to the school and read to the students in his class, Rooney said.
"His mother was a strong presence in his life," Rooney said.
Up to 400 snakes and snake carcasses were found in cages throughout the home in an environment that Santa Ana police said smelled "god-awful." More than half of the snakes were found dead, police said. They had not been fed and were covered in mites, police said.
Animal services officers wore special suits and masks to process the scene.
"There are all forms of decay," said Sondra Berg, an animal services supervisor at the Santa Ana Police Department. "From skeletons to just dead in the last few days. There is an infestation of rats and mice. They are running loose all over the house. There are rats and mice in plastic storage tubs that are actually canabalizing each other."
The front four rooms of the home were packed floor to ceiling with snake cages, officials said. Buchman was breeding the ball pythons to sell them, officials said.
The home, in the 2900 block of North Fernwood Drive, was also infested with mice and rats, police said.
Animal control first received complaints about the home one year ago when neighbors suspected Buchman was breeding snakes. At the time the snakes were healthy and animal services did not have a violation to allow them to seize the animals.
Four months ago, police and animal services were notified of a dead body smell coming from the home. After it was determined that it was actually a dead animal smell, animal services sought Buchman's cooperation to allow for a search of the home. When he refused, a warrant was obtained.
"This is a major case of neglect," said Sam Makki, executive director of Reptile Rescue Orange County. "It is all very sad. These snakes are completely harmless and make great pets, but it is clear that the owner hardly provided any care for them."
Ball pythons are known for being docile. They rarely bite and curl into a tight ball when threatened.
While there used to be a market for these animals oversaturation has caused prices for ball pythons to drop from $1,500 to $200.
The surviving snakes from Buchman's home are being transported to a veterinary hospital where they will be given necessary medication and nourishment.
"I think in the end we will be able to find some loving homes for these snakes," Makki said. "They just need some love and care."
An elementary school teacher is facing animal cruelty charges after hundreds of pythons were found slithering through his home on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
A U.S. Marine whose war crimes conviction was overturned on appeal wants a defense attorney from outside the U.S. Marine Corps.
Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III was scheduled to be re-arraigned Wednesday on charges he led an eight-man squad accused of kidnapping and killing a retired Iraqi policeman from his home in April 2006.
That scheduled re-arraignment was delayed after Hutchins raised an issue of a conflict with his appointed Marine defense attorney.
He made those comments in a courtroom on Camp Pendleton near Oceanside, Calif.
Hutchins claims Marine Corps defense attorneys are all tainted because they work for the USMC command which has "unduly influenced" the case against him.
He will be back in court in two weeks for another hearing on this conflict issue.
Hutchins and his squad were accused of marching the man into a ditch and fatally shooting him in Hamdania, and then staging the body to look like the man had been planting bombs.
After a previous court martial, Hutchins was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
He was freed from the Miramar Brig in July after Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruled that his constitutional rights had been violated at the time of his arrest.
At the time, he told NBC 7, “I am afraid that any future retrial will be tainted with the unlawful command influence that was a result of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus' comments back in 2009.”
The Marine Corps highest Court reversed his conviction last June ruling that a confession Hutchins made while being held in a trailer without legal representation should not have been admitted as evidence.
Photo Credit: AP
Marine Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins speaks Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 at his home in Oceanside, Calif., for the first time since the June 26 decision by the military’s highest court overturning his murder conviction in a major Iraq war crime case. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
With rain falling from cloudy skies, thousands of police officers from around the region joined the family and friends of slain BART Sgt. Tom Smith, who was killed by friendly fire while searching the one-bedroom apartment of a computer thief suspect.
Early Wednesday morning, firefighters, police officers and politicians began waving flags and saluting a motorcade for Smith, a 42-year-old San Ramon BART detective, who leaves behind a 6-year-old daughter, Summer, and his wife, Kellie, a BART K-9 officer. A row of K-9 officers lined the sidewalk leading up to the church, where his body was taken in a casket, draped with an American flag.
Smith's death on Jan. 21 at a Dublin apartment during a probation search of a suspect who possibly stole a laptop from a BART train, is the first time in the transit agency's history that an officer was killed in the line of duty.
Inside the Neighborhood Church of Castro Valley, Attorney General Kamala Harris told Smith's daughter: "Your dad is a hero."
BART Chief Kenton Rainey said: "It is our challenge to go out and live as Tommy lived. We will never forget."
And outside the church, Palo Alto Police Officer Brad Young said: "When one of us hurts, we all hurt. We are a family."
Smith's family - many in law enforcement like himself - played a role in his service. Pallbearers included his brothers, Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Ed Smith, Newark Police Officer Patrick Smith, and brother-in-law Todd Shaheen, a Hayward police officer.
What makes Smith's death more painful was that his colleague, Officer Michael Maes, a BART officer of 14 years, accidentally shot him, according to reports in the San Francisco Chronicle. The full report conducted by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office has not yet formally released its conclusion into what happened.
Maes planned to attend Smith's funeral. His brother, John Maes, spoke to NBC Bay Area on Tuesday, saying his brother was "very sorry and I know he's upset about the whole thing. It's going to be difficult going forward."
He didn't discuss too many details of what might have happened in the apartment that day, saying he has not talked to his brother about the specifics of it.
But John Maes did say that police officers, like anyone, are humans who make mistakes.
"We are not computers and things happen," John Maes said. "It's just a very sad event."
The Tommy Smith Memorial fund has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank. Deposits can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank, Account # 5148561086 under Kellie Smith. Or they can be mailed to: Tommy Smith Memorial Fund C/O Wells Fargo, 11020 Bollinger Canyon Road, Suite 1, San Ramon, CA 94582.
Photo Credit: Christie Smith
The casket of BART Sgt. Tom Smith who was killed by friendly fire on Jan. 21 is taken into a Castro Valley church. Jan. 29, 2013
Life is starting to return to normal for residents and business owners in Shelton who lost everything in a fire earlier this month, but the road to recovery is long.
More than three weeks after a fire collapsed business and apartments homes on Howe Avenue, volunteers are still busy sorting donations, which haven’t stopped coming in.
“Everybody needs a friend. Everybody needs to help,” said Collean Toupin, who works at a nearby restaurant and adjusted her work schedule to be able to volunteer.
Toupin came to donate a mattress and said that after realizing how much help the volunteers needed, she stayed – and hasn’t left.
“[These] people lost everything. They're never going to be able to rebuild. They’re going to have to take the time. They're not even going to be able to process what's going on,” Toupin added.
Volunteers said this isn't just a place to drop off donations. They also want it to be a safe haven for those affected – a place where they can talk and decompress after losing so much.
Gov. Malloy has issued a federal disaster declaration, allowing Jerome Strong from the Small Business Administration to help homeowners, renters and store owners apply for up to $2 million in disaster assistance.
“It's really a long-term recovery. Things don't happen overnight. You can't rebuild your business overnight,” said Strong, a field operations specialist with the U.S. Small Business Administration. “You can't return everything to normal the next day, so you have to make plans and you have to make options.”
Plans and wishes are listed on index cards on a board outside the donation center. Most list basic necessities.
But one card stands out. It only lists one thing: a new apartment.
Photo Credit: Chris Goldspink
Several people were rushed to the hospital after a and building collapse at 466 Howe Avenue in Shelton on Monday morning.
A nearly 300-year-old Stradivarius violin was stolen during an armed robbery at Wisconsin Lutheran College.
The violin was on loan to Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond, who is also lecturer at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music, for a performance at Wisconsin Lutheran College Monday.
On his way to his car after the performance, around 10:20 p.m. in a parking lot in the rear of the school, Almond was shocked with a stun gun, causing him to drop the violin and fall to the ground, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said Tuesday.
The robber then took the instrument and fled to a nearby vehicle, driven by a second suspect.
The two fled the scene in the vehicle, described as a maroon or burgundy Chrysler or Dodge minivan.
Flynn said the Lipinski Stradivarius Violin, valued in the “high seven figures,” is believed to have been the target of the robbery.
“The artistic heritage of Milwaukee was assaulted and robbed,” Flynn said in a news conference Tuesday. “This violin is very valuable, but very valuable to a very small population. This is not something that can be easily sold for even a fraction of its monetary value.”
He noted the violin, built in 1715, is a unique instrument in that the striations on the back of the instrument are considered "the violin's fingerprint."
Police said they are working with the FBI art crimes team, stationed in Quantico, Va., which specializes in high-end art thefts, and have notified Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization.
“This, theoretically, could be an international crime,” Flynn said.
President and Executive Director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Mark Neihaus said Almond was recovering from the attack but would not be performing on stage this weekend.
He said the violin was the only Stradivarius in the Milwaukee.
“We continue to play these instruments in the tradition that they were built in and the instruments need to be played to live on,” he said. “So, that’s why these instruments are out in circulation and why they’re played on stages all over the country.”
The orchestra said it "profoundly thankful" that Frank was not harmed in the incident.
"We hold every hope that it will be recovered and returned to its rightful owner and the professional musicians who share its true beauty with the public through the power of the music," said Laura Huebner with the MSO.
Wisconsin Lutheran College also issued a statement stating it is “fully participating” in the ongoing investigation.
Police are asking anyone with information surrounding the theft call the Milwaukee Police Department at (414) 935-7360.
A 41-year-old Ansonia man is accused of stealing more than $25,000 from the Bridgeport auto body shop where he worked.
Police said Joel Tenpenny stole a total of $25,775 from Black Horse Automotive Services on Union Avenue in Bridgeport, where he worked as comptroller. He was responsible for documenting the company’s financial transactions, reporting them to the owners and making sure the company complied with federal and state tax regulations.
According to police, Tenpenny overpaid himself by $4,648 during a five-month period from late 2012 into January of last year. He also reportedly made $11,092 personal charges to company credit cards, including home heating oil payments.
Police said Tenpenny allowed other employees to purchase auto parts using company cards, and when they reimbursed the company in cash, Tenpenny reportedly pocketed the money.
Tenpenny is also accused of artificially inflating the company’s income statements so he and other managers would receive performance bonuses.
He’s charged with first-degree larceny and first-degree computer crimes.
Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department
Joel Tenpenny is accused of stealing $25,000 from the Bridgeport auto body shop where he worked.
Controversial education standards are getting a second look – Gov. Dannel Malloy has put the brakes on fully implementing the Common Core curriculum.
For months, thousands of teachers in Connecticut have expressed concerns over the way Common Core is set to be implemented.
"In listening to what our teachers are saying, there's a lot of frustration," said Sheila Cohen, president of the Connecticut Education Association.
Common Core is a nationwide program and states across the country are adopting the standards.
Many teachers in Connecticut have expressed frustration that the curriculum was being rolled out at the same time as a new teacher evaluation system is being implemented. The new evaluation system is tied to student performance.
"We have real concerns that our children are being traumatized by being tested on curriculum that has not been developed by a test that has already been developed," said Cohen.
Malloy recommended taking a step back and delaying the start of Common Core standards for one year.
The Performance Evaluation Advisory Council approved Malloy's recommendation Wednesday.
Some argue this move was more about election-year politics than anything else. The teachers unions are a big Democratic voting block.
"Is it political to hear people? You might categorize it as that," said Malloy. "Is this a response to what we are hearing? The answer is yes. Have we been working on it around the clock for months and months? The answer is yes."
Republican lawmakers said Wednesday that they have been calling for changes for months.
"This is a good thing but it's not enough," said Rep. Gail Lavielle.
GOP legislators are calling for a public hearing prior to any full implementation of Common Core.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
With the cut of a ribbon, the new downtown police substation officially opened on Chapel Street in New Haven on Wednesday.
The substation, which was moved from City Hall, will house the New Haven officers assigned to the downtown beat, as well as Yale officers and the downtown ambassadors from the Town Green Special Services District.
The substation will be called the Downtown Community Alliance.
“Working more closely with the police, both the Yale police, as well as the New Haven Police Department, really allows our program to come to the next level and to provide better service for downtown New Haven,” said Winfield Davis, executive director of the Town Green Special Services District.
It also gives police more visibility and enhances the community policing efforts that are already underway in the area.
“We wanted a storefront that looked like a shop, that you could market its presence," said New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman. "We have Sgt. Means who's the district manager here, whose office is right on the window, so she can look out and they can look at her. I think that's a pretty good advertisement for the New Haven Police."
Business owners, especially on lower Chapel Street, said they're happy about the move. They've been working with police to increase officer presence in the area in an effort to prevent crimes that hinder their businesses and to provide added security.
“Having the substation here is really an important, I think, move, to really bring safety back to the area, so they can go out, walk around and feel good about it,” said Robert Lang, co-owner of Arpaia Lang Jewelers.
The new substation comes at no cost to taxpayers. It is being funded by the Town Green Special Services District and the downtown business community.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
A 14-year-old boy suspected of killing his 17-year-old sister has turned himself in, attorney John Burris confirmed Wednesday afternoon. Burris' firm is representing the family involved in this case.
At 2:15 p.m., Mario Toliver Jr. turned himself in at the Oakland Police Department. He was accompanied by his family and attorney Adante Pointer, who works with Burris.
"He is not a hardened criminal," Burris said, adding that he had been talking to the boy for days trying to get him to surrender.
Burris also said the teen is scared, remorseful and emotional.
The teen had been wanted by police on suspicion of shooting and killing his sister, Justice Toliver, on Thursday.
Several media outlets had reported that the dispute leading up to the killing was because Mario was mad at his sister for bleaching his clothes. There was indeed a fight before Justice -- the mother of a 2-year-old daughter -- was found dead.
Burris on Wednesday said the shooting was not over laundry.
Greg Stewart, a cousin, told NBC Bay Area on Friday the brother and sister were both dealing with difficult situations and while they fought like siblings do, they still "loved each other."
Stewart, who lives two floors up from Justice and Mario, said both teens were stressed. Mario also has a baby, who is about six or seven months old, Stewart said.
The family has set up a donation webpage to raise money for funeral costs. The goal is $10,000.
NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez, Lisa Fernandez and Jean Elle contributed to this story.
Justice Toliver, 17, was allegedly shot and killed by her 14-year-old brother in Oakland.
A 14-year-old boy has been taken to Sharon Hospital after falling off a ski lift at Mohawk Mountain Ski Area in Cornwall.
Mohawk Mountain officials said the teen was an accomplished skier with the local school racing team and was on his way up the lift to the race course. He was not using the lift's restraining bar when he fell.
The teen's condition is unknown, but officials said he was responsive after falling from the lift and had been wearing a helmet.
LifeStar was sent out to pick him up at the hospital and transport him from there.
The lift was shut down for tests and is being examined as part of the investigation, but Mohawk Mountain officials said they do not believe the lift contributed to the accident.
It should reopen sometime tomorrow, according to the ski area president.
The teen has not been identified.
Incoming Metro-North president Joseph Giulietti will officially begin Feb. 10, the MTA announced Wednesday.
Giulietti will take over for outgoing president Howard Permut, who is retiring this month. Permut's last day is expected to be Jan. 31, according to Metro-North.
Over the weekend, Blumenthal pressed Metro-North to delcare an official start date for Giulietti, whose presidency was announced Jan. 10.
The senator asked that Giulietti take over immediately.
Blumenthal issued the following statement Wednesday in response to the announcement of Giulietti's start date:
“I am pleased that Metro-North released, at my urging, a start date for its incoming-President Joseph Giulietti today. Metro-North is in desperate need of a top-to-bottom culture change focused on safety and reliability. Mr. Giulietti’s first day on the job is a critical turning point in that process, but significant, meaningful changes are still needed in Metro-North’s personnel, practices, and procedures. I look forward to working with Mr. Giulietti in the months and years ahead as he works to return the railroad to the safe and reliable transportation system it once was.”
Giulietti currently serves as executive director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority Tri-Rail.
Photo Credit: MTA
Joseph Giulietti will take over as Metro-North president starting Feb. 10.
Tom Foley has made it official. He will run for governor this year.
Foley, the 2010 Republican nominee for governor, made the announcement at the VFW, Post 201 at 1338 Baldwin Street in Waterbury today.
Foley is the former ambassador to Ireland. He lost the 2010 election to current Gov. Dannel Malloy.
"I am not a career politician," Foley said today, and added that Connecticut needs a new direction.
Foley is one of several people who will run for the seat.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, a Republican, has announced he will run for governor.
State Senator John McKinney is another Republican candidate for governor and State Senator Toni Boucher is exploring a run for the top job.
On the Democratic side, Malloy still won't say whether he's running for a second term, although it's widely expected that he will.
Photo Credit: AP
Connecticut Republican Tom Foley is expected to announce today whether he will enter the gubernatorial race.
A new middle school set to open its doors in Hartford this summer is going beyond the books and focusing on training the next generation of leaders.
Summit Middle School on Edwards Street was modeled after the Achievement First Hartford Academy down the road on Greenfield Street.
“If we're doing such a good job at doing that now, why not offer that same opportunity to more kids throughout the city?” said Benjamin Cruse, the founding principal of Summit Middle School.
From the college banners on the walls to the curriculum, from the longer school day to assessment tests every six weeks, the Summit, as it's been nicknamed, will look and feel a lot like the Hartford Academy.
While the school's primary mission is to prepare students for college, schoolwork isn't the only priority.
“We're going to still have the same focus on academics, but we are also going to do a lot of community service,” Cruise said.
By emphasizing service to others, Academic Dean Dominic Basile hopes to create leaders in and around Hartford, when students one day return home from college.
“If we're going out into the community, we are going to do some background reading on that community," Basile said. "If we are doing a service project that involves a food bank, we are going to look at some statistics about where this food is distributed. We are going to make sure it is tied in.”
The hope is to recreate the magic of Hartford Academy, which Cruse calls the highest performing non-magnet school in the city.
“Just getting kids out into the community and giving them the opportunities to serve, it changes them. It allows them to see their lives can have a purpose,” he explained.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Summit Middle School in Hartford is set to open its doors this summer.
An independent audit of crime reporting policies at UConn found that there is room for improvement in 75 areas, ranging from the timeliness of crime reporting to the training of campus security.
The results were reviewed this morning during a Board of Trustees meeting.
UConn Police Chief Barbara O’Connor ordered the audit shortly after she was hired in 2012. This was done in anticipation of the U.S. Department of Education fining the school over compliance issues regarding the Clery Act, which requires the school to report crimes that occur on or near campus.
“There's no intent to hide crimes here at UConn. There's no intent to not have solid security policies,” O'Connor said.
The school recently hired a full-time compliance officer in an effort to ensure compliance with the Clery Act
O'Connor said they found that training of the staff and having the campus come to the realization that Clery is a campus-wide responsibility, not just the police department’s responsibility.
School officials said they have no idea when they will receive the report from the U.S. Department of Education or what the fine they anticipate will be, but said they already feel they're making great strides toward compliance here on campus.
“Our goal is to achieve absolute compliance, 100 percent, and I believe we'll achieve that goal,” O'Connor said.
A senior at RHAM High School was killed in a crash in Hebron this morning, according to the superintendent's office.
Police have identified him as 18-year-old Garrett Campen of Andover.
Campen was driving south on Route 316 this morning near the Hebron-Andover border and going around a curve when he lost control on the wet pavement just after 9:30 a.m., according to state police.
The car went off the wet road, spun and struck two large trees.
Emergency crews performed CPR and Campen was transported to Windham Hospital, where he died, police said.
Route 316 was closed at the Andover line as police investigated.
It appears that Campen was heading to school when the crash happened. School officials said classes started late Monday morning because of a professional development day.
Friends say Campen was a popular student athlete who played football for the school.
Counselors were brought in for students and staff and the school district crisis team planned a meeting today. Counselors will also be offered at the elementary schools.
"You could feel the sadness in the hallways," said Andrew Perez, a classmate who said Campen's loss was an emotional blow to students and teachers alike.
"The only thing we can do is push ahead and keep having RHAM pride," he added.
A vigil open to students, staff, family members and community officials will be held Thursday at 9 p.m. in the high school auditorium, according to Superintendent Robert Siminski.
Campen's death is one of several tragedies the RHAM community has dealt with over the last year.
Paige Houston, a 17-year-old RHAM student from Amston, was killed in a crash in August.
In June, Amanda Monington, a 15-year-old RHAM student, died in an accident at Enders State Forest in Granby.
Students lost another classmate in October, when 16-year-old John Georgiades lost his battle with neuroblastoma.
Two dozen Connecticut residents returned this evening from the dream vacation that ended abruptly when nearly 700 passengers aboard their cruise ship got sick due to a suspected norovirus outbreak.
Royal Caribbean’s Explorers of the Sea departed from New Jersey last week to take passengers on a tropical trip. The voyage ended two days early after 630 passengers and 54 crew members grew ill, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A total of 3,050 people were on board.
Tina Krasner from South Windsor fell victim to the outbreak. She was traveling with 14 friends and family members and says four other people in her group also got sick.
“It ruined the whole cruise,” Krasner said. “The whole cruise was ruined for everybody. It started almost immediately for some people.”
Symptoms of the virus, which is often confused with the stomach flu, including vomiting and diarrhea and typically last for a few days. While health investigators suspect norovirus, they’re waiting on lab results to make an official diagnosis.
The ship docked in New Jersey on Wednesday, and a coach bus carrying Connecticut passengers arrived in Hartford around 8:30 p.m. Travelers were weary to say the least.
“I’m tired, I’m beat up and want to go home and get in my own bed now,” Krasner said.
She said the cruise line is offering passengers about half their money back, as well as a 50 percent discount on a future trip with Royal Caribbean. But although she’s been on previous Royal Caribbean cruises, Krasner says she’ll never travel with the cruise line again.
Shelley Diamond-Jean from West Hartford also got sick. Diamond-Jean said she was quarantined for most of the trip and was so sick, she skipped the sick bay and a doctor came directly to her room to treat her.
“It really was a never-ending trip from hell,” Diamond-Jean said. “It really was. I’m never going on a cruise again.”
Explorers of the Sea will be sterilized in time for its next voyage, which is scheduled to depart Friday.
Royal Caribbean's Explorers of the Sea returned to New Jersey on Wednesday. Its trip was cut short by a suspected norovirus outbreak that infected nearly 600 people.
Officers with the East Central Narcotics Task Force made a prostitution arrest at the Hilton Gardens Hotel in Glastonbury yesterday and said the woman was operating under an alias to avoid another prostitution charge.
Officers from the taskforce were investigating suspected prostitution and drug activity at the hotel at 85 Glastonbury Turnpike and went undercover.
Officers arranged to meet with a woman who offered the undercover officer an hour of sex for $200, police said.
The undercover officer met with the prostitute, discussed what he could expect for his $200 and she agreed to the arrangements, then taskforce officers moved in and arrested her, police said.
The woman initially identified herself through a North Carolina driver’s license as Kelly Laughlin, 36, but she later confessed to using this name to avoid a warrant out of North Carolina on another prostitution charge, police said.
Her real name, according to police, is Kristen Lynn Hall. She is 31 and has a temporary address in Manchester.
She was charged with prostitution, interfering with the police and criminal Impersonation.
Police seized $235 in cash was seized and impounded Hall’s 2013 Honda CRV.
Bond was set at $15,000 surety.
Anyone with information about illicit drug activity is asked to contact the East Central Narcotics Task Force at (860) 645-5548.
Photo Credit: NBC San Diego
Police searched through the night for three young children.
A Glastonbury teenager was arrested on drug charges earlier this week after her concerned mother called police to report that her daughter was impaired, police said.
Police investigated and found that the 17-year-old girl had a small quantity of marijuana and alprazolam, a generic form of Xanax, police said.
The teen was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, less than half-an-ounce of marijuana and possession of a restricted substance. The teen is due in court on Feb. 3.
Photo Credit: NBC
A Glastonbury teenager was arrested on drug charges earlier this week after her concerned mother called police to report that her daughter was impaired, police said.
Crews from Norwich Public Utilities are repairing a water main break on Cherry Hill Road in Norwich.
Around 16 homes are affected.
The utility company said it could take up to four hours to repair.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Crews from Norwich Public Utilities are repairing a water main break on Cherry Hill Road in Norwich.
The Hartford mother who lost her 4-year-old daughter in a fire on Tuesday has died, according to the fire department.
Susan Therrien, 43, was burned in the fire at her Bedford Street home on Tuesday and succumbed to burn injuries at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, police said.
She was being treated at the Bridgeport Hospital burn unit.
The office of the chief medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death, according to police.
Therrien was the mother of Shantay Drake, who was killed in the fire. Shantay Drake died of smoke inhalation, according to Hartford Fire Captain James McLoughlin.
Shantay was a pre-Kindergarten student at Jumoke Milner.
Another child, 6-year-old Kayla Drake, was treated and released from the hospital.
The Hartford school community will honor the family at a candlelight vigil near the Milner playground tonight at 6 p.m.
The cause and origin of the fire remains under investigation.
A fund has been set up to help the family.
Family Urban Schools of Excellence and Day Pitney law firm have established a fund to assist the family at Bank of America.
Day Pitney will manage the fund and FUSE provided an initial deposit of $1,500.
"FUSE is a family organization, and like most families, we come together in times of need,". "We are grateful to Council President Wooden for his leadership in securing Day Pitney's support, and we thank every individual and entity that have offered and contributed their assistance."
Shantay also had a sister at the school who is being cared for by family.
Donations can be made to: Shantay Drake Memorial Fund, Bank of America, Albany Avenue Branch, 919 Albany Avenue, Hartford, CT 06112.