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    A Canadian food company is recalling a glut of product after almost 9,000 pounds of its meat passed through US borders without receiving a proper import inspection.

    The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) never officially approved eight kinds of Santa Maria Foods Corporation’s salami, mortadella and ham -- all of which made their ways into Arizona, California and Florida, as well as a handful of countries overseas.

    “Without full inspection, a remote possibility of adverse health consequences exists,” according to a release, issued Saturday by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

    FSIS is responsible for “ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of meat” and other products, according to its website. Inspectors ensure products are accurately labeled and able to be distributed and sold throughout the US.

    The products subject to recall include Santa Maria Foods':

    • Sopressata Salami, code: 2014AL30
    • Milano Salami, code: 2014JN17
    • Calabrese Salami Hot, code: 2014JL08 / 2014JN17
    • Sopressata Round, code: 2014JL22
    • Sopressata Salami, code: 2014JL09
    • Mortadella with Pistachios, code: 2014AL09
    • Cooked Ham, code: 2014AL05 / 2014AL10 / 2014AL10 / 2014AL10 / 2014AL22
    • Mortadella, code: 2014MR20

    The product, according to the release, made it to California because an independent third-party carrier never presented the meat for inspection at the U.S.-Canada border.


    Packages in California will bear the Canadian establishment numbers 340 or 224 -- and most will prominently feature the logo "Mastro." Consumers can view all the affected labels here.

    The company and FSIS have not yet received any reports of illness or other harm with regard to consumption of the meats in question.

    Anyone with questions regarding refunds -- or the recall in general -- are encouraged to reach out to Santa Maria Foods directly at 888-886-4428.


    Almost 9,000 pounds of Santa Maria Foods' meat, including salami, mortadella and ham, are being recalled because the products were not presented for inspection at the U.S.-Canada border.Almost 9,000 pounds of Santa Maria Foods' meat, including salami, mortadella and ham, are being recalled because the products were not presented for inspection at the U.S.-Canada border.

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    There was a very serious crash on Interstate 395 North by Route 201 on the Griswold/Plainfield town line on Monday morning.

    Life Star was requested but canceled

    No additional information was immediately available.
     



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

    There was a very serious crash on Interstate 395 North by Route 201 on the Griswold/Plainfield town line on Monday morning.There was a very serious crash on Interstate 395 North by Route 201 on the Griswold/Plainfield town line on Monday morning.

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    There were delays on Route 9 South in Cromwell between exits 19 and 16 because of a crash.

    No injuries are reported.

    No additional information was immediately available.
     



    Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

    There are delays on Route 9 South in Cromwell between exits 19 and 16 because of a crash.There are delays on Route 9 South in Cromwell between exits 19 and 16 because of a crash.

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    Route 85 is closed between Wayhill and Lake Pond roads in Waterford after a two-car crash.

    Injuries are reported.

    No additional information was immediately available.

     



    Photo Credit: NBC

    Route 85 is closed between Wayhill and Lake Pond roads in Waterford after a two-car crash.Route 85 is closed between Wayhill and Lake Pond roads in Waterford after a two-car crash.

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    A South Windsor man has been arrested, accused of sexually assaulting a child.
     
    Police started investigating Michael Cole, 49, of Main Street, in South Windsor, after receiving a complaint in January 2014 that he’d sexually assaulted a child under the age of 16. 

    Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Cole, charging him with sexual assault in the first degree, unlawful restraint in the first degree, strangulation in the second degree and risk of injury to a minor.

    Police said the warrant was served on Thursday.

    Cole was held $500,000 surety bond, appeared in Manchester Superior Court on Friday morning and has been released on $100,000 bond, according to court records.
     



    Photo Credit: South Windsor

    Michael Cole is accused of sexually assaulting a child.Michael Cole is accused of sexually assaulting a child.

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    Vernon police are investigating a robbery of Boost Mobile on Feb. 17 and are asking for the public’s help in to identify a person of interest.

    The robbery happened at 33-35 West Main around 2:30 p.m. on Monday February 17.

    The robber demanded money and ran. He was last seen in the area of Beacon Pharmacy on West Main Street.

    The robber is described in his 30s, short and has a goatee police said. He was wearing glasses, a black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

    Police are releasing video surveillance footage and still photographs from a nearby business and would like to identify the person in them.

    Anyone with information should call Vernon police at 860-872-9126.

    Callers can remain anonymous.
     



    Photo Credit: Vernon Police

    Vernon police are investigating a robbery of Boost Mobile on Feb. 17 and are asking for the public’s help in to identify a person of interest.Vernon police are investigating a robbery of Boost Mobile on Feb. 17 and are asking for the public’s help in to identify a person of interest.

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    The Interstate 84 East onramp to exit 43 in West Hartford was closed after a crash this morning but has since reopened.

    According to the state Department of Transportation, the crash involved a tractor-trailer and other vehicle.

    There was heavy congestion in the area.

    No additional information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

    The Interstate 84 East onramp to exit 43 at Park Street in West Hartford is closed after a crash.The Interstate 84 East onramp to exit 43 at Park Street in West Hartford is closed after a crash.

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    A pilot is lucky to be alive after a bird crashed through the windshield of his small plane as he was flying into Fort Myers.

    Rob Weber was flying to Page Field Airport Saturday when the bird came crashing through, according to WBBH.


    "You're sitting there waiting for a bird to come in. Never did see him. All of the sudden the window just explodes. I don't know if he was diving or what happened when I got him," Weber said.

    Weber, who was traveling at 170 mph about 1,000 feet from the ground, happened to have a camera on that caught the bird coming in.

    With a broken windshield and a bloody cut on his forehead, Weber was able to land the plane without incident.


    A pilot is lucky to be alive after a bird crashed through the windshield of his small plane as he was flying into Fort Myers.A pilot is lucky to be alive after a bird crashed through the windshield of his small plane as he was flying into Fort Myers.

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    Police have arrested a man accused of robbing a Robeks smoothie shop, then a Subway sandwich shop three hours later during what he told police was a “drug induced binge.” 

    Police said Gregory Curtner, 48, robbed Robeks in the Fairway shopping complex at 771 Canal Street in Stamford at 5 p.m. on Saturday, then returned to the plaza at 8 p.m. and robbed the Subway sandwich shop nearby. 
     
    In both cases, he pretended to have a gun, demanded money and left toward Henry Street. Staff at both shops described the man as tall, 40 to 50 years old, with a medium to skinny building and wrinkles. 

    He was wearing blue jeans and a hoodie in the Robeks robbery and blue jeans and a black jacket in the Subway robbery, police said.

    Police followed up on information that a man fitting that description entered a rooming house at 41 Ludlow St. and went to a second-floor room to questioned the man.

    Curtner barricaded himself into the room, threatened suicide and eventually emerged from the room with cuts on both wrists from a suicide attempt, police said.

    Curtner was transported to Stamford Hospital for treatment and “made some admissions to being involved in the robberies,” while speaking with police and being transported, police said.

    As police interviewed Curtner, he gave a voluntary statement in which he took responsibility for both robberies and said he was on a drug-induced binge and needed money to supply his drug habit, police said.

    Curtner was charged with two counts of first-degree robbery, third-degree criminal mischief and interfering with police.

    Bond was set at $150,000.

    Police said Curtner was arrested for his alleged involvement in the Robeks and Subway robberies and charged for his involvement in the standoff and damage caused to a third party’s apartment, police said.

     



    Photo Credit: Stamford Police

    Gregory Curtner is accused of robbing a smoothie shop, then a sandwich shop during Gregory Curtner is accused of robbing a smoothie shop, then a sandwich shop during "drug-induced binge."

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    Police arrested a 40-year-old Newington man after making a traffic stop on Thursday and finding 60 bags of heroin, along with cocaine and prescription drugs.

    Police said they were investigating an anonymous tip about suspected drug dealing in town when they stopped Dariusz Dubaj for a traffic violation and he admitted to having narcotics, police said.

    Authorities then searched Dubaj’s vehicle  and found 60 bags of heroin in six bundles, weighing approximately 13.8 grams; four baggies of cocaine, weighing around 2.1 grams; 31 pills of Alprazolam, which is generic Xanax; four pills of Buprenorphine, a generic Suboxone; $1,151 in  cash; drug packaging materials; and a large knife. 

    Dubaj was taken into custody and charged with two counts of possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia,  weapon in a motor vehicle and no front plate.

    Dubaj was released on a $10,000.00 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear at New Britain Superior Court.
     



    Photo Credit: Newington Police

    Police arrested a 40-year-old Newington man after making a traffic stop on Thursday and finding 60 bags of heroin, along with cocaine and prescription drugs.Police arrested a 40-year-old Newington man after making a traffic stop on Thursday and finding 60 bags of heroin, along with cocaine and prescription drugs.

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    A special election will be held on Friday, April 11 to fill the 61st Assembly seat.

    State Rep. Elaine O’Brien died on Feb. 21 at the age of 58 after a long battle with cancer. She had held the seat, which represents East Granby, Suffield and a portion of Windsor, since 2010.

    Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that a special election to fill a vacancy in the State House of Representatives serving the 61st Assembly District.  

    State law requires the governor to issue a Writ of Special Election within 10 days of a vacancy in the General Assembly and a special election must be held 46 days after its issuance.  

    A news release from the governor’s office said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman is serving as acting governor and signed them today.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut General Assembly.

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    Westport police have arrested a Fairfield woman who is accused of stealing a tip jar from a restaurant, while she was out with two young children, then stealing money from another tip jar to pay for her order.

    Police said Stacy Flanagan, 44, of High Meadow Road in Southport, is accused of stealing the tips on Dec. 31. The Fairfield assesor's database puts the appraised value of Flanagan's home at almost $1.2 million.

    She stole a tip jar from the counter, then, while the cashier was distracted, she stole money from a different tip jar to pay for her order, police said.

    Police released surveillance video to local media and Westport police received an anonymous tip that led them to identify the suspect as Flanagan, who later admitted to taking the money, police said.

    She surrendering herself at Westport police headquarters on an outstanding warrant

    On Friday, Flanagan turned herself in at police headquarters. 
    She has been charged with two counts of risk of injury and sixth-degree larceny.

    She was released after posting $2,500 bond and is scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court at 9:30 a.m. on March 3.


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  • 02/24/14--13:39: Harold Ramis Dies

  • Renowned actor, writer and director Harold Ramis died early Monday after struggling with an autoimmune disease. He was 69.

    Ramis is known for his extensive resume of comedy classics, including “Ghostbusters,” Illinois-based “Groundhog Day," “National Lampoon’s Animal House," “Stripes” and “Caddyshack,” among many others.

    Ramis was born in Chicago and moved his family to the North Shore area in the '90s.

    According to the Chicago Tribune, Ramis, who suffered from a rare disease involving swelling of blood vessels called autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, underwent surgery for diverticulitis in 2010. He suffered complications and spent time at the Mayo Clinic and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Ramis relapsed less than two years later, the Tribune reports, and never fully recovered.

    The reaction to his death was immediate, from fans to actors.

    "Sad to hear my friend Harold Ramis passed away," Billy Crystal tweeted. "A brilliant, funny, actor and director. A wonderful husband and dad. Big loss to us all."

    "No no not Harold Ramis," Jon Favreau tweeted. "Worked for him years ago. He was the real deal. Growing up, his work changed my life. He will be missed."

    Ramis got his start as head writer and actor for the TV series “Second City Television (SCTV)” and a writer for "Animal House." He pursued a film career that led to directing, writing and starring in dozens of movies that many consider classics.

    “It is impossible to overstate the personal and professional influence that Harold Ramis has had on all of us at The Second City," said Andrew Alexander, CEO and executive producer of The Second City. "He was a natural leader, a trusted friend and so generous with his own talent that he made everyone he ever worked with look like a genius. We are devastated to lose him so young, but we were all enriched by the years we did get to partake of his particular brilliance.”

    In 2012, Ramis fed rumors of a third "Ghostbusters" movie.

    “Well, there’s been a lot of talk about a third Ghostbusters film, which has now become real. It’s… I can say with some certainty that there will be a third movie."   



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    CHICAGO - MARCH 09: Actor/Director Harold Ramis takes in a game between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz at the United Center on March 9, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Jazz defeated the Bulls 132-108. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Harold RamisCHICAGO - MARCH 09: Actor/Director Harold Ramis takes in a game between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz at the United Center on March 9, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Jazz defeated the Bulls 132-108. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Harold Ramis

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    It’s the end of the line for Moviefone.

    The movie ticketing and listing service, best known for the catchphrase "Hello, and welcome to Moviefone,” plans to shut down 777-FILM next month after 25 years.

    Parent company AOL will refocus its efforts on the Moviefone app and reintroduce the brand in partnership with BermanBraun, a web and television company, The New York Times reported.

    BermanBraun president Jeff Berman told the Times that use of the phone number had “been in pretty steady decline” since AOL bought Moviefone in 1999 for $388 million. The service competes against Fandango and other movie ticketing websites.

    “Our customers are much more interested in our award-winning app, and we need to invest our resources in the future, part of which involves a major reimagining of Moviefone,” Berman told the Times.

    Moviefone is still available for iPhone and iPad via the iTunes app store.



    Photo Credit: WireImage

    AOL is pulling the plug on the Moviefone phone line.AOL is pulling the plug on the Moviefone phone line.

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    A convicted felon and another man were arrested on weapons charges after police found a loaded pistol in their car in New Haven.

    According to police, 24-year-old Alston Cherry and 28-year-old Jonathan Craig, both of New Haven, were driving a Saab on Goffe Street around 8 a.m. Feb. 21 when officers arrived to investigate the report that there may have been a weapon inside.

    An officer arrived at 200 Goffe Street just as the Saab was leaving, then turned on the overhead cruiser lights in an effort to pull it over, police said.

    The officer followed Cherry and Craig to a nearby gas station, where Cherry, the driver, pulled up to a gas pump and got out of the car “waving his arms and causing a commotion,” according to police.

    Officers instructed him to get back in the car. Police said Cherry didn’t listen and was handcuffed. Meanwhile, Craig, a convicted felon on parole, got out of the passenger’s seat and entered the gas station market.

    Police searched the Saab and found a loaded 9mm pistol. Craig and Cherry were arrested on weapons charges. Cherry was also served outstanding warrants, police said.



    Photo Credit: New Haven Police Department

    Jonathan Craig (left), a convicted felon, and Alston Cherry (right) are facing drug charges in New Haven.Jonathan Craig (left), a convicted felon, and Alston Cherry (right) are facing drug charges in New Haven.

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    Seven men are facing charges in connection with a prostitution bust in Milford that happened Feb. 20.

    Police detectives went undercover as part of an investigation into Internet posts advertising prostitution. The arrested men responded to the ad offering money in exchange for sexual activities, authorities said.

    The following men were arrested and charged with patronizing prostitution:

    • Kevin Gonzalez, 21, of West Haven
    • Steve Dudas, 58, of Fleming, N.J.
    • Stuart Allen, 50, of Easton
    • Michael Genovese, 44, of North Haven
    • George Giosmas, 57, of Shelton
    • Roland Bakhos, 32, of Bridgeport
    • Ronald Osach, 65, of Woodbridge

    All seven were released a promise to appear and are due back March 18.



    Photo Credit: NBC10.com

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    Part of N. Worthy Street in Windsor is blocked off while crews finish making repairs following a water main break that flooded one resident's driveway on Monday.

     

    The break happened Monday afternoon. The driveway of a home at 1009 N. Worth yStreet was underwater and part of the road is closed.

    The 8-inch main was shut down around 2:30 p.m. and water service was restored by 7:30 p.m., according to MDC. The road is now being patched.

    Twenty-four homes on N. Worthy Street between Ludlow Road and Giddings Avenue were without water.


    View Larger Map



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Crews work to repair a water main break on N. Worthy Street in Windsor.Crews work to repair a water main break on N. Worthy Street in Windsor.

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    Drones are controversial and making headlines, and state lawmakers in Hartford are wasting no time in making sure they're not misused.

    "We understand that this technology has great capability to do amazing things but at the same time it can be a very dangerous thing," said Rep. James Albis of East Haven.

    The unmanned, remote controlled aircraft are currently banned by the Federal Aviation Administration for commercial use.

    Just this month, a news photographer got into a dispute with police for filming an accident scene in Hartford on his personal time.

    FAA restrictions could be relaxed next year.

    The current bill proposes tough penalties for committing a crime with a drone: 10 years in prison for things like voyeurism, stalking and harassment and up to 20 years for using a drone as a deadly weapon.

    "If you're using a drone, it's an enhanced penalty because it's a much easier way to engage in those types of activities," said Albis.

    Supporters of drones point out their positive uses for things like taking pictures at scenes that are hard to reach, like fires.

    Part of the new state bill also restricts police use. Officers would be required to obtain a warrant for drone use unless it's an emergency.

    "If police are able to use drones without any regulations it will drastically change Connecticut communities," said David McGuire, of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut.

    The Connecticut Police Chiefs Association is fighting that part of the proposal by saying their helicopters already take pictures at scenes.

    "I don't see why we have to be that restrictive just because technology allows us to fly a smaller device," said Chief Anthony Salvatore.

    Salvatore is in favor of forming a task force that would to study the issue before any law is passed.


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    A West Haven teen was killed after crashing her Jeep on Interstate 384 eastbound in Manchester over the weekend, according to state police.

    Police said 18-year-old Kaitlyn Carney, of Nashawena Avenue in West Haven, died when her Jeep struck a cement barrier on the side of the highway and rolled over.

    The crash happened early Saturday morning and was one of several accidents reported overnight. The cause of the crash is unclear, but roads were icy at the time.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police Trooper Marcin Pirog at 860-534-1000 ext. 6162.



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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    The owner of two New Haven delis has been charged with more than 50 counts of labor violations after reportedly failing to properly pay his employees and document their earnings, according to two warrants for his arrest.

    Chang Cho, 50, of Woodbridge, was arrested Feb. 20 following a months-long state Department of Labor investigation. Cho operates two Gourmet Heaven locations at 15 Broadway and 44 Whitney Avenue in New Haven.

    Investigators found in August that 15 first-shift workers were being treated as contractors rather than full-time direct hires. Some admitted to working overtime without being properly paid for it, according to the Dept. of Labor. Records and time sheets were also found to be missing.

    The violations occurred continuously over a period of 2-4 years and continued even after Cho received citations from the Dept. of Labor in October, investigators said.

    Both locations were issued “stop work” orders in August and protesters began to picket outside the Broadway store. The restaurants closed briefly but reopened after being granted conditional release.

    A manager reportedly told one employee who attended an Unidad Latina en Accion meeting in November, “If you go again the boss will be very mad and will say, ‘There is no work for you,’ and, ‘If you say nothing, you’ll be fine,’” according to one of the arrest warrants.

    The Dept. of Labor received wage complaints from Cho’s employees as recently as January, the warrant says. Investigators found that one employee was owed more than $2,000 in wages and $114 in interest and another was due $1,400 in wages and $44 in interest.

    According to the second warrant, Cho agreed to pay the Dept. of Labor $140,000 in wages for his employees and $10,200 in civil penalties in three monthly installments of roughly $50,000 each, beginning in November.

    The warrant says Cho made one payment of $50,000 and had no further contact with the Dept. of Labor.

    At the time of his arrest, Cho still owed 21 employees about $200,000 altogether, the warrant says.

    Cho was charged with a total of 22 counts of failure to pay wages, 21 counts of defrauding immigrant workers, five counts of failure to keep accurate records and five counts of failure to pay overtime.

    He was arrested Feb. 20 and was released after posting $5,000 bond, court records show. Cho is due back in court March 4.


    The owner of Gourmet Heaven‎ on Broadway in New Haven has been arrested and charged with more than 50 counts of workplace violations.The owner of Gourmet Heaven‎ on Broadway in New Haven has been arrested and charged with more than 50 counts of workplace violations.

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