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  • 04/29/14--04:58: Missing Stafford Teen Found

  • A missing Stafford teen was found this morning, two hours after police issued a Silver Alert.

    Police issued an alert for Terry Miller, 14, of Stafford, around 3:30 a.m. after she did not return home on Monday night.

    Early Tuesday morning, emergency officials from several towns started searching for her in Union and Willington, using ATVs.

    Crews searched the areas of Stickney Hill and Massey Roads and Nipmuck State Forest and found Miller in the woods here near Stickney Hill Road in Stafford Springs.

    Officials said she is safe. Police canceled the Silver Alert around 5:45 a.m.
     



    Photo Credit: Silver Alert

    Terry Miller has been found.Terry Miller has been found.

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    There is a case of the measles in New Haven County, according to the state Department of Health.

    Health officials have not provided much information, but said an adult somewhere in New Haven County came down with the measles and the rash started on April 24.

    The Connecticut Department of Public Health is working with local health departments and healthcare providers to identify people who could have come in contact with the person, according to the state.

    Symptoms include fever, a runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body. More information is posted on the Centers for Disease Control Web site.

    Cases are infectious from four days before a rash begins through four days after.

    The average incubation period for measles, from coming in contact with someone who has measles to a rash starting, is 14 days but can range from 7 to 21 days, according to health officials.

    In February, there were two confirmed measles cases occurred in Fairfield County. One was
    an adult and the other is an infant. State health officials also said cases have been reported recently from states bordering Connecticut.
     
    More information is posted on the state Department of Health Web site.
     



    Photo Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

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    Police have charged a Hamden man in connection with the crash that killed his nephew, a Hamden High School student last September.

    Tyseem Troutman, a 15-year-old boy who had recently moved from North Carolina to Connecticut, was killed in a crash in the vicinity of 1384 Dixwell Avenue on September 5, 2013,.

    On April 8, Hamden Police arrested Keron Troutman, 28, of Hamden, after an extensive investigation.

    Keron Troutman, Tyseem's uncle, was charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, traveling unreasonably fast, failure to drive in proper lane, following too close and operating without insurance.

    When the crash happened,  Tyseem Troutman was in a Volkswagen with a then-27-year-old Hamden man who suffered facial injuries in the crash, police said at the time.

    Store surveillance video caught the violent collision and witnesses said it happened when the Volkswagen driver tried to pass other vehicles and drive over the centerline.

    It was the second crash to kill a Hamden High School student in a month.

    Keron Troutman was released on a written promise to appear and was scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on April 22.


     



    Photo Credit: Hamden Police

    Keron Troutman has been charged in connection with the crash that killed his nephew.Keron Troutman has been charged in connection with the crash that killed his nephew.

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    The family of a teen accused of stabbing and killing a classmate in the stairwell of Jonathan Law High School in Milford on Friday has released a public statement, expressing sympathies to the victim's family.

    Chris Plaskon, 16, is accused of fatally stabbing classmate Maren Sanchez in the hallway of the Connecticut school on Friday. In a statement, Plakson's family said "words can only fall short in conveying the depth and breadth of the raw sadness we are left with by this unimaginable tragedy."

    "In prayer we ask for comfort for the Sanchez family and all of us so deeply affected by this tragedy," the statement reads. "We pray for the wisdom to guide us as we desperately try to pull together the shattered pieces of our families. And finally, we pray that time may soften our wounds and reveal forgiveness in the hearts of all.”

    The lawyer representing the suspect has said his client will be tried as an adult.

    The statement was first published on the Milford Now Web site and Plaskon's attorney confirmed that the message, posted in full below, is from the family.

    “Words can only fall short in conveying the depth and breadth of the raw sadness we are left with by this unimaginable tragedy. Our hearts are forever broken as we, like you, struggle to understand.

    "To the Sanchez family, our deepest sympathies. Please know that you are now, and forever, in our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers. We join with the entire Milford community to celebrate the life and mourn the loss of this most vibrant and exceptional young woman.

    "To our extended family, friends and neighbors and all who have reached out to us in our darkest hour with warmth, kindness, understanding and compassion, you cannot know how much it has meant to us. Thank you.

    "In prayer we ask for comfort for the Sanchez family and all of us so deeply affected by this tragedy. We pray for the wisdom to guide us as we desperately try to pull together the shattered pieces of our families. And finally, we pray that time may soften our wounds and reveal forgiveness in the hearts of all.”

    Police have not revealed a motive for the attack, but have said they are investigating whether it was connected to the school's junior prom, which was scheduled to take place Friday night. Plaskon did not appear at his arraignment on Monday. He underwent an emergency commitment to a medical facility, where he's under psychological evaluation, according to his attorney, Richard Meehan.

     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Chris Plaskon is accused of fatally stabbing 16-year-old Maren Sanchez at Jonathan Law High School on Friday morning. He's shown here in last year's high school yearbook.Chris Plaskon is accused of fatally stabbing 16-year-old Maren Sanchez at Jonathan Law High School on Friday morning. He's shown here in last year's high school yearbook.

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    Hartford police said they have obtained another arrest warrant for a Hartford correction officer who was arrested last month after a sexual assault was reported on Huyshope Street in Hartford.

    Officials from the state Department of Correction said Kelvin Grisales was placed on administrative leave after being arrested in March and charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault, first-degree threatening, weapons in a motor vehicle and facsimile firearm.

    Hartford police said they have obtained another arrest warrant for Grisales in connection with a case in March 2012. Police said it is the result of an investigation of several sexual assaults in Hartford and New Britain.

    "The circumstances of this investigation are consistent with a serial pattern evident in Hartford and New Britain," a news release from police states.

    Police said Grisales has been charged with first-degree assault, first-degree sexual assault, patronizing a prostitute from a motor vehicle, first-degree kidnapping, impersonation of a police officer and second-degree threatening. Bond was set at $100,000.

    During a bond hearing held earlier this month, prosecutors said three more sexual assault cases might be brought against him. Police said there is one possible sexual assault case in New Britain and another in Hartford. 

    The incident that led to the original charges happened on March 27 and that case, along with evidence from the scene, led police to suspect Grisales in a several other sexual assaults they were investigating.

    Police said they responded to a report of sexual assault with a firearm displayed just after 12:30 a.m.

    At first, the victim told police that she was walking on Wethersfield Avenue to go buy cigarettes when Grisales drove up in a blue SUV, pulled a gun on her and ordered her to get in the car.

    He brought her to a “quick mart,” ordered her to buy a condom, then ordered her to get back in the car and sexually assaulted her, she said, according to police.

    When police asked the victim why she did not ask for help in the store, she said she was scared and feared Grisales would but her. 

    Police located a car matching the description the woman gave police, took Grisales into custody and the victim identified him as the person who assaulted her.

    When the victim went to the police station, she gave a written statement with a different account of what happened, police said.

    She said he had gotten into a fight with her boyfriend and said she was going out to make money when Grisales approached her on Wethersfield Avenue and asked where she was going, the woman told police.

    She told him she had no particular destination and her told her to get into his car.

    They went to the store to buy a condom and discussed a price for sex. She said $40, but Grisales said he’d give her $60, according police. When they got back into the car, Grisales pulled out a gun and demanded a sex act, according to police.

    After the assault, she got out of the car, ran toward a vehicle that was running and that is when police arrived, according to police.

    When police questioned Grisales, he said the victim flagged him down on Wethersfield Avenue, said it was cold out and asked for a ride to the quick mart, so he brought her to the store. He also told authorities that she had a black eye and he felt bad for her. 

    Grisales told police the victim talked to him about her downfalls with heroin, a falling out with her father, getting kicked out of her apartment and said her boyfriend was mean and would not kiss her, so Grisales kissed her on the cheek, according to the court documents.

    He then went on to say that the victim bought the condom and the sexual acts were consensual.

    Then, the woman asked Grisales for $60 for the sex and said she had to buy heroin, he said. 

    He went on to say she threatened him and began reaching in his pockets, so he grabbed his son’s BB gun from under the passenger seat and put it in his lap because he was in fear, according to court paperwork.

    Then he told the victim to get out of the car or he could drive her home, but she became more aggressive and he ordered her out of the car, he told investigators.

    After ordering her from the car, he felt bad and drove back, but saw her speaking with police, he told officers.

    Grisales has worked at Hartford Correctional since September 2008.

    Court records state that Grisales pleaded not guilty to the March case and he is being held on $750,000 bond.

    Hartford police are asking any other victims to call police at 860-757-4041.


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    A former Congressional candidate who planned to run for Connecticut governor is facing charges after being “verbally disruptive” at the Stamford Superior Court law library and trying to bite a judicial marshal who asked her to leave, state police said.

    Police said the incident began around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, when Lisa Baker-Whitnum, commonly known as Lee Whitnum, began being disruptive at the court law library.

    According to police, library staff asked her to “calm down and follow the rules” but Whitnum reportedly paid no mind to the request.

    Judicial marshals were called in and asked her to leave, but Whitnum refused. When they tried to escort her out of the library, Whitnum allegedly tried to bite a marshal on the hand, police said.

    The marshals detained her and put her in court lockup. State police were called to the scene and arrested Whitnum for breach of peace. She was released on a $500 non-surety bond and is due in court May 20.

    Whitnum is a former U.S. Senate and House candidate and announced her plans to run for governor in March.

    Whitnum was asked not to return to the library, police said.


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    Thirty-nine years have passed since a body was found on New Haven Water Company property near Route 34 in West Haven, and who she is remains a mystery.

    West Haven police have released some facial reconstruction images in the hopes that someone can help them determine who she is.

    The remains were found on April 20, 1979. Police believe she was in her late teens to early twenties and had been dead for one to eight years.

    Police said the victim was white and and between 5-feet-1 and 5-feet-3. 

    She had periodontal disease, several fillings in her teeth and her wisdom teeth were missing, police said. 

    This victim might also have been missing lower vertebra and have had arthritis, which could have caused some lower back pain. 

    The only item of clothing found a black laced bra.

    Police also found a folding travel alarm clock in a hard red case.

    The images released are from a forensic artist at the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children.

    West Haven Police ask anyone with information to call the detective division directly at 203-937-3905.

    You can remain anonymous. 

     



    Photo Credit: National Center of Missing and Exploited Children

    Police are reaching out to the public for help to identify a girl found dead in West Haven.Police are reaching out to the public for help to identify a girl found dead in West Haven.

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    A dozen people were injured, three critically, on Tuesday after a reported explosion and fire at a metal-polishing company in northwestern Orange County.

    Many of the victims suffered facial and forearm burns in the 9:49 a.m. explosion at Gorilla's Polishing Corp. at 531 E. Commercial Way in La Habra (map), according to Greg Siggins of Cal/OSHA, the state agency investigating the blast.

    Fire officials told NBC4 that the blast was likely not caused by any chemicals used at the business, but possibly from a build-up of lint or dust in ducts in the building.

    The business was evacuated and nearby roads are closed for the fire investigation.


    The initial report was received from occupants of a nearby building.


    Firefighters at the scene of a fire Tuesday April 28, 2014 in La Habra.Firefighters at the scene of a fire Tuesday April 28, 2014 in La Habra.

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    Nearly 50 subway break dancers have been charged with reckless endangerment this year for performing on trains amid an NYPD crackdown on quality-of-life nuisances in the transit system.

    Officials say 46 dancers -- typically performers who swing from bars and do tricks over the heads of commuters -- have been charged this year with reckless endangerment, compared to two dancers charged with that count last year.

    Another 50 or so dancers have been charged with a lesser count of disorderly conduct, officials say. In past years, most subway dancers who were arrested were given that charge.

    To find and arrest the dancers who fly through the air in often-crowded train cars, police are partly relying on rider complaints. Officials say the MTA is now immediately relaying complaints to the NYPD, allowing officers to go out in real time to find them.

    Police are also cracking down on panhandling and selling goods without a license.

    Subway panhandling arrests are up 271 percent over last year, with 371 arrests in 2014 over 100 by this period last year.

    And 120 people have been arrested for illegal peddling, up from 66 by this date last year.

    --Andrew Siff contributed to this story



    Photo Credit: AP

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    A 30-year-old West Haven man accused of selling stolen Smith & Wesson handguns has been sentenced to 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

    According to the release, Edwin Charon sold at least two of the 111 firearms stolen from the Smith & Wesson plant in Springfield on Nov. 8, 2012.

    Elliot Perez and his alleged accomplice Michael Murphy have been charged in connection with the theft. They were arrested later that month but had already sold most of the guns on the black market in Bridgeport, the release says.

    A person arrested in April 2013 for possessing one of the stolen guns had reportedly purchased the weapon from Charon at a West Haven storage locker, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

    Investigators searched the storage locker and found four handguns, including another stolen Smith & Wesson, and a stolen Ruger 9mm pistol loaded with a high-capacity magazine and 17 rounds of ammunition, the U.S. Attorney’s office says.

    Charon is a previously convicted felon and it was illegal for him to possess those guns, according to the release.

    Charon was arrested April 24, 2013 and has been in custody ever since. He pleaded guilty to one count of possession of firearms by a convicted felon on Jan. 15 of this year and was sentenced today.

    Perez and Murphy have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

    A Stratford teen was arrested last month for reportedly possessing one of the stolen guns.
     



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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    A 27-year-old Hartford man is facing assault and robbery charges, accused of robbing and shooting a man outside the Hartford Popeye’s restaurant and trying to steal his car, police said.

    According to police, Gregory McDade, of Norfolk Street in Hartford, confronted a driver outside Popeye’s at 964 Albany Avenue around 8:30 p.m. Monday. McDade was reportedly on foot and had a gun.

    Surveillance footage shows the suspect, identified as McDade, approaching the victim’s car, taking his wallet and ordering the victim out in what appears to be an attempted carjacking, according to police.

    Police said a scuffle broke out over the gun and the victim, a 36-year-old man, was shot in the hand as he tried to accelerate away from the scene. The victim crashed his car on Albany Avenue and was taken to Saint Francis Hospital for treatment.

    While at the hospitals, investigators were approached by East Hartford police about another gunshot victim. The second victim turned out to be McDade, who had reportedly suffered a self-inflicted, accidental gunshot wound to the leg during the skirmish, police said.

    McDade “gave an account of his gunshot wound that was not plausible” and gave authorities false identifying information in an effort to thwart the investigation, police said.

    He later confessed to the robbery and assault, according to police.

    McDade was arrested and charged with first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and criminal possession of a firearm. His bond was set at $1 million.

    Police said McDade is a convicted felon with an extensive criminal history. He was out on parole at the time of the incident.
     



    Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

    Gregory McDade, 27, is accused of robbing and shooting a man outside the Popeye's restaurant on Albany Avenue in Hartford. Police said he's a convicted felon with an extensive criminal record.Gregory McDade, 27, is accused of robbing and shooting a man outside the Popeye's restaurant on Albany Avenue in Hartford. Police said he's a convicted felon with an extensive criminal record.

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    A teen accused of killing his classmate at Jonathan Law High School in Milford on Friday was arraigned today and has been charged with murder as an adult.

    Christopher Plaskon, 16, is accused of fatally stabbing his 16-year-old classmate, Maren Sanchez, in school Friday morning.

    When question about the altercation, he said, “I did it. Just arrest me,” according to the police paperwork released on Tuesday. 

    Officers from the Milford Police Department responded to the high school at 7:10 a.m. after receiving reports of an altercation at the school.

    As a school resource officer was heading to the scene where the altercation occurred, he was called to the principal’s office and saw Plaskon, who had blood on his hands and clothing, police said.

    When the officer asked Plaskon what happened, he reportedly confessed to the crime, according to police. The officer placed Plaskon in handcuffs and went to the scene of the stabbing.

    There he found Sanchez in grave condition, police said.   

    Authorities took Plaskon into custody and placed him in a police cruiser, where he was under guard.

    An ambulance rushed Sanchez to Bridgeport Hospital, where medical staff pronounced her dead.

    The medical examiner conducted an autopsy, ruled Sanchez’s death a homicide and said she died of stab wounds to the torso and neck.

    Police said they recovered a knife in the hallway, not far from where Sanchez was stabbed.

    Witnesses told police they saw Plaskon on top of the Sanchez and tried but failed to pull him away.

    Another witness told police he saw Plaskon throw a bloody knife onto a hallway floor shortly after taking him away from the scene.

    Plaskon is being held in a psychiatric facility and was placed on suicide watch.

    His attorney, Richard Meehan, said Plaskon will continue to receive psychiatric care and medication, according to a statement issued Tuesday.

    Upon his release from the medical facility, Plaskon will be transferred to an age-appropriate correctional center, Meehan said.

    Bond has been set at $3 million. Plaskon is scheduled to appear in Milford Superior Court on May 2.  

     Plaskon’s family released a statement Tuesday afternoon, expressing sympathies to Sanchez’s family.

    "In prayer we ask for comfort for the Sanchez family and all of us so deeply affected by this tragedy," the statement reads. "We pray for the wisdom to guide us as we desperately try to pull together the shattered pieces of our families. And finally, we pray that time may soften our wounds and reveal forgiveness in the hearts of all,” it reads, in part.


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    The NBA announced in a sweeping decision Tuesday that Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been "banned for life" from any association with the team or league following an investigation into recorded comments that the league has determined were made by Sterling.

    "Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. "Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices. He may not be present at any Clippers facility, and he may not participate in any business or any personnel decisions involving the team."

    Silver, who became the league's commissioner Feb. 1, said the league will "force a sale" of the team -- a process that he said will start immediately. The owners have the authority subject to three-quarters vote of the ownership partners to remove him as an owner, Silver said.

    The NBA's constitution is not public, though it is understood the commissioner's powers are broad when it comes to dealing with matters deemed "prejudicial or detrimental to the best interests of basketball."

    Sterling, who has owned the team since 1981, also faces a fine of $2.5 million, the maximum allowed under league rules. NBC News initially reported that the fine was to be $5 million, citing an NBA official. Silver issued the official announcement at a press conference to discuss the league's investigation of Sterling.

    The money will be donated to anti-discrimination groups selected by the NBA, Silver said.

    Silver addressed a key point of the investigation during the news conference -- whether the male voice heard on the recording is that of the 80-year-old Clippers owner. The investigation included an interview with Sterling, during which it was determined that the voice on the recording is that of Sterling, Silver said.

    "The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful," said Silver, adding that Sterling acknowledged the voice was his.

    The man identified by the NBA as Sterling can be heard in the recording criticizing the woman identified by TMZ and Deadspin as Sterling's companion for posting online about bringing black friends to games. The man is also heard chastising the woman for posting a photo on Instagram with Lakers great and Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson.

    The development comes just hours before the Clippers are scheduled to play their first home game since the comments — part of a recorded conversation with a female companion posted on TMZ and Deadspin — came to light. The Clippers organization released a statement after the announcement: "We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver today. Now the healing process begins."

    The investigation has been conducted amid on- and off-court protests, backlash from Clippers sponsors and calls for action from current and former NBA stars. More protests were expected Tuesday afternoon at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles before the Game 5 playoff game between the Clippers and Golden State Warriors.

    The decision drew a swift and positive response from current and former players, including Lakers and UCLA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

    "I'm just thrilled with what Commissioner Silver did," Abdul-Jabbar said at a news conference outside Los Angeles City Hall. "He got to the bottom of this and figured out what the truth was. He handled it the right way.

    "It's going be a new day in the city."

    Abdul-Jabbar's Lakers teammate Johnson, who found himself embroiled in the scandal after he was mentioned by name in the recording, tweeted:  "Former and current NBA players are very happy and satisfied with Commissioner Silver's ruling."

    Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former player who serves as a special adviser to the National Basketball Player's Association, said Monday that players called for the most "severe sanction possible."  He applauded the league's decision at a news conference after Silver's announcement.

    "There will be zero tolerance for institutional racism no matter how rich or powerful," Johnson said. "Sports, once again... provides a place for fundamental change for how our country should think and act."

    V. Stiviano, the woman identified by her attorney as the female heard on the recording at the center of the investigation, told NBC4 from behind a reflective visor outside her home Monday that she has no comment. Stiviano's attorney said she did not leak the recording to the media.

    Andy Roeser, the Clippers' president, released the following statement:  "Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life."

    The National NAACP requested Tuesday a meeting with Silver to discuss the investigation. Roslyn M. Brock, the chair of the NAACP National Board of Directors, said the National NAACP wants to talk to Silver about what it calls, "the influence and impact of racism in the National Basketball Association."

    The request comes a day after the organization's Los Angeles chapter announced Sterling would not be receiving a lifetime achievement honor he was slated to accept at an awards event next month.

     



    Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling attends the NBA playoff game between the Clippers and the Golden State Warriors, April 21, 2014 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling attends the NBA playoff game between the Clippers and the Golden State Warriors, April 21, 2014 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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    Counselors have been on hand at Jonathan Law High School since 16-year-old Maren Sanchez was stabbed to death Friday – and so have therapy dogs.

    Over the years, the dogs have comforted many who've dealt with tragedy, and now the Milford community is relying on them as they struggle to heal.

    "They just run their fingers through [the dog's] fur, and the reaction is 'It's going to be okay,'" said Brad Cole, Senior Coordinator for K-9 First Responders, a non-profit.

    They come in all sizes with varying personalities, but the most important characteristic of therapy dogs is their ability to comfort.

    "People just come over and sit on the floor with them and pet them for a little while, and it gets them to open up sometimes," said Jason Stacoffe, a Milford first responder who owns therapy dog Jerry Lee.

    Within minutes of being called to assist, Brad Cole and his dog Spartacus arrived at Jonathan Law High School and began working to bring in the 54 therapy dogs that have been available for students and staff.

    "One of the students said – and I was touched and I was surprised – and she said, 'This is the best thing the school could have done for us,'" said Cole.

    The idea is not to counsel, but rather to put people at ease and make them feel safe. It can be the first step for those suffering to seek help.

    With emotions running high, a dozen of the dogs attended Monday night's vigil.

    Therapy dogs have been something another town found invaluable.

    "In Newtown for example, these therapy dogs were the single most important mental health resource the community had. Period. Hands down," said Cole.

    They've become so worthwhile that Cole says he's working with Milford Public Schools to have a therapy dog available at every school.

    Seeing the difference the dogs have made, volunteers hope it becomes reality.

    "It's good to know you're helping people," said Stacoffe. "You can't do everything, but at least a part of their day is a little bit better and makes them a little bit happier."

    Cole says they'll have about 10 dog teams at the school Tuesday morning to greet students as they come off the bus and that they'll be there all week during school hours for anyone who needs them.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Therapy dogs like Spartacus, pictured above, comfort community members mourning the loss of 16-year-old Maren Sanchez, who was stabbed to death by a classmate at Jonathan Law High School in Milford on Friday.Therapy dogs like Spartacus, pictured above, comfort community members mourning the loss of 16-year-old Maren Sanchez, who was stabbed to death by a classmate at Jonathan Law High School in Milford on Friday.

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    A popular Fort Worth veterinary clinic is under investigation after a family says instead of euthanizing their sick pet the vet secretly kept the dog alive for blood transfusions.

    Fort Worth police, the city of Fort Worth and state investigators are involved in the investigation that started when a client of the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic found out his beloved pet, believed to have been euthanized, was alive.

    Jamie and Marian Harris said they took their dog, a 5-year-old Leonberger named Sid, to the vet to be treated for a minor anal gland issue.

    After undergoing treatment, the family claims Sid had trouble walking and the veterinarian told them he had a bad spine condition that would only worsen. Court documents said the family was told the best option was to put him to sleep.

    The couple and their son said their goodbyes and said they allowed the clinic to bury Sid on the vet's farm.

    Six months later, the Harrises said they received a call from a veterinarian technician, Mary Brewer, who told them Sid was alive and being used for blood transfusions while being kept in a cage most of the day, surrounded by his urine and feces.

    "I told her, 'He's still here,' and she's like, 'Can he walk?' and I said, 'Yeah, he's here waiting on you. If you came today, he'd walk out and jump in your car,'" said Brewer.

    "It was like getting punched in the stomach and then some," said Marian Harris. "This has rocked our world. My kids are like, 'How does somebody do this?' How does this happen?"

    The couple said they went to the clinic, found Sid and freed him.

    State and local authorities went to the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic in the 5700 block of Lovell Avenue on Tuesday. Several of the animals there were seized as evidence in the investigation and placed in the custody of Fort Worth Animal Care and Control.

    "I'm happy that something can be done and that people are listening, and that they can't get away with it no more," said Brewer.

    Sid is home with the Harris family and being treated by other veterinarians. According to the Harrises' lawyer, doctors have determined he has mange, shows definite signs of being used for blood transfusions and shows evidence of being "abusively kenneled."

    Neither the veterinarian nor anyone from the clinic has responded to NBC DFW's request for comment. Dr. Lou Tierce told the Star-Telegram the accusations against him are "all a bunch of hooey."

    According to the Harris' lawyer the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners will meet in Austin. Although a date hasn't been set, the case is being treated as an emergency.

    An investigator from the board is meeting with Fort Worth police and the Tarrant County district attorney Wednesday morning to determine whether any criminal animal abuse charges will be filed.

    The Tarrant County Health Department is also involved in the case due to the unsanitary conditions at the clinic, according to the Harris' attorney.



    Photo Credit: Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News

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    Ken Carney of Baybrook Remodelers knows all the different ways to make homes more energy efficient.

    “One of those products, which is very important, is a double-pane energy efficient vinyl window,” said Ken Carney, while displaying some of the products at his West Haven store.

    But he also knows that making a home more energy efficient can come with a hefty price tag.

    “It could be as inexpensive as weather-stripping or changing light bulbs. It could be very expensive when we're talking about putting in new boilers and on-demand water systems,” said Carney.

    It can range from a couple thousand dollars to $50,000-60,000.

    A new program in New Haven is working to help residents make energy efficient changes to their homes.

    It's called ReNewHaven, and it offers $30,000 in incentives for people to renovate their homes. Another $10,000 is being offered as an incentive to buy a home in New Haven, and another $40,000 is available through New Haven's Promise Program, which offers scholarships to students who qualify.

    “These programs are designed to attract people here to buy housing and be part of our community for a long period of time,” said Erik Johnson, Executive Director of the Livable City Initiative.

    There are stipulations to the incentives, which mostly come in the form of forgivable loans. Homeowners will have to stay in their homes for set periods of time and meet income requirements.

    “That means if you're a person of one, that's $69,000 a year. If you're a family of four, that's just under $100,000 a year,” said Johnson.

    More information is available online at ReNewHavenCT.com.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Twenty staff members in the East Windsor Public Schools will be laid off for the remainder of the year.

    Four kindergarten aides, 12 tutors, 2 library aides and 2 nurses will be out of a job, according to school superintendent Dr. Theresa Kane. The staff members hail from all schools in the district.

    It comes after the district accepted three special-needs students mid-year. Under state law, districts must provide the necessary tools and teachers for those students, but it comes at a cost to the individual districts.

    In East Windsor's case, that resulted in a $183,000 shortfall for the remainder of the year.

    "It's frustrating because I understand they need those benefits but what about the students that go there just to go to school," said East Windsor parent Jill Turner.

    Turner said it's unfortunate that the district could not come up with the funds to keep the 20 staff members on the payroll, adding that the tutors are vital to her child's education.

    "They are critical," she said. "And they're helpful to our students, no matter what grade or where they are educationally."

    Supt. Theresa Kane said said they put a hard freeze into effect. It will likely impact next year's budget as well, which is up for a vote next month.

    "The school board doesn't like this, but we don't have any choice," said Kane.

    She wants to stress to parents that the district's concern is with the state funding process. Smaller districts with less money are at a disadvantage.

    East Windsor schools supports all children, Kane said.

    Kane said the district plans to bring back the all the laid off staff next year, except for the nurses.

    At least one parent is concerned this will have a ripple effect.

    "If we lose the talent, we might not get it back and if we don't get it back, then the teachers and the students are all going to suffer," said Theresa Denis, a parent.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday evening he supports the NBA's censure of team owner Donald Sterling over racist remarks.

    Rivers said at a press conference before his team's playoff game that he agreed with Sterling's lifetime ban from the NBA, announced Tuesday by league commissioner Adam Silver.

    "He made a decision that really was the right one, that had to be made," Rivers said. "Is this over? No, it’s not over. But it’s the start of a healing process that we need, and it’s a start for our organization to get through this, and that’s very important."

    Asked whether he still wanted to work for Sterling, he said, "I don't know if I am."

    Rivers remarked on the unfair burden he said was placed on the targets of racism and on his players to respond publicly to the controversy.

    "Everyone was waiting on them to give a response. And I kept thinking, they didn't do anything, yet they have to respond," he said.

    "Our players have done the best that they could possibly do," he added.

    Rivers said he hasn't thought about his future.

    "This isn’t about me or what I’m doing, or want to do," he said. "I want to coach. I love coaching. I’ve enjoyed these guys."

    Rivers had said on Monday that Donald Sterling's racist remarks hurt his players.

    "I would like to reiterate how disappointed I am in the comments attributed to (Sterling), and I can't even begin to tell you how upset I am and our players are," Rivers said in a phone conference with the media.

    He said he met with the members of the organization, many of whom were hurt.

    "That was what I got from all of them," he said. "They are now a part of this, and they are upset at this.

    Recordings of Sterling telling girlfriend V. Stiviano he didn't appreciate her publicly associating with blacks or bringing them to Clippers games have surfaced amid a lawsuit in which Sterling's wife is demanding Stiviano turn over several fancy cars and a duplex the billionaire gave her.

    The NBA has said that its investigation confirmed that it was Sterling who made the comments on the recording.


    Doc RiversDoc Rivers

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    Norwich police have arrested the person accused of setting fire to a vacant home last December.

    Alexander G. Drozynski, 20, of Old Colchester Road in Montville, is charged with third-degree arson, third-degree burglary, first-degree criminal mischief and providing a false statement to police.

    He’s accused of torching a vacant house at 346 Salem Turnpike in Norwich on Dec. 7, 2013.

    No one was injured and firefighters from the East Great Plain Fire Department, the Bozrah Fire Department and the Mohegan Tribal FAST Team responded to the scene.

    Drozynski has been in the custody of the state Department of Corrections and appeared in court today on unrelated burglary and larceny charges.

    He was held on an additional $200,000 bond and was arraigned today.



    Photo Credit: Norwich Police Department

    Alexander G. Drozynski, 20, of Montville, is accused of setting fire to a vacant Norwich home last December.Alexander G. Drozynski, 20, of Montville, is accused of setting fire to a vacant Norwich home last December.

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    Alex Hernandez won’t let Chicago take second-city status in the pastry world.

    The owner of Waffles Café has invented the wonut, a waffle-doughnut fusion he began serving two months ago at his restaurant locations at 203 E. Ohio St. and 3611 N. Broadway St. to near-instant buzz.

    The concept seemingly falls in line with Dominique Ansel's popular cronut, a croissant-doughnut hybrid that debuted in New York last summer, but Hernandez says cronuts and wonuts have little in common.

    “They’re so different,” he said. “They really only resemble each other because of the name combination.”

    (Meanwhile, this week Ansel debuted the waffogato, an ice cream-filled waffle with maple syrup espresso, at his New York bakery.)

    Wonuts are much denser than the fluffy cronut, for one, and Hernandez encourages diners to eat wonuts with a knife and a fork because they're so sticky.

    They also differ quite a bit in price. While customers pay $5 for a single cronut in New York, a wonut will only cost them $2.95 at Waffles Café.

    “I just want people to enjoy it,” Hernandez said. “It’s a fried waffle with sugar and frosting.”

    They currently come in 10 different flavors, including apple fritter, red velvet, maple pecan, Mexican chocolate and birthday cake, complete with vanilla icing and multicolored sprinkles.

    Though they haven't reached cronut-level popularity, wonuts saw some international buzz after Thrillist published a story about the creation.

    Hernandez avoids pretension with the wonut, but the chef has his accolades. He trained at Le Cordon Bleu and was the manager at Japonais in New York for nine years before opening Waffles Café in Lakeview two years ago. He opened a second Waffles Café location in Streeterville last week.

    Hernandez began serving wonuts just two months ago, but the idea for the pastry came about a year ago. It took him several months to find the right recipe. He even had to find a different oil to fry the waffles in, because the typical oil used to fry doughnuts made them too greasy.

    After developing the idea of the wonut, Hernandez spent several months trying to come up with the right name. He tried out “flonut,” “yo’nut,” “dofflé” and “daffle” before settling on “wonut,” which had the best customer reaction.

    The response has been overwhelmingly positive, he said, and it has extended beyond Chicago city limits. Hernandez said he began receiving phone calls and emails from reporters in New York, London and Tokyo. He went from selling about two dozen wonuts a day to 12 or 15 dozen a day during the week.

    The concept of the wonut is still young. Hernandez has begun the process of copyrighting the name, much as the cronut creator's did, and said he wouldn’t be surprised if imitators began to emerge.

    But Hernandez said he doesn't want to compete with the cronut. It's just not that kind of dessert.

    “I wanted to make these fun,” Hernandez said. “I didn’t want to be uptight.”



    Photo Credit: Colleen Connolly

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