Articles on this Page
- 02/06/15--06:00: _WATCH: Pug Races Th...
- 02/05/15--20:23: _Toxins Prompt Closu...
- 02/05/15--18:58: _Former Hotchkiss Sc...
- 02/05/15--22:35: _Rescued Dog Adopted...
- 02/05/15--19:20: _Obama Calls to Cong...
- 02/05/15--17:58: _Springfield Man Sto...
- 02/05/15--17:22: _TX Dad Acquitted in...
- 02/06/15--06:51: _NY Train Engineer S...
- 02/05/15--22:01: _LA Nurses Call For ...
- 02/05/15--21:04: _Man Accused in $20M...
- 02/05/15--17:25: _Man Weathers Blizza...
- 02/06/15--03:59: _Waterbury Schools t...
- 02/05/15--20:33: _Southbury Scrambles...
- 02/06/15--05:56: _Map Traces Subway B...
- 02/05/15--15:00: _Anthem Breach Could...
- 02/06/15--04:21: _Power Problem Cause...
- 02/06/15--06:53: _Car Crashes Through...
- 02/06/15--04:58: _1 Critically Injure...
- 02/06/15--05:14: _Crews Respond to Fi...
- 02/06/15--06:56: _Cheney Tech in Manc...
- 02/06/15--06:00: WATCH: Pug Races Through Snow Maze
- 02/05/15--20:23: Toxins Prompt Closure of Hartford School for Remainder of Year
- 02/05/15--18:58: Former Hotchkiss School Student Raped by Teacher: Lawsuit
- 02/05/15--22:35: Rescued Dog Adopted by Spotter
- 02/05/15--19:20: Obama Calls to Congratulate Belichick
- 02/05/15--17:58: Springfield Man Stole Cruiser, Taunted Officers: Cops
- 02/05/15--17:22: TX Dad Acquitted in Hot Car Death
- 02/06/15--06:51: NY Train Engineer Saved Passengers
- 02/05/15--22:01: LA Nurses Call For Protections
- 02/05/15--21:04: Man Accused in $20M Fraud Dies
- 02/05/15--17:25: Man Weathers Blizzard in Tent
- 02/06/15--03:59: Waterbury Schools to Recognize Muslim Holidays
- 02/05/15--20:33: Southbury Scrambles for Salt Ahead of Storm
- 02/06/15--05:56: Map Traces Subway Bacteria
- 02/05/15--15:00: Anthem Breach Could Affect 1.4 Million Connecticut Residents
- How to Find Out if You're an ID Theft Victim
- What to Do If It Happens To You
- Fact sheet – Protect Your Good Name Against Identity Theft
- More identity theft resources
- 02/06/15--04:21: Power Problem Causes Delay at Berlin School
- 02/06/15--06:53: Car Crashes Through Fence, Delaying Metro-North
- 02/06/15--04:58: 1 Critically Injured After Hitting Tree in Cromwell
- 02/06/15--05:14: Crews Respond to Fire at Hartford Commercial Building
- 02/06/15--06:56: Cheney Tech in Manchester Evacuated
While much of the Chicago area spent this week digging out of the more than 19 inches of snow that fell over the weekend, one man instead used the blizzard to his advantage, building a snow maze for his pet pug to navigate.
Thomas McDermott, 46, of Skokie, said rather than get mad about all the shoveling, he spent the better part of his day Sunday building up the walls and digging out the snow in his backyard to create a dog run for his pug Wrinkles to have at.
“I’ve always been creative with snow,” McDermott said. “When I was younger I used to build massive snowmen up to nine feet tall and 250 pounds.”
McDermott said it took a while for his 2-year-old pooch Wrinkles to find her way out of the maze, and on her first few runs, he and his wife had to hop in and help her out. Once she got the hang of it, he posted a video on his YouTube page.
But now she can jet her way through the obstacles and dead-ends in nine seconds flat.
A pug runs through a snow maze made by its owner, Thomas McDermott, 46, of Skokie in the Chicago area.
Students at the shuttered Clark Elementary School in Hartford will not return to the building this year while crews work to eradicate PCBs contaminating the facility, officials said during a meeting Thursday evening.
Elementary school students and staff were relocated last month after air quality tests revealed low levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, which have been classified as human carcinogens.
In a letter to parents, Supt. Beth Shiavino-Narvaez said environmental consultants "have detected various sources that caused higher than usual levels of PCBs in the air," adding that the multiple sources have made matters difficult.
"They found PCBs in testing in caulk, in some of the spray-on fireproofing, in paint," she said during the meeting Thursday. "Because they found it in multiple areas, it makes the renovation more complicated and time consuming."
Students in pre-Kindergarten through third grade are currently studying at the Museum Academy at the Fred D. Wish School, fourth- through eighth-graders are in class at the Journalism and Media Academy and two other classrooms have been moved to the Simpson Waverly School.
"Our consultants are recommending a remediation plan that will undertake a renovation effort of approximately one year," she wrote. "Although we are still waiting to hear exactly what this means, we do know that in this particular case, the process will run beyond the end of this school year and likely into the next academic year."
They will remain at their temporary locations for the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year, and officials said it's possible the building will still be under construction in September.
"We thought this would be short term. We keep pushing the contractors to get this done, but they advised us, 'Take your time, do it right,' and we are committed to doing it right," Shiavino-Narvaez explained.
School officials announced decision not to allow children back in to the building for the remainder of the academic year at a meeting with parents held at the Wish School on Barbour Street.
"I feel like I have been acting in an abundance of caution," Shiavino-Narvaez said. "It is my obligation to make sure I minimize the risk of exposure for my staff and students."
Parent said that although they understand and appreciate the effort to make the building safe again, the news has been difficult to swallow.
"It actually brought tears to my eyes because it's not just my child, it's all of the children at Clark," said Hartford resident Lakeisha McFarland, who has two children at the Clark School. "It's upsetting because... we don't know how long the PCBs have been in the school."
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said in a statement Thursday that Shiavino-Narvaez "has made proactive and speedy decisions" to make sure children are safe.
"Our student’s health and educational well-being is the only priority," he said. "I want to thank the young students and their families for their patience and cooperation as we work towards a long-term solution."
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
A former student at the Hotchkiss School filed a lawsuit Thursday claiming administrators at the exclusive Lakeville boarding school turned a blind eye when he endured rape and sexual abuse at the hands of a teacher and older students in the 1980s.
According to the lawsuit, 14-year-old John Doe walked into "an environment of well-known and tolerated sexual assaults, sexually violent hazing, and pedophilia" despite reassurances from the admissions director that rules governing sexual conduct were strictly enforced.
The suit says teacher and dormitory master Roy G. Smith, known to the students as "Uncle Roy," lured the teen into his apartment, drugged him and raped him.
John Doe wasn't Smith's first victim, according to the paperwork, but school officials did nothing to protect students from the so-called pedophile.
The lawsuit also claims John Doe was subjected to hazing that was both "permitted and condoned." Older students struck him with paddles and forced him to endure "traumatizing forcible sexualized touching."
The Hotchkiss School responded to the lawsuit in a statement posted on its website.
“The behavior described in the lawsuit is thoroughly abhorrent and completely contrary to Hotchkiss’ values, then and now. Healthy relationships—among students and between students and adults—are the foundation of the Hotchkiss experience, and our commitment to students’ safety and wellbeing is absolute,” said Head of School Dr. Kevin M. Hicks and Board of Trustees President Jeannie Weinberg Rose.
They said the school is working with an independent law firm to investigate the allegations and that Smith has recently died.
John Doe's lawsuit is reminiscent of two other sex assault lawsuits filed against the nearby Indian Mountain Boarding School.
A dog that was plucked from the rushing Los Angeles River in a dramatic helicopter rescue was adopted Thursday by the woman who first saw him in trouble.
Rachel Dalby spotted the animal, who has been named Lucky, being swept along by the current as she watched from a bridge near Burbank. She alerted the authorities and followed the Welsh corgi mix from her car before he was finally saved by a firefighter lowered down from a helicopter in Griffith Park Friday.
"The moment I saw him in the river I immediately wanted to take him home," Dalby said, "I think I mentioned it at one point to one of the dispatch officers, who said, 'Let's get him rescued first.'"
Since his rescue, she had been checking every day on the pooch, who is estimated to be between 6 or 7 years old, and was counting the days until she could take in the pet. There is a mandatory five-day waiting period so owners can claim lost animals before they are adopted.
Dalby said she spent a sleepless night before heading to the shelter Thursday morning.
"It's been a waiting game... (with) building excitement as the day comes closer," Darby said, "I'm looking forward to giving him a safe and loving home and getting him settled in."
Darby picked up Lucky at the shelter Thursday morning and said she plans to go on a shopping spree for toys and other items. She will be retaining his now famous moniker.
"He is doing great, he has bounced back from his ordeal," LA Animal Services Director Jan Selder said. "He is an awesome dog. He is potty trained, walks on a leash and puts his head on your lap when you pet his head, which means he had a home."
A dog that was plucked from the rushing Los Angeles River in a dramatic helicopter rescue is being adopted by the woman who first saw him in trouble.
Sunday, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was on the receiving end of a questionable call by the Seattle Seahawks that led to the Malcolm Butler interception that secured his team's victory in the Super Bowl. Four days later, he received another call.
President Barack Obama called Belichick to congratulate him and the Pats on the win.
According to the White House, Obama took notice of how many players contributed to the victory, specifically naming Butler and Tom Brady.
Obama also told Belichick that he is looking forward to the day the championship team visits the White House.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots celebrates after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
A Springfield man was arrested early Thursday after calling police "pigs," taking a cruiser on a joyride, and throwing punches at officers, according to police.
Police in Springfield were called to a home on Laurelton Street around 4 a.m. Thursday and were greeted by a woman who asked them to get her boyfriend to leave.
Officers escorted Michael Kopeski, 27, from the home and had him wait outside. Police said Kopeski became outraged because he wanted to go back inside to "get his stuff." He started to yell at the officers, calling them "pigs," and spit at a police cruiser.
Kopeski then jumped into the police car and began to drive away. The officers ran after the cruiser and were able to open the passenger door, discharging pepper spray into the vehicle, according to police.
Kopeski kept driving, so officers called for backup. Police said Kopeski used the police radio to taunt the officers and disrupt radio transmissions.
Authorities eventually were able to box in the stolen cruiser at Berkshire Avenue and Page Boulevard. Police said Kopeski would still not cooperate and threw punches at the officers.
Kopeski was arrested and charged with several offenses, including larceny of a motor vehicle.
Photo Credit: Springfield Police Department
Michael Kopeski, of Springfield, Massachusetts, is accused of stealing a police cruiser and taunting officers.
A North Texas jury has acquitted a father of manslaughter in the death of his two-year-old son, who was found unresponsive in the family car on a summer day.
Joshua Cartee was acquitted Thursday of manslaughter and one count of criminally negligent homicide. The jury could not reach a verdict on a second count of criminally negligent homicide, forcing a mistrial.
Jurors told NBC 5 that the split in the jury room over whether to convict was 11 in favor of convicting to one holdout against.
Prosecutors say they'll pursue a new trial on the remaining count in April.
In September 2013, 2-year-old Jorden Cartee let himself of the family's Anna home while Joshua Cartee was asleep. Jorden crawled into the family's car parked in the driveway and was later found unconscious there. He died four days later.
Prosecutors charged that Cartee's negligence had led to his son's death, saying he had failed to lock the home's doors to prevent Jorden from leaving and had failed to call police for more than an hour after realizing he was missing, instead searching the acres around the rural home by himself.
Although locks had been installed less than two months earlier during a CPS investigation, and although the family had signed a safety plan with the agency promising to supervise the boy and lock the doors, the locks were not fastened when the boy left the home, prosecutors said.
The family has maintained the boy's death was a tragic accident. Cartee's defense attorney David Kleckner said his client was a “frantic parent,” not a reckless one.
Jennifer Kindle, Cartee’s wife and Jorden’s mother, said the family has not been able to fully mourn the loss of their son for a year and a half while going through the legal system.
“It is just great to tell the world that my son was so loved, and not a child that was abused or hurt,” Kindle said. “God took my son, not my husband, and it showed in the court today.”
Cartee’s lawyer, David Kleckner, said the acquittal of the manslaughter charge was a positive step.
“The fact that he was found not guilty of a second degree felony [where] he could have been facing two to 10 years in the penitentiary, that he is not a convicted felon -- that is a great day for him,” Kleckner said. “We’ll be ready for [the second trial].”
A court reissued a $100,000 bond for Cartee on Thursday following the verdict.
His family plans to bond him out of the Collin County as soon as possible.
Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
A North Texas jury has acquitted a father of manslaughter in the death of his 2-year-old son, who was found unresponsive in the family car on a summer day.
The engineer of the Metro-North train that slammed into an SUV at a Westchester railroad crossing, killing six people, ran back into the burning train after the fiery crash to rescue people inside, his attorney told NBC 4 New York exclusively Thursday.
The engineer, Steven Smalls, met with National Transportation Safety Board investigators Thursday. His attorney, Jeffrey Chartier, told NBC 4 New York he was "completely cooperative" in his meeting with the NTSB, described as a "standard investigation and interview."
Smalls did everything he could to stop the train from impact, and after the crash in Valhalla, "did everything he could do to help people even though he was injured himself," Chartier said after he and Smalls left their interview with the NTSB.
"He went in and out of the train dragging people out," he said. "He went in there risking his own life until he was overcome by the smoke and the fire. He went back and directed others to get off the train in a safe fashion afterward."
Chartier described Smalls as "devastated."
"He saw horrors someone shouldn't have to see and did everything he could to help every single individual involved," he said.
He added that he couldn't detail what he and his client discussed with the NTSB but said, "Just know that from tragic circumstances, someone's true character shows, and he's a real hero."
Smalls declined to speak to NBC 4 New York.
NTSB Vice Chairman Robert Sumwalt said Thursday that Smalls told investigators he saw the SUV move onto the railroad crossing and that he hit the emergency brake.
The agency hasn't mapped out how far before the Commerce Street crossing Smalls hit the emergency brake on the train, which takes about 950 feet and 30 seconds to stop, Sumwalt said.
The train was also traveling at 58 mph, just under the 60 mph speed limit, he said.
Ellen Brody's SUV was in the danger zone inside railroad crossing gates for about 30 seconds before the train smashed into it, according to Sumwalt. All traffic and crossing signals were working properly.
Six hundred and fifty people were on board train No. 659 when it slammed into an SUV stopped at a crossing in Valhalla at about 6:30 p.m., less than an hour after leaving Grand Central. The train burst into flames and pushed the SUV nearly 10 car lengths down the track, killing the driver of the SUV and five passengers in the first car.
Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York
Metro-North engineer Steven Smalls, right, with lawyer Jeffrey Chartier, after their meeting with the NTSB Thursday
Nurses turned out in force Thursday in Los Angeles to hear officials discuss proposals for tough new rules aimed at preventing hospital violence, just two weeks after one of their own was shot at a local California hospital.
California’s Department of Occupational Safety and Health is working to develop the new rules, which many think could have prevented the shooting of a nurse at a mental health clinic at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital in South LA two weeks ago as well as other attacks across the state.
Nurses said the work is more dangerous than many people realize.
Rose Carcamo said she's been struck "many times" by patients. She said she's been spit on, slapped and kicked.
"How can they keep a drunk from hitting you? You know, you can't. We try to do the best we can," she said.
The nurses, and others represented by various health care unions around the California, are hoping Cal-OSHA can formulate a stricter policy, and want employers, including major hospitals, to protect them.
The nurse in the most recent incident was shot in the leg during a struggle with a patient. Other nurses said a metal detector might have prevented the man from bringing in a gun.
Last spring, two other nurses were seriously injured within hours of each other - one was stabbed at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar and the other was stabbed in the ear with a pencil at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance.
Both survived, but Cal-OSHA officials on-hand Thursday to discuss proposed tightened security in hospitals heard similarly disturbing accounts from dozens of other health care workers.
"There's three gang members standing right behind me while I'm working on their gang leader," said Scott Byington, a registered nurse.
Byington and others said the health care workers are basically sitting ducks when police officers are not around.
"Our security is not armed. We have no metal detectors. Nothing like that at our hospital," he said.
If approved, the proposal would be the first of its kind in the country, and healthcare workers said it needs to happen.
"So I'm holding a three month old baby and the man comes in and tries to attack me and lunge at me," said Rosa Carcamo, a registered nurse, outside of Thursday’s meeting, which was a first look at the proposed plans.
According to Cal-OSHA, nearly 5,000 incidents of workplace violence in healthcare settings were reported in California between 2010 and 2012. Many go unreported.
Just two weeks after a shooting of a nurse at Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital in South LA, state officials and health care workers came together to discuss proposals for stiff new protections.
A Pennsylvania man, accused along with his wife and family members in a more than $20-million insurance scheme, committed suicide in front of one of the family's homes, multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation told NBC10.
Thomas French shot himself in front of a Risoldi family home along Danielle Drive in Buckingham, Pennsylvania Thursday afternoon, said sources.
After the shooting, police could be seen towing a vehicle from the scene.
French, who was 64, was married to Claire Risoldi, the family matriarch at the center of an arson scheme.
Risoldi's family set fires in their matriarch's home so they could collect more than $20 million in insurance claims, then used the cash float an "excessively extravagant lifestyle" marked by $1.2 million in jewelry and six Ferraris, according to charges announced last month by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
Claire Risoldi, four members of her Bucks County family and two alleged co-conspirators were hit with several fraud charges after a more than year long statewide investigation.
Fire spread through the Risoldis' New Hope home, named "Clairemont" by the woman, three times between June 2009 and October 2013. According to prosecutors, each fire started near a stockpile of highly flammable materials, including hair spray, and the cause was ruled undetermined.
In one case, home surveillance video captured Risoldi leaving the house a minute before smoke appeared and may have been inside when the home was burning, prosecutors said.
The family then would collect insurance money for lost jewelry, art and home treatments.
The attorney general said the family inflated the price tenfold of Romanesque paintings that were destroyed by fire, depicting the Risoldis wearing "flowing robes gazing down from the heavens." They also attempted to file a $2 million claim for damaged window treatments.
Risoldi accused firefighters of stealing more than $10 million in jewelry from "Clairemont" while fighting one of the blazes, Kane said.
"I knew my guys didn't take anything out of the house, but we were accused," said Midway Volunteer Fire Company Chief Hugh Hager.
After collecting the insurance money, the family allegedly used the cash to carry out real estate transactions, buy expensive cars and fund their lavish lifestyle, prosecutors said. More than $7 million in assets seized by the state included $3 million from bank accounts, $1.2 million in jewelry, six Ferraris, two Rolls Royces and a Shelby Cobra.
The grand jury investigation found Risoldi increased coverage for her jewelry from $100,000 to nearly $11 million less than a month before the last fire in October 2013. Kane said jurors also found a pattern of questionable insurance claims by Risoldi spanning some 30 years. In one example, investigators found jewelry the woman said she lost in 1993.
In addition to Claire Risoldi, prosecutors charged French; her 43-year-old son, Carl Risoldi; 43-year-old daughter-in-law, Shiela Risoldi; and 48-year-old daughter Carla Risoldi.
Two other men, private investigator Mark Goldman and fabric vendor Richard Holston, were also charged in the scheme.
All seven suspects remained free on bail.
SUICIDE PREVENTION: If you know someone who needs help, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Some towns have experienced record breaking snowfall amounts in the last 10 days. No one will argue it's turned into a rough winter, but imagine weathering all these storms from inside a tent in the Maine woods.
Sixty-seven-year-old Ed Warden is trying to do just that. He is a volunteer camp host at Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal. He gets the campsite for free and, in return, must provide 20 hours of labor.
He liked the job in the summer and thought he would try it in the winter. His 12-by-20 tent does have a small wood stove and electricity, but no running water.
During the recent blizzard, he got up every hour to get the snow off of the tent.
"People say, 'aren't you scared?' No, I'd be more scared in the middle of a city somewhere," said Warden.
Warden says he tried a more conventional life, but he was more suited to this one. He believes being so close to nature offers him serenity
and keeps him healthy.
Warden says he'll stay in his tent at least through next summer.
In a unanimous vote Thursday night, the Waterbury Board of Education opted to officially recognize two Muslim holidays and urged teachers not to schedule tests or field trips on those dates.
The measure calls on the superintendent to write a letter at the beginning of each school year reminding school staff to be mindful of the holidays – Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al-Fitr – when scheduling big events.
“We service about 1,000 family communities of the Muslim heritage here and we certainly want to recognize that,” said Waterbury superintendent Dr. Kathleen Ouellette. “We’re a very diverse population here. We’re sensitive to all cultures and we want to make sure we service our students properly with regards to their religious beliefs.”
The Muslim community in Waterbury launched a petition about six months ago asking the school to acknowledge the holidays. Many of those residents were in the audience Thursday.
“I was practically in tears. I’m so excited for my kids,” said Fahd Sayed, a parent of three students who attend Waterbury schools. “My child [sic] don’t have to choose between their religion or going to school.”
While the days will be acknowledged, they will not be added to the school calendar.
Waterbury follows in the footsteps of the New London school system, which opted to recognize Muslim holidays last May.
As winter grinds on, the state is bracing for more snow to come, and one town has found itself short on salt days before another storm is set to arrive.
"The town is basically out of salt and is therefore not prepared for future storms, and we have one coming this weekend," explained Southbury Selectman Ken Korsu.
Voters at a special meeting Thursday night chose to move $125,000 from reserves to the Salt and Sand Fund, which had an original budget of $225,000.
"It's the same calamity we had last year at this time. We had to do the same thing, so I don't know if it's a planning deficiency or a factor of worse storms," said Korsu.
Korsu said officials are concerned that trucks carrying salt may not arrive in time for a storm that could make a big impact early next week. Southbury will send its own trucks to gather the material if need be.
If the area continues to collect snow like it has over the last three weeks, officials may need to move more money to the Salt and Sand Fund. The board says it may also need to transfer funds to account for overtime hours.
Korsu said he hopes the town will adopt a strategy the Department of Transportation uses for dealing with winter storms by pre-treating the roads with liquid material. He said the method would save money on both salt and overtime.
Meanwhile, New Haven has already posted a parking ban in an effort to whittle down snow mounds before the next storm arrives.
"I think they may have to use dynamite to get rid of some of the snow," said Daniel Mark Epstein, who is visiting New Haven from Baltimore, Maryland.
Earlier in the day crews posted "No Parking" signs on several downtown area streets so the Department of Public Works could continue removing the packed snow piles from 11 p.m. Thursday through 6 a.m. Friday.
"I think that's great. I think they need to do that. I think they need to do that earlier," said New Haven resident Michael Clinton. "I live down in the East Rock section, and we always have a problem with people not moving their cars and not being able to clean the snow around them."
On top of the snow to come, Friday morning may be the coldest of the season. There's no mistaking winter may have started out slow, but it's now packing a punch.
"It's bone chilling and a little bit frightening. If it got much colder, I might not be able to speak. My lips would freeze up," said Epstein.
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Researchers have mapped out the particles found across the city’s subway system, and they found a range of DNA from mozzarella cheese to the Bubonic plague.
The “PathoMap,” created by Weill Cornell Medical College researchers, maps out microbes and pathogens found on hand rails, benches, turnstiles and passenger seats.
Researchers say most of the DNA found across the subway system is harmless, like the cheese DNA, but the study also found some drug-resistant, disease-causing bacteria, including some DNA fragments associated with anthrax and the Bubonic plague.
Other disease-causing bacteria found on the subway include E. coli, staph infections, strep infections, and urinary tract infections.
Researchers say the results are mostly reassuring and there’s no need to avoid the subway.
The study can be used for long-term disease surveillance, bioterrorism threat mitigation and large-scale health management, according to researchers.
Photo Credit: Ebrahim Afshinnekoo
Heatmap of the Pseudomonas genus, the most abundant genus found across the city. Hotspots are found in areas of high station density and traffic (i.e. lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn).
Up to 1.4 million Connecticut residents are affected by what the state attorney general is calling "one of the largest, most in-depth data breaches in history" targeting insurance leader Anthem Inc.
Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a news conference Thursday evening that about 200,000 of the state's 1.4 million affected Anthem customers are current or former state employees, retirees on the state health plan and their families. Comptroller Kevin Lembo said Anthem is one of two insurers providing coverage to state employees.
According to Anthem, “Cyber attackers executed a very sophisticated attack to gain unauthorized access to one of our parent company’s IT system and have obtained personal information relating to consumers and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield employees who are currently covered, or who have received coverage in the past.”
Compromised information includes names, birthdays, social security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data.
The plans impacted include Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Caremore, Unicare, Healthlink and DeCare.
The Connecticut Insurance Department is working to assess the impact to customers and ensure plans are in place to protect policyholders, and Attorney General George Jepsen has launched an investigation into the breach.
“I am deeply concerned about this massive data breach," Jepsen said in a statement. "This morning, I sent a letter to Anthem requesting information about the security measures the company had in place prior to the breach, the circumstances that led to discovery of the breach and the measures Anthem is taking to ensure this sort of attack will not happen again."
In his letter to Anthem's chief executive officer, Jepsen asked that all affected Connecticut residents be provided with two years of free credit monitoring services, identity theft insurance and reimbursement for the costs associated with placing and lifting security freezes.
"Breaches in security like this one put innocent consumers at significant risk of financial and reputational harm, and those affected deserve adequate protection,” Jepsen said.
Anthem is investigating to determine which members are impacted and said in a statement that they will individually notify current and former members whose information has been accessed and offer credit monitoring and identity protection services for free.
The insurance carrier said it will send letters to affected customers in the coming weeks, but Malloy said during the news conference Thursday that he hopes weeks will become days.
U.S. Senator Blumenthal also discussed the breach in a Senate committee hearing on Thursday and said customers need to know that they data is secure to trust companies.
“This latest cyberattack is not only breathtaking in its scope and scale, it is potentially heartbreaking and life changing for the tens of millions of consumers and employees affected. Sadly, Anthem is only the latest case in a string of hacks and cyberattacks that have cost consumers tens of billions of dollars," Blumenthal said in a statement. These attacks are real and they hurt real people, and companies and universities collecting sensitive consumer data have an obligation to do more to protect that information.”
The state Insurance department is also providing the following resources to residents who want to protect themselves against cyberattacks:
Photo Credit: Getty Images
The Anthem Blue Cross headquarters
Griswold Elementary School in Berlin will open on a two-hour delay because of a power problem.
No additional information is available.
There werre delays on Metro-North this morning after a car crashed through a fence in Darien this morning, but service is back on schedule.
A car stepped on gas instead of the brake and went through a fence, crews at the scene told News 12. The scene is now clear.
Commuters on the New Haven line experienced delays, according to MTA, but service is now back on schedule.
No additional information is available.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
One person is in critical condition after crashing into a tree in Cromwell early Friday morning after hitting a snowbank and going airborne.
Police received a 911 call at 12:18 a.m. reporting that a car had gone off the road at Route 3 and Woodland Drive, so they responded to the scene, where they found one person in a car who was suffering from serious injuries, police said.
A Cromwell emergency medical services crew also responded and brought the injured person to Hartford Hospital, where the patient is listed in critical condition.
Police said the driver crossed the double center line in the road while traveling north on Route 3, hit a snowbank, went airborne and hit a tree.
Only one person was in the car and police have not released the name.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
One person was critically injured in a crash on Route 3 in Cromwell on Friday morning.
Firefighters have responded to a fire at a commercial building on Ledyard Street, where they are taking special precautions because the building could have dangerous and flammable chemicals inside.
No information has been released on whether anyone has been hurt.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Firefighters are taking extra precautions while battling a fire in Hartford.
Cheney Tech in Manchester has been evacuated because of a bomb threat that was written on a bathroom wall, according to Connecticut State Police.
Students have been evacuated and were taken to the nearby East Catholic High School for shelter.
State Police are searching school and have brought in K9s and the bomb squad.
A criminal investigation is underway, police said.
Cheney Tech in Manchester has been evacuated because of a bomb threat that was written on a bathroom wall, according to Connecticut State Police.