Articles on this Page
- 04/15/15--12:03: _Zeus' Last Ride: Ri...
- 04/15/15--20:29: _Low-Wage Workers Ra...
- 04/15/15--11:38: _Merrill Reacts to C...
- 04/15/15--12:14: _Route 6 Reopens in ...
- 04/15/15--14:29: _Manchester Homeless...
- 04/15/15--18:03: _WATCH: Puppy Takes ...
- 04/15/15--15:14: _Mother Cat, Kittens...
- 04/15/15--17:04: _Hartford Mayor Let ...
- 04/15/15--15:51: _Connecticut Librari...
- 04/15/15--16:10: _New Haven Police De...
- 04/15/15--13:13: _Dentist Pleads Guil...
- 04/15/15--13:21: _State Judicial Bran...
- 04/15/15--15:19: _Family Heads to Tha...
- 04/15/15--12:40: _Classmate on Hernan...
- 04/15/15--14:17: _1 Suspect in Store ...
- 04/15/15--16:25: _State Funding Helps...
- 04/15/15--18:09: _Marine Helicopter L...
- 04/15/15--18:08: _Groton Bank Robbed ...
- 04/15/15--19:34: _Meriden Restaurant ...
- 04/15/15--19:35: _WATCH: Family Relea...
- 04/15/15--12:03: Zeus' Last Ride: Ridgefield Says Goodbye to Police Dog
- 04/15/15--20:29: Low-Wage Workers Rally on Tax Day
- 04/15/15--11:38: Merrill Reacts to Court Ruling on Hartford Registrars
- 04/15/15--12:14: Route 6 Reopens in Bristol
- 04/15/15--14:29: Manchester Homeless Shelter to be Shuttered
- 04/15/15--18:03: WATCH: Puppy Takes First Steps
- 04/15/15--15:14: Mother Cat, Kittens Rescued From Tree in Wolcott
- 04/15/15--17:04: Hartford Mayor Let Down by Registrar Ruling
- 04/15/15--15:51: Connecticut Librarians Fight Budget Cuts
- 04/15/15--16:10: New Haven Police Department Doubles Motorcycle Unit
- 04/15/15--13:13: Dentist Pleads Guilty to $21 Million Medicaid Fraud Scheme
- 04/15/15--13:21: State Judicial Branch Warns of Fraudulent Email
- 04/15/15--15:19: Family Heads to Thailand to Search for Missing Soldier
- 04/15/15--12:40: Classmate on Hernandez: "Everybody Idolized This Guy"
- 04/15/15--14:17: 1 Suspect in Store Owner Murder Arrested, Other at Large
- 04/15/15--16:25: State Funding Helps New Haven Fashion Designer
- 04/15/15--18:09: Marine Helicopter Lands on Beach
- 04/15/15--18:08: Groton Bank Robbed Twice in One Week
- 04/15/15--19:34: Meriden Restaurant to Reopen 10 Months After Fire
- 04/15/15--19:35: WATCH: Family Releases Balloons for Odin Lloyd
The Ridgefield Police Department is saying goodbye to one of its police dogs before he is euthanized due to health complications and officers are honoring him with one last ride Wednesday.
Zeus, an 11-year-old German Shepherd, was retired from the department as a K-9 unit on May 20, 2014 because he has severe degenerative hip disorder, police said on the Ridgefield Police Department Facebook page. His health has declined significantly over the past year, so he has to be put down, police said.
"Zeus was a valued member of our team as well as our community and will be greatly missed," Ridgefield police said on Facebook.
Ridgefield Officer Shawn Murray was Zeus's handler since the dog joined the force in 2006 and took care of Zeus at his home even after his retirement, police said.
Zeus assisted with 250 narcotics arrests, tracked 50 missing or wanted people, located six people in life-threatening situations and found six suspects on the run after crimes, police said.
He also helped police discover 10 pounds of marijuana in 2006. The department also did many demonstrations with the police dog for members of the public.
Zeus's last ride through Ridgefield will start at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, head west on Governor Street, travel north on Route 35/Main Street, go north on Route 7 and end at Ridgefield Veterinary Hospital. Police from area agencies are expected to be in attendance.
Community members are also invited to gather on Main Street on the sidewalks along the route to watch the ride and pay tribute.
Photo Credit: Ridgefield Police Department
The Ridgefield Police Department is saying goodbye to one of its police dogs before he is euthanized for health reasons and are honoring him with one last ride Wednesday.
Hundreds of fast food workers marched in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday, joining thousands across the country to push for higher wages.
Their target -- $15 an hour, a considerable increase from California's minimum wage of $9 an hour but something they say they need to make ends meet.
The protesters chose a starting point with about 10 fast food places all on one corner just north of USC.
It highlights the widening gap between the wealthy and poor and how many are struggling to survive and feed their families.
They held banners, balloons and signs with the number 15.
Fast food workers chose April 15 to make their point, that they're paid so little that they often have to make up the difference in public assistance.
"Sometimes I have to make a choice to pay rent or buy food," said Melina Ramirez, a fast food worker. "Sometimes I have to buy diapers and we don't have enough to provide for ourselves with food."
Ramirez brought her 11-month-old daughter, Vivian.
There were lots of moms at the demonstration.
And a soon-to-be mom in Monica Reynoso, who's pregnant with her first child.
"How am I going to support my child?" Reynoso said. "What am I gonna do if I don't have enough for diapers?"
The march down Figueroa Street was part of a nationwide protest, a steady drumbeat that it's getting next to impossible to live on California's minimum wage. San Francisco and Seattle are two cities that have already established minimum wages of $15 an hour. Voters will be considering that minimum in a ballot initiative in Oregon.
Many of the protesters were students, some trying to support not just themselves, but also their families.
"I have to support myself too and support them because right now my mom has no job, so it's just me and my dad working," said Nayeli Ceja.
Businesses say raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Critics call the protests a ploy by the Service Employees International Union to unionize fast food workers, something they've been trying to do for years.
But the workers say none of that changes the reality that it's getting harder to make ends meet.
"Its very hard to make close to rent sometimes," Reynoso said. "Sometimes I have to borrow money from my sister or my dad."
Photo Credit: @devonweber
In response to the Superior Court's ruling that Hartford's City Council cannot remove its registrars from office after voting problems in the last election, Secretary of State Denis W. Merrill said that an overhaul of the state's election system is needed.
“Yesterday’s Superior Court decision underscores the need for more accountability in Connecticut’s election system," Merrill said. "My office is focusing on a legislative initiative that will finally address that issue—not just for those cities and towns whose problems are covered in the news, like Hartford, Bridgeport or Fairfield—but for all of Connecticut. The comprehensive reform bill approved by the Government Administration and Elections (GAE) Committee last month, reflecting an agreement between my office and the registrars, includes a removal provision. Yesterday’s decision confirms that removal is an important and necessary provision in that bill which I hope both chambers of the General Assembly will be taking up in the weeks ahead. I will watch to see what the City of Hartford decides to do in light of yesterday’s decision.”
Merrill is an advocate for professionalizing the role of registrar of voters in all 169 Connecticut towns. Now, each town has at least two registrars, nominated by their party and voted into office.
The Government Administration and Elections Committee approved Senate Bill 1051, titled "an Act Strengthening the State's Elections," which was then passed on to the Senate, according to Merrill's office. The Senate has not acted on the bill yet.
Back on Election Day on Nov. 4, 2014, Merrill filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission before the polls closed about the conduct of the registrars on Election Day, Merrill's office said. The complaint is pending.
Route 6/Farmington Avenue has reopened Bristol after a two-car crash, according to the Department of Transportation.
The road was closed Wednesday afternoon between Jerome Avenue and King Street.
Both cars were badly damaged and a few people have been taken to the hospital, according to the NBC Connecticut crew at the scene.
No additional information was immediately available.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Part of Route 6 in Bristol is closed.
An emergency shelter in Manchester is closing its doors in objection to a state law requiring the shelter to admit drug and alcohol users.
Beth Stafford, executive director and CEO of the Manchester Area of Conference of Churches, said the overnight shelter on Main Street in Manchester will shut down July 1.
The move comes in light of a state law that allocates funding under the stipulation that shelters accept active substance users, according to Stafford.
"This mandate is not in line with MACC Charities' mission to help the residents of Manchester and Bolton who are serious about accepting help to get back on their feet. MACC is not a drug and alcohol or mental health institution," Stafford said in a statement. "MACC Chartieis is a faith based human services organization designed to meet the basic needs of residents of the towns of Manchester and Bolton in emergency situations."
Stafford said no other MACC services will be affected.
Photo Credit: NBC10.com
When Jesse, an adorable mastiff mix puppy, was found lying in the woods last week, she could only crawl to her rescuers. But, less than three days later, she was able to take steps again with the help of a Long Island bulldog rescue.
The 3-month-old pup is being rehabbed by the New York Bully Crew after it was found abandoned near a blanket in a park, the rescue organization said on Facebook. Jesse was in terrible shape when she was found with an inhumanely hacked-off tail, and she couldn't stand on her legs or walk toward the people who found her, the group says.
The group said on Facebook that it quickly took the dog to veterinarians and neurologists to figure out why the pup couldn’t walk. They also posted a heart-rending video of the dog writhing on the ground as she attempted to move.
It appears that Jesse walked at some time because she knew how to move her legs in a walking motion. A blood test also found that there weren’t any diseases that could attack the pup’s nervous system and prevent her from walking. A neurologist is set to conduct tests on the dog later this week.
In the meantime, the rescue group has started physical therapy for the dog, posting video of her swiming in a small pool and sitting up straight. On Monday, Jesse took small steps with the help of a sling.
There has already been an outpouring of support for Jesse, with dozens of people claiming to have donated to the New York Bully Crew to help pay for the pup’s care.
If you would like to donate to Jesse, visit the New York Bully Crew’s website.
Photo Credit: New York Bully Crew
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.
A mother cat and her week-old kittens are safe and sound after workers rescued them from a hollowed-out tree trunk in Wolcott.
The Wolcott Dog Pound said a resident discovered the furry family holed up in a rotted-out tree on Tuesday and called animal control for help.
The cats were wedged too far down for officials to get them out, so they padded the hole with blankets and towels and brought in a tree expert to saw off the trunk, according to the pound.
The mother cat and kittens are now at the Wolcott Dog Pound and are doing just fine.
Photo Credit: Wolcott Dog Pound
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra stopped short of conceding defeat in his efforts to remove the city's three elected registrars following what has been described as an incompetent display on Election Day in November.
A judge ruled yesterday that the Hartford City Council does not have the authority to remove the registrars from their positions.
"I’m disappointed with the decision, but let’s wait until we read the particulars of the opinion, consider our options and move forward with the understanding that what’s important here is that our residents votes are cast, counted and that elections are run effectively," Segarra said during an interview Wednesday.
An investigation into the November election found the three registrars – Democrat Olga Vazquez, Republican Sheila Hall and Working Families Party Official Urania Petit – to have been dysfunctional and disorganized.
City polling places weren't ready with voter registration lists when the polls opened the morning of Nov. 4, and workers had not been properly trained, causing long lines to form and would-be voters to walk out without casting their ballots.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said what happened in Hartford needs to never happen again in any city or town.
"This is a case-in-point," Merril said. "There is nothing a town or city can do, when there’s even egregious misconduct, to remove a registrar. That’s why I made the proposal to make them be appointed rather than elected."
She said appointing professional election officials with proper training would mitigate many of the issues that have cropped up in Hartford and in places like Bridgeport, New Haven and Fairfield over the years.
"I’m not saying the problems are everywhere. They're not. We just need standards. We need every voter to have the same experience everywhere," said Merrill, a Democrat.
Hartford City Councilmember Larry Deutsch said the judge's decision not to oust the three election officials did not come as a surprise.
A member of the Working Families Party, Deutsch described the effort by "dozens of attorneys" as a "colossal waste of money" and said he wants to see a professionalization of elections in the city.
"Just like we have a town or city clerk – one person does a fine job. We have one principal of a school, not necessarily five of them," he said.
Segarra said he wants to see election improvements as well. The city has less than five months to figure out how the council, the mayor and the registrars will all work together before the next election.
"I think we need to improve dialogue between the registrars office and myself, my office and the secretary of state and the different entities that are in charge of elections in a way that does not disenfranchise our voters from the right to vote," Segarra said.
Librarians and supporters from around Connecticut couldn't be hushed at the state capitol as they pleaded with lawmakers Wednesday to keep their budget intact.
Gov. Dannel Malloy's budget cuts funding to libraries by more than $1 million.
The cuts would eliminate funding for the Connecticard Program, which allows residents with library cards from any library to take out and return books and other media to any other library in the state.
"Since about 1976, we’ve been able to take and use our library cards at any one of the 165 libraries in our state, and the Connecticard Program associated with it gets those books returned to us without a cost to the owning library," said Matthew Poland, CEO of the Hartford Public Library.
Poland said if the program were to lose all its state funding, local libraries would have to figure out a way to keep it going, which could be expensive.
"A new way at this point would put the burden of the cost on individual library systems," he cautioned.
About 150 librarians and their supporters crammed into a committee room in the Legislative Office Building. Some lawmakers participated, and State Sen. Tedd Kennedy Jr., a Democrat from Branford, even riled up the crowd, yelling and hollering about what makes libraries so important.
"Libraries are the cement and fabric of our communities!" he shouted to rousing applause.
He and others, including State Rep. Gail LaVielle, a Republican from Norwalk, pledged to the get the funds restored in the budget.
Those who were there to educate members of the General Assembly on the roles of libraries reminded them that libraries are not just places for research and taking out books and DVDs.
"Some of the things we have provided have been the expensive job now database that helps Connecticut residents get online resume help, GED test preparation, interview coaching. All that would not be affordable for many libraries," said Jennifer Keohane, executive director of the Connecticut Library Consortium.
Budget chairs have refused to rule out cuts to libraries and other public services. They say all options to trim the budget are on the table.
Get ready to see more motorcycle officers on the streets of New Haven.
Now that the weather is warming up and more people will be out, the New Haven Police Department is doubling its motorcycle unit.
"Doubling that means that you'll see motorcycles working in more than one neighborhood at the same time on the day shift and on the night shift," said New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman.
To do that, the department is adding six motorcycle officers to its Traffic Enforcement Division. The goal is to make sure city streets are safe, especially for pedestrians and cyclists.
Alderman Aaron Greenberg says that was clear after a 81-year-old was killed crossing Olive Street last year.
"The recent death of Dolores Dogolo, a longtime neighbor, really brought to the forefront this issue of vulnerable users, cyclists, pedestrians and the need to have more enforcement," said Greenberg.
Officials say the stepped up traffic patrols won't only be about enforcement. It will also help raise awareness about what can happen when drivers, cyclists and pedestrians don't abide by the laws made to help them share the road.
"I think they're doing a great job right now. If they're thinking about adding more to it, I think it would be a great idea," said Jack Tracy, who recently moved to New Haven from New York.
A former Stamford resident who had a stake in 13 of the state's dental practices has pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud and will pay the agency $21 million as part of a settlement, state officials said Wednesday.
Mehran Zamani, 50, of Pound Ridge, New York, was arrested after federal agents raided his dental offices in May 2012. Rhode Island resident Gary Anusavice, who owned the practices, was also arrested. Anusavice has since been indicted and sentenced to more than eight years in prison.
Federal prosecutors said Zamani and Anusavice defrauded the Medicaid program of nearly $21 million in illegal billing between January 2008 and March 2011.
Zamani pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to obstructing the administration of a federal health care program.
He will be excluded from all federal health care programs for 10 years and is required to reimburse Medicaid $21 million as part of a lawsuit settlement, according to the attorney general's office.
He'll also forfeit a property at 18 Madison Street in Hartford, which is valued at $159,000, according to federal prosecutors.
The state Judicial Branch is warning Connecticut residents of a phony email purporting to come from "state court" and said the message may contain a virus.
"This is to inform you to appear in the Court on the April 20 for your case hearing," the email states. "Please, do not forget to bring all the documents related to the case. Note: The case may be heard by the judge in your absence if you do not come."
The message, signed "Manuel Kemp, Clerk of Court," is sent from the email address firstname.lastname@example.org and contains an attachment purporting to be the court notice.
The Judicial Branch is warning recipients against opening the document.
"These emails may carry a virus, and recipients should not open any attachment if they receive such an email," Judicial Branch officials wrote in the online advisory.
Anyone who received a suspicious email is urged to contact the Judicial Branch help desk at 860-282-6555.
The mother and sister of a former Connecticut National Guardsman who disappeared last weekend on a scuba diving trip in Thailand are flying out tomorrow night to search for their missing loved one.
Joshua Devine, 36, vanished Saturday morning from a tour boat bound for the Similan Islands. His wife, a native of Thailand, was also on board and took part in Tuesday's search efforts, according to a family spokesperson.
Devine, a Massachusetts native, grew up in Waterbury and Southington and enlisted in the Army after graduating from high school.
He was a member of the Connecticut National Guard from 2002 until 2006 and is currently based in Kuwait, where he works as a civilian on a U.S. military base, according to the Phuket Gazette.
Family members in Enfield said it was Devine's second time on the diving trip. Witnesses told the family he had been drinking prior to his disappearance and became aggressive and paranoid.
According to the family, two fellow divers brought Devine into a storage room April 11 to calm him down. They left him alone for 15 minutes, and when they returned, he was gone.
Devine's mother, Marie Major, and sister, Jennifer Bakowski, said the story doesn't add up. Both have denied that Devine, a master diver and scuba instructor, would drink before entering the water.
"This is not Josh, and it didn't happen from drinking because he doesn't drink before a dive," said Major.
But the events leading up to his disappearance are not the ones Devine's family is questioning. Bakowski said his fellow divers failed to report him missing for six hours, and Thai officials later called off the search in light of a national holiday.
After initial media reports and family fundraising efforts, the Thai Royal Navy renewed its search Tuesday, sending out a search boat and helicopter and questioning the five other divers on Devine's boat.
A family spokesperson said Devine's wife participated in Tuesday's search.
"She went up in a helicopter and by boat," spokesperson Alison Podworski wrote in an email to NBC Connecticut on Wednesday. "So far, they have not found any clues."
Bakowski and Major set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for a trip to Thailand. They plan to fly out Thursday night and will launch their own search Saturday, according to Podworksi.
"They hope to get answers from the authorities," she said.
Family members are spreading the word on Facebook about Devine's disappearance.
Photo Credit: Family Photos
Joshua Devine, 36, vanished over the weekend on a scuba diving trip in Thailand.
Aaron Hernandez, once the pride of Bristol, Connecticut and a star high school football player, was convicted of murder on Wednesday and some residents are in shock, while others said they are not surprised by the verdict.
Brian Ronan, who went to high school with and played Little League team with Hernandez remembers him as "a good kid" and said he was humble while they were growing up.
“I never thought he was capable of doing something like that,” Ronan said. “I was surprised. I was sad. It stinks to see a talented kid like that that you grew up with go down for something like this.”
Students in school with Hernandez were proud to say they went to Bristol Central High School and that he played for their team, Ronan said.
“Everybody looked up to the kid. It didn’t matter if you were older than him, younger than him, everybody idolized this guy,” Ronan said.
Hernandez was found guilty on Wednesday of first-degree murder in the late-night shooting of Odin Lloyd in North Attleboro, Massachusetts on June 17, 2013. Lloyd was shot six times in a deserted industrial park near Hernandez's home.
“If he did it, he did it,” Tom Doyle, of Terryville, said. “Just ‘cause who you are don’t make you innocent.”
One man who did not want to be identified by name said Hernandez is guilty and “got what he deserved.”
Bristol Mayor Kevin Cockayne also commented on the verdict when asked.
"One person does not define Bristol and we can't forget Odin Lloyd and his family, which is the reason we're here today. It's unfortunate that someone who had everything chose this path and now will spend the rest of his life in jail," Cockayne said.
Jose Cartagena, Hernandez's former barber, said he didn’t expect the case to go the way it did and guesses thet he didn’t really know who Hernandez really was.
“There were times during the trial where it looked like it was going to go his way,” Cartagena said. “A lot of us were just shocked. It came out on TV, everybody just stopped doing what they were doing and just focused on what they were saying on TV. There were a few minutes of silence.”
Claire Coggshall, of Bristol, said she was not surprised by the verdict.
“Knowing that he had a history of violence. I’m not surprised,” she said.
When NBC Connecticut did a profile of Hernandez in 2006, when he was a teenager, Hernandez showed off the athletic prowess that would eventually secure him a scholarship to the University of Florida, then lead him to the New England Patriots.
He won a Super Bowl with the Patriots and Cartagena recalls Hernandez coming back to Bristol after the big win.
“He was a humble kid. It was surprising to even find out that he was mixed up in this whole situation,” he said.
Now the former NFL player who once had a $40 million contract and a standout career ahead of him will be serving life in prison without possibility of parole in Walpole, Massachusetts, just 3.5 miles away from Gillette Stadium, where he once played.
Photo Credit: necn
Police have arrested one suspect in the murder a Bridgeport grocery store owner on Saturday afternoon and are looking for the other.
Leighton Vanderberg, 22, of New Haven, was arrested Wednesday and charged with the felony murder of 57-year-old Jose Salgado. Police said he was taken into custody in New Haven and is being held on unrelated charges.
New Haven police said investigators found the Ford Focus sought in connection with the Bridgeport murder on Blake Street on Tuesday night. The vehicle is similar to a car seen near the scene of a New Haven homicide last week, but police have not confirmed a connection between the cases.
When police went to Vanderberg's home Wednesday morning, he acknowledged driving the car and going inside the store with Treizy Lopez, 18, of New Haven, according to police.
Vanderberg's bond was set at $1 million bond, according to Bridgeport police. Lopez remains at large and is believed to be in the New Haven area.
Salgado was killed Saturday night while working at the store he owns with his wife, Sapiao's Grocery at 351 Lexington Avenue in Bridgeport. The robbers wielded handguns and demanded money, according to police.
Police said one of the men shot him right after Salgado handed over the cash.
New Haven police said Lopez was arrested on separate charges last Thursday when an officer saw him riding a scotter without face or eye protection.
Police discovered that the scooter was stolen and charged Lopez with third-degree larceny and driving a motorcycle with no face protection.
Bridgeport Asst. Chief James Nardozzi put out a plea Wednesday asking Lopez to surrender.
"Do yourself a favor, if you are watching this, and turn yourself in to police. We're going to find you. We're not going to give up," he said. "We're going to find where yo uare and you're going to be brought to justice."
Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department
Treizy Lopez, 18, and Leighton Vanderberg, 22, are accused of shooting and killing a Bridgeport store clerk during a robbery over the weekend.
New Haven fashion designer Neville Wisdom opened a second location on Whalley Avenue on Wednesday, thanks to a state grant that will match funds up to $100,000.
"It's very exciting, also nerve-wracking, the start of expanding the business and trying to make everything work," said Wisdom.
He plans to use the new store at 903 Whalley Avenue as his primary location but will keep his Orange Street studio open as well.
"For small businesses, I think one of the things that really helped me was that I kept really good records. We had an accountant from the earlier days of our company, so we kept track of all the stuff that we needed to. We were never delinquent on any taxes," said Wisdom.
He said those records helped him secure state funding.
Deputy Economic Director Jacqueline James said a lot of small businesses need the city's help.
"A lot of them are in need of an assessment to understand their growth, and what services and tools they need to sustain or build capacity. They're also in need of access to capital," said James.
Grants, like the one Wisdom secured, are just part of what's needed, and the city hopes to work with small businesses to get them the rest.
"It's about providing resources, or having the resources to provide to the people, the small businesses," said James.
Next month, the city is opening a new small business academy on Dixwell Avenue where small business owners can attend workshops.
A U.S. Marine helicopter made an emergency landing on a beach in north San Diego Wednesday after receiving a low oil pressure indicator, U.S. Marine Corps officials confirmed.
San Diego lifeguards reported that a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter had landed near Del Mar Shores Beach in Solana Beach, south of Fletcher Cove, at around 11:40 a.m.
Firefighters and Hazardous Materials crews were called to the scene to investigate the chopper for a possible fuel leak.
The large chopper could be seen disabled on the shoreline as officials and onlookers gathered.
Officials from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) tweeted that the chopper made the unexpected landing on the beach "due to a low-pressure indicator light in the aircraft."
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (MCAS Miramar) also confirmed that the CH-53E Super Stallion with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 466 had executed the precautionary landing in Solana Beach.
"The aircraft was conducting routine training and the pilots landed the aircraft safely on Solana Beach with no injuries to personnel," MCAS Miramar officials said. "A Hazardous Material Team has been dispatched to clean up and assess the site."
Marine Corps officials said the aircraft would likely return to MCAS Miramar Wednesday afternoon.
Staff Sgt. Bobbie Curtis said the CH-53E is a “heavy-lift helicopter that has a large set of mission capabilities.”
“It can go from ship to shore, help us with all of our amphibious missions,” he added.
Curtis said the crew aboard the aircraft handled the landing well.
“These pilots are well-trained – so are the air crew members – so they know exactly what to do in a situation like this,” he said.
Encinitas Fire Department Battalion Chief John Blumeyer said the department was tipped off to the beachside chopper landing by several 911 calls and reports from lifeguards.
When firefighters arrived, they noticed the aircraft was leaking fluid, Blumeyer said. Crews quickly worked to clean up the fluid and prevent it from leaking into the ocean.
“There’s a little bit of a time crunch. The tide is supposed to shift here [soon]. We have plans for mitigating [the situation] if they can’t fly out the helicopter before the tide comes in,” the battalion chief added.
The sight of the enormous chopper landing on the beach was a huge surprise to residents and beachgoers, including Tyler Clarke.
Clarke told NBC 7 he was lying on the beach about 100 yards away from the landing site when he heard the helicopter coming down.
“I could hear the propeller blowing water out and oil was going everywhere,” Clarke recalled. “You could see oil and smoke coming out of the water and [the helicopter] just kept getting lower and lower, and then just landed.”
Clarke said watching the Marine chopper land on the shore was both intense and surreal.
“Not your normal day at the beach, that’s for sure,” he added.
A Solana Beach resident said she was sitting at her nearby home with her husband when they heard the helicopter coming onto the beach.
“I had no idea what was going on. It was incredibly loud and sort of frightening, to be honest,” she told NBC 7. “We were sitting in our house – we have big windows – and we literally saw the helicopter come down and land on this beach. I could’ve been walking my dog.”
Photo Credit: Mark Sackett
The CH-53 Marine helicopter made an unexpected landing on a beach in north San Diego on April 15, 2015.
Police are searching for the man who robbed the People's United Bank at a Groton supermarket on Wednesday afternoon.
According to police, a man in his late 20s or early 30s entered the Super Stop and Shop on Route 12 just before 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and robbed the bank branch there.
He got away with an undisclosed amount of money and ran through the parking lot. Police said he may have gotten into a gray 2003-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a chrome grill on the front.
Police said the robber stands between 5 feet 8 and 5 feet 10 inches tall and has a medium or stocky build and a beard.
He was wearing a New York Yankees baseball camp, sunglasses, a black shirt and a dark hooded sweatshirt with a reddish design on the front right side and light-colored pattern on the inside of the hood, according to police.
Anyone with information is urged to call Groton Town Police at 860-441-6712.
Photo Credit: Groton Town Police
Police are searching for the man who robbed a bank branch in Groton on Wednesday.
Violi's Restaurant at Hunter Golf Club in Meriden is opening its doors 10 months after flames from an apparent arson tore through the facility.
"It has been a very long ten months but we are all very excited," the golf club posted on Facebook on Wednesday. "We greatly appreciate everyone's patience."
The rebuilt restaurant will open for business Thursday, April 16.
Police said they never managed to identify the man with a gas can spotted at the scene of last June's two-alarm fire. He was wearing a baseball cap and glasses and may have been talking on a cellphone.
Anyone with new information is asked to call Det. Gonzalez at 203-630-6318.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Fire broke out at Violi's Restaurant at Hunter Golf Club in Meriden early Monday morning and fire investigators are looking into whether a golf cart fire led to the blaze.
Nearly two years after his murder at the hands of Aaron Hernandez, the family of Odin Lloyd celebrates his life and the conviction of his killer.
Lloyd's family and friends gathered around his grave at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Boston's Roslindale neighborhood. His mother, Ursula Ward, counted down as they released balloons in the air, shouting, "Odin, we love you!"
"I want to thank the Heavenly master for giving me the strength to go through this the past two years," said Ward. "Today, I can finally say my son is resting in peace because we get justice for him."
Photo Credit: necn