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- 05/05/15--08:02: _Police Need Help to...
- 05/05/15--08:49: _Case Continued for ...
- 05/05/15--08:55: _Panera Removing 150...
- 05/05/15--08:17: _Bridgeport Man Kill...
- 05/05/15--08:22: _Dirt Bike Rider Bad...
- 05/05/15--09:02: _Woman Cut Boy Frien...
- 05/05/15--08:42: _Tainted K2 Causing ...
- 05/05/15--09:21: _Burlington Brush Fi...
- 05/05/15--09:19: _Necropsy Planned fo...
- 05/05/15--09:29: _Youth Hockey Coach ...
- 05/05/15--14:46: _Mortar Found at Wes...
- 05/05/15--14:21: _Mystery Lottery Win...
- 05/05/15--14:11: _Man Threatens Norwi...
- 05/05/15--14:25: _Tech Exec's Death H...
- 05/05/15--15:18: _Women Build Homes f...
- 05/05/15--15:34: _Devon Still's Daugh...
- 05/05/15--17:13: _Malloy Pushes "Seco...
- 05/05/15--13:22: _State Officials War...
- 05/05/15--17:15: _Waterbury Hospital ...
- 05/05/15--16:51: _Trooper Chases Susp...
- 05/05/15--08:02: Police Need Help to ID CT fastrak Vandal
- 05/05/15--08:49: Case Continued for Dad Charged in Crash That Killed Son
- 05/05/15--08:55: Panera Removing 150 "No-No" Ingredients
- 05/05/15--08:17: Bridgeport Man Killed in Fairfield I-95 Crash
- 05/05/15--08:22: Dirt Bike Rider Badly Injured in Vernon
- 05/05/15--09:02: Woman Cut Boy Friend 16 Times With Box Cutter: Cops
- 05/05/15--08:42: Tainted K2 Causing "Psychotic" Behavior: Willimantic Police
- 05/05/15--09:21: Burlington Brush Fire Closes Route 69
- 05/05/15--09:19: Necropsy Planned for Bear That Chased Joggers
- 05/05/15--09:29: Youth Hockey Coach Stalked Waitress: Cops
- 05/05/15--14:46: Mortar Found at West Haven Antique Store
- 05/05/15--14:21: Mystery Lottery Winner Was Agent
- 05/05/15--14:11: Man Threatens Norwich School Staff Over Towed Car: Cops
- 05/05/15--14:25: Tech Exec's Death Highlights Potential Treadmill Dangers
- 05/05/15--15:18: Women Build Homes for Families in Need
- 05/05/15--15:34: Devon Still's Daughter Begins Stem Cell Transplant
- 05/05/15--17:13: Malloy Pushes "Second Chances" at Juvenile Facility
- 05/05/15--13:22: State Officials Warn of Synthetic Marijuana Dangers
- 05/05/15--17:15: Waterbury Hospital Sold to LA Medical Firm
- 05/05/15--16:51: Trooper Chases Suspect Near East Brook Mall in Mansfield
A man damaged several cameras at the new CT fastrak busway terminal in Elmwood in January and state police are asking for help to identify him.
State police said troopers learned of the damage around 8 p.m. on Jan. 31 and found that six surveillance cameras at the terminal were damaged.
When police reviewed surveillance footage, they saw a man climb camera supports to reach the surveillance cameras and use what appears to be a sanding pad to scuff the clear plastic camera dome covers.
It also shows the man hitting the cameras with a long stick and scratching the clear dome covers, police said.
Anyone with information about the vandalism or who can identify the man is asked to call Trooper Michael Ciarcia at 860-534-1000, at extension 6010 or e-mail Michael.Ciarcia@ct.gov.
Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police
Police said this man damaged several surveillance cameras at a CT fastrak terminal.
The man who crashed into an armored truck in Granby in 2013, causing the death of his 14-month-old son, is due in court in June after his case was continued on Tuesday.
Kevin Ayers, 24, of East Granby, turned himself in April 23 after learning police planned to arrest him and was charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle.
His case has been continued, with a court date scheduled on June 5.
Police said Ayers was behind the wheel the morning of Oct. 9, 2013 when his car crossed the center line and collided head-on with an armored truck on West Granby Road/Route 20.
Ayers was seriously hurt and was airlifted to Hartford Hospital for emergency surgery.
His 14-month-old son, Landon, suffered critical injuries and died at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, according to police.
The driver and passenger in the armored truck suffered minor injuries.
Police said Landon was buckled into a carseat, and no drugs, alcohol or electronic devices contributed to the crash.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Granby Police Department
Kevin Ayers, 24, of East Granby, has been charged with negligent homicide in the crash that killed his 14-month-old son.
Panera Bread is removing more than 150 artificial additives and other "no-no" ingredients from the food it serves.
The restaurant chain, which runs 1,900 restaurants in the United States and Canada, published a “no-no list” of some of the ingredients it has already eliminated or plans to eliminate by the end of 2016.
High-fructose corn syrup, benzoic acid, artificial smoke flavor and dipotassium sulfate are just a few of the additives that Panera is nixing.
Another: The artificial sweetener sucralose, popularly known as Splenda. In 2013, a study found that sucralose could increase the risk of diabetes.
“We’re trying to draw a line in the sand in the industry so that consumers have an easy way to know what’s in the food they buy,” Panera's CEO Ron Shaich told the New York Times.
"I think someone at Panera is paying attention," chef and restaurant owner Bobby Flay told the "Today" show. "People want to eat better. They want to think that they are eating food that is better for them and good for them.”
Panera is just the latest in a string of restaurant chains trimming their ingredient lists.
Last week, Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it was phasing out genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, from its food.
Kraft recently said it was getting rid of the artificial orange coloring in its macaroni and cheese and replacing it with a mix of spices like turmeric and paprika.
And last month, McDonald’s said it would do away with chicken treated with human antibiotics.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
A 20-year-old Bridgeport man was killed in a crash on Interstate 95 north in Fairfield early Tuesday morning that closed the highway for several hours.
Police said Demonte Anozine, 20, of Bridgeport, was sitting in the front passenger seat of a Mazda Protege that sideswiped another vehicle, went off the road and hit several trees. He was thrown from the car and pronounced dead at the scene, according to a news release from state police.
Emergency medical responders tried to revive him, but couldn't resuscitate him, officials said.
The crash happened on I-95 North near exit 23 and was reported at 3:07 a.m.
The driver of the car Anozine was in had to be extricated and suffered minor injuries, according to state police. The other passenger was taken to Bridgeport Hospital to be treated for injuries that are possibly serious.
“Our firefighters and the medics from AMR worked together to provide exceptional emergency medical care to the victims and to rapidly extricate them from a very heavily damaged vehicle," Assistant Fairfield Fire Chief George Gomola said in a statement. "The loss of life which occurred prior to our arrival is tragic, and our thoughts and prayers are extended to the victim and his family.”
The highway was shut down on the northbound side between exits 22 and 23 for the early-morning commute, but it has since reopened.
Police searched the woods with a flashlight, took photographs and are working on collecting evidence.
An accident reconstruction team also responded and the cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Drivers were detoured onto the Merritt Parkway or Route 1 to avoid it.
Traffic still came to a stop in some places hours after the crash, causing delays on many people's drives to work.
"I'm a chef at university of Bridgeport and I have a whole crew there waiting for me so not good but we’ll make the best of it," Ken Scalzo said.
The back roads were also affected.
"Just to get out of my road this morning was heavy traffic to get out," Lorenzo Caiati, of Fairfield, said.
Black Rock Turnpike is also closed in Fairfield at Burroughs Road to Tunxis Hill due to another serious two-car crash.
Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department
A man was killed in a serious crash on Interstate 95 north in Fairfield and the highway has reopened after shutting down for several hours.
A man suffered serious injuries in a dirt bike accident in Vernon after going down an embankment, according to police.
The accident happened on the Rails to Trail between Tankerhoosen Road and Hartford Turnpike, according to police, and it's not clear how long the man had been down the embankment.
A hiker found the Vernon man off Tankerhoosen Road around 7:15 a.m. and rescuers used ropes and an all-terrain vehicle to remove him from the trail and bring him to the road.
Initial reports are that the victim sustained a head injury. Police have not released his name because they are reaching out to his family, but said he is in his 30s.
The LifeStar medical transport helicopter responded, landed at Sacred Heart Church, and transported the man to Saint Francis Hospital.
Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail and police are investigating why he had the bike on the path.
Residents said it is not uncommon to hear dirt bikes on the trail, especially after dark.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
A dirt bike rider suffered serious injuries after going down an embankment.
Hamden police have arrested a New Haven woman who is accused of cutting her boyfriend 16 times with a box cutter.
Police said they met with the 31-year-old victim at Yale-New Haven Hospital on Sunday and he said he’d gotten into an argument with his girlfriend, Shavoya Chin, 21, at his home on Arch Street and it escalated to her cutting him with a box cutter.
The victim had 16 lacerations, including on his arms, chest and neck, according to police.
Hamden Police, with help from New Haven Police Department, found Chin hiding in a closet on Young Street in New Haven.
She was arrested, transported to Hamden Police Headquarters and charged her with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct.
She was released on a $10,000 bond was scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on May 4.
Willimantic police are issuing a warning because tainted K2, or synthetic marijuana, has caused severe reactions, including psychotic behavior, and sent at least a dozen people to the hospital.
Police said they responded to nearly a dozen cases in 24 hours of Willimantic residents ingesting the drug, which they believe was laced with another substance.
The patients, all adults, also showed symptoms including body temperatures as high as 106 degrees and blood pressure as high as 240, police said, and needed to be hospitalized.
Many of the people who used the synthetic drug have exhibited psychotic behaviors, like running around scantily clad on city streets in Willimantic, police said.
"We have seen psychotic behavior by these personnel. We've seen people running around loosely dressed, or without shirts, running down main thoroughfares within the city. They're looking for assistance," Cpl. Stan Parizo, of the Willimantic Police Department, said.
Police are having the synthetic marijuana tested to see if it is laced and they are warning of the dangers of drug use, particularly because it's not clear what it is being mixed with the drug.
Police urge residents to call 911 if you see anyone behaving unusually or in need of medical attention.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Route 69, also known as Milford Street, is closed near Route 4 (Spielman Highway) in Burlington due to a brush fire.
No one is injured, according to the fire department.
Firefighters are on scene.
No further information was immediately available.
A necropsy will be performed to determine if the "unusually aggressive bear" that chased two people at a nature and wildlife preserve in Granby on Monday afternoon had rabies or another health issue.
The bear , which has been euthanized, was a 120-pound male yearling, about 16 to 17 months old, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. DEEP examined the bear before sending it to a UConn lab for the animal autopsy.
A 62-year-old man and 25-year-old woman were jogging minutes apart when a black bear chased them in separate incidents along Barndoor Hills Road at McLean Game Refuge just before 1 p.m. on Monday, officials said.
An official who has been with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for 10 years said he has never seen anything like this before.
Neither person was badly hurt, but the encounter left them startled and shaken up.
While the female jogger was not injured, the man had a cut on his chest. Officials from DEEP said it's not clear whether the bear scratched him or if he was scraped by bushes while running through the woods to get away.
Granby police officers and DEEP Environmental Conservation Police found and trapped the bear around 9 p.m. on Monday and removed it from the area, according to Granby police.
The bear wasn't tagged, so that means it wasn't previously encountered, according to DEEP.
Authorities said they euthanized the animal due to its aggressive behavior and the bear is being taken to the pathobiology laboratory at UConn on Tuesday for a necropsy.
Authories said bear sightings are common this time of year, but they are not normally known to attack.
DEEP advises residents to avoid leaving food sources in their yards that will attract bears by taking down birdfeeders, cleaning grills and outdoor cooking areas and making sure garbage cans are secure. If you come across a bear while enjoying outdoor activities like hiking or camping, DEEP said to wave your arms and make sound, maintain your distance and back away from the bear.
More bear information and safety tips are available at www.ct.gov/deep/blackbear.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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A bear chased two people in Granby on Monday afternoon.
Shelton police have arrested a 57-year-old youth hockey coach who is accused of stalking an 18-year-old waitress.
Police said they received a complaint on March 21 reporting that Kim Lariccia, 57, of Milford, went into a restaurant on River Road in Shelton and “obsessively watched” the 18-year-old waitress for around four hours, eventually passed her a note that asked if she wanted to go for a ride, then later followed her after she finished her shift, police said.
The waitress was alarmed about Lariccia following her, so she called her boyfriend and met him at a local parking lot.
That’s when Lariccia fled, but he returned to the River Road restaurant the next day and continued to watch the teen, police said.
He eventually left the restaurant, but the waitress was able to get his license plate number and forwarded it to police, according to a news release from police.
Lariccia was charged with third-degree stalking, second-degree breach of peace and interfering with an officer.
During their investigation, the Shelton Police Department Detective Division discovered that Lariccia is a youth hockey coach.
He was released after posting a $15,000 bond and is scheduled to appear at Derby Superior Court on May 18.
Photo Credit: Shelton Police
Kim Lariccia is accused of stalking an 18-year-old waitress.
Boston Post Road was closed briefly in West Haven after the owner of an antique store found a mortar at the shop Tuesday afternoon, according to police.
Police said the owner of Atlantis Antiques on 1004 Boston Post Road contacted authorities shortly after 4 p.m. to report the discovery.
West Haven police and New Haven police explosive technicians responded to the store and removed the mortar to be destroyed, according to police.
The road was closed between Tuthill and Jaffrey streets and drivers were asked to avoid the area due to heavy traffic. Police have since reopened Boston Post Road and said the area is safe.
A mystery that appeared to involve an unfortunate lottery winner who walked away from a Southern California gas station with just $75 after handing over a $75,000 scratcher took a turn this week.
The man caught on store surveillance camera video that was circulated during the weekend was really an undercover lottery agent with a decoy ticket. The man handed over the card at about 4:15 p.m. on March 25 at a Chevron station in Palmdale as part of a compliance check.
The cashier who was working at that time claimed to have been unaware how much the ticket was worth and handed over just $75, the store's manager Shamsun Nahar Islam said. Islam claims they only realized the ticket was worth $75,000 after the undercover agent left.
She said she realized the mistake and contacted the California State Lottery.
Video and photos were circulated during the weekend in what Islam said was an attempt to identify the man, turning what was a regular compliance check into an unusual situation for lottery officials. On Monday, the agency identified the man in the video as a compliance investigator.
"This is an odd situation," Russ Lopez, a deputy director with the state lottery, told the Los Angeles Times. "We don't want the public looking for a winner that doesn't exist."
A lottery spokesman said it appears the store kept the decoy ticket for 40 days before contacting the lottery, though they did not try to cash the ticket. Investigators are still attempting to determine whether the clerk's actions were accidental or deliberate.
A receipt with a scanned lottery ticket's value is required to be provided to a winner, according to lottery rules. But no receipt was provided in this case, according to the Times.
Photo Credit: David Gregory/Palmdale Chevron Station
A man who claimed a $75 lotto prize at a Palmdale gas station, but who should have received $75,000, was actually an undercover agent
Police have arrested the man accused of threatening staff at a Norwich elementary school after his car was towed from the parking lot Tuesday afternoon, prompting a lock down and police presence.
According to police, John Kornilief, 56, of Norwich, entered the Mahan School at 94 Salem Turnpike around 3:15 p.m. Tuesday and complained to school officials that his car had been towed from the lot.
Police said Kornilief threatened school personnel and refused to leave, prompting the school to go into a lockdown. Officers responded to the school and arrested Kornilief.
Kornilief was charged with second-degree breach of peace, second-degree threatening and first-degree criminal trespass.
He was released on $5,000 bond and is due in court May 14.
State police are investigating after a shooting incident in Norwich.
Each day, runners in gyms and homes across the country turn to the treadmill to improve their physical fitness. But even the most well-intentioned workouts on the popular machines can have serious, and sometimes deadly, results.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 24,400 injuries associated with treadmills were treated in emergency rooms in 2014. And at least 30 people were killed in accidents related to treadmills in the 10-year period that spanned 2003-2012, the CPSC reported, an average of three treadmill deaths per year.
The potential dangers returned to the spotlight this month, with news that tech executive David Goldberg, husband to Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, was found dead from severe head trauma next to a treadmill while vacationing in Mexico. A Mexican official told The Associated Press that the Survey Monkey CEO apparently slipped on the machine and fell.
Major factors that contribute to treadmill injuries include whether the user is distracted, what they’re wearing and whether they understand how to properly use the equipment, said Dr. Laura Miele-Pascoe, an expert in sport and recreation and injury prevention. Still, Miele-Pascoe and other health and fitness experts stress that following easy steps can help exercisers stay safe while working out.
One top safety rule that users can follow is to stand on foot rails before turning on the treadmill, Miele-Pascoe said. Safety clips and lanyards are attached to many treadmills, offering support. If a user steps on a moving treadmill they can easily lose balance and “receive a significant injury.”
“People don’t look down,” she said. “Sometimes treadmills are left on and [people are] trying to engage their mp3 player and they step on to a treadmill as opposed to straddling and they step on the moving treadmill.”
Televisions, music players and phones are also big causes for injuries, Miele-Pascoe said. It’s important that a user sets up their music or television before beginning their workout.
“Unfortunately a lot of people press start before they turn the monitor on,” she said. The results are usually bad shoulder injuries, facial and skin burns, and chipped, broken or lost teeth.
Miele-Pascoe also advises users to consider their clothing before going for a run. Avoid loose garments and slip-on sneakers and check to make sure your shoes are tied.
Lastly, Miele-Pascoe stressed the importance of following the manufacture’s recommendations. Facility operators should post signage that informs users of how equipment should be used and remain available in case users need assistance or find themselves in trouble.
Both gym operators and private treadmill owners should also make sure children do not have unsupervised access to the powerful machines. The danger the equipment can pose to children made headlines in 2009, when the 4-year-old daughter of boxer Mike Tyson died of injuries sustained when she choked on a treadmill cord.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Westend61
File photo: Man running on treadmill.
Volunteers with Habitat For Humanity are working hard to give three Hartford families a new home, and an all-female crew took over the work Tuesday as part of Women Build Week.
Work on the soon-to-be homes in Hartford are in the final stages of construction. One home is located on Enfield Street and the other two are on Garden Street. Today, women took over the work site.
"This is the first time. You know, never used one of these before and now I can do it! It’s so cool," said Wendy Steel with iHeartRadio.
Steel was one of the dozens of women who came out to help build the homes, along with Community Renewal Team Incorporated and Westminster Church. It’s all part of Women Build Week.
"They learn everything from sheet rocking, how to use a drill, how to use a saw, painting, some other cool sheet rock tricks, how you can frame something in," said Karraine Moody, executive director of the Greater Hartford Habitat for Humanity.
Beyond what they’re learning, the women say it’s why they’re working that makes it all worth it: building three families their forever homes.
"To think that some people don’t have that, I feel bad about that, so if I can help build a home for somebody that may not be able to do that? That’s just awesome," said Steel.
The families aren’t just getting these homes, they’re helping build them, too, by putting in about 300 hours of sweat equity, along with taking 50 hours of courses to learn how to be a homeowner.
While the families were not on site Tuesday morning because of work schedules, Habitat officials say they’ve been hard at work and are beyond grateful for the community’s support. The homes are scheduled to be done by this June.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still shared a photo on Instagram of his daughter preparing for a stem cell transplant on Tuesday, the latest update on Leah's condition since she was diagnosed with cancer last June.
The 4-year-old's cancer has been in remission for over a month but, according to Still's post, Leah needs the stem cell transplant to beat off any cancerous cells that might still be hiding in her body.
In the Instagram photo, Leah, who turns five on Wednesday, is pictured sitting on a hospital bed in a pink dress with her fists raised in the air, ready for the latest round in her fight with the disease.
"It's a very serious, scary and long treatment but it is a step in the right direction," Still said of process, which can take four to six weeks. "I'm definitely nervous about this because of the unknown of how her body will react and all the risk that come with the procedure but as you can see Leah is ready and I will gain my strength through her like I have since the beginning. Please send up a prayer for her!"
On March 25, Still announced Leah's stage four neuroblastoma cancer was in remission. He has continued to post updates on Leah’s progress using the hashtags #LeahStrong and #BeatCancer.
In an Instagram post five days ago, Still said Leah was sad about spending her fifth birthday in the hospital at first but then told him, "That’s ok! Can we just have cake and balloons in my room?'”
Instead the football player surprised his daughter with a weekend trip to her favorite place, Disney World.
“Although her only wish was for cake and balloons I couldn't let my baby celebrate her bday like that,” he wrote in the post.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
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NFL player Devon Still (L) and daughter, prepare backstage at the Nike Levi's Kids fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015 at The Salon at Lincoln Center on February 12, 2015 in New York City.
Backed by law enforcement and officials from some of Connecticut's biggest cities and towns, Gov. Dannel Malloy renewed his push to allow for more second chances for nonviolent offenders.
"I think ultimately what we’re trying to do in Connecticut is get it right and move away from a system that assumes mass incarceration, that we can incarcerate our problems as opposed to deal with them," Malloy said at a news conference Tuesday.
Malloy's proposal in the legislature includes getting rid of some mandatory minimum sentences and restructuring part of the judicial system aimed at improving conditions for convicts who will soon re-enter society.
He's said on several occasions and reiterated his argument Tuesday that Connecticut and other states spent too much time in the 1980s and '90s building new prisons instead of schools and community centers.
"There is a realization that we went too far and going too far is really, really expensive and delivers really, really bad results," Malloy said.
With recent violence in Baltimore sparked mainly by high school students, Malloy said his conversations with juvenile inmates have included ways to keep them out of trouble in crime-heavy urban neighborhoods.
They told the governor that jobs are a requirement.
"Three of the guys mentioned jobs to me, that it’s really hard under the best of circumstances to find a job," Malloy said. "One guy made a very salient point that the jobs we’re supposed to have as young people, adults have now."
New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman, who's been a prosecutor in addition to a chief, said he thinks the plan is on the right track toward improving outcomes once inmates re-enter society.
"I think we’re learning from our mistakes which means we made them," he said.
Esserman added that it only makes sense to provide programs to make sure that the recently released become functioning members of society.
"I’m in a state where crime goes down every year, where violent crime goes down every year and yet we have less inmates every year. That makes sense to me," Esserman said.
State officials are warning residents of the dangers of synthetic marijuana after a tainted batch sent a dozen people to the hospital in Willimantic.
"Synthetic marijuana is a designer drug that does not contain marijuana, but rather contains any of a variety of plants sprayed with laboratory-produced chemicals that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana," officials with the state health department explained in a news release Tuesday.
Although synthetic marijuana has been banned in Connecticut since 2012, some users have been unterred.
State officials said they've recently seen an increase in reports of adverse reactions, including anxiety attacks, nervousness, a fast heartbeat, increased blood pressure, tremors, vomiting, hallucinations and seizures.
Police in Willimantic issued a separate warning Tuesday morning after tainted K2, of synthetic marijuana, sent a dozen people to the hospital over a span of 24 hours. Authorities said users displayed psychotic behavior and extremely high body temperatures and blood pressure.
Willimantic police believe the drug may have been laced with another substance.
"Synthetic marijuana is formulated with known and unknown chemicals, some of which are suspected to be extremely hazardous to health," Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Commissioner Miriam Delphin- Rittmon said in a statement Tuesday. "DMHAS will coordinate with other state agencies and poison control to evaluate additional steps that can be taken to address this issue. DMHAS will continue to educate communities in an effort to curb the use of illegal drugs."
Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen said syntethic marijuana products "are not harmless and can cause severe illness."
If someone you know is having a reaction to synthetic marijuana, call your physician and local poison control center right away at 800-222-1222. Call 911 if someone collapses, stops breathing or has a seizure.
Photo Credit: Washington Post/Getty Images
A pouch of dried herbal potpourri being called "synthetic marijuana", photographed at The Washington Post via Getty Images in Washington, DC on July 7, 2010.
The 125-year-old Waterbury Hospital will soon be in the hands of a California-based company after the hospital's board voted to sign a a letter of intent with the company last Friday.
"This deal is simple," said Waterbury Hospital CEO Darlene Stromstad during an interview Tuesday. "It’s about Waterbury Hospital, and we think we can get it over the regulatory environment."
Waterbury Hospital, which employes 2,000 and has a budget of $270 million, had been exploring potential financial partners and buyers since 2012. Los Angeles company Prospect Medical Holdings had been a suitor back then.
A deal with Texas-based Tenet Healthcare fell through in December. Tenet had planned to purchase Waterbury Hospital and several other Connecticut facilities, including Manchester Memorial, Bristol Hospital and nearby Saint Mary's Hospital in Waterbury.
The company dropped the deal following disagreements with members of the Connecticut General Assembly and hospital regulators over rules for the purchase.
Prospect executives don't foresee such issues.
"Complexity is the danger to any deal," said Tom Reardon, the president of Prospect East, the company's East Coast operations. "Furthermore, we’ve met with legislators, we’ve met with the governor’s office, we’ve met with the AG and we think Connecticut is open for business."
Prospect Medical Holdings runs hospitals in California, Texas and Rhode Island. Waterbury Hospital will be its first facility in Connecticut. Reardon wouldn't rule out the possibility that other Connecticut facilities could soon follow.
"We have agreed to make this a one hospital deal. We are talking to other hospitals. There could be others down the line," he said. "We’re going to go forward with Waterbury, assuming we have regulatory approval regardless of some of the other properties."
Gov. Dannel Malloy previously said that he thought Waterbury could no longer support more than one hospital. Today, he said if Waterbury wants to pursue a new deal that its board feels is a good idea, then it's up to the hospital, even after the failed negotiations with Tenet.
"I don’t think it was struck in round one of the Certificate of Need process. I think it could have been struck in round two but Tenet blew it up," Malloy said.
Reardon said Waterbury has a combination of low costs and high quality services, which is what the company looks for in new properties. Prospect also owns hospitals in Texas and California.
Reardon said the company is prepared to sit at the table with Connecticut regulators to make sure the deal is completed.
"We understand that the state has needs and needs appropriate answers and we’re prepared to work through those issues," Reardon said.
Any deal could take between six and 12 months to finalize before Prospect assumes control.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
A suspect led a state police trooper on a car chase that turned into a foot pursuit and ended in the area of the East Brook Mall in Mansfield on Tuesday afternoon, according state police spokesman Sgt. Shane Hassett.
Police said the suspect has been taken into custody and police are still at the scene. It's not clear what the person is accused of doing.
Witnesses said the suspect ran into the woods and was arrested in the parking lot of the East Brook Mall on Route 195/Storrs Road.
No additional information was immediately available.
Check back for updates on this developing story.
Photo Credit: Alex Mory