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    Route 9 in Cromwell is closed after a crash involving a tractor-trailer and two cars and state police said there might be life-threatening injuries. 

    The crash happened around 6:43 a.m. on the northbound side of the highway near exit 18 and the backups extend into Middletown. The highway is closed between exits 18 and 19.

    Both sides of the highway are now closed.

    No additional information was immediately available.

    Check back for updates.




    Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

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    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Hammonasset BeachHammonasset Beach in Madison is open.Hammonasset BeachHammonasset Beach in Madison is open.

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    New Britain police have arrested a 74-year-old man who is accused of killing his 18-year-old daughter in 1995.

    Robert Honsch is accused of killing his daughter, Elizabeth Honsch, whose body was located wrapped in a sleeping bag and plastic trash bags behind 589 Hartford Road on Sept. 28 of that year.

    The body of her mother, 53-year-old Marcia Honsch, was found eight days later, 40 miles away near the entrance to a state park in Tolland, Massachusetts. She had been shot in the head and had been dead for a week when her body was discovered, according to police.

    The family lived in Brewster, New York around the time the two women died.

    The mother and daughter were found without any identifying information and were known publicly only as Jane Doe until 2014.

    Police said Robert Honsch had moved to Dalton, Ohio, and was living under the name Tyree Honsch.  He was arrested there in 2014. 

    Robert Honsch was found guilty in Massachusetts in 2017 of first-degree murder of Marcia Honsch and is currently serving his sentence there.

    He has been charged with murder in connection with his daughter’s death and was extradited to Connecticut today to appear on the New Britain charge.

    Honsch is being held on a court-set $1 million bond and police said the warrant in the case is sealed.

    The defense has said Robert Honsch had nothing to do with the deaths of Marcia and Elizabeth Honsch. 



    Photo Credit: New Britain Police

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    A metal bracelet with a simple inscription brought three women to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

    Marianne Horn, of Connecticut, says she has no connection to the war -- aside from the bracelet she received 46 years ago. It has the name of Lt. Commander Dennis Pike.

    "When I was about 7 or 8 years old my mother brought home the bracelet for me and I wore it and kept it for life," Horn said.

    She said her mother gave her the bracelet to honor the POWs and MIA service members of the Vietnam War. The bracelets were sold during the war, letting strangers show support for captured and missing troops, NBC DFW previously reported.

    Over the years, Horn tried to find Pike's family. On Memorial Day this year, Horn did some searching online and came across a story on nbcdfw.com.

    There it was.

    Pike's family lived nearly 2,000 miles away in Texas. The story was about his daughter, Shannon Spake, and how she has never given up on finding out what happened to her father who has been missing in action since March 23, 1972.

    The station connected Horn and Spake by phone and the two women quickly made plans to meet in Washington, D.C.

    They met on Wednesday, along with Spake's mother, Lou Ann Pike.

    "The only thing I really remember is his singing voice and the smell of Old Spice," Spake said of her father. 

    She was just 2 years old when he disappeared, but says he always lived on through her mother, who would tell her children stories about their dad.

    "He flew 132 combat missions," Lou Ann Pike said.

    Pike was forced to eject from a plane during a bombing run over Laos on March 23, 1972.

    He "went down with plane problems and the ejection seat did not work," Pike said.

    His family spent years hoping that he’d return, praying for closure and working to make sure people remember the names that are on the Vietnam memorial wall.

    "There’s a void having stories that people tell you about your dad and knowing that he was a kind man and a very much devoted family man -- that if I were to be missing, he would never give up on me," Spake said.

    Spake, Pike and Horn walked to the memorial and found Lt. Commander Pike's name on the wall.

    They then prayed together and honored the life of the American hero who is missing, but will never be forgotten.

    "Dad if you can hear me, help us find you and bring you home. Amen."



    Photo Credit: NBC Washington

    Marianne Horn has kept this bracelet for 46 years.Marianne Horn has kept this bracelet for 46 years.

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    President Donald Trump promised the crowd at a campaign-style rally in Duluth, Minnesota, Wednesday night that a border wall will soon be fully funded. The rally came hours after Trump signed an executive order temporarily halting family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border.


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    An East Windsor town official is accused of assaulting an elderly man, according to East Windsor police.

    In a post on the department's Facebook page, police said they responded to a call from an elderly victim who claimed he was attacked by Deputy Selectman Steve Dearborn. Investigators determined the assault had occurred, and arrested Dearborn.

    Dearborn was released on a $5000 bond. He is due in court on July 3.

    More details were not immediately available.




    Photo Credit: East Windsor Police Department

    Steve DearbornSteve Dearborn

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    The National Park Service has approved an application for the group behind the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville to host a one-year anniversary rally near the White House in August.

    Organizers of the 2017 Unite the Right rally want to host the event in Lafayette Square Park on Aug. 11 and 12. About 400 people are expected to participate, according to the application filed on May 8.

    Jason Kessler, the organizer of the rally, wrote on the application that the purpose of the event was to protest the “civil rights abuse” in Charlottesville, and host a “white civil rights” rally.

    The rally would be held exactly a year after a driver plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others.

    Kessler had submitted a permit application in December to host the anniversary rally in Charlottesville, however, the city rejected it, saying the event would present a danger to public safety. Kessler has filed a lawsuit against the city over its denial.

    He stated in the application for the D.C. rally that he expects members of Antifa-affiliated groups to protest.

    Antifa, which stands for “anti-fascist,” is an organized group of protesters, left-wing activists and self-described anarchists to confront those who support bigoted or totalitarian views.

    Kessler wrote in the application that attendees would meet at a rally point and march to Lafayette to give speeches. After, the group would march back to the rally point alongside law enforcement.

    While the application has been approved, a permit has not been issued.

    James Fields, the driver accused in the 2017 attack, faces 10 felony counts, including first-degree murder.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" clash with counter-protesters as they enter Emancipation Park during the "Unite the Right" rally on August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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    Bristol police have arrested a man accused of stabbing a woman in the neck.

    Police said on Saturday morning they received a 911 call reporting a woman was injured on Landry Street near Divinity Street

    When police arrived, they say they found a woman bleeding from a knife wound on her neck. The woman was transported to the hospital and recovering.

    Through investigation, Police obtained an arrest warrant for 29-year-old Christopher Howard. Howard was located in Waterbury Wednesday and arrested.

    He is charged with first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful restraint.

    He was held on a court-set bond of $500,000.



    Photo Credit: Bristol Police

    Christopher Howard (inset)Christopher Howard (inset)

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    A Waterbury school community is mourning the death of one of their teachers after a boating accident in New Fairfield.

    Wanda Tirado, a mother of two and a teacher at St. Mary’s School, was described as a shining light in her school community.

    Tirado suffered fatal injuries Tuesday when she was struck by an alleged hit-and-run boater while she was swimming in Candlewood Lake in New Fairfield.

    On Wednesday the St. Mary’s community gathered at the Basilica of The Immaculate Conception to hold a prayer service for Tirado.

    “The last day has just been sad,” said St. Mary’s School Principal Jonathan DeRosa. “I think everyone is sort of pinching themselves right now wondering if this is real.”

    Many who knew and loved Tirado came together to pray in her memory hours after her death.

    “She was the energy of our school, honestly. No matter what was going on, she came there with a smile,” DeRosa said.

    The rector of the parish where Tirado taught said the community is struggling to make sense of her death and relying on each other in their time of grief.

    “You just got to hold on. There’s nothing else you can do. But through love, through our relationships, that’s where we experience the healing,” said Father Christopher of the Basilica of The Immaculate Conception.

    Police arrested 65-year-old Gary Morrone in connection with the deadly incident. Right now, a lot of people said they don’t understand why Tirado was taken away, but they’re helping each other to remember her life and get through this time of tragedy.

    “We know that this doesn’t make sense right now, but that Ms. Tirado loved them all very much and that we’re all in this together and that we as a community are gonna support each other and get each other’s backs,” DeRosa said.

    Morrone was released on a $10,000 bond. He is due in court on July 3. Information on funeral arrangements for Wanda Tirado has not yet been released.



    Photo Credit: Contributed/NBC Connecticut

    Members of Waterbury's St. Mary's School community gathered to mourn Wanda Tirado (inset), a teacher killed in a water accident on Candlewood Lake in New Fairfield Tuesday.Members of Waterbury's St. Mary's School community gathered to mourn Wanda Tirado (inset), a teacher killed in a water accident on Candlewood Lake in New Fairfield Tuesday.

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    The University of Connecticut has released hundreds of pages of documents pertaining to the university’s investigation and subsequent firing of former head men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie over alleged NCAA violations.

    The 1,355 pages, released in response to a Freedom of Information Request, detail NCAA recruiting violations ranging from players working with an outside trainer, Ollie shooting basket with a potential recruit during an official visit, and more.

    Ollie, who was fired in March, has been fighting his termination.

    It does not appear the school is alleging that type of violations the NCAA considers most serious like academic fraud or financial improprieties.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    STORRS, CT - NOVEMBER 14: Former Head coach Kevin Ollie of the Connecticut Huskies yells to his team in the first half against the Byrant Bulldogs during the game at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion on November 14, 2014 in Storrs, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)STORRS, CT - NOVEMBER 14: Former Head coach Kevin Ollie of the Connecticut Huskies yells to his team in the first half against the Byrant Bulldogs during the game at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion on November 14, 2014 in Storrs, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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    The Department of Defense said Wednesday night that 21 military lawyers are being sent to Arizona, Texas and New Mexico to help prosecute illegal immigration cases, NBC News reported

    The lawyers will be appointed as full-time special assistant United States attorneys for up to 179 days, or about six months. They are to have "criminal trial experience." Emails obtained by MSNBC appear to show the Justice Department sought applicants "while we staff up" with permanent U.S. attorneys. 

    The military lawyers will be given basic training in immigration law and federal criminal procedure to assist regular federal prosecutors in Yuma, Arizona; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and El Paso, Del Rio, Laredo and McAllen in Texas.



    Photo Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images, File

    In this Nov. 28, 2016, file photo, the seal of the US Department of Defense is seen at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.In this Nov. 28, 2016, file photo, the seal of the US Department of Defense is seen at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

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    Several high-profile data and technology companies have been profiting off of contracts with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency for the last several months, NBC News reported

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Thomson Reuters, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions and Palantir all have active contracts with ICE, according to a public records search conducted. Their contracts show how many tech companies are putting their innovations to use with the U.S. government in ways that are not often visible to the public. 

    Palantir, for example, has a $39 million contract with the agency that began in 2015. Thomson Reuters Special Services, a subsidiary of the mass-media firm and news agency Thomson Reuters, signed a $6.8 million contract with ICE in March. Palantir did not respond to a request for comment from NBC. 

    A spokesperson for Thomson Reuters said in a statement, "[Thomson Reuters Special Services] supplies data to ICE in support of its work on active criminal investigations with the explicit purpose to focus resources on priority cases involving threats to public safety and/or national security."



    Photo Credit: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post/Getty Images, File

    In this May 11, 2017, file photo, a law enforcement officer walks past the ICE logo ahead of a press conference at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Washington, DC.In this May 11, 2017, file photo, a law enforcement officer walks past the ICE logo ahead of a press conference at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Washington, DC.

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    Immigrant advocates applauded President Trump’s decision on Wednesday to end the separation of migrant families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally but fear a return to long detentions while the families’ appeals for asylum are decided.

    “We’re going to go from family separation, which is a terrible practice and we shouldn’t be doing it, but we’re going to go back to longtime family detention, which is just as abhorrent a practice,” said Jacquelyn Kline, a lawyer who has represented parents and children being held at Berks County Residential Center in Leesport, Pennsylvania.

    Outrage over the images and sounds of small children removed from their parents, crying on their own behind chain-link fences, forced Trump to reverse his policy, but warnings from advocates about the medical, physical and emotional damage of long detentions have not gotten the same response, she said.

    “There hasn’t been as much of the same outcry,” Kline said.

    A number of court rulings require that migrant children be released from the custody of government officials. Under the 1997 settlement of a class-action lawsuit, the Flores settlement, officials must turn over children who crossed the border unaccompanied to parents or other relatives — or if that is not possible to the “least restrictive” setting. A federal judge in Los Angeles in 2015 added those protections to children caught with their parents.

    Meanwhile the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act guarantees deportation hearings for child migrants not from Mexico or Canada and without relatives in the United States.

    Families with children are held in three centers in the United States — Berks County Residential Center, Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas, and South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.

    The Los Angeles judge, Dolly Gee of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, also found that the Texas detention centers violated the Flores settlement, which required that the facilities be licensed to take care of children and not be secured or prison-like.

    Advocates have opposed licensing for all three centers and at the end of 2016, a Texas judge found licenses for the two Texas facilities to be invalid. The decision was appealed. Meanwhile the Berks County Residential Center failed to receive a renewal of its license, though it continues to hold families while officials there also appeal, Kline said. And all three are secured facilities, she said.

    The executive order signed by Trump on Wednesday does not reverse the “zero tolerance” policy that prompted the chaos — the decision to charge all people entering the country illegally, typically with a misdemeanor. As adults were placed in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, children were sent to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services.

    Now instead of removing children from their parents while they are prosecuted, the Trump administration will keep the families together, though it is not clear how it will not run afoul of the Flores’ settlement. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is directed to ask a federal court to modify the settlement’s prohibition against holding children in detention for longer than 20 days.

    Then there is the question of where the families will be held. Since the “zero tolerance” policy went into effect at the beginning of May, more than 2,300 children have been taken from their parents, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

    “There are not enough facilities in the United States,” Kline said.

    The executive order calls for the use of any existing facilities available for housing and the construction of new facilities if necessary.

    The American Civil Liberties Union, in a statement said that the crisis would end only when every child was reunited with his or her parent.

    “This executive order would replace one crisis for another,” said Anthony D. Romero, the executive director. “Children don’t belong in jail at all, even with their parents, under any set of circumstances. If the president thinks placing families in jail indefinitely is what people have been asking for, he is grossly mistaken.”



    Photo Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Protestors march against the separation of migrant children from their families on June 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, Calif.Protestors march against the separation of migrant children from their families on June 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, Calif.

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    The New Haven Board of Alders leadership has launched an investigation into the pay increases Mayor Toni Harp gave to 37 executive management and confidential non-union employees.

    “We’re shocked,” one alder who asked to remain anonymous said.

    According to the payroll records obtained by NBC Connecticut from a local government source, the pay increases range from as little as 2 percent to as high as almost 28 percent for an executive administrative assistant.

    “Wow, I didn’t know that, that’s too much,” New Haven resident Annette Lilly said.

    The top paid employee on the list is the city’s attorney who will now take home $161,250 followed by the city’s health director who will make $155,875.

    A majority of the raises for the 37 employees are 7.5 percent. Seven of the salary bumps are greater than $10,000.

    “Well, I think she shouldn’t have done that because our taxes went up so high that a lot of people can’t pay for their cars and everything,” said Lilly, who just her car tax bill in the mail. They did the wrong thing at the wrong time.”

    On Monday at the New Haven Fire Academy graduation, NBC Connecticut asked Harp how she could justify the raises following a big tax increase on the residents.

    “Well, one has nothing to do with the other,” Harp said. “I think it is fallacious to connect the two, our budget went up 1.5 percent, the tax increase has to do with revenues that we needed."

    Harp has told NBC Connecticut she proposed the 11 percent property tax increase, which the Board of Alders approved, in order to maintain city services while making up for less money from the state.

    The Board of Alders leadership released the following statement to NBC Connecticut:

    "In light of the unexpected increases of the Mayoral Executive Management and Confidential Employees that should have been communicated to the Board of Alders, the budgetary authority of the city pursuant to the Charter and the Code of Ordinances, we have begun a formal investigation. As a board we take our responsibility to our constituents very seriously and we will be taking appropriate steps based on our findings."

    On Monday, NBC Connecticut pressed Harp on why taxpayers might not be too pleased with the pay bumps for some of the city’s highest paid employees.

    “Well you know most taxpayers work in a position where they get a raise every year,” she said. “My executive staff, those who started with me haven’t gotten a raise in nearly five years, I don’t think they’d wait that long for a raise.”

    The City’s Economic Development Administrator Matthew Nemerson got a $9,000 raise even though he has been recently placed on administrative leave for three weeks.

    NBC Connecticut will keep you posted on the findings of the alders’ investigation.


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    Should Ansonia and Derby merge their school districts?

    That’s the question a new group is looking into, as both cities look to improve education and save money.

    Regionalization was an issue the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters investigated last month in their “At a Price” series.

    From those against Ansonia and Derby merging their school districts to those more open to the idea, there’s a lot of talk about consolidation in this area.

    “There’s a big rivalry between Ansonia and Derby. And I don’t think that it’s such a great idea,” said Lisa Lewis-Hoxha of Ansonia.

    “Maybe they should help each other, maybe they could work out a deal with helping each other,” said Richard Tracy of Ansonia.

    Even the Ansonia mayor is sporting a special hat with both cities represented.

    "I'm very excited. It's something I've been looking forward to doing for a very long time," said Mayor David Cassetti of Ansonia.

    On Wednesday, representatives from each community gathered for the first time to begin getting down to the details. Many see a possible merger as a way to meet current difficulties.

    “Whenever you talk about declining enrollment and rising costs and special education costs you get to a spot where it’s difficult to provide the education you want to your students,” said Jim Gildea, committee co-chair from Derby.

    In the past couple of months, Ansonia had found itself in the news battling over money and laying off staff. There is hope here that combining resources could improve education, including offering more AP courses, and save money for districts that are struggling right now.

    “I think certainly there are some challenges that we face. I also believe we have a fabulous opportunity at the moment to possibly enhance curriculum,” said John Izzo, committee co-chair from Ansonia.

    This new regional school committee is expected to hash out the idea over the next two years. Voters would still need to approve the merger before it could go forward.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Ansonia and Derby are looking into consolidating their school districts.Ansonia and Derby are looking into consolidating their school districts.

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    In honor of the first day of summer, Dunkin' Donuts is giving away free samples of their new Frozen Lemonade today.

    Guests can get the 3.5-ounce samples at participating locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. while supplies last.

    Dunkin' Donuts says their Frozen Lemonade is available in two flavors, original and strawberry, both of which are made with real fruit juice.

    The company introduced the drink last month and plans to serve it through the summer.




    Photo Credit: Dunkin' Donuts

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    Friendly reminder: don't leave food in your vehicle if you're paying a visit to Lake Tahoe.

    That's the message the Placer County Sheriff's Department is sharing after they recently came across a bear rummaging through a Subaru Outback in the Carnelian Bay community next to Lake Tahoe.

    Unfortunately for the owner of the car, the interior "didn’t fare very well," according to the sheriff's department.


    The bear damaged the inside of the car to a point where the doors couldn't be unlocked, according to the sheriff's department.

    In the interest of safety, officials eventually decided to break one of the car's windows in order to free the trapped animal.

    Video footage captures a "brave" deputy smash the window and scurry away just before the bear stumbles out of the vehicle and bolts for the forest.




    Photo Credit: Placer County Sheriff's Department
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    A trapped bear jumps out of a car near Lake Tahoe.A trapped bear jumps out of a car near Lake Tahoe.

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    Willimantic police have arrested two suspects after a bank robbery Wednesday morning at the Liberty Bank on Main Street.

    The bank robbery was reported at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday and police said 44-year-old Michael Gola, of Plainville, robbed the bank and 49-year-old Robin Ayala, of Bristol, drove the red pickup they got away in.

    A Willimantic detective spotted a vehicle matching the description near Main and Ash streets and tried to stop it, but the driver fled toward Route 6 and the brief chase ended after the detective got the license plate number, police said.

    After state police stopped the truck on Route 6 in Coventry and detained Gola and Ayala, Willimantic police went to Coventry and arrested the two suspects.

    Police said they found the money and the clothing Gola was wearing during the robbery in the truck.

    No one was injured during the bank robbery and no weapon was shown, according to police.

    Gola, who was charged with fifth-degree larceny, second-degree robbery and breach of peace, is being held on a $250,000 bond.

    Ayala, who was charged with conspiracy to commit larceny in the fifth degree, conspiracy to commit robbery in the second degree and several motor vehicle offenses, is being held on $100,000 bond.

    Police are investigating with help from the FBI.



    Photo Credit: Stringr

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    New Haven police will hold a news conference today to provide details after an internal audit uncovered falsified reports by officers assigned to investigate candidates hoping to become police officers, according to a statement from police.

    In the wake of the audit, two New Haven police officers resigned and police put the next New Haven Police Academy class on hold.

    At 11:15 a.m., police will hold a news conference about the internal investigation.

    New Haven police said questions arose on May 15 during a review of reports on the candidates and an internal investigation revealed that two officers assigned to the specialized unit that investigates police officer candidates falsified some reports. The two officers each resigned from the department.

    The department’s Internal Affairs Division and Investigate Service Division is now reviewing each candidate’s file, police said.

    “At this point, it seems unlikely the candidacy of any applicant or finalist was influenced,” police said in a statement.

    Due to the investigation, the New Haven Police Academy class that was scheduled to begin on June 25 has been postponed. Police estimate a delay of about one month.

    “I am truly disappointed,” Chief Anthony Campbell wrote in a statement. “The process involved in an applicant’s investigation should be the last that needs to be investigated. It is clear we must review our procedures regarding this matter. Our community must be able to trust that the process is an honorable one and conducted by women and men with great integrity.”

    The New Haven Police Department has contacted the State’s Attorney’s office about the officers’ actions.

    Mayor Toni Harp's office declined to comment on the open investigation.

    The news conference will be at police headquarters.





    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Route 118 East in Harwinton is closed after a tractor-trailer went off the road. 

    The incident happened around 9:30 a.m. and no one was injured.



    Photo Credit: Stringr

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    Imagine driving down the highway and seeing an entire classroom worth of furniture alongside you.

    That's pretty much what happened Wednesday in Springfield, Massachusetts.

    State police shared several photos on Facebook of a pickup truck they pulled over on Interstate 91 for exceeding the limit for what you can safely carry in a vehicle. The pickup was filled with what looked like several file cabinets, more than a dozen chairs, a desk and more.


    The driver was cited for violating Massachusetts laws governing unsecured and uncovered loads.

    "Please remember, when traveling with a load in a vehicle, take a look at it and before taking to the roads, ask yourself, 'What could go wrong?'" state police said.



    Photo Credit: Massachusetts State Police
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    Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    First lady Melania Trump participates in a round table discussion with doctors and social workers at the Upbring New Hope Children's Center operated by Lutheran Social Services of the South and contracted with the Department of Health and Human Services June 21, 2018, in McAllen, Texas.First lady Melania Trump participates in a round table discussion with doctors and social workers at the Upbring New Hope Children's Center operated by Lutheran Social Services of the South and contracted with the Department of Health and Human Services June 21, 2018, in McAllen, Texas.

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    Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark Ojakian presented a new consolidation plan to the Board of Regents this morning and the board has unanimously endorsed it.

    The “Students First” plan calls for consolidating all 12 community colleges in Connecticut into one accredited institution by 2023. Each of the 12 campuses would remain open and the plan is expected to save $17 million when fully implemented.

    Ojakian's last plan drew sharp criticism from faculty members and students and was most recently rejected by the Regional Accreditation Commission in April.

    Ojakian said the biggest difference with the new plan is the extended timeline. He wants to slowly phase in the changes over the next five years, with the goal of having one single accredited institution by 2023.

    "What we're trying to do is lay the foundation and act like one college before we actually become one college in 2023," Ojakian said.

    CCSU officials said the plan will move forward immediately.

    The first change students would see is through the application process.

    It will be one application for all 12 community colleges, as well as one website. It will be the same process for any student enrolling in classes or applying for financial aid. Ojakian said students will have the same experience, if not better when they need help.

    “We’ll be able to devote more resources to things like student advisors, student success centers, student tutoring centers that will allow students to not only enroll in school, but stay in school and complete in a timely way,” said Ojakian.

    Under the new plan, CSCU would hire three regional presidents in spring 2019 and keep the department chairs in place instead of eliminating them.

    Over the next five years, committee approval would be needed for the new academic curriculum and any new positions that are created.

    Tunxis and Asnuntuck Community Colleges are testing the waters by consolidating leadership and back office operations.

    “Everything that I see in having lived it for a year now between two institutions and saving nearly a million dollars in already shared services between my two schools, I see it as a positive,” James Lombella, president of Tunxis and Asnuntuck Community College, said.

    President Ojakian said they would move forward with the consolidation plan and revisit the single accreditation proposal with the Regional Accreditation Commission closer to 2023.







    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    New Haven police and the Newtown Foundation are hosting a Gun Buy-Back event on Saturday, June 23.

    The event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the New Haven Police Academy.

    According to the New Haven Police Department, the goal of the Gun Buy-back is to make New Haven safer by taking dangerous weapons off the streets and potentially out of the hands of those who perpetrate crimes.

    The New Haven police and the Newtown Foundation are partnering up with the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of New Haven and Yale-New Haven Hospital's Injury Prevention Program. This event takes place five and a half years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

    The Buy-Back will provide gift cards to those who turn in any working firearm. The price of the gift card depends on the type of gun.

    • $25 - Single and double-shot (Derringer style) Handguns
    • $50 - Rifles and Shotguns
    • $100 - Pistol and Revolver Handguns
    • $200 - Assault Weapons (to be determined by New Haven Police Department) 

    Guns must be delivered unloaded in a clear plastic bag. Any ammunition must be brought in a separate bag, according to police.

    No questions will be asked and no identification is required. All individuals will remain anonymous.

    The New Haven police encourage you to help keep the community safe by keeping guns out of the wrong hands.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    DMV services at the AAA in Manchester will be temporarily unavailable this weekend.

    Services won't be available starting Saturday, June 23 through Monday, June 25.

    The licensing center, which is expanding, must temporarily close during construction.

    Licensing services for AAA members and non-members will be available at AAA stores in West Hartford, Enfield, Avon, Cromwell, Old Saybrook and Waterford.

    The DMV services at the Manchester location are expected to resume on Tuesday.

    Further information will be updated on Twitter @AAAHartfordNews.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Norwich police are investigating after a man’s body was found in the area of Yantic River Falls Thursday.

    Police said the death does not appear to be foul play, but the investigation is ongoing.

    The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and Norwich police are investigating.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact the Norwich Police Department Detective Division at 860-886-5561 ext. 3199.


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    A group of passengers onboard the Southwest jet that was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia after an engine exploded are suing the airline, claiming severe emotional distress and seeking unspecified damages.

    The lawsuit filed Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court also names the Boeing Company, GE Aviation Systems LLC, Safran USA Inc. and CFM International Inc. as defendants.

    In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs, which includes seven passengers and the husband of a woman on Flight 1380, allege to have suffered "severe mental, emotional and psychological injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder, and physical injuries" as a direct result of the "frightful, death threatening" incident.

    The Southwest flight was heading from New York to Dallas on April 17 when one of the engines on the Boeing 737 exploded at 30,000 feet.

    Part of the engine struck a window, shattering it and causing a partial loss of pressure that led to 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, being partially sucked out. The Wells Fargo Bank executive died later.

    Passengers Cindy Arenas, Jaky Alyssa Arenas, Jiny Alexa Arenas, Elhadji Cisse, Donald Kirkland, Beverly Kirkland, Connor Brown and Cassandra Adams said they "were confronted with their greatest fear, the overwhelming horror of being trapped in a plane about to crash."

    Joe Arenas, the husband of passenger Cindy Arenas, was not onboard the flight, but is a plaintiff in the lawsuit, alleging to have "suffered the loss of consortium of his wife…due to the devastating impact upon their marital relationship," according to court documents.

    Riordan's family is not part of the lawsuit.

    A preliminary finding by the National Transportation Safety Board showed one of the plane's engine blades snapped due to metal fatigue.

    The lawsuit alleges the Dallas-based carrier failed to reasonably monitor and maintain the failed engine that caused the incident.

    Southwest Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The lawsuit was filed the same the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inspector General Office announced an audit of the Federal Aviation Administration’s safety oversight of Southwest Airlines. Matthew E. Hampton, assistant inspector general for aviation audits, wrote in a letter announcing that audit that the agency has received a complaint about "alleged pilot training deficiencies," and other "operational issues" at the low-cost carrier.

    "We are concerned whether FAA’s oversight includes an assessment of the carrier’s ability to identify hazards and analyze and mitigate risks," Hampton wrote.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

    A Southwest Airlines flight headed for Dallas with 148 people on board made an emergency landing at Philadelphia Tuesday after a major problem with an engine broke a window in the cabin and caused the plane to depressurize. (Published April 17, 2018)A Southwest Airlines flight headed for Dallas with 148 people on board made an emergency landing at Philadelphia Tuesday after a major problem with an engine broke a window in the cabin and caused the plane to depressurize. (Published April 17, 2018)

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    After a series of car thefts and car burglaries, town officials in Manchester are considering an option they hope can curb the problem – a curfew for teenagers.

    Manchester police said locking your car and not leaving valuables inside is the best way to protect yourself from thieves. Still, authorities say a lot of people don't.

    On Thursday, 19-year-old Kyle Bolduc of Manchester stood before a judge. Police said he and a 17-year-old took police on a chase in a stolen vehicle. Investigators say it appears the car's owner left the key fob inside.

    Manchester police have responded to 20 cases of car thefts and 18 cases of car burglaries so far this June.

    "It's a huge problem. It's not just for Manchester but surrounding towns and the rest of the state," said Manchester Police Captain Chris Davis.

    But could a curfew curb the crime? It's an idea that Board of Directors Minority Leader Cheri Eckbreth wants to talk about.

    "I think it is a real safety issue to our community, and I'd like to see something happen between midnight and 5am. I think that's a reasonable time that minors should not be out without the accompaniment of a legal guardian or parent," said Eckbreth.

    Mayor Jay Moran said a curfew doesn't get to the heart of the problem. He thinks that if people are bold enough to break into cars and steal cars, they'll certainly be bold enough to break curfew.

    But Eckbreth argues that a curfew could be a useful tool for police.

    "It would give our police officers the opportunity to stop them before a crime happens, to notify their parents that they're out at those hours unaccompanied," said Eckbreth.

    The mayor said he'd rather focus on creating positive outlets for teens and that while he doesn't believe a curfew is the step to take, it is something he's open to discussing.

    "Maybe the curfew isn't the solution, but it's on the table. It's something certainly we can examine," said Eckbreth.


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    Wethersfield’s chief of police attempted to go on the defensive when it came to a report detailing racial profiling within his department.

    However, he found himself answering detailed, pointed questions about the practices of the department he’s run for years.

    “I don’t believe my officers are racists,” James Cetran told the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project Advisory Board at the Legislative Office Building. “They’re not stopping cars solely because of race or any other bias for that matter. They’re stopping cars for violations,” Cetran said.

    According to traffic stop provided to researchers at Central Connecticut State University, more than 47 percent of all traffic stops in 2015 were of minority drivers, while more than 52 percent were white drivers. Data shows that 87 percent of residents in Wethersfield are white.

    There were 4,490 traffic stops in 2015 in Wethersfield.

    Those statistics, coupled with details on the kinds of stops, ranging from moving violations to out headlights and overly tinted windows, painted an image of Wethersfield’s Police Department that was not flattering.

    “It really is about race and we need to talk about this and call it as it is because you know, this is something that’s affecting everything in America,” Dr. Cato Laurencin, a former Dean of the UConn School of Medicine who sits on the panel.

    Cetran provided multiple reasons for the conclusions of the data. First, he found the data to be flawed, arguing that the estimated driving population did not adequately account for out-of-town drivers. Second, he said the research doesn’t factor in the border with Hartford which leads to drivers from the capital city entering Wethersfield for the purposes of grocery and other shopping.

    “The fact is, a lot of the people who are driving in Wethersfield are from outside of Wethersfield and I was just trying to show that population around 160 Silas Deane Highway has a much higher Hispanic residency than if you just used Wethersfield alone.”

    Project Manager Ken Barone acknowledged the fact that Hartford’s more diverse population does lead to similar spikes in other nearby towns, but did say Wethersfield’s are higher than others.

    “We have tried to understand the impact Hartford is having on Wethersfield as Hartford has an impact on many of the surrounding communities. We saw the impact Hartford has had in West Hartford and in Bloomfield and in Windsor so Hartford is definitely having an impact on the driving population of its surrounding communities.”

    State Representative Robyn Porter questioned Cetran, asking, “What makes Wethersfield more unique than the other places that have these borders where your numbers are just extremely more high than the rest of these towns.”

    Cetran said, “All I’m saying is give us valid numbers so we can work with it. The way the numbers are stacked up using strictly population, it’s just not right.”



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Wetherfield's Chief of Police James Cetran defended his officers to the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project Advisory Board at the Legislative Office Building after a state report suggested racial bias in traffic stops.Wetherfield's Chief of Police James Cetran defended his officers to the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project Advisory Board at the Legislative Office Building after a state report suggested racial bias in traffic stops.

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    Emergency crews pulled a man from the water at Sylvan Lake in Watertown Thursday, according to fire officials.

    Crews were called to the area around 3:35 p.m. for a missing swimmer. Rescuers pulled the victim from the water after approximately 20 minutes of searching.

    Authorities said the person may have been under the water for approximately an hour.

    The man, believed to be in his early 20s, was taken to the hospital for treatment. His condition was not clear. 

    More information was not immediately available.




    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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    Rescue crews pulled a person from the water at Sylvan Lake in Watertown Thursday.Rescue crews pulled a person from the water at Sylvan Lake in Watertown Thursday.