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Shelton Man Charged in Wife's Murder Due in Court


A 53-year-old Shelton man who has been charged in the murder of his 52-year-old wife and mother of their four children will appear before a judge on Tuesday..

Thomas Infante is accused of killing Lisa Infante, his wife of 27 years, during an argument in their home on Sunday night.

The couple was estranged and in the process of going through a divorce, according to authorities.  

Authorities found Lisa after around 9:30 p.m. on Sundaywhen they responded to 7 Hickory Lane after receiving a call about a suspicious death.

Two of the couple's four children were home at the time of the shooting, police said.

Police then focused their search on the husband, Thomas Infante, who they said had fled the scene/

An alert issued for him on Monday afternoon said he was a person of interest in the case and should be considered armed and dangerous.

At 2:30 p.m., police said Thomas Infante had turned himself in to Shelton Police and was arrested, charged with murder and held on $500,000 bond. 

He will be arraigned in Derby Superior Court today.

Lisa Infante was a volunteer at Echo Hose Ambulance Corps, where bunting now hangs, a flag has been lowered to half staff and flowers have been placed out front.

Several EMTs attended the vigil on Monday night, including Chief Mike Chaffee of the Echo Hose Ambulance Corps.

“Lisa was a big part of our family. There’s a large hole in our heart right now," Chaffee said. "....You see people in their worst and best of times and you try to help them make sense of it. Right now we're kind of feeling that."

Those who knew her said she was an emergency medical technician for more than a decade. 

Photo Credit: Shelton Police and NBCConnecticut.com

Heavy Rain on the Way


The dry stretch of weather is over and flood watches are in effect as rain moves our way.

There will be some scattered showers today, with heavy downpours possible tonight into Wednesday.

After a recent drought, some parts of Connecticut could get several inches of rain over a six- to 12-hour range, which has prompted flood watches for Hartford, Litchfield, Tolland and Windham counties.

The heavy rain comes through after midnight and through the Wednesday morning commute, so be prepared for it to affect your morning commute. After that, rain will linger through the day.

Following this storm system, the focus is on Tropical Storm Joaquin and any impact it could have on us here in Connecticut.

Overnight data from the National Hurricane Center shows a stronger storm just to our south by late Saturday. While it’s still several days away, this could mean rain and wind for us from Friday night into Sunday.

Police Investigate Untimely Death of UConn Student


A UConn student from Wilton died on Monday and the school community is coping with the fourth sudden death of a member of the school community since August.

Officials from UConn said they learned on Monday that Robert Keers, a senior in the School of Business, had died earlier in the morning at Windham Hospital after being transported from Willington.

State police said they are actively investigating Keers’ death and waiting on autopsy results before releasing any additional information.

“In the short time since we learned of his death, it has become abundantly clear that Robbie had a wide circle of friends at UConn who are profoundly affected by his passing. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends, both in the UConn community and his hometown of Wilton,” UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said in a statement.

There are several condolence posts mentioning Keers on the UConn Kappa Sigma Twitter account.

“As in all such cases, UConn immediately reached out to friends and others on campus who were close to Robbie, and encourages anyone who needs assistance to contact Counseling and Mental Health Services for confidential help,” Reitz said.

Keers is the fourth UConn undergraduate to pass away unexpectedly since early August, according to school officials.

Brandon Gothberg, a 20-year-old UConn junior from of East Hartford, was killed in a one-car crash on Route 2 on Friday, Aug. 7.

Two UConn sophomores, Alana Ferrante, 19, of South Windsor, and Ryan Meegan, 19, of Ridgefield, were killed in a car crash on Route 66 in Columbia on Sept. 18.

“We grieve for each of these valued students, and thank others in Connecticut to extending their support to our campus community and those touched by these painful losses,” Reitz said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Small Brush Fire in Pawcatuck

'Can You Hear Me Now?': Snowden Joins Twitter


Edward Snowden joined twitter Tuesday under the handle @Snowden.

The whistleblower who has been living in Russia since leaking the National Security Agency's spying practices in 2013 tweeted simply, "Can you hear me now?" and gained thousands of followers within minutes. 

His official presence in the twitterverse comes just days after an interview with astrophysicist Niel deGrasse Tyson, who asked Snowden why he hadn't joined Twitter yet.  

Snowden's second tweet on Tuesday was directed at Tyson, thanking him for the welcome, expressing excitement about the discovery of water on Mars and asking if Tyson thinks "they check passports at the border."

"Asking for a friend," he added.

When Tyson asked how he responds to labels such as "hero" or "traitor," Snowden replied that he preferred the label "citizen."

In his Twitter bio the former NSA contractor said "I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public" and lists himself as the Director at @FreedomofPress, a nonprofit founded in 2012 to support free speech and freedom of the press.

An hour and a half after his first tweet, @Snowden gained over 200,000 followers but followed only one account: @NSAGov.

Photo Credit: Edward Snowden's Twitter Account

U.S. Falling Behind in Stopping Americans from Going to Syria: Report


The federal government is falling behind in stopping Americans from traveling to Syria and join ISIS, according to a House Homeland Security report released on Monday, NBC News reported.

Nearly 250 Americans have either tried to go or succeeded in getting to Syria to engage in violent jihad, the report said. But the committee staff was able to identify only 28 cases were the individuals were stopped before leaving the U.S.

"This threat is getting worse not better, and we are losing in the struggle to keep Americans from the battlefield," said Michael McCaul, R-TX, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee.

U.S. and coalition air strikes have not deterred Americans seeking to join ISIS in Syria, according to the report. Ten percent of the known foreign travel cases were in 2013, growing to 40 percent in 2014, and 50 percent so far this year, it said.

Photo Credit: File--Getty Images

New Corpse Flower 'Alice' Blooms On Its Own in Chicago After 'Spike's' Disappointment


The Chicago Botanic Garden is finally filled with the noxious odor that was left wanting last month when their corpse flower "Spike" failed to bloom.

A new corpse flower, this one named "Alice," bloomed naturally at the garden Monday night to much less fanfare. In contrast to Spike, which ran out of energy to complete the bloom cycle, Alice bloomed more quickly than expected, according to the botanic garden.

The corpse flower, or titan arum, is the largest flowering structure in the world, and a typical plant blooms for only a single day every seven to 10 years. When she bloomed, Alice stood 55 inches tall with a girth of 35 inches. Just a few weeks before, she was only 19.75 inches tall with a girth of 16 inches.

The remarkable sight, however, is usually met with a "decaying, rancid, rotten stench" that can be detected up to an acre away. Tim Pollack of the Chicago Botanic Garden described the smell as a mixture of limburger cheese, rotting fish, sweaty socks, a sweet floral scent and mothballs.

After Spike's disappointing debut in August, the Chicago Botanic Garden didn't parade Alice around but instead let her mature in relative privacy.

"Given that titan arums are notably unpredictable flowering plants (and we should know!), we wanted to be sure that she would bloom before we announced her debut," staff wrote on the garden's website.

Last month, garden staff had to manually open up Spike to allow visitors to glimpse the rare flower's insides. Unfortunately — or fortunately — Spike did not emit the trademark odor of the corpse flower in bloom, even after it had been opened.

The Chicago Botanic Garden will stay open until 2 a.m. Tuesday to accommodate peak bloom time. Alice will remain on display Wednesday as well from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Hartford Man Charged in 12 Newington Burglaries


A Hartford man charged with breaking into storage units at an apartment building in Windsor has been arrested in connection with several similar break-ins in Newington.

James Epps, 47, was arrested on Tuesday and charged in connection with 12-storage unit break-ins in January at the Colonial Manor and Stonegate apartment complexes on Willard Avenue in Newington.

He has been charged with 11 counts of third-degree burglary, six counts of third-degree criminal mischief, four counts of sixth-degree larceny and one count of fifth-degree larceny.

Epps has been detained on $60,000 in court-set bonds and is scheduled to be arraigned in New Britain Superior Court on Sept. 29.

Photo Credit: Newington Police

Facebook Hit by Scams, Hoax and Network Outages


It's been a rough start to the week for Facebook with two scams, a hoax and network outages hitting the social network. 

At least one of the scams is tied to Facebook's upcoming "empathy button." Two weeks ago, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the development of what some have called a "dislike" button. 

"People aren't looking for an ability to down vote other people's posts," he said during a question-and-answer meeting on Sept. 15 at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California. "What they really want is to be able to express empathy."

But news of the button has spurred an opportunity for scammers to prey on Facebook users for their personal data.

According to Snopes.com a website that has built a reputation for debunking or validating stories of unknown or uncertain origin, a scam was circulated by those inviting users to have "early" access to the button.

In order for them to be "eligible," users had to share the post and click onto a survey. But that link leads to the installation of malware on the user's computer.

Another scam that has surfaced claims that users' privacy is vulnerable. According to PC Magazine, the scam states that Facebook has announced a £5.99 subscription for users to keep the status of their posts on "private." But the scam promises the service would be free if you spread the word.

A familiar hoax has also resurfaced. This one claims to have been reported by "Channel 13 news." The hoax claims the social media giant is making changes to its privacy policies. In response, Facebook users are told to post an elaborate statement on their wall stating that they do not grant Facebook the rights to their posts, pictures and media.

It is at least the third time this particular hoax has gone viral. A similar post moved through Facebook last January, in 2012 and back in 2009, according to Snopes.com. 

"While there may be water on Mars, don't believe everything you read on the internet today," Facebook said in an official response. "Facebook is free and it always will be. And the thing about copying and pasting a legal notice is just a hoax. Stay safe out there Earthlings!"

Meanwhile, the social network has gone down twice this week, on Sept. 24 and 28.

Out of frustration, Internet users migrated to Twitter and prompted the hashtag #facebookdown. Many users posted a screengrab photo of the Facebook website that said, "Sorry, something went wrong."

The service was not operational for about 45 minutes NBCnews.com reported.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Five Families Displaced in Hartford Fire


Firefighters battled a fire at a multifamily home on Franklin Street in Hartford Tuesday afternoon and are searching for a missing cat.

Firefighters responded around 2:20 p.m. and officials said there was heavy fire and smoke coming from the third floor in the back of the three-story wooden frame home at 137 Franklin Avenue.

Firefighters brought hoses into the house and went up to the third floor to attack the fire and search for any occupants who may have been caught in the heavy smoke. Residents were out of the building by that point.

Hartford Deputy Chief Micahel Juda raised a second alarm because the building is large and there was heavy smoke and fire that was at risk of spreading to adjacent buildings. Crews knocked down the fire by 2:50 p.m. but stayed on scene to extinguish any hot spots.

No people were injured, but a cat might have still been inside and the owner was distraught. It's unclear if the cat was found.

Neighbors said there are some elderly residents and a man who is blind live in the building.

The fire marshal is investigating and working to determine the cause of the fire.

The American Red Cross is helping five families displaced in the fire. The American Red Cross said they were helping 11 adults and two children displaced, providing them with living supplies and necessities.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Mom Threw Newborn Out Window: NYPD


A woman who apparently hid her pregnancy from her boyfriend gave birth in her home and tossed her newborn daughter out a seventh-story window to her death, police said Tuesday. 

Jennifer Berry, 33, was arrested on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the baby's death. She said nothing to reporters as she was led from a Bronx police stationhouse Tuesday night. 

NYPD officers found the infant with her umbilical cord still attached in a courtyard of the Bronx apartment building on Monday afternoon, police said. They had responded to the home after receiving a call that an infant had fallen from a window.

An autopsy revealed the infant died of blunt force injuries, Dr. Barbara Sampson, the city's chief medical examiner, said Tuesday. The baby's death was officially ruled a homicide, meaning she was alive when she plummeted from the window.

Law enforcement sources say the child was found outside the boyfriend's building. Berry, who is from Yonkers, was visiting at the time, they said. She and her boyfriend had been dating for about a year. 

Detectives questioned the child's mother throughout the night Monday and arrested her Tuesday. Berry remained stonefaced as she walked out of the precinct house. Attorney information for her wasn't immediately available. 

Berry's boyfriend told police he was in another room when the child was born and when the baby plunged from the window. He told investigators he didn't realize either event had occurred and had thought his girlfriend had an abortion, authorities said. He is not facing any charges. 

It wasn't immediately clear how much time elapsed between the baby's birth and her fall from the window, officials said.

Christopher McKniff, a spokesman for the city's Administration for Children's Services, said the agency has launched a probe to investigate the circumstances that led to the baby's death. Authorities said privacy laws prohibited the agency from commenting on whether child welfare investigators had ever interacted with the family before.

Tiffany Martinez, who lives across the street from the Bronx apartment building, told The New York Times she was shaken up by it.

"I get frustrated with my son a lot," she told the newspaper, but "doing harm to him never crossed my mind." 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

Cheshire Spa Employee Charged With Voyeurism


A Cheshire massage therapist accused of filming and photographing female clients without their permission is facing voyeurism charges, police said.

Police arrested Dolce Vita Massage employee Anthony Gordon, 37, of East Hartford, on five counts of voyeurism charges.

"That's a complete shock. I'm surprised about that, especially around here," said Prospect resident Kimberley Meade, who has been to the particular spa before.

Opened for more than a year, Dolce Vita Massage in Cheshire is known to people as a place to relax and unwind, but police say Gordon took advantage of that environment.

"The victim came in to report something suspicious happening during the massage," said Cheshire Police Lt. Jeffrey Sutherland. "She said that she had seen a flash and heard what she described as the noise from an iPhone."

The arrest comes after a six-week investigation Cheshire detectives launches on Aug. 19. After a female customer at Dolce Vita came forward accusing Gordon of taking photos and/or videos of her without her consent, police identified four more female victims, police said.

Investigators say they found pictures and videos on Gordon's phone of five women in various states of undress. Police charged the 37-year-old with five counts of voyeurism.

NBC Connecticut went to Gordon's home in East Hartford. A woman answered but said nothing before shutting the door.

The owner of Dolce Vita Massage did not want to go on camera but told NBC Connecticut that the accusation came as a shock and Gordon was immediately fired. She says she hired him six months ago as an independent contractor, that he was properly licensed, and came across polite and professional with no one ever complaining about him.

Authorities believe Dolce Vita may not have been his only employer.

"From what I understand, he may have worked at other communities. We've been in touch with those police departments as well just to make them aware of the situation," said Lt. Sutherland.

Investigators say all five victims have been notified and for now their case is closed. If you believe you may have been a victim of Gordon's, give police a call.

The owner of Dolce Vita says she's now prohibiting electronic devices inside the massage rooms.

Police released Gordon on a $35,000 bond. He is due in Meriden Superior Court on Oct. 9 at 9 a.m.

What Those Metallic Chips on New Credit Cards Mean


Whether you’re buying a latte or a new pair of jeans, the new credit cards with the square metallic chips on the front are meant to better protect you from fraud. Here’s what you should know about the chip technology.

What is that shiny square?

Chip technology is intended to cut down on credit and debit card fraud by making working fake cards more difficult to make, according to Will Wade-Gery, assistant director of card and payments markets in the Research, Markets and Regulations Division of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The chips provide additional information beyond what is provided by the magnetic strips that allows a merchant to authorize a transaction: a cryptogram that changes each time the card is used.

The technology, which has been in use for years elsewhere, is often called E.M.V. for Europay, MasterCard and Visa.

"The change-over is important because over time it should reduce counterfeit cards and some forms of fraud," said the bureau's Gail Hillebrand, assistant director for consumer education and engagement. "It won't eliminate all the fraud but it will make it harder for fraudsters who acquire your card information to create a physical counterfeit card. And that's a useful step forward."

How do you use it?

Instead of swiping your card, you will have to insert it into a slot with the chip facing up. The card terminal will take slightly longer to read the chip.

What if stores don’t have the new terminals yet?

You can just swipe your card the way you have been doing. Not all merchants will have the new terminals immediately. Expect to see more over time, according to Wade-Gery.

Why is this happening now?

Because the credit card industry set a deadline. The change is not legally required, but beginning in October merchants without the new equipment could become liable for fraudulent transactions according to their agreements with credit card companies.

"The number one thing you should know as a consumer is your responsibility has not changed," Hillebrand said.

Bank debit cards are also being replaced but more slowly than credit cards.

How can you protect your accounts?

Pay attention. Chip cards will make fraud more difficult but not impossible, so the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau urges everyone to take basic precautions.

"Consumers will still have to take active steps to identify and speak up when there is fraud," Hillebrand said. "No one change is going to stamp out all the fraud including this one. So it's still important to read your statements, which is actually harder to do online because we forget. It's still important to report every wrong charge on your debit or your credit card whether it's large or small." 

Check your transactions regularly to make sure there are no unauthorized ones on your account. Sometimes thieves will charge a small amount to your account to see if it is processed before adding more transactions. Report suspicious charges or debits immediately. Cancel your card if you find fraudulent charges and consider changing your PIN.

What about online purchases?

Online and over the phone shopping will not be safer with chip technology.

Are merchants prepared?

Maybe not everyone. Holly Wade, director of the Research Foundation at the National Federation of Independent Businesses, said the organization was concerned that many small business owners are confused about the new cards and card terminals.

"We've found that there's just a pretty decent information gap between what's happening and small business owners knowing about it and understanding what they need to do to comply," Wade said.

"Right now our main goal is to make small business owners aware of this transition," she said.

Photo Credit: AP

Woman Dies After Hartford Hit-and-Run


A woman struck by a car in Hartford early Sunday morning has died and police are still looking for the driver who fled the scene. 

Felicita Ayala, 60, who lived on Garden Street in Hartford, was found lying unresponsive in the roadway near 445 Garden Street after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the road. She suffered from injuries to her head and lower extremities.Police responded to the scene at about 2:32 a.m. on Sunday.

A witness told police a white Dodge Durango struck the woman while she was crossing the road and that the driver kept driving in the northbound direction on Garden Street. Police are looking for a white or tan SUV.

An ambulance transported the woman to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford to be treated for critical injuries, but she died at the hospital at about 1:23 a.m. on Tuesday.

Police searched the area near the accident site, but haven't found the driver or video surveillance that may have captured the incident.

The incident remains under investigation.

Hartford police ask anyone with information to call Crime Scene Unit Det. Denise Mendoza at 860-757-4343. Police said the public can also leave anonymous tips at http://www.hartford.gov/Police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Flood Threat Wednesday


A flood watch has been posted for northern Connecticut in anticipation of several hours of heavy rain tomorrow morning. And that's only round one of two major rain events this week.

Today's the lull before the main event, as only a few downpours are expected. Temperatures will be quite high for this time of year, close to 80 degrees inland.

The heart of round one arrives after midnight.

That's when a cold front will approach in conjunction with a plume of Pacific moisture. The front itself moves little in 12 hours, slowly traversing the state between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Steady, heavy rain is anticipated for several hours on end tomorrow morning. The morning commute will be a slow one. By lunchtime, the wall of rain will be in the process of breaking up.

The primary impact from round one will be flooding. There's a moderate risk for urban and poor drainage flooding, especially Wednesday morning.

0.5-3" of rainfall can be expected from round one, which tapers to scattered downpours and storms by Wednesday afternoon. The most rain is likely to fall over the Berkshires and Litchfield Hills, while the least rain is expected along the Connecticut coastline.

The winds throughout the atmosphere are strong enough to mention a low threat of damaging wind gusts or even a tornado. That's by far the exception and not the rule, though.

A massive high pressure center sets up over eastern Canada by nightfall Wednesday and it will result in a strong pressure gradient over the region. Breezy conditions will stick around for the rest of the week.

While the impact on beaches will be far greater along the eastern shore of Massachusetts, some water will pile up in western Long Island Sound. Coupled with astronomically high tides, minor splash-over can be expected late week.

In the grand scheme of things, Thursday and Friday are both lulls in the action. Still, showers are possible with cloudy skies sticking around. Temperatures will be stuck in the 50s to near 60 degrees!

For the latest on Tropical Storm Joaquin, click here.

It's the busiest week of weather in some time, so be sure to stay with the NBC Connecticut First Alert weather team for the very latest information.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Police Arrest Mom of 4-Year-Old Girl Found Wandering Alone


Hartford police have arrested the mother of a 4-year-old girl found who was wandering alone in Hartford on Tuesday morning.

Police spent the day looking for Shi'day Nicks, the 22-year-old mother of 4-year-old Shafyalya Nicks.

Nicks was previously been listed as living on Orange Street in Springfield, Massachusetts and 23rd Street in Meridian, Mississippi, but officers found her in Hartford. 

Patrol officers responded to 182 Collins Street in Hartford around 10:08 a.m. on Monday after a driver noticed the 4-year-old girl wandering alone and stopped.

Police determined the girl lived on Collins Street and officers searched the apartment, but it was vacant.

Mail at the address indicated that a Shi'day Nicks lives at the home too. Neighbors told police that Shi'day Nicks recently moved into the apartment building and said they don't know her well.

Police are investigating the circumstances of Shi'day's absence while her daughter was alone. 

The 4-year-old girl was healthy, police said, but officers turned her over to the care of Connecticut's Department of Children and Families.

Hartford Police say they received many calls from the public offering to care for the little girl.

Nicks is charged with Risk of Injury to a Minor, Reckless Endangerment and Leaving a Child Unsupervised. She is being held on a $150,000 bond and will go before a judge Wednesday in Hartford.

Police ask the public to contact Sgt. E. D. Braidy Jr., of the department's Special Investigations Division, at 860-757-4276 or baide001@hartford.gov if they have any information on the case.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

Teen Suspected in 2 Sex Assaults Charged As Adult


A 16-year-old boy suspected of sexually assaulting a woman an East Hartford commuter lot and a sex assault at an East Hartford home is being charged as an adult.

Jaishon Bellamy, 16, is being charged as an adult on multiple charges including attempt to commit murder and aggravated sexual assault.

The teen is accused of assaulting a woman in the exit 90 commuter parking lot off Route 15 on Main Street in East Hartford near the Econo Lodge around 2:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3, police said.

After the assault, the attacker fled in the victim's black Honda Element and led police in a brief chase before crashing, but he ran off and police were not able to find him.

The original report was that an assault happened, and police determined the victim was not only physically assaulted, but also sexually assaulted.

As state police investigated the assault at the commuter lot, East Hartford police were investigating the home invasion and sexual assault on Collimore Road days later.

That investigation led local police to identify a suspect and they worked with state police to obtain a DNA from the juvenile, state police said.

The state lab confirmed through DNA analysis that the DNA profile was a match to the commuter lot assault case, connecting Bellamy to both crimes, according to state police. 

Detectives from state police served an arrest warrant on the teen at the Juvenile Detention Facility in Hartford.

He has been charged with criminal attempt/felony murder, aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, strangulation in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree, larceny in the third degree, larceny in the sixth degree, criminal trover in the second degree, robbery in the first degree and robbery by carjacking in the sex assault case in the commuter lot from Sept. 3.

He also faces charges of attempt to commit murder, first-degree sexual assault, first-degree strangulation, stealing a firearm, home invasion, first-degree assault, first-degree unlawful restraint and sixth-degree larceny in the home invasion sex assault case from Sept. 19.

Bellamy is due in court on Oct. 6 and a judge is awaiting his plea in both cases. He is being held in custody for both cases on $1.5 million bonds for each.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Governor's Round of Cuts Threaten Programs for Developmentally Disabled


The most recent budget cuts announced by Gov. Dannel Malloy and the Office of Policy and Management hit some of the state's most vulnerable residents.

More than $7 million out of about $100 million in cuts hit the Department of Developmental Services.

Dawn DeMatteo has a son, Anthony, who's been on a waiting list to get into an adult home for 24 hour care. He has cerebral palsy.

"I don't know if he'll ever get in now" she said.

His needs are very basic which is why a home health aide comes to their home in the afternoon.

“He’s non-vocal. He needs help with all aspects of daily living, diaper changing to feeding but again he’s got unconditional love and he really is a sweetheart.”

DeMatteo cares for her son in the mornings and evenings. During the day he attends an adult day program, which statewide saw nearly $2 million in cuts.

She says the cuts announced by the governor are the kind that could prevent her son from ever being able to live as much on his own as possible which would be a benefit for her whole family.

"My 14-year-old son also cares for Anthony," DeMatteo said. “It would be perfect for the entire family because Anthony would thrive being in his own environment. My 14-year-old and I could start to have a normal life because really my life and his life revolve around Anthony.”

Gov. Malloy said the reason for the budget cuts so early in the fiscal year and so soon after a budget was passed in June is because of sluggish returns from Wall Street investments. He also wouldn't rule out another round of cuts before the end of the budget year.

DeMatteo says her son Anthony is the face of what cuts mean to families.

Concerns Arise About New Housing in New Britain


The city of New Britain may have some new housing coming to the area, but some residents say they’re upset because they haven’t had any notification that builders may be in their back yard.

And if you didn’t get a letter from the city, it’s because the city says your property wasn't close enough to the potential site.

Zoning officers say what could be coming is called "market rate housing" in the East Street area different from low income housing. Now they'll be having a public hearing next week to see if the zoning will be approved.

With the use of Fastrak booming throughout New Britain, planning officials determined this area across from it on East Street has potential.

It’s a site that could possibly become one for housing in the future

Kenneth Malinowski, Acting Director of the Department of Municipal Development, says a developer has come to them with interest to build market-rate housing there.

“Potentially I guess the biggest parcel available right now is the former Samson property which should be about 3 acres. Which would allow for… quick math… about 90 units,” Malinowski said.

But it’s a topic that’s still in conversation.

It’s why people who live near East Street received a letter inviting residents to a public hearing to discuss the zoning map.

Denise Gonzalez lives on a few blocks away from where the potential apartments could be. She says the letter wasn’t sent to her house – she has a copy from a neighbor -- and is concerned with the lack of communication.

"Explain to everybody the rationale and why they need to develop that particular area and I think more people will be at ease about it. Then suddenly.. 'OK did you hear about this?'" Gonzalez said.

But Malinowski says next Tuesday’s meeting will clarify things for residents.

"Anyone within 500 feet of the property had received a letter in the mail telling them we were going to have a public hearing on the matter next week," Malinowski said.

The meeting will be next Tuesday 7 p.m. at New Britain city hall.

The council will listen to the public’s opinion. Then the members will debate it and decide whether to add it the zoning ordinances.

Surfer's Close Encounter With Whale


A surfer at Silver Strand State Beach on Coronado Island caught more than a wave on Tuesday morning when he captured a close encounter of a gray whale.

Daron Case was out with other surfers when a whale that he believes was a 20-foot-long juvenile started swimming right through the line of surfers off the San Diego County coast.

He had his GoPro camera with him, so he snapped clear and close footage of the whale both under water and breaching.

“Me and a buddy, Dave Orozco (who was the surfing alongside the whale in the video) were close enough to have the whale swim within a few feet,” Case said in a Facebook message to NBC 7.

A spokesman for Scripps Institute of Oceanography said the whale appears to be a gray whale. Experts at Birch Aquarium also believe the whale may not be in the best of health.

Experts said the whale appears overly thin and the number of barnacles on its body indicates it is traveling very slow, though they don't know the cause of its poor health.

Gray whales are not uncommon in the area. Heading out to the Coronado Canyon, there’s a deep ridge line about 9 miles offshore that gray whales follow while migrating.

Hallie Johnson, a spokeswoman for Birch Aquarium, said it's "uncommon but not unheard of" to spot gray whales at this time of year.

"We typically don't start to see gray whales on their southbound migration until later in the fall," she said in an email.

Photo Credit: Daron Case
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