Channel: NBC Connecticut
Viewing all 57608 articles
Browse latest View live

Heavy Rain Tonight


Scattered showers will become a steady rain by early evening and continue through early tomorrow morning.

As a result of the heavy rain, NBC Connecticut has declared today a First Alert Weather Day.

Temperatures will be well into the 50s, perhaps close to 60 degrees despite the rain.

It's likely that all of Connecticut will receive more than a half inch of rain, with some spots picking up a full inch. That will help with the deficit that's existed since early summer.

Wind gusts could surpass 35 mph in any downpours this evening.

Even with a morning shower on Friday, most of the day features partial clearing. Temperatures will be in the lower and middle 50s.

The weekend looks mainly dry.

Skies will be mostly sunny on Saturday with temperatures ranging from the middle 40s to 50 degrees. That's basically seasonable for this time of year.

There can be an early rain or snow showers Sunday morning, but most of the day is dry with a blend of clouds and sun. It will be breezy.

Early next week looks dry though it will be cool. Temperatures likely won't crack 50 degrees on Monday or Tuesday.

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

New Raid Underway in Northern France


A new raid was underway later Thursday in Charleville-Mezieres, a French town near the Belgium border around 145 miles northeast of Paris, according to French police. 

A witness told TV station France 3 they had heard explosions.

Authorities also conducted six raids overnight in Brussels, including in the impoverished Molenbeek neighborhood where the suspected Paris attacks leader, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, grew up, a spokesman for Belgium's federal prosecutor told NBC News.

The raided homes belonged to family and friends of Bilal Hadfi. The 20-year-old was one of three suicide bombers who attacked the Stade de France during a soccer game between France and Germany. One person was arrested, the spokesman said, adding that the operation was "ongoing."

Photo Credit: Google

3 Charged in Teacher's Slaying


Three men have been arrested in the brutal cold-case slaying of a New Jersey school teacher found beaten to death in her home six years ago, prosecutors said.

James Fair, 27, Ebenezer Byrd, 35, and Gregory Jean-Baptiste, 26, all of Asbury Park, face felony murder, first-degree robbery, conspiracy and other charges in the death of Jonelle Melton, who was found beaten in her Neptune City apartment on Sept. 14, 2009.

The 33-year-old Melton had been preparing to move from Red Bank Middle School's seventh-grade classrooms to her new job as the school's fifth-grade teacher. When she failed to show up to her job or answer phone calls, a family member went to Melton's West Sylvania Avenue apartment and found her body.

Prosecutors said in August they believed they were closing in on the alleged killers after developing new information in the years-old case. Officials said Fair, Byrd and Jean-Baptiste had planned to burglarize a specific apartment in the Brighton Arms complex where Melton lived. They broke into the wrong apartment and encountered Melton, according to prosecutors.

At some point, after realizing they were in the wrong apartment, "the men brutally murdered" Melton, according to prosecutors.

A veteran teacher, Melton was an active member of the school community, participating on school improvement and leadership teams, and had been selected to serve as a student council adviser.

"Children loved her in school, we loved her," said an emotional Rachael Haslon, the victim's sister. "She was my baby sister." 

The three men charged in her death are all incarcerated on unrelated charges. Fair is awaiting trial on a 219-count indictment charging him with racketeering conspiracy, attempted murder, robbery and other drug and weapons offenses stemming from a 2014 gang takedown. Byrd is currently serving a 12-year state prison sentence for two Asbury Park shootings in 2009. Jean-Baptiste is awaiting trial on three separate indictments charging him with drug distribution and gun possession.

They're each being held on $1.5 million cash bail. As Fair left court Thursday, he only offered a defiant statement of "not guilty." 

If convicted of felony murder, the top charge against them in the Melton case, the men each face up to a life sentence in New Jersey state prison.

"This has been a nightmare for over six years," said Mike Melton, Jonelle's brother. "My family and I have been through a lot of grief and trauma." 

At Red Bank Middle School, Melton has not been forgotten. 

"She was a great loss," said principal Maria Iozzi. "She continues to be a great loss. She's deeply missed." 

Photo Credit: Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office/Getty Images

Good Samaritan Pulls Driver from Truck After Rollover, Fire on I-84


A tractor-trailer overturned and caught fire in the high-occupancy vehicle lane of Interstate 84 in East Hartford, by exit 58 and a passerby pulled the driver from the vehicle, according to an NBC Connecticut staff member who came upon the scene. 

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bomb Squad Checks Plane at LAX


A bomb squad at Los Angeles International Airport cleared a JetBlue plane of any threat Thursday morning after an unauthorized person tried to gain access to the aircraft through a passenger boarding bridge, airport officials said.

Airport police said they received a call about 6 a.m. PST of a person in the Terminal 3, Gate 31B jet bridge, which is a secured ramp passengers use to get from the terminal gate to the parked plane.

JetBlue Flight 24 was scheduled to depart at 6:30 a.m. from that gate for New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. There were no passengers or crew on board when the person was spotted on the bridge, LAX officials said.

The flight was delayed and the plane was moved to the airfield's west end for inspection.

"Out of an abundance of caution, aircraft and luggage onboard flight 24 from LAX to JFK are being rescreened following a potential security issue," JetBlue said in a statement.

The plane and luggage were cleared at 10:15 a.m., and the aircraft was towed back to Terminal 3, airport officials said. The flight had been rescheduled to depart at 9:30 a.m.

"Airport Police is continuing the investigation and is coordinating with JetBlue officials to identify the unauthorized person," LAX officials said.

Robert Pedregon of the LAX Police Department said there was no security breach, but the incident was under investigation.

No one was taken into custody.

No other flights were disrupted by the incident, airport officials said.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

Police Investigating Attempted Robbery in Vernon


Vernon police are investing an attempted robbery at the 7-Eleven at 180 Union Street and a K9 unit from Manchester is trying to the find the robber who fled the scene.

The robber is a thin 6-foot-tall man and he had a box cutter, police said.

The robber ran toward the Ellington side of Route 83, police said.

Photo Credit: Vernon Police

'Not as Exciting': Black Friday Deals Arrive Earlier Than Ever


Black Friday is becoming a month-long deal.

Amazon's sales begin this Friday and continue through next Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and what was once the start of the holiday shopping season. Target and Walmart are offering holiday discounts throughout the month, while Best Buy is holding "pre-Black Friday" weekends.

What was traditionally a single day of shopping already stretches over the weekend and now retailers are trying to extend the extravaganza even further by discounting goods long before the holiday. What that will mean to Black Friday sales is something analysts will be watching for.

"It remains to be seen how significant the event itself is," said Traci Gregorski, vice president of marketing at the retail research firm Market Track.

Tis the season for holiday sales and strategies for capturing shoppers dollars.

Black Friday spending was down last year, the second drop in a row, according to the National Retail Federation. Spending though the weekend in stores and online dropped 11 percent from $57.4 billion in 2013 to $50.9 billion last year. The decline is partly the result of the earlier bargains, leaving Black Friday with less of a punch.

But for all the debate over store hours -- and at one end is Kmart, open on Thanksgiving morning at 6 a.m., and at the other REI, the outdoor gear supplier that will stay closed on Black Friday itself --  for shoppers the season means deals. They are scouting for the best prices before ever stepping inside a store, Gregorski said. They are driving competition among retailers who know their potential customers are online comparing ads.

“They do have a lot of information at their disposal, much more than they’ve ever had in the past,” she said.

On Friday, Tanya Jackson, a hair stylist from New Jersey, will be on the hunt for a washing machine and dryer at Home Depot where she expects to save $800.

“Oh yes, I already checked,” said Jackson, 42, who lives in Orange and who was making her way through New York City's Herald Square on a recent weekday morning. She is prepared to pay about $2,800.

Thanksgiving Day hours continue to court controversy, with some shoppers vowing to stay home and labor and other groups protesting the disruption to workers' holiday.

"l'm always with my family," said Kendall Castillo, a 19-year-old student studying theater and fine arts in college in New York City. Even the lure of good deals will not interrupt his holiday.

And Naysika Oree, a health-care consultant from the Bronx, has never shopped on Black Friday, turned off by the crowds and reports of unruly shoppers. She will stay home this year too.

"I'd rather just spend the couple of extra dollars then have to go through the madness," she said.

This year, the federation's preliminary Thanksgiving Weekend Survey found that an estimated 135.8 millions shoppers, or 58.7 percent of those surveyed, said they might head to the stores at some point over the weekend. The findings were similar to the year before, when 133.7 million holiday shoppers were in stores and online over the weekend.

Black Friday is expected to be the biggest shopping day for all age groups, but young adults in particular find Cyber Monday appealing, according to the survey's results. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 88.7 percent said yes or maybe when asked if they would should online on Monday. Among 25- to 34-year-old, the number was 90.9 percent.

Kate Winchester, a 23-year-old college student in New York City from Pennsylvania, will among those shopping online. She needs a new vacuum cleaner and a heavy blanket.

"You don't have to wait in the lines," she said.

Plus now that stores open on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday is "not as exciting anymore," she said. "No one wants to go out on Thursday."

To draw shoppers back into the stores, in the hopes that they will spend more money there, some retailers are offering special holiday events, Gregorski said. Walmart for example is making the game Battlefront available to try out before its official launch.

"They’re introducing that experiential element into their promotions and events," she said. "It gives people a reason to come in."

As for what's hot this year, anything related to "Star Wars," game consoles and wearable technology, such as headphones and fitness trackers, she said. Drones are another top item.

Hoverboards, on the other hand, are not proving to be as popular as expected, likely because of their price, she said.

Other trends to watch for: exclusive partnerships between manufacturers and retailers and bundled offers, televisions and game consoles for example, which can make it difficult to determine how good a deal it is.

Milly Mladjenovic, 21, said she would definitely be out on Black Friday, shopping for work clothes and Christmas gifts.

"What am I not looking for?" she said.

The college student in New York City said deals could be found, but she thought bargains were better in years past.

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

Prosecutor Says Man Stabbed Common-Law Wife Several Times


A man charged with the murder of his common-law wife in New London stabbed her several times, according to prosecutors.

David J. McKeever, 47, was charged with the murder of Delma Murphy, 46, and the prosecutor on the case called him extremely dangerous during a court appearance on Thursday.

Police found Murphy dead in a bedroom on the second floor in the couple's home in the 50 block of Cole Street in New London at 12:02 p.m. on Wednesday after one of her friends called the department earlier in the day and said she hadn't heard from Delma since Monday.

McKeever, who prosecutors said is disabled and has not had a job in years, appeared in court on Thursday and had trouble hearing and could not see the forms well enough to sign them.

He was charged with interfering with the police investigation and disorderly conduct.

McKeever was ordered to get attention for his mental and physical health.

Bond was set at $1.25 million and he’s due back in court on Dec. 1.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut and New London Police

Berlin High School Football Coach Suspended Amid Recruiting Scandal


The head football coach at Berlin High School has been suspended and will not be able to participate in the final game of the season after the association that oversees high school sports in Connecticut sanctioned the team after an investigation into a recruiting scandal.

John Capodice, who has coached at the school for around 18 years, has been suspended as head football coach and assistant coach Rob Levesque will be coaching the team, according to a news release from Berlin Public Schools.

The CIAC investigation into the athletic department began after allegations surfaced that some students were being moved from another town so they would be eligible to play football in Berlin. 

On Wednesday, the CIAC Board of Control voted to accept Berlin High School's self-report of the football program violations of CIAC rules.

Superintendent David B. Erwin said the school had received the sanctions and feels badly for the football players, but hopes to put their best foot forward when they play on Friday night.

He also acknowledged that the football players "worked their hearts out this year" and that "to have it come down to forfeiting games is never pleasant in any case and that it is "kinda sad to see that come down."

The school is being fined $4,000 -- $1,000 for each of four ineligible players. The school will also forfeit all football victories this season in which any ineligible player participated and will not be allowed to play in the CIAC Championship for the 2015 season.

Another sanction is a one-year probation for the football program.

The ineligible athletes will be permanently ineligible to participate in athletic competition if they remain at Berlin High School and ineligible students who transfer to another CIAC member school, they will be ineligible to participate in athletic competition for the remainder of the 2015-16 school year and 50 percent of the 2016 fall season.

Capodice hired an attorney in response to allegations that he let ineligible players onto his team.

Rocky Hill Bank Robber Grabbed Customer's Cash: Cops


Police are investigating a bank robbery at the Webster Bank at 377 Cromwell Avenue in Rocky Hill after the robber grabbed someone else's money and fled with it. 

The panic alarm went off after the robber reached over the counter and took money from a transaction, police said. 

He didn't have a weapon and he was gone by the time police arrived, so officers set up a perimeter and brought in police dogs, but he got away. 

Police are looking for a 5-foot-10-inch to 6-foot-tall man who is in his 30s. He has dark brown hair, brown eyes, scruffy facial hair, a light goatee and weighs about 230 to 250 pounds.

He was wearing black waist-length overcoat, a black cap, blue jeans, a gray shirt, a protruding white T-shirt and possibly dress shoes.

Anyone with information about the robbery should call Criminal Investigations Commander Lt. Robert Catania at 860-258-7640 or e-mail him at rcatania@rockyhillct.gov.

Photo Credit: Rocky Hill Police

Paris Terror Attacks Ringleader Killed in Raid


The suspected ringleader of the Paris terrorist attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was killed in a police raid on Wednesday, the prosecutor's office said Thursday, NBC News reported. 

The 27-year-old Belgian jihadist, who was also linked to two other terror plots and once boasted about avoiding capture by Western intelligence agencies, died during the operation in Saint-Denis. He was identified by his fingerprints. Officials said his body was bullet-ridden.

He died along with a woman who blew herself up with a suicide belt, and another man, when elite police forces stormed the scene. Eight other people were arrested.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve later said that Abaaoud was involved in four of the six attacks foiled by French intelligence agents since this spring.

A source close to the investigation told Reuters that the dead female bomber killed might have been Abaaoud's cousin. NBC News was unable to independently verify that report.

Photo Credit: AP

Police ID Man Shot and Killed in New Haven


Police have identified the man who was shot and found dead on Chapel Street in New Haven on Monday.

Police found Devante T. “Breezy” Baker, 21, of New York, outside 49 Sherman Court at 8:52 p.m. on Monday when they responded to investigate reports that a person had been shot.

However, they believe he was shot near 1447 Chapel Street, near Yale-New Haven Hospital, and made it about a tenth of a mile away from the scene.

Baker, who is from New York,  but has relatives in Connecticut and has ties to Bridgeport, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Major crimes detectives responded to collect evidence and police said they have been  looking into whether the victim was in an argument prior to the shooting.

Police are continuing to search for the person who killed him.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 203-946-6304. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Michigan Ex-Cop Found Guilty in Traffic Stop Beating


An ex-cop police officer faces up to 10 years in prison after he was found guilty of using excessive force during a traffic stop in suburban Detroit. 

William Melendez was found guilty of misconduct in office and assault with intent to do great bodily harm. 

Floyd Dent, 58, was repeatedly punched, kicked and stunned in an incident caught on a police dashcam video. 

Dent was initially charged with driving on a suspended license, possession of cocaine and assaulting or resisting a police officer. But those charges were dropped. Dent has maintained police planted the cocaine on him.

Photo Credit: AP

Police Respond to School Bus Crash in Southington


Southington police are at the scene of a school bus crash at West and Curtiss streets.

Officers are at the scene and had no additional information.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Student Expelled After Simsbury Pot Brownies Incident


A Simsbury High School student accused of selling pot brownies last month has been expelled.

Officials said students 11th grade English Language Arts students were on a field trip to Salem, Massachusetts on Oct. 23 when studens sold pot brownies on the bus.

The bus stopped in Massachusetts about an hour before reaching Salem to deal with the situation.

The issue was discussed during executive session during a special Board of Education meeting.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Baby Born at U.S.-Mexican Border


A new citizen was welcomed at the U.S.-Mexico border as a woman gave birth at the border crossing Wednesday.

At about 5:30 a.m., a pregnant U.S. citizen walked into the San Ysidro Port of Entry's pedestrian facility and went into labor as she reached an inspection booth, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials.

CBP officers and agriculture specialists, who have emergency medical training, jumped to her aid.

They made the woman comfortable as she delivered a baby girl.

Emergency crews arrived soon after and took the woman and her newborn to the hospital.

The San Ysidro port connects San Diego and Tijuana.


School Bus Drivers Get Lesson in Preventing Bullying


More than 60 school bus drivers in Farmington took on the role of students on Thursday morning as they learned new tactics to prevent bullying.

Managers from Hartford Hospital Rushford Center educated bus drivers on the types of bullying that exist, the warning signs and how to intervene.

One of the most common warning signs drivers will see is a student who no longer wants to get on the bus and go to school. Other warning signs include social exclusion and name calling.

"This is so that we can all support young people, where we can have conversations before things erupt into mean-spirited or bullying behaviors," Sheryl Sprague, manager of Prevention and Wellness at the Rushford Center, said.

School bus drivers are being encouraged to intervene immediately if they observe bullying; remove privileges, such as seating a child away from friends on the bus; and reporting the behavior to their supervisors and school district.

"The training these days is great, it is what we are doing today. They are making people aware, giving you opportunities to voice your opinion and get other training that is involved with it," Jeff Whelan, a bus driver, said.

Drivers are also encouraged to set the tone on the bus as a safe place.

"We also ask them to set a tone of welcoming and expectation, where that if other students notice something, they will feel free to go to the bus driver and say I have noticed this," Sprague said.

Parents are also encouraged to talk with their children about bullying, tell them to involve adults and be inclusive.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Hartford School Program in Jeopardy Due to Funding Problems


A program that helps Hartford students build new friendships and new skills on a farm in the Litchfield Hills is in danger of folding due to a lack of funding.

The program, called City Slickers, takes 15 students from Bulkeley High School to the Lazy D Ranch in Harwinton twice per week. Once there, they work hand in hand with job coaches and their peers for almost two hours. The outcome has been incredible.

“We’ve evolved into a program that provides students who are new arrivals to the country, special needs students and regular mainstream students the opportunity to work on the farm,” said City Slickers Coordinator Gretchen Levitz.

According to Levitz, the day is designed to promote job skills, teamwork and acceptance among all those who participate. They do everything from cleaning to light construction and grounds keeping. It is an opportunity that is not lost on students like Eh Kaw Ku, who moved to the United States from Thailand in 2011.

“We came here for a better life,” said Ku. “Here we learn a lot of things.”

Ku’s story is similar to many other in the program. It has been difficult for Shafida Rajakamal to make friends since she and her family left Malaysia. With the encouragement of Levitz, Rajakamal joined the City Slickers and found the welcome she had been waiting for.

“I feel like I am working so hard and I love it,” Rajakamal said.

For their hard work, the students get a small stipend in return. For some, it helps provide food for their families, for others it helps with necessities for themselves.

"I buy school clothes and now it is going to snow. My grandma tells me I need to buy a snow jacket," Andrew Persaud said.

In addition to the money, Levitz says the unique environment helps students look past their differences and form friendships they may have never had the chance to make in the confines of a traditional classroom.

“The horses, we discovered, don’t respond to a certain language other than the language of love,” said Levitz. “It is kind of an equal playing field for all the students.”

Very soon, however, the game could all change. According to Levitz, one of the City Slickers' largest grants was recently discontinued. She says the program has already been paired down to the bare minimum, three days to two, but even that is not enough.

“We are facing a real financial crunch,” said Levitz.

Levitz has set up a Go Fund Me page and now she and the students are just hoping for a miracle.

“This is a family. It is like taking a family away from them. It is their world and I don’t want to be the one that has to tell them it can’t continue.”

To learn more about the City Slickers or to donate, click here.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

PD Must Release Shooting Video


A judge has ruled that Chicago police must release dashcam video said to show an officer fatally shooting a Chicago teen 16 times.

Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama told a packed courtroom Thursday the department must reveal the dashcam footage that captures the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014 at the hands of a white police officer. He added that he "spent a considerable amount of time" making his decision.

Valderrama said police must release the footage by Nov. 25. He denied the city's request for an immediate stay, but an appeal is expected in an effort to block the video's release.

The footage has been described as "disturbing" and so graphic that McDonald’s mother is concerned its release would prompt an uproar. Attorney Mike Robbins, who represents the McDonald family, said Thursday McDonald's mother "is not looking forward to the day this is released."

An attorney for McDonald's family said the video shows the teen holding a small knife and walking away from officers when one unexpectedly opens fire, spraying the the teen with more than a dozen bullets and continuing to fire as McDonald lies lifeless on the ground.

An autopsy confirmed McDonald was shot a total of 16 times and showed he had PCP in his system.

A city attorney who watched the video recommended a $5 million settlement for the victim’s family. 

The Illinois attorney general's office asked police to release the footage earlier this week.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed back, saying it would be premature to release the video because of an ongoing FBI investigation.

The video has been requested before. A journalist previously filed a public records request for the video, along with the Illinois attorney general’s office, but the city refused, alleging its release would hinder the investigation and prevent a fair trial.

In a letter released Wednesday, however, Asst. Attorney General Neil Olson said the police department failed to offer evidence that releasing the video would interfere with the investigation.

The Chicago police officer who shot McDonald has been placed on desk duty.

Wolcott Woman Charged With Dozens of Counts of Animal Cruelty


Wolcott police arrested a woman on 59 counts of animal cruelty on Thursday.

Officers went to the Finch Road home of Cheryl McMurray in October and found 59 cats inside. Another cat was found dead in the freezer, police said.

Conditions inside the home were "deplorable," with feces and urine throughout the house, according to police.

The cats were suffering from various ailments including heart murmur, bad teeth, dehydration, and upper respiratory issues. All of them were taken to local veterinarians to be checked. 

Animal control officers said they have been watching the home for about a year, and began receiving complaints from neighbors about the condition of the home in September. 

McMurray, 53,  turned herself into police on Thursday and released on a promise to appear in court.  A judge has ordered that McMurray not possess any cats or dogs.

She is expected to be arraigned on November 30.

Photo Credit: Wolcott Police
Viewing all 57608 articles
Browse latest View live