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Water Main Break in Bristol


A water main break caused issues on East Road in Bristol on Friday morning.

The road was closed from Greystone Avenue to Hull Street and work was supposed to be finished by 5 a.m., but ran late.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Shop With a Cop Brightens Holidays for Connecticut Children


Dozens of deserving children were able to go on a free shopping spree with a police officer, thanks to the “Shop with a Cop” program,.

The REACH Foundation organized the program, which includes three events and one was in Southington on Thursday.

“We pair underserved children with law enforcement to try to build a better bond with the communities and law enforcement, considering all the unrest that’s going on in the nation,” Kelly Stuper, was the event coordinator, said.

Nearly 50 children were treated to dinner at Sliders in the Plantsville section of town before heading to Target for the shopping trip.

Law enforcement from more than 20 departments took part.

“It’s a feel good moment for us. We enjoy it and watching the smiling faces, you can’t put a price tag on that,” Detective Karen Apicello, of Southington Police, said.

This was the second year the Day family from Southington took part in “Shop with a Cop.”

Their 14-year-old son, Zachary, was like many of the children who was chosen for the event and his wish list mostly included items for other people.

“They give me gifts all the time, so it’s nice to give them back,” Zachary Day said.

That spirit of giving touched many of the officers who sometimes see people acting their worst.

“It’s humbling to see that, even as an adult. It’s something else,” Officer James Decrisantis, of the Meriden Police Department, said.

The shopping trip also allowed the children to pick a present for another deserving child from the officer’s community.

Donations help cover the cost of the program.

Paving Causes Delays on Route 4 in Farmington

3 Milford Girls Reported Missing


Milford police are asking the public for help to find three missing teenage girls. Two left their homes and have not returned and another has been missing since leaving a Department of Children and Families facility.

Sixteen-year-old Danica Graham walked away from the State Department of Children and Families Milford office on Tuesday and officials from DCF reached out to Milford Police around 11:50 a.m. to report her missing.

She is 5-feet, 4-inches tall, weighs 130 pounds, has multi-colored hair, brown eyes and glasses. When she was seen last, Danica was dressed in all black clothing and a black head band.

Sixteen-year-old Jessica Florenzo was reported missing at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday. Police said she left her home and has not returned.

She is 5-feet-1, weighs 160 pounds and has blond hair and green eyes.

Milford police are also asking for help to find 17-year-old Samantha Oliveras, who ran away from home on Saturday after an argument with her mother.

Police said she left home at noon on Saturday and might have taken a train to New York and headed to Manhattan. Samantha is 5-feet-3, weighs 110 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes.

Danica is known to frequent the New Haven area, and anyone with information on where she is should call police at 203-878-6551 or contact Detective Christopher Musante by phone at 203-783- 7462 or by email at cmusante@ci.milford.ct.us. You can also call the State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families Careline at 1-800-842-2288.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Jessica or Samantha is asked to call the Milford Police Department at 203-878-6551 or contact Detective William Haas by phone at 203-783-4771 or email at whaas@ci.milford.ct.us.

You can also submit a tip online.

Photo Credit: MIlford Police

Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson Diagnosed With Cancer


Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has been diagnosed with cancer, the team announced Friday.

The team's chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said in a statement that Alderson learned of his diagnosis while undergoing a surgery three weeks ago at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 

Wilpon said doctors are optimistic that the cancer is treatable and Alderson will make a full recovery. He's expected to undergo eight to 12 weeks of chemotherapy beginning this week. It's not clear what type of cancer he has. 

Alderson is expected to continue his duties for the club through his treatments.

"We wish him and his family the very best and look forward to this getting behind him," Wilpon said.

The diagnosis comes just weeks after Alderson collapsed during a news conference announcing a contract extension for manager Terry Collins. Team officials said that Alderson felt lightheaded under media lights and had not eaten breakfast. 

A former Marine who turned 68 on Nov. 22, Alderson became New York's general manager in October 2010. He was Oakland's general manager from 1983-97, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of baseball's operations from 1998-2005 and San Diego's chief executive officer from 2005-09.

Photo Credit: AP

Woman Cashed Dead Boyfriend’s Pension Checks for Years: Cops


A New Haven woman is accused of cashing her dead boyfriend’s pension checks for five years after his death and has been arrested after an investigation.

David Shea, who was a volunteer firefighter in North Haven, died in December 2010, at the age of 82, but his 75-year-old girlfriend, Nancy Taneszio, never reported his death and fraudulently collected his pension, according to police.

She is accused of cashing 57 monthly checks for $212 -- totaling $12,084 over five years -- that were deposited into the joint account she and Shea had.

Police began investigating in November of this year after receiving and anonymous tip and arrested Taneszio on a warrant on Monday.

The arrest warrant application is redacted and does not include names of anyone other than Taneszio, but it says authorities investigating the case called the phone number listed for the firefighter at the time of his death and a woman who identified herself as "Nancy" answered the phone.

The caller ask to speak with (name redacted) and she said he was very sick, had a stroke and the doctor told him he had only seven to eight months to live, according to police.

Then, she asked who she should contact if he did die and was told to get a death certificate and contact North Haven Town Hall.

Taneszio later told police she was in a romantic relationship for 23 years and the couple never married, but she considered herself a "common law" wife and was told that she would be the beneficiary of the pension fund, according to court paperwork.

The volunteer firefighter pension does have a survivorship program, but it is only for spouses who have been married for at least a year, but it does not recognize common law marriages and Taneszio was not listed as a spouse, police said.

As the investigation went on, Taneszio said she learned eight months before the charges were filed that the state does not recognize "common law" relationships, but said she continued to cash the checks because she was desperate, according to police.

Taneszio was charged with first-degree larceny and is due in Meriden Superior Court on Dec. 10.
She took full responsibility for her actions and wanted to make restitution to the town, police said.

It’s not clear if she has an attorney.

Photo Credit: North Haven Police

Kittens Abandoned in Mystic Will Be Up for Adoption


Some kittens that were left in Mystic in a box that was taped shut are doing well and will be up for adoption early next week.

A woman who was walking her dog found the box containing two three-month-old male and female kittens on Tuesday in the area of Quaker Farm and Lambtown Roads.

“When the dog went closer to it, the box started meowing,” Lt. John Varone, of the Groton Town Police Department, said.

Officials from Groton Animal Control said this kind of discovery is upsetting because there are alternatives for pet owners who can’t care for their animals.

Animal control officials said they have already received several requests for the kittens.

Police are now trying to figure out who left the cats and why.

If police identify the animals’ owner and determine they were intentionally abandoned, that person could face animal cruelty charges, which are misdemeanors punishable by jail time and fines.

If you have any information about the kittens, call Groton Police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Seize Pound of Marijuana After Stopping Speeding Car: Police


State troopers said they found a pound of marijuana in a car that they stopped for speeding on Interstate 84 in Willington.

Troopers were on a traffic detail when they saw the car speeding on I-84 east near exit 70 at 3:52 p.m. and not using signals to change lanes, police said.

When the trooper stopped the car, the smell of marijuana was prevalent, so the trooper began investigating and found a pound of what they suspected was marijuana.

Manuel Torres, 28, of Worcester, Massachusetts, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, speeding up to 85mph and failure to signal properly.

Michael Rodriguez, 29, of Worcester, Massachusetts, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.

Both were was held on $100,000 and due in Rockville Superior Court today.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Massachusetts Man Killed in Plainfield Crash


A Massachusetts man is dead after being struck by a tractor trailer on 395 north Friday afternoon.

State police say a tractor trailer driven by Raul Santana of Griswold struck a pedestrian in the right travel lane of the highway near exit 32 around 2:38 p.m. The pedestrian, identified as Gregory Deangells, 46, of Lexington, Mass. was killed.

It is unclear why Deangells was on the highway. The road was shut down for several hours while crews processed the scene. State police are still investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Zuckerberg Defends Giving Money to LLC


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to critics questioning why he and his wife Priscilla Chan decided to give 99 percent of Facebook shares to private limited liability company (LLC), instead of a traditional non-profit charity.

Chan and Zuckerberg made the announcement after the birth of their daughter, saying the they were giving away the shares, currently worth around $45 billion, over their lifetimes to philanthropic causes.   

At first the media gave them nothing but "Likes," but then some people started questioning why the couple was giving money to a private limited liability company. Zuckerberg explained Thursday that by "using an LLC instead of a traditional foundation, we receive no tax benefit" but instead "gain flexibility to execute our mission more effectively."

Police Provide Tips to Thwart Holiday Package Thieves


A man and a woman were arrested in Suffield on Wednesday for going up to a home after a delivery had been made and stealing a package and police said an alert passerby who followed the couple called 911 foiled the theft.

Justin Passalugo, 30, of Enfield Enfield, was arrested on larceny charges and Kimberly Watson, 30, of Enfield, was arrested for motor vehicle related charges.

Police were able to return the packages to their owner on Halladay Avenue East in Suffield.

Authorities said there are things people can do to prevent thefts in the first place.

"You can always have your neighbors all watch out for each other when these packages do come," said Deputy Hartford Police Chief Brian Foley, who said these thefts occur from front porches in towns that are large and small.

Security cameras can help police track down a package thief, as it did in Bristol last month.

The postal service and delivery companies also have ways to help people who are shipping gifts.

"One of those is get a tracking number and ask to have the package when it's delivered a notification sent to you by email or text, very effective, or you can ask the deliverer to seclude it," said Foley.

Police said the attempted theft was the first of its kind in Suffield in a long time, but it probably won't be the last.

"In the past 10 years," said Foley, "just think about how dramatic the delivery of packages and online shopping has gotten. It's not just a problem in Hartford. It's a problem everywhere."

Man Hospitalized After 25-Foot Fall in Bolton


A man was transported to Hartford Hospital after falling around 25 feet at a house on Shoddymill Road in Bolton, according to officials from Tolland County Dispatch.

Dispatchers received the call at 10:31 a.m. and said the man fell out of a tree or tree house.

Lifestar medical transport helicopter was called, but cancelled.

Officials said the incident is serious, but no information was available on the man’s condition.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Massacre Suspects' Family Knew of No Extremism: Attys


The family of the alleged gunman in the San Bernardino massacre had no idea he and his wife had possible extremist ties, which authorities are now investigating, two attorneys said on Friday.

The attorneys for Syed Rizwan Farook's family condemned associating the crime with Islam and urged against jumping to conclusions over religious or extremist motivations just because authorities say his wife posted at an extremist message on Facebook.

Authorities have said Tashfeen Malik pledged her allegiance to an ISIS leader in a Facebook post. She and her husband are accused of killing 14 people and wounding 21 more at a San Bernardino health facility on Wednesday.

"I've checked out a Britney Spears post and I hate Britney Spears. It doesn't mean you condone what you look at or read," attorney David Chesley said.

The attorneys said that not only did the family not know of any extremist tendencies from Farook and Malik despite visits to their house, which is now a crime scene, they said that the FBI was unable to provide any evidence of links during a four-hour interview with family members.

"No one (in the meeting) could identify any links or any radical or extremist behavior," Chesley said.

Farook, 28, and Malik, 27, were killed in a gunbattle with police about seven hours after the initial shooting at the Inland Regional Center, which provides treatment for people with developmental disabilities. The couple had a 6-month-old daughter.

Wednesday's rampage is now being investigated as an "act of terrorism," the FBI said.

The couple's family was aware that they had guns but believed the guns were locked up, attorney Mohammad Abuershaid said. They had been in the garage, reportedly a bomb-making facility, and saw nothing suspicious, he said.

Abuershaid said the family was very traditional, where visiting men would sit with the men and women would sit with the women. Additionally, Malik spoke very broken English.

Farook's mother lived at the home, but didn't go downstairs much, the attorneys said.

"There was a mention that he was teased about his beard, but there was nothing else about that," Abuershaid said. "When someone goes crazy and commits an act that's totally work-related, it doesn't make a statement on behalf of an entire religion."

Farook left the infant with his mother early Wednesday morning, claiming he was taking his wife to a doctor's visit and didn't want to bring the baby along, according to Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Los Angeles, who said he'd spoken to Farook's brother-in-law.

Farook was born in the United States to Pakistani parents and was a five-year employee of the San Bernardino County public health agency, which was holding a holiday party when the shooting erupted.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Farook traveled to Saudi Arabia last year, spent nine days there, and returned with a new wife, a Pakistani, whom he met online.

Shooter Targeted Cars, Garage in Cheshire: Police


Police are investigating after someone fired gunshots at cars and a detached garage in Cheshire on Tuesday night.

Officers responded to a home on Edgecomb Road at 10:42 p.m. after gunshots were reported in the area and said no one was injured and there was no immediate threat.

This does not appear to be random and police believe the shooter targeted the unoccupied vehicles and the detached garage, but not the house where the residents were.

Authorities continue to investigate and sent evidence from the scene to the state lab to analyze.

Anyone with any information about what happened should call the Cheshire Police Department Investigative Division Tip Line at (203)-271-5534.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Tried to Lure Girls Near Milford Park


A man approached several young girls in Milford on Tuesday, told them he had money and tried to lure them into his car, according to police.

The man approached the girls near Edgemont Park between 3:45 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday, and said he had money and for them to get into his car, according to police.

The man remains at large and was described as clean shaven, between 20 and 30 years old and has brown hair and brown eyes.

He wore a polo shirt and was driving a four-door baby blue sedan.

Anyone with information should call Milford Police at (203) 878-6551 or Detective William Haas at 203-783-4771 or 203-877-1465 or email whaas@ci.milford.ct.us. You can also submit a tip online

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Source: Aaron Hernandez Had Knife in Prison


Aaron Hernandez had a knife in prison, a source told necn.

The former Patriots tight end, serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, had a weapon on him or in his cell, according to the source, who did not want to be identified. Hernandez was convicted in April for the 2013 murder of Lloyd, who was dating his fiancée's sister.

Hernandez is currently awaiting a trial for the 2012 double murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. Prosecutors say Hernandez killed de Abreu and Furtado after a chance encounter at a Boston nightclub. They say Hernandez followed the men in a Toyota 4Runner, pulled up to their car at a light and opened fire.

Stay with necn as this story develops.

CT Congressional Democrats Push to Ban Terror Suspects from Buying Guns


Both of Connecticut's US Senators and a pair of the state's US Representatives chastised the GOP-controlled Congress for either failing to vote on or voting down proposals that they argue could cut down on gun violence.

Specifically, they argued that barring anyone on the US terrorist watch list from purchasing a firearm.

US Sen. Chris Murphy said, “As the terrorist watch list gets better and better it’s more important than ever that those people be prohibited from buying guns if they were to walk into a store, or a gun show, or the internet to go in and buy a weapon.”

He described the amendment to a bill in Congress that was voted down as a "layup."

Rep, Elizabeth Esty and Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Americans need to think about gun violence in different terms.

“This is not a natural disaster hitting the country every day" Rep. Esty said. "It is man-made and men and women are capable of making that difference.”

She even argued that the CDC should do research on the issue of gun violence as a public health issue.

Sen. Blumenthal said, "If 30,000 people in this country were dying from pneumonia or the flu or some other disease, there would be drastic, immediate, urgent action.”

Connecticut GOP Chairman JR Romano released a statement condemning the terrorist attack in San Bernardino.

He also criticized Democrats, arguing that laws can't stop people from committing such terrible acts.

Calling it the "Democrat Culture of Opportunism," Romano said,
"Unfortunately, more gun laws and greater bureaucracy wouldn’t have prevented the horrific terror that took place. In addition to their arsenal of artillery, Syed R. Farook and Tashfeen Malik had pipe bombs, which luckily failed to detonate. These monsters were set on carnage, and would have achieved it by any means necessary."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Inmate Dies After Altercation at Enfield Correctional


The Department of Correction and Connecticut state police are investigating after an inmate died at the Enfield Correctional Institution Friday afternoon.

The Department of Correction says correctional staff responded to an unresponsive inmate around 3:1 1p.m. on Friday. The victim was believed to have been involved in an altercation with another inmate in the cell. Correctional and medical staff provided emergency and life saving measures and the victim was then transported to an outside medical facility. He was pronounced dead at 4:02 p.m.

The victim was identified as 53-year-old Charles Gattert of Prospect, CT. He was serving a six year sentence for risk of injury to a minor and had been incarcerated since Sept. 26, 2012.

The DOC says this was an isolated incident. State Police Central District Major Crimes detectives and the DOC are investigating. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine the exact cause and manner of death.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

West Haven Police Seek Break-In Suspect


Businesses in the center district of West Haven are typically hopping on a Friday night, but it's what happened after hours that has police investigating.

"It looks like he's stopping at every door. He actually approaches my door. It looks like he contemplates breaking the door and then thinks better of it and moves on to the next neighbor, the deli, and he broke their door," said Steve Boddie, owner of Stevie B's.

Just after 4am last Friday, police say they believe the person caught on tape broke into several businesses along Campbell Avenue. The criminal activity cost shop owners thousands of dollars worth of damage and stolen property.

Alba's Beauty Salon was one of the targets.

"They took a lot of cosmetics. They opened the cash register but nothing there," said Iria Briceno who works at the salon.

The crime spree continued on to Golden Island Chinese Restaurant where workers say several items were stolen. The thief also took a computer but then smashed it on the ground outside.

"They shouldn't have to go through that," said Boddie. "They're working people who are running a business just like I am."

Boddie says for some reason the burglar decided against breaking into his business, but his surveillance system still took the suspect's picture.

Other businesses along the strip say they're adding their own security measures.

"I have faith in the West Haven police department. I'm sure they're going to catch this guy, and obviously, my camera system is top notch. So good luck. I'll find you. I'll catch you, and you'll be arrested," said Boddie.

If you recognize the person caught on camera, call West Haven police.

Photo Credit: Steve Boddie

Meriden Mosque Holds Vigil for San Bernardino Victims


Religious leaders across the country are condemning the mass shooting in San Bernardino, including leaders at a Mosque in Meriden that appears to have been targeted after the terror attacks in Paris. They held a vigil Friday night to remember the victims of the San Bernardino shooting and pray for peace.

The crowd bowed their heads inside the Baitul Aman Mosque just steps away from where bullet holes pierced the side of the building after the attacks in Paris last month. Fortunately no one was hurt.

Police have yet to make an arrest in the case, but Muslim leaders say it was important to come together to condemn what happened in Southern California.

“We come together and unite with everybody in peace and in prayer and I think that’s a strongest weapon against radicalization and extremism,” Zahir Mannan of Middletown said.

With another attack being linked to Islam and investigators calling San Bernardino an act of terror, the impact is being felt across the Muslim community.

“We feel really sad and disappointed because there’s a backlash that people face and our Muslims are facing it,” Mannan said.

Those who attend the Baitul Aman Mosque say the only way to address it is by spreading awareness about their religion that they say stands for peace. At the vigil, they prayed for understanding.

“The more the people hear it the more they will know about us and the more hopefully they won’t hate us,” Dr. Mohammed Qureshi, President of the Connecticut Ahmadiyya Muslim Community said.

The community events will continue at the mosque. The FBI is hosting an anti-bullying program for young people on December 19.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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