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Child Injured in West Hartford Crash


A car and a Greater Hartford Transit van collided in West Hartford on Tuesday morning and a man and a 12-year-old child taken to the hospital. 

George Grevalsky was driving under suspension when his 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser went through a stop sign and collided with a 2012 Ford F450 transport van at Boulevard and Newport Avenue in West Hartfordat 9:20 a.m., police said. 

The 12-year-old in the van and Grevalsky were transported to Saint Francis Hospital. The driver of the van complained of pain, but refused to be taken to the hospital, police said.  

Grevalsky was issued a summons.

Note: Officials originally said one of the vehicles involved was a CT Transit bus, but police later said that was not the case.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Questioned in Producer's Death


A "person of interest" being questioned in the death of an ABC7 Chicago producer who was killed while vacationing in Belize has been charged with an unrelated crime and sentenced to prison, authorities said.

Belize Police Department spokesperson Raphael Martinez said a 24-year-old Guatemalan man was sentenced to six months in prison for illegal entry into Belize.

"Since he was charged with illegal entry, I am sure the persons that in terviewed him could squeeze absolutely nothing in relation to the death of Anne from him, however, the investigation continues as police are following several leads," Martinez said, referring to Anne Swaney, the executive producer of online operations for abc7chicago.com. 

As of Monday, he had not been charged in connection with Swaney's killing. She found dead Friday.

The 24-year-old man had entered Belize illegally. He was taken into custody Friday morning and was being interrogated by police. He told police he was on a fishing expedition near the resort where 39-year-old Swaney was staying, according to authorities.

Police said the Guatemalan man gave them misleading information and conflicting statements. According to authorities, when he was taken into custody near the scene Friday morning, he did not have any fishing equipment, but he did have a knife, which is currently being analyzed. He appeared in court Monday morning. 

Belizean police revealed Sunday they also planned to question two tour guides.

Swaney arrived more than a week ago for a seven-day vacation at Nabatunich Resort, Benque Viejo Police Superintendent Daniel Arzu told NBC Chicago. She was traveling alone. 

Swaney was found dead after a daylong search with bruises on her neck and lacerations on either side of her head, Arzu said. Police believe she may have been sexually assaulted.

"We suspect that she may have been sexually violated,” Arzu said. “She had bruises around her neck that reveals that there might have been some strangulation or some sort of fight back.”


Post-mortem reports show Swaney was bleeding profusely, but there was no blood on the deck where her belongings were found, police said Sunday, which leads them to believe that the crime may have been committed somewhere else.

She went out to do yoga Thursday morning around 8 a.m. along the Mopan River near the resort, Arzu said. Hours later, a tour guide found her belongings along the river but no sign of her.

Dogs were brought in to help search for Swaney Thursday night. Her scent was picked up near the river, though she was not located until the following day when she was found floating face-down in the river wearing only a bra, authorities said.

An autopsy performed by the Benque Viejo Police Department was unable to determine conclusively if she had been sexually assaulted. The cause of death was ruled to be asphyxia by compression of the neck, manual strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head and neck, which police believe was committed with a rock.

DNA evidence was collected from Swaney's body, according to authorities. It was not semen, but is being analyzed to find a possible link to any persons of interest.

Swaney's family members will not be traveling to Belize, but are arranging to have her body taken to the U.S. by no later than Wednesday. A visitation will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Rollins Funeral Home. A private family graveside service will follow.

Swaney was an avid world traveler and lover of horses, friends said.

"When she walked on the premises, it was like you knew Anne was here," said Carol Waynauskas of Sarah's Stables in Willow Springs, where Swaney spent much of her time with her horse, Sequia.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for contributions to the Northland Therapeutic Riding Center and the Changing Leads Equine Rescue, both located in Missouri. 

"A lot of people are terribly broken up about this," President and General Manager of ABC7 John H. Idler said. "She had that capacity to make everybody around here better. She demanded that from those around her. She mentored people throughout her career."

Photo Credit: ABC 7

Calif. Gas Leak May Be Capped Soon


A natural gas leak that has spewed methane into the atmosphere for months in the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles will be capped by late February, if not sooner, according to the Southern California Gas Company.

The utility said in a statement Monday a relief well project is moving along more quickly than expected.

"Our team of experts has been working around the clock since we started relief well operations in early December and we're pleased with the progress we've made thus far," said Jimmie Cho, senior vice president of gas operations and system integrity for SoCalGas, in a written statement.

Relief well drilling began in early December as part of efforts to plug a gas well that began leaking at the Aliso Canyon facility Oct. 26. The leak has prompted the relocation of schools and more than 2,000 households from the neighborhood in northwest Los Angeles.

Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for the Porter Ranch area, where residents have complained of headaches, nausea and other symptoms they believe are a result of massive gas plumes that have floated into their neighborhoods.

"Our top priority remains the safety of those working on the site and of the nearby community. We are focused on stopping the leak as quickly and safely as possible, mitigating the environmental impact, and supporting the community. Our schedule to control and stop the leak in February is consistent with the plan we have submitted to state regulators," Cho said in the statement.

The gas leak has drawn the ire of residents, community activists, environmental groups and state and local officials.

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, the leak has released some 84,000 metric tons of methane and 7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as of Friday.

Photo Credit: AP

Waterbury Crash Cleared, Route 2 Ramp Closure in East Hartford Causes Delays


A tractor-trailer crash caused delays on Route 8 in Waterbury Tuesday morning and there were more delays in East Hartford because the Founders Bridge ramp is shutdown on Route 2. 

In Waterbury, a tractor-trailer jack-knifed on Route 8 south by exit 35, just north of the Mixmaster. The left lane was shut down and there was a solid mile of traffic back-up to exit 36, but that has cleared.

Drivers were able to detour onto Grandview, Watertown or Thomaston avenues to avoid it. 

The Route 2 westbound ramp, Exit 2W, taking drivers over the Founders Bridge in East Hartford is closed on Monday for construction and will be shut down through November. As drivers get accustomed to the detour heading into downtown Hartford for work, there were heavy delays in the morning. 

Drivers can detour onto exit 3 or use the Bulkeley, Charter Oak or Putnam bridges to get across the river. 

Follow traffic reporter Heidi Voight on Twitter for updates (@HeidiVoight). 

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation.

Ambulances Respond to West Hartford Crash


Ambulances have been called to the scene of a four-vehicle crash in the Elmood section of West Hartford.

The crash is in the area of 1061 New Britain Ave.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

West Bank Mom of Six Fatally Stabbed, Teen Arrested


A 15-year-old Palestinian boy has been arrested on suspicion of fatally stabbing a Jewish mother of six in her West Bank home.

NBC News reported that the suspect was detained in a raid late on Monday, according to a police spokesman.

Dafna Meir, 38, died after an attacker entered her home in the Jewish settlement of Otniel on Sunday. Officials said three of her children were home during the attack.

Jewish settlements in the West Bank have long been a subject of tension. Built on lands Israel captured in the 1967 war and claimed by Palestinians, the international community considers the settlements illegitimate.

The last three and a half months have seen attacks on Israelis by Palestinians that have killed 24 and the deaths of at least 141 Palestinians by Israelis.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner

Below Normal Cold Today


Connecticut is under a wind advisory today and the governor has activated the state's severe cold weather protocol during record-breaking cold. 

It has been s a gusty morning, with winds from the northwest blowing at up to 30 miles an hour and temperatures are below normal, in the teens to 20 for the most part. Highs could reach the low-30s in parts of the state.

Wind chill is making temperatures feel like they are in the single digits and wind chills could drop to zero for a time on Tuesday morning.

Several people had car troubles in the bitter cold and AAA received more than 300 calls for assistance in Greater Hartford since midnight and more than 100 between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Some of them were from people like Aneeta Jain, of West Hartford, whose car would not start. 

"I've seen even brand new cars, brand new cars off the lot, because of the cold weather, not turn on," Pablo Lopez, of AAA Service, said.

He also recommended checking tire pressure and having an emergency kit in the vehicle.

"And people, because they have a brand new car, don't bring blankets, water, little stuff that you can keep in the trunk that makes sense," said Lopez, who always wear layers during the cold weather.

"I wear like four pair of pants, two coats, I always have extra hats, gloves and I'm pretty warm," he said.

The threshold for isolated power outages in the winter is 50 mph so, while outages are unlikely today, a handful of homes and business could be in the dark in a few towns.

Today also features a blend of clouds and sunshine.

A lot of sunshine is expected on Wednesday and Thursday and temperatures will hit the low 30s.

For the Hartford area, it's the dead of winter based on averages. The average high is 34 and the average low is 17.

The state is free of major weather disruptions until late this week. Read more on the weekend storm potential here.

Photo Credit: AP

Schools Around Northeast Receive Threats of Violence


Schools in several communities in the Northeast were evacuated or locked down Tuesday amid threats of violence.

It's unclear if any of the threats are connected. Law enforcement sources have said the FBI is monitoring the threats while local police lead the investigations, according to NBC News and NBC 4 New York.


Three schools in Delaware have been evacuated, including Long Neck Elementary School in Millsboro, Woodbridge High School in Greenwood and Silverlake Elementary School in Middletown, according to state police.

A fourth — Rehoboth Elementary School in Rehoboth Beach — also received a threatening message, according to State Sen. Ernesto Lopez, who called the perpetrator a "coward" who would be "prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Local police departments send K-9s to sweep the school campuses.

The superintendent at Silverlake said in a message to parents the threat was made during a robo-call Tuesday morning and the situation was "under control," NBC 10 Philadelphia reports. Police have not revealed details of the other threats to Delaware schools.

State police said each threat came in the form of a robo-call.


At least one school district in Pennsylvania was evacuated Tuesday.

Officials with the Chichester School District in Delaware County urged parents against driving to school to pick up their children while police investigated, according to NBC 10 Philadelphia. 


Meanwhile, at least 10 schools in Bergen County, New Jersey, received bomb threats or mass shooting threats Tuesday, NBC 4 New York reported.

New Jersey officials said schools in Sayreville, Teaneck, Garfield, Tenafly, Clifton, Fair Lawn, Leonia, Bergenfield, Englewood and Hackensack received threats from someone who claimed to have planted bombs or threatened a mass shooting.

Authorities initially said New Milford also received a threat, but the superintendent said that wasn't the case.

At least three schools received threats over voicemail that appear to have been routed through Bakersfield, California, according to the Bergen County sheriff.

A police source familiar with the investigation told NBC 4 New York four of the affected schools had been cleared by law enforcement and the other five are expected to be cleared shortly.

Police in Clifton said there was "no indication of any validity to the threat."


Students were evacuated Tuesday from at least five schools in Massachusetts, including Arlington High School, Groton Middle School, the Florence Roche School in Groton, Fitzgerald Elementary School in Waltham and the Ayer-Shirley Regional High School, where students were moved to a nearby elementary school.

Authorities are also responding to schools in Tewksbury and Newton.

The superintendent of Taunton Public Schools received a threatening call Monday night, prompting police to send officers to the school Tuesday morning. Authorities determined the message was not specific to Taunton and school remained in session.

The FBI is helping police investigate the threats in Massachusetts, but officials told necn they believe the threats are not credible


It's the second time in as many weeks that threatening messages have targeted a number of schools in Massachusetts and Delaware.

Four schools in Delaware received bomb threats last Monday, according to a news release posted on the state police Facebook page.

Threats also targeted schools in at least nine Massachusetts communities on Friday, prompting several to evacuate. Many were deemed unfounded.

The biggest headline came last month, when education officials in Los Angeles received an email threatening weapons and explosive devices, prompting the city to shutter all 900 of its public schools.

The threat was found to be a hoax, as was a nearly identical threat sent to New York City schools the same day.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Blend Images RM

Deadly Greyhound Crash in Calif.


Two female passengers were killed Tuesday morning when a Greyhound bus carrying 20 passengers flipped on its side in South San Jose, tying up traffic and raising questions about bus driver working conditions and hours.

In an afternoon news conference, California Highway Patrol Officer Chris Miceli said the driver – who was reportedly in stable condition at Regional Medical Center of San Jose – acknowledged he had been "fatigued." 

The driver of the bus has been identified by the CHP as 58-year-old Gary Bonslater, a resident of Victorville.

"He did say he was fatigued leading up to the collision," Miceli said of Bonslater. "He says he remembers hitting the black barrels and then the next thing he remembers the bus was on its side."

Passengers claim Bonslater seemed tired and report he was knodding off at the wheel. 

Bonslater is a veteran driver who was hired by Greyhound 26 years ago. The CHP said Bonslater had a clean driving record prior to Tuesday's crash.

CHP Sgt. Lisa Brazil said in the collision two women were ejected from the windows and died at the scene. One woman killed in the crash has been identified by family members as 51-year-old Fely Olivera, who leaves behind two sons.

The accident was reported shortly before 6:40 a.m. on U.S. Highway 101 at state Route 85, a busy South Bay thoroughfare that remained jammed during the rainy, early-morning commute.

In addition, Brazil said that eight other people suffered injuries, including an 8-year-old boy and 72-year-old woman. One adult suffered major injuries, the CHP said. Initial reports were that all 18 passengers were injured.

"There were a few passengers having great difficulty dealing with what happened – the traumatic incident that occurred – but we were able to get them off scene and get them with their relatives and friends," CHP officer Amy Tritenbach said.

Witnesses driving behind the bus told CHP officers that they saw the rear end of the bus "fly in the air" while trying to veer into the carpool lane before flipping onto the K-rail, Brazil said.

She added investigators did not know why the bus landed on its side, and disputed reports from a passenger who told a news outlet that the driver may have fallen asleep.

Brazil said that all the passengers interviewed told officers that they were asleep themselves before the crash occurred. According to Greyhound's bus tracker, the vehicle had left from Los Angeles just before midnight. Its final destination was supposed to be Oakland. A CHP officer told NBC Bay Area the bus made a stop in Gilroy to let two people off.

The bus was also scheduled to make stops in Avenal, San Jose and San Francisco.

"We do apologize," Greyhound spokeswoman Lanesha Gipson said. "Safety is the cornerstone of our business."

She would not elaborate on any more details of the crash, saying it was under investigation.

Larry Hanley, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents Greyhound bus drivers, told NBC Bay Area he did not have firsthand knowledge of the accident early Tuesday morning.

But Hanley did say that the union has been pushing Congress to act to include bus drivers in the Fair Labor Standards Act.

On average, inter-city bus drivers earn about $13 an hour and can work 70 hours a week and they don’t get overtime past 40 hours, the union states. After every 10 hours, they must take a break, however.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, fatigue has contributed to about 3 percent of all fatal crashes nationwide since 2005, and 13 percent of all big rig and bus crashes were caused by driver fatigue in 2006 and 2007. 

Lengthy shifts behind the wheel were also one of 2014's top violations for truckers and bus drivers, federal officials found. 

Most drivers have multiple jobs and are often fatigued, he said. "There’s a crisis in America," Hanley said. "The bus industry is forcing drivers to work too many hours to make a living wage."

While Gipson wouldn't speculate on whether the bus driver had been fatigued or not, she did say that Greyhound mandates its drivers get "nine hours of rest" after each 10-hour shift.

The crash was horrifying to those who witnessed its aftermath.

Anthony Cordero was driving to his job in Palo Alto with his two children, ages 3 and 4, when he passed by the crash. He heard responders inside the emergency vehicles shouting, "Get out of the way! Move!"

He said he saw the bus "completely smashed" and "literally hanging" over the side of the concrete barrier. He was listening to the radio and knew that there were fatalities. He asked his children to look away.

"I feel really badly for the families involved," he said. "But I also feel thankful. I was running a little late. If I was running on time, I would have been in that lane."

CHP investigators spent the day measuring and inspecting the bus, taking photographs and checking the road for signs of skids. They said the bus was outfitted with a camera but couldn't confirm whether it was operating at the time of accident. 

The National Transportation Safety Board says it also plans to investigate the deadly crash, which littered the highway with passengers' belongings, including blankets, a pillow and a shoe.

"Terrible as it is, the fact that no other vehicle was involved is miraculous," Miceli said.

The bus was uprighted by crews after 3 p.m. After being mounted on a truck, the crumpled bus was removed from the scene just after 5 p.m.

Greyhound passenger Robert Wesley, who was preparing for a ride from San Jose to Southern California Tuesday afternoon, said he was shaken by the news of the fatal crash, but didn’t plan to alter his travel plans.

"That’s really sad, really sad for those that lost their life," he said. "If it happened once it might happen again, but I’m not going to stop traveling just because of an accident."

There have been other notable bus fatalities in Northern California. Two years ago, 10 people were killed when a Fed Ex truck hit a bus carrying high school students en route to Humboldt State University. In 2009, five French tourists were killed when their charter bus left the road on Highway 101 near Soledad.

And the worst highway disaster in Bay Area history was when the brakes failed on a bus near the Benicia-Martinez Bridge, killing 27 Yuba City choir students and one teacher in 1976.

Friends and family of anyone who was on Greyhound bus No. 6876 can call 1-800-972-4583 to check on their status.

NBC Bay Area's Rhea Mahbubani and Kristofer Noceda contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Kris Sanchez/NBC Bay Area

Sen. Blumenthal Works to Combat Increasing Prescription Drug Prices


U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) is working to fight against skyrocketing drug prices. 

“Broken markets, lax regulation and unvarnished greed have resulted in skyrocketing prescription drug prices—hindering care and creating crushing medical costs for patients across Connecticut," Blumenthal said in a statement. "These unaffordable drug prices are hurting consumers, limiting health options and strangling our state and national economy. Neither our markets nor our regulators are working right now to ensure reliable affordable access to life-saving treatments—a catastrophic failure that must be addressed now. Through legislation, regulation and strong, proactive oversight, there must be an immediate crackdown on misuse of monopolistic power and price gouging,” Blumenthal said."

He was joined by State Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Hartford Hospital President and CEO Elliot Joseph and State Healthcare Advocate Victoria Veltri to discuss "the devastating impact that rising drug prices have on family budget, patient care and the state economy" Tuesday morning at Hartford Hospital. 

Blumenthal's staff said that Americans spent almost $300 billion on prescription drugs in 2014, marking about a 12 percent increase over the year before and "the largest overall increase in over a decade."

Over the past year, his office said prices for nearly every type of drugs went up another 10 percent. The average American spends as much as $570 out of pocket for prescription drugs annually, so Blumenthal's office said that can be burdensome on families and the national economy. 

Blumenthal was scheduled to unveil a plan Tuesday about how he would propose combating the rising costs of prescription drugs. 

Photo Credit: AP

Old Saybrook DMV Office Closed for Rest of the Day


The state Department of Motor Vehicles is closing the Old Saybrook office for the rest of the day on Tuesday after a pickup hit the building’s power transformer this morning and pulled it from its base.

Officials from the DMV said Eversource will need to disconnect power at the office to replace the transformer.

Anyone needing to use the Old Saybrook office can go to a nearby DMV or AAA office that can be found at ct.gov/dmv/offices.

BuzzFeed Features Colchester Pub As Best Irish Bar in Connecticut


BuzzFeed has dubbed a Colchester Irish Pub top o' the state and one of the best Irish pubs in the country. 

For a recent article, one of the site's writers asked Yelp to feed her the top-rated Irish pubs in every state. For Connecticut, the website lists Inishmor Pub in Colchester as the top-rated Irish bar in the state as identified by Yelp. 

"Being a guy whose surname begins with Mc, I felt right at home — really enjoyed this place. It’s a great little Irish pub. It deserves five stars for the beer selection alone," BuzzFeed quotes one patron saying.

The site quoted another restaurant-goer saying, "“I live down the road, and have been a regular ever since they opened; my boyfriend and I come here every time I don’t feel like cooking. Draft and whiskey list is stellar, too. Keep up the momentum, guys … taking over the town of Colchester in year number one.”

Read BuzzFeed's full list here or read more reviews of Inishmor Pub on Yelp

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bloomfield Warming Centers Open


Freezing cold temperatures are here and warming centers are opening to keep people comfortable in the cold weather.


The following warming centers will be open:

  • The Alvin & Beatrice Wood Human Services Center, 330 Park Ave., 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Use the Community/Youth Center entrance on the west side of the building Phone: 860-769-3566
  • Prosser Library, 1 Tunxis Ave., open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Phone: 860-243-9721
  • McMahon Wintonbury Library, 1015 Blue Hills Ave. 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Phone: 860-242-0041. The Town will provide water, but residents are asked to bring their own food. Remember to also bring medications, emergency contact phone numbers and any other items you might need during the day. Service dogs are always welcome.
  • Blue Hills Fire Department, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Officials warn pet owners that pets should not be kept outside during extremely cold weather because they can suffer frostbite and hypothermia the same as humans. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Waterbury Woman Killed in Hit-and-Run


A 22-year-old mother of two from Waterbury woman is dead after being hit by a car on Monday morning and police are searching for the woman who fled the scene.

Genesis Baez, 22, of Waterbury, was standing near the front passenger side of an occupied two-door 1998 Honda Civic on Bronson Street in Waterbury just after 9:30 a.m. when a four-door 2001 Chevy Malibu made a left turn from Cooke Street and hit the Civic and then hit Baez, police said.

Baez sustained serious head and upper body injuries and was brought to St Mary’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 11 a.m. She was a resident of Bronson Street, according to police.

Police said the driver who hit Baez ran from the scene after the crash. Police are executing a search warrant on the vehicle.

The driver was identified as a heavyset woman in her early 20s. She is between 5-feet-6 and 5-feet-10.

Anyone with information about the incident or the driver who fled should call police at (203) 574-6941.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Volunteer for Ben Carson Dies After Iowa Van Crash


A volunteer for Ben Carson's Republican presidential campaign died Tuesday after a van carrying four staff members flipped over on a patch of ice in Iowa and was rammed by another vehicle, hospital officials confirmed Tuesday night.

Carson immediately suspended his campaign for at least two days to travel from South Carolina to Omaha, Nebraska, where the volunteer was rushed for treatment at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the campaign said. He planned to meet with the family of the volunteer, whom the hospital identified as Braden Joplin, 25, NBC News reported.

Joplin died at 4:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. ET), the hospital said. The three other passengers involved in the accident near Atlantic, Iowa, were treated and released from a local hospital.

The Carson campaign said it would cover travel expenses to Omaha for Joplin's family in Texas.

Photo Credit: Iowa Department of Public Safety

Price Chopper Recalling Ice Cream For Metal Shavings Risk


Price Chopper and Market 32 supermarkets are voluntarily recalling ice cream due to a possible metal shavings risk.

Most costumers who bought Central Market Classics Caramel Caribou Ice Cream (UPC #4173507230) 48 oz. have already been contacted about the treat, the supermarket said in a release. 

Price Chopper is offering a full refund to anyone affected by the product.

Anyone with questions or concerns are asked to call 800-666-7667 option 3.

East Hartford Bank Robbery Suspect Still at Large: Police


Police are looking for a suspect who robbed a bank in East Hartford on Tuesday. 

The call to police came in just before noon about a bank robbery at the First Niagara Bank on Main Street in East Hartford. 

The suspect allegedly gave bank employees a note that read "this is a robbery," police said. The teller gave the man an undisclosed amount of money and he fled on foot. Police did not find him.

The burglar, who may have had a Jamaican accent, did not make any threats or show the employees a weapon, according to a East Hartford police release. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Patrick Sullivan at 860-291-7611.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Family Searching for Missing Delta Flight Attendant


Family members say they're frantically looking for a Delta flight attendant from Queens who hasn't been seen since last week, when she apparently quit her job ahead of a flight and walked out of LaGuardia Airport.

The father of Sierra Shields says that his daughter was last seen leaving the airport at about noon on Thursday. She had been scheduled to work a flight originating from the airport, but apparently turned off her flight equipment and walked out instead.

Shields, 30, was seen leaving the airport on foot, but it's not clear if she got in a car or bus afterward. She may have been wearing her flight attendant outfit when she left.

The NYPD says it is working with the family to find Shields, who is originally from south suburban Chicago.

Family members have told other media outlets that she may have been depressed. 

The woman's family has distributed missing posters throughout the city, and they've set up a "Find Sierra Shields" Facebook page for the woman.

"She lives her life by God's word and is such an amazing, helpful, and caring daughter, sister, and friend," an administrator for the page said in a post on Saturday. "All of us who know her, love her very much!"

Shields is described as being about 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds. She has brown eyes, black hair and medium complexion. 

Anyone with information on Shields' whereabouts is asked to call 347-670-3329 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NYPD

Hartford Cop Bitten by Dog While Responding to Gun Attack


A Hartford police officer was attacked while responding to an assault involving a firearm on Sunday.

The officers, who were not identified, were dispatched to Park street just before 8:00 pm following a firearm attack complaint, Hartford police said.

A male victim was suffering from a gunshot wound in the second floor stairway landing when police arrived. 

When two officers tried to help the victim, they were attacked by a pit bull and one officer sustained bites on his hand and wrist, police said.

The officer was released from the Hartford Hospital after treatment. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Alexion Begins Relocating Employees to New Haven Headquarters


After breaking ground in June 2013, downtown New Haven is now the home for Alexion, the biopharmaceutical company developing treatments for rare disorders.

About 200 employees moved into the new headquarters located at 100 College Street on Tuesday, Alexion’s executive director of corporate communications Kim Diamond said.

“Probably the last time a major global company like Alexion pharmaceuticals moved a headquarters into a brand new beautiful building with over a 1000 jobs in downtown New Haven was before either you or I was born,” said Will Ginsberg, the president and CEO of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. “This doesn’t happen very often”

A short walk from Alexion’s new building is Blue State Coffee.

“It gets really busy around 8 o’clock in the morning,” manager Kassie Calahan said, “it’s non-stop. It’s a line out the door.”

Now, Calahan said she is hoping for even longer lines with a new corporate headquarters in the neighborhood.

“I imagine we will see a boost for sure,” Calahan said, “we are very centrally located to businesses and the medical campus.”

As part of its move from Cheshire back to the Elm City, where Alexion was born 24 years ago in New Haven's Science Park, the company announced a 30-day grant program called “Here in New Haven.”

Alexion is partnering with The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven to donate $1,000 to thirty local non-profit organizations over the next 30 business days.

“I think that Alexion has the potential to raise the bar in terms of corporate involvement in New Haven and corporate philanthropy in New Haven,” Ginsberg said.

The first recipient of the $1,000 grant from Alexion is Columbus House, which provides shelter and services for the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless. The rest of the recipients will be announced daily on giveGreater.org’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.

By the end of March, Diamond said a total of a thousand Alexion employees will move into its new headquarters.

“They’re attracting other bio-technical companies to this city and area, and so many young people work in that industry,” Mayor Toni Harp (D) told NBC Connecticut in a sit-down interview last month.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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