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Crews Respond to Waterbury Fire


Waterbury fire officials are investigating after heavy fire damaged a building Saturday afternoon.

Official say they responded to a fire in a building near the intersection of Laurel Street and Williams Street around 3:55 p.m. Upon arrival they found heavy fire showing and commenced defensive ops.

The building was located in a residential area but it was vacant at the time of the fire. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

LIFE STAR Airlifts Injured 12-Year-Old Skier to Hospital


A 12-year-old girl injured in a skiing accident at Mohawk Mountain in Cornwall was transported by ambulance to Sharon Hospital and then airlifted by LIFE STAR to Hartford Hospital Saturday afternoon.

Mohawk Mountain officials said that skiing as a sport has some inherent risks and they do have injuries from time to time. The mountain Ski Patrol is regularly out on the slopes responding to any accidents.

An ambulance transported skiers twice from the mountain on Saturday, but Mohawk Mountain officials said that's not unusual and that it's fairly routine to have an ambulance respond to assist skiers.

The mountain is 20 minutes from Sharon Hospital.

The identity of the injured skier, the nature of her injuries and her condition are unknown.

New York Times Endorses Clinton, Kasich


The New York Times' editorial board announced Saturday it is endorsing Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination and Ohio Gov. John Kasich for the Republican primary.

The endorsements, published online Saturday morning, comes just two days ahead of the highly-anticipated Iowa caucuses.

This is the fourth time the paper has endorsed Clinton in a run for public office, and wrote that it is doing so with "confidence and enthusiasm." 

"Hillary Clinton is the right choice for the Democrats to present a vision for America that is radically different from the one that leading Republican candidates offer — a vision in which middle-class Americans have a real shot at prosperity, women's rights are enhanced, undocumented immigrants are given a chance at legitimacy, international alliances are nurtured and the country is kept safe."

The editorial board commended Clinton’s main opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, for bringing issues like income inequality, the plight of the middle class and military restraint to the forefront, but ultimately concludes that he “does not have the breadth of experience or policy ideas that Mrs. Clinton offers.”

It also picked Ohio Gov. John Kasich as the "only plausible choice for Republicans tired of the extremism and inexperience on display in this race." But not before denouncing the candidacies of Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

“From deporting Mexican immigrants and barring Muslims to slapping a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports, Mr. Trump invents his positions as he goes along,” the editorial says. 

The paper also condemns Trump's inexperience and disinterest in learning about "national security, defense and global warming."

As for the "equally objectionable" Cruz, the Times calls his campaign one of "ambition" and not aimed at "restoring constitutional principle."

"Now, whether he’s threatening to ‘carpet bomb’ Syrian villages or pitching a phony ‘flat tax’ that would batter middle-class consumers, Mr. Cruz will say anything to win,” the editorial board wrote.

Unlike Clinton's endorsement, Kasich's wasn't exactly praiseworthy, noting the GOP underdog "is no moderate," and cited his battles with public-sector unions, support for limiting abortion rights and opposition to same-sex marriage.

Photo Credit: Getty

Trump, Clinton Ahead in Iowa: Poll


The final Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll is out, just before the Iowa caucuses.

Donald Trump is surging past Ted Cruz, and Hillary Clinton holds a three-point lead over Bernie Sanders in the poll, NBC News reported.

Trump has the support of 28 percent of likely caucus-goers while Cruz has 23 percent. Meanwhile, the data shows Clinton leading Sanders 45 to 42 percent.

The poll comes just 48 hours before voters will meet for Monday night’s caucus. 

Hartford Couple Accused of Leaving 2-Year-Old Home Alone


Hartford police have arrested two people accused of leaving a 2-year-old girl alone in deplorable conditions at a Hartford apartment.

Police say they found the child covered in feces in an Ashford Street apartment Friday, after a neighbor called 911. The child was not injured, but she was transported to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center per protocol, according to police.

The girl’s mother Hendyliz Marrero, 23, and stepfather Ignacio Castro, 27, were arrested following the incident. Both are charged with risk of injury to a minor and held on $100,000 bond. Police say both have been cooperative with the investigation.

The child was placed in the home of another family member while the Department of Children and Families investigates.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

Salon Hosts Fundraiser for Family of Young Crash Victims


Family and friends came together to remember the lives of two little girls and help their family deal with the horrible loss.

A fundraiser was held for the family of seven-year-old Veronica Martinez and four-year-old Yvette Martinez. Both were killed in a car crash in Bristol in December.

The fundraiser was held at D’Yaze Hair Bar in Middletown on Saturday and for $25 people could receive a hairstyling, facial, and makeup application.

In December, the girls were involved in a car crash in Bristol. The violent impact ended their lives and hurt their mother, Kayla Torres.

“This is unimaginable for any parent. So if you do have a child even if you don’t I’m sure you have nieces, nephews cousins, the loss of anyone is very devastating,” says Corinthian Mcleod, a family friend and organizer of the fundraiser.

Days after the crash, the community came together for a candlelight vigil.

There was also an outpouring of support which still continues.

People can also help pay for the girls’ headstones by contacting KG Memorials at 860-568-3125.

Suffield Police Warn Residents of Potential Delivery Scam


Suffield police are warning residents to be on alert for possible scams after a man showed up at the doorstep of a Mapleton Avenue resident.

Police say on Friday a resident reported to them that a heavy set male knocked on her front door around 6:30 p.m. stating he had a delivery. The resident told the man she had not ordered anything and asked the man to leave it on the porch. At that point, the man said he could not leave the package because it was a cash on delivery order and he required payment for it.

The resident refused to answer the door and the man left the area in a dark colored car. Suffield police searched the area for the vehicle but the suspect was not found.

Suffield police remind residents to be vigilant and if anything appears suspicious, call police at (860) 668-3870.

Lawyers Record Ammon Bundy's Voice to End Occupation


Lawyers for Ammon Bundy, the leader of the armed occupation at an Oregon wildlife refuge, say they have recored his voice urging supporters to disband and leave, NBC News reported.

Since his arrest on Tuesday, Bundy has urged supporters to go home. His attorneys say the remaining four occupiers are skeptical that the previous calls have, in fact, come from Bundy.

Bundy was arrested with other members of the group on Tuesday. Another member was fatally shot by police during the arrests on a highway.

A federal judge refused to grant Bundy or his brother, Ryan, bail, saying she considered them a flight risk and a danger to the community.  

Photo Credit: AP

One Injured in Suffield Crash


One person was injured after crashing into a pole on Mountain Road in Suffield Saturday afternoon.

Suffield police say a Jeep struck a pole in the area around 4:45 p.m. The driver was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.

Police say Mountain Road is down to one lane from Babbs Road to the Southwick line after the crash. Crews are working to fix the pole. Expect delays in the area.


Photo Credit: Suffield Police Department

Police Investigate Road Rage Incident Turned Robbery


East Windsor police are looking for two suspects who allegedly robbed a man during a road rage incident Saturday evening.

Police say around 5:14 p.m. a man reported being cut off by another vehicle on Interstate 91. He followed the suspect vehicle into the Shell gas station on Bridge Street and snapped a photo of the license plate.

A female passenger then exited the suspect vehicle, forcibly took the man’s phone, and ran into the gas station. The victim reported he went to get his phone back, but when he approached the female, the male driver exited the suspect vehicle threatened him with a pocket knife. The victim was able to retrieve his cellphone before the suspects fled.

The suspect vehicle is described as a white Nissan Sentra. East Windsor police are investigating the incident as a robbery and working to locate the people in the suspect vehicle. Anyone with information should contact police at (860) 292-8240.

5 Killed in British Columbia Avalanche Identified


Authorities identified five snowmobilers killed in an avalanche in British Columbia, Canada, on Friday, NBC News reported.

The five killed were all from Alberta. They were identified as Vincent Eugene Loewen, Tony Christopher Greenwood, Ricky Robinson, Todd William Chisholm and John Harold Garley.

The avalanche, around 2,300 feet across and between 2,300 and 2,600 feet long, struck as four different groups of snowmobilers we’re on the mountain. Bystanders immediately tried to dig them out, official said.

Seventeen people were on the mountain and caught in the avalanche, police said.  

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Program Seeks to Revive Baseball in Inner Cities


The Trinity College baseball team played host to dozens of kids and coaches from the Hartford Little League on Saturday. Helping the younger players improve their ball-playing skills was only part of reaching a much bigger goal.

"They're ready for spring right now," said Bryan Adamski, Trinity College Head Baseball Coach. Adamski is one of the organizers of the Hartford chapter of the RBI program. Here, 'RBI' stands for 'Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities'. "Our guys are eager to give back to the game that's given them so much," he said.

The Trinity coaches and players were all helping to improve the baseball skills of local kids.

"I was like 'woo'. It was amazing," said RBI program participant Adam Renca. Renca, 11, was learning a lot about reaching goals from these more seasoned athletes. "How they got here and how they worked hard to get here," he said.

The RBI program gives kids from under-served communities chances to play baseball - and softball - while also encouraging academic success.

"They're full of energy," said Sam Jordan, a senior on the Trinity College baseball team. "They're good listeners and they work hard so it's good," he said.

"It's very nice they are even letting us practice here," said Rafael Roldan, a program participant. "They're teaching us a lot of stuff we never knew."

RBI programs like the one in Hartford have been started in more than 200 cities worldwide, providing more than 260,000 boys and girls the opportunity to play baseball and softball each year.

"I really respect that they're trying to help us learn and giving us techniques and tips to become better baseball players," said RBI Program Participant Christopher Burgos.

To learn more about Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), click here.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Retiring Ohio Police Officer Can't Keep K-9 Partner


An Ohio police officer who retired this week will not be able to take his K-9 partner with him, NBC News reported.

The animal will be auctioned off, according to a state law, leaving Marietta police officer Matthew Hickey angry. Hickey became a K-9 officer in 1998 and has been with his partner, Ajax, for four years.

State law says city property valued over $1,000 must be sold in an auction to the highest bidder. A vendor hired by the city said Ajax is worth $3,500. 

The city’s mayor said his hands are tied because Ajax was purchased by the city. The dog still has several years of service in his capacity, even though he currently doesn’t have a handler. 

Photo Credit: Nicole McClelland

2nd Suspect in Craigslist Pastor Robbery Arrested in Chase


Police arrested a second suspect in the violent October Craiglist robbery that left a Connecticut pastor unconscious after a foot chase Thursday while serving an arrest warrant.

Hartford police and the United States marshal's Violent Fugitive Task Force spotted Rushawn Carroll, 24, of Hartford, in the passenger seat of a car on Chestnut Street on Jan. 28 at about 4:26 p.m. Authorities had an active felony arrest warrant out for his suspected part in the street robbery of Pastor Luis Borges, 54, right outside his church, Assembleia De Deus, at 106 New Park Ave. on Oct. 10. 

Borges found an iPhone 6 advertised for $400 on Craigslist and had arranged to meet the seller outside his church  that day, police said. But when Borges turned over the money to the seller, Raheem Rankine, 20, a second man, who police have now identified as Carroll, came up and punched him in the head, police said.

When police arrived that day, they found the pastor on the ground. He had hit his head on the pavement  and was disoriented, according to police. He was transported to Hartford Hospital and treated for minor injuries.

Police previously arrested Rankine were looking for the second man for months. 

When authorities observed Carroll in the car on Chestnut Street Thursday, Hartford detectives radioed for additional patrols. As the car he was in turned east on Pliny Street, a patrol unit was heading west on the street. When Carroll saw the police cruiser, he bailed out of the vehicle he was in and ran with police chasing him, police said. While fleeing police, he discarded a pellet gun that looked like a real firearm, police said. 

Hartford detectives and a deputy U.S. marshal apprehended him near 206 Mather Street, but then Carroll punched the marshal in the face, police said. A struggle ensued and Hartford detectives eventually handcuffed him. Carroll was combative throughout the encounter and spit of officers multiple times, police said. 

The deputy marshal cut his hands while jumping fences in the chase and required stitches. 

The day of the robbery, the assailants had run off, but the pastor's adult daughter and teenage son arrived after the two men got there and his daughter was able to snap a photo of one of the robbers before her father was assaulted. This photo, as well as one another witness snapped of the car the men were in, which helped police Rankine, who the car was registered to, police said. His phone number matched the one associated with the Craigslist ad, according to his arrest warrant.

Armed with the photo, she recognized one of the assailants on Facebook as the man who had robbed her father, police said.

When police checked his Facebook page, listed under "RahRah Finessa Commah," they noticed that the man looked like the one in the photo the pastor's family provided, down to the same gray sweatshirt with FLY on the front in at least one of his Facebook photos.

"What we put on the internet is preserved essentially for eternity. It's very difficult to take back something that's put out there," Hartford Police Lt. Brandon O'Brien said.

After Rankine was arrested, the pastor's son, Luis Peter Borges told NBC Connecticut "I feel better. can actually sleep knowing that the case is actually moving forward."

The family positively identified Rankine from a photo lineup and police obtained an arrest warrant for him.

On Oct. 17, investigators learned Rankine was hiding at 22 Belden Street in East Hartford and shooting task force detectives monitoring the home spotted him through a window, police said. East Hartford police helped them enter the home and take Rankine into custody. He was charged with first-degree robbery.

Luis Peter Borges previously told NBC Connecticut he was frustrated the second suspect was still on the run. 

"I get frustrated that he's still out there on the loose. Freedom, it just really ticks me off," Luis Peter Borges, the pastor's son, said.

Now that suspect, Carroll has been arrested. In addition to being charged with first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery in the October violent robbery of pastor, Hartford police also charged Carroll with interfering with police, assault on police and having weapons in a motor vehicle after Thursday's chase, according to police. 

Police warn others to beware of fake listings on Craiglist, and remind residents that the police station parking lot is a designated safe zone for all social media transactions.

"The police department's open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year, holidays included," O'Brien said.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

Driver Dies in Fiery Hamden Crash


A driver is dead after a fiery early morning crash in Hamden on Saturday.

Hamden police were called to the area of Whitney Ave. and Lincoln St. around 3:15 a.m. 

When officers and firefighters arrived on scene, they discovered a car that was fully engulfed in flames.

After putting the fire out, officers discovered the driver deceased inside the vehicle.

According to police, the car was traveling north on Whitney Avenue, crossed the center line, left the roadway and struck a building sign. 

The identity of the victim is being withheld at this time pending notification of family.

The Hamden Police Traffic Division is investigating. Police ask anyone with information to call Sgt. Edward Armeno at 203-230-4036.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Uptick in Heroin Overdose Cases at L+M Hospital


Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in Waterford reported receiving patients in five more heroin dose incidents in 24 hours Friday into Saturday. 

A particularly lethal supply of heroin being sold in New London led to an "unprecedented" number of overdoses in one day on Thursday, health officials warned.

Eight people were treated for heroin overdoses on Thursday and a ninth died, The Day reported.

"We've never seen so many in a 24-hour period," Dr. Deirdre Cronin, emergency department physician at L + M Hospital, said of Thursday's overdoses.

Three overdose patients were treated on Wednesday, she said. At least four of the victims are believed to be from New London and one from Waterford.

Cronin said that there is a supply of heroin being sold that's more potent or mixed with another drug. The victims were all addicts using their "regular amount." They described the heroin as brown in color and sold in tied-off plastic sandwich bags with no label. Heroin is typically white.

Charles McKay, associate medical director of the poison control center, said it appears the drug is only being sold in New London.

"We encourage people to reach out for treatment," he said. "This is just another demonstration of how things can go bad."

Cronin said city police have been working to figure out who's selling the drug and where it's being sold.

Two Disabled American Veterans Patrons Shot With BB Guns


Bristol police are asking  for the public's help in gathering information on an assault resulting in two men shot at with BB guns outside a Bristol veterans hall Saturday night. 

Members of the Disabled American Veterans said that one of their patrons walked outside the 191 Riverside Ave. building toward the sidewalk and was waiting for a cab home when he and a second patron standing nearby were pelted with BB pellets as the cab pulled up. 

“They were right there. The cab was right here. Just going down to the cab," Eugene Bald, Disabled American Veterans Board of Management member, said.

Police responded at about 6:48 p.m. to investigate the reported assault and spoke with the 66-year-old victim, who had a "small laceration under his left eye and was bleeding," police said. he was transported to the Bristol Hospital Emergency Room and medical staff found two BBs embedded in his head and treated him for non-life-threatening injuries. 

A BB also grazed the earlobe of the second man.

"Someone just wants to go home and they get hit with a BB. It’s not right," Bruce Champagne of Bristol said.  “I was disgusted. It should never happen here.”

Members tells us they consider the Riverside Avenue neighborhood where the hall is located to be safe. Champagne said the area is normally safe with no problems, so he's surprised an incident like that happened there.

"We would never figure something like that would happen here. Why should it? It's a veterans outlet," Bald said. 

Without a good description of the suspect, police are counting on the public to help them solve the case.

“I hope they get caught. This is not right," Champagne said. 

Anyone with information that would help police identify the culprit is asked to call the Bristol Police Department at 860-584-3011. 

Bristol Criminal Investigation Division officers also responded. 

No suspects have been identified yet. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Driver Hospitalized, Facing Pending Charges After Crash In Willimantic


A driver was hospitalized and is facing pending charges after the person's car crashed into a telephone pole in Willimantic late Sunday night. 

Officers responded to the 100 block of South Street at 11:50 p.m. to investigate a one-car accident. 

The driver, who was the only one in the car, was taken to Windham Hospital's emergency room to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries and observed. 

Police continue to investigate the crash and ask anyone who witnessed it to call Officer Matthew Rousseau or Cpl. Stanley Parizo Jr. at 860-465-3135. All information will remain confidential. 

Eversource also responded to repair the damaged utility pole. 

The road was shut down in both directions until 1:30 a.m. and has since reopened. 

Charges are pending for the driver. 

Photo Credit: Willimantic Police Department

Isolated Slick Spots Monday Morning


Monday morning is starting off with fair skies and mild temperatures for the most part, with some isolated slick spots on the roads and scattered showers later on.

There's a little bit of fog that could cause some visibility issues and temperatures around freezing in parts of the state like Danbury, Willimantic, Westport and Meriden could create some icy patches on the roads in those areas. 

Willimantic police are warning drivers to be cautious because of icy patches on the roadways there.

To the west of us, there's a line of rain shower activity that will likely fizzle as it gets closer to Connecticut. There could be showers close to lunchtime and another sprinkle is possible around dinnertime and the evening commute. Any rain is not expected to be significant.

Photo Credit: DOT

New Court Date for Couple Accused of Leaving 2-Year-Old Home Alone


A mother and step-father accused of leaving a 2-year-old  girl alone in deplorable conditions at a Hartford apartment appeared in court on Monday and a new court date was set for Feb. 22.

The girl’s mother Hendyliz Marrero, 23, and stepfather Ignacio Castro, 27, were arrested after police found the child alone, covered in urine and feces, in an Ashford Street apartment Friday while investigating a 911 call from a neighbor.

Neighbors found the child when they went to check on the source of water leaking into their residence from the apartment above and the little girl told them no one else was home, according to police.

The child was not injured.

Marrero and Castro were both are charged with risk of injury to a minor. Police said both have been cooperative with the investigation.

Neither one spoke in court and the judge reduced bond for Marrero from $100,000 to $65,000. She has no criminal record, according to authorities. 

Castro is a probation for a 2013 drug conviction and his public defender said he is not related to the child and does not live in the building with the mother. 

The child was placed in the home of another family member while the Department of Children and Families investigates.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police
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