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Guns, Marijuana and Steroids Seized During Bridgeport Raid


Bridgeport police made a large drug bust over the weekend and seized dozens of marijuana plants, along with anabolic steroids, human growth hormone and Zanax.

When the Bridgeport Police Tactical Narcotics Team raided 30 Aldine Avenue in Bridgeport on Saturday, they found an elaborate marijuana growing center in the basement, including indoor grow tents with high-intensity grow lamps, agricultural supplies and a mechanical irrigation and exhaust system, police said.

The target of the investigation, Jack E. Kelhoffer, 30, was home when police arrived, but he kept refusing to answer the door, according to police.

When police got into the home, they found a loaded Glock semi-automatic handgun on a table. They also found 85 marijuana plants, separated by maturity; more than 500 grams of harvested marijuana; 23 bottles of anabolic steroids; 250 tablets of human grown hormone and 34 tablets of Zanax, according to police.

Two safes were found in the basement and Kelhoffer would not provide the combination to one of the safes, so the narcotic team called the Bridgeport Fire Department to force it open, police said.

Inside the two safes, police said they found 21 hand guns and rifles and thousands of rounds assorted ammunition.

Kelhoffer was charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana over 4 ounces, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, failure to keep narcotics in original container and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police

Man Charged With Sexually Assaulting a Minor For Years: PD


A Danielson man was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor on Monday, Plainfield Police said. 

Robert Barnhart, 31, is accused of sexual assault in the first and second degree and illegal sexual contact with a minor, police said. 

The arrest stem from an investigation starting in November 2015. Police said during the course of the investigation they discovered that Barnhart had been assaulting a female minor over several years.

Barnhart is being held on a bond of $100,000 and is supposed to appear in court on Feb. 2. 

Rhode Island Man Accused of Dayville Bank Robbery


A Rhode Island man has been arrested in connection a Dayville bank robbery, Connecticut State Police said.

Jason T. Loyd, 39, of Scituate, was extradited from back to Connecticut because he faces robbery and larceny charges, police said. No weapons were shown. 

Police issued a BOLO (Be On the Lookout) alert when a suspect fled after he demanded money from tellers at the Jewett City Savings Bank on Hartford Turnpike on Jan. 29.

Loyd was found by Scituate Police officers on Feb. 1.

The suspect is being held on a bond of $150,000. He is expected to appear in court on Feb. 2. 

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Cops Pick up Bill For Mom Who Can't Afford Daughter's Cake


Two Norwich Police officers are being praised for buying a girl's birthday cake when her mom couldn't afford to. 

Officers Elizabeth Harsley and Christopher Hawrylik responded to a call involving an "emotionally distraught mother," police said.

Upon arriving, the officers found a mother stressed about not being able to afford her daughter's birthday cake. Harsley and Hawrylik purchased the cake with their own money so the mother and her daughter could "enjoy her birthday together," police said.

"Chief Fusaro and the Norwich Police Department are proud to have officers like Officer Hawrylik and Harsley who perform their duties faithfully and routinely go above and beyond the call of duty to serve the citizens of Norwich with compassion and concern," the department's Facebook post read. 

Photo Credit: Norwich Police

Silver Alert Issued for Missing 81-Year-Old Man


Police issued a Silver Alert for an 81-year-old man reported missing from New Fairfield.

Ernest Martucci, 81, was reported missing on Monday and he was last seen wearing a beige jacket, tan pants, a black baseball hat and glasses.

Police said he has been found.

Photo Credit: Silver Alert

Woman Pens Viral Message After Being Catcalled in NYC


A woman covered head to toe in heavy winter clothes was catcalled in midtown Manhattan and then took to Facebook to post a now viral message to address the degrading experience.

“This is what I was wearing this morning as I made my way through a crowded 34th Street subway station, and a man passing by me said, ‘Damn, you have some great legs,’” Christen Brandt wrote in the Jan. 28 message under a photo of her wearing a winter jacket, long boots and stockings.

Brandt -- the co-founder of the non-profit She's the First, which provides scholarships to girls in low-income countries -- wrote her outfit exposed about five inches of her stocking-covered legs, but that was still enough to garner the unwanted attention from the catcaller in the Herald Square subway station.

“When I ignored him and kept walking, he turned around to follow me, to get closer, even as I was moving away. ‘Did you hear me, honey? I said you have nice legs. Damn! Thank you,’" Brandt’s statement continued.

Brandt then made the point that her outfit is proof that women in New York are subjected sexual harassment no matter what they wear or where they are.

“Next time you wonder whether your skirt is too short, next time you ask your teen daughter to change her clothes, or the next time you hear about school dress codes in the news, remember this photo,” Brandt fumed in her Facebook post.

“All women have these moments. All of us. And yet the world acts as if it's still our problem to fix. Get your s---t together, guys,” Brandt wrote. “I, for one, am sick of dealing with it.”

Since the photo was posted on Thursday, it has been "liked" more than 87,000 times and shared nearly 48,000 times.

In a tweet Saturday, Brandt mentioned the positive response to her post. 

"Watching this conversation bloom & hearing your similar experiences has been incredible. Thank you for sharing," she tweeted.


Photo Credit: AP / Katie Riley
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Malloy to Propose $569 million in Cuts to Next Budget


Governor Dannel Malloy will propose cutting the budget for the next fiscal year by nearly $600 million.

The figures come from a document that was circulated to state agency heads and obtained by NBC Connecticut. The governor will give his annual State of the State Address this Wednesday.

The cuts will come from 5.75 percent in new spending reductions across state government amounting to $360.8 million and maintain the $208.7 million in reductions made in recent months during the 2016 fiscal year. Many of those reductions made hit social service and welfare programs the hardest.

Governor Malloy alluded to changing the way the Connecticut spends taxpayer dollars during an exclusive meeting with NBC Connecticut.

Without providing budgetary specifics, the governor said, “We have to change our expectations in government and I think these same services analysis that simply says we’re going to spend the same next year as we did this year even though it’s going to cost us way more money doesn’t work anymore.”

The document also said cuts of up to 9 percent during the next fiscal year should be considered as well.

The governor also proposed using what he referred to as "block" budgeting, wherein agencies would receive lump sums of cash and the executive branch i.e. the governor and the agency head would have discretion over how that money gets spent. Historically, the budget would contain line items for each program and individual expense within an agency. The governor's proposal would be a departure.

Malloy said between that issue and the current services projections always assuming that the state will spend more, drastic changes are needed to keep the state's fiscal house in order.

“We’ve established a system that simply assumes that you’re always going to spend more money" Malloy said. "Let’s make a break with that system.”

Since the economic downturn of 2008, even though Connecticut has added 80,000 people to employment rolls, Malloy said the state hasn't recovered and that government has to reflect that as well.

"We all thought it was going to recover quickly. It hasn’t recovered and now. We’re now in 2016 and we better change our assumptions and we better change how we do these things, otherwise we’re going to be trapped.”

Republicans, too, are calling for spending reform.

Perhaps the most aggressive proposal coming from Republicans is to make all labor contracts subject to approval by the general assembly, which they said will eventually save taxpayers money because it would add a new level of transparency.

They also want to change compensation and benefit structure for state workers, which they said will also save money.

“It's Groundhog Day and here we are doing the same thing over and over and over again" said Sen. Len Fasano, the top Republican in the Connecticut Senate. “We need to stop. We need to change the way government is done in this building. We need to change the structural nature of our budgets. We need to get a hold of our spending.”

Fasano warned that adopting the governor's budget proposal to give more authority to department heads would be irresponsible.

“That isn’t what the legislature was created for. We create policy, not the governor and the democratic governor needs to lead. They need to do their job.”

House Speaker Rep. Brendan Sharkey, (D - Hamden) responded to the Republican proposals and said, "I am disappointed the Republicans, on the eve of a new session have chosen to revert to their tendency to point fingers instead of leading."

Senate Democrat President Martin Looney responded similarly saying, “The Republicans couldn’t even wait for the opening of the General Assembly session before embracing the dark side of partisan politics and resorting to a gross political stunt."

Photo Credit: AP

Police Respond to Body Found in Hartford


Police are responding to a body found on Barbourt Street in Hartford, police confirmed.

Please check back on this developing story. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

2 Charged in Knife Attack at New Haven Cafe


Two men were stabbed at a café in New Haven early Monday morning and police have arrested two suspects.

Police responded to Libra’s Café, at 56 Main St., around 1:16 a.m. and the victims, a 24-year-old New Britain man and a 26-year-old Wallingford, approached the officers and said they’d been attacked at the café.

The New Britain man was bleeding from a severe cut to his right thumb, while the other’s left bicep was cut.

The New Britain man told officers he was trying to break up a fight between customers when Kadhim Alsubaih, 23, of New Haven came at him swinging. The victim raised his arm to block a punch, but Alsubaih’s cut him with a knife, according to police.

The Wallingford man told police that Ahmed Roomi, 21, of New Haven, grabbed him by the throat and punched him during the melee, police said.

His arm was cut, but he didn’t see how he was injured. He also told police he dropped his cell-phone during the attack and saw Roomi pick it up and leave the café.

The other victim confirmed the story.

While investigators were heading to the café, dispatchers broadcast a description of the assailants and their car and police stopped it at Main Street Annex and Townsend Avenue.

Police noticed a blood-covered knife through the window and a cell phone on the floor at the passenger side.

Alsubaih and Roomi, who claimed to have been the victims, said the other men attacked them, but police said they did not appear injured and they didn’t explain away the bloody knife.

Roomi was arrested and charged with breach of peace in the second degree and larceny in the sixth degree.

Alsubaih was arrested and charged with breach of peace in the second degree and assault in the second degree.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police

Supermodel Stephanie Seymour Left Scene of Crash: Police


Supermodel Stephanie Seymour, already accused of drunken driving in a Greenwich, Connecticut, crash last month, now faces more charges connected to another crash discovered the same night.

Police connected Seymour's SUV, found at the scene of a crash with a car on a highway exit ramp, to a damaged utility pole in her hometown, officials announced Monday. She's been charged with leaving the scene of the incident.

State police filed the initial charges after Seymour allegedly backed up into another vehicle at a stop sign on an Interstate 95 South exit ramp just before 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15. Police at the scene found her black Land Rover sideways at the top of the ramp, with a white Mercedes behind it.

Seymour's eyes were bloodshot, she was "unsteady on her feet" and her breath smelled like alcohol, according to state police. Investigators said she refused a field sobriety test and it took six or seven requests for her to fumble through her purse and show officers her license. 

The trooper at the scene also noted damage to the front of Seymour's Land Rover from a prior crash, according to Greenwich police, to which the new charges are connected.

Greenwich police said it appeared she had hit a pole or a tree. Around an hour after state police stopped Seymour, a 47-year-old Greenwich resident, Greenwich police responded to Stanwich Road where a utility pole was found with extensive damage.

The person who caused the crash did not report it, police said, and the car that hit the pole was no longer at the scene, though police found vehicle parts nearby. As police continued to investigate, they determined a black Land Rover was involved in the incident with the pole, which was near Seymour's home.

Police then determined that the damage was consistent to the damage to Seymour's car, according to a news release from Bridgeport police. 

She has been charged with evading responsibility and failure to drive in a proper lane. It's not clear from the online court docket whether Seymour has an attorney.

Seymour, who appeared in several Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions and was a model for Victoria's Secret, made headlines in 2009 when she went through a bitter divorce with then-husband, publishing mogul Peter Brant.

The divorce proceedings turned ugly, with Brant claiming Seymour was an unfit mother for the couple's three children. He also accused her of submitting "invalid" urine samples in an attempt to prove she was not on drugs or alcohol.

Seymour posted the $500 bond for the new charges. 

Seymour is scheduled to appear in Stamford Superior Court on Feb. 2 on the state police charges and on Feb. 7 for the charges Greenwich Police filed. 

Photo Credit: File -- Getty Images

Aetna Looking to Headquarter Humana in Louisville, Kentucky: Report


Aetna isn’t going anywhere and will remain headquartered here in Hartford, but the company's CEO said the insurance company is looking to make commitment to Louisville, Kentucky, according to the Hartford Courant

This is related to the company’s purchase of Humana for $34 billion.

Aetna plans to make Louisville the site of Humana headquarters for Medicare, Medicaid and other government insurance plans, the Courant reported. The company has already made the real estate commitment.

With General Electric’s recent departure, the business community is growing concerned that Aetna could do the same, as both companies opposed the tax increases last year.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Business Journal

Gilbert School Not Closing, But Changes Coming: Supt.


The head of school and superintendent of The Gilbert School in Winsted is quashing rumors that the school is closing its doors. 

Instead, Anthony Serio, the head of school and superintendent said tuition will decrease in the next fiscal year as The W.L. Gilbert Trust Corporation brings international students to campus.

"The Gilbert School has no intention of closing its doors and continues to work hard to remain the best option for educating Winchester’s middle and high school students," Serio said in written statement provided to NBC Connecticut.

"Our breadth of curriculum and programming has been expanded as a result of The W. L. Gilbert Trust Corporation's investment in the International Residency Student Program started in the 2013-14 Academic Year. Our tuition to Winchester will decrease this coming Fiscal Year 2017 due to the Trust bringing to our campus international students. We remain ready to work with the receiver to find strategies to lower costs of education for students PK-12," the statement goes on to say.

The private secondary school, which opened in 1895, also serves as public high school for Winchester and Hartland, according to the school's website.

The school used to be tuition-free, but starting charging tuition to towns sending students to Gilbert in 1947. Winchester began sending seventh- and eighth-graders there in 2011.

The school is accredited under the Connecticut State Department of Education and New England Association of Schools and Colleges, according to its website. 

Police Investigate Another BB Gun Shooting in Bristol


Bristol police are investigating whether there's a connection between two seemingly random BB gun shootings on Saturday evening and again on Monday. 

A 58-year-old man was walking in the area of 200 Blakeslee Street in Bristol around 7 p.m. on Monday when he thought he heard shots from a paintball gun, but soon realized it was something else when he was hit in the face and felt a stinging sensation. A person holding a BB gun confronted him and fired again before running away. 

Police responded to the area at 7:08 p.m. and searched for the BB gun shooter, but couldn't find the person.

The victim had two non-life-threatening puncture wounds on the right side of his face and neck that were consistent with BB gun wounds. 

This is similar to another incident over the weekend when two male veterans were pelted by BB gunfire at about 6:45 p.m. on Jan. 30 while waiting for a cab in front of the Disabled American Veterans Club on Riverside Avenue in Bristol. In that incident, a 66-year-old man was hit in the face and the other man was grazed. 

"It's a good area. There's no problems," Bruce Champagne, of Bristol, previously said of the BB gun incident in front of the Disabled American Veterans Club. "I'm very surprised that it happened here. 

People from the veterans club said they're disgusted by what happened outside their facility recently. 

"We would never figure something like that would happen here. Why should it? It's a veterans outlet," Eugene Bald, Disabled American Veterans Club Board of Management member, previously said. 

Police have a partial description of the possible shooter and said he is sticky, between 20 and 30, and about 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9 and was last seen wearing a gray baseball shirt with blue sleeves and a baseball hat or bandanna.

The description of the shooter from the first incident is very similar, police said. He was wearing dark clothing, a hat and may have tattoos on his right arm.

Anyone with information is asked to call Bristol police at 860-584-3000 or the tips line at 860-585-TIPS (8477) if you have information about who is behind the attacks.

Airlines Bring Back Free Snacks


Free snacks are making a comeback in the main cabins of major U.S. airlines.

United Airlines flight attendants began passing out crackers and mini-pretzels on Monday.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines also announced Monday that free snacks will return for main cabin passengers. All of American's domestic flights should offer free snacks by April.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines has always offered free snacks, as has Delta Airlines. 

Many airlines, however, ditched free snacks to save money in the lean financial years after 9/11.

The return of free snacks comes at a time when many U.S. airlines are posting record profits.  

Photo Credit: American Airlines

Silver Alert Issued for Missing 11-Year-Old


State police have issued a Silver Alert for an 11-year-old girl missing from New Haven. 

Alexis Otero, 11, of Derby, was reported missing Feb. 1. 

She has brown hair and eyes , is 5 feet tall and weighs 115 pounds. She was last seen wearing a dark sweatshirt, khaki pants and black boots. 

She's listed as endangered because of her age and New Haven police said she ran away from her foster care home she has been staying at for a few weeks. . The girl doesn't have any physical ailments or medical issues that are a concern. 

State police said there isn't a photo available. They ask anyone with information to call New Haven police at 203-946-6316. 

Editor's Note: An original version of this story reported the missing 11-year-old girl is from New Haven, but she is from Derby and missing from New Haven. The story has been updated to reflect the new information.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Customers 'Saved' by Tiki Statue


The owners of a restaurant in Ventura, California, say a tiki statue saved four people when a 150-foot-tall palm tree came crashing through the roof during a day of powerful wind gusts in Southern California.

An interior security camera captured footage of the tree falling through the roof of VenTiki Lounge Sunday in downtown Ventura, narrowly missing four people on the patio. The footage shows restaurant employees running into view as the tree snaps in two after striking the roof.

"It was howling," said owner Duane Couch of the powerful winds. "It would come in gusts. People would come inside, it would settle down and people would go back outside."

About eight guests had just left the patio area where the tree landed, Couch said. Three customers and a chef were seated near the tree by a ground-level fire pit, but the tree came to rest on a tiki statue.

"That's what saved the four people sitting there on the benches," he said. "It was absolutely miraculous that everyone just happened to not be in the path of the tree."

The patio, roof and an awning were damaged. The owners said they were not sure when the restaurant will reopen, but co-owner Tonya Couch said a ritual to honor the tiki statue is in order.

"The tiki gods were with us," she said.

The tree was one of several knocked down in Los Angeles and Ventura counties Sunday due to damaging winds. Gusts continued Monday, some reaching 60 to 70 miles in northern Los Angeles County.

No injuries were reported.

Photo Credit: VenTiki
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Ben Carson: Other Campaigns Sabotaged Us With 'Dirty Tricks'


Ben Carson accused his rivals of spreading rumors that he was dropping out of the presidential race, and singled out Ted Cruz's campaign for trying to thwart his chances in the Iowa caucuses.

Carson's campaign told MSNBC it had "confirmed reports" of Cruz supporters telling caucus goers that Carson had suspended his campaign, leading voters to believe they needed to cast their vote for another candidate.

Carson referred to the rumors as "dirty tricks," noting that this "level of deceit and distrust" is a main reason he entered the race.

Iowa Sen. Steve King, who endorsed Cruz, tweeted that "Carson looks like he is out. Iowans need to know before they vote. Most will go to Cruz, I hope."

According to Carson's campaign, the candidate flew home to Florida for a change of clothing after 18 days on the campaign trail, not because he was throwing in the towel. 

Photo Credit: AP

Heavy Rain Tomorrow


The first storm to impact Connecticut this February will be 100 percent rain.

The morning commute tomorrow will be gray, but rain of consequence won't arrive until after the commute is over.

The rain will fall heavy at times in the afternoon and evening, and it's likely that some locations pick up an inch of liquid. Temperatures will be in the 50s.

Thursday features dry weather but even behind the cold front, temperatures will still be near 50.

A pair of beautiful days is lined up to close the week on Friday and Saturday, with abundant sunshine. Temperatures will continue to flirt with 40 degrees.

Sunday will see a mix of sun and clouds, but don't get settled with the quiet weather.

Early next week the First Alert weather team is watching the potential for a storm. Not much is known but pay attention to the forecast for early next week.

Silver Alert for Woman, 61, Missing From Danbury


State police have issued a Silver alert for a 61-year-old woman missing from Danbury. 

Melanie Stuart, 61, has been missing since Sunday. 

State police described Stuart as 5-foot-2 and 150 pounds and said she has blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt. 

The family is concerned for her safety. 

Danbury police ask anyone with information on Stuart's whereabouts to call 203-797-4592. 

Photo Credit: State Police

Crash Caused Delays on Route 4 in Farmington


There were heavy delays on Route 4 in Farmington after a crash east of Mountain Spring Road this morning.

Police said two vehicles were involved in the crash behind the Hillstead Museum and a pickup went over a guardrail. 

No injuries were reported. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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