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Man Wanted After Allegedly Kidnapping Ex-Girlfriend


Police are looking for the man who allegedly abducted his ex-girlfriend before she was able to escape at a gas station. 

John Robinson, 46, of West Hartford, allegedly kidnapped his ex-girlfriend while the pair were at a home on Woodlawn Street just after midnight on Tuesday. The man took the woman and her car after what appears to be a violent, physical encounter. 

After "a lengthy period of time", police said the victim was able to get away while Robinson was getting gas in Milford on I-95 South. 

Robinson fled the victim's car and police are currently looking for the suspect.

The victim's car is a silver 2003 Toyota Sequoia bearing Maine registration: 3690TD. 

Robinson is accused of second degree kidnapping, first degree unlawful restraint, violating a restraining order, second degree strangulation, third degree larceny and third degree criminal mischief. 

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police

High Voter Turnout Expected for Presidential Primary


Connecticut's Secretary of the State expects a higher than expected turnout on April 26 when voters will select the Democrat and GOP nominees for president.

“Everyone was complaining that the primary was so late when here we are and it looks like we’re going to be quite relevant and we have a big uptick in voter registrations going on," Denise Merrill, Connecticut's chief elections officer, said.

In 2008, more than a half a million people voted in the presidential primary, handing victories to then Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain in the Democrat and Republican primaries, respectively.

That reflected a turnout of about 39 percent, which would be considered a high turnout this time around.

Voter turnout and party switches have each been higher than expected.

The number of unaffiliated voters who switched to Democrat is 3,315 and 1,597 went from unaffiliated to Republican, while 624 voters switched from Republicans to Democrats, and 965 switched from Democrats to Republicans.

Merrill said it's too late for existing party members to change affiliations, but those who have been unaffiliated for longer than three months can still register with a party to participate in the presidential primary. Party affiliation is required to vote.

"But, if you’re an unaffiliated voter, you’re still able to switch from one party to the other, right up until one day before the primary, actually,” she said.

Merrill also said the primary provides a good test for the state's new election management system that's supposed to provide accurate online updates of vote totals as they come in.

“It’s a good field test because it’s just the one office and it allows an opportunity to use it before the fall,” she said.

Kasich Warns Country of '2 Paths' During NY Speech


Ohio Gov. John Kasich delivered a warning Tuesday in New York about the consequences of electing his Republican rivals to the White House, a move he said "could drive America down into a ditch."

Kasich delivered his "Two Paths" speech at 10:30 a.m. EST at the Women's National Republican Club in Manhattan.

The Ohio governor declined to name his opponents — GOP front-runner Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — but outlined the potential ramifications of their policies, particularly those on immigration, border control, taxes and trade.

Kasich also criticized his fellow candidates for a slew of personal attacks that have plagued the GOP race.

"I have stood on a stage and watched with amazement as candidates wallowed in the mud, viciously attacked one another, called each other liars and disparaged each other's character," Kasich said, adding that he "will not take the low road to the highest office in the land."

He told voters the country must make a choice and take one of two possible paths.

The first choice — "the path that exploits anger, encourages resentment, turns fear into hatred and divides people" — presumably represents a nation led by Trump or Cruz.

"This path solves nothing. It demeans our history, it weakens our country and it cheapens each of us," Kasich said. "It has but one beneficiary and that is to the politician who speaks of it."

The second path "is the one America has been down before" and "the same path our forebears took together," according to Kasich.

In taking the second path, "America’s supposed decline becomes its finest hour, because we came together to say 'no' to those who would prey on our human weakness and instead chose leadership that serves, helping us look up, not down," Kasich said. "This is the path I believe in. This is path America believes in. And this is the America I know all Americans want us to be. Please join me on this higher path."

Kasich's speech comes a week before the primary election in New York, where polls have heavily favored Trump.

Photo Credit: AP

Watch: Huge Sinkhole Forms in Street


The Madera Police Department in Central California shared video on April 11, 2016, that shows the moment a sinkhole opened up on a street following rains. The road was expected to be closed for "an extended amount of time for repair.” Click here to see more images of extreme weather.

State Officials Discuss Crumbling Foundations With South Windsor Homeowners


Crippled by crumbling foundations, first-time homeowners in South Windsor heard first-hand on Monday from officials who are searching for ways to fix a problem that is impacting hundreds, if not thousands, of homeowners across the state. 

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters first broke the story in July about foundations crumbling at homes in Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties. 

Town and state officials, as well as affected homeowners, attended the meeting at South Windsor Town Hall on Monday night, where lawmakers outlined solutions and the Department of Consumer Protection provided information on their investigation. 

Jonathan Harris, the commissioner of the DCP, told the crowd that the state cannot come up with a perfect plan without first knowing how big the problem is. 

“You’re trying to find answers at the same time you’re trying to find solutions,” Harris said. “You’re trying to figure out funding at the same time you’re trying to figure out causation and scope.” 

As of last week, the DCP had received 181 complaints, Harris said. They know more homeowners are out there, but many are concerned about confidentiality. 

“They’re afraid of their mortgages. They’re afraid of insurance companies coming in and denying coverage,” Sen. Tim Larson (D-East Hartford) said. 

The state legislature is working on a couple of bills to address confidentiality concerns and quality control, but the big question for homeowners is money. 

“It’s very expensive,” Lisa Martin, of South Windsor, said. “I don’t even know what percentage, but it would break me to fix it without any type of aid.” 

Getting federal aid will not be easy.

Lawmakers told the crowd that FEMA requires 582 homes to be deemed uninhabitable due to foundation damage to quality. To see if they are anywhere close to that number, officials urged affected homeowners to file complaints with the state. 

South Windsor set up a committee specifically to deal with crumbling foundations. They hope to have a public forum on the topic in May. 

Preliminary results from the state’s investigation are expected sometime in April.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Mom in Crab Leg Dispute Says It Started as a Health Concern


What happened at Royal Buffet in Manchester on April 2 might have entertained people across America, but for Denise Avery, it was about far more than crab legs

"It was completely not how people should behave," she said. 

At a buffet island, she had complained to the restaurant about a girl playing in the water where the crab legs were. 

"What we were upset about - myself and the other two women - was that she did have her fingers in the actual crab leg water, and she was kind of swirling it around," she said. 

When they asked the restaurant for clean water, the girl's family took it as criticism. One thing led to another in the dining area and, feeling threatened, Avery called police. 

Before officers arrived, Clifford Knight confronted Avery and her son Vinnie stepped in, she said. 

"So my son put up his hands and Mr. Knight punched him in the mouth and broke his two front teeth," she said. 

That's when she got out her pepper spray, ending the night for everybody dining at Royal Buffet, and forcing the restaurant to throw out all its food. But it didn't end the assault, she said. 

"She punched me twice in the back of the head and then as she's holding me by my hair, he punched me straight in the nose, breaking my nose. My nose is broken," she said. 

Avery also has bruises on her arms and legs and said she suffered a concussion. 

Clifford Knight was charged with misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct and Lataya Knight was charged with threatening and disorderly conduct. Both are to appear in court Thursday. 

Kerry Defends Trade Deals Against Campaign Attacks


Secretary of State John Kerry defended a 12-nation Pacific trade agreement on Tuesday against what he suggested was fear-mongering by the leading U.S. presidential candidates, NBC News reported.

Kerry argued that the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that the Obama administration negotiated would be good for the U.S. economy even as he acknowledged American workers' fears about free trade agreements.

"Many Americans still feel a sense of anxiety about TPP and T-TIP. In fact, they've been revved up to have some anxiety about anything related to trade," Kerry said in a speech in Los Angeles, also referring to a trade deal with Europe called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Some of workers' mistrust of trade agreements "comes from politicians who play to fears," he added. "It comes also from legitimate anger about the economic status of millions of our fellow citizens who have not gained from trade."

Photo Credit: AP

New Haven Planning to Expand Use of ShotSpotter Technology


ShotSpotter is technology that detects, locates and alerts police when and where shots are fired – potentially saving lives.

“This calls the police in less than 60 seconds and tells us within four square feet exactly where the shot was fired, whether it was one gun or two, whether they were walking driving or standing still,” New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman said.

ShotSpotter is helping track down who pulled the trigger, Esserman said, while also reducing and deterring gun violence.

Last year, New Haven had the second largest decline in gunfire crime among cities using ShotSpotter.

“New Haven is one of our leading edge clients here they’re in the process of expanding,” said Ralph Clark, President and CEO of SST, Inc. “They’ve seen some great results in reducing gun violence over the past year.”

This week New Haven hosted the first ShotSpotter Customer Advisory Board meeting, attended by police from about 10 communities across the country utilizing the technology.

“This is an indispensable tool to allow police departments to respond to gun violence,” Clark said.

ShotSpotter covers 1.5 square miles of the Elm City with higher instances of gunfire.

“We don’t talk with specificity as to where it is,” Chief Esserman said.

Mayor Toni Harp (D) and the Board of Alders are backing an expansion of what’s become a worthwhile investment, Esserman added.

“In May, we’ll be in five square miles of the city, nearly a third of New Haven,” Esserman said.

ShotSpotter’s yearly cost is $65-95 thousand per square mile.

“We got a discount by being an experimental site and by sharing some of our data,” Esserman said.

Clark told NBC Connecticut his Silicon Valley based company is working on an upgrade to start sending alerts directly to patrol officers on their mobile phones.

New Britain Proposes to Limit So-Called 'Aggressive Pan-Handling'


After complaints of residents being approached at bank ATM's and inside shops, New Britain has proposed an ordinance to limit so-called "aggressive panhandling".

City residents will weigh in on a new proposal at a public hearing tonight about the growing problem tonight at 7 PM at city hall.

The City says the need for the crackdown comes down to public safety, and if passed, those found in violation will be fined $99 for each offense.

Mayor Erin Stewart said the biggest problem is panhandling in the downtown area.

"These are people who are walking up to individuals that were in stores in the downtown area while they were trying to buy food, or at the bank and putting their hands on them and aggressively asking for money and not taking no for an answer," Said Stewart.

Before there wasn't much businesses could do about it.

"They would come frequently and ask for money and the only thing we would tell them is they cant do that and escort them out the store. That's it," Said Manager of Dunkin' Donuts, Marlene Homar. She said the business has had customers leave because of the issue.

Now the proposed ordinance prohibits panhandling inside New Britain businesses.

The new ordinance would also stop people from panhandling on streets where traffic could be impacted.

Aggressive panhandling would be prohibited in public places such as sidewalks, parking lots and building entrances as well as near ATM's.

The proposed ordinance could be voted on by the full City Council as soon as Wednesday night.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Ansonia Man Charged With Arson


An Ansonia man is accused of setting his house on fire with heating oil on Monday and has been charged with arson.

Police said several 911 calls came in just after 4 p.m. on Monday about a fire at 3 Marshall Lane and firefighters found heavy smoke and flames coming from the back of the house.

Firefighters forced their way inside, put out the fire and noticed slippery, oily spots in the floor in several areas of the house, according to police.

The fire department also noticed the smell of diesel fuel or home heating oil and found at least four separate places where the fire started, police said.

Then they found a plastic five-gallon bucket filled with what appeared to be home heating oil in a bedroom.

While investigating in the garage, they noticed something strange.

The oil tank had a hole that appeared to have been drilled into it and a power drill was near the tank.

Investigators spoke with a witness, who reported arriving around 4 p.m. and spotting Steven Weidler, a resident, inside with oil pouring out of the oil tank and spilling all over the garage floor, police said.

Weidler was covered in oil and told the witness he spilled oil and to leave the house, police said.

The witness, who was one of the people to call 911, reported that the house smelled like oil and oil was all over the kitchen floor, the refrigerator, countertops and kitchen sink, police said.

Weidler's dog was loose, so the witness went after the dog and returned to find smoke coming from the back of the house and Weidler leaving, police said.

Officers then began looking for Weidler and found him walking down a street. When they found him, he smelled of petroleum and his clothes were covered in liquid, police said.

Officers took Weidler into custody and charged him with first-degree arson and second-degree reckless endangerment.

Bond was set at $100,000 bond and he is due in court on April 12.

It’s not clear if he has an attorney.

Photo Credit: Ansonia Police

SF Seawall Vulnerable to Quake


San Francisco's aging seawall is in worse shape than the port thought.

A new study by two independent engineering firms hired by the Port of San Francisco reveals the 100-year-old barrier would not survive intact an earthquake the size of the one that hit in 1906. The seawall is vulnerable to cracking, but only in a major earthquake, according to the study.

"We do have more risk in the sea wall infrastructure than we had previously thought," said Elaine Forbes, interim director for the Port of San Francisco. "And that's because the sea wall is on reclaimed or filled land."

San Francisco's seawall stretches three and a half miles along the Embarcadero and protects 700 acres of the city, including expensive real estate, critical infrastructure and transportation.

The epicenter of the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 was 60 miles south of San Francisco, and it still shook buildings to the ground in the Marina. But damage to San Francisco's seawall during that quake was very minor.

Forbes said a quake the size of the one that struck in 1906 could crack the seawall.

Seawall movement could mean disaster for a large portion of the city and snarl emergency plans. The seawall could give in a large earthquake, which would devastate the city's iconic waterfront.

The study found the most vulnerable area to be around Piers 27 to 31, where the new cruise ship terminal stands. Forbes said the port would need at least $500 million to rebuild that portion of the seawall.

Steven Reel, the port's project manager, said fears that a major break in the wall could flood downtown are overboard.

"First, I want to say the sea wall is not about to fall into the Bay," Reel said.

What Port commissioners heard on Tuesday is it will take $2 billion to rebuild the entire seawall, from Fisherman's Wharf to Mission Creek.

The port intends to spend the next year and a half studying ways to pay for repairs.

At Reds Java House, which sits right on the seawall, the manager said he is more worried about damage to the wall from rising sea levels, particularly during King Tides when water laps over sidewalks and onto the Embarcadero.

The port acknowledged rising sea levels are a concern and said contending with rising sea levels because of global climate change would more than double the repair costs to $5 billion.

Forbes said that is a problem they will be grappling with for decades.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

POLL: Clinton, Trump Hold Md. Leads


Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each hold big leads against their party rivals in the race for the presidency in Maryland, poll results released Tuesday show.

Clinton, the former secretary of state, holds a 22-point lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to the NBC4/Marist Maryland Poll conducted this month.

Among the Republican primary electorate polled, Trump holds a 12-point lead against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

“If the front-runners maintain their leads, Trump and Clinton remain on the path to securing their respective party’s nomination,” said Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “With two weeks to go to the Maryland primary, their rivals need to find a way to close the gap.”

Fifty-eight percent of likely Democratic primary voters polled said they would support Clinton. 36 percent said they would vote for Sanders. These results, ahead of the April 26 primary election, have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Trump won 41 percent of likely Republican primary voters. Cruz won 29 percent, Ohio Gov. John Kasich won 24 percent and just 6 percent of these voters were undecided. These results have a margin of error of plus or minus 5.1 percentage points.

Clinton polled particularly well with women, African Americans and people age 45 and older. Sanders polled better with people under age 45.

Trump polled well with likely Republican primary voters who do not have a college degree, earn less than $50,000 per year and do not practice a religion. Cruz and Trump were competitive in winning the votes of women and white evangelical Christians. Kasich led among likely Republican primary voters who described themselves as moderate.

A high percentage of Trump supporters said they were committed to their candidate selection. 71 percent of likely Republican primary voters supporting Trump said they were firmly committed to him. 51 percent of Cruz voters said they were committed to him, and 44 percent of Kasich backers said they were committed to him.

Asked who their second choice for Republican presidential candidate would be, 35 percent of likely Republican primary voters polled said Kasich, 34 percent said Cruz and 17 percent said Trump.

Who Could Win the General Election?

Clinton would beat Trump by 36 points in Maryland if the two were matched up in the general election, the results show.

Clinton commanded 63 percent of registered voters in the match-up. Trump won 27 percent, and 10 percent of people were undecided. The match-up results all had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

If Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and businessman Trump went head to head, 65 percent of Maryland voters polled said they would pick Sanders. 26 percent said they would pick Trump.

If Clinton and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz were matched up, 60 percent of Maryland voters polled said they would pick Clinton. 31 percent said they would pick Cruz.

President Obama's and Gov. Hogan's Approval Ratings

Most Maryland residents polled said they supported President Barack Obama and Gov. Larry Hogan. About two-thirds of Maryland residents said they approved of how Hogan was doing his job. 15 percent of people polled said they disapproved, and 18 percent were not sure. 62 percent of residents polled approved of how Obama was doing his job. 32 percent disapproved, and 6 percent were not sure.

The NBC4/Marist Maryland Poll, conducted April 5 through April 9, surveyed a total of 2,563 registered voters, including 775 likely Democratic primary voters and 368 likely Republican primary voters.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

Chicago PD Must Acknowledge Racism


A task force Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed to look into police practices warns that the Chicago Police Department must publicly acknowledge its racist past, and overhaul the way it handles allegations of excessive force.

A draft of the Task Force’s executive summary declares that it is time for “a painful and necessary reckoning,” warning that the CPD is infused with a mentality that “the end justifies the means.”

In 18 scathing pages, the summary eviscerates the Department for “superficial and false” statements in the aftermath of the 2014 shooting of teenager Laquan McDonald, noting that despite the fact that he was shot 16 times, “Laquan McDonald posed no immediate threat to anyone.”

Still, the Task Force said the McDonald incident was only “ the tipping point,” in a long history of intimidation.

“Racism and maltreatment at the hands of the police have been consistent complaints in communities of color for decades,” the report states. “The community’s lack of trust in CPD is justified.”

The draft of the Task Force report became public as the Chicago City Council Committee on Public Safety recommended a change in city law, essentially codifying Mayor Emanuel’s end run on the Chicago Police Board in his choice of Eddie Johnson as Police Superintendent. In choosing Johnson, Emanuel rejected the three candidates sent to him by the Police Board, as current procedure dictates. A final vote on Johnson’s appointment is expected in the full City Council on Wednesday.

“How do we ensure that we are effectively policing the police?” Emanuel asked, when he announced formation of the Police Accountability Task Force last fall. “By reinvigorating our oversight, we will continue to take the necessary steps to build trust between the police and the residents and community they serve.”

That was then, but the Mayor may be less than pleased with the Task Force’s assessment of the police department which ultimately reports to his office.

“Far too many residents are at daily risk of being caught up in a cycle of policing that deprives them of basic human rights,” the report states. “The department must acknowledge its sad history and present conditions, which lave left people totally alienated from the police, and afraid for their physical and emotional safety.”

The authors are especially critical of the Independent Police Review authority, which they call woefully understaffed and lacking in authority.

“IPRA is badly broken,” they wrote, declaring that the agency and its companion Bureau of Internal Affairs lack true independence and are not held accountable for their work.

There is “widespread perception that there is a deeply entrenched code of silence supported not just by individual officers, but by the very institution itself,” the report states. “The collective bargaining agreements between the police unions and the City have essentially turned the code of silence into official policy.”

Because of that, the report says, those agreements “make it easy for officers to lie if they are so inclined.”

In a statement Tuesday night, Fraternal Order of Police president Dean Angelo told NBC5, “We are very concerned about that type of language being used by a group that was asked to examine the Department. On the surface of what has been shared by the media thus far, it appears that the Task Force erred in their reporting.”

In their criticisms of the department, the Task Force cites alarming statistics, declaring “CPD’s own data gives validity to the widely held belief the police have no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color.”

In making that declaration, they note “police officers shoot African Americans at alarming rates”, noting out of 404 shootings between 2008 and 2015, 74% involved African-Americans, versus 14% of Hispanics, 3% Whites, and .25% Asians.

Johnson, the incoming superintendent, is a 27 year departmental veteran. His rise from within the ranks is a stark contrast with his two predecessors, Jody Weis and Garry McCarthy, both of whom were outsiders, and perceived as carpetbaggers by many in the rank-and-file.

The Accountability Task Force noted in its report that input had been provided by community members throughout the city—that far from listening only to complaints from the city’s most distressed areas, they had conducted more than 100 discussions, reaching out to 95 community groups, 63 elected officials and 83 religious institutions, as well as current and former police.

“The consistent theme of these deeply-held belief came from a significant cross-section of people,” they wrote. “Doctors, lawyers, teachers and other professionals, students and everyday workers.”

“Regardless of the demographic, people of color loudly expressed their outrage, about how they are treated by the police.”

Photo Credit: File – Getty Images

Paul Ryan Is Running, Just Not For President: Analysis


House Speaker Paul Ryan will not be the Republican Party's presidential candidate, as he made clear again on Tuesday when he ruled out the possibility of accepting the nomination at the GOP convention in July, NBC News reported.

"Let me be clear: I do not want, nor will I accept the Republican nomination," Ryan said at a press conference.

But Ryan is running a campaign this fall -- one to keep his own job as House Speaker by creating an identity for congressional Republicans that is distinct from Ted Cruz, Donald Trump or whoever emerges as the GOP presidential nominee.

"Not running does not mean I'm going to disappear," Ryan said on Tuesday. "There is a big debate going on right now. It's about what kind of country we're going to be. As Speaker of the House, I believe I have not just an opportunity but an obligation to advance that debate."

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Pepper Spray Accident Sends Students to Hospital


Ten students from Lauralton Hall in Milford were taken to the hospital and school was dismissed early after pepper spray went off this morning and police said it appears to have been an accident.

One student at the college-prep high school for girls was passing pepper spray to another student went it went off accidentally during a chance of classes at 10:15 a.m. and 30 to 40 people were exposed to it, police said.

Firefighters responded to the school at 200 High Street around 10:15 a.m. after receiving a 911 call about a substance being “discharged” in the lobby.

The students who were in the area where the pepper spray went off had difficulty breathing, fire officials said, so crews began providing medical care and 10 of the students were transported to local hospitals to be evaluated.

Students and staff were immediately brought to the gymnasium and parents will be able to pick up their children, officials said.

The school has been ventilated and meters showed the air is clear.

Police said students are allowed to have pepper spray because some of them commute by train. The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Reports of Hazardous Materials at Waterford Home: Police


Police are investigating hazardous materials found at a Waterford home. 

On Tuesday  morning, police responded to the house on Prindville Avenue at 9:35 after they were informed of hazardous materials in the basement, Waterford Police said. 

Since police were not able to identify the materials, state police emergency services and DEEP were called to the scene. 

Presumptive testing on several containers of liquid and powder materials we completed, seized and sent to the state's laboratory for more testing. 

The area has been cordoned off by police and Waterford Fire Services. 

“We asked the residents in the immediate vicinity to either leave their residence or shelter in place,” Lt. David Burton with the Waterford Police told NBC Connecticut.

Waterford Police said there is no danger to the public at this time.

The case remains under investigation. 

There were no other details immediately available. 

While FBI were helping with the investigation, police told NBC Connecticut agents were in the area for an unrelated training session with state police at the time of the hazmat call came in and decided to help. 

Dan Corcoran contributed to this report. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Nasty Letter About Boy With Autism


A Philadelphia mother was devastated to receive an anonymous note comparing her young son with autism to a "wild animal" and demanding she "do something about that child."

Bonnie Moran is a stay-at-home mom with three sons, two of whom have autism. Her 3-year-old son, Ryan, also has ADHD and pica, a disorder that causes him to have an appetite for non-food items. Moran herself suffers from spina bifida, an opening in the spine that can result in damage to the spinal cord and nerves, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Moran and her husband recently allowed Ryan to play outside in the backyard and enjoy the warmer weather. Moran told Philly Magazine Ryan was squealing loudly at times, which he often does when he gets excited. She said that may have prompted one of her neighbors to write her a nasty letter targeting the toddler.

Moran checked her mail last Wednesday and found the handwritten note, which said the following:

To the parent of the small child at this house,

The weather is getting nicer and like normal people I open my windows for fresh air. NOT to hear some BRAT screaming his head off as he flaps his hands like a bird. I don’t care if it’s the way you raised him or if he is retarded. But the screaming and [carrying] on needs to stop. No one wants to hear him acting like a wild animal it’s utterly nerve wracking, not to mention it's scaring my normal children. By you just standing there talking to him don’t do anything. Besides you look like a moron as he walks all over you. Give him some old fashioned discipline a few times and he will behave. If that child needs fresh air…take him to the park not in out back or out front where other people are coming home from work, have a day off, or just relaxing. No one needs to hear that high pitched voice for hours. Do something about that child!

One of your neighbors

Moran told NBC10 she was shocked when she first read the letter.

"I sat there and blubbered like a little baby because it hurt," she said. "It hurt to the core to be told your son is retarded."

Moran eventually threw out the letter, but not before posting a photo of it in a Facebook group. She received widespread support right away, and although she still doesn’t know who wrote the letter, Moran takes solace in the fact that one person’s expression of hate led to a show of love.

"The outpouring of people just loving my son and showing what a community is about," she said, "what neighborly is about."

Photo Credit: Bonnie Moran

Statewide Plan Launched to Battle Heroin Epidemic


Heroin and opiate use is a widespread problem in the state of Connecticut that affects every corner of the state, regardless of social-economic status, and law enforcement agencies are working together to combat the problem.

State, local and federal officials have created the statewide heroin and opioid law enforcement initiative to target heroin, fentanyl or opioids dealers.

“Connecticut, just like many other states in this nation, are suffering from this terrible epidemic. These tragic deaths have occurred in every corner of our state, from the smallest towns to the largest  cities,” U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly said during a news conference. “No one has been spared.”  

Investigations are underway into overdoses in Danbury, Derby, Enfield, Greenwich, Middletown, Newtown, New Haven, Norwalk, Norwich, Shelton, Stamford, Vernon, Weston, Willimantic and Woodbridge, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The announcement came hours after a 25-year-old man died after an apparent overdose on fentanyl-laced heroin in Groton on Tuesday night and police in Norwich arrested three people in connection with an investigation into the tainted drug.

Dailey said it is law enforcement’s top priority to identity the sources of the drugs and get the lethal drugs off the streets.

To help do this, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and DEA have developed a protocol for police responding to heroin and opioid overdose deaths and it includes time-sensitive investigative techniques and preserving all evidence at the scene of an overdose death.  

Police also are asked to contact DEA early in the investigation and to ensure that an autopsy is performed.  

The DEA and local police will then work together to investigate what led up to the death, the source of the drug involved and the composition of the drug.  

“We hope that the use of this protocol will enable law enforcement to effectively track the source of the most dangerous brands of heroin being distributed in Connecticut,” Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle said.

The DEA and U.S. Attorney’s Office have received funds from two sources to investigate heroin and opioid overdoses, including Department of Justice Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force funding for an investigation focused on large-scale sources of heroin being distributed in Connecticut.  

The DEA has also received funding under the National Heroin Strategic Initiative Second to be used to pay overtime, purchase equipment, fund training, and assist in the investigation of seized cellular telephones.   So far, this joint initiative has led to several federal charges.

On March 2, a federal grand jury in Hartford returned an indictment charging a Hartford grocery store owner and two associates with trafficking heroin, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  During the investigation, investigators seized more than 20 kilograms of heroin destined for Connecticut and approximately $900,000 in cash.

Eleven New Haven-area residents were recently charged with conspiring to steal the personal identification information of more  than 50 doctors and medical professionals to create fraudulent prescriptions to obtain and distribute more than 100,000 oxycodone pills.

Heroin use in the United States has been on the rise since 2007, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Crews Rupture Gas Main in Terryville


Emergency crews responded to Main Street and Woodside Lane in Terryville after people working on a water main hit and ruptured a gas main, according to officials from the Terryville Fire Department.

Crews responded, fixed the leak, repaired the line and the scene is clearing,

No one was injured.

Photo Credit: NBC 7

Hastert to Face Accusers in Court


Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert learned Tuesday he will have to face two accusers at his sentencing later this month, and that efforts to mislead the FBI will be taken into consideration by the federal judge who will decide his fate.

Convicted of hatching an elaborate scheme to conceal a sordid past, Hastert also was rebuffed in federal court Wednesday in his apparent attempt to keep one last secret.

The former speaker's lawyers asked to file under seal their response to the probation department's recommendations for sentencing. That document, called a presentence report, or PSR, takes a variety of factors into account, including a defendant's family, social and medical history, his offenses and aggravating and mitigating factors. PSRs are never publicly released.

But Judge Thomas Durkin denied the request, maintaining there is nothing in the defense's response which is now or should be kept secret, and ruled the document should be unsealed immediately.

Hastert’s problems didn’t stop there. The judge also said he intends to consider, as an aggravating factor, Hastert’s attempts to mislead investigators, by assisting them in recording phone calls which he maintained would prove he was being extorted by a man spinning fanciful claims of abuse.

Investigators said it was during those phone calls that they concluded Hastert was not being extorted, and that the young man’s claims were, in fact, true.

Defense attorneys protested the relevance of the misleading calls as an aggravating factor. But Durkin cut them off.

"The defendant, rather than admitting to conduct with Individual A, basically said Individual A was holding him up," Durkin said. "That’s an aggravating fact in my mind, that’s not conduct that’s 40 years old."

And, lest the message be lost on the defense as to how they should prepare for sentencing, Durkin declared, "If you need a preview of what I think are aggravating factors, that’s a big one!"

During the hearing, prosecutors also confirmed they intend to call as witnesses a young man identified in the records only as "Individual D," along with Jolene Burdge, the sister of another victim who is now deceased.

Individual D is identified in court documents as a former member of the Yorkville wrestling team during the period when Hastert was coach. He recalled the former speaker had installed a "La-Z-boy" type chair in the boys’ locker room so he could sit and watch while the boys showered, and that Hastert once peformed a sexual act on him during a massage.

Hastert's attorney apologized on his behalf in a statement over the weekend.

"Hastert acknowledges that as a young man he committed transgressions for which he is profoundly sorry," said attorney Thomas Green. "He earnestly apologizes to his former students, family, friends, previous constituents and all others affected by the harm his actions have caused."

Hastert’s sentencing is set for April 27.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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