Channel: NBC Connecticut
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

Parents Say Children Injured at Windsor Locks Preschool: Police


Police are investigating a Windsor Locks preschool after parents reported that their children were injured, police said.

Three different parents have told police about an incident involving their children being injuraed at the New England Preschool Academy sometime in April. 

The owner of the preschool, Cathy DelGreco, said the incident does involve one of her teachers and that the woman was not allowed to come back pending the outcome of the investigation. DelGreco said while the woman was teacher, she was not a preschool teacher. 

DelGreco said the one parent called on Friday and another on Saturday about an incident involving two children. DelGreco said she called into the Department of Children and Families on Saturday. 

The Office of Early Childhood Advocate received a complaint about the incident. While it is not clear what took place at the preschool, the OEC said in a statement the complaint involved "allegations of abuse or neglect".

OEC said the agency collaborates with the Department of Children and Families to investigate such allegations. 

The DCF is working with Windsor Locks police on the investigation and it did not have any comment. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

4 Ga. Students Killed in Crash Identified


Four University of Georgia students killed in a car crash were honored at a vigil Thursday, NBC News reported.

The students were driving northbound on Georgia State Route 15 near Watkinsville Wednesday night, when their Camry veered into the southbound lane, directly into the path of a Chevy Cobalt, the Department of Public Safety said. 

The four students were identified as Kayla Canedo, 19; Brittany Feldman, 20; Christina Semeria, 19; and Halle Scott, 19. The Camry’s driver, Agnes Kim, 21, was still in hospital on Thursday. The university said she is in critical condition. The driver of the Cobalt, Abby Short, 27, was also injured. 

The exact cause of the crash is still under investigation. The Department of Public Safety said alcohol is not considered to be a factor.

Photo Credit: Valeria Gonzalez

Democrats Craft Budget to Set Up Meeting with Malloy


The budget presented by House and Senate Democrats they said closes a $922 million budget shortfall for the next fiscal year.

"This proposal is identical in bottom line to the one the governor put out recently and also to what the Republicans put out. It also puts in the next stage of negotiations with the governor," said Sen. Martin Looney the President Pro Tem in the Connecticut Senate.

The budget cuts spending across the board by 6 percent, leaves intact the layoffs ordered by Governor Dannel Malloy that will approach 2,500, it increases spending for cities and towns, and provides near full funding for hospitals.

The proposal also is based on increased health insurance co-pays and premiums for lawmakers and non-union state employees.

Looney says that is meant to send a message to the 45,000 unionized state workers who have refused to open contract negotiations in order to find concessions.

“Sacrifices should be made across the board in this regard," Looney said.

A spokesman for Malloy said now that there are proposals from both parties in the General Assembly, that negotiations can start and hopefully finish before the May 4 deadline. The governor will not rule out calling lawmakers back for a Special Session on the budget which would be the third such session in the past ten months.

Malloy's spokesman Devon Puglia said the governor would not sign the Democrats spending plan in its current form, citing the one-time revenues relied upon, and the lack of "structural changes" included. Puglia described the budget proposal as "status quo" and "business as usual."

Republicans were critical of the budget as well. They provided their own balanced spending plan on Monday that would have mainly been balanced due to hundreds of millions of cuts to higher education.

Rep. Themis Klarides said of the Democrats' proposal, “I don’t know how many times we’re going to keep sticking gum in a hole and think things are going to change.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

State Close to Deal Between Winchester and Gilbert School


Parents at the Gilbert School in Winchester have been looking for answers for months regarding where students slated to go there may end up in the fall or shortly thereafter.

Now, state education officials tell NBC Connecticut they have been working on a contract negotiation with the Gilbert School to keep in place the current arrangement.

"We are still working to get a good deal," said Kelly Donnelly, the Chief of Staff to Connecticut's Commissioner of the Department of Education. "We are working to keep Gilbert's deal intact."

GIlbert is one of three private schools in Connecticut that has an agreement with its local public school system to take public school students, with the board of education footing the cost of tuition.

It's been an arrangement that Tim O'Meara has utilized for years. His sons mark the fourth generation of his family to graduate from Gilbert.

“It’s a thriving school, it’s a growing school, we’ve won awards, we have our principal of the year here. Our SAT scores have gone up every year," O'Meara said.

Several months ago, O'Meara was outraged when the state receiver, charged with running the Winchester school system privately, and later publicly at a meeting in Granby floated the possibility of busing children from Winchester to Granby, Litchfield, and Torrington schools, thereby ending the arrangement with Gilbert that had been in place for more than 100 years.

O'Meara said, "It was told at a meeting in Granby, without any parents there before the community knew what was going on.”

The state receiver, Robert Travaglini, then faced a firestorm of criticism and frustration from hundreds of parents who felt decisions were being made behind their backs by a state appointed official.

The state took over Winchester Public Schools last year when the town faced rampant financial woes, and even lacked basic accounting procedures in some cases.

Donnelly, with the Department of Education said Winchester's Town Council has to send a budget that includes funding for Gilbert to voters who then have to approve it in order for the state to move forward with a contract to keep the arrangement with Gilbert intact.

"The state is still working to get a good deal," Donnelly reiterated.

Gilbert's principal, Alan Strauss, who's the Connecticut Principal of the Year and a candidate for the National Principal of the Year, said if students are sent to new schools, that raises issues in both social and academic areas.

“One of the things that we firmly believe in is educating the whole child and I don’t think a child can be educated in another community," he said.

O'Meara said the only place he wants his kids enrolled is Gilbert and will ensure that happens.

"I would pay to come to Gilbert if I had to," he said.

Winchester residents will hear about the education spending plan at a meeting next Monday.

ISIS-Linked Hackers Target 3,000 New Yorkers: Officials


ISIS-linked hackers have targeted about 3,000 ordinary New Yorkers in a cyberattack, posting their personal information online and announcing, "We want them #Dead," NBC New York has learned.

One of the victims, an 88-year-old man named Art — whose last name is being withheld for privacy concerns — spoke with the I-Team exclusively Thursday, telling of how the FBI visited and told him that his name was on the list posted Sunday on the private channel of a pro-ISIS group called the United Cyber Caliphate.

The FBI told him to be cautious when he goes out in public and to call 911 immediately if he felt threatened.

"It sounds like psychological warfare," Art said. "Make 3,000 people in this city very upset."

Photo Credit: AP

Wild Turkey Tends Duck Eggs


Duck eggs are beginning to hatch at an Illinois suburban wildlife center after a wild turkey began sitting on the nest to take over for the mother, which was killed by a hawk. 

The eggs were brought to Fox Valley Wildlife Center earlier this year after a red-tailed hawk in Elgin swooped down and grabbed a mother duck off her nest outside the Advocate Sherman hospital Emergency Department, ultimately killing her. 

Nurses who witnessed the incident rushed to protect the nest outside the building and brought the orphaned eggs to the wildlife center. 

Talulah, a wild turkey, has been at the wildlife center for more than a year recovering from a severe wing injury. Officials said she has been laying eggs since November and refusing to leave her nest as she waits for them to hatch. The eggs never hatch, however, because they are not fertilized. 

After the eggs arrived at the center, Talulah adopted them and began sitting on the nest. On Thursday, officials said the hatching process, which takes about 12 hours, had begun. 

Employees are waiting to see if she will become a foster mom to the babies after they are born. 

Photo Credit: Fox Valley Wildlife Center

250 Dogs Rescued From Meat Farm


Until recently, Merle had never set a paw on solid ground, never felt the kind stroke of a human hand and never tasted a dog treat.

The mild-mannered mastiff mix was bred to become a South Korean dinner entree.

But he was spared that fate by the Humane Society International, which recently rescued Merle and more than 250 other canines from a dog-meat farm in Wonju. Merle was among the first to arrive at St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey.

The center expects to receive about 120 of the rescued dogs, which will be available for adoption. 

"We've had huskies, golden retriever, spitz, a variety of dogs from this farm," said Heather Cammisa, president at St. Hubert's.

Cammisa cautions anyone wanting to adopt one of the rescued dogs to keep in mind that they have spent their entire lives in cages. They will require training, understanding and love, she said.

The dogs are being rescued 11 weeks before South Korea celebrates Bok Nai, when large quantities of dog-meat "boshintang" stew are consumed.

Most South Koreans don't eat dog meat on a regular basis and young Koreans are particularly turning away from the practice. However, dog stew is widely popular during Bok Nai and served at thousands of restaurants specializing in the recipe.

"In our experience, many dog-meat farmers are keen to leave this business behind them, and come under increasing pressure from their children to end dog breeding and killing," Humane Society campaign manager Andrew Plumbly said in a news release.

The Wonju farmer is one such individual. He contacted the Humane Society last year and asked for help to get out of the dog-meat business, Plumbly said.

The rescued dogs and puppies are being flown to shelters in the U.S. and Canada and will be available for adoption.

The Wonju farm is the fifth dog-meat farm that the international charity has helped close down.

Photo Credit: St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center

Do Celebrity Endorsements Help or Hurt?


Celebrity surrogates have been ubiquitous on the campaign trail this season, frequently been driving the 2016 news cycle — and in some cases, forcing their preferred candidates off message.

In a crowded media marketplace, the prominence of a celebrity surrogate can make a difference — at least when it comes to media attention — but unlike most traditional political representatives, they are infamously difficult to control.

During an appearance on "Late Night with Stephen Colbert" Wednesday, actress Susan Sarandon, a passionate Bernie Sanders supporter, doubled down on her refusal to say whether or not she would support Hillary Clinton in a one-on-one race against Trump. And unscripted diatribes on Sanders' behalf from stars like Rosario Dawson, Killer Mike and Tim Robbins have begged the question: Are these kinds of endorsements really worth it?

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Rocky History Between Cruz and Boehner


Texas Sen. Ted Cruz personally told NBC News he had not met John Boehner, when he addressed comments made about him by the former House Speaker.

But the two men do have a past: Ted Cruz was once Boehner’s lawyer, when Boehner sued Washington state Democrat Jim McDermott over a leaked recording. Boehner filed the lawsuit in 1998 involving the illegal interception of an embarrassing phone call in which Boehner discussed House leadership business. He said his personal privacy was violated. 

Boehner won the case — part of which was handled by Ted Cruz. Sources close to Boehner told NBC News the two met during the lawsuit, but likely never had contact after Cruz arrived on Capitol Hill in 2013. 

For Boehner, Cruz led the political charge against him, when he was effectively a “player coach” in the move to oust the former speaker last year. 

Through the government shutdown in 2013, Cruz helped influence House members in the dissent that made the former speaker choose to step aside in 2015. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Shia LaBeouf Offers Soup to Victim


A Brooklyn man who was randomly punched at a Manhattan subway station by an attacker who told him it was "because you look exactly like Shia LaBeouf" received a message of sympathy and an offer of soup from the actor, according to reports.

Mario Licato said that he had just gotten off a subway train Saturday afternoon at the Delancey Street-Essex Street subway station on the Lower East Side when he was clocked. 

"I didn’t even see the guy," he told Gothamist. "I just see his fist coming toward me. It knocked me, and while I was falling down the stairs, all I hear was, 'This is because you look exactly like Shia LaBeouf!'"

Licato, who told Gothamist he has been approached "at least 10 times" by people who said he resembles the actor, tumbled down the stairs and lost consciousness. He said a couple rushed to help him and called 911.  

The next day, he received a call from the real LaBeouf on his work phone, Licato told Cosmopolitan.

He didn't notice the message until LaBeouf commented on one of his Instagram posts: "Hey, I left you a voicemail."

"This is Shia LaBeouf, the guy you got hit for looking like," the voicemail allegedly said.

In the message, LaBeouf "sounded bummed and genuinely really bad," Licato told Cosmopolitan, saying the actor apologized profusely. LaBeouf also allegedly said he wished he were in New York so he could bring him soup and "giggle over this."

He gave Licato his phone number and signed off with, "Keep your head up, G," the magazine reports.

Licato told Cosmopolitan the voicemail was about two minutes long and that he has listened to it about five times.

Although Licato hasn’t called LaBeouf yet, he told the magazine he will soon, likely over a glass of wine. He said he plans to ask why the guy who punched him hates LaBeouf so much.

"What did you do to some random bro in New York that he needed to punch me for it? Did you steal his girlfriend? Maybe he just really hated you sitting in the movie theater for three days straight watching your own movies?" he said.

The man who punched Licato has not been found.

Photo Credit: Megan Adamson-Jackes / Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

FDA Approves First Commercial Zika Virus Test


The Food and Drug Administration approved the first commercial U.S. test Thursday to diagnose the Zika virus, NBC News reported.

Quest Diagnostics will use the same method that government labs use to look for Zika virus in a patient's blood.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends testing pregnant women with Zika symptoms, those who have traveled to areas where Zika is spreading while they are pregnant and women who have had sex with someone who has Zika.

Doctors can now order the test through Quest, which says it can get results in three to five days. Until now, patients who wanted the test had to go through their state or local health departments.  

A spokeswoman for Quest said most patients with a health plan may receive some coverage benefits. Uninsured patients can expect to pay $120 for the test, she said. 

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Principal on Leave After Brother Is Charged With Child Porn


A Farmington principal is on leave pending a review after her brother, who lives in her Middletown home and has volunteered at her school, was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.

Alfred St. Hilaire, 38, of Middletown, was arrested on April 19 and charged with possessing child pornography. He pleaded not guilty and he is due back in court on May 10.

He is the brother of East Farms Principal Renee St. Hilaire and he lives with her, according to a statement from the schools.

Police said they have no information that would connect the possession of child pornography charge against Alfred St. Hilaire to his sister.

Supt. Kathleen Greider said in a statement that the Farmington school district has been working closely with law enforcement authorities in Middletown and Farmington to review the matter because Principal St. Hilaire’s brother lives in her home and has been a volunteer at East Farms on occasion as a volunteer, but did not work with students.

When officers went to the St. Hilaire’s house, they asked Alfred St. Hilaire if he downloaded anything illegal to his computer and he asked police if they were referring to child pornography, according to the arrest warrant application. According to court documents, police found more than 100 files.

Then he said he did know that some of the items he downloaded were child pornography and it is not legal to have it, but did not understand what the big deal was because they are just models, the court documents state.

The school also released a statement from Farmington Police Chief Melanson that states, “The Farmington Police Department has been in contact with investigators involved with the investigation and subsequent arrest of Alfred St. Hilaire. We have been reassured that at this point, they have no information which connects the charge of possession of child pornography of Alfred St. Hilaire to Principal Renee St. Hilaire or the Farmington School District.”

Supt. Greider’s statement says that “this is a difficult time for Principal St. Hilaire and her family, and we offer our emotional support to her as she is out pending completion of our review.”

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bear Spotted Along I-84 in Southbury


State police responded to Interstate 84 East in Southbury on Friday morning after receiving reports of a bear along the highway, but it was gone when troopers arrived.

There bear was spotted near exit 14.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Crash Closes Two Lanes of I-91 North in Rocky Hill

Man Struck By Car in Norwalk Has Died: Police


A 79-year-old Norwalk man who was struck by a car on Thursday night has died and police are investigating.

Police said it appears the man was walking in the road near 197 Newtown Ave. at 11:30 p.m. when a driver hit him.

The driver immediately stopped and called authorities, according to police.

They have not released the name of the man who was struck.

An accident investigation is underway and any witnesses should call Officer Podgorski at 203-854-3051 or the Norwalk Police Tip Line at 203-854-3111.

You can send and anonymous Internet tips to the Norwalk Police website at: www.norwalkpd.com and anonymous text tips can be submitted by typing "NPD" into the text field, followed by the message, and sending it to CRIMES (274637).

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Rovi Buying TiVo in $1.1.B Cash-and-Stock Deal


Digital TV listing company Rovi is buying TiVo in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $1.1 billion.

Rovi Corp. said Friday that it will pay $10.70 in cash and stock for each TiVo Inc. share. Rovi will pay $2.75 per share in cash, or about $277 million. The rest, $7.95 per share, will be paid in stock.

Once the deal closes, the combined business will use the TiVo name. TiVo is a digital video recording company.

Rovi CEO Tom Carson will serve as CEO of the new company. The executive said in a written statement on Friday that the buyout will help to extend services across platforms and expand its customer base. The transaction will add more than 10 million TiVo-served households to Rovi's current customer base of about 18 million households using its guides globally.

The companies anticipate at least $100 million in annual cost savings. The transaction is expected to add to Rovi's adjusted earnings per share within the first year after closing.

Both companies' boards have approved the deal, which is targeted to close in the third quarter. It still needs approval from both companies' shareholders.

Shares of TiVo, based in San Jose, California, added 17 cents to $9.59 in premarket trading. Shares of Rovi, based in Santa Clara, California, surged $1.15, or 6.6 percent, to $18.50.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Belgium Residents to Get Iodine Pills in Case of Nuclear Accident


Belgium will soon begin distributing iodine pills to its 11 million residents as part of a revised nuclear emergency plan triggered, NBC News reported

The move, which has yet to be finalized by officials, was triggered by a review of emergency plans initiated in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan

It also comes months after it was discovered that ISIS-linked bombers spied on a top scientist at a Belgian center which produces a significant portion of the world's supply of radioisotopes and hoped to build a "dirty bomb."

Iodine helps to limit the effects of radiation on the body.

Photo Credit: AP

American Sentenced to 10 Years Hard Labor in North Korea


North Korea on Friday sentenced a U.S. citizen of Korean heritage to 10 years in prison after convicting him of espionage and subversion, the second American it has put behind bars this year.

Kim Dong Chul had been detained in the North on suspicion of engaging in spying and stealing state secrets. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison with hard labor after a brief trial in Pyongyang. North Korea's Supreme Court found Kim guilty of crimes and espionage and subversion of under Articles 60 and 64 of the North's criminal code.

Further details were not immediately available. When he was paraded before the media in Pyongyang last month, Kim said he had collaborated with and spied for South Korean intelligence authorities in a plot to bring down the North's leadership and had tried to spread religion among North Koreans before his arrest in the city of Rason last October.

South Korea's National Intelligence Service, the country's main spy agency, has said Kim's case wasn't related to the organization in any way.

Kim's sentencing comes on the heels of a 15-year sentence handed down on Otto Warmbier, an American university student who the North says was engaged in anti-state activities while visiting the country as a tourist earlier this year.

North Korea regularly accuses Washington and Seoul of sending spies to overthrow its government to enable the U.S.-backed South Korean government to control the entire Korean Peninsula. Some foreigners previously arrested have read statements of guilt they later said were coerced.

Most of those who are sentenced to long prison terms are released before serving their full time.

In the past, North Korea has held out until senior U.S. officials or statesmen came to personally bail out detainees, all the way up to former President Bill Clinton, whose visit in 2009 secured the freedom of American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling. Both had crossed North Korea's border from China illegally.

It took a visit in November 2014 by U.S. spy chief James Clapper to bring home Mathew Miller, also arrested after entering the country as a tourist, and Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae, who had been incarcerated since November 2012.

Jeffrey Fowle, a U.S. tourist detained for six months at about the same time as Miller, was released just before that and sent home on a U.S. government plane. Fowle left a Bible in a local club hoping a North Korean would find it, which is considered a criminal offense in North Korea.

Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Minor School Bus Crash in Vernon


Police responded to a school bus crash in Vernon on Friday morning and students have been put on another bus.

The bus is a CREC bus, not a bus that transports Vernon public school students, according to the superintendent.

A driver hit the bus at Mile Hill Road and Reservoir Road and the road is open.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Self-Taught Teen Pianist With 4 Fingers Performs at Carnegie Hall


A teenager with just four fingers gained so much attention online for his talent on the piano that he was invited by a renowned international pianist to play at Manhattan's iconic Carnegie Hall. 

Darrius Simmons, a 15-year-old from Warren, Ohio, was born with three fingers on his right hand and one finger on his left, and no bones below both knees.

He taught himself to play the piano at 10 years old when his grandfather introduced him to the instrument, he told NBC 4 New York, and learned to make his prosthetic legs press the right pedal.

Recently, Simmons began posting videos of himself playing onto Facebook, and they got the attention of Korean pianist Yiruma, who was about to perform at Carnegie Hall on April 22 as part of his first North American tour, the boy said. 

"He saw it and invited me to play with him," Simmons told NBC 4 New York over the phone. 

Yiruma told Simmons during their first meeting, "All those determination and all that, I learn from you, really," reports Ohio news station WFMJ, which followed Simmons to New York for his performance. "I have so many things that can be learned from you." 

"It's just amazing. How can you do that? All those jumps, you must find it really difficult?" said Yiruma after watching the teen play in person.

Simmons replied, "It's not that difficult to me, honestly." 

New York concertgoer Kirk Aleman told WFMJ that Simmons' performance "blew me out of the water." 

"It was very exciting," Simmons told NBC 4 New York of playing at the storied venue last Friday.

Simmons said he learned to play the piano simply by listening to music and mimicking the notes on the keys. 

"I listen to a lot of songs repetitively, over and over, and I guess by doing that, I developed an ear. I can play a lot of music by ear," he said. 

His mother said her son has never been inhibited by not having 10 fingers. She said he's been playing instruments at home, at church and at school. 

Now that Yiruma has advised Simmons to start working on his own music, "I'm really going to take what he said to heart and compose my own stuff," he told WFMJ. 

Photo Credit: WFMJ-TV
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live