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Downed Wires Close Intersection of Routes 190 and 30 in Stafford

Man Charged in Hamden Wal-Mart Robbery


Hamden police have arrested a suspect in a robbery at a Hamden Wal-Mart on Dec. 5, 2015.

Police said Albert Eaddy, 53, of Hamden, is suspected of robbing the Wal-Mart at 2300 Dixwell Ave.

According to police, he approached a store clerk, demanded money from the cash register and said he had a gun.

On May 13, Eaddy turned himself in at the New Haven Police Department and Hamden Police took custody of him soon after.

Eaddy was charged with robbery in the first degree and larceny in the second degree.

He was detained on a court-ordered $100,000.00 bond and is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on May 27.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police

Mohegan Tribe Reveals Plans for Norwich Hospital Site


Mohegan Tribe officials announced additional details on Monday about plans to turn the former Norwich Hospital site in southeastern Connecticut into a family destination.

The 393-acre property that developers are calling the Preston Riverwalk sits along the Thames River across from Mohegan Sun.

On Thursday, Preston’s town selectman announced they were entering a partnership with the tribe to redevelop the land and provided some details on what types of businesses they hope to attract.

“Possibly some outdoor adventure park development is a play, maybe a synthetic ski slope that you won’t have to go to Dubai for, but you could come to southeastern Connecticut and ski year-round on a synthetic ski slope. Those kinds of things,” Kevin Brown, chairman of the Mohegan Tribe, said.

Brown said he hopes the new development will set them apart from other casinos in the northeast, attract more people to visit southeastern Connecticut and get them to stay longer.

“There’s increased competition throughout the northeast and this absolutely will be a distinguishing characteristic,” Brown said.

Other possibilities for the land include senior housing, restaurants and even shopping.

“It just brings great enthusiasm to the table, lots of people are interested in what’s going on and what’s going to happen and I think it’s a great turning point for eastern Connecticut,” Tony Sheridan, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, said.

Preston Selectman Bob Cogdon said the town will essentially vote on Thursday to put a hold on the property.

The town of Preston will agree not to sell it to anyone else for 180 days while the tribe tries to attract potential businesses and entertainment.

Cogdon said the town is looking for public input now and especially after the 180 days when the tribe has a better idea of what businesses will go onto the property. After the 180 days, the town will vote to approve the development.

The property will be taxable.

Brown said it this wound not be a third casino, but it will bring several businesses and jobs to the area.

“For so long, there has been this reliance on gaming, which now really has been broadened to include economic development and a strategic vision for the future. So that’s a hope and expectation that I find very exciting,” U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, (D-Connecticut) said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

8 Tons of Cocaine Seized in Colombia


Police seized 8.8 tons of cocaine along the Colombia-Panama border with an estimated street value of $240 million, Colombia's government said.

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos said on Twitter the haul was the "biggest seizure of drugs in history."

Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas said the drugs belonged to the Clan Usuga crime gang.

Colombian authorities seized 278 tons of the narcotic in 2015, NBC News reported.

Photo Credit: Colombian National Police

2 in Custody After Standoff in Westport


Two people are in custody after a stand-off in Westport on Monday morning.

Police said they responded to a home on Richmondville Avenue around 10 a.m. to investigate a minor civil dispute, but it escalated.

The two people who were in the driveway when officers arrived went back into the house and would not allow officers to enter, police said.

Then a man showed up at the door holding a hatchet, police said.

Once police determined that a child was also in the house, they set up a perimeter and evacuated neighbors.

The Southwest Regional Emergency Response Team was activated and tactical officers and negotiators arrived around noon.

After around half an hour later, the two people came out of the house, but the man tried to run back inside, so police brought him to the ground.

Both adults are in custody and police are continuing to investigate.

Photo Credit: NBC10

Fund Set Up to Repair Historic Derrin House in Avon


A GoFundMe page has been set up to repair the historic Derrin House in Avon that was damaged by fire.

A passerby contacted authorities at  8:48 a.m. on May 11 after seeing smoke coming from the Derrin House, on West Avon Road and Avon's fire marshall's office said oily rags left inside the building spontaneously combusted and started the fire. 

The historical society has spent the past couple decades working on the 1810 farmhouse.

The historical society was planning a big event in June to celebrate 250 years since the Derrins settled in this area.

Now, they are worried about all the historical pieces that might have been destroyed, as well as the house.

The GoFundMe page, "Save the Derrin House," set a goal of raising $25,000 and they had raised $1,260 by around 2:30 p.m. on Monday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnectucut.com

East Haven Domestic Violence Assault Results in School Lock Down


A domestic violence assault involving a gun prompted a school lockdown in East Haven on Monday. 

East Haven Police responded to call at 8:05 a.m. from a relative that said Leonard Panuzio had hurt his wife. The caller said they found the wife in "disarray" and saw a shotgun, police said. 

SWAT accompanied police to the scene because of the firearm and a secure perimeter was put into place, according to East Haven Police. 

As a result, D.C. Moore School was placed on lockdown due to the close proximity of the home on Mansfield Grove Road. 

Police were able to take Panuzio into custody and discovered two more handguns in his home, along with the shotgun. Because of a previous conviction, Panuzio is not allowed to possess handguns.

The 61-year-old is being held on bond and faces assault, firearms and other pending charges. 

Photo Credit: East Haven Police

Number of Officers Killed Declined in 2015: FBI Data


The number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty nationwide dropped by nearly 20 percent in 2015, with 41 officers killed as a result of criminal acts, the FBI announced Monday, NBC News reported.

The data seems to provide a counterweight to arguments that increased criticism of police, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, has led to them being targeted for violence.

David Harris, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh who researches police behavior, said the decline is likely due to improvements in training and equipment, and advances in the treatment of traumatic injuries.

It also may be linked to historic drops in violent crime, Harris said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

DEEP Seizes Domesticated African Serval in Middletown


The state seized a domesticated African serval from a Middletown and arrested its owner earlier this month. 

On May 5, DEEP officials executed a search warrant for a male serval, which is described as a medium-sized feline weighing up to 40 pounds similar to a bobcat. 

Since the animal, Noah, was taken from the home, its owners created a petition to get the feline back. 

"Noah is not a dangerous animal," Joseph R. Sastre, the family's attorney, said. 

While DEEP said members of the felidae family are not recognized breeds of several top cat associations, Sastre said the laws of owning a serval vary from state to state. 

"Laws range from being outlawed in some states to requiring an owner's permit in others while in some states the keeping of an African serval is totally unregulated," Sastre said. "Connecticut's law on the matter is unclear and unsettled."

However, DEEP said a serval has been compared with a cheetah and believe the animal could potentially cause serious injury.

"The serval, born in captivity, will still have its natural instincts such as its prey drivers," the department said in a statement. 

The owner was charged with violating Connecticut General Statues, Sec. 26-40a(1).

DEEP said any member of the felidae family that is not a recognized breed of The International Cat Association, the Cat Fanciers Association or the American Cat Fanciers Association is illegal to possess in Connecticut. The serval is not recognized by any of these associations.

Photo Credit: Joseph R. Sastre, Esq.

Malloy Pushes for Juvenile System Reform


Governor Dannel Malloy spent Monday morning at a round table discussion where he spoke about his proposal: Second Chance 2.0.

Officials said the bill was postponed last week because of budget voting.

The proposal would allow offenders 20-years-old or younger to be tried as young adults within the juvenile justice system rather than the adult system. It would also eliminate bail for most minor crimes.

The governor sat down with public officials and previous offenders to discuss the benefits of the bill. Malloy also took time to address criticisms other officials have about the bill.

“These folks who say they agree with parts…Where’s their legislation? If they agreed with bail reform, where’s their legislation to do that? If they believe to raise the age for some and not all, where’s their legislation on this?" said Malloy.

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides criticized the bill saying it, “Did not have the votes to pass when it came up in the regular session and again in the special session.”

Senator Len Fasano called the bill “too broad.” Malloy said he is confident this bill will pass.

Photo Credit: AP

Source on Cause of Amtrak Crash


The engineer driving the Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia last year, killing eight people, may have been distracted by radio traffic, a source close to the investigation told NBC News.

The source told NBC News that NTSB investigators believe Amtrak 188 engineer Brandon Bostian was likely distracted by radio dispatchers prior to the May 12, 2015, crash in Philadelphia.

The train, headed from Washington, D.C. to New York, entered a sharp curve at 106 mph — more than twice the posted speed limit — when it crashed. Eight people died and more than 200 were injured.

The NTSB will hold a hearing in Washington, D.C., Tuesday where board members will vote on the final report in the investigation of the deadly derailment.

NBC News reports the probable cause for the crash may change during the meeting.

The NTSB released 160 documents earlier this year detailing the crash, including two interviews with Bostian in which he described the events leading up to it. In one interview, Bostian told investigators he had a "dream-like" memory of the train going too fast around the curve and hitting the brakes once he realized it was going to tip over.

"I remember holding onto the controls tightly and feeling like, okay well this is it, I'm going over," Bostian said.

Bostian made no mention in either interview however about being distracted by radio dispatch moments before the crash.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: AP
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Pregnant Connecticut Teen Raising Money After Zika Diagnosis


The pregnant 18-year-old from Danbury who tested positive for the Zika virus is raising money for her baby and raising criticism in the process.

Sara Mujica set up a GoFundMe page she calls "Care for baby with Zika infection."

Mujica tested positive for Zika at Danbury Hospital then went back to her fiancé in Honduras. Though the virus may cripple her baby, Mujica said on the page, "I have decided to keep my baby because it's what God has given to me and I am taking full responsibility of my actions."

Regardless of Mujica's comments, people were still quick to criticize Mujica on the GoFundMe page.

"You are a ridiculously selfish person. You are making horrible decisions and now you want other people to fund it! How dare you! Make the right choice and give the baby up for adoption!" wrote Meagan Byrne Elliott.

In another comment, Diane Pressly wrote: "Shame on you. If you were a real mom and loved your child at all, you wouldn't put an innocent life through what's ahead. Begging people for money to pay for your poor choices just makes a bad situation worse. So sad.

Others who spoke to NBC Connecticut on Monday, thought Mujica might need the added help.

"To help a small child I think that's amazing that that baby needs the help. We should all chip in."

In May, the 18-year-old was shocked to learn she had the Zika virus.  

At the time of the pregnancy test, she said, she was getting over an illness that gave her rashes, headaches and neck aches. She thought it was related to fish she had eaten, not Zika.

"If she wants to have it then that's her choice," said Josh Urban. "If she's willing to take on the responsibility of raising a sick kid then that's her decision."

Also on the gofundme page Mujica said if her baby is born without damage from Zika, she'll give the money she raises to people in need.

Photo Credit: AP

Construction Continues on I-95 in New Haven as Summer Approaches


The I-95 and I-91 interchange in New Haven is one of the most congested in the country, with more than 150,000 vehicles passing through every day.

Exit 44 has become a tricky spot for travelers passing through New Haven on I-95 south.

“We actually made a mistake and got on the wrong road heading north instead of back going south again,” said Byron Spraker from Baltimore. “That was a problem.”

As construction crews rebuild the West River Bridge heading into West Haven, southbound traffic at Exit 44 splits into two lanes to the left and one lane to the right.

“I’m so used to it, you know you just get used to slowing down that’s all,” said Gary King from Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Motorists can expect traffic back-ups by Long Wharf through the summer, but the traffic situation will improve two months ahead of schedule.

“By September that split will be removed and it will be much better going through West River,” said Domenic LaRosa, , assistant district engineer for the state Department of Transportation.

This past weekend a fifth lane opened on the southbound side of the Q Bridge. At the end of the summer, five lanes will be open in both directions.

“By September we should have full capacity on the structure,” LaRosa said.

If you drive from the shoreline toward Hartford, LaRosa said merging onto I-91 from I-95N will be easier when a right hand exit opens sometime at the end of June, early July. It is all part of the complex overhaul to make the highway interchange in New Haven safer.

“The biggest thing were the safety improvements,” LaRosa said. “The on off ramps, with enough merge time and weave distance, the two lane connections to eliminate any congestion when you’re trying to connect to 91.”

The Interchange and Q Bridge project should be finished in November, LaRosa said. The West River Bridge project will be complete by the end of 2018.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Heart Attacks Are 'Silent' in Nearly Half of Cases: Study


A new study released Monday found that 45 percent of heart attacks in the United States are "silent" — people don't realize they're having them, NBC News reports.

But even though these heart attacks do not cause the classic symptoms of chest or arm pain, they're doing just as much damage as heart attacks that do.

"The outcome of a silent heart attack is as bad as a heart attack that is recognized while it is happening," said Dr. Elsayed Soliman of Wake Forest Baptist Medical center, who led the study.

Julie Llamas Rickman remembers going to the emergency room five years ago thinking her asthma was acting up — she felt short of breath and tired — but the 41-year-old was shocked to learn she had two blockages in her heart, and had had an attack: "I just started crying."

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

Hartford School Dept. Warns of No DATTCO Buses Tuesday


Thousands of students who attend Hartford Public Schools will have no bus service on Tuesday because the DATTCO school bus drivers’ union has called for a one-day work stoppage on Tuesday, according to a statement from the school system.

“We are disappointed that this bus provider and its bus drivers have been unable to reach an agreement to avoid this unnecessary interruption of transportation services,” Supt. Beth Schiavino Narvaez said in a statement.

The negotiations have been going on for months and DATTCO bus drivers in Hartford said in April that they want the same benefits other drivers in the company have, including a 401K, paid time off, better benefits and an increase in hours from 20 a week to 25 or 30.

According to DATTCO, the company reached an agreement with the union in April, but just learned that the drivers rejected the agreement.

DATTCO released a statement Monday, which said in part, ""DATTCO is extremely disappointed in the actions of CSEA/SEIU Local 2001, who today has apparently chosen to ignore the protocol of good faith bargaining by urging drivers to not report to work on May 17, 2016. By doing so, they have placed their union’s agenda ahead of the safety of the school children of the Hartford Public Schools. We consider this to be a careless and selfish act, and not in the best interest of our loyal and professional employees, or the Hartford Public Schools."

Students who are not able to attend school on Tuesday because of the lack of DATTCO bus services will be fully excused from class for an absence on Tuesday, according to the school system.

Suburban magnet school students and special education students won’t be impacted by this stoppage, according to school officials. They said transportation for suburban magnet school students and special education students will proceed under normal operating hours.

Hartford public schools officials said DATTCO's bus service is scheduled to resume normal operations by Wednesday.

Donald Trump Hires Pollster After Dismissing Them


Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will hire veteran pollster Tony Fabrizio, a source close to the Trump campaign confirmed to NBC News.

Trump's hiring of Fabrizio is a significant departure from the candidate's past statements decrying pollsters and dismissing the need for polling to guide his campaign.

“I don't want to waste money on pollsters,” Trump told NBC News’ Chuck Todd in August. “We have enough of that in Washington with pollsters telling everybody what to say and everybody being controlled by the special interests, and the lobbyists, et cetera, and the donors."

Fabrizio most recently worked on Sen. Rand Paul's presidential campaign and Florida Gov. Rick Scott's campaign.

Photo Credit: AP

LAUSD Pays $88M in Sex Abuse Suits


The Los Angeles Unified School District has reached an $88-million settlement in a sex abuse case involving 30 students at Telfair Avenue Elementary School in Pacoima and George De La Torre Jr. Elementary School in Wilmington, victims' attorneys announced Monday.

The attorneys said 18 cases at De La Torre were settled for $58 million and 12 Telfair cases were settled for $30 million. The cases involved allegations against two teachers, one at each school.

"These historic settlements occurred because of overwhelming evidence that the District ignored warnings, employee reports and parent complaints that both of these horrible men were molesting dozens of children in the classroom," victims' attorney John C. Manly said in a statement released Monday night. "These reports made their way to the highest levels of District leadership where they were either ignored entirely or actively suppressed and the predators allowed to remain in the classroom. The question that the District needs to answer is how could this have happened? The LAUSD Board has not held a single public hearing on this issue nor does it plan to. The public deserves answers."

LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King said in a statement the district has made changes since the scandals.

"There is nothing more important than the safety of the students we serve. The resolution of these cases allows us to spare our L.A. Unified families the anguish of multiple protracted trials while being mindful of the financial consequences of these settlements," King said in a written statement Monday night.

"Well before the resolution of these cases, the School District made changes in our policies and practices to strengthen the protections for our students. While we are proud of the steps we have taken, we will continue to work diligently with our parents and the community to provide the safest possible environment for our students to learn and succeed," King said. 

The settlements come on the heels of verdicts in November 2015 on behalf of two young victims of sexual abuse at Telfair by teacher Paul Chapel III.

The jury in those cases awarded each of the victims $3 million. Chapel is serving a 25-year prison term after pleading no contest in 2012 to molesting 13 boys over a four-and-a-half year period.

The abuse at De La Torre Elementary School involved teacher Robert Pimental, who is also serving a state prison term after pleading no contest to charges of lewd acts on a child.

LAUSD was rocked a few years ago by abuse allegations involving teacher Mark Burndt at Miramonte Elementary School downtown. The district paid more than $175 million in that case, and Burndt is serving a 25-year sentence for lewd acts on children.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Ex-Sports Star Eyed in Wife's Death


A former star wrestler at Wheaton College is suspected of killing his pregnant wife at their suburban Minneapolis home.

Yevgeniy Savenok, 30, turned himself in over the weekend, ending a large-scale police search following the stabbing death of his wife. 

Police responded to a report of a domestic disturbance around 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the 17100 block of Park Circle in Eden Prairie, an upscale suburb about 12 miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis. Officers arrived to find a 23-year-old woman with multiple stab wounds.

The woman, identified by family members as Lyuba Savenok, was transported to the Hennepin County Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, authorities said.

Lyuba Savenok was the mother of a 4-year-old boy, Matthew, and a 3-year-old daughter, Vivienne. Her brother, Aleksandr Katane, said Lyuba Savenok was 26 weeks pregnant with her third child — a boy she planned to name Ellis.

Her assailant fled, prompting a massive police search across the metro area.

At about 1 p.m., the suspect, identified by police as the woman’s husband, Yevgeniy Savenok, turned himself in to the St. Paul Police Department. He was held in custody and could face two counts of murder, according to records at the Hennepin County Jail. Charges had not been filed as of Monday afternoon.

Law enforcement officials told NBC affiliate station KARE 11 they’ve been called to the home before for "domestic assault cases." Yeveginy Savenok was arrested previously and charged with domestic assault. He was reportedly scheduled for a jury trial in the case.

Yevgeniy Savenok graduated from Wheaton College in 2009, according to school records. An article on the school’s website reported in 2007 he was named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Scholar All-American Team.

"Wheaton College is grieved to learn of this tragic situation," the school said in a statement.

Lyuba Savenok's family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses and costs associated with raising her two children.

"We believe that justice will be served and so right now her family, loved ones and friends are focusing on celebrating her life and taking great care of her two beautiful children," Katane said in a statement. "Lyuba was a force of joy and passion. She really flourished when she became a mom and so we honor her by trying to set her kids up for success."

It was not immediately clear if Yeveginy Savenok had an attorney.

Police urge anyone involved in a domestic violence situation to seek help. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has resources available on its website, as does the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Photo Credit: Savenok Family Photo

Marco Rubio Mocks Media With Gym Jokes in Late Night Twitter Tirade


Former Republican hopeful Marco Rubio unleashed a late-night Twitter tirade that included sarcastic tweets about his gym routine.

The rant followed a story in the Washington Post that suggested he was unsure of his political future, citing "people close to him."

 A "longtime friend" says Rubio is "betwixt" about whether to work out his "chest or legs tomorrow at gym," Rubio tweeted, mocking the article.

"According to source who knows his cousins, wife's dentist, Rubio could do cardio instead," he added.

Rubio suspended his campaign on March 15 after failing to win his home state of Florida.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Hiker, 64, Found Tied to Tree in NC


Police are hunting a "scruffy" and "unwashed" suspect in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Parkway after a 64-year-old hiker was found tied to a tree and in need of hospital treatment.

Rescuers located the woman after her friend called 911 on Thursday afternoon from an area of the park popular with families and hikers.

She was found tied to a tree off a trail near the Craggy Gardens picnic site in what park authorities said was a possible assault, without releasing additional information.

The Reems Creek Fire Department said the hiker was found in need of urgent attention from paramedics and was transported to the Mission Hospital in Asheville for treatment. No further information was released on her condition.

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