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Hamden to Add Camera to Trail Intersections


Mayor Curt Balzano Leng said the town and the Hamden Police Department are becoming closer to installing at least three new surveillance cameras in the areas where the trail intersects with Alling Street and with Dudley Street, not far from Dixwell Avenue.

“It's primarily to deter any criminal activity or any unsavory activity that might occur," said Leng.

Police Chief Thomas Wydra told NBC Connecticut that no single event prompted plans for new cameras, though there have been issues with violence and gunfire on the canal trail in the past. Also, in August 2015, police said a man exposed himself to a 70-year-old woman who was walking along the trail.

Some frequent canal trail users, such as Yolanda Alica, welcomes the idea of having surveillance cameras.

“It’s great. I would love it," she Alica. "That would make me want to come back more often.”

Other trail visitors wonder if cameras in such a public place would be such a great idea.

“Too many cameras in our lives are probably not going to be a good thing," Marta Dabis, who was riding her bicycle through Hamden from her home in New Haven.

Mayor Leng said the approximately $20,000 needed for the new cameras, as well as a new emergency call box, has already been secured. The town legislative council is expected to approve the police department's plans. The new cameras could be up and running by next month, said the mayor.

Leng said the town and the police force are aware of the delicate balance between privacy and public safety.

“If you’re in a public space trying to do something that’s not legal or is highly inappropriate, you should think twice about doing that because it’s possibly going to be on camera," said Leng.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Route 202 in Litchfield Closed Following Serious Accident


Route 202 in Litchfield was closed following a serious car accident on Friday, police said. 

LifeStar is responding to the accident that occurred on Route 202 at Lincoln Place.

The road was closed on Friday afternoon but has since reopend.

Officials did not say how many cars or patients were involved.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Man Delivers Vigilante Justice, Lassoes Bike Thief


A bike thief got a taste of vigilante justice in a Southern Oregon town Friday morning. 

The thief was lassoed by a man on horseback in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Eagle Point, Oregon. 

A woman who walked out of the store saw someone take off with her bike and started yelling out for help, according to NBC station KOBI TV

A man heard the commotion, jumped into action, and pulled his horse out of his trailer. He chased down the suspect, lassoed him and held him until police arrived. 

The suspect was arrested and the bike was returned to its owner, according to the Eagle Point Police Department’s Facebook page.

Photo Credit: US Lawns
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Heavy Traffic on Route 9 in Cromwell Following Crash


Heavy traffic was inching by on Route 9 going southbound in Cromwell following a crash, state police said.

Police said responded to a crash on Route 9 near exit 10 on Friday.

There were no road closures or injuries reported. 

Photo Credit: CT DOT

Two Plainfield Dogs Involved in Mauling of Health Worker Euthanized


Two dogs accused of mauling a health worker while she was on duty have been euthanized, police said. 

In January, a state officer upheld the ruling to euthanize the two Rottweilers in Plainfield:

“I find there is substantial evidence in the record that both dogs bit Ms. Denning and therefore.. affirm both the disposal orders on the dogs,” Bruce Sherman, director of regulations and inspection for the state Department of Agriculture said in his ruling.

Police said Lynne Denning, of Canterbury, was viciously attacked by two to four dogs at 379 Putnam Road, in the Wauregan Village, of Plainfield while she was caring for an elderly patient in December 2014.

Denning "suffered brutal injuries" to her face, chest, arms and legs and has undergo at least 13 surgeries in the months after the attack, according to police and family members.

Town officials confiscated five Rottweilers and a Labrador from the home. The dogs, which were all present at the time of the attack, were quarantined at the Plainfield Animal Shelter.

Days later, officials announced plans to euthanize the dogs but said in August 2015 they were unable to prove four of the dogs took part in the attack and opted to return them to their owners, Jenna Allen and Corey Beakey. 

Allen, 29, and Beakey, 29, both of Plainfield, turned themselves into police last September. 

Allen was charged with reckless endangerment in the second degree, two counts of possession of a nuisance dog and five counts of failure to comply with dog license requirements.

Beakey was charged with reckless endangerment in the second degree.

Photo Credit: Brittany Allen

Student Captures Hartford Teacher's Heroic Moment During Lockdown


A teacher in Hartford is being praised for her actions during a lockdown at Prince Technical High School.

Cellphone video shows the teach armed with what appears to be a plastic pole, ready to strike the intuder.

The lockdown was prompted by a threat that ended up being a hoax. 

A mother of one of Paula Butterfield's students is thanking the teacher for her heroic actions. 

Shamikia Pitts said Butterfield, a biology teacher, did an excellent job.

"Thank you. I really appreciate everything you've done for children! And mine of course," Pitts said. 

"She's a hero. She's really, really awesome. She did a good job!" Pitts added.

Butterfield is seen on a quick cell phone video shot by Pitts' daughter. Right in the middle of a lock down at A.I. Prince Technical High School in Hartford Thursday morning.

State and local police swarmed the school after a threat was made on social media about shooting up the school lunch room.

Shamikia Pitts told NBC Connecticut, "When I asked Camani (daughter) she said the teacher grabbed a pole that was inside a plastic thing in a closet. And she came out, stood at that door and whatever she heard at that door she was gunna swing at it. Whatever would've came her way, she would've gotten them!"

Shamikia said she got a frantic phone call from her 10th grader Camani Bell Thursday morning, who was inside that classroom along with 15 other teenagers.

Superintendent Dr. Nivea Torres told NBC Connecticut, "The safety of our students is always our top priority. The example of Mrs. Butterfield demonstrates the commitment of all Prince Tech educators and how seriously we take that responsibility. We are also very grateful for our partners with the State Police who responded quickly and determined that there was not a threat."

There have not been any arrests following yesterday’s incident and State Troopers tell us this is the fifth school threat they've responded to this academic school year.

ISIS Opens Fire, Kills 30 in Fallujah: Iraqi Military


ISIS militants killed at least 30 people, most of whom were women and children who were trying to flee the Iraqi city of Fallujah, NBC News reports. 

Militants attacked those who were trying to flee the ISIS-held city, according to a military spokesman, who did not say how many people were injured in the attack. 

A source in Fallujah told NBC News that ISIS militants — whose own families left the city — demanded that women and children remain in Fallujah. 

"ISIS militants told men that if they want to leave the town, so they are free to do that, under one condition, not to take their families with them, and if they tried to do so they would kill them," the source said.

Fallujah has been held by ISIS for more than two years. An estimated 30-40,000 civilians are believed to be trapped in the city.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

No Shooter at California Army Base


Officials at the Fort Hunter Liggett army base in California said Friday there was no active shooter at the camp. 

"The installation received an unconfirmed report of an active shooter which appears to have resulted from a miscommunication from ongoing training activities. The installation has been searched and cleared," the base's Facebook page said.

A spokesman said earlier that the base was on lockdown and police were investigating a "possible shooting situation."

Photo Credit: Google Maps
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Musical From Scotland Makes Exclusive US Debut in New Haven


During the next two weeks of the 2016 International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, visitors have the chance to check out one of the best reviewed shows from across the pond.

“This is our American premiere,” Caroline Deyga said.

Deyga and Kirsty MacLaren are two Scottish actresses who part of the cast of “Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour.”

“It’s the story of six girls who are on the cusp of entering adulthood and everything that comes with,” MacLaren said, “so they’re trying to experience as much of life as they can.”

The Guardian newspaper named their show the best stage play in the UK for 2015, which features “a whole range of different styles of music,” Deyga said.

“Expect to have fun,” MacLaren said. “Expect to be moved, expect to be shocked, expect to be everything you can possibly imagine.”

The ladies from Scottland say their experience coming to the United States is similar to their play’s plotline.

“It was little like recreating the show because there are these girls from Scotland who were in New York going to do some touristy things,” Deyga said. “But also partying American style which was amazing.”

Tickets for Friday night’s show at the are sold out, but there are 17 more shows scheduled at the Yale Repertory Theatre.

The Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour performers are excited for what else the festival has to offer.

“There’s like choreographers coming up from New York to do guest classes,” MacLaren said. “There’s food tours which look amazing, particularly a chocolate one which looks very good.”

Ryan Encourages Party Unity at Romney Summit


House Speaker Paul Ryan urged party unity at Mitt Romney’s annual ideas summit, NBC News reported. 

Ryan didn’t persuade the mostly anti-Trump group to back the presumptive Republican nominee, but encouraged those attending to give their money to House and Senate races to keep Republican majorities. 

"His message was not really about presidential politics, it was about his agenda and maintaining a working majority," Spencer Zwick, head of Ryan's finance operation and former Romney fundraising chief, told NBC News.

Many of Romney's 250 friends and allies attending the summit are skeptical of Trump and his conservative credentials. They’re also uneasy with his controversial comments. 

Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus is scheduled to speak at the E2 summit Saturday morning.

Photo Credit: AP

LifeStar Responds to Child Falling in Coventry


LifeStar responded to a child who fell in Coventry on Friday night, fire officials said. 

The child, who was under 10 years old, had a "long fall", Conventry Fire Department said. 

The incident happened on Pine Knoll Drive at around 9 p.m., officials said. 

LifeStar transported the child to Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford with serious injuries. 

It was not clear where the child fell from or their exact age.

There were no other details immediately available. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

B-day Love Pours in For Solo Teen


A Maine teen with autism has gone from having the worst birthday to the best, thanks to the support of strangers from around the world.

It started with a Facebook post that included a picture of 18-year-old Hallee Sorenson of Bangor sitting alone at her last birthday party. When none of her friends showed up to the party, she was devastated.

"It's just the worst feeling in the world," said her mother, Allyson Sorenson. "When you have a child like Hallee who doesn't understand, and is so desperately sad for the first time, it's just shattering."

This year, her family wanted to make sure she had a better birthday. Her cousin posted the heartbreaking photo of Hallee alone at her birthday party to Facebook, and wrote a post asking friends to send her birthday cards in the mail.

More than 150,000 shares on Facebook later and her family is starting to see the results.

"It's super overwhelming," said Allyson. "We are so grateful."

On Friday, Hallee received more than 20 birthday cards from across the country, several flower deliveries and messages from around the world.

She was delighted and surprised to see so many people recognize her 19th birthday this year, which is on July 2.

"It's pretty great," she said.

"Hallee functions at a 6-year-old level, and I've told her that she's getting a lot of cards in the mail and she said 'why'" said Allyson Sorenson. "I told her 'it's because people love you, and they want you to have a happy birthday.'"

If you'd like to send a card to Sorenson, you can direct it here:

Hallee Sorenson
34 Wellesley Way
Bangor, ME 04401

Photo Credit: necn
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Backlash Against Judge Persky Grows


Several efforts are taking place to remove Judge Aaron Persky from the bench, including a petition, official recall and a letter from a state senator asking the judge to resign.

On Friday, a petition with more than 1 million signatures calling for the immediate removal of the Santa Clara County judge was delivered to the state's judicial commission.

Organizers said the move is just the beginning of several efforts to remove Persky. Friday's event combined two of those efforts, one using the judicial commission and the other a voter-based effort. But there is no guarantee either will happen.

Persky has become a target for sentencing former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner to just six months in jail for sexually assaulting a woman outside a fraternity party last year.

"We're here today because Brock Turner made a choice to rape a woman," said Melissa Byrne, who represents the woman's advocacy group UltraViolet.

The California Commission on Judicial Performance has the power to remove Persky from the bench, but on Friday said it had no comment on the matter.

The commission was not present when the gorup delivered the signatures.

"Hopefully, one day people will listen to survivors as opposed to leaving boxes on ledges," Byrne said.

There is also an official recall effort for Persky, which is being led by Stanford law professor Michele Dauber.

Pesky ran unopposed in Tuesday's election and is expected to begin a new six-year term in early January.

"We're going to wait just a little bit in order to roll out the exact timeline, but we're very confident it will go forward," Dauber said.

Getting official signatures for the recall effort likely will not begin until the judge starts his new term next year.

State Sen. Jim Beall along with more than a dozen legislators are also calling for Persky to resign.

"This has to be reviewed in terms of performance of the judge," Beall said. "I think it calls into question his decision-making process."

Beall signed a letter that was sent to the district attorney's office and judicial commission asking for a review of the case.

The letter comes following the release of the full court file, which includes pictures of Turner smoking marijuana.

The pictures contradict a letter Turner sent to the judge before the sentencing, which he claims he had little experience with alcohol or drugs.

But text messages, including some with an apparent drug dealer, paint a different picture.

On several occasions Turner used the N word and referred to smoking weed, drinking and dropping acid.

The documents also show Turner inappropriately touched a woman at a party the week before the sexual assault. And on the night he was arrested, he received a group message referring to a picture of a naked woman.

Based on time stamps, prosecutors speculated he may have photographed his victim during the assault. But investigators were unable to find the photo, which was sent through a messaging app, GroupMe.

Detectives noted the app allows users to delete photos.

"His prior involvement with drugs and alcohol suggest he should have been much more responsible for his actions that night," legal analyst Steven Clark said.

Clark said Persky's sentence is legal, but also notes the public outcry could spark legislative change to increase sentencing for sexual assault cases.

"It may be this is a vehicle for legislative change when it comes to sentencing of sexual assault, but I don't think it will affect Judge Persky in this particular sentence," Clark said.

Photo Credit: Associated Press

Media Wants Trump U Videos Public


Seven major media companies have joined forces, requesting a judge allow video depositions of the presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump in the class-action lawsuit involving Trump University be made public.

The Trump University lawsuit filed in San Diego alleges the former university, which took in over $40 million, was fraudulent and deceptive.

On Friday, the Washington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS, New York Times, CNN, the Tribune Company joined together to file a request to unseal complete transcripts and videotapes of the "Trump Depositions."

The "Trump Depositions" refer to video depositions of Trump taken on December 10, 2015 and January 21, 2016, according to the court documents.

Certain portions of the depositions are part of the public record, but hundreds of pages of transcripts of the depositions, and segments of the videos are not.

Click here to read the complete motion.

According to the motion, "portions of the depositions apparently remain designated as 'confidential' under the parties' broad stipulated protective order."

The media companies are asking U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel permission to intervene in the case for the purpose of modifying the protective order to remove the confidential designation. That would allow the complete depositions to be part of the public record.

A hearing has been scheduled in San Diego for June 30. Any response to the motion is required to be filed with the court by June 20.

NBC 7 has reached out to both parties in the lawsuit but has not immediately received a response.

NBC 7 Investigates has been reporting on the class-action lawsuit that alleges Trump University misled students with unfulfilled promises of teaching them the secret to being successful in the real estate business.

In the motion, the media companies said the Trump University lawsuit "not only raises important questions about Defendant (Trump) and his organization, it has become a prominent electoral issue."

The motion continues to describe how other hopeful U.S. presidential candidates have used the Trump University lawsuit to criticize Trump's qualifications to become president.

The media companies argue discovery materials are "presumptively public" and Trump has failed to justify keeping the depositions confidential.

In the motion the companies also argue the strong public interest in the lawsuit, "which involves serious allegations of fraud that have become a prominent issue in the 2016 presidential campaign weighs in favor of public disclosure."

Earlier this year, the Washington Post asked Judge Curiel to intervene in order to ask for thousands of pages of documents to be unsealed in this lawsuit. In May, he agreed and issued an unsealing.

Click here to read more about the documents released in that request.

Photo Credit: AP
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NY Straphangers Save Man on Tracks


Straphangers waiting for the subway at City Hall Friday afternoon sprang into action when they saw a man lose consciousness and fall onto the subway tracks, dramatic witness video shows.

Gothamist, which obtained video of the good Samaritan rescue, reports the passengers were waiting for the R train at City Hall at about 2:30 p.m. when a man in his 50s to early 60s fell onto the tracks. 

"This huge person just fell, and the sound was horrific," Sumeja Tulic, a CUNY student who witnessed the rescue and recorded the video, told NBC 4 New York. 

"At that point I thought, 'This is when I will see for the first time somebody dying in front of my very own eyes,'" said Tulic, who's studying journalism.

But three men suddenly jumped onto tracks, and Tulic instinctively began recording.

"I sort of saw that they were doing something amazing. I have to say it's a professional sort of thing, like, 'oh, my God, I hope they will succeed and I want people to see this," she said. 

The video shows the men pushing the unconscious man up onto the platform, where several people rushed over to help pull him up. The men on the tracks quickly bound back up onto the platform, again with the help of bystanders on the platform. The good Samaritans then pressed an alarm to warn the conductor. 

The man began regaining consciousness when the next train pulled into the station, about two minutes later. 

Tulic said everyone else was asked to leave the platform, including her, but the rescuers stayed with him.

"It was like a melting pot of goodness," she said.

The FDNY said the man was taken to Bellevue Hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries. It's not clear what caused him to lose consciousness. 

It was the second time in less than a month that bystanders jumped onto the subway tracks in lower Manhattan to rescue a fallen man. Last month, a 19-year-old man jumped onto the subway tracks at Canal Street to move an ill man out of the way of an oncoming train. The teen made it back onto the platform with the help of another bystander seconds before the train pulled in.

Photo Credit: Gothamist
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NHL Ironman Gordie Howe, 'Mr. Hockey,' Dies at 88


Gordie Howe, one of the greatest hockey players of all time, has died at the age of 88, the Detroit Red Wings said Friday in a tweet.

Known as much for his grit as his skill, the Hall of Famer called "Mr. Hockey" played the game longer than any other player. Today, scoring a goal and an assist and getting into a fight in one game is known as a "Gordie Howe hat trick."

Revered around the NHL, he was especially important to Detroit, where he spent most of his career. The Hockey Hall of Fame tweeted that he died as well on Friday, saying "Mr. Hockey was a true legend."

Howe's career began in 1946, when the NHL had just six teams. By the time he finished playing in 1980 — on a Hartford Whalers team that featured his son — the NHL had expanded to 21 teams, and a young Wayne Gretzky was just starting his career. Still, it would take "the Great One" many more years to eclipse many of Howe's records.

"Unfortunately we lost the greatest hockey player ever today, but more importantly the nicest man I have ever met," Gretzky said in a tweet Friday.

Howe played 80 games in that final season in the NHL — the most of his career. He was 52. He finished that career with 1,850 points (801 goals and 1,049 assists), which is still fourth all-time. His 1,767 games played remains a record.

Howe won four Stanley Cups, led the league in scoring six times and was its MVP six times.

"Gordie's toughness as a competitor on the ice was equaled only by his humor and humility away from it," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "No sport could have hoped for a greater, more beloved ambassador."

Howe was born in Saskatoon, Canada, in 1928. He was in failing health in his last years, including two strokes.

"Though other superstars could be deemed somewhat better scorers, tougher fighters or faster skaters, no player has approached Gordie Howe's sustained level of excellence," the Hockey Hall of Fame writes in its biography of the right wing.

His career had a brief coda. In 1997, he signed a a one-game contract with a minor leage team, the Detroit Vipers, according to the Hall of Fame. In playing just one shift at nearly 70 years old, he extended his hockey career into an unprecedented sixth decade.

Photo Credit: NHLI via Getty Images
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Singer Christina Grimmie Killed


Christina Grimmie, a South Jersey native and former contestant on NBC's "The Voice," has died after being shot at a show in Orlando, Florida, her publicist confirmed early Saturday.

"It is with a heavy heart that we can confirm that Christina has passed and went home to be with the Lord," her publicist Heather Weiss said in a statement. "She was shot at her show in Orlando and, unfortunately, didn't survive the gun shot wounds. We ask at this time that you respect the privacy of her family and friends in their time of mourning."

Grimmie, 22, was signing autographs around 10:45 p.m. Friday along with members of another band, Before You Exit, when the shooting happened, according to Orlando Police. The singer and the band wrapped up a performance around 10 p.m. at Plaza Live.

Orlando police spokeswoman Wanda Miglio said a man walked up to Grimmie and shot her. The singer's brother then tackled the shooter, but he was able to break free and take his own life, Miglio said.

Grimmie was rushed to a nearby medical center where she was last listed in critical condition, police said. She later succumbed to her wounds.

Police are working to determine the shooter's identity and if he had a connection with Grimmie, Miglio said. He had two guns on him at the time of the shooting. 

Grimmie is from Marlton, New Jersey and finished third place in season 6 of "The Voice." She was a member of Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine's team.

"We are heartbroken," the show tweeted. "@TheRealGrimmie is a loved member of our family.  Our thoughts are with her and her family." 

We are heartbroken. @TheRealGrimmie is a loved member of our family.  Our thoughts are with her and her family.  
There are no words. We lost a beautiful soul with an amazing voice. Our hearts go out to the friends, fans and family of @TheRealGrimmie.We are heartbroken. @TheRealGrimmie is a loved member of our family.  Our thoughts are with her and her family.  There are no words. We lost a beautiful soul with an amazing voice. Our hearts go out to the friends, fans and family of @TheRealGrimmie.

The singer posted a video to Twitter earlier Friday asking fans to come out to her show.

Photo Credit: Tyler Golden/NBC
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Watertown Man Blackmails Teen for Nude Photos: Police


A Watertown man is accused of blackmailing a 13-year-old girl so she would send him topless photos of herself online, police said. 

Jermaine Williams, 34, faces two charges of risk of injury to a minor after an investigation found he had been asking his friend's daughter for "sexy" photos on multiple occasions last year, according to court documents.

Williams won't be charged with possession of child pornography because the statute of limitations ran out for coercion, police said. 

Last year, Williams, who is a friend of the victim's mother and grandmother, reached out to the underage victim over Facebook Messenger asking her for pictures of herself in "bra and panties," according to documents. 

When the then 13-year-old declined Williams, he told the victim he would tell her family about her sexual relationship with a boy in her middle school, police said. 

The girl said she was afraid of Williams' threats and sent him risque photos of herself to the suspect. On some occasions, Williams even offered the victim money in exchange for photos, however, it does not appear like any fiscal transaction was executed, Watertown Police said. 

An investigation started when a friend of accused went to police on May 16 of this year and told them Williams had shown him photos of the girl and admitted to blackmailing her for them, court documents said. 

Williams told officers that interviewed him that he did not threaten the girl and she voluntarily sent him photos. He said he saved the photos in order to show her family and let them "know what was going on," police documents said. 

However, messages recovered on Facebook allegedly shows Williams asking and threatening the victim. 

It is not clear if Williams obtained an attorney. 

Matt Austin 

Photo Credit: Watertown Police

3 Accused of Drug Sales at Wallingford Club: Police


A bartender and two members of a “French club” in Wallingford have been arrested after an investigation into drugs deals at the club, according to police.

Police said the investigation was into narcotics sales at the St. Pierre Social Club, on Maple Avenue, which is also known as the “French Club.”

"What can you say? I think every bar in America has a drug problem," said an employee who did not want to be identified.

On Thursday, authorities raided the club, which is located on a dead-end street in a residential neighborhood.

Kathryn Vanlinter, of Wallingford, a 47-year-old bartender who was tending bar at the time of the raid, had around a dozen bags of cocaine packaged for sale and more than $1,200 in cash, police said.

She was the only person in charge of the establishment, officers said.

Vanlinter was charged with possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of narcotics and criminal attempt at sales of narcotics. She was released on a $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Meriden Superior Court on June 23.

Police said they also seized her car.

A member of the club, 49-year-old Edmund Wambolt, of Wallingford, had crack cocaine and heroin and was charged with two counts of possession of narcotics, police said.

He was released on a promise to appear and is scheduled to appear in Meriden Superior Court on June 23.

Another club member, Debra Mercurio, 52, of Wallingford, has several bags of cocaine and was charged with possession of narcotics and criminal attempt to possess narcotics, police said.

She was released on a promise to appear and is scheduled to appear in Meriden Superior Court on June 23.

Employees at the social club said it will be open for business tonight.

Ken Buffa contributed to this report. 

Photo Credit: Wallingford Police

Man Shot Multiple Times Outside Hamden Nightclub


A man was shot multiple times outside of a Hamden night club early Saturday morning.

According to police, someone fired multiple shots around 2 a.m., when the Liquid Lava Lounge, 1537 Dixwell Road, was closing.

One man was shot multiple times. The victim was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital where he is listed in critical condition.

Police have not made any arrests and have yet to release a description of the a suspect.

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