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Caretaker and Ex-Boyfriend Accused of Theft from Elderly Client


A Waterbury woman and her ex-boyfriend are accused of stealing from a Newtown resident the woman was hired to provide care for.

Police started investigating on Nov. 2, when an elderly woman’s credit card was reported stolen and obtained warrants for 29-year-old Earlisha Watson, of Waterbury, and her ex-boyfriend, 23-year-old Michael Tallman, also of Waterbury.

Tallman is accused of collaborating with Watson in the theft and illegal withdrawal of money from the credit card, police said. 

Watson turned herself in to police on Jan. 14. Police could not find Tallman for several months, but located him in New Haven on Thursday. 

Watson has been charged with sixth-degree conspiracy to commit larceny and credit card theft by transfer. 

Tallman has been charged with sixth-degree larceny, illegal use of a credit card and identity theft. He was released on $15,000 bond and is due in court on Sept. 8. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Held in Bizarre Kidnapping


A Braintree, Massachusetts, man is facing charges after police say he tried to take a toddler from a market while his parents were shopping.

It happened at South Shore India Market on Quincy Avenue in Braintree last Friday night. The toddler was with his parents when police say a shirtless stranger picked him up and bolted for the back door.

“He just threw him over the shoulder almost as if you were carrying your gym bag,” store owner Mehtab Ahmed said. “It was bizarre and

The attempted kidnapping was caught on the store’s surveillance video.

The child’s father noticed right away and followed the man to the back of the store where he eventually handed over the child and ran into the woods behind the market.

“I asked him if he tried to take the kid and he was just grunting,” Mehtab said.

Braintree police arrested Stephen O’Brien, 47, of Quincy, who they say refused to let go of a tree when they first arrived. O’Brien is charged with kidnapping and resisting arrest.

He was held on $100,000 bail and is due back in court September 14.

Photo Credit: Braintree Police Department

Man Sentenced to 5 Years in $2 Million Multistate Burglary Spree


A Cuban citizen was sentenced in a Hartford court Thursday to five years in prison for a $2 million burglary spree that spanned several states. 

Alionis Perez, 40, was involved in the thefts of more than $2 millionworth of watches, bags, sunglasses and smartphones between August 2013 and August 2014, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

Perez, who had been living in New Jersey, and others traveled to Connecticut on Aug. 2, 2013 and broke into the Fossil store in Clinton the next day and proceeded to disable the alarm system and steal around $250,000 worth of watches, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

After the burglary, they returned to New Jersey with the stolen items, officials said. 

Following are the other crimes they are accused of: 

  • Aug. 18, 2013: Attempted break-in at Movado store in Kittery, Maine. 
  • Sept. 19, 2013; Break-in at Fossil store in Miramar Beach, Florida and theft of $170,000 worth of watches. 
  • Oct. 4, 2013: Break-in at Fossil store in Hagerstown, Maryland and theft of $750,000 worth of watches. 
  • Oct. 24, 2013: Break-in at Fossil store in Grove City, Pennsylvania and theft of $195,000 worth of watches. 
  • Nov. 22, 2013: Theft of van in Massachusetts. 
  • Nov. 23, 2013: Break-in at Michael Kors store in Lee, Massachusetts and theft of $500,000 worth of watches and bags. 
  • Aug. 7, 2014 or Aug. 8, 2014: Burglary at Radio Shack in Chesterfield, Missouri and theft of a small amount of cash. 
  • Aug. 9, 2014: Burglary at Sunglass Hut Store in Leawood, Kansas and theft of 623 pairs of sunglasses worth $113,000. 
  • Aug. 10, 2014: Burglary at Radio Shack in Franklin, Tennessee and theft of 50 smartphones worth $28,000. 

Officials said Perez and his co-conspirators were arrested later that day in a hotel room in Nashville, Tennessee and investigators found items stolen from the Sunglass Hut in Kansas and Radio Shack in Tennessee. 

Perez, who has been detained since he was arrested, pleaded guilty on May 23 to two counts of conspiracy to engage in the interstate transportation of stolen property. 

He has been ordered to pay more than $1.8 million in restitution and was sentenced to 60 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. 

Photo Credit: Movado

35 Charged With Trespassing at Camp Sloper


Police have charged 35 teens and young adults with trespassing at Camp Sloper in Southington after hearing about a party at the YMCA camp on social media, according to police. 

Police responded to the camp just after 10:45 p.m. on Tuesday after receiving reports that a large party might be going on and found a caravan of 10 to 15 vehicles driving through the property, police said. 

The people in the vehicles said they heard there was a party at the camp through social media. 

Because they were on private property after the camp was closed, police issued tickets for simple trespass. 

The people charged range in age from 18 to 25 and live in Bristol, Chester, Clinton, Farmington, Hamden, Meriden, New Britain, Plainville, Wallingford and Wolcott.

Devastating 1955 Flood Happened 61 Year Ago Today


The 1955 flood was arguably Connecticut’s greatest natural disaster in modern times. Two hurricanes brushed by southern New England in a week’s time, dropping an exceptional amount of water across parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts. Tropical Storm Connie and Tropical Storm Diane resulted in over two feet of rain in parts of the Northwest Hills and Berkshires.

The record rainfall sent rivers raging into towns and cities across the state. The Naugatuck, Farmington, and Quinebaug Rivers – along with their tributaries – raged through valleys on the morning of August 19, 1955. Winsted, Thomaston, Waterbury, Ansonia, Farmington and Putnam were just some of the towns devastated.

The flooding on the Naugatuck River began upstream in Winsted when the Mad River exploded from its banks, destroying downtown Winsted. The surge of water continued downstream into Torrington, Thomaston, Waterbury, Naugatuck and Ansonia, destroying hundreds and hundreds of homes and factories. Dozens of people drowned as the flood moved south while hundreds waited to be rescued on their roofs.

After the Naugatuck River receded, Waterbury looked “War torn. You couldn’t believe that little river, that was nothing, was a ripple, could do that. You saw debris and furniture and suitcases and just overwhelming. You just didn’t expect something like that in our little town,” Waterbury resident Barbara Genovese said.

In Putnam, the Belding-Hemingway Magnesium factory exploded in a spectacular fire, illuminating the night sky for miles, after the Quinebaug River came out of its banks.

All told, more than $200 million in damage was done (in 1955 dollars) across the state and 90 people were killed.

After the flood, a series of flood control measures were put into place to ensure a flood like 1955 doesn’t happen again. The large Thomaston Dam on the Naugatuck River is one of the largest flood control measures erected by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Learn more:

Read more on Ryan Hanrahan's blog 
See the Waterbury Republican-American's extensive coverage
The Connecticut State Library page on the Connecticut Floods of 1955
Northeast River Forecast Center Page on the flood

Photo Credit: Republican American
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Driver Airlifted After Crash on I-91 in Rocky Hill


The driver of a tractor-trailer hauling vegetables was airlifted to the hospital after hitting a tree along Interstate 91 north in Rocky Hill just after 3 a.m. on Friday.

Two people were inside the tractor-trailer when it veered off the highway and hit a tree, according to police.

The driver was seriously injured and trapped inside the truck for around two hours, according to Rocky Hill Police. 

LifeStar landed on the highway and rushed the victim to Hartford Hospital.

All northbound lanes were closed for hours near exit 23, but later reopened.

Crews from the state Department of Consumer Protection also responded because of the produce on the truck.

There is also a possible fuel tank issue.

Several first responders were treated for heat-related issues and have been released.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Isolated Showers This Weekend


The weekend won't be perfect, as isolated showers are in the forecast.

Both weekend days will start with fog and drizzle in spots, then some sun breaks through.

Temperatures will be in the middle 80s on Saturday.

It will be slightly cooler Sunday, with highs in the lower 80s.

The next chance for thunderstorms comes Sunday night with a cold front, before clearing sets in.

Monday will be gorgeous with sunny skies, dropping humidity, and highs barely touching 80 degrees.

A sprawling area of high pressure parks itself over the region next week.

Temperatures will be close to 80 degrees with abundant sunshine through at least early Friday.

Donald Trump Apologizes, But to Whom?


Donald Trump has insulted ethnic groups, entire nations, as well as public and private citizens since he launched his presidential bid in June of 2015. 

But on Thursday, the GOP nominee appeared to apologize for something. There was no indication as to whom he was apologizing — and for what. 

"Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing," Trump said at North Carolina rally. "I have done that. And believe it or not, I regret it." 

Click to read a full list of who Trump may regret offending, as compiled by NBC News. 

Photo Credit: AP

Family Suing School for Alleged Forced Terrorism Confession


The family of a special education student is suing a Long Island, New York, school district for $25 million, alleging their 12-year-old son was forced to falsely confess to belonging to ISIS and planning to blow up the school, NBC News reports.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, accuses East Islip Middle School administrators of violating Nashwan Uppal's constitutional rights when they allegedly coerced him into saying he was a terrorist and had bombs, searched through his belongings and locker, and for a period of time refused to let him contact his mother.

The alleged forced confession came a day after older students harassed Uppal in the cafeteria, repeatedly calling him a terrorist and asking "what he was going to blow up next," the suit says.

East Islip Union Free School District spokesman Michael Ganci told NBC News the district doesn't comment on pending litigation.

Photo Credit: Google Street View

New Pool Is a Wish Come True for Boy With Bone Cancer


Ten-year-old Dan Therriault’s wish came true early Friday when a brand new pool was installed in his family’s backyard in Bristol. 

“It’s just like ‘Yes!’,” Dan said as teams from Make-A-Wish Connecticut and Paradis Pools showed up to install the pool. 

The fifth grader is upbeat, with a humor that belies his age, but it’s been a tough year for him. In February, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. 

Ever since, he’s spent his time in and out of the hospital, undergoing chemotherapy and surgery and missing school in the process. 

“He got diagnosed. Everything turned upside down. Nothing else matters,” Dan’s father, Howie Therriault, said. 

The pool was made possible thanks to the generosity of Paradis Pools, of Plainville, and others who donated the material and manpower necessary to build the pool, which is expected to be competed in less than a day. 

“When I heard his wish was a pool, I’m like ‘OK, I can do something about that’,” said Vic Paradis, of Paradis Pools. 

Dan cannot swim now as he recovers from his recent surgery, but his family hopes to have a big celebration in their new pool once he heals. 

“The rule is, nobody goes in the pool until Dan does, at which point we’re hoping to invite friends and family and Make A Wish people and just throw a pool party,” Dan’s father said. 

Howie Therriault said doctors believe Dan’s prognosis is good and he will survive his cancer, but he still has a long road ahead that includes nearly a dozen rounds of chemotherapy and other treatments. 

As crews built the new pool Friday, Dan somehow managed to lighten the moment. 

“The long and short of it --it sucks,” he said. “But there’s also a good thing to it. I got a lot of presents.”  

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

NBA Chooses New Orleans for 2017 All-Star Game: AP


The NBA has decided to hold the 2017 All-Star Game in New Orleans, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press, according to NBC News. 

The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Friday because the decision hasn't been announced. An announcement was expected within the day, the person said.

New Orleans replaces Charlotte, which was set to host the game until the NBA decided last month that it wouldn't hold the mid-season event in North Carolina because of a state law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.

This marks the third time New Orleans has been selected to host the league's All-Star Game since 2008. 

Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

Clinton Told FBI Colin Powell Recommended Private Email: Sources


Hillary Clinton told the FBI that former Secretary of State Colin Powell recommended on two occasions that she use a private email account for unclassified communication, sources told NBC News early Friday.

According to the Democratic nominee, Powell made the suggestions at a small dinner party shortly after Clinton took over at the State Department in 2009 and in an email exchange around the same time, The New York Times first reported.

Two sources later confirmed to NBC News that Clinton gave that account to investigators in July.

Clinton's testimony was included in a report the FBI delivered to Congress Tuesday explaining Director James Comey's decision not to recommend charges against the former secretary of state over her use of a personal email server, the sources said.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Fentanyl Deaths Jump 636% in Philly


A disturbing 636 percent increase in overdoses from the medical-grade opioid fentanyl in Philadelphia has city health officials warning medical professionals and the public about the increased pervasiveness of the dangerously strong drug.

City health officials said Friday that 184 people died last year as a result of a fentanyl overdose, whether by using the drug alone or in combination with another, like heroin. Two years prior, in 2013, the drug killed 25 people. The change equates to a seven fold increase.

"Clearly, we have an epidemic,” Philadelphia’s Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said at a news conference in City Hall.

This year’s data shows there’s no expectation the epidemic will slow down. In the first four months of 2016, 99 of the overdose deaths involved fentanyl, city data shows.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid in the same family as heroin, oxycontin and morphine. But it is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. A small dose can prove fatal by causing a person to stop breathing. Often the drug is used to cut another, like heroin, for a stronger high. Sometimes, it’s sold by itself.

“People are buying this drug in the same way as others,” Farley said.

Those suffering from opioid drug addiction quickly grow tolerant to the highs prescription painkillers and heroin provide. The result forces them into increasingly painful withdrawal. So they seek stronger highs, putting themselves at further risk with each hit and each new drug they try.

Heroin users explained the vicious cycle to NBC10 earlier this year as part of our special investigation Generation Addicted. The project, which debuted in March, explored the tragic world of opioid addiction in Philadelphia and beyond. It also looked at its effects on the addicted, their families and society.

Drug overdoses continue to rise despite frantic efforts by local, state and federal health and law enforcement officials to stem a tidal wave of deaths nationwide. More people died of a drug overdose than in a car wreck for the past three years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Opioid overdose deaths accounted for more than 28,000 of the lives claimed in 2014 — the highest on record.

A recently released Drug Enforcement Administration report showed similar trends involving fentanyl across Pennsylvania. Agents saw a 93 percent jump in deaths involving the drug from 2014 to 2015. Further troubling is the fact that “fentanyl was the most commonly reported drug” among people who overdosed from heroin, the agency wrote.

The overdose reversal medicine naloxone — commonly known as Narcan — has helped to bring countless people back to life, but doses may not be large enough to overcome fentanyl’s effects.

Deputy Fire Commissioner Jeremiah Laster said while naloxone typically will coax a person back to consciousness and allow them to breathe on their own following a heroin overdose, the same isn’t true for fentanyl. Medics often try to keep a person’s airway open as they rush them to the closest emergency room, he said.

“The goal is to get somebody to the hospital to get them help,” he said.

Laster, who oversees emergency medical services, said the department is conducting a time-consuming review of patient records to determine whether an increase in naloxone dosage could make a difference in reversing fentanyl overdoses.

Increased dosage will undoubtedly result in higher costs — an issue that’s already becoming a problem for the city and other naloxone providers. Three years ago, the city paid $13.74 for a dose of the medicine. Today, that same dose costs $37.52. Laster said that’s still at a deep discount since the city gets government pricing. Some providers pay upwards of $100 a dose.

Everyone sees the medicine as a stopgap, preventing a person from ending up at the morgue. “Prevention is key to solving this problem,” Laster said.

Dr. Arthur Evans, Philadelphia’s behavioral health commissioner, said the city is taking a number of steps to address the crisis.

Evans said the city is “significantly expanding” access to services and medicine-assisted treatment. These medicine therapies help stabilize a person as they work to wean themselves off of drugs over a long-period of time.

The city is adding 500 extra slots for methadone treatment, 500 additional detox opportunities and doubling access to buprenorphine, widely known as Suboxone, to offer people help when they are asking for it, Evans said.

Behavioral health staff are doing outreach in communities with the highest concentrations of drug addicted people, like hard-hit Kensington, to let people how they can get help.

An assessment center at the North Philadelphia Health System (801 W. Girard Ave.) operates 24 hours a day helping to connect people to treatment offerings. A phone hotline (888-545-2600) does the same, Evans said.

Three state-sponsored Centers for Excellence will begin offering expanded treatment for Medicaid patients starting in the fall. Evans is hoping new money appropriated through the recently-passed federal Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act will makes it way to the city through grants.

Outreach is also taking place among the medical community. For years, doctors freely prescribed prescription opioids, in the form of pills like Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin, and benzodiazepines like Xanax contributing to the epidemic’s wide scope. Now officials are trying to help physicians balance managing a patient’s pain and preventing addition from taking hold.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society and Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration issued new prescribing guidelines in July issuing a number of recommendations to doctors including putting a limit of seven days on opioid prescriptions doled out in the emergency room.

Addiction experts say many times patients are given too many pills to treat a minor issue leaving the door open for dependence or abuse by another person in their home.

Farley couldn’t say whether the city’s emergency rooms were following the guidelines (they are not required), but said his office plans to conduct outreach with doctors to keep them abreast of the epidemic.

And as the city works to address this latest facet of the complex crisis, there are new concerns from law enforcement about even stronger opioids hitting Philly’s streets.

Narcotics officers and DEA agents believe the synthetic opioid W-18 has begun to seep into the the local drug market. Designed in China, the drug can be up to 10,000 times stronger than morphine. Large amounts of the drug were seized in Miami and Alberta, Canada. Police drug labs have begun testing for it.

But as addiction specialist Dr. Brian Work told NBC10 earlier this year, with the heroin and fentanyl problem as pervasive as it is, “it's hard worrying about the next thing down the pipe."

Explore NBC10's digital exclusive investigation Generation Addicted by visiting our special section here.

Wednesday, August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day. NBC10 will be re-airing our 30 minute documentary from Generation Addicted at 7 p.m. that night.

Photo Credit: NBC10
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3 Teens Charged in New London Burglary


Three teens have been charged in connection with a burglary at a New London home. 

Police said the burglars kicked in a window of the ground floor of a home on Jefferson Avenue on Thursday, went into the home and stole property. 

During the investigation, police learned the burglary was captured on surveillance video and identified three teens who are 14 and 15 years old. 

While officers were at the scene, they caught the teens as they ran by, police said. 

One teen was charged with third-degree burglary and sixth-degree larceny. 

The other two juveniles were charged with third-degree accessory to burglary and sixth-degree accessory to larceny. 

All three were referred to juvenile court and released to their parents.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Cheshire Home Invasion Killers Transferred to Prison in Pennsylvania


The two men who were convicted in the home invasion and murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters in their Cheshire home in 2007 have been transferred to prison in Pennsylvania. 

Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky were transferred on Tuesday to maximum security prisons run by the Pennsylvania Department of Correction, according to officials with the Connecticut Department of Correction. 

State officials said the transfer is part of the Interstate Corrections Compact in which participating States Departments’ of Corrections agree to accept inmates from each other for reasons of safety and security. 

Both men were on death row, but the state abolished the death penalty and Hayes was resentenced to life in prison in June while Komisarjevsky was resentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in July. 

Both will serve six consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of release and will be housed out of state for an indefinite period of time, according to state officials. 

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Correction

Robbery Victim Forced to Swim River


The victim of an armed robbery in Virginia was ordered to swim across the Potomac River, United States Park Police say.

The victim was near the first scenic overlook on the George Washington Memorial Parkway between 6 and 7 p.m. Thursday when he was robbed at gunpoint, police said Friday. His wallet and cell phone were taken, police said.

The victim was then forced to enter the Potomac River and told to swim across, police said. Authorities said he was able to reach the shore on the D.C. side of the river, where he alerted police.

Police weren't immediately able to provide more details.

They said two suspects were detained but were later released without being charged because they couldn't be positively identified as the attackers.

Police have not provided any suspect information.

Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at 202-610-8730.

During the course of the search, a Park Police officer experienced heat-related distress and was taken by helicopter to a local hospital. The officer was later released.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Obama to Visit Louisiana on Tuesday


President Barack Obama will visit flood-ravaged Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday. 

In a statement Friday, the White House said the president is eager to see the impact of the floods and to meet with officials. 

The White House said Obama was briefed on the situation in Louisiana and that he directed his team to schedule a time with state officials to meet in Louisiana. 

“The President is mindful of the impact that his travel has on first responders and wants to ensure that his presence does not interfere with ongoing recovery efforts,” the White House. 

Obama has been vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard with his family and was criticized by some in the state for not making the trip sooner.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, flew to the area Friday morning. 

When a woman told Trump she was happy he wasn't off playing golf, Trump replied: "Somebody is, somebody is that shouldn't be." 

Trump later added that "nobody understands how bad it is." 

Photo Credit: AP

Former Travelers CEO Jay Fishman Dies After ALS Battle


Jay Fishman, former CEO of Travelers, has died after a battle with ALS.

Fishman, 63, helped transform the Hartford-based insurer into a giant in the financial services industry.

He is also the man largely responsible for keeping a PGA Tournament in Connecticut when he put his company's name on the Tournament and pledged to make it one of the best stops on the PGA Tour calendar.

"We are greatly saddened by the loss of our esteemed colleague and friend. Our thoughts are with his wife Randy and the entire Fishman family during this difficult time," Travelers Chairman John Dasburg said in a release.

Fishman was diagnosed with ALS two years ago and stepped down as CEO of Travelers in 2015, assuming the title of Executive Chairman of the Board.

This year's tournament raised money for ALS research and Fishman attended the event in Cromwell all week long. He was there as Russell Knox won on August 7.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

U.S. Water Polo Team Celebrates Gold by Dunking Coach


The U.S. women's water polo team won its second consecutive Olympic gold medal by dominating Italy Friday, 12-5. The team has done a lot of winning the past few years, and those victories usually end with a celebratory dunk of their head coach, Adam Krikorian.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Judge: Hillary Clinton Must Answer Written Questions in Email Suit


A federal judge in Washington, D.C. ruled Friday that Hillary Clinton must answer written questions from a group that filed a lawsuit over her private email server, NBC News Reported.

Lawyers for Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog organization, asked to interview her under oath as part of their Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department.

Judge Emmet Sullivan said Friday that the group "has failed to demonstrate that it cannot obtain the discovery it seeks through other, less burdensome or intrusive means such as interrogatories."

He gave the group until October 14 to give her the questions, and she has 30 days to answer them.

The group is seeking the details of Huma Abedin's relationship with the State Department that permitted her to do outside work while she was a top aide to Secretary Clinton.

Photo Credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images
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