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Industry Insiders Estimate EpiPen Costs No More Than $30


Mylan says middlemen and suppliers have forced them to jack up the prices on EpiPens by hundreds of dollars, but two industry insiders say the company pays no more than $30 per device, NBC News reports.

Some patients are forced to pay a little over $600 out of pocket for a two-pack of the lifesaving medication. Mylan sparked outrage last month when it was revealed the company had hiked up costs for the drug by over 400 percent since it acquired the brand.

Kevin Deane, a partner with the PA Consulting Group, a global technology and design firm that sold a drug delivery technology company to Pfizer in 2004, told NBC News that the base components for each EpiPen, including the plastic cap, tube and needle, might cost between $2 to $4 to purchase. Pharmacists contacted by NBC estimate that the epinephrine inside costs less than $1.

Mylan gets $274 from each sale, but must use that money to pay for costs, according to the company and Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, in a recent CNBC interview. Mylan didn't respond to an NBC News request to itemize its costs, but a Mylan spokesperson told NBC that "all of those costs would clearly make the $274 number significantly lower."

Photo Credit: AP, File

Phoenix-Area Pursuit Ends in Gunfire on Live TV


A police pursuit ended Tuesday afternoon in Tempe, Ariz., when authorities pinned a suspected bank robber's SUV against a barrier and officers opened fire on the driver, authorities told NBC News.

Police said the driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Two "people of interest" in the bank robbery were in custody and no suspects were at large, police said.

Avondale police told NBC News that the chase began with the robbery of Credit Union West in the Phoenix suburb of Avondale. Video of the chase showed two unmarked vehicles forcing the SUV to spin to the right as it made a right turn and a third vehicle then pinning it against a fence — a tactic known as a "precision immobilization technique," or PIT.

An officer from the first vehicle approached and opened fire into the front seat of the SUV as local television stations broadcast the encounter live.

Photo Credit: KPNX-TV via NBC News Channel

ADT Sends Waterbury Man to Collections Over Incorrect Charges


A Waterford man reached out to NBC Connecticut Responds after receiving a $692 bill from a home security service he stopped using more than a year ago.

Dick Andriola thought he canceled his old home's service with ADT before moving out. He went through the appropriate channels, returned his equipment and months later, got the charge indicating his account was still open.

He said the customer service agents wouldn’t waive the fees, so Andriola had his attorney step in.

"My lawyers sent them a letter stating we didn't owe them money and the reasons why," said Andriola. "And they just ignored that."

Then, ADT sent him to collections.

"That’s what really upset me," said Andriola.

He took ADT to small claims court in June 2015. A judge ruled in his favor, but ADT didn’t respond.

When the lingering charge started affecting his credit score, Andriola called NBC Connecticut Responds. He said he felt he had nowhere else to turn.

Shortly after the NBC Connecticut Responds consumer team got involved, an agent resolved the charge, paid his court fees and turned off the collection agency. The company states—

"We have resolved the issue with Mr. Andriola and am processing a check in the full amount that will be sent to him shortly. We have also turned off the collection agency. We appreciate NBC News alerting us to this matter and am glad we were able to handle the resolution in a timely manner."

Now, 13 months since his initial complaint, Andriola waits for just one more fix.

"ADT says they will make sure that my credit is restored," said Andriola. "And they have settled with me, thankfully, but I’d just like them to follow through to part two. I want to move on."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Car Crashes Into Building in Plainville


Plainville police have located the driver who fled after crashing through a fence and into a building Tuesday morning.

The driver crashed into Manafort Brothers at 414 New Britain Ave.

Police said they stopped the car about a mile away around 2 a.m. but the driver, who they suspect was drunk, took off.

On Tuesday afternoon, police said they had located the driver and questioned him in the hospital. Police are waiting on a warrant for arrest. 

According to police, the driver appeared to lose control and went airborne as he sped over a rock island, then smashed through a fence and hit the building.

When officers arrived, the car was stuck in the building with the back end suspended several feet up.

Police said they told the driver to remain in the car, but he did not listen. 

"It's about an 8-foot drop to the ground. The operator was able to jump out of the car. He saw that he was bleeding from his face or his head. Then he fled on foot," Plainville police Lt. Eric Peterson said.

The Manafort Brothers building was empty at the time of the crash and no one else was injured.

Crews had to use a large crane to remove the vehicle from the building and the building inspector was called in to make sure the building is structurally sound.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Manafort VP Justin Manafort

'This Was a Misstep': DCF Commissioner Address $200K Paid by Mistake


The DCF commissioner addressed the fact that nearly $200,000 were sent to foster families by mistake. 

After repeatedly declining our interviews, Tuesday, NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters finally caught up with DCF Commissioner Joette Katz at a press conference.

"Two hundred thousand dollars or close there to, was inappropriately sent to families over a period of time," said Katz.

Nine foster families, which had been placed in subsidized guardianships, got the mistaken payments. In one case, they went on for six years, with the family being overpaid more than $57,000.

"This was an oversight, this was misstep," said Katz.

For some, DCF hadn’t noticed the foster children were well over the max age of 21 years old and were too old for the families to receive payments. In other cases, the children were living back with their birth parents, while the checks still rolled into to their foster homes.

"Most of the families who received those checks in appropriately are working with us to refund those dollars," said Katz.

Katz emphasizes her agency oversees 9,000 children on a tightened budget.

"Quite frankly, I am running a department now with $100M dollars less than when I came in," said Katz.

Another reason for the oversight: with guardianship subsidies, foster children aren’t assigned case workers, because they are often with family members.

"We have automated systems now, almost ticker systems so that there is a closer watch on that," said Katz.

Katz assures this won’t happen again going forward. However, DCF said there is still a possibility they will discover more of the overpayments as they review cases.

Governor Malloy, who was present at the press conference, which was held to discuss recent DCF successes, stepped up to address whether or not DCF had spent any more money by mistake.

"You can’t know what you don't know," said Malloy. "If the documents exist we take action, if we find a case we seek reimbursement."

We also asked DCF officials if there has been any other money mistakenly paid out by the agency for any reason, they have yet to answer that question. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Suspicious Woman Wearing Stethoscope at Stamford Hospital Arrested


A suspicious woman wearing a stethoscope at the local hospital was arrested on Monday for trespassing, Stamford Police said.

At 11:30 a.m., police responded to Stamford Hospital for reports of a suspicious woman in the maternity ward.

Susan Drucker, 56, of New York, was allegedly seen wearing a jacket that said New York Presbyterian and a stethoscope around her neck.

Hospital employees told police that they did not know Drucker was not affiliated with the hospital until she went into a restricted area, police said.

Drucker was charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. There is no evidence that she tried to impersonate a medical professional, police said.

Her bond was set at $100,000 and she is expected to appear in court on Sept. 19.

It is not clear if Drucker has an attorney. 

Photo Credit: Stamford Police

Judge Overturns Conviction for Suspect Beat up by Bridgeport Police Officers


The state supreme court ruled that two Bridgeport cops sentenced for beating up and kicking a man at a city park violated the man's constitutional rights.

The court overturned a narcotics conviction for Michael Edmonds.

Associate Supreme Court Jusice Andrew J. McDonald said that a Bridgeport judge was wrong for denying a motion by attorneys for Edmonds to suppress the heroin seized by Officers Elson Morales and Joseph Lawlor in 2011, according to documents.

Edmonds was arrested in a Subway restaurant near the intersection of Madison and Capitol avenues on Jan. 28, 2011.

A video purportedly shows the officers hitting and kicking Edmonds in Beardsley Park.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Police Investigate Officer-Involved Shooting in New Haven


State police are investigating after a New Haven police officer shot a Guilford robbery suspect who rammed police cruisers in New Haven on Tuesday morning, police said. 

Guilford police issued an alert about a robbery in their town, said they were looking for 50-year-old Kenneth Palmieri, of Branford, and provided a description of the vehicle he was in. 

Soon after, New Haven police were dispatched to investigate a robbery at 55 Church St. and saw Palmieri as they were approaching and pursued him until the chase became too dangerous, police said.

Minutes later, police spotted him sitting in a car at the Church Street South housing project. As officers approached, Palmieri sped up and crashed into two of the cruisers, police said. 

He was spotted doing drugs in the vehicle, police said. 

One officer fired, hitting Palmieri in the arm and and he was brought to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated.

No officers were injured during the incident.

The state's attorney office and state police are investigating, which is protocol.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Man Pleads Guilty to LAX Shooting


Saved the risk of a death sentence, LAX gunman Paul Ciancia Tuesday formally changed his plea to guilty to all 11 counts stemming from the 2013 attack.

The path to the plea agreement had been cleared when US Attorney General Loretta Lynch agreed with the US Attorney's office not to pursue the death penalty. Ciancia signed the agreement last week, but it did not take effect until he entered the plea in the courtroom.

It is expected multiple consecutive life sentences will be imposed when the 26 year old returns to court in two months. 

Ciancia admitted to killing TSA agent Gerardo Hernandez, and wounding two of Hernandez's colleagues and a traveler.  

Evidence the prosecution had intended to present at trial included a text message from Ciancia to a family member in which he described himself as a "pissed off patriot trying to water the tree of liberty."

Still not clear is the origin of Ciancia's rage, nor why he focused it on TSA personnel, nor why at LAX. Ciancia had grown up in New Jersey and had moved to Los Angeles barely a year before his rampage.

All three of the surviving victims were present in court.

Afterwards, TSA Agents Tony Grigsby and James Speer said they were satisfied with the plea agreement, but have no sympathy for Ciancia.

"He caused a lot of pain to a lot people," said Grigsby. "I will never get my friend back."

"More than anything, I empathize with the Gerardo Hernandez family," said Speer.

Ciancia's guilty plea means there will be no need for trial or testimony. But in the courthouse courtyard, Grigsby and Speer for the first time publicly shared details of the accounts to which they would have testified.

After the shots rang out, both Grigsby and Speer evacuated travelers away from the TSA screening station in Terminal 3.

"I refuse to be a victim," said Grigsby, who was wounded in the ankle. "During that ordeal I made decision to help people and run back to help people. And I stand by that decision."

Speer described getting travelers down the terminal, and staying behind to help one man.

"Just as I'm down the hallway, just as I thought we're safe, I actually saw Brian Ludmer to the right of me get shot — he didn't go out the gate — and before, a split second before I could say, 'Oh my God," a split second later I felt 'boom, boom' in the back and left upper arm. I was thrown forward from the blast," Speer recalled.

Ludmer, who was at the airport as a traveler, has also recovered from his injuries and was also present in court for Ciancia's plea.

Speer got into a Hudson's bookstore and prepared to confront the gunman, but the gunman did not come in.

Speer later made his way out of the terminal, and with the airport lockdown, had to wait nearly half an hour before he could get medical care.

Both Speer and Grigsby have recovered and returned to work, Speer in an administrative capacity, Grigsby back working a terminal. His mother and sister also work as TSA agents.

From the ordeal, Grigsby has taken a renewed vigilance for his job and protecting air travelers, he said.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of FBI

Dentist Prescribed Pills to Financial Adviser Who Robbed Banks: Police


The financial adviser suspected in two bank robberies in East Granby was apparently buying painkiller prescription from his dentist, according to court documents. 

Kevin Baker, 45, of West Hartford, is accused of robbing the First National Bank of Suffield on Turkey Hill Road in East Granby on Jan. 27 and again Feb. 8.

On Tuesday, an arrest document revealed that Baker's dentist, Peter Delaney, has been supplying the financial adviser with oxycodone prescriptions. 

According to police, at the time of the robberies, Baker was in debt with the city and stuggled with addiction to painkillers

Police were able to track down the dentist through Baker's cellphone records, which indicated that the suspect called or message Delaney after each bank robbery. 

When police questioned Delaney, he said that he was not aware that Baker had committed the crimes until after his arrest. Delaney told police he had let Baker borrow $1,000 using a business check from his dental practice that he identified as a patient refund, according to court documents. 

While be questioned, Delaney admitted to writing oxycodone prescriptions for Baker for recreational use.

Police found the Delaney had written a number of fraudulent prescriptions for painkillers to other friends. 

The dentist was charged with more than 40 counts of related to the illegal supplying of a prescription legend drugs.

Delaney's bond was set at $100,000.

New Haven Police Chief Esserman Steps Down


Dean Esserman has stepped down as the New Haven police chief as of last Friday, the city said. 

The former police chief was on disciplinary leave starting July 25 and transitioned to temporary sick leave in mid-August.

New Haven officials said the resignation was a "mutual agreement" and became effective on Sept. 2.

"Mayor Harp and Chief Esserman agree this decision follows a process in which the best interests of New Haven remained first and foremost," a spokesman for the city said.

In the statement released by the city, Esserman said it has been a "privilege" to work for the city and police department.

Assistant Chief Anthony Campbell will continue to sever as interim chief of police, the statement said. 

At the end of July, Harp placed Esserman on paid leave of absence for behavior she called "unbecoming of a public official" after he allegedly berated a waitress at Archie Moore’s Restaurant.

However, this wasn't the first time Esserman had lashed out in public.

Two years ago, Esserman apologized for arguing with an usher and threatening to shut down a football game at the Yale Bowl.

Earlier this summer, Police Union Members voted 170-42 "no confidence" in Esserman, citing his public outbursts, plus low morale, intimidation and a hostile work environment.

In August, group of protestors marched from the Police Department to City Hall demanding the removal or resignation of Essesrman, at times chanting: "Hey, ho Esserman has got to go."

Flu Season Arrives, With New Recommendations for Prevention


The nasal spray FluMist has been the flu vaccine preference among many parents for years, but the American Academy of Pediatrics says kids should not get it this year. The move comes after a panel of experts found that the nasal spray has not been effective the past three seasons. The AAP recommends instead that all kids over 6 months get the flu shot, which experts say was about 63-percent effective in protecting against the flu last year.

Ferguson Protest Leader Found Fatally Shot in Burning Vehicle


An activist who led weeks-long protests over the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 was found dead inside a burning vehicle, police said, NBC News reported.

The St. Louis County Police Department said the death of Darren Seals, 29, is being investigated as a homicide. 

Officers were called to a vehicle fire in the Riverside area of St. Louis just before 2 a.m. Tuesday, police said. When the fire was extinguished, they found a man dead inside with a gunshot wound, the statement added. Police did not name any suspects or suggest a motive in Seals' death. 

In a recent Facebook post, Seals said he was "shot up" three years ago but survived.

Photo Credit: AP

Monsanto to Close Stonington Lab in October

Man Adds Shocks to His Trump Signs to Thwart Thieves


A Donald Trump supporter upset with the vandals who've been stealing his campaign signs has rigged up a shocking surprise for future thieves.

Arizona Car Chase Comes to a Deadly End


A suspect in an Arizona bank robbery and pursuit died after an exchange of gunfire with police officers Tuesday afternoon. The deceased suspect has been identified as Steven Del Rio, 31, who had previously spent time in prison for armed robbery, aggravated assault and endangerment, according to Arizona Department of Corrections records. Del Rio was most recently released from prison in May. According to police, someone in the suspect car shot at an Avondale officer when he tried to stop the SUV. Phoenix police then took over the chase.

Family Says Suspicious Death in Willimantic Was Murder


State police detectives with major crimes are investigating a suspicious and untimely death in Willimantic.

Police have not released the identity of the victim, but family members say the victim is 73-year-old William Alvarado.

State Police said they responded to a suspicious death at 621 Valley St. There, Alvarado was allegedly found dead and family members are saying he was murdered.

"William was just a sweet, generous, kind person who didn't deserve to die the way he died," Melissa Lee, Alvarado's niece said. "Especially in his own home, where you should feel safe."

Police said the office of the chief medical examiner will conduct an exam to determine the cause of death. 

Lee and her family is asking whoever may be responsible for Alvarado's death to come forward,

"Do the right thing," Lee said. "If you know anything, please call the police department. He deserves justice."

Photo Credit: Family

Meriden Residents Voice Concerns About Police Transparency


Meriden residents flooded into a packed city council meeting Tuesday to voice concerns about increasing violence on city streets and what some called a lack of police transparency.

Several residents spoke during public comment about increases in crime in the city, and some expressed frustration with the police department’s communications.

Resident Chris Dingwell spoke about multiple incidents in the city in recent months, including shootings, burglaries, missing firearms, and a homicide. He claimed many of these incidents were directly connected to an increase in gang violence in the city.

Dingwell said he is fed up with the long lead times to get information from police and claimed residents did not have confidence that they’ll get information they need from their police department.

“You’ve got to do something. It’s out of control. We’re getting our news from Facebook,” he said.

The department has acknowledged an increase in violent crime in the inner city. In a letter dated August 30, Chief Jeffry Cossette said the department has been focusing on specific areas of concern and gang activity, and that multiple arrests have been made. The letter also said that in October the department was receiving an additional $25,000 to fund increased foot patrols in certain areas.

“It is critical that we continue to work in partnership with neighborhood associations in combating crime and constantly improve the quality of life within our city,” Cossette wrote.

But some said the issue isn’t necessarily a lack of police action, it’s a lack of communication with the community.

“Nothing from the authorities for weeks, sometimes months later. We’re all wondering why — where’s the big secret,” said lifelong Meriden resident Allen Carver of various incidents over the past months. “We now know that there have been arrests made in a couple of the instances, however. The reports come a little bit late.”

Some felt the chief should be held responsible.

“Lack of transparency with the police department is extremely troubling and the lack of action by our police chief to hold his employees accountable is bordering on, I feel criminal,” said Joseph Vollano.

Cossette, who was in attendance at the meeting Tuesday night, did not respond directly to the comments, but he did discuss the department’s staffing issues.

“My staffing situation is such that I have 15 positions which I’ll be paying salaries to that I can’t use out on the street,” Cossette said. He went on to explain that some of the officers were in training, some were at the academy, and one was fulfilling military obligations.

“We are in a building phase and it’s not something that’s going to be going on forever. I expect us to be out of it probably around July of next year,” he added.

Some who were concerned about the violence requested that the department reinstate a school resource officer. After public comment and an explanation of department needs from Cossette, the city council agreed to provide $60,000 in funding to the police department to get an SRO back in the halls. Many also spoke in support of a new hangar at the Meriden Markham Municipal Airport, and the the council approved a bond for that project.

NBC Connecticut has contacted the police department to see if they have an official statement in response to the comments made at Tuesday’s meeting.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

More Sunshine Thursday


The weather continues to gradually improve in Connecticut.

An isolated shower is expected tonight with lows in the 60s.

Thursday will be warm, with partly cloudy skies and highs near 90 degrees.

Beautiful weather arrives Friday, when complete sunshine is expected. Temperatures will rise to 90 degrees, which is very warm for the time of year.

Saturday looks great for outdoor plans, and it will be cooler, with highs in the middle 80s. A storm is possible at night.

Come Sunday, a shower is possible with temperatures in the middle 80s.

President of Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Encourages Students to Debate Hop Topics


Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark Ojakian is encouraging students to debate hot topics like politics, religion and even police interactions with the community. 

CSCU is using #ihearyou to spread the word after Ojakian listened to concerns students and faculty members had at the 17 colleges and universities. Ojakian said he saw the diversity at each institution and wants students to accept it and learn from it. 

"Listen to one another, show respect for each other's personal beliefs even when they don't coincide with your own," Ojakian said. 

Some students said there is a fear of rejection when it comes to sharing personal ideas. 

“It is a great thing to do, but on the other side, it's like, that's when you get open to getting hurt and being vulnerable," Eric Wesolowski, a junior at Central Connecticut State University, said. 

That is why university system leaders want to encourage students to be accepting of other perspectives. 

"It is very hard to have a discussion with someone when you fundamentally disagree with them, especially if you're really passionate about it and around other people. But it is possible to do and it's a great skill to have," Maribel La Luz, CSCU communications director, said. 

In addition to sharing #ihearyou through social media, CSCU plans to hold town halls for students. The first one is scheduled for Sept. 30 at Manchester Community College. 

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