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Connecticare Decides to Leave Access Health CT


Connecticare, the largest single insurer on the state's health insurance marketplace has decided to terminate its agreement with Access Health Connecticut.

Sources close to the negotiations between Access Health and Connecticare told NBC Connecticut the termination agreement may not be a done deal and it's possible that Connecticare may in fact have to offer plans when Open Enrollment starts on Nov. 1.

Earlier today, Connecticticare said it was deciding whether or not to stay with Access Health and later released a statement saying,"We have asked Access Health CT to extend their deadline so we can continue to work together to ensure that the over 50,000 Connecticut citizens we serve can keep their health plan."

The decision by Connecticare comes after a New Britain Superior Court judge denied a request to reverse the Insurance Department's refusal to allow the insurer to raise rates by more than 17 percent for the more than 50,000 policyholders who purchased their plans on Access Health Connecticut.

The impact of the move is not yet clear, as only one insurer would be left on Access Health Connecticut offering plans and that would be Anthem.

Connecticare’s attorney sent a letter to Access Health last week stating it would leave the exchange as a direct result of the rate review decision.

However, sources confirmed to NBC Connecticut that the largest hurdle for Connecticare could be federal provision that requires 180 days notice for a carrier to inform an exchange that it will not participate in open enrollment. United Health terminated its involvement in all marketplaces in the Spring, meaning its 180 day window ended before open enrollment. It is not yet clear whether the federal provision would be applied in this case.

If Connecticare does in fact leave the exchange and not offer plans during Open Enrollment, that would leave Anthem as the sole carrier offered on Access Health.

Access Health's Jim Wadleigh said last week that if Anthem is only remaining health insurance provider, then it's possible it could provide some of the most affordable options for customers because it would be able to assess what's needed for the company's risk pool. The goal, healthcare experts have said, when it comes to a risk pool is that you need healthy customers and those who have greater healthcare needs. The premiums paid by each enter a risk pool, and the goal is for more people with fewer healthcare needs to purchase coverage, providing a financial cushion to those who require the most care.

In a joint statement, Wadleigh and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman wrote, Access Health CT’s number one priority has always been and continues to be our customers. We are a national leader in healthcare because we are 100 percent committed to ensuring that Connecticut residents have access to affordable, high quality healthcare. ConnectiCare’s decision is certainly a challenge, but AHCT will continue to adapt to the changing healthcare market with an eye on ensuring our consumers the best options.

United Health announced earlier this year that it would leave all exchanges because it received lower than expected returns from the marketplaces. HealthyCT was told by the federal government that it did not have financial viability to continue to offer exchange plans. That left Anthem and Connecticare as the remaining options for consumers.

Angela Mattie is a business professor at Quinnipiac University. She's helped to craft health policy and has observed the industry for decades. She says Access Health has always been viewed as the gold standard for how to run an exchange because of its options, technology, and overall effectiveness signing up customers. Connecticut has one of the lowest uninsured rates in the country.

"Access Health was considered one of the healthiest exchanges in the country.The jury is still out on the success or failure of exchanges which have really crucial to the success of the Affordable Care Act," Mattie said. 

Mattie said the exchange model was meant to improve and encourage competition and hopes Monday's developments doesn't change that.

"I think we can’t throw the baby out with the bath water. I think the Affordable Care Act and the establishment of the exchanges, to quote Neil Armstrong, was one small step for man and one potential giant leap for mankind."

The full statement from Access Health Connecticut can be found here:

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Increased Police Presence at Manchester High School Tuesday


There will be an increased police presence at Manchester High School Tuesday after a threat was found on a bathroom stall.

Jim Farrell, Manchester Public Schools Safe School Climate Coordinator, told NBC Connecticut that the threat was written on a bathroom stall and read “I’m going to blow this place up September 13th on Tuesday 2016.”

"The fortunate thing about this is there is an identified date that we can actually plan for precautions," superintendent Matt Geary said on Monday night.

Manchester police were immediately notified and began an investigation. Several people seen around the bathroom on video surveillance have already been interviewed by police.

“As always, student and staff safety is our first priority. We would not have students or staff in the building if we believed that they were at risk,” Principal Jill Krieger wrote in an email to families.

Police will have an increased presence at the high school on Tuesday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

New London Middle School Locked Down After Fight


The Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School was on lockdown Tuesday after a fight broke out between students.

New London Police confirmed a fight broke out around 10:20 a.m. and someone reported a knife was pulled. The school was placed on lockdown while officials investigated.

Through video surveillance officials determined the incident was not as reported and there was no danger to students or staff. The lockdown has been lifted.

No further details were released.

Computers, Paintings Reported Stolen From Windham Business


Connecticut state police are investigating after several computers and paintings were stolen from a North Windham business.

Police said they received a report of a burglary at Progressive Data Systems located at 148 Club Road around 8:35 a.m. Monday. Detectives from the eastern District Major Crimes unit are currently investigating.

Computers and several paintings by artist Christian Seidler were reported missing. Police said the suspects used a crowbar to get in the back door. 

Anyone who thinks they have information about this crime is encouraged to contact police at (860) 465-5400 or text TIP711 with the information to 274637. All tips will remain confidential.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Russian Hackers Post 'Medical Files' of Williams, Biles


Hackers linked to the Russian government have posted online what they say are the Olympic drug-testing files of four U.S. athletes, including Serena Williams and Simone Biles.

The World Anti-Doping Agency confirmed Tuesday that a cyber-espionage group known as Fancy Bear illegally hacked its database of Olympic athletes for the 2016 Rio games, but had no comment on whether the files posted were authentic. NBC News has not confirmed that the files are authentic or, if authentic, are unaltered.

NBC News reported details of the suspected hack of WADA files Aug. 27, saying it was part of the same covert influence campaign by the Putin regime to target numerous U.S. government, political organizations and other perceived enemies and potentially disrupt the November election. U.S. officials have linked Fancy Bear to GRU, the Russian military intelligence agency.

Russian athletes were banned from the Rio Olympics — and Paralympics — after WADA's recommendation to ban them due to evidence of widespread doping. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images, NBC Sports

Navy Commander's Rape Charge


A U.S. Navy commander was arrested in San Diego Monday on suspicion of assault with intent to rape, according to a San Diego Police Department sex crimes investigator.

Commander John M. Neuhart II, 39, was arrested Monday by SDPD patrol officers. He was booked into San Diego County Jail on one count of attempted rape by force and one count of assault with intent to rape, police said. 

Neuhart is the commanding officer of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, based at Anderson Air Force Base on Guam.

The incident took place Monday, when San Diego police responded to a call of a sexual assault occurring in the city's Valencia Park neighborhood, SDPD Sex Crimes Lt. Paul Phillips said. 

It wasn't clear Tuesday if Neuhart was being represented by an attorney. He was released on bail, according to a representative of the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.

Neuhart and the victim, both members of the Navy, met at a hotel downtown when the victim, with a group of friends, recognized Neuhart, according to Phillips. The group talked for a while until the victim left the bar to go home, with Neuhart going as well.

Neuhart followed the victim into her house, at which point he allegedly attempted to rape her. 

"The suspect immediately became forceful with her and attempted to sexually assault her," Phillips said.

The victim fought the suspect off and screamed loudly, Phillips said. A neighbor heard the screams and ran to the front of the house to ask if the victim was okay. When she answered no, the neighbor called 911 and said through the window that the police were on the way. 

Neuhart apparently heard the remark, Phillips said, and escaped through the back door. 

The neighbor flagged down police when they arrived and pointed out Neuhart, who was running down the street and into a nearby canyon. 

Officers apprehended Neuhart in the canyon and took him into custody. 

District Attorney representative Tanya Sierra noted that charges listed under an arrest may not be the same charges prosecutors file when Neuhart appears in court for his arraignment. 

He is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 19 at 1:30 p.m., she said.

Assistant PAO Command of Naval Air Forces Lt. Leslie Hubbell would not confirm the allegation that led to the arrest.

"Things are in investigatory phase," Hubbell told NBC 7 late Monday.

The Navy Times reports Neuhart was in San Diego for a conference.

According to a website for the Navy, Neuhart joined the "Warhawks" of Fleet Replacement Squadron, HS-10 in San Diego in 2002. Since then, he was deployed aboard USS Harry S. Truman, and served as a Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) at the Seahawk Weapons School "Seawolf" in Fallon, Nevada.

Navy officials told NBC 7 that Commander William Easthamis was given temporary command of Neuhart's squadron.

Photo Credit: Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyle Carlstrom

Windsor School Bus Involved in Accident in Bloomfield


A school bus carrying 13 middle school students was involved in an accident in Bloomfield Tuesday afternoon.

Bloomfield police said the accident happened at the intersection of Blue Hills Avenue and Farmstead Circle around 1:22 p.m.

According to police, a Honda Civic traveling north on Blue Hills Ave crossed into the southbound side and struck the school bus.

Police confirmed the bus was from the Windsor School District. None of the 13 students were injured, nor was the bus driver. The driver of the Honda, a 66-year-old woman from Windsor, was transported to Saint Francis Hospital for moderate injuries.

The children were taken to the Bloomfield Public Schools Board of Education at 1133 Blue Hills Avenue and reunited with parents and guardians.

The accident is under investigation.

Body Found in Boarded Up Police HQs


The skeletal remains found in an old New Jersey police headquarters gutted by fire more than three decades ago may belong to a homeless man who accidentally locked himself in a holding cell and couldn't get out, according to a woman whose family owns the building.

Susan Greenbaum, whose family is in the process of selling the building to a developer, told NBC 4 New York police believe the man got into the Paterson Police Department station on Washington Street, which has been boarded up since the devastating 1980 blaze, and somehow locked himself in the cell.

Greenbaum said police think he died there about eight to 10 years ago; she said the approximate date of death is based on a water bottle and over-the-counter medication found near him in the cell. A contractor working with the new owner of the building found the remains Monday, she said.

"It's tragic and we are upset about it," said Greenbaum. "My family was born and raised in this community, and we have a great respect for the community. It's sad that we have a homeless problem." 

Police did not responds to requests for comment on the circumstances Greenbaum detailed to NBC 4 New York. Earlier, authorities said only that a decomposing body belonging to a man was found in the building.

The building has been vacant and boarded up since it was damaged by a fire on Feb. 8, 1980.

The department's headquarters were temporarily moved to the old Central High School on Hamilton Street after the fire; the headquarters are now housed on Broadway. According to a New Jersey history blog, the Washington Street headquarters had been consumed by flames previously -- in the so-called "Great Fire" of Feb. 9, 1902 that devoured more than 450 buildings and 25 city blocks.

The headquarters were rebuilt after that fire, but abandoned after the one 78 years later.

Authorities say additional information about the man's identity will not be released at this time. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

Toll Considered for San Francisco's 'Crooked' Lombard Street


A possible toll, parking officers, reservations and a fully funded "Lombard Ambassadors" program are being considered as ways to curb congestion along San Francisco's most crooked street.

After more than a year of study, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority has issued several potential solutions on better managing the tourists who flock to Lombard Street, and who inevitably clog the access for those residents who actually live there.

On Tuesday night, frustrations boiled over at a community meeting as longtime Russian Hill residents said what used to be a weekend inconvenience of gridlocked traffic and people spilling into the streets is now a daily headache.

As far as the transportation authority knows, it's the first time a toll has ever been considered for Lombard Street, spokesman Eric Young told NBC Bay Area. How much the toll would cost and who would pay it, hasn't yet been hashed out. The specifics of a toll, if it is approved, he said, would require yet another study.

The fee is one of several options to offset the average 16,000 visitors on peak days, and roughly 2 million tourists a year who flock to see the multimillion-dollar homes and 600-foot stretch of winding street, which is now the second most popular tourist destination in San Francisco.

Tolls are commonplace on bridges and highways, and even for driving to see redwood trees. But they're unusual in residential areas. In a suburban town outside Dallas, transportation leaders once considered the idea of charging a toll on Mockingbird Lane for non-residents in 2008, which at the time, would have been the first toll on a surface street in the United States. It never passed, however, because the idea died before it ever made it to the town council, according to Highland Park town spokesman Lance Koppa.

Young said he wasn't aware of any other U.S. tolls on residential streets - that question wasn't part of the study focus.

"Clearly, Lombard has been a tourist destination spot for many years," Young said. "But there seem to be waves of popularity. We're in a peak period, right now."

The Russian Hill and Lombard Hill Improvement associations have been voicing their concerns over the popularity of the crooked, winding residential street - and ensuing traffic jams that block driveways. Longtime resident Judith Carlson said that it's not just traffic, but trash and toilets that are also a burden on those who live there.

"There's no place for people to sit, so they're all sitting on our steps and throwing trash on our steps," Carlson said. "There's no bathrooms, so they knock on my doors."

Greg Bundage of the Lombard Hill Improvement Association has lived on Lombard for 20 years.

"This used to be a great place to live, but the city has turned its head and let this happen," Bundage said. "And even though it may be an icon, we deserve to have some privacy."

Bundage liked the idea of dynamic pricing. "Tolls with surge pricing cheaper during the week vs. the weekend," he said. "And night should be max. Nobody knows unless they live here. At night, people go down 2 or 3 a.m., honking, yelling, boom boxes."

But is a toll the answer? Some said no. "Insane. Greedy," Kayrn Pierce tweeted.

Others, like, Jose Padilla, who works two blocks away, said "charge a toll," adding on Facebook that he'd be annoyed if he lived there.

To which Shaun Pulliam replied: "If you choose to live there without considering the DECADES of tourist traffic then you would be a fool, sir."

Residents love living on Lombard Street because of its unusual curves and stunning views of San Francisco. But they also have complained loudly, especially to Supervisor Mark Farrell, who commissioned the study on how to better address traffic safety and congestion while also promoting tourism.

"It's kind of a highlight for people to come here to San Francisco to see this pretty street, and to charge to see the street would be an injustice, actually," tourist Anand Raivaderaand, of London, said.

Aside from the toll, the study's other possible recommendations include adding parking control officers to direct traffic and shepherd pedestrians meandering along with their iPhones, and creating a permanent funding base for an ambassador program first started in August 2015. The program currently costs $110,000. Other ideas include asking people to make reservations to drive down Lombard, now a victim of its own popularity.

The transportation authority will consider the feedback from Tuesday night's community meeting and forward some ideas to the Board of Supervisors. Some tourists on hand understood the residents' frustrations and said they would be willing to pay a small fee for access to the street.

Lombard Street is "the second most popular spot next to the Golden Gate Bridge," Farrell's legislative aide, Jess Montejano, said Tuesday. "Within the last year and a half, the congestion and quality of life have gotten worse and we need to get our act together."

NBC Bay Area's Pete Suratos, Marianne Favro and Jean Elle contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Pete Suratos

Branford Man Admits to Firing Gunshots Around Town: Police


An 81-year-old man has admitted to firing of shots across Branford for the last 18 months, police said.

Branford police said over the last 18 months they’re received multiple complaints of gunshots around the Supply Pond, North Chestnut Street, and North Main Street areas from business owners and area residents. No injuries were reported.

Investigators determined a dark-colored vehicle may be involved in the incidents.

Tuesday evening around 7 p.m. police received another complaint from customers at a restaurant on North Main Street. Callers said the gunshots appeared to be in the area of 250 North Main Street, which is currently under construction.

When officers arrived they found Howard Titus, of Rose Street in Branford, in a dark red vehicle. Titus told them he had two firearms in his truck and that she was shooting at a dirt mound. Officers found two .22 caliber rifles and one .45 caliber handgun.

According to police, Titus later admitted to shooting a number of times in multiple locations in the area.

Titus was charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, first-degree reckless endangerment, criminal trespass, and breach of peace. Police said he had no previous criminal record and was released on a $2,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 20.

Photo Credit: Branford Police Department

Stolen Big Rig Chase in SoCal Ends in Arrest


The driver of a stolen big rig was taken into custody after leading California Highway Patrol officers on hourslong pursuit on Riverside County freeways Tuesday.

The chase began about 10:30 a.m. in unincorporated Apple Valley, where a sheriff's deputy spotted the stolen truck and attempted to stop the driver.

With a line of CHP cruisers behind him, the driver made his way on the southbound 15 Freeway, eastbound 60 Freeway, eastbound 10 Freeway and eastbound Highway 62, into the high desert.

CHP Officer Brian Alvarez said spike strips would be an unlikely option to stop the truck due its size.

About 1:40 p.m., the driver parked the truck and surrendered. He was taken into custody without incident. He was identified as 48-year-old James Edgely of Victorville.

According to San Bernardino County Superior Court records, Edgely led deputies on another stolen big rig chase back in 2014.

Lee King, of Victorville, said Edgely was his former neighbor who used to live in his Garnet Cove neighborhood.

King said he's not suprised Edgely allegedly led the pursuit. He said Edgely would park the stolen big rigs on an empty street near his house and sell whatever cargo was in the trucks.

"He just was real with me and didn't lie," King said. "That's what he does for a living now."

A graphic on the side of the truck indicated the big rig belonged to Advanced Chemical Transport, a hazardous waste management firm.

The owner of firm, Walter Singer, said the truck had been stolen from a Barstow hotel parking lot sometime before 6 a.m. The thief disabled a GPS tracking device, but the company was able to find the truck's location through a second tracking device and notified authorities.

The truck was hauling non-hazardous materials, including medical waste, to Nevada, Singer said.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV
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Trial Begins for 7 Oregon Wildlife Refuge Occupiers


A federal trial pitting seven protesters against the government is set to begin Tuesday, months after brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy and their fellow activists occupied a desolate Oregon bird sanctuary, NBC News reported.

The Bundys, part of a Nevada ranching family, and the five other defendants are charged with "conspiring to impede Interior Department employees from doing their jobs at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge through intimidation or threats."

The occupation began Jan. 2 to protest the jailing of two Oregon ranchers who were convicted of setting fires. The group, which called itself Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, then pivoted to demanding the government hand public lands over to locals.

Ammon Bundy gave daily press conferences with reporters and said the group was fighting unconstitutional federal land management policies. The defendants say they exercised their First Amendment rights by engaging in peaceful protests.

Photo Credit: AP, File

Man Grew Marijuana Plants in Backyard of Day Care: Police


West Haven police have arrested a man accused of growing marijuana plants in a garden behind a home day care.

Danny Miller, 57, of West Haven, is charged with possession of a hallucinogenic, sale of controlled substances, and operation of a drug factory.

Police said they found approximately 600 marijuana plants behind a tall fence in the backyard of 159 Norfolk Street, Miller’s home address, earlier this month. Police were called when state child care inspectors grew suspicious of the fence during an inspection.

Miller was arraigned Tuesday. The court set his bond at $10,000.

Miller’s attorney, Michael Dolan, told NBC Connecticut that his client does not run the day care, and that Miller is a self-employed contractor and roofer without a criminal history.

“There’s no admission that he was growing marijuana there, these are allegations at this point that we are going to review the evidence by the state and we’re going to hold off on commenting on that,” Dolan said.

Miller’s wife, Rosalee Miller, runs the day care. She is not facing criminal charges, but her day care license was suspended for violations found at the home.

Police said more charges are expected in this case.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police Department

Woman Worked As Prostitute With Child Living in Home: Police


A Plainville woman is accused of working as a prostitute with a baby living in the home.

Shana Thomasen, 28, faces charges of prostitution and risk of injury to a minor.

According to police, investigators were looking into posts on Backpage.com that were advertising prostitution in their town. They first became aware of the posts in May. According to the application for arrest warrant, the ads contained pictures of a woman and a phone number. A Plainville detective conducting this investigation recognized the woman in the ads as Thomasen.

Police said Thomasen had been previously investigated in April 2011 when someone reported she was prostituting herself at a local motel, but she was never charged.

When the detective searched Backpage.com, he found ads with that phone number dating back to April 2016.

The arrest warrant application states that on July 31, 2016, they received a report that Thomasen may be prostituting herself. The person reported there were often strange vehicles in the driveway.

Neighbors also reported seeing strange vehicles. One neighbor said a strange man knocked on their door asking about a Backpage.com ad, the application said.

Police contacted the Department of Children and Families because they were made aware that Thomasen had a 1-year-old daughter living in the home. On August 22 police and DCF went to the address on Atwood Street. The child was removed from the home and placed in the care of a relative.

Police said on that date Thomsen confirmed her phone number, which matched the number on the Backpage.com. According to police Thomasen admitted to prostituting herself out of the house and that she was doing it to buy methadone.

Thomasen told police that her boyfriend, the child’s father, always took her daughter out of the house while she conducted business.

Detectives continued to keep an eye on Backpage.com. On Aug. 26, police observed a new ad with Thomasen’s phone number. Investigators texted the number and exchanged several messages with Thomasen about sexual favors, the warrant application states.

Based on all this, detectives applied for an arrest warrant application. Before officers served the warrant, they checked Backpage.com to see if Thomasen was still posting. Police said they found posts from Thomasen under a new number. Police responded to an ad posted Sept. 9 at 7:43 a.m. and arranged to meet Thomasen the same day.

When an officer arrived at the Atwood address Thomasen came out to greet him. The detective told Thomasen that he wanted to take care of the money first and she agreed, at which point he identified himself as a police officer and placed her under arrest.

Thomasen is accused of inviting men into her home for sex in exchange for money on multiple occasions from April 2016 to September 2016. She was released on a $2,500 bond.

Photo Credit: Plainville Police Department

Parents Charged When PD Find Son in Deplorable Conditions


Middletown parents were charged on Tuesday after police found their 7-year-old son — wearing a soiled diaper — living in deplorable conditions. 

On Friday, Middletown Police were informed by a truancy officer about suspicious activity happening on Glynn Avenue.

The officer told Middletown police that he was responding to the residence to check on a 7-year-old boy who had not been attending the Wesley Elementary School, police said. 

The truancy officer said when he knocked on the door, it opened and he observed Arlene Poole, 41, lying on the floor wrapped in a blanket next to empty bottles of vodka. 

Middletown police said they asked Poole where her son was and proceeded up the stairs to find him. Responding officers said the main living area on the second floor was littered with trash, soiled diapers, dirty dishes and spoiled food "left everywhere."

At this time, Richard Poole emerged with another man and was asked to get his son. 

Richard Poole went to his bedroom and brought out his 7-year-old son who was wearing a full, soiled diaper, police said. Responding officers said the boy was "rail thin" with a bandage on his forehead and dark circles under his eyes. 

When Richard Poole was asked by police why his son had not been attending school, he said his son did not like the school he was attending, police said. Richard Poole also said his son had autism and would probably not talk to the officers. 

An ambulance was called for the boy, who was transported to Middlesex Hospital.

Upon futher investigation, police found even more empty liquor bottles in the parents' bedroom and small plastic baggies that once contained narcotics, police said.

The boy was place in the care of the Department of Children and Families. 

Both parents were arrested and charged with risk of injury to a minor. Each bond was set at $10,000 and they are expected to appear in court on Sept. 16. 

Photo Credit: Middletown Police

Pocket Dial Leads to Drug Bust


Kentucky police arrested two men on multiple charges after an errant pocket dial to 911 revealed an ongoing conversation about drugs.

Photo Credit: WLEX

Shaquille O'Neal Cancels Big E Performance


Looks like Big E fair visitors will miss out on a performance by DJ Diesel.

Shaquille O'Neal has canceled his performance at the Big E in Massachusetts, which will be celebrating its 100-year milestone. 

The former basketball player and current DJ will be in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to perform at a benefit for flood victims, a Big E spokeswoman said. 

The Big E kicks off in West Springfield this Friday. The event is known as the largest fair in New England and fifth largest in the country. 

The fair will provide dozen of food stands and performances for visitors to enjoy. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Suspect Robs TD Bank in New Britain


Police are looking for a man that robbed a bank in New Britain on Tuesday. 

Shortly after noon, New Britain Police were dispatched to the TD Bank on 178 Main Street on the report of a hold up alarm.

Investigators found that the bank was robbed by a male suspect who fled prior to their arrival. Police said the suspect claimed to have a firearm but it was never displayed. 

The man is described as being approximately 5'11" tall, wearing a white hat and shirt with large sunglasses. 

Anyone with information on the man's identity is asked to call Detective Franshesca Bjorklund at (860) 826-3145. Anonymous tips may be made on the Community Tip Line at (860) 826-3199 or online

Photo Credit: New Britain Police

Cobblestones to be Removed From Derby Street for Safety Reasons


Cobblestones have lined Caroline Street before the intersection with Main Street in Derby since before the War of 1812.

Ask anyone who has driven down the cobblestone hill and they’ll tell you it’s a bumpy ride.

"I’m sure it’s not the best for your car," said Mario Durante, who has a barber shop around the corner.

"You have to make sure that your shocks are on the car very well," Derby Mayor Anita Dugatto said.

The road’s condition is to blame for damage on some residents’ cars, Dugatto said.

"They have river stones where Belgian blocks were taken out, asphalt, cement, it’s become an unsafe situation," she said.

For safety reasons, the city now plans to take away the stones as part of Derby’s road bond program to rebuild deteroriorating streets.

"It gets slippery when wet, even without snow and ice," Dugatto said.

The contractor could start removing the cobblestones as early as this week, some people in the area say they’d like the city to preserve a piece of Derby’s history.

"It gives the city some character, I mean I think a lot more roads should be like that," Durante said.

"I think they should keep it, it’s a one way street, it’s causing nobody no harm," Mario’s Barbershop customer, Louis Dirienzo, said.

While they’ll soon be off of Caroline Street, Dugatto said the cobblestones will reappear elsewhere in town.

"The stones are going to be removed, the Belgian blocks, stored at the public facility and repurposed when we expand our downtown," she said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

NCAA Response to NC Bathroom Law Could Cost State


The NCAA is only the latest organization to announce it’s pulling scheduled events out of North Carolina over House Bill 2. But in a state where college athletics are particularly revered, some wonder if losing this year's NCAA championship events will convince state officials to reconsider the controversial state law, NBC News reports. 

HB2 mandates that people in government buildings only use restrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates. The state's Republican legislators and Gov. Pat McCrory fought hard for the law, but it's been criticized as discriminatory toward the LGBT community.

In the last 65 years, North Carolina has hosted more men's basketball tournament games than any other, and the NCAA's move could put more pressure on state lawmakers to repeal HB2 than ever before.

"I think [the NCAA's decision] is going to get a lot of people speaking about HB2 and realizing that nationwide revulsion against this law is not going away anytime soon," said University of Richmond professor Thad Williamson, who wrote "More Than a Game: Why North Carolina Basketball Means So Much to So Many."

Photo Credit: Gerry Broome, AP
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