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Storm Tips


As Connecticut receives more rain, there are some things that you can do to protect yourself and your property.

Clearing your gutters is one way to protect your home. 

Check storm drains around your home and make sure they're not clogged. If they are, clear them out.

You might want to move patio furniture indoors or take down outdoor umbrellas.

Secure outdoor decorations or garbage cans or bring them inside.

Secure bird feeders, flower planters and portable grills.

If you have a generator, make sure it is ready in the event of a power outage.   

Once the rain picks up, one of the biggest concerns for Connecticut is urban street flooding.

If you’re in your car and water comes up around you, get out and move to higher ground right away.

Cars can be swept away in just two feet of moving water, according to the Connecticut Guide to Emergency Preparedness.

More flooding safety tips are posted on the National Weather Service web site.

You can track Andrea online here.

Send your weather photos to us at photos@nbcconnecticut.com.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Newington School Lockdowns Lifted


Newington High School and Saint Mary School in Newington were in lockdown this morning, but the lockdowns were lifted, school officials said.

A woman called police at 10:02 a.m. to report that she was speaking with a despondent man on the telephone, heard what she believed was a gunshot and the man stopped speaking, police said. 

Police arrived at the man’s apartment building on Willard Avenue to investigate and instructed Newington High School and St. Mary’s School to shelter their staff and students in place as a precaution because a firearm might have been used in close proximity.

The apartment building was evacuated and police entered the man’s apartment, where they found a deceased male.

Police said it appeared that he suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Newington Police are investigating.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hillary Clinton to Focus on Opportunities for Women, Economic Issues


Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that she is excited to call the Clinton Global Initiative America, which was founded by her husband, "my home" for a number of new initiatives.

The potential 2016 presidential candidate said Thursday she intends to focus on early childhood development, the promotion of women and girls around the globe and economic development in her new role with the foundation.

It was the former first lady's first speech at a Clinton Foundation event since leaving the State Department in February. The Clinton Initiative is gathering leaders in business, politics and philanthropy in Chicago for two days to promote economic recovery.

Her appearance a day before New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's speech at the conference ensures 2016 presidential election buzz officially is underway.

Clinton and Christie are among the top contenders within their parties for the highest seat in the country, and while speculation continues, their back-to-back speeches surely will stoke the battle in Chicago.

Christie, who once visited Illinois with the intent to lure away jobs, is one of two Republicans scheduled to appear at the gathering. He makes his speech Friday.

Later in the evening, Clinton will be honored during the Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) Benefit at Navy Pier for reaching out to millions affected by epilepsy.

Clinton is being credited for raising awareness about epilepsy. As First Lady she became the driving force behind the first-ever conference for curing epilepsy and was the keynote speaker at the group's inaugural dinner back in 1999.


Photo Credit: Brad Barket/Invision/AP

Keeping an Eye on Yantic River


Emergency management officials are keeping a close eye on the Yantic River, which is already rising, and Norwich officials are setting up sandbags.

The ground is already saturated from rain water, prompting officials to fear some widespread flooding, so town officials are taking precautions.

Norwich just took receipt of a $30,000 sandbag unit, which is capable of doing 2,000 sandbags per hour," Gene Arters, director of the Norwich Director of Emergency Management, said. "Due to the repetitive storms, we will not be able to take the amount of precipitation forecast with this storm. We're in the increases-readiness phase to prepare for flooding."

The sandbags will be placed at businesses and houses near the river.

Emergency management officials are urging residents to be prepared, even those who don't live near the river, and check sump pumps and remove electrical devices and valuables from basements.

Nutmeg Companies is located right next to the river in Norwich and employees are taking precautions and set up temporary walls.

"We call it the 'frantic Yantic,' ... It comes up and down pretty fast," Everette Gawendo said.

In 2010, the company sustained losses when nearly 3 feet of water would up inside the building.

"We were basically wiped out. We had 3 feet of water in the building. Like I said, we reinforced the walls at that time. One of them gave way with 5.5 feet of water behind it,” Gawendo said.

You can monitor river levels near you through an interactive map on the National Weather Service Web site.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Towns Prep for More Rain


Several towns across the state are taking extra efforts to prepare as more rain falls.

In Newington, the highway department has cones and tape set up and ready to go to block roads if there is flooding. There has not been any flooding so far.

Norwalk officials said they will prepare to possibly set up barricades on specific roads that have been damaged by flooding in the past.

The North Haven Fire Department will respond to residents along the areas of the Muddy River and Quinnipiac River to help with flooded basements and prepare sandbags.

Norwich emergency management officials are preparing sandbags and other materials to be available to the public.

Shelton police put notices on people's doors to let residents know the water could rise quickly throughout today and into tomorrow.

Somers public works crews are ready to block roads if needed, which is normal procedure for abundant rainfall.

Officials from many other towns said they are not worried and do not have any specific preparations.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

No Shortage of Ways to Celebrate Father's Day


With Father’s Day right around the corner, it’s time to start planning that perfect weekend.

With a variety of fairs and special events taking place around state, there's no shortage of things to do. Watch a rodeo show. Sit in the cockpit of a vintage airplane. Have cocktails with the whales. Enjoy a gourmet meal out on the town.

In Goshen, fair-goers can attend an annual three-day event featuring the Goshen Stampede, rodeos, demolition derbies, fireworks and live entertainment.

Flight aficionados can stop by the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, which will host an Open Cockpit day on Saturday. Visitors are invited to try out flight simulator and climb into the cockpits of vintage air crafts, such as the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, the nation’s first supersonic fighter jet, unveiled during World War II.

Head over to the Mystic Aquarium Friday evening for Cocktails with the Whales. The event includes live music, signature cocktails and appetizers. The

 aquarium will offer also free admission for dads who visit June 15 and 16 and pay for a child ticket.

If Dad prefers to be wined and dined, consider the SoNo Restaurant Week specials. South Norwalk is offering prix-fix lunch and dinner at 15 area restaurants. Pricing starts at $9.99 for lunch and $19.99 for dinner.

For more information, visit www.ctvisit.com/thisweekend

Rain Poses Flooding Concerns for Shelton Neighborhood


Heavy rain is on the way and that could mean potential flooding along the Housatonic River, especially in the Maples neighborhood of Shelton, where the water is already rising onto people's property.

On Wednesday, police put notices on people's doors to let residents know the water could rise quickly throughout today and into tomorrow.

“It's all about information, keeping people posted and making sure that they're aware of the surrounding circumstances, particularly when … you get another 2-to-3 inches of rain. The level will come up very fast and it can catch you off-guard,” Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti said.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Housatonic River near the Stevenson Dam and the river is expected to get about a foot-and-a-half above flood stage.

In advance of the rain, residents have been advised to move possessions inside and to move vehicles to higher ground.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Check DMV Wait Times Online


Renewing your driver’s license can be a painstaking process when you arrive at the Department of Motor Vehicles and find a massive line of people waiting ahead of you.

A new tool the DMV
is offering online promises to eliminate the surprise. 

Using a computer, smart phone or tablet, you can find wait times before heading to any of its major service offices around the state.

According to the DMV, the online times are within 10 minutes of real time.

The new wait-time link on the DMV Web site shows times for various services each office might offer, such as registering a vehicle, obtaining a license or ID card, obtaining a handicap parking permit, getting copies of records, requesting a duplicate title and making registration and license name changes.

"We see this as a tremendous customer service improvement. Until now, the wait time was always a mystery and gamble when you went to a DMV," Melody Currey, DMV Commissioner, said in a statement. "Now people have a guide to help them plan their day."

You can check the service here: http://www.dmvselfservice.ct.gov/NemoService.aspx

Photo Credit: Connecticut DMV

High School Prank Sparks Controversy in Tolland


Some students at Tolland High School will likely be facing disciplinary action after pulling off a messy and dangerous end-of-the-year prank.

It all happened inside the hallways at Tolland High School on Wednesday morning.

Students sprayed silly string and shaving cream, threw eggs and marbles, dumped other items and trashed exit signs, according to students.  It took teachers and administrators 90 minutes to clean up the mess.

Seniors initially planned a tailgating party in the parking lot but administrators squashed that, students said. In response, students from all grades wore black on Wednesday and some of them participated in the 10-minute hallway protest.

The superintendent declined to talk about the prank. 

School board chair Andy Powell says the district is now trying to identify who's responsible so appropriate action can be taken.

There was no permanent damage to the school and no one was hurt. 

The incident was caught on surveillance video, which is now under review, Powell said.

Graduation is planned for June 21.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Putnam Man Arrested for Child Pornography


A 32-year-old Putnam man has been arrested and charged with the receipt, distribution and possession of child pornography, according to the U.S Department of Justice.

Police searched Darrick Collette's residence Thursday morning following a federal criminal complaint filed by the FBI. Officers seized a computer and several external hard drives. Collette was subsequently arrested, said a Dept. of Justice spokesperson.

Collette appeared in court Thursday afternoon and is being held until a July 18 hearing. If convicted of child pornography receipt and distribution, Collette could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted of possession, he could face an additional 20 years and $250,000, the Dept. of Justice said.

The penalties have been extended because the content includes footage of minors under 12 engaging in sex acts, according to the Dept. of Justice.

The FBI and Connecticut Child Exploitation Task Force are heading up the investigation, with help from the Connecticut State Police and Putnam Police Department.

The complaint was filed on March 19 when an FBI agent found pornographic content linked to Collette's IP address, the Justice Department said.


Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Flooding Shuts Down Rt. 17A in Portland


Heavy rainfall has led to flooding in several areas of the state, including Portland, where Rt. 17A and the Portland Fairgrounds are now closed, police said.

Department of Transportation workers shut down the area around 3 p.m. after the Connecticut River jumped its banks, making driving conditions unsafe. Police said the area is closed indefinitely.


According to the Department of Transportation, the Chester Hadlyme ferry is also closed until further notice. Drivers are advised to use caution and take an alternate route.

Flood warnings and watches continue to be in effect around the state.

"Sesame Street" Toolkit Helps Kids Cope with Parents in Prison


I is for Incarceration.

The producers of “Sesame Street” have come up with new tools on their website to help children and caregivers cope when parents land in prison.

The program “Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration” includes a toolkit complete with printable guidebooks, storybooks, activity books, videos and tips for caregivers to help children manage their anxiety while their parent is in prison. There is even an iPhone and Android app.

It's a topic that caregivers have trouble addressing, but Justice Department data shows that more than 2.7 million children in the U.S. have a parent behind bars, according to psychologist Julie Poehlmann.

“Half of families say nothing,” said Poehlmann, who helped the creators of "Sesame Street" develop the learning materials. “Another third say the parent is in the hospital or something like that. They don’t know how to talk about it.”

More than 1.2 million of the 2.3 million people behind bars in the U.S. are parents to children under the age of 18, according to a 2010 study by the Pew Charitable Trust.

Research shows that kids with parents who are serving time tend to fare poorly in school. Twenty three percent of children with a father who has served time have been expelled or suspended, compared with only four percent of children whose fathers have not been in jail, the Pew report says.

To help children maintain stability, the website dispenses tips for adults like "Build Security: In the morning, let your child know some of the things that will happen throughout the day. For example, 'Grandma will pick you up from school. Then you'll go to the park, and later we'll all have dinner together.'"

One of the activity books prompt children to draw pictures that reflect how they’re feeling -- angry, upset or sad. The reading material includes a book that tells the story of Rosita, who finds herself feeling sad when her school’s Family Fun Night reminds her that her father is unable to join because he is in prison.

Rosita's story concludes with her uncle reminding her that in her father's absense, he will love and care for her.

“We need to help kids realize it’s not their fault,” Poehlmann says.

Teens Arrested After Stealing Van For Disabled


A group of teens stopped at a Naugatuck Cumberland Farms Wednesday afternoon, bought a tank of gas and drove off, police said. What's concerning is that the car wasn't theirs – it belonged to ICES, Inc., a group that works with the disabled.

Police said the ICES employee had left the van, clearly marked with "carrying school children," when the teens took it.

"I don’t think the kids even probably looked at that, but it’s scary to think that somebody could have possibly been in that car," said Edie Hart, a customer at the gas station.

The car did have a tracking device, which led police to a condo complex on Shirley Street in Waterbury. They found four teens in yet another stolen vehicle, police said.

"There were four people in the car. All four fled on foot in different directions. After a foot pursuit, two of them were captured," said Waterbury Deputy Police Chief Chris Corbett. The captured teens were arrested and charged with third-degree larceny and interfering with an officer, Corbett said.

Police identified one of the teens as Tyquai Young, 18. The 16-year-old arrested was not publicly identified.

Police believe the teens may be connected to other thefts in the area.

"We expect to file additional charges against the two suspects that were arrested yesterday, and we also expect to arrest additional people," said Corbett. "We do believe they are involved in a stolen car ring here in the greater Waterbury area."

Police are investigating thefts in Cheshire, Wolcott, Ansonia and Naugatuck.  

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Cops Nab 1st Chicago Gang Members Under RICO Law


Authorities early Thursday morning rounded up more than 40 leaders and senior members of Chicago's "Black Souls" street gang in a first-of-its-kind sweep conducted under Illinois' new RICO statute.

The takedown targeted open-air drug markets around the intersection of West Madison Avenue and South Pulaski Road, in Chicago's West Garfield Park neighborhood. Authorities said the operation may have netted as much as $11 million a year.

Of the 41 arrested so far, 23 will be charged under the Street Gang Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations — also known as RICO — statute.

"This new tool allows us to, instead of just charging the individual with maybe one shooting, we're able to target these gang leaders and the entire gang itself," said Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Among those arrested were the gang's top leader, Cornel Dawson, and other top tier members, including second-in-command Teron Odum, of what authorities are calling a "notoriously violent" group.

"First of all, it's not OK to sell narcotics," said Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy. "But if there's violence involved, we're going to come down on your organization quicker. We're going to knock out your organization and take money out of your pocket."

Illinois' RICO statute was signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn a year ago. It allows top gang members to be charged with being part of a conspiracy, much as the federal government has done to crack down on organized crime.

"The FBI was very excited to be a part of this milestone case because we believe that RICO, whether it be state or federal, is one of the most powerful tools that can be used against violent criminal enterprises," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Corey Nelson.

92-Year-Old Man Thrown to Ground, Has Bible Stolen


Police are looking for a suspect believed to be in his 30s who threw a 92-year-old man to the ground and stole his bible and glasses in New York City earlier this week.

Authorities say the suspect followed the victim, Ricardo Velez, to his home near 18th Street in Chelsea at about 11:30 p.m. Monday, pushed him down and ran off with the items. 

Velez hurt his hip in the fracas but is otherwise expected to be OK. From his hospital bed, Velez told NBC 4 New York that he has lived on the same block for 50 years.

He said he was folding up his umbrella after coming through one door of his building late Monday night, when the suspect came from behind and struck him with a blow strong enough to knock him down. 

Raeemas Hernandez called 911 immediately after spotting his elderly neighbor struggling to stand up. 

"I heard him screaming," Hernandez said. "He was down on the floor, and I picked him up."

Police released surveillance video of the suspect. A $12,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.  


Photo Credit: Handout

Family and Friends Continue to Search for Missing Photographer


Despite rain and the rising water, more than a hundred people went searching for missing photographer Eric Langlois.

The search for Langlois initially started after a jogger called 911 around 8 p.m. on Tuesday and reported seeing a man fall from some rocks at Lovers Leap State Park and go into Lake Lillinoah.

Friends, family, and total strangers are keeping hope that he will be found.

"While its been a really tough time dealing with the fact that he’s missing, we’ve really come together to look for him," said family friend, Candice Coppola.

Dozens gathered in a staging area set up at a nearby church.

Photographers from all over New England have been walking and paddling almost around the click looking for the talented wedding photographer, husband, and father of two with a third on the way.

"Whenever someone is in need in our community, we'll drop everything," said Carrie Draghi.

Emergency crews postponed the search Thursday because of the forecast for heavy rains.

"No state officials, no police, and no one from DEEP. That's what we need. We desperately need their assistance," said friend, Laura DaCarlo.

A spokesman for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said the department has heard the concerns of the friends and family of Eric Langlois.

"A consensus decision was made by all agencies involved to suspend the search Thursday due to the potentially dangerous currents and flood conditions," said DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty.

Search crews will resume the search Friday.

Gunman Made Illegal Rifle Used in Shooting Spree


The gunman in a fatal shooting spree in Santa Monica tried to legally buy a firearm in 2011 but was denied by the Justice Department, the city’s police chief announced Thursday evening at a news conference that revealed more details about the events that led up to the deadly rampage.

Investigators believe John Zawahri, who suffered from mental illness, built an assault rifle capable of firing .223-caliber ammunition using parts he bought from various sources around the country, Santa Monica Police Sgt. Richard Lewis said.

Officials would not say why Zawahri's quest to obtain a firearm two years ago was halted. Despite the rejection, Zawahri was able to obtain "an array" of high-capacity magazines that he used in a homemade weapon.

His June 7 shooting spree lasted 13 minutes and left five victims and the 23-year-old gunman dead. It ended at Santa Monica College.

Santa Monica Shootings: Timeline | Map | Full Coverage

Zawahri left a “goodbye note” expressing regret for killing his father and brother, and hope that his mother would be financially cared for, Santa Monice Police Sgt. Jaqueline Seabrooks said. The note was found on his body.

In the message, the shooter bid farewell to several friends. Police said the tone of the note was conversational and not hateful. It did not include a reason for the rampage.

“We know that his was a troubled life and that he experienced mental health challenges,” Seabrooks said at a 7 p.m. news conference.

“We believe that his mental health challenges likely played a role in his decisions to shoot and kill both his father and his brother, to set fire to the family home and to go on a 13-minute shooting spree spanning roughly 1 ½ miles and which left five innocent people dead and three people injured.”

Investigators say that on June 7, Zawahri shot and killed his father and brother at their Santa Monica home and set fire to the house.

Clad in all black, Zawahri then carjacked a woman outside the home and forced her at gunpoint to drive away. Zawahri shot randomly out the passenger window as the pair moved down Pico Boulevard toward Santa Monica College.

The 23-year-old opened fire on a Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, injuring passengers.

Zawahri shot and killed a father and daughter driving near a Santa Monica College parking lot, then scrambled onto campus.

He fatally shot a woman, known to collect recyclables, in front of the school library, then entered the library, firing some 70 rounds before he was killed in a gunfight with three police officers.

Police on Thursday painted a picture of a young man intrigued by firearms.

The Santa Monica police chief said components of the shooter’s rifle were legal to own, but the weapon he created was not.

The modifications Zawahri made to a lower receiver, which does not have a serial number, created an illegal AR-15-type rifle, Seabrooks said.

Unemployed and out of school at the time of the rampage, Zawahri constructed the weapon and obtained “an array” of magazines capable of carrying 30 rounds each, Seabrooks said.

Investigators found a cache of replica guns and illegal zip guns capable of firing ammunition at the shooter’s charred home near Yorkshire and Kansas avenues, Seabrooks said.

A search of Zawahri’s bedroom turned up several knives, handguns and “papers, magazines, brochures” dealing with guns, Lewis said.

Photo Credit: AP

Group Home Faces More Abuse Allegations


There is new fallout from an abuse scandal at an East Hartford group home.  A disabled patient has field a lawsuit claiming he was tortured. Now legal troubles could lie ahead.

“This company has no business dealing with our most fragile citizens,” said attorney Kevin Ferry.

The lawsuit was filed against Options Unlimited, which runs the group home on King Street where Kevin Ferry's severely disabled client was allegedly tortured.

“What they did to him is incredible,” Ferry explained.

He gave NBC Connecticut pictures that showed marks on the patient’s body.  Ferry said the staff repeatedly burned him with a lighter to control his behavior in September of 2011. 

The lawsuit also claimed the employees even sexually assaulted him, and supposedly grabbed and squeezed his genitals.

“I thought I’ve heard and seen it all but no, I’ve never seen or heard of anything like this,” Ferry admitted.

Ferry said workers at the group home actually recorded his client getting abused, but it was unclear how many times this might have happened. “Maybe it was for some sick twisted fun they wanted to have,” he said.

Police believed a number of patients were abused at the group home, and said in one instance, a disabled woman was kicked in the stomach and dragged by the hair.  The incident was caught on camera too. 

Authorities arrested three workers so far. Stephanie Jones, the now former assistant manager.  As well as ex-employees, Angelica Rivera and Jevaun Phillips.  

“The worst possible thing that could happen to someone with these particular issues,” Ferry added.

Ferry wants the company in charge of the group home held accountable.  “A company like that doesn’t deserve to be in business,” Ferry said.

NBC Connecticut did reach out to Options Unlimited for a comment on the lawsuit.  The director of the company referred NBC Connecticut to a lawyer, and he did not return phone calls.


24 Injured in Shuckers Deck Collapse


Twenty-four people were hurt, two of them seriously, after the deck of Shuckers Bar & Grill collapsed in North Bay Village Thursday night, authorities said.

About 100 people were on the deck at the time, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Dave Downey said.

They were sent tumbling into shallow water in Biscayne Bay. One man said the water covered his head. He said his first instinct was to save himself and then others.

Authorities received a 911 call at about 9:45 p.m. about the collapse at Shuckers, a popular local hangout at 1819 79th St. Causeway. Part of the establishment is on land.

2 Dead, 1 Critical in Platform Collapse at Port Everglades

Anthony Herrera said he and his mother walked into Shuckers just beforehand.

“We walk in, we take a few steps in, my mom’s looking around for a hostess, and you just hear crunch, crunch – curiosity – and then bam, pillar coming down, pillar pillar, and people screaming, people yelling, pieces of wood hitting the water," Herrera recounted. "Before I could really see anything, like I said, my mom grabbed me, and we ran back home, because we live right there down the street.”

Downey said 24 victims were transported from the scene, with two of them seriously injured. About 50 units from various agencies were tending to the victims, he said.

He said late Thursday night that search operations were continuing in the area. Divers from several agencies, including Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade Police, were there.

NBC 6 Videos

Witnesses said many people were watching the Miami Heat game at Shuckers.

“It’s very unfortunate what has happened," North Bay Village Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps said.

Check NBC6.com for updates.

More Local Stories:


Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

UConn Biology Student Plays Lottery, Wins Big


 A 25-year-old UConn biology student turned $5 into $50,000 when he won the lottery on Wednesday.

Muath Omari of Windsor Locks bought the Super Cashword 15 ticket at the Pearl Mini Mart in Enfield. He got lucky and walked away with $34,151 after taxes.

"This came out of the blue for me," Omari told CT Lottery officials. "I still can't believe it."

Omari told the CT Lottery he'll put his winnings toward UConn tuition. He has plans to attend medical school after graduation.

According to lottery officials, the Pearl Mini Mart,  at 80 Pearl Street in Enfield, will receive a $500 bonus check.

Eighteen of the 19 top prizes have been claimed. Overall odds of winning a Super Cashword 15 prize are 1 in 3.74, lottery officials said.

Photo Credit: CT Lottery
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