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Lebanon Middle School Dismissing Early After Hazmat Spill


Lebanon Middle School is dismissing early Monday because of a hazmat situation, according to the superintendent.

Superintendent Robert Angeli said that over the weekend a solvent in a container rusted through in a custodial closet. When administrators and students arrived at the school, located at 891 Exeter Road Monday, they noticed an odor.

Students were moved to the high school on the same campus so officials could investigate.

Angeli said the solvent is not toxic but can cause eye and respiratory irritation with prolonged exposure. School is being dismissed for the day so crews can clean up.


891 Exeter Rd.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Woman Accused of Smashing State Police Cruiser's Windshield


A Marlborough woman was arrested after police said she resisted arrest and smashed the windshield of a state police cruiser.

According to police, on Thursday around 9 p.m. they responded to 47 Main Street in Hebron for a report of an unruly female. By the time troopers arrived the suspect, identified as Sara Seagrave, 32, had left and no one on scene wanted to press charges.

Police said that about an hour later Seagrave returned, continued to cause a disturbance and shoved a man, who was not injured. Police took Seagrave into custody and while she was sitting in the cruiser, she kicked the windshield and smashed it.

Seagrave was not injured, police said. She faces charges of simple trespass, criminal mischief, interfering with an officer and breach of peace.

She was released on a $5,000 bond and scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 20.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Parent Company of Bob's Stores Files for Bankruptcy


Eastern Outfitters, the parent company of Eastern Mountain Sports and Meriden-based Bob’s Stores, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The company filed on Sunday and the Wall Street Journal reports that Eastern Outfitters is looking for a buyer "willing to rescue the business from the growing trouble in the sports retail sector."

In April 2016, Versa Capital LLC purchased the stores from Vestis Retail Group after Vestis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and all Sports Chalet stores were closed. 

The number of Eastern Mountain Sports stores was also reduced from 69 to 53.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

West Haven Man Charged with Assaulting, Strangling Woman


A 21-year-old man from West Haven is accused of assaulting a woman Saturday night, according to police.

West Haven police said around 11:30 p.m. Saturday they responded to a home on Kenneth Street for reports of a domestic dispute. When they arrived they found a female victim with “extensive” injuries to her face. She was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Police identified the suspect as Joseph Angle. He was arrested Sunday afternoon and charged with first-degree assault, strangulation, unlawful restraint, and breach of peace. He was held on a $150,000 bond and expected in court Monday.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police Department

Patriots Fans Race to Get Patriots Super Bowl Championship Apparel


Patriots fans flocked to stores Monday to buy championship apparel after Sunday night’s historic Super Bowl win. 

The Dick’s Sporting Goods in Newington had glasses, hats, shirts and pennants available when the doors opened at 9 a.m., but the items were quickly picked over. 

“Just wanted to get a T-shirt today. I’m excited and I got them for all five of their Super Bowls. Been a fan since 1960 when they were the Boston Patriots,” Joe Slepski, of Wethersfield, said. 

The T-shirts in particular were flying off the shelves and Frank Tomaino, of Wethersfield, was buying one for his 11-year-old daughter. 

“She said, ‘Dad, you got to come get me a shirt, bring it to me at school so I can put it on during the day,” said Tomaino, who is a season ticket holder. 

He said he had doubts Sunday night when the Atlanta Falcons were dominating the first half of the game. 

“I’ve got to be honest with you, even I gave up hope at 28-3. She kept sitting there with me going, “It’s not over. It’s not over.’ So hey, what a night. Great night,” Tomaino said. 

But Tomaino and thousands of other fans were excited to see the Pats bounce back during the second half of the game, leading to a 34-28 win in overtime. 

“Absolutely unbelievable. Greatest comeback of all time. It takes a little bit of luck as well and the Falcons certainly gave us a little bit of help there in the 4th quarter by not running the ball,” Daniel Delaney, of Groton, said. 

“I really didn’t think the Patriots were going to come back and win it. Sure enough, got to tip your hats off to them,” Joe Conderino, of South Windsor, said. 

Managers at Dick’s Sporting Goods said they expect to get more shipments of championship apparel throughout the week. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

3 Arrested in Danielson Extreme Child Neglect Case


The family of 3-, 5- and 6-year-old children are accused of extreme neglect after the children were found malnourished, dehydrated, in diapers and unable to speak, according to Connecticut state police.

The children's mother, 32-year-old Donna Rodeheffer, was previously arrested in November.

The children’s father, 24-year-old Nicolas Emory and his two brothers, James Emory, 33, and Jason Emory, 38, were arrested Monday. 

According to an arrest warrant application, James and Jason are accused of physically and emotionally neglecting the children. Nicolas Emory stands accused of neglect and cruelty, and in the arrest warrant application investigators also noted that DCF investigation showed reasonable cause to think that Nicolas Emory may have sexually abused his daughters.

Nicolas Emory was previously being held in Arizona, where he now lives, as a fugitive from justice on child pornography charges.

State police started investigating the case on July 21 when the state Department of Children and Families reported Rodeheffer and Nicolas Emory were suspected of neglecting the three children in Danielson. Emory’s mother and two brothers also lived in the home.

According to the arrest warrant application, both Nicolas and Jason Emory admitted to looking at child pornography in the home but denied anyone in the house had sexual contact with any of the children. Nicolas Emory told investigators during one interview that he sometimes watched pornography while his two daughters were in the room. Emory also told police there were times when he and Rodeheffer would have sex while the two children were in the same bed.

Documents state that Rodeheffer told investigators that Nicolas Emory admitted to her that he “felt something” when the two female victims would crawl across his lap.

At the time the investigation began, all three children were severely underweight, had never had regular check-ups with a pediatrician or dentist, and had never attended school.

According to the documents Nicolas’s mother told police she tried to tell Nicolas and Rodeheffer to take the children to the doctor but they ignored her. She also told police she realized she should have done more to get the children help. James Emory also told police he did not agree with some of the ways the pair parented the children.

All the adults in the home admitted the conditions were not ideal for the children.

James Emory is accused of risk of injury/impairing the morals of children; child selling and was issued a $50,000 bond. Jason Emory was also charged with risk of injury/impairing the morals of children; child selling and issued a $75,000 bond. Nicolas Emory is charged with negligent cruelty to persons and risk of injury/impairing the morals of children; child selling and was held on a $150,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Police ID 2 Killed in Stamford Crash


A 20-year-old driver and 20-year-old passenger are dead and another passenger injured after a crash on Hope Street in Stamford early Saturday morning.

Stamford police said they responded around 1:15 a.m. to Hope Street at Barnstable Lane for the crash. According to police, a 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup, driven by 20-year-old Thomas Molgano, of Stamford, was going north on Hope Street when Molgano lost control and swerved into the southbound lane then hit a tree.

He was killed, police said, and a 20-year-old  passenger, Lucas Salem, of Stamford, later passed away at the hospital.

A 20-year-old passenger was also treated for injuries and released from Stamfrod Hospital.

The Stamford Police Department’s Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Squad is investigating. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 203-977-4712.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Dog Left Tied to Pole in West Haven Park


A dog was found tied to a fence post in a West Haven park this morning. Animal control is looking for information on his owner and police said he’s looking for a loving home.

Police said the 2-year-old dog was found tied up at Morse Park Monday and animal control says it appears he slipped out of his collar and just waited for help.

The dog is at the shelter and looking for a loving home.


West Haven Animal Control said he was cold and scared. Anyone with information on the person who owns the dog is asked to call 203-937-3642/

Photo Credit: West Haven Animal Control
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Ice and Rain Tomorrow Followed by Snow on Thursday


NBC Connecticut meteorologists have issued two First Alerts for wintry weather on Tuesday and Thursday.

There are no weather issues for today. Skies will be mostly sunny with high temperatures in the middle 30s inland and near 40 at the shore.

The first weather system moves in tomorrow morning, resulting in freezing rain for inland Connecticut and a cold rain for coastal areas. Freezing rain will transition over to plain rain from south to north with the longest icing occuring in the northern hills.

Winter weather advisories have been posted for northern Connecticut where the icing is expected to last the longest.

Freezing rain will likely lead to issues on the roads which could result in school delays and cancellations. You can find an updated list of school cancellations and delays by clicking here.

Showers continue into Wednesday with mild temperatures. Highs on Wednesday will be in the low to middle 50s.

Then our attention turns to the potential for a much bigger storm on Thursday. Confidence is increasing for light to moderate snow statewide. There is still some uncertainty as to where exactly the storm will track. The setup shown below which the majority of our computer models are showing would result in plowable snow for the entire state.

Another possibility is for the storm to track further south which would result in light snow with little to no accumulations. We will continue to fine tune the forecast. Check back on the NBC Connecticut app for updates. 

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The Year in Come-From-Behind Championships


The last year in American sports has proven to be one for the underdog. From thrilling buzzer beaters to historic series comebacks in Cleveland and Chicago to overtime in the Super Bowl, here are the best comeback thrillers the year in sports had to offer.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

2 Arrested for Cultivating, Selling Marijuana in Ledyard: PD


Two children were living in a Ledyard home where two people were arrested for allegedly cultivating and selling marijuana, police said. 

Ross K. Meyer and Melissa A. Burgess were arrested and charged on Monday after police executed a drug-related search warrant at their 952 Shewville Road home. 

Ledyard Police said there were two children living in the home at the time the warrant was served. 

Meyer was charged with two counts of risk of injury, cultivation of marijuana, possession of a hallucinogenics, possession of clonazepam, possession with intent to sell, criminal possession of a revolver/pistol, criminal possession of a defense weapon/stun gun. 

Burgess was also charged with two counts of risk of injury to a minor. 

Photo Credit: Ledyard Police

Bill Proposes Changes to Child Safety Seat Laws in Connecticut


The state laws on how long a child should be in a car seat could be changing.

Advocates said a proposed bill by Rep. Brenda Kupchick would match state laws on child seats to national recommendations.

Currently in Connecticut a child needs to be in a rear-facing child seat until age one or weighing 20 pounds, according to the legislation

"Any person who transports a child under one year of age or weighing less than twenty pounds in a motor vehicle on the highways of this state shall provide and require the child to ride rear-facing in a child restraint system approved pursuant to regulations that the Department of Motor Vehicles shall adopt in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54."

The new bill proposes to keep children rear-facing until age two and weighing 30 pounds.

Also, Connecticut law keeps a child in a booster seat until they are above age six or over 60 pounds.

But this new bill wants keep children in a child safety seat until age eight.

Child Passenger Safety Technicians said especially for infants and toddlers, rear facing car seats create a cradling effect to better protect them in a crash.

"The weight of their neck will force their head forward in such a violent way that it could literally cause paralysis, death, internal decapitation,” said Nick Aysseh, CPST Instructor at Yale-New Haven Health.

"They can crisscross their feet, they can touch the back of the seat with their feet, but that isn't a concern. Our concern is the spinal cord,” said Jason Cioci, a firefighter with Poquonnock Bridge Fire Department. He’s also part of The Safety Group.

AAA Allied Group of Greater Hartford is endorsing the bill, touting that it’s based on standards set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

But parents have mixed opinions.

Glenn Gartner’s top priority is his childrens' safety.

"I think a premium should be on parents as drivers knowing what you have in the back seat,” the Gales Ferry resident said.

But with his 2-year-old and his almost 5-year-old above the curve in height -- Gartner doesn't necessarily agree with keeping kids in rear-facing car seats until age two.

"Anything for safety precautions, it can't hurt. It’s to benefit them,” said Erica Porter of New London.

"When it comes to having a strict policy on that, I really say it’s child dependent and the parent should use their best judgement,” Toni Rapacciuolo, of New London, said.

The bill was well received at the Transportation Committee Monday. It could be voted on later this month.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Opponents to Southeastern CT High Speed Rail Speak Out


There has been little, if any, public support voiced for a controversial expansion of high speed rail, that's currently mapped to go through Old Lyme, New London, Stonington and Mystic, among other sections of southeastern Connecticut.

During a hearing Monday on a measure that would provide a clear policy position for the state- that would say it is formally opposed to the Federal Rail Administration's proposal- lawmakers heard from residents who feel they've been slighted.

“There is some sentiment that we definitely feel as a sort of after-thought," said Lisa Kornicki, a lifelong resident of southeastern Connecticut, who currently resides in Stonington.

Kornicki said the current proposal, to bore a tunnel below Old Lyme, and add a pair of new tracks, could devastate the community.

“So, imagine if you’re a homeowner or a business, you now have that gray cloud hanging over you for the next 30 years and people will make that information part of their decision making process as to whether or not they buy your property, so absolutely, that’s a factor.”

The proposal was formulated under the Obama Administration and the FRA is currently without an administrator.

“It is now up to states, cities and railroads to take next steps and decide whether to move forward with any specific projects identified in the NEC FUTURE Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). Each individual project will require more review and more environmental studies, as well as significant funding. The FRA will continue to accept and review feedback on the NEC FUTURE Tier 1 Final EIS until publication of the Record of Decision (ROD), which is not anticipated prior to March 1, 2017," the FRA said in a statement

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy and Congressman Joe Courtney have all said on multiple occasions that they would work to stop the plan before it even entered a planning phase.

Rep. Devin Carney who sponsored the resolution in the Connecticut House of Representatives, said he think an official action by the state of Connecticut would be a clear message that Connecticut wants a different path for high speed rail.

“This proposal doesn’t benefit Southeast Connecticut. It doesn’t benefit the town of Old Lyme, the town of Stonington, or other towns the city of New London, where it would go through,” Carney said. 

Urban Districts Would Get Boost Under Malloy Education Funding Plan


An old fight in the General Assembly between poorer urban areas, and wealthier suburban towns could start even before the governor provides his budget address Wednesday.

The governor, during a visit to Smalley Academy in New Britain, said the state needs to have viable answers to a judge's ruling last summer that the state's existing Education Cost Sharing, or ECS formula as it's known, is unconstitutional.

“It’s better that we figure out how to resolve this issue as opposed to leaving it up to the courts," Gov. Dannel Malloy said.

The governor, keeping with his theme of the last week, unveiled the ideas two days before he provides his spending plan for the next two fiscal years.

He wants to factor in current enrollment in school funding, and to ensure that poorer school districts receive boosts, that the governor conceded may need to come from wealthier cities and towns.

New Britain Schools Superintendent Nancy Serra said it's not too much to ask, saying, “We need to pull together as a State of Connecticut to say, all of our kids matter, every one of them.”

Malloy also wants to create a new kind of education grant that's specifically for special education, and boost state funding for the program by $10 million. Cities and towns had said last month that they want the state to take over all funding for special education. The governor struck down that concept.

“I want municipalities to handle it all but I guess we’re going to have to compromise somewhere in the middle.”

Joe DeLong, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, said in a statement in response to Gov. Malloy's proposal, "Any attempt to shift the burden of education funding off of the state and onto our local communities is clearly, as denoted in CCJEF vs Rell, a violation by the state of its constitutional responsibilities."

Malloy said he would rather come up with solutions now, instead of paying for consequences later.

“We are failing children in urban environments. We are failing children because their parents are poor and it’s not right, and by the way, it’s not constitutional in Connecticut.”

New Haven Teacher Files Disability Discrimination Lawsuit


A New Haven teacher is suing the Board of Education over what she calls inadequate accommodations for her disability. 

“I was walking when I first started here,” Paula Langlois said.

But six years later, the fifth grade teacher needs a wheelchair to get around.

“I have multiple sclerosis and it is now secondary progressive,” Langlois said.

In December, Langlois filed a lawsuit in Superior Court against the City of New Haven Board of Education because she’s finding it difficult to get in and out of the Fair Haven School.

“She’s excelling in her field and she doesn’t have equal access to her workplace,” Langlois' attorney, Amada DeMatteis, said.

The school shares a parking lot with a New Haven Free Public Library. On the library side, there is a clearly marked blue and white handicapped spot. Langlois is asking for the same proper signage where she parks her van for work.

“I don’t have enough space,” she said. “People park up to two inches next to me and I can’t let my ramp down.”

In addition to wanting a wider parking space with better drawn lines, there is the issue of accessing the building after 5 p.m.

“Her handicapped accessible door locks and she cannot get back in the building,” Dematteis said.

Langlois said she often sticks around into the evening for lesson planning and after-school activities.

“If I forget my phone, if I forget my purse,” she said. “I can’t climb the stairs to get in to the building.”

Langlois is hoping the school district will make the changes so her disability doesn’t get in the way of her passion for teaching.

“As long as I have my mind I’m not going to stop working just because my legs don’t want to work right now,” Langlois said. “That’s not fair.”

The New Haven school district does not have a public information officer for the rest of the school year.

“School district officials are aware of the lawsuit however, it is the policy and practice of New Haven Public Schools to withhold comment on matters involving pending litigation,” City of New Haven Director of Communications Laurence Grotheer said in a statement.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Bristol Police Searching for Liberty Bank Robbery Suspect


Bristol police are looking for the man who robbed a bank on Monday.

A robbery was reported at the Liberty Bank located at 744 Farmington Avenue around 2:13 p.m.

A heavy-set man, probably in his 50s, with salt and pepper hair, reportedly made off with an undisclosed amount of cash, Bristol Police said. 

No injuries were reported.

The man was last seen wearing a dark, checkered hooded sweatshirt and blue pants. Police said he may be operating a black 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup truck.

Anyone having information on this robbery suspect or his vehicle is asked to contact the Bristol Police Department at (860)584-3011. 

Photo Credit: Bristol Police Department

Driver Trapped Under Vehicle in Tolland: Tolland Alert

DMV Says Wait Times Down, Customers Insist Other Hassles Remain


With the Department of Motor Vehicles reporting wait times in branch offices on the way down, the agency has tried to put its problems in the rear view mirror.

But the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters have continued to hear from DMV customers who have issues that have taken months, and in one case, more than a year, to resolve.

The DMV says it has gotten most of the software bugs out following a rough rollout of its $26 million modernization project, but problems for customers seem to keep cropping up.

Steve Palmer, of East Hartford says he had to go back and forth with the DMV for over a year, to get a partial, $40 refund on a two year registration he used for just three months.

Palmer first contacted the Troubleshooters last September. NBC Connecticut reached out to the DMV about Palmer’s problem then, and again in December before he got his check.

“Gotta stay with it and thanks to your help and finally they reacted and sent the check out,” Palmer said.

In Palmer's case, as well as the case of Allan West, of Hartford, it appears DMV software gave false positives that their car insurance policies had lapsed.

West was fined $200 and it took him five months to get a refund, after we contacted the DMV.

“This is not acceptable. People work hard. People don’t have $200 just to give away to the state on something that the state brought up in the first place in error,” West said.

The Troubleshooters have fielded complaints from DMV customers across the state. They often involve issues connected to vehicle registrations that they didn’t cause, and take weeks or months to clear up. Besides Palmer and West, both from Greater Hartford, other customers who contacted us come from Southington, Milford and Salem.

After being pulled over by a state trooper in December, Brenda Brown, of Salem, was told she was driving with a canceled registration. After sending letters and missing half a day of work to go to a DMV branch, in January, Brown was able to prove her registration had not been canceled.

“They honestly need to look at the overall process. If they're going to continue to have problems with their system, then these types of scenarios should be worked out where they know they're in error and come up with a fix,” Brown said.

The DMV addressed the latest round of complaints we received in a statement:

“DMV strives to improve customer service every day through continuous examination of comments and complaints from customers, critiques from our employees and data-driven analysis of the workings of our customer service. DMV serves nearly 3 million license customers and 3 million registration customers. As with any large business, issues can occasionally develop for our customers and we work with them to resolve the matter. To improve this response to customers, the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner through much study of our internal requirements for issuing registrations have made significant cuts in wait times for customers who now obtain faster service when making a trip to DMV for a registration-related matter. Their next stop is DMV’s back office operations that have sometimes brought long wait times for customers seeking refunds or other kinds of assistance. DMV has started a similar kind of study, as done with customer wait times in the branch office, and will be looking at solutions that streamline those back office operations, including any delays in getting customers their refunds or other assistance provided by those operations.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Proposed Bill to Raise Fines for Distracted Drivers Using Cell Phones


A Connecticut lawmaker is proposing a bill to have steeper consequences for drivers distracted while on their cellphones.

State Representative Whit Betts said he will suggest to the Transportation Committee after receiving complaints about the issue from his constituents.

"For the constituents who are calling me and saying, 'please do something about this' because people are going through stop signs and not paying attention what’s going on," Betts said. 

Betts, who represents Plymouth and Bristol, wants to increase fines specifically when it comes to driving while people use their cell phone to make a call or text.

He tells NBC Connecticut he will suggest to the Transportation Committee that the first offense will cost drivers $500, the second will cost $1,000 and the third offense will cost $2,500. Betts said the driver would also have to take a special education course.

Fines under the current state law include: First offense is $150, second offense is $300 and the third offense is $500.

"It’s very hard for police to be able to prove that youre using a hand held phone while you’re driving so we really need to take a fresh look at this and really impose upon everybody," Bettts said.

The Transportation Committee has the option to send the bill to the House floor. While Betts will make his suggestion for the fines, the committee will ultimately come up with the suggested penalty.

Photo Credit: AP

New Haven Mayor Gives State of the City


The mayor of New Haven described the current State of the City as facing challenges, but getting better. 

Mayor Toni Harp gave her State of the City remarks at City Hall on Monday evening. Harp said New Haven has emerged as a "pillar of hope" in recent years. New Haven, which is a designated "sanctuary city", does not have local authorities arrest or detain undocumented immigrants. Harp said as long as she is mayor, that will not change.

"We are called New Haven but for so many people we are safe haven,” said Mayor Harp.

Harp also touted three consecutive balanced budgets and a double-digit decline in violent crime.

The entirety of Mayor Toni Harp’s State of the City remarks are below:

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Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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