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New Details After Bulkeley Football Coach Fired


The Hartford Public School interim superintendent has terminated two coaches, which is the most serious discipline given out following an investigation of how the school handled allegations of child abuse against a high school football coach. 

"We're now holding people accountable and this is part of our changing of the culture," Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez told NBC Connecticut.

Assistant coach Glenn Corlett and a third coach who was never technically hired on the books were also let go.

Last month, the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters broke news of the emails sent by assistant coaches and players outlining allegations of abuse on and off the field by coach Pablo Ortiz Jr. The school investigation reveals numerous people did not report the allegations to the Department of Children and Familes (DCF) as the law mandates them to do.

Athletic faculty manager Diane Callis was suspended without pay for ten days. In her discipline letter, the acting superintendant also found Callis did not follow district hiring protocols and said she allowed individuals to coach students before they were fully vetted. It was revealed one of those people was allegedly not truthful about his criminal background. 

One employee in this investigation received only a letter of reprimand.

But three high level officials, Donald Slater, cheif operating officer Dr. Jose Colon Rivas, and Bulkeley High School principal Gayle Allen-Green, were suspended without pay one day each. Their letters cited a significant lapse in professional judgement.  The acting superintendent also said Allen-Greene failed to take any follow up action upon learning of allegations agains the football program.

"We're clearly committed to all of our students, ensuring they're thriving in a safe environment, however, when we have incidents like these we have to stop and swiftly examine what went wrong," Leslie Torres-Rodriguez reiterated.

After the Child Advocate recently issued her report on a decade worth of Hartford school officials failing to report suspected child abuse, review and update mandated reporting policies.

“With child abuse, suspected abuse, if we know that people know and have not acted they will be held accountable up to and including termination,” Torres-Rodriguez announced publicly last month.

7-Year-Old Boy Falls Out of Third Story Window in Hamden


A 7-year-old boy fell out of a third story window in Hamden on Tuesday. 

The boy fell out of a window at an apartment complex in the area of 2390 State Street, Hamden Police Chief Thomas Wydra said. 

The boy suffered from a broken leg and is being treated at the hospital.

Wydra said the incident could have been worse because the child barely missed landing on an air conditioning unit on the ground level. 

At this point in the investigation, the incident appears to be accidental, police said. 

No other details were immediately available. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Vandals Smashing Car Windows Along Street In Naugatuck


The search is on to find the vandals responsible for targeting several vehicles on one street in Naugatuck over the weekend. Those responsible left a big mess all along Gorman Street on Friday night.

“I just saw glass everywhere," said Patricia Osborne, who has lived on Gorman Street for several years. Photographs showed Osborne's rear driver's side window had been smashed to pieces. “All you saw was glass all over the ground," she said.

Naugatuck Police still do not know who may have used some kind of an object to break through car windows all along that particular street.

"I heard this loud banging noise and I heard a very loud car. I ran out there and I just saw the car taking off," Osborne said.

Police did not yet have a clear suspect description. Investigators, meanwhile, urged all residents to lock their vehicles and always remove all valuables. 

“There are dents up and down the street and broken glass everywhere," said Kyle Conrad, another Gorman Street resident, who said his vehicles were damaged. Because of the vandals, Conrad was stepping up security measures around his entire property. “I just added an outdoor camera upstairs to catch the whole street and the camera down here," he said, pointing to his front room window.

Neighbors wondered why this street was targeted.

“You see people out here all the time," said James St. Germain. "It’s not very often something bad happens," he said.

Many of the victims said they were fortunate because their insurance will cover the cost of the damage.

Anyone with information about the vehicle vandalism is asked to call Naugatuck Police at (203) 729-5221.

Photo Credit: Patricia Osborne

Marijuana Debate Starts at Connecticut's Capitol


The question over whether Connecticut will become the next state to legalize and regulation the recreational use of marijuana started Tuesday in Hartford.

The first public hearing was held on the prospect of having regulations drafted for a committee by October, which could then make recommendations to lawmakers for the next legislative session.

Opponents said the only reason the issue is being raised this year and being taken seriously, is because the state is facing more than $3 billion in combined deficits over the next two years.

Rep. Vincent Candelora remarked that it's not a coincidence that the two members of the General Assembly pushing the hardest in the most public arena for legalization, are members of the Appropriations Committee.

“I feel their pain," Rep. Candelora said. "I know what they’re going through, but I certainly don’t want to see this type of revenue stream coming into Connecticut.”

But Rep. Toni Walker and Rep. Melissa Ziobron said they've struck up a bipartisan partnership, that, yes, is built on generating revenue from marijuana sales, but it's also an opportunity they said for the issue to be handled properly.

“In Connecticut, we need to make sure that all of the issues are addressed," said Rep. Walker, who chairs the Appropriations Committee.

Ziobron added, “We need to make sure that we don’t repeat the mistakes of Colorado which is why I’ve been waiting to promote or propose a bill like mine.”

In Colorado, they've seen hospital visits rise by 300% related to marijuana, from .8 percent during the period 2001-2009, but spiked to 2.4 percent in 2015, according to a report compiled by the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

The revenue from marijuana, however, can't be ignored. Colorado taxes marijuana in two ways. First, all medical and retail products are subject to a state sales tax of 2.9 percent, while all retail products also face a 10 percent special sales tax.

Law enforcement in Connecticut are opposed to allow marijuana to become mainstream like alcohol. They only see downfalls.

“In Connecticut we believe this will do nothing to increase our quality of life, revenue will more than offset for the cost to regulate and for us to police," said John Salvatore, Monroe's Police Chief. “We do believe the recreational use of marijuana will diminish the quality of life in our state.”

The governor has been lukewarm to any marijuana legalization proposal, but has stopped short of saying he would veto a bill if one made it to his desk.

Voters in Massachusetts approved the regulation and sale of marijuana last November, and sales there are expected to start in July, 2018.

Ziobron said Connecticut has a chance to have regulations ready to go for possible legislation as early as the fall, and avoiding any kinds of delays that are being experience in Massachusetts.

“They say it’s legal for you to own it but they can’t go and buy it anywhere. I don’t think that’s the best public policy either.”

Guilford High School student Danielle Ott is adamantly opposed to marijuana use, and said she fears for the example passage would set for younger generations.

“What you perceive as OK is what we’ll begin to perceive as OK as well, so I hope you’ll consider what effects this will have on the youth."

Photo Credit: AP

Rocky Hill Couple Waits More Than a Month for Shower Repair


Justin Schuch renovated his home to help him stay independent. A stair lift lets him navigate between the first and second floors and a walk-in tub made showering easy.

The tub was installed in 2012. Schuch said the first five years were problem-free. Then, in January, Schuch noticed the shower door no longer closed all the way.

"One morning I was getting into the shower and I had closed the door and I was going to latch it and the whole door just snapped and fell," he said.

Schuch called the tub’s manufacturer, American Standard. The company asked him for the tub’s serial number to verify it was under warranty but Schuch couldn’t find it.

The agent told Schuch the serial number is located behind the seat.

“Well, behind the seat is against my neighbor's property here in the condo," Schuch said.

He sent the company copies of the installation paperwork along with photos of the door. Schuch said he waited several weeks for a reply. When he called American Standard for an update, a representative told Schuch his case would be expedited.

By this time, Schuch and his wife came up with a workaround by leaning the broken door up against the side of the tub while the shower is in use. But Schuch said it wasn’t a secure solution.

Each time he used the shower, his wife had to help him get in and out. It became their daily routine, and after more than a month, took a toll on both of them.

"She's six months pregnant. If I were to fall, if she were to fall, it would be a disaster," Schuch said.

He didn’t know what to do next. A friend suggested calling NBC Connecticut Responds.

Our consumer team contacted American Standard on Schuch’s behalf and asked the company to look into his case. Shortly after that conversation, the company called Schuch and set up a service appointment for the following week.

The technician was able to fix the door. Because it was under warranty, Schuch was not charged.

A spokesperson for American Standard told NBC Connecticut, “Our customers and their satisfaction are critically important to us. We regret that Mr. Schuch experienced delays in service for a rare issue with one of our walk-in bathtubs."

Schuch told NBC Connecticut Responds he received a follow-up phone call from a company vice president, who apologized for the extended wait time. The vice president also gave Schuch his cell phone number in case he runs into any problems in the future.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Changes Being Made to Keep Students Safe at Hartford School


For Andriena Baldwin, there's nothing more important than the safety of her four-year-old daughter.

When late last year, another four-year-old managed to leave Thirman Milner School undetected and walk more than half a mile home, parents decided enough was enough.

"I felt the energy of the parents who wanted things to get done," said Baldwin.

With the help of Pastor A.J. Johnson, a community organizer for Christian Activities Council, those parents pushed for and received security upgrades for Milner from the Hartford school district.

Some of the changes you can't easily detect, including improving the sign-in process and making entry into the building more secure, but others are obvious like the addition of "No Trespassing" signs and a gate.

"This does a lot for the families. The kids feel safer. The parents feel safer, and they feel like their voices have been heard," said Johnson.

To add to that victory, Baldwin said former mayor, Thirman Milner, met with those who fought for the gate, which is something he's been trying to get built at the school for more than six years.

"To have him sit and say thank you to us for finally accomplishing something he's been working so hard to do, there are no words to describe it," said Baldwin.

"A gate is a small win in the north end of Hartford, but it's the principle of - our voice was heard and what else can we change?" said Johnson.

Baldwin said parents aren't done voicing their concerns. They want to make sure the district hears that shutting down Milner as part of any consolidation plans would be the wrong move.

"As parents, it's not feasible for us. We're in the area. The school has been there for years for a reason," Baldwin said. "I just hope that school officials are listening who know there are parents who want and need to have these schools here in order to provide for their children."

Johnson said they've also received a commitment from the city to install speed bumps near the school this spring.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

China Proposes Deal to Ease Tensions Over N. Korean Missiles


China offered a sobering warning Wednesday over a "head-on collision" if North Korea doesn't stop launching banned missiles and the U.S. and South Korea don't stop their join military drills, NBC News reported. 

"The two sides are like two accelerating trains coming toward each other, with neither side willing to give way," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Beijing. "The question is: Are the two sides really ready for a head-on collision? Our priority now is to flash the red light and apply brakes on both trains."

Wang's cautionary statement comes after North Korea launched four ballistic missiles into the sky on Monday. The next day, on Tuesday, U.S. equipment for a missile defense system arrived in South Korea. 

The North said the nations are headed toward a "nuclear disaster," while China said it would take "necessary measure" to protect itself and that the U.S. and South Korea should be prepared to bear the consequences.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

State Police Seek Westbrook Armed Robbery Suspect


Connecticut state police are searching for a suspect accused of robbing a Westbrook convenience store Tuesday night.

According to police, a lone suspect entered Jo Jo’s Food Mart –Valero at 1309 Route 2 around 11:30 p.m. He suspect showed a black handgun and demanded money from the clerk, who complied, police said. The suspect then fled on foot. No one was hurt.

The suspect is described as male, around 6-foot, with a thin build, white facial hair, wearing white winter hat, an olive-green Carhartt-type hooded coat, dark shoes and blue pants. Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact Troop F at 860-399-2100 or text TIP711 + the info you have to 274637.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

N. Korean Ruler's Nephew Speaks After Airport Killing: Official


A man who says he's the son of the North Korean killed by nerve agent in a busy Malaysian airport last month appeared in a video released online Tuesday, NBC News reported.

The South Korean intelligence service confirmed that the video shows Kim Han Sol, 21, a senior government official told NBC News. Kim Han Sol is also the nephew of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

It's the first time Kim has spoken out since the killing of his father in Kuala Lampur on Feb. 13, in what U.S. and South Korean officials have described as an assassination organized by North Korean agents. The North Korean defector aid group that released the video said it is protecting the exiled family. The man's location was not disclosed.

The man in the video shows his passport as proof of his identity, but those details are redacted. "My father has been killed a few days ago. I'm currently with my mother and my sister. We are very grateful to ...," he says, before the audio is cut short.

Photo Credit: FUJI TV
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No Injuries in Bridgeport House Fire


A smoke detector recently installed as part of the Bridgeport Smoke Detector Awareness program may have saved lives during a house fire in Bridgeport early Wednesday morning.

According to fire officials, flames broke out at a home on Carver Street around 1:30 a.m.. There was heavy smoke and flames on the second floor when firefighters arrived.

Two people who were home at the time were able to escape unharmed.

“The smoke detectors that they had were given to them through the city of Bridgeport's smoke detector awareness program and did exactly what they were supposed to do they woke the residents and made it possible for them to evacuate,” said Bridgeport Assistant Chief Harold Clarke.

The Red Cross is assisting the residents. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Gunmen in Doctors' Garb Kill at Least 30 at Afghan Hospital


Gunmen dressed as doctors killed at least 30 people in an attack on a military hospital near the United States embassy in Afghanistan's capital on Wednesday, NBC News reported.

Some patients climbed took shelter on window ledges amid the fighting, which lasted hours and wounded at least 50 more people. It wasn't immediately clear who was behind the attack.

A Defense Ministry spokesman told NBC News that soldiers, doctors and civilians were among the dead, and that all four gunmen who opened fire at Kabul's Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital were killed as well.

Abdul Qadir, a hospital worker who witnessed the attack, said an attacker in a white coat shot at him and his colleagues.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Connecticut Celebrates International Women's Day


Wednesday is International Women’s Day and on this day protests, marches, and even a call to stay home from work are all an effort to show how vital women are to the community.

Women in Connecticut are expected to stand with others all across the country to celebrate the role women play in society at various events today.

The official theme for this year’s Women’s Day is “Be bold for change,” with an emphasis on the equality for women around the world.

Women's Day at the Capitol will include a program followed by lunch and panel discussion. The program is free and open to the public, but you must register ahead.

Gov. Dannel Malloy is set to speak at the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children and Seniors official Women’s Day Event, also at the capitol.

In New Haven, Mayor Toni Harp is hosting a city hall reception to mark the day and march.

Connecticut could see some protests against the Trump administration and its policies, which some say are specifically anti-women.

Some women are planning to stay home as part of a symbolic demonstration called “ A Day Without Women.” In New London, supports of the movement are involved to meet for a "General Strike" event at the Whale Tale on Bank Street for an all-day rally.

Another way to support the cause is to shop at local businesses owned by women.

A variety of other events are scheduled throughout the state. For more information on Connecticut events, click here.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Girl Statue Appears in Front of Wall Street Bull


Wall Street's iconic charging bull just got a new neighbor. 

A bronze statue of a young girl showed up near the bull Tuesday, ahead of the International Women’s Day Wednesday, according to reports. 

The "Fearless Girl" statue is part of an effort to get companies to add more women to their boards. State Street Global Advisors, the world’s third-largest asset manager, placed the statue as part of their campaign, Business Insider reports.

The money manager wants the companies it is spotting to have at least one woman on the board and to close gender gaps.

The bronze girl stands adjacent to the famous Wall Street statue, taking on a defiant pose as she stares down the bull. A plaque below her reads "know the power of women in leadership." 

Lori Heinel, State Street's deputy global chief investment officer, told Business Insider that the image of the girl standing in front of the bull is a creative way to send a powerful message. 

"One of the most iconic images on Wall Street is the raging bull," Heinel told Business Insider. "So the idea of having a female sort of stand against the bull or stand up to the bull just struck us as a very clever."

State Street will be sending out a letter 3,500 companies asking them to act and add more women. It said it will vote against boards if companies fail to carry out the steps to increase the number of women as board members, according to Business Insider. 

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Man Charged with Assaulting 3-Year-Old in West Haven


West Haven police have arrested a man accused of assaulting a 3-year-old child.

Police said that Esteban Nieves, 22, of New Haven, was arrested in connection with an investigation into the possible abuse of a 3-year-old child who was taken to a hospital emergency room with serious injuries on Feb. 25. Trauma physicians treating the child said that the injuries were consistent with an assault.

Nieves was charged with first-degree assault, third-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor and violation of probation.

More details were not immediately available.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police Department

Road Closures in Thomaston as 'Super Load' Moves Through


The first of six “super loads” are expected to move through Thomaston Wednesday, and drivers in the area are warned there may be heavy delays.

The oversize load is a 200-foot long trailer weighting between 500 to 750 tons. It will be accompanied by a Connecticut State Police escort and will move no faster than four miles per hour.

Closures and delays will start around 6 p.m. The load is expected to travel on Route 254 (Northfield Road) south to South Main Street, to Route 6 (Watertown Road) into Watertown. No traffic will be allowed across bridges on this route as crews put special equipment in place to support the load.

Route 254 will be closed at Walnut Hill Road to South Main Street and detours will be set up. Route 6 will be closed at Route 109 to Buckingham Street.

South Main Street will remain open but drivers should expect heavy delays.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Lawmakers Hear Testimony Concerning Privatizing DDS Care


Beverly Laporte of East Hartford worries about what will happen to her son Robbie if he is moved from his group home in South Windsor to private care.

Laporte joined others at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Tuesday, testifying in front of the Public Health Committee against privatizing Department of Developmental Services care for their relatives.

Robbie has epilepsy and has been in public care for 23 years. "It would be so scary to think that they could possibly come in and rip away this family and replace them with strangers," she said.

At issue, of course, is money.

Non-profit providers, through The Alliance, which provides a voice for community non-profits, say they can provide the highest quality of care at a fraction of the cost, saving the cash-strapped state $150 million dollars per year in residential care alone.

Barry Simon is the CEO of Oak Hill, an Alliance member, and the largest non-profit provider of services to the disabled in our state.

"We've opened up three homes recently in the last nine months. For every single person we care for, the health benefits have gone up, they have lower blood pressure, fewer visits to the doctor. They are enjoying the community like they've never been able to before. And every single person has said that they'd wished that they'd done this earlier," says Simon.

Some like Laporte are not convinced, arguing that because many private employees in the caregiving field are paid less than their public counterparts, there is a high turnover rate that hurts continuity of care. "The seizures have decreased because the staff knows when to intervene. They can see it coming on. The look in his eye. You won't get that from people who are in and out. They're just not trained," complains Laporte.

Wednesday’s testimony was just one part of the larger battle that will be going on throughout the session.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Fla. Family Films Cruise Ship Drifting Close to Waterfront Home


Bill and Yasmine Todhunter are still in shock Tuesday days after a Celebrity Cruise ship drifted extremely close to their waterfront home near Port Everglades.

The couple captured the scary moment on their cellphone Friday. Footage shows the Celebrity Equinox towering near their home. The Todhunters say this was a first.

“Never seen anything that close. Yes, I've seen it come close, but never to where the ship has had to stop, put itself into reverse and back out into the channel," Bill Todhunter said.

He said he was bringing out the garbage bin in from the street when he looked up and saw the ship close to the home.

“I came back and my wife was filming it on her phone,” Todhunter said.

They posted the video to Twitter and Facebook.

The couple also reached out to Celebrity Cruises via social media.

Royal Caribbean, which is the parent company of Celebrity Cruises, responded to Bill on Facebook, claiming the ship was in her assigned channel and operated safely.

“I don’t believe that statement at all,” Todhunter said.

NBC 6 News reached out to Royal Caribbean for comment and the company sent us the following statement:

“As Equinox departed on Friday, March 3, she was in her assigned channel at all times under the guidance of specialized local port pilots. The ship operated safely and did not put guests or crew at risk. We can also confirm the ship did not touch bottom.”

The Todhunters said the statement from the company is not enough. They truly believe something went wrong that day and want a better explanation.

"It was obviously dangerous. It will never hit the house because of how the channel was built but what if there was another ship coming in? And, I'm worried about what will happen down the road. Could there be a cracked foundation or sea wall years from now ? That's what I was most concerned about,” Todhunter said.

Woman Charged with OUI, Manslaughter Following Fatal Crash


An East Haddam woman is accused of driving drunk after being involved in a fatal crash that occurred in May.

Cheryl Sienna, 50, was arrested Tuesday and charged with operating under the influence, second-degree manslaughter, and failure to grant right of way.

Police said that Sienna was driving on Route 149 near Rae Palmer Road in East Haddam on May 15, 2016, when her Honda Pilot collided with a motorcycle driven by David M. Seaquist Jr., 23. Seaquist was seriously hurt and died of his injuries at the hospital.

According to the arrest warrant application, Sienna drank three beers at a local bar before she was involved in the accident, and failed field sobriety tests.

Sienna was issued a $25,000 bond is scheduled to appear in court on March 28.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Police Investigate Bomb Threat Made to West Hartford JCC


Authorities are investigating after a Jewish Community Center in West Hartford received an emailed bomb threat overnight, according to facility officials.

David Jacobs, executive director of the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell JCC, confirmed that the center received an email overnight that said bombs had been planted which was opened Monday morning.

Authorities and center officials swept the building and found nothing, Jacobs said. The threat was deemed non-credible.

Jacobs said the email was similar to the threats received by other JCCs around the country yesterday. 

West Hartford police confirmed they responded to the JCC and that nothing suspicious was found. The case was referred to the FBI.

The center is open Wednesday and all programs and activities will be on schedule as usual.

A string of threats that has prompted evacuations and sweeps of dozens of facilities in more than 30 states in recent months.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woman Charged in Connection With Norwich Armed Robbery


Norwich police have arrested a second suspect in connection with an armed robbery in January.

Kim M. Gladue, 42, of Norwich, was arrested and charged with accessory to first degree robbery.

Police allege that Gladue dropped her former boyfriend, Michael Baker, off at Harry’s Market on Bridge Street on Jan. 21 and he then robbed the store.

According to police, officers walked in during the robbery and chased Baker. During that chase, Baker pointed a gun at officers and ignored police commands to drop it, police said. Baker was arrested on Jan. 24.

During the chase, Gladue was found hiding in her vehicle on Church Street nearby. She initially denied any knowledge of the robbery but did admit she dropped Baker off near the market and was waiting for him to return.

Gladue was held on a $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Norwich Police Department
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