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Police Investigating After Exposure to Bleach in Meriden


Police are investigating after people were exposed to bleach at an apartment house in Meriden.

Emergency crews responded to 15 Cook Ave. in Meriden Tuesday morning and everyone has been allowed back inside.

Fire officials said they are no longer handling the incident and police are investigating.

Police said they could not comment on the investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Silver Alert Canceled for 3-Year-Old in Norwich

Committee Approves Increased Scrutiny of State Business Deals


On a bipartisan vote, the Commerce committee sent a message to the governor and his economic development agency that they want to see more transparency on the incentives the state provides to companies.

"It's important that we have a lot of accountability and regular reviews of performance metrics to see if the program is working,” said Sen. Scott Frantz, the GOP Chairman of the committee.

He’s bothered by the fact that the governor’s signature economic development program, “First Five,” has extended far beyond its original purpose. “It's not really the First Five program, because we're up to 15 companies in the program."

The state has provided $250 million to 13 companies since its inception. The millions are provided in multiple forms that include forgivable loans, grants, and tax breaks.

The governor and his Department of Economic and Community Development negotiate all deals and manage the program, including its “clawbacks,” to ensure compliance with the program.

"I'm not against more accountability,” Malloy said of the bill’s committee passage.

He also said he recognizes the timing of the bill, because just a week ago, pharmaceutical company Alexion announced the layoff of 200 workers globally. The company employs more than 1,000 in Connecticut, but a spokesman wouldn’t say how many would be felt in Connecticut. Since the company received a package that could be worth as much as $50 million, it rubbed lawmakers and some taxpayers the wrong way.

“You know, there are these things that puts everyone's hair on fire because they say well a company is going to lay off part of its workforce when in fact that company has far exceeded their expectations and guarantees with respect to what our agreements required."

According to DECD records, the company had a target to hire between 200 and 300 people, when it eventually hired more than 500 in compliance with the First Five program.

Sen. Frantz says he wouldn’t mind having the General Assembly approve all economic incentive agreements.

"These deals are typically negotiated for about two or three months or so things, like that, so they would be able to take into account the potential legislative approval and say look, we either need to either speed things up or slow things down."

The governor said he would never turn down more scrutiny over incentive packages, because he maintains they are good for Connecticut and even better for taxpayers.

"If you're asking me do I mind people looking over my shoulder, the answer is no."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

East Lyme Police Warn About Phone Scam With Scammer Posing As U.S. Marshal


East Lyme Police are warning the community to be careful about who they give out information to.

Stephen Thomas, of Niantic, called police Saturday after he said he got a call from a man claiming to be U.S. Marshal Josh Turner. He threatened to arrest Thomas for missing jury duty or told him that they could "handle it a different way." Thomas understood that to mean he wanted money.

"It just made me nervous and suspicious," Thomas said, describing the caller as "aggressive."

Thomas said he called his neighbor over to listen in on the call. When he asked to speak to someone else, a man who identified himself as Capt. Tim Slader came on the line and made the same threats.

But there was a hole in the story.

"(They) said I've been sent out two forms and then they had sent out a subpoena," Thomas said, who added he hadn't missed jury duty and was never sent any forms.

The men would not give Thomas a number to call them back.

"When I started asking questions, that's when I started getting really confusing answers," he said. And he hung up.

East Lyme Police are urging people in a similar situation to do the same.

"Do not give any personal bank account information (or) debit card information," said Sgt. Michael Macek of the East Lyme Police Department.

If a person does not know whether a call is legitimate, call police and an officer will help, Macek said. Especially during tax season there are a lot of scams that occur, he added.

Thomas was able to give police a phone number off his caller ID. It was a Connecticut area code, which Sgt. Macek said isn't common.

Police called that number and got a voicemail with a real voice saying, "U.S. Marshals Service Civil Section."

East Lyme Police did call the U.S. Marshals Service who told officers that this is a nationwide scam, sometimes scammers use a 1-800 number, and that they reported the incident to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to Macek.

Thomas said he wants his story to be a warning for everyone.

"If they can't give you a number that you can call back at, there's obviously something wrong with the situation."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Bristol Family Seeks Refund for Canceled Stair Lift


A stairlift designed to make living with elderly parents easier turned into a four month-long process for a Bristol family with a unique circumstance.

The grief is still fresh for Cathy Campbell and her husband Tom Martino.

Last November, the couple consulted Stannah Stairlifts for measurements to help Campbell's 93-year-old mother, Connie, get up and down the stairs.

“As she was getting older, she was having more skeletal problems with her joints and all that and we had talked to her about the possibility of getting a chairlift,” Tom Martino said.

On Nov. 16, 2016, Cathy Campbell wrote the company a check for $4,450. It cleared six days later, on November 22. And on November 23, Connie passed away.

“We immediately knew that there were X number of phone calls we had to make that day,” Martino said.

After friends and family members, one of those phone calls was to Stannah Stairlifts. The company cancelled their order, then mailed them a refund check.

But Martino immediately noticed they only received a partial refund; it was missing $890.

A Stannah agent told him the company already started production on the chair and the $890 charge covered those costs.

Martino said he had a hard time accepting that explanation and reached out to NBC Connecticut Responds.

“Where we could get no relief, we got relief from NBC Connecticut,” Martino said.

Our consumer team contacted Stannah Stairlifts. A representative told Responds the charge was a misunderstanding because Martino and Campbell fell within the seven-day window every Stannah customer has to cancel an order for a full refund.

The company issued Martino and Campbell a check for the remaining $890.

“With everything else we had to deal with and tidying up my mother in law's estate, it really was a weight off of us. It is,” Martino said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

At Midway Point, Malloy Urges Budget Progress


The General Assembly is halfway through the 2017 Session but it’s a long way from passing anything that looks like a spending plan for the next two years.

With that timeline, the governor held a press conference in his State Capitol office to urge movement on the spending plan he put forward last month.

"This is not going to be a revenue driven solution,” Gov. Malloy said. “This is going to be an expenditure driven solution.”

The governor’s budget includes $700 million in organized labor givebacks, a shift of $400 million in teacher pension payments to cities and towns, and no new taxes, though there are some controversial fee increases like those on owning guns.

The governor said the lynchpin of the budget is finding middle ground with state employees on concessions, for whom he included hundreds of millions of pay increases in his budget.

"If we don't get that, everything is going to be that much harder."

Republicans said Tuesday that they would present their own budget proposal in the coming weeks. Rep. Vin Candelora, a Republican leader in the House, said he would expect a GOP-authored budget to be released around the time the Appropriations Committee completes its analysis and public hearings.

Candelora agrees that union concessions are the most critical element of the budget process.

"They've got to come to the table whether they like it or not,” Candelora said.

The governor said he will only sign a budget that directly addressed what he laid out in his state budget address.

“While I am fully ready and willing to negotiate with the Legislature, any budget that I sign will include meaningful reform in these areas.”

Republicans say their budget will reflect their priorities, but perhaps most importantly from their perspective a budget that represents their increased standing in the General Assembly.

"The chamber is so tight between Democrats and Republicans I feel like we have an obligation to put something forward."

Photo Credit: AP

Members of Dismantled New Haven Gang Convicted of Federal Charges


U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly announced Tuesday that 21 members of a now broken up street gang in New Haven have been convicted of federal charges.

“It brings to a close a very dark chapter in our city,” Acting New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell said of the resolution to local police working with federal law enforcement to target some of the city’s most violent criminals.

Robert Short, the 21st defendant from the Red Side Guerilla Brims gang, pleaded guilty in connection to a 2011 homicide in Hamden in Bridgeport Federal Court on Tuesday.

“They had a brutal and cold blooded presence in New Haven and in neighboring cities,” Daly said at a press conference. “Now due to the efforts of devoted law enforcement officers and agents the gang has been dismantled.”

These members of the New Haven sect of the Bloods street gang will be locked up for a long time. Some are facing life in prison, Daly said.

“Best case scenario for the defendants, they serve 85 percent of the time that they get,” Daly added.

In January 2014, New Haven Police and the ATF launched operation Red Side. Detectives tracked gang members trafficking semi-automatic guns and crack cocaine between Connecticut and Bangor, Maine.

“Last Friday, Jeffrey Benton, the leader of the gang admitted to his role in three murders,” Daly said.

The joint local-federal investigation has resolved seven cold case murders, four attempted murders and four armed robberies in 2011 and 2012, Daly said.

“When we work together,” Chief Campbell said. “We get the job done in a way that brings closure, that allows those seven families who have loved ones whose lives were taken in very violent manners to have closure and justice.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Police Chase Ends in Crash in Newtown: State Police


One person was seriously hurt after a police chase ended in a crash in Newtown Tuesday night, according to Connecticut State Police.

Police said the incident began around 9 p.m. when Monroe police tried to stop a vehicle that had been reported stolen out of Danbury. The driver took off.

While coming around a curve on Route 25 near Bryan Lane in Newtown, the Honda crossed the double yellow line and collided with a Mercedes E350 that was driving in the opposite direction.

The driver of the Honda, identified as 31-year-old Rasheim Lewis, of Danbury, was taken to Danbury Hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the Mercedes suffered minor injuries and refused transport.

The road was closed for several hours.

Newtown police requested Connecticut State Police take over the investigation and the Danbury State’s Attorney has been notified. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact Trooper Mark DiCocco at 203-630-8079.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Dead Baby Found in Bag at Reservoir in Harwinton


State police are investigating after finding the body of a baby in a bag in a city of Bristol reservoir in Harwinton.

State police were notified at 10:40 a.m. today after workers at Bristol Reservoir #4 found a dead baby in a bag along Route 72 and Route 4 in Harwinton.

State police said the baby was found by workers at the reservoir.

Detectives from Western District Major Crime responded to the scene and will assume the investigation and the Office of Chief Medical Examiner will conduct a post-mortem examination to determine cause and manner of death.

The City of Bristol Water Department maintains the reservoir and has consulted with the Connecticut Department of Health.

A state police dive team will conduct a search for possible evidence.

Police said the reservoir has not been used in a few days and will remain offline.

"On behalf of the Bristol Water Department I would like to assure all of our customers that the water in Bristol is completely safe. The reservoir where this unfortunate event occurred has been off line for the past few days due to the drought and will remain off line. We have been in consultation with the Department of Public Health and local Health Director through out the day. We are confident that the drinking water is completely safe in the City of Bristol," Robert Longo, superintendent of the Bristol Water Department, said in a statement on the Bristol Water Department website. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Plan To Drop Speed Limits In New Haven Gains Momentum


A plan to lower the speed limit on some New Haven streets is gaining momentum.

Supporters believe it would protect pedestrians and people who are behind the wheel. For some, the current limit of 25 miles per hour is too high.

"People are still going down that at 30, 40, 50 miles an hour," said Peter Webster, Chairman of the Wooster Square Community Management Team.

"Many people go through that intersection a lot faster than 40 miles an hour, said Elaine Piraino-Holevoet, discussing the intersection of Trumbull and Orange Streets. She supports a plan by Richard Furlow, an Alder in the city.

"Slow New Haven down, make it more pedestrian friendly and bike friendly," said Furlow. He said the speed limit needs to drop from 25 to 20 miles per hour on many city streets in densely populated residential neighborhoods.

"I think that 20 is a great idea," said Webster. Members of the Wooster Square Community Management Team are taking matters of safety into their own hands, recently securing funding for a permanent solar-operated speed limit indicator to let drivers know when they are going faster than they should be.

"Anything that we can do to bring the speed limit down and make people really drive in a civil fashion is going to help the city," said Webster.

Though there is much support in New Haven to drop speed limits, the Office of the State Traffic Administration (OSTA) would have to ultimately approve the changes.

48-Year-Old Bristol Man Has Been Missing Since St. Patrick's Day


Police are looking for a 48-year-old Bristol man who was last seen on Saint Patrick's Day and a Silver Alert has been issued for him. 

Jonathan Boutilier was last seen on Friday, March 17 and he last wearing blue jeans and a blue shirt when he disappeared, according to Bristol Police. 

Boutilier has graying black hair and a beard and brown eyes. He is 5-feet-10 and weighs 175 pounds. 

He might be driving a green 1996 Pontiac Sunfire with Connecticut plates AB65878.

The circumstances around is disappearance are unknown.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Bristol Police Department at (860) 584-3011.

Hartford Man Charged in West Hartford Road Rage Incident


Police have arrested a 23-year-old Hartford man suspected in a road rage incident in West Hartford last week.

Two women were in a car on New Park Avenue Wednesday, March 15 when they drove by a man standing on the side of the road and their car accidentally splashed the man with slush.

The man, who police have identified as 23-year-old Mark Diaz, of Hartford, jumped in a car, chased the women and cut them off, according to police. Then he jumped out of his car, began yelling at the women, and hit their car with a tire iron, police said. 

The victim's 2002 Mazda had hood damage and cracks in the headlight and taillight.

One of the women took pictures of the man during the incident and police launched a search for him. 

An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday charging Diaz with second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree breach of peace, second-degree threatening, second-degree reckless endangerment and driving under suspension.

He was released after posting bond and is due in court on March 30.

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police
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Truck Carrying Thousands of Pounds of Melon Crashes on I-91


Minor injuries were reported after a tractor trailer carrying melons crashed on Interstate 91 in Middletown Wednesday morning, according to Connecticut State Police.

Police said the truck, which was carrying 75,000 pounds of watermelon and cantaloupe, went off the road into the woods near exit 21. The driver reported injuries, but police said they were not serious.

The Department of Consumer Protection was called in because of what the truck was carrying.

The right lane of the highway is closed while authorities investigate.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Anti-Trump Bump Leads to Wave of Dem Candidates in States


Democrats typically have trouble recruiting candidates for Statehouse races, but now they're having trouble keeping up with all the people who want to run, NBC News reported.

Candidates are already coming out of the woodwork across the country, thanks to a backlash against President Donald Trump and a newfound recognition on the left of the importance of state legislatures to counter GOP control in Washington, D.C.

The surge of potential candidates has been so unusual that, for the first time, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee felt the need to coordinate its recruiting efforts with all the groups that work to find candidates.

Photo Credit: Getty

Police: Man Wanted for Stabbing Girlfriend’s Mother


Police are hunting a man who is accused of stabbing his girlfriend’s mother on Tuesday.

Ping Hong, 32, is wanted for the stabbing of his girlfriend’s mother on Howard Street in Waltham, Massachusetts around 11 p.m.

The victim suffered serious injuries from several stab wounds and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Hong is described as an 5’10” Asian male with black hair, brown eyes, and a medium build. He was last seen operating a gray 2012 Subaru Legacy with a license plate of 2ASPW3.

Hong’s last known address is in Vernon Connecticut, and he may be travelling to Connecticut or New York areas.

Police say that he should be considered armed and dangerous, and should not be approached. If located, please call 911 or notify the Waltham Police at 781-314-3600.

Man Charged with Stealing Motorcycles in Plainfield


Plainfield police have arrested a third suspect accused of stealing motorcycles from a local business in May.

Jordan A. Lanphear, 21, was arrested Tuesday and charged with third-degree burglary and third-degree larceny.

Lanphear and two other suspects, Jonathan Zadora, 25, and Mariah Ellison, 24, are accused of breaking into Motor Sports Nation on Excalibur Boulevard on May 23 and stealing three motorcycles. The group is also accused in the theft of two motorcycles on Weston Road.

Zadora and Ellison were previously arrested and are facing similar charges. Lanphear was arrested overnight Wednesday.

Two of the three bikes stolen from Motor Sports Nation have been found. Police are still trying to locate a black and orange 2016 KTM 350 SXF. Anyone with information on the vehicle or who bought a motorcycle from the suspects is asked to contact Plainfield police.

Lanphear was held on a $15,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Plainfield Police Department

$1M Settlement for Family of Teen Who Drank Meth at Border


The family of a teenager killed after drinking an amber-colored liquid -- which turned out to be liquid methamphetamine - in front of federal agents at the U.S.-Mexico Border will receive $1 million in a settlement, according to court documents.

The family had argued the teen was "coerced and intimidated" into drinking the liquid then was taken into custody instead of being given medical attention. A medical examiner had ruled his death an accident. 

The settlement comes three years after the death of Cruz Marcelino Velazquez Acevedo, 16, of Tijuana.

On Nov. 18, 2013, Acevedo was stopped by agents after he entered the U.S. from Mexico on foot at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. 

At the primary checkpoints, agents asked the teen about two containers he was carrying.

When an agent asked what was in the bottles, Acevedo called the liquid a juice, according to the lawsuit filed by his family. 

"The agent took a capful and poured it on the counter, because he thought if it was liquid methamphetamine it would instantly evaporate and leave behind crystals," according to the lawsuit. 

When it did not immediately evaporate, agents sent Acevedo to a secondary inspection point. The agent was later told by his supervisor that this was not a proper, safe test for detecting meth in liquid, according to the suit filed by the family. 

At secondary inspection, the teenager was questioned again, according to the lawsuit. Acevedo once again explained the bottles contained juice, but agents believed they contained controlled substances.

The family claims in the lawsuit that agents "coerced and intimidated Cruz into taking a big sip from one of the bottles." A previous Medical Examiner report said Acevedo voluntarily took a sip.

A K-9 then came into the room and alerted agents that Acevedo had controlled substances, according to the lawsuit.

Agents then handcuffed Acevedo and took him into custody. 

"Despite the fact that they knew Acevedo had ingested drugs, agents did not take Cruz for medical attention," the lawsuit states. 

Shortly after, Acevedo began sweating, and then "screaming in pain and clenching his fists," according to the suit. 

In the lawsuit, the family alleges that Acevedo began yelling "the chemicals" in Spanish and then, "Mi corazon! Mi corazon!", or "My heart! My heart!" He began to seize uncontrollably, according to the suit. 

Agents called paramedics, who had to sedate the teen before transporting him to Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center.

He was pronounced dead at the hospital several hours later, according to the Medical Examiner. The ME ruled his death an accident. 

Agents said they ran tests on the liquid that tested positive for liquid methamphetamine.

When asked about the potency of methamphetamine in a liquid form, a member of the UCSD Poison Control center said the substance can show life-threatening side effects within minutes because it hits the stomach quickly.

In a settlement with the agency, the family received $1 million. 

U. S. Customs and Border Patrol authorities released the following statement in response to the settlement:

“Although, we are not able to speak about this specific case, training and the evaluation of CBP policies and procedures are consistently reviewed as needed.”

11-Year-Old Stamford Girl Reported Missing


An 11-year-old Stamford girl has been reported missing and a Silver Alert has been issued for her. 

Police are searching for Amorah Ferrell, who has been missing since Tuesday. 

She is listed as an endangered runaway on the Silver Alert.

Amorah has black hair and brown eyes. She is 5-feet-3 and weighs 200 pounds. 

Anyone with information on where Amorah is should call Stamford police at 203-977-


Photo Credit: Silver Alert

Ex-WTNH Meteorologist Sentenced for Possessing Child Pornography


Justin Goldstein, a 34-year-old former WTNH meteorologist, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, months after police arrested him and said they found him sharing videos of young girls engaged in sex acts with men. 

The judge said the sentence will be suspended after three years but Goldstein must spend a mandatory two years in prison, the Meriden Superior Court Clerk's office said. 

Police said the investigation began in June after officers used a peer-to-peer (P2P) network to download three videos of suspected child pornography from an account assigned to Goldstein, a Hamden resident.

The videos depicted young girls, one possibly as young as 4 years old, performing sex acts on adult men, according to the arrest affidavit.

When investigators executed a search warrant at Goldstein's home on Aspen Glen Drive, they seized several items, including a computer, a laptop, a cell phone and a PS3 game console. Those items have been sent to a computer forensic lab for examination, according to the court documents.

Goldstein was arrested July 14 and had been suspended from work at WTNH-TV in New Haven.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

14-Year-Old Crashes Stolen Car Into Pole in East Haven


A 14-year-old was taken to the hospital after he stole a family member's car, led police on a chase and crashed into two utility poles on Main Street near Kimberly Avenue in East Haven early Wednesday morning, according to police.

Police said they first noticed the vehicle around 3:30 a.m. because it was traveling with its lights off. When an officer tried to get the driver's attention, the teen ignored him and sped off.

The car struck one utility pole on Main Street then a second on the corner of Main Street and the Kimberly Avenue Extension.

Police said the teen was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He has since been released.

Lori Marcucci lives in the area and heard the accident.

“We heard a huge crash. At first I thought somebody hit my car," Marcucci said.

“My neighbor lives right downstairs, and we thought, ‘Oh my God, if they ever hit her,’ that’s her bedroom right there," she added.

Two utility poles were damaged and live wires came down when the crash occurred.

A portion of Main Street and part of Kimberly Avenue have been closed for hours as crews work to repair the poles.

The teen was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated for minor injuries and has been released.  

Police said charges are pending.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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