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2 Charged in Robbery at Page Park in Bristol


Bristol police arrested two people accused of robbing a man at Page Park Friday night.

Jeffrey Bowman, 18, and Amarillys Nieves, 21, both of Southington, face charges after police said the pair assaulted a 28-year-old man and robbed him around 8 p.m. Friday.

The victim sustained facial injuries but declined medical attention, police said.

Bowman was charged with second-degree robbery, second-degree larceny, third-degree assault, breach of peace, possession with intent to sell illegal drugs, possession of a controlled substance, and motor vehicle charges. He was held on a $50,000 bond.

Nieves was charged with second-degree robbery, second-degree larceny, third-degree assault and breach of peace. She was issued a $25,000 bond and held on a remand to custody for a parole violation.

Both are scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

Bomb Squad Called for Suspicious Devices Found in Newtown


Newtown police and the FBI are investigating after two devices that appeared to be pipe bombs were found at a trailer park on South Main Street Friday.

According to police, they were called to 301 South Main Street for a report of vandalism to a vehicle around 7:30 p.m. When officers arrived they reported two suspicious devices that appeared to be pipe bombs. The Connecticut State Police Bomb Squad was immediately requested and the area was cleared out.

The bomb squad responded and safely removed the devices. According to police, the items were filled with an “energetic substance.” The substance was sent to a forensic laboratory for further analysis.

Newtown police and the FBI are investigating this case. Anyone with information is asked to call Newtown police at 203-426-5841.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Dems Take Aim at Trump Transparency With 'MAR-A-LAGO' Act


Democrats want to give President Donald Trump a transparency check in the form of a new bill with a mouthful of a name — and an acronym that takes an unsubtle dig at the president, NBC News reported. 

The "Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness Act" — or MAR-A-LAGO Act — would require the Trump administration to disclose the names of anyone who visits the White House or "any other location at which the President or the Vice President regularly conducts official business." 

The legislation, introduced in the House and Senate on Friday, calls for the creation of a publicly available database to be updated every 90 days.

Democrats said the move is necessary after visitor access records on the official White House website have not been updated since Trump took office, according to NBC News.

Photo Credit: AP

Burrville Volunteer Fire Department in Torrington to Close


For more than seven decades, Burrville Volunteer Fire Department in Torrington has served its community. At the end of the month, that chapter comes to a close.

The news is hitting many in the community hard, particularly one family.

"The fire department closing is actually heartbreaking to me," said Amy Hill.

Heartbreaking because the Burrville Firehouse has always been there and kept them safe.

"Our house caught on fire when I was a little kid, and Burrville was here first. They saved our house," said Hill.

Hill's grandfather served in the department as president and fire chief. When Herman Marine was killed by a drunk driver, their fire department was there.

"I was 14 years old when that happened, and the firemen took me under their wing. They were a second family to us," said Hill.

A plaque and flagpole sit outside the fire house, honoring Marine. Hill says she plants new flowers in the box by the plaque every season.

In a letter to residents, the Burrville Fire Department wrote about the announced closure, saying in part that "during the past couple of decades, it has become increasingly difficult to recruit, train, and keep volunteer firefighters. We have reached the point where we can no longer provide the necessary services required by the great citizens of Burrville or the City of Torrington."

A separate letter given to the mayor says members voted and approved the proposal to dissolve the department during their monthly meeting on March 23, and that on or about April 1, they will file a Certificate of Dissolution with the Secretary of the State. And that "As of that date, The Burrville Volunteer Fire Department Incorporated will stop carrying on its activities even though it will still continue its corporate existence to wind up and liquidate its activities and affairs..."

Hill says it's always been a comfort to see the fire house close to her home, and she worries about another fire.

"Torrington is a fantastic fire department. I can't say enough about them. But they're still in Torrington, and we're still on the outskirts. I just worry," said Hill. "The matter of minutes could matter."

Torrington Fire Chief Gary Brunoli told NBC Connecticut via email that the Burrville Fire Department's announced closure is a sad day for all in Torrington and that all present and past members should be thanked for their service.

Brunoli went on to say that there is no loss in coverage for their residents and that "I want to ensure to all residents of the City of Torrington they will continue to receive the highest level of service from all members of the Torrington Fire Service."

But it doesn't change the sense of community that Amy Hill and others feel will be lost when Burrville's Volunteer Fire Department closes for good.

"It's just really sad, and it's going to be really hard to see them go," said Hill.

Brunoli says two other volunteer fire departments, Drakeville and Torringford, assist Torrington fire. He says both those volunteer departments are in need of more personnel.

"I would say [the volunteer fire departments] are struggling as are many more, not only in Connecticut, but across the country."

When asked if Torrington Fire Department would put career firefighters in the Burrville Fire House once it closed, Brunoli replied, "As far as the need for another fire house to be opened there, at this time there is no discussion or planning at this time. The City Board of Safety Commission would be the board that would be involved in any future firehouses anywhere in our city."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Suspect Arrested in Killing of 15-Year-Old in Hartford


An arrest has been made in the shooting death of a 15-year-old who was found in a Hartford apartment on St. Patrick's Day.

A male under the age of 18 was arrested Friday night and charged with murder in the death of Keon Huff Jr., according to police.

The identity of the suspect is not being released due to his age, Deputy Chief Brian Foley said. Police would not elaborate on the suspect’s relationship to Huff.

Police said Huff was found in the hallway of 393 Garden Street with a gunshot wound to his head around 9:30 p.m. last Friday. He was pronounced dead on scene.

In a news conference early Saturday, Foley said the victim was extremely challenged and troubled in his life.

"Keon Huff's homicide and death I would say initiated about 12 years ago, just as an estimate, and ended on March 17th," Foley said.

Just after the shooting last week, Mayor Luke Bronin said he had personally met with Keon last year and said the teen was in contact with many community partners who were working to get the support he needed.

“Keon’s death – the eighth homicide in three months, and the youngest life lost in a long, long time – is devastating, and very painful to the many people who knew him and were working with him," Bronin said. "As a society, we all bear responsibility for doing better – not just at getting guns off the street, not just at arresting violent criminals, but at actually supporting those young people who are at risk of being on either side of a gun, long before a tragedy like this happens."

The last time a 15-year-old was killed in a homicide in Hartford was in 2006, authorities said. Foley said he hoped the situation was a wake-up call for the community and authorities to prevent it from happening again.

“These are two lives lost. This isn’t just one life lost, this is two lives lost. We just put another juvenile behind bars and my sense is that it’ll be for a long time,” Foley said.

The suspect's bond was set at $2 million. He is set to appear in court on Monday.

Waterbury Man Charged in Shelton Attempted Carjacking


Shelton police have arrested a Waterbury man on attempted robbery charges after an attempted carjacking earlier this month, police said.

Police said 37-year-old Gerardo Retamar faces charges of criminal attempted robbery involving an occupied murder vehicle, criminal attempted larceny, criminal impersonation, interfering with an officer, and breach of peace.

According to police, Retamar is the suspect in a case from March 17. In that incident, a woman reported a man tried to carjack her vehicle in from of Family Dental at 169 Center Street. The victim reported that she was parking her car when a man, later identified as Retamar, approached her, opened her car door and tried to grab her keys. The victim screamed and an employee of Family Dental came out to help.

Police said an undercover officer was in the area at the time and quickly detained the suspect. Retamar gave officers a false name at the time of his arrest.

Retamar was released on a $30,000 bond and is expected to appear in court on April 7.

Photo Credit: Shelton Police Department

State Police Identify Man Killed by Tree in Canterbury


One person was killed after being trapped under a tree that fell during tree work in Canterbury Saturday.

Quinebaug Valley Emergency Communications confirmed that crews responded to Goodwin Road #2 just before 4 p.m. for a report of a person trapped under a tree. Emergency crews were able to remove the tree, but the victim was pronounced dead.

State police have identified the man as 32-year-old Matthew Veloce.

According to police, Veloce was cutting down a tree with a chain saw when the tree fell on him, trapping him underneath it. 

Police said Veloce was located his wife, who called the police. 

He was later pronounced dead at the scene. 

Photo Credit: NBC 5

Survey: Foreign Students Not Applying to American Colleges


Application and acceptance season is underway at America's colleges and universities. But this year, some institutions of higher learning may see a noticeable dip in attendance from one group purposely choosing to stay home: foreign students.

Applications from international students from countries such as China, India and in particular, the Middle East, are down this year at nearly 40 percent of schools that answered a recent survey by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

The number of foreign students topped 1 million for the first time in 2016. They generated some $32 billion dollars in revenue, which supported more than 400,000 jobs, according to the Association of International Educators.

Some education professionals warn a drop in international students could lead to faculty cuts, higher tuition and the loss of programs.

Photo Credit: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images
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WATCH: Empire State Building Dims for Earth Hour


The lights of the Empire State Building went dim Saturday for Earth Hour. 

New York City's iconic skyscraper went dark from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. to bring attention to climate change. 

Landmarks across the globe, including the Eiffel Tower and the Acropolis, are dimmed at 8:30 p.m. local time. 

Earth Hour began in Syndey in 2007 and spread worldwide under WWF. 

This year, people are also encouraged to "go dark" on their Facebook page

Photo Credit: NBC New York

Lead Poisoning in Some California Areas Higher Than Flint


Dozens of California communities have experienced recent rates of childhood lead poisoning that surpass those of Flint, Michigan, blood testing data obtained by Reuters shows, NBC News reported.

The data shows how lead poisoning affects even a state known for its environmental advocacy, with high rates of childhood exposure found in a swath of the Bay Area and downtown Los Angeles. And the figures show that, despite national strides in eliminating lead-based products, hazards remain in areas far from the Rust Belt or East Coast regions filled with old housing and legacy industry.

In one Fresno zip code, 13.6 percent of blood tests on children under six years old came back high for lead. 

In all, Reuters found at least 29 Golden State neighborhoods where children had elevated lead tests at rates at least as high as in Flint.

Photo Credit: AP

Toddler Hit by Car in Killingly


A toddler was rushed to the hospital after being struck by a car on Ledge Road in the Dayville section of Killingly Saturday, according to emergency dispatchers.

Quinebaug Valley Emergency Communications confirmed crews responded to a home on Ledge Road for a report of a 2-year-old child who was struck by a car.

State police said that the child was taken to Hasbro Hospital in Rhode Island for treatment. The extent of the child’s injuries are unknown at this time, dispatchers said.

Lifestar confirmed they were requested but were unable to fly due to weather.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Fundraiser Honors Manchester School Security Guard


Manchester celebrated the success of a hometown boy turned NFL player on Saturday with an event at the country club. But Seth DeValve used his night to honor a high school security guard whose death this year impacted the entire community.

After graduating, DeValve always looked forward to returning to Manchester High School and the chance to reunite with Barry Mitchell, known to everybody as “Mitch.”

“He was one of the smiling faces I always wanted to come back to see,” DeValve said.

DeValve graduated from Manchester in 2011 and now plays in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns.

He credits Mitch, the high school’s beloved security guard, for looking out for all the students and pushing him as he eyed high school sports.

“I remember meeting him and him encouraging me before I stepped foot on any of those fields or courts,” DeValve said.

Coaches say Mitch followed DeValve’s achievements from high school to college to the pros.

“When it came to Seth, especially the fact that Seth had such an illustrious career getting to the NFL, it was something that really made him proud,” Marco Pizzoferrato, a Manchester High School teacher and coach, said.

Then came a moment that stunned the community.

Mitch suffered an apparent heart attack at school in January and died at age 53.

So when it came to Saturday’s event, DeValve knew just who it should benefit. So he turned it into a fundraiser for Mitch’s family.

“It was a no brainer. Mitch meant so much to all of us,” DeValve said.

The auction of DeValve's professional memorabilia raised several thousand dollars for Mitch’s family.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Lock Your Car: Simsbury Police Issue Reminder


Simsbury police are reminding residents to lock their cars after several unlocked vehicles were rummaged through around town recently.

According to police, sometime overnight Friday into Saturday several cars in the Sunset Hill Road and Oakland Terrance area were hit. The same thing happened to a vehicle on East Weatogue Street by Talcott Mountain Road sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Police are investigating the incidents and plan to have an increased presence in the areas. Anyone with information about these crimes, or who witnesses suspicious activity, should contact Simsbury police at 860-658-3100.

The department reminds residents to lock vehicles and to remove valuables, including the car keys. They also encourage residents to have exterior lights or motion sensor lights on the property.

DC's 'A Lot More Broken' Than Trump Thought: Mulvaney


The unpopular health care proposal supported by President Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan could not get enough Republican votes to pass through the House this week, but Mick Mulvaney, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget on Sunday chalked it up to Washington being "broken" — and questioned the GOP's ability to govern, NBC News reported.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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Charities Benefit from West Hartford Boy's Life and Legacy


Several Connecticut children’s charities will benefit from the life and legacy of a West Hartford boy who battled a rare illness.

Sunday, about 800 runners and walkers laced up for the seventh annual Johnny’s Jog for Charity. On the minds of many was the little boy the 5K is named after, Johnny Moran.

“This one’s closest to my heart. I run a lot of races and this one definitely is one that I had to be here,” said Patrick Lantry of Redding, Mass.

Sunday’s race was the first the Moran family has held since losing 9-year-old Johnny last April, to Wieacker Wolff Syndrome, a degenerative genetic disorder.

“This is definitely a little bit of a different year. Dan and I both woke up this morning recognizing that,” said Johnny’s mother, Laura Moran.

Johnny’s father Dan Moran remembers, “His courage, his strength, just how inspiring he was. The fact that he could live a whole life and never speak a word and inspire and touch so many people.”

“He was a kid that had more love than you can ever imagine, and I think that people that met him knew that,” Laura added.

Green was part of the uniform for hundreds of runners who lined in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square to take part. The Saint Patrick’s Day weekend tradition had been postponed because of the weather. Sunday, a light drizzle turned into a down pour just as the runners left the starting line.

During Johnny’s illness the community stepped-up to help the Moran family. The family’s made an effort to try to give back. Since organizing the race in 2011, they’ve raised nearly $300,000 for children’s charities.

“I think we were pulled into a world that we had no idea even existed of people and humanity that it was really inspiring to us,” Laura said.

The money raised will help three charities. The first, will benefit an educational program for under-privileged middle-school boys at Hartford’s Covenant Preparatory School. It will also help families facing life-altering illness and medical expenses through the Molly Ann Tango Memorial. Lastly, the Miracle League of Connecticut, which allows children with special needs to play baseball like their peers, will receive a donation. Johnny was on a Miracle League team.

“The charities that we touch are near and dear to our heart. They really go out of their way to help children in so many different capacities. A lot of them are smaller charities so you know where every dollar is going,” said Laura.

During his short life, Johnny helped a lot of other kids.

Even though he’s gone, his father says, “his legacy lives on forever.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/Contributed Photo

Hartford Police Seize Gun, Drugs After Shot Spotter Activation


Hartford police seized a gun and drugs and made an arrest after being tipped off by a Shot Spotter activation Sunday morning.

According to police, shortly before 5 a.m. units responded to 17 Sanford Street for two Shot Spotter activations. When officers arrived they found a male suspect who was detained.

The suspect, later identified as 22-year-old Cedano Brownswell of Newington, had a .380 Diamond Back handgun with live rounds in the magazine on him, as well as 3.1 ounces of crack cocaine and two live .45 caliber rounds.

Officers also found two spend casings on scene. There were no reports of injuries or property damage.

Brownswell was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment, unlawful discharge of a firearm, carrying a firearm without a permit, possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, and possession of narcotics within 1500 feet of a school.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

Police Stop Man from Raping Girl a 3rd Time: Officials


A New York City man is in custody after Pennsylvania state police thwarted his plan to meet and rape an 11-year-old girl for the third time in Lehigh Valley, according to investigators.

Sandro Zhinin was arrested in Hanover Township Saturday. Police say they received a tip that the 33-year-old was traveling to Pennsylvania Saturday to meet the child before taking her to a hotel. Investigators then set up surveillance at the playground and Zhinin was taken into custody once he arrived, police said.

According to police, Zhinin had executed this plan twice before.

Police say that after Zhinin connected with the girl online, he met her at a playground on March 4, drove her to a hotel and sexually assaulted her. He then sexually assaulted her again one week later on March 11, police said.

Zhinin is being held on $500,000 bond. He will be charged with rape of a child, statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of a minor, and criminal use of a cellphone, according to state police.

Internet Erupts After Airline Boots Girls Wearing Leggings


United Airlines is facing backlash from customers after two girls wearing leggings were denied entry onto a flight because a gate agent deemed their attire improper, NBC News reported.

Shannon Watts said she was waiting to board a plane to Mexico for vacation when she overheard a female gate agent deny entry to a young girl wearing gray leggings and saying, "I don't make the rules, I just enforce them."

The girl, who Watts said was about 10 or 11 years old, had a dress in her backpack to put over leggings and was eventually allowed onto the flight. Two other female passengers who did not have a change of clothes were also denied entry, she said.

Defending the decision on Twitter, United Airlines initially cited a rule in the company's contract of carriage, which states the company can refuse transport to "passengers who are barefoot or not properly clothed," adding that the girls were flying as "pass travelers," meaning they were relatives or friends of an United Airlines employee.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Video Reveals Voice of Girl Allegedly Kidnapped by Teacher


Video of 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas who authorities believe was kidnapped by a former teacher was published Sunday in a new effort to help find the Tennessee girl.

The roughly one-minute video, which was posted by Wayne County Now, includes the first published recording of Elizabeth's voice since she vanished on March 13 with her former forensics teacher, Tad Cummins, 50.

"Please share this video in hopes that someone recognizes her voice," said a statement included with the video, which was provided by Elizabeth's family. "Appearances can be altered but voices are indistinguishable."

A spokesman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which is leading the search for Elizabeth, told NBC News that it appeared that Cummins was grooming Elizabeth before the abduction.

Photo Credit: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
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Trump's Son-in-Law to Lead New Office for Federal Overhaul


President Donald Trump plans to debut a new office Monday to streamline and overhaul the federal government, and he intends to name his son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner as its head, the White House told NBC News Sunday night.

"All Americans, regardless of their political views, can recognize that government stagnation has hindered our ability to properly function, often creating widespread congestion and leading to cost overruns and delays," Trump said in a statement.

"I promised the American people I would produce results, and apply my 'ahead of schedule, under budget' mentality to the government," he said.

The office was announced a day before a Kushner representative confirmed he volunteered to be interviewed by a Senate inquiry into possible ties between the Trump administration and Russia.

Plans for the office, to be named the White House Office of American Innovation, were first reported Sunday by the Washington Post.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
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