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Rescuers Continue Search for Missing Plainville Hiker


Rescuers continue to search for a missing Plainville man in the wooded areas off North Mountain Road in New Britain after he did not return home Saturday.

Authorities believe 64-year-old Arthur Williams went hiking Saturday. They said he was last seen wearing jeans and a camouflage Army-style jacket. He had a black backpack and was holding ski poles or walking sticks. He does not have a cell phone.

He was seen walking west on North Mountain Road in New Britain in the area of Pinnacle Mountain near the Metacomet Trail around noon Saturday. 

Williams' family told authorities he has been known to hike in the area, but has not gone this long without coming back before. 

A Connecticut State Police helicopter was called in to assist Plainville police with the search Sunday afternoon.

Police suspended the search when it became too dark to search Sunday, but rescue crews are out again and they are dealing with rain and some fog.

"It's going to make the situation slippery. Visibility is low and we're not able to utilize Trooper One (helicopter) again on a second day because of the conditions," Lt. Eric Peterson, of the Plainville Police Department, said.

Peterson said Williams knows the area and the trails well. 

"He grew up in the area and hiked up there since he was a kid, so he knows the whole terrain really well," Peterson said.

Williams' son said authorities are keeping family members out of the search area for now so K9s can conduct a search, but he is determined to find his father and is hoping to go into the woods today.

Anyone with information about Williams' whereabouts should call the Plainville Police Department at 860-747-1616. 

Photo Credit: Plainville Police Department

Democrats Look to Block Dark Money from State Races


House Democrats want the money pouring in to state races to be traceable, and for the groups spending it to be held accountable. 

The proposed instituting a cap of $70,000 on groups making independent expenditures, and requiring disclosure of donors.

“We understand that we are limited in what we can regulate and what you spend and how you spend on elections but there is a story you can tell," said Rep. Matt Ritter, (D - Hartford) the House Majority Leader. "People can at least know where that money is coming from.”

The proposal stems from the 2014 state election, specifically, when Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley had a PAC supporting him with funds that were untraceable. Even today, it's unknown where the money came from.

House Democrats say they think voters have a right to know who is funding campaigns, and who paid for particular ads that they may come across.

Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz said, “Their name should be clearly listed whether it’s an internet ad, a TV commercial, or print media and then the voters should be able to go back very easy and look at the reports.”

Republicans wouldn't rule out backing more accountability in state elections.

I know there’s good intent in there somewhere," said Rep. Jason Perillo, (R - Shelton). “Anything that provides greater transparency and lets residents of Connecticut know where donations are coming from is absolutely good for the process.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Employees Allege Metro-North Retaliated Against Them


Three Metro-North employees from Connecticut are plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit alleging their employer punished them for raising safety concerns. 

Two similar lawsuits have also recently been filed in the Southern District of New York.

Seven months after a Metro-North train struck and killed 52-year-old foreman Robert Luden on the tracks in West Haven, the plaintiffs from the power department claim the railroad company started retaliating against them after they refused to do an assignment they say violated safety regulations.

A federal lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York alleges Metro-North reduced overtime pay opportunities and threatened future job prospects for James Linkenhoker of Fairfield, James Provo of Southington and Gary Vaspasiano of East Haven.

Then in August 2015, the three men and a fourth plaintiff from New Jersey allege they were assigned to a task they did not feel safe performing. The lawsuit states the refusal to do that work resulted in 61 day suspensions without pay for insubordination.

Each of the Metro-North employees is seeking $450,000 in damages.

Marc Wietzke, the Long Island-based attorney for the railroad workers, said over the phone there had been “close calls” before they spoke up about the safety concerns.

"Any retaliation against workers with safety complaints is absolutely abhorrent and unacceptable," Senator Richard Blumenthal said. "I will demand answers from Metro-North."

A spokesperson told NBC Connecticut Metro-North does not comment on pending litigation.

Since a critical report from the NTSB was released in 2014, Metro-North has followed through on recommendations to improve safety.

In January 2016, Metro-North announced the implementation of Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS), an initiative the company says is “industry-leading” in encouraging workers to report potential safety hazards or violations of protocols.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Dogs With Serious Skin Infections Abandoned in East Hartford


Two pitbulls with serious skin infections were abandoned in East Hartford over the weekend. 

The presumed owner of the two dogs was observed leaving Martin Park in East Hartford on Saturday, the Tyler Regional Animal Care Shelter said. 

The two female dogs were found with serious skin infections from an overgrowth of yeast and bacteria, the animal shelter said. They are currently being treated. 

Anyone with information on the dogs or their owners is asked to call East Hartford at (860) 291-7572.

Photo Credit: Tyler Regional Animal Care Shelter

State DOT Puts Forward Plan To Improve I-95 Junction in East Lyme


The stretch of Interstate 95 between exits 74 and 75 is known by drivers for accidents and congestion. But the state Department of Transportation (DOT) developed a plan to change that.

Under the proposal, I-95 would be widened, allowing for a potential third lane, in addition to an auxiliary lane connecting Exits 74 and 75 in both northbound and southbound directions, according to Susan Libatique, principal engineer for the DOT’s Division of Highway Design. It would give drivers more space and more time to merge on an off the interstate, she said.

The project is supposed to ease congestion. Between 2012 and 2014, within the project limits on I-95, there have been 139 crashes, 27 of them had injuries, according to DOT statistics. On Route 161, which would also see improvements, between Industrial Park Road to Route 1, there have been 108 crashes, 16 with injuries.

Construction is expected to begin in spring 2021. The project is estimated to cost $140 million with 80 percent being funded federally and 20 percent funded through the state, according to a DOT news release.

Plans are also in the works to replace the I-95 bridge over Route 161 because of its “poor condition,” and to accommodate the widening on Route 161 underneath it, with turning lanes, according to the DOT. Libatique assured that it is currently structurally sound. And said the project would also accommodate bicyclists.

Exit ramps off the interstate will be made wider, allowing drivers to decelerate easier, according to Libatique. Ramps will also be relocated. The northbound I-95 exit 74 ramp will be moved south to form a new intersection, with traffic signals, with Route 161 and the Burger King Driveway, according to a DOT new release.

Another ramp will be created for drivers going southbound on Route 161, accessing I-95 northbound. The new entrance ramp will be about 500 feet south of its current location and be in the shape of a loop – to lessen the sharp turns and make it easier for drivers to accelerate onto the interstate.

The entrance ramp to I-95 northbound for drivers going north on Route 161 will stay where it is, but realigned, according to the DOT.

“Most of the problems at Exit 74 are the hairpin turns you have to make when you’re getting off the highway or the speed up to reach the speed that that the highway is going. We have a very antiquated on and off ramp there,” said East Lyme First Selectman Mark Nickerson, adding the project will help the town.

Some people who live in town are concerned about the added congestion with the construction, though.

The DOT will hold a public information meeting about the changes on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at the Camp Niantic Army National Guard Base, NETT Hall at 18 Smith Street, Niantic. An open forum begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by a formal presentation at 7 p.m.

Photo Credit: CT DOT

Mom Uses Daughter's Toy Stroller to Steal From Milford Macys


A mom used her daughter's toy stroller to conceal items she stole from a Macy's in Milford on Saturday, police said. 

Milford Police were called to the Macy's on Boston Post Road on the report of a shoplifter in custody.

Colleen Daly, 42, of Shelton, is accused of using her daughter's toy stroller to hide more than $500 items she stole from the department store. 

An investigation found that Daly gave on-scene officers a fake name, because there is a warrant out for her arrest.

Daly is also accused of failing to appear in court on Dec. 9, 2016 from a larceny arrest in Shelton. 

Her bond was set at $500. 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Wethersfield Police Ask Homeowners to Register Security Cameras


Wethersfield Police are teaming up with homeowners who have surveillance cameras in order to have an extra set of eyes to potentially catch thieves in the act.

"We’re asking people that have home video surveillance systems with recording capabilities to submit their name and contact info to us and that they’d be willing to share that video in the event that there was an incident," said Lt. Andrew Power with the Wethersfield Police Department.

The information given by residents would go into a private database available to police.

"Someone has a camera at their home we’re going to reach out to them the next day and say hey we had an incident happen on oxford st last night… can you look at the video or could we look at the video with you," said Power.

And getting that information could more quickly solve a case.

The police department said they are aware of about 20 homes with surveillance cameras, but think there could be more out there.

Contact Wethersfield police if you’re interested in participating in the program.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Two Policemen Shot in 'Ambush-Style Attack' in Miami


Two undercover police officers conducting surveillance outside an apartment complex in northwest Miami-Dade were shot Monday night in an "ambush-style attack" while a suspect in the shooting showed up shot at a nearby hospital, officials said.

The shooting happened just before 10 p.m. near Northwest 62nd Street and 20th Avenue.

Miami-Dade police said the two officers were investigating gang activity in the area as part of a multi-agency task force. The detectives were in an unmarked police vehicle when, according to officials, several suspects "ambushed" the car and opened fire.

"They were ambushed in their vehicle, unprovoked," Miami-Dade Police Maj. Hector Llevat said.

One of the detectives was able to return fire but it's unknown if any of the suspects were shot, officials said. Hialeah Police said a suspect in the shooting later showed up at Hialeah Hospital with a gunshot wound.

The wounded officers were rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital in the bed of a pickup truck and were being helped inside by their colleagues, NBC 6 video shows. 

The officers, Charles Wood, 37, and Terence White, 47, were reported in stable condition and in good spirits, police said. Wood was treated for his injury and released, police said.

Wood is an 11-year veteran of the department and White has been on the force for 26 years.

A search was underway for the "suspect or suspects." Several police helicopters were seen scouring the area during the manhunt. 

Officials on Tuesday said they had detained several individuals and were interviewing them to determine their possible involvement in the shooting. No arrests have been made. One suspect was detained at the Hyatt Place on Northwest 35th Street across from Miami International Airport.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez arrived at the hospital where the officers were being treated. They asked the public's help in finding the shooters.

"Our prayers go out to the speedy recovery of our officers and their families that really had the scare of their life tonight," Perez said. 

Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates offered support to the injured officers on social media, tweeting: "@MiamiDadePD prayers for our partners and ready to offer any needed support from @MiamiBeachPD."

"We need you to step up to the plate. If you know something, if you saw something then say something. Today is the day to step up," Perez told reporters in pleading for help finding whoever is involved.

Police asked that anyone with information is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

Photo Credit: NBC6
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House to Vote on Allowing ISPs to Sell Your Web History


The House is expected to vote on a controversial measure on Tuesday that would allow internet service providers (ISPs) to sell your browsing history and habits without your consent, NBC News reported.

The Senate narrowly passed the joint resolution Thursday. If the measure passes its second vote in Congress, it would need a signature from President Donald Trump to become law.

Lawmakers voting in favor of the resolution want to overturn rules the Federal Communications Commission approved last year.

Those rules, scheduled to go into effect in December, would require ISPs like cable and cellphone companies to explicitly ask you to "opt in" to letting them share your personal information. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Arrest Made in Deadly Head-On Milford Collision


An arrest was made in the fatal head-on crash that happened in Milford on Interstate 95 last year. 

Shivam Patel, 23, of East Haven, turned himself into state police after learning about a warrant out for his arrest. Patel faces charges that include reckless driving, operating under the influence, wrong-way driving, manslaughter and reckless endangerment. 

Milford Fire Rescue said emergency personnel responded to the two-car crash around 2:20 a.m. on Interstate 95 northbound just before exit 36 on April 16, 2016. 

Both drivers were trapped inside their vehicles.

Emergency crews used the Jaws of Life to remove one driver. He suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital but later died. The other driver was also taken to the hospital for serious injuries. 

Patel's bond was set at $50,000. 

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Bristol Schools Consider Layoffs for Dozens of Teachers


The news of potentially dozens of teacher positions cut has Bristol parents concerned about what it could mean for their child's future.

"It's a lot. It's a lot. It's going to affect a lot of people in Bristol," said Kaylee West, whose child attends South Side School.

On Wednesday, the Bristol Board of Education will consider sending out notices of non-renewal to 104 teachers and five administrators who have not attained tenure.

The superintendent calls it a "procedural recommendation" due to state regulations requiring non-tenured teachers to be notified by May 1 of the possibility that they may lose their jobs.

"That's very disappointing to hear," said Adam Whitlock.

Two of Whitlock's children attend Edgewood School, and he describes it as a fantastic place to learn. He worries about the impact fewer teachers could have on the quality of education.

"You don't want to see larger classroom sizes. You want to see as much dedicated attention to your child as possible- 104 jobs, that's a big concern," said Whitlock.

The district places the blame on the uncertain budget projections on state and local levels but noted that typically some staff is rehired after a budget passes.

The superintendent and the district's director of human resources plan to meet with non-tenured staff on Tuesday to explain the details of the procedure.

Parents said they'll fight to try and make sure financial concerns don't end up hurting their children's education.

"I'm sure that those at the state level have children and would want the very best for them as well. I hope they hear from the parents here in Bristol, Connecticut, that education is something we value very highly," said Whitlock.

In a statement, Board Chairman Christopher Wilson wrote, "It greatly saddens us to even be considering this. We are in the business of fostering our teachers as professionals. We should not be in the business of having to lay teachers off."

Photo Credit: NBC Boston

Woman Charged with Manslaughter in Fatal Waterford Crash


A Colchester woman faces DUI and manslaughter charges after being involved in a fatal December car accident in Waterford, according to Waterford police.

Police said 27-year-old Brianne Colanna turned herself in on Monday. Colonna was involved in a fatal crash on December 26 near the intersection of Boston Post Road and Reynolds Lane, police said.

Colanna was charged with second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle, second-degree assault with a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, reckless driving, and failure to drive right in a construction zone.

Colonna was released on $150,000 bond and is expected in court on April 5.

Photo Credit: Waterford Police Department

Wife of London Terrorist: 'Saddened and Shocked' by Attack


The wife of Khalid Masood, the terrorist who attacked Britain's parliament, said she is "saddened and shocked by what Khalid has done," NBC News reported.

In a statement given to London's Metropolitan Police, Rohey Hydara condemned her husband's actions and expressed her "condolences to the victims that have died." She also wished a "speedy recovery to all the injured."

"I would like to request privacy for our family, especially the children, at this difficult time," the statement said.

Masood killed four people in his attack on Parliament and the Westminster Bridge, including a police officer and three civilians, before being shot dead. Though ISIS claimed responsibility for the rampage, there is no evidence Masood acted in the name of the terror group.

Photo Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

#JusticeForCaitlyn: Dog Muzzled With Electrical Tape Heals


An abused dog, once pictured with her snout muzzled shut so tightly with electrical tape that she drew national attention, is recovering happily as her abuser was sentenced to the maximum of five years in prison in South Carolina. The judge told the man: "I wish I could give you more."

Photo Credit: Charleston Animal Society

Saint Joseph School in Meriden Closing At End of School Year


Saint Joseph School in Meriden will close at the end of the school year, according to the Archdiocese of Hartford.

The archdiocese cited financial issues as the reason for the decision. Officials said the school has relied on school savings and parish support to operate for a number of years now, and those resources have dried up.

School pastor Rev. Gerald Dziedzic informed teachers, school board members and families at a meeting Monday night.

It is with sadness in my heart that I have to make this announcement. Saint Joseph School, which is more than 100 years old, has served our community and its students extremely well, but the financial resources to continue are not available,” he said in a statement.

Saint Joseph has 149 students from pre-k through eighth grade. Students have the option of moving to Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, which is also in Meriden. OLMC currently has 206 students and school officials said they are committed to making the transition as easy as possible for Saint Joseph families.

Other nearby Catholic schools include Southington Catholic in Southington, Holy Trinity School in Wallingford, Saint Bridget School in Cheshire, and Saint Paul School in Berlin.

The Archdiocese of Hartford is in the middle of a pastoral planning process which could mean parish closings and reorganizing. Decisions on the future of Meriden parishes are not finalized.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

No Serious Injuries After Child Hit by Car in Hartford


A child was hit by a car in Hartford Tuesday morning but police said the incident was minor.

The child was hit in the area of 333 Homestead Ave. and no serious injuries were reported.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

'I Tried the Ally Path': Rachel Dolezal on Living as Trans-Black


Rachel Dolezal, the former head of an NAACP chapter who for years passed herself off as black, is giving some context about how her upbringing shaped her search for identity in her new memoir.

Now identifying as trans-black, Dolezal sat down with NBCBLK to discuss how her identity challenges white supremacy and why she just couldn't be a white ally.

"I said I tried the 'ally path' in my earlier young adulthood," Dolezal said. "I did a lot of work but it wasn't as much in harmony with me being seen and understood for who I am, and that just kind of all synchronizing, in my life."

She also wishes she had introduced herself and her identity, rather than have it come out when a reporter asked her, "Are you African American," and she was unable to answer.

Photo Credit: John Makely / NBC News

José Olé Taquitos Recalled for Possible Rubber, Plastic


Ajinomoto Windsor, Inc. is recalling more than 35,000 pounds of frozen "José Olé" taquito products that may be contaminated with rubber and plastic, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. 

The Lampasas-based company recalled 60-ounce packages of the frozen beef taquitos produced on Dec. 30, 2016. The recalled items include the case codes 3366365A, 3366365B, 3366365C and 3366365D and a "best by" date of Dec. 30, 2017.

The company initiated the recall after receiving two complaints of foreign material in its ready-to-eat beef products earlier this month. The foreign materials were pieces of rubber with white plastic that originated from the establishments processing equipment.

According to the USDA, there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

The items were shipped to retail locations in California, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wyoming and Texas.

Consumers who have purchased this product are urged to throw it away or return it to the place of purchase.

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

East Hartford Police Investigate Armed Robbery

Police Investigating Armed Robbery at Manchester Gas Station

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