Channel: NBC Connecticut
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

From Spicey to Kush: 'SNL's' First 100 Days of Trump


There have been seven episodes of “Saturday Night Live” during the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency, and the program’s been handed plenty of material by the administration, from the president’s tweeting and press secretary Sean Spicer’s gaffes to Stephen Bannon’s perceived influence behind-the-scenes and Jared Kushner’s sunglasses-and-blazer fashion statement in Iraq.

The most consistent "SNL" target is the president himself, played by Alec Baldwin on five of the seven episodes.

When Trump's travel ban got stymied in the courts, "SNL's" Trump took his case to "The People's Court." On another episode, Baldwin's Trump spoke to supporters worried about their jobs by comparing his followers to people who "find a finger in their chili" but eat it anyway. After Trump wore a flight jacket while speaking to members of the Navy, "SNL" parodied the commander in chief by having Baldwin give a less-than-inspirational speech during an alien invasion. 

Baldwin also branched out, playing both Trump and ousted Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on a split screen in a "No Spin Zone" segment.

The response to Baldwin’s version of Trump has been, on average, favorable. Trump, who hosted NBC's "SNL" during the campaign, has been quiet about the impression since he took office. But before his inauguration, Trump argued that Baldwin's send-up “stinks.”

"He's gone from funny to mean and that's unfortunate," Spicer told "Extra" back in February. "'Saturday Night Live' used to be really funny and I think there's a streak of meanness now that they've kind of crossed over into." 

Of course, audiences became familiar with Baldwin’s Trump long before the inauguration — he’d been making "SNL" appearances since before the election, facing off as a presidential candidate in debates with Kate McKinnon's Hillary Clinton.

Baldwin's parody had become a mainstay by the time the real Trump took office.

Melissa McCarthy, not Baldwin, became the surprising breakout star of the first 100 days of "SNL’s" Trump administration in playing Spicer.

McCarthy first showed up, unannounced, on the Feb. 4 episode to riff on Spicer’s first press conference, during which the public face of the White House took an adversarial stance toward the press corps. 

Spicer had scolded the media for “deliberately false reporting.” One instance referred to an incorrect tweet from a pool reporter that a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office. It hadn't, and the reporter had apologized. Spicer also criticized reports on Trump's inauguration crowd size.

On "SNL," McCarthy played up Spicer’s defensive stance. 

“Now I’d like to begin today by apologizing — on behalf of you, to me, for how you have treated me these last two weeks. And that apology is not accepted. Because I’m not here to be your buddy. I’m here to swallow gum, and I’m here to take names,” she said, the gum being a reference to Spicer’s reported fondness for downing pieces of Orbit

She ended the press conference by shooting a reporter with a water gun for asking about the White House’s statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day that didn’t mention Jews.

Real-life Spicer responded to the portrayal in an interview later with "Extra." He said it was funny, but over-exaggerated — presumably what "SNL" was going for. He offered some seemingly good-natured advice for McCarthy, suggesting she tone it down on the gum.

McCarthy returned for her second of three appearances the following week. “I have been told that I am going to cut back on the gum chewing, so I’ve cut back to one slice a day,” she said, just before pulling out a giant stick of gum. This time she used a leaf-blower on a reporter in response to a question about the president’s statements on Chicago’s murder rate. “That was me blowing away their dishonesty,” she said.

Robert Thompson, a professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University, said it’s unusual that the press secretary would become the central person in the comic pantheon of an administration. But in Spicer's case it was “inevitable,” he said. That's because Spicer appears on television every weekday, then his performance is aired and re-aired and repackaged by networks, cable news and late-night shows. 

McCarthy’s third Spicer spoof came the Saturday after the real Spicer made an inaccurate, off-base remark on Passover in which he suggested Hitler never used chemical weapons on his own people. He’d been trying to highlight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s inhumanity.

Spicer tried to clarify his intentions throughout the day but kept flubbing it, referring to concentration camps as “Holocaust centers.” By the evening he admitted to his mistake and asked for forgiveness.

McCarthy appeared that week as Spicer in an Easter Bunny costume. Not only was it the night before Easter Sunday, but Spicer had previously played the role of Easter Bunny at the White House Easter Egg Roll during the George W. Bush administration. 

"SNL's" Easter Bunny begrudgingly admitted that she’d done wrong.

“You all got your wish this week,” she snarled. “Spicey finally made a mistake.” She clarified that she of course meant to say “concentration clubs,” not Holocaust centers then climbed into a car shaped like an Easter egg shell and crashed it into her podium.

There have been other standout Trump administration characters since Jan. 21.

The makeup department transformed Kate McKinnon into Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was portrayed as Forrest Gump, offering chocolates to passengers waiting at a bus stop and occasionally making unsolicited confessions about his meetings with Russians. This came after the revelation that the newly appointed attorney general had neglected to let lawmakers know during his confirmation hearing that he had met with Russia's top diplomat during the Trump campaign when he was a prominent adviser.

Early into the first 100 days, McKinnon played Kellyanne Conway “Fatal Attraction”-style in an attempt to get CNN's Jake Tapper to give her airtime. The "SNL" sketch came after CNN reconsidered its booking of Conway over credibility issues. “You don’t get it, Kellyanne. You made up a massacre. We can’t have you on,” Beck Bennett said as Tapper.

Other characters, whose roles in the administration’s first 100 days have been more behind-the-scenes, made recurring appearances on "SNL."

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president and possible election-meddler, was played week-after-week by a greased-up, shirtless Bennett. 

Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon was portrayed as a grim reaper/puppet-master figure at the helm of the Resolute desk. Baldwin's Trump, by contrast, was relegated to a kiddie desk.

But with Bannon's perceived influenced waning by April amid reports of a West Wing power struggle, "SNL" had Baldwin's Trump choose son-in-law Jared Kushner in a reality show-style showdown over who would occupy the Resolute desk.   

Jimmy Fallon, who played Kushner while hosting "SNL" on April 15, stayed mum and wore a stylish outfit underneath a flak jacket, in a mocking reference to the real Kushner's visit with ground troops in Iraq.

Then, there was the pre-taped commercial parody for a fictional Ivanka Trump (played by host Scarlett Johansson) fragrance called “Complicit.” CBS' Gayle King referenced the sketch while asking the real Ivanka Trump whether she felt “complicit” with what happened in the White House. Ivanka Trump replied that, "If being complicit is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit." 

If Ivanka Trump's reaction to "SNL's" ribbing was lukewarm, Spicer has seemed to take McCarthy’s jabs in stride. He was seen wearing an Easter bunny necktie during the press briefing the Monday after the Easter bunny episode aired.

President Trump hasn't shown the same penchant to laugh at himself. 

That contrasts with former President Gerald Ford, who wrote the book on humor and the presidency. 

Ford was repeatedly lampooned as an oafish klutz by Chevy Chase on "SNL" in the 1970s, in the program’s earliest days. Ford responded by making a cameo on "SNL". 

Ford reflected in his book “Humor and the Presidency” that, “It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a measurable correlation between humor in an administration and the popularity of that administration’s policies.” 

Of course, quantifying humor isn’t a science, and the jury is out on how effective Trump has been in his first 100 days. Trump's approval with 82 percent of Republicans is strong, though nearly two-thirds of Americans overall give him fair or poor ratings, according to NBC News.   

"SNL," for its part, is having its most-watched season in 23 years.

Photo Credit: NBCUniversal
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Connecticut Drivers Rank Near Bottom


Do you think you are a good driver? You are a rarity in the northeast, and especially in Connecticut, according to a study that ranks this state near the bottom of the list for safe driving. 

The 2017 Safe Driving Report report EverQuote released this week ranks Connecticut 49th and the only drivers ranked worse are those in Rhode Island. 

The report says drivers in the Northeast tend to speed the most while also using their cell phones while drivers in Western and Midwestern states most closely adhere to driving laws. 

Worst Driving States:

50. Rhode Island - overall safe driving score of 70
49. Connecticut - overall safe driving score of 71
48. Pennsylvania - overall safe driving score of 73
47. New Jersey - overall safe driving score of 73
46. New Hampshire - overall safe driving score of 74

Best Driving States:

1. Montana - overall safe driving score of 90
2. Wyoming - overall safe driving score of 89
3. Alaska - overall safe driving score of 88
4. South Dakota - overall safe driving score of 87
5. North Dakota - overall safe driving score of 87 

While Connecticut has a distracted driver law that makes it illegal to use handheld devices while driving, the report says 31 percent of Connecticut drivers use phones. 

It also finds 53 percent of drivers sped, 20 percent accelerate aggressively, 33 percent brake harshly and 14 percent are involved in poor turning.

 Of all the states in the Northeast, Vermont ranked best, with an overall score of 87. 

The report looked at phone use, speeding, risky acceleration, hard braking and hard turning.

"It's clear that driving behavior differs significantly by region, but unfortunately cell phone use in each state remains unacceptably high," Seth Birnbaum, CEO of EverQuote, said in a statement. "It's our hope that as more people monitor their own driving habits, everyone in the country will be able to improve their skills. Our goal is for the data to shed light on regional differences, empowering those in every state to be alert to the common bad habits and avoid costly and dangerous accidents." 

EverQuote said its the EverDrive app uses GPS, an accelerometer, device screen on/off and gyroscope from the phone to measure and rank driving skills.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Trump Reflects on Presidency: 'I Thought It Would Be Easier'


Donald Trump misses his old job, struggles with the workload of the presidency and finds it brings a lack of privacy, he told Reuters ahead of his 100th day in office, NBC News reported.

"I loved my previous life. I had so many things going … this is more work than in my previous life," he told Reuters. "I thought it would be easier."

The interview comes as Trump proposes a major tax reform plan, signs a slew of executive orders and tries to get a health care bill passed. He is also working to contain the nuclear threat in North Korea by negotiating with other major Asian leaders.

"I'm a details oriented person. I think you would say that, but I do miss my old life," Trump said. "I like to work, so that's not a problem, but this is actually more work."

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Osprey Recalls Child Backpack Carriers Due to Fall Hazard


Osprey is recalling 82,000 child backpack carriers due to a fall hazard.

The recall involves all models of Osprey’s Poco, Poco Plus and Poco Premium child backpack carriers manufactured between January 2012 and December 2014.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child seated in the carrier can slip through the leg openings, posing a fall hazard to children.

Osprey says it has received four reports of children falling through the carrier, including one report of scratches to the head and another sustained a skull fracture.

The nylon child carriers were sold in three colors, “Romper Red,” “Koala Grey” and “Bouncing Blue.” They have a metal frame and a gray padded child’s seat inside.

The production date is stamped on a black label sewn into the interior of the large lower zippered compartment on the back of the carrier. “Osprey” is printed on the fabric above the kick stand. The model name is printed on the back at the bottom.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled carriers and contact Osprey for a free Seat Pad Insert for use along with the existing safety straps to secure the child in the carrier.

Consumers who previously received and installed the free Seat Pad Insert in their carriers are not required to take further action.

The products were sold at REI and specialty outdoor stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com from January 2012 to December 2015 for between $200 and $300.

Photo Credit: CPSC

4 Shot in Hartford, 1 Critically Injured


Hartford police are investigating after four people were shot on Franklin Avenue Friday morning. 

A community service officer saw a fight around 11:04 a.m/, witnessed the shooting between two men, jumped a couple of fences, conducted a chase, caught one suspect and recovered a gun, police said. 

The pursuit ended in a driveway on Bond Street. The man in the car was suffering from apparent gunshots wounds and was transported to Hartford Hospital. Two other victims with gunshot wounds were also transported.

A fourth victim also shot during the altercation  was brought to Hartford Hospital in a private vehicle.

One person is in critical but stable condition at the hospital while, the injuries to the other three victims are not life-threatening, according to police. 

The victims are in the hospital:

  • Joshua Amaral, 32, of Wethersfield Avenue in Hartford.
  • Joseph Sailor, 30, of New Park Avenue in Hartford.
  • Jose Cruz, 39, of Maple Avenue in Hartford.
  • Miguel Claudio, 34, of Capitol Avenue in Hartford. Claudio is in critical but stable condition. 

Several people are in custody and police said they seized three guns. 

Franklin Avenue has been shut down in both directions near Barker, but is expected to open soon.

Major Crimes and the Focused Violence Reduction Team are investigating.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Stonington Man Struck By Lightning


A Stonington man was struck by lightning during storms Friday morning. 

Police said a resident of Barnes Road called 911 just after 6 a.m. and said he’d been struck, police said. 

The man suffered burns to his left arm.

Photo Credit: Ray Leichner

Contents Seen Inside New Haven Home After Explosives Arrest


After a New Haven man was arrested for having hundreds of pounds of explosives throughout his house, police released documents detailing what exactly was found in the home. 

Pasquale Criscio told police officers he is not a terrorist, claims he was doing nothing illegal and said he makes the fireworks every year to put on a show for the neighborhood

On Wednesday, police responded to 35 Westminster St. at 5:52 p.m. on Wednesday to investigate a domestic dispute and a woman told the officers that she was at the house, trying to take her belongings, when she got into an altercation with her ex-husband, Criscio, because of the fireworks he had there, according to court documents. 

When police entered the home, a 6-year-old child in the house presented a tube used to light off projectiles. The child was inside with two other juveniles, according to court records. 

Police on the scene said they further pressed Criscio about explosives and the man opened the door to his basement. Officers said they noticed devices with a cylinder type shape, approximately 6 inches in diameter and 8 inches long, with what appeared to be a "tail", the officer's report said. 

That's when police ordered everyone out of the house and sent pictures to the department. 

Bomb Squad technicians and New Haven Police Hazardous Devices Units then responded to the home.

Responding crews entered the home. According to court documents, they could see black explosive powder on the floors of the kitchen and living rooms, plus smell it in the air. 

"There was commercially purchased black powder in the residence as well as evidence of the manufacturing of black powder and flash powder throughout the residence with the residence being grossly contaminated," the arrest warrant said. 

Officers contacted Connecticut State Police and found out Criscio does not have an explosives or pyrotechnic license. 

When officers walked down the hallway, in one bedroom, they saw several boxes of plastic containers that held explosive precursors powder in plain view. This substance is used to make improvised explosives, the documents said. 

In the next bedroom, police saw several large PVC mortar tubes that are the type that could be used for firing aerial fireworks. There was also a box of improvised fuses and more containers of precursor powder, the documents explained. 

The last bedroom had more boxes of precursor powder and several boxes of commercial grade fireworks. In plain view, officers also saw needles and vials along with numerous pill bottles that were opened, sitting on a dresser drawer, the arrest warrant said. 

When officers walked to the basement, they located at the bottom of the stairs two large cardboard boxes with several improvised mortars inside, each being approximately 6 inches in diameter and eight inches long with a green fuse at the end. 

On Thursday evening, police have also charged Criscio with illegal manufacturing of explosives and bombs, illegal possession of explosives, illegal possession and storage of fireworks, in addition to his prior charges of breach of peace and risk of injury

Another person in the home was charged with beach of peace, third-degree strangulation and risk of injury after the domestic incident. Police have not publicly identified the person. 

The children in the home have been placed with other family members.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/New Haven Police

Martha Stewart Tells Visitors to Check Out Elizabeth Park


Martha Stewart says anyone in the Hartford area this summer should check out the roses at Elizabeth Park Conservancy. 

"If you’re planning to be in or around Hartford, Connecticut this summer, and want to see some of the most beautiful roses, I encourage you to visit the Elizabeth Park Conservancy," the lifestyle guru writes in The Martha Blog.

Stewart writes that Elizabeth Park has more than a hundred of acres of formal gardens, green space, recreation centers and walking trails.

In the blog, she notes that Elizabeth Park is home to the oldest public rose garden in the United States. The garden — 2½ acres with 475 beds and more than 15,000 rose bushes— was designed by Theodore Wirth in 1904.

For more on Martha Stewart's time in Hartford, go to her blog's website. 


How Trump's Tweets Have Changed in 100 Days as @POTUS


President Donald Trump is known for his quick-fire tweeting, a habit he believes helped him win the election. But as his term progressed, the number of likes and retweets each post received started to fall.

As he approaches his 100th day in office, @realDonaldTrump's rate of interactions is about a quarter of what it was on the week of his inauguration, according to data from CrowdTangle, the social media-monitoring platform. The official @POTUS account's interaction rate is about one-eighth of what it was the week of Jan. 20.

While the drop-off in likes and retweets, known as engagement, may seem like a blow for someone so committed to winning, social media experts say it's unsurprising.

"The dust is settling on social media" as people are winding down after a social-media frenzied election, said Jennifer Grygiel, an assistant communications professor at Syracuse's Newhouse School of Public Communications. 

Despite a fall in interactions, the following for Trump's two accounts has continued to grow, by a combined 27 percent — though the rate they've grown has also slowed down as he settled into the White House. Today @realDonaldTrump has 28.4 million followers, while @POTUS has 16.8 million followers.

@realDonaldTrump's most popular tweets as president all came in the first few weeks of his presidency — his most popular remains a Jan. 22 tweet noting the right to peaceful protest after the Women's March on Washington. (@POTUS tweets get much less engagement than Trump's personal account.)

Since then, most tweets have had much less engagement. The most popular tweet from March, in which he called Barack Obama a "Bad (or sick) guy!" and alleged without evidence that his predecessor tapped his phones at Trump Tower, received the 25th most likes and retweets since Jan. 20. April's most popular message wished "Happy Easter to everyone!" and was his 25th most popular as president.

On average, the accounts collected a combined 2.14 million interactions each week since the inauguration, according to the CrowdTangle analysis. Interactions with @realDonaldTrump spiked the week after the inauguration, while those with @POTUS spiked around his late-February address to Congress. 

The decline in interactions isn't necessarily indicative of an unsuccessful administration, Grygiel said.

"People are moving on with their lives, and also just consuming updates about the new administration by way of more traditional means, such as reading stuff that's published by journalists," she said.

Engagement could be falling because people find his tweets to be less helpful, according to Tom Hollihan, a communications professor at the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California.

"One gets a sense even his hardcore supporters think [his] tweets are less helpful to his cause," Hollihan said, based on polling he's seen. 

Two-thirds of millennials, consummate social media users, found Trump's tweeting to be inappropriate, according to a Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics survey conducted in March. A January NBC/WSJ poll found that nearly 70 percent of Americans thought Trump's Twitter habit was a bad idea.

The White House didn't respond to requests for comment for this story.

The president's tone varies greatly between his Twitter accounts, said USC professor Hollihan and Grygiel, the Syracuse professor. They had different explanations for why.

The @realDonaldTrump account frequently talks about the news cycle and "fake news" — something that isn't usually discussed on the @POTUS account, according to data that Grygiel collected through Sysomos, a social media analytics company.

Other popular words on @realDonaldTrump include "great," "big" and "Trump." @POTUS frequently mentions @realDonaldTrump — a sign of cross promotion, Grygiel said — along with "POTUS," "VP" and "White House," according to her analysis.

Hollihan said the @POTUS account is clearly being run by his advisers, while the @realDonaldTrump account is run from the president's cellphone.

But Grygiel said she believes Trump has split his time between his personal and official accounts, a strategy she calls "brilliant."

"He’s essentially split himself in two, and he has two strikingly different tones," Grygiel said.

Grygiel likened Trump's tone on @realDonaldTrump to that of "a mafia boss" — it appeals to the part of his base that wants him to be more aggressive. On the other hand, @POTUS has a more diplomatic tone she believes appeals to people outside of his base.

"It’s a really amazing strategy," Grygiel added. "I think he's essentially pandering to two populaces in this country."

Hollihan doesn't believe there is much of a strategy, and that Trump's tweets seem to sow confusion among his advisers and cabinet.

"I think instead what we see is that he's continuing this set of practices that seemed to work for him during the campaign," when Trump's reactiveness to news developments dominated his feed. "In fact, he's conducted himself in the first 100 days of his presidency exactly the same way he sought to conduct himself during the campaign."

Trump seems to tweet about a series of different issues every day in the White House, like health care, tax reform or renegotiating NAFTA, Hollihan added, rather than picking one to focus on so he can rally public and congressional support.

As for Trump's predecessor, Grygiel said there's no way to really compare Trump's Twitter habits and Obama's. Twitter and Facebook "really came of age" when Obama was in office, she said.

"Social media was something Obama had to adopt and grow over the eight years he was in office," Grygiel said. "He was probably one of the first presidents to hand over large-scale social media accounts to a new administration."

Hollihan said Obama used Twitter in a more reflective way.

"Nothing about Obama's temperament suggested he acted without...reflection, and yet that's what defines Trump’s use of social media," he said.

Both presidents' Twitter habits are vastly different, both in how often they tweeted and in content. Obama occasionally tweeted from his @POTUS account to comment on policy or current events, such as when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.

Trump, on the other hand, has tweeted nearly every single day since taking office. He tweets from @realDonaldTrump five times per day on average, according to CrowdTangle data. @POTUS sends out three tweets per day. 

"This is pretty remarkable that we have a president who's so willing to reveal that he is influenced by the last thing he hears on TV, or reads," Hollihan said.

Photo Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images, File
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Boy Becomes Thomaston Police Chief For the Day


There’s a new top cop in Thomaston.

Nine-year-old Aidan Bigos has always wanted to be a police officer, and he got his wish. He was sworn in as Police Chief for the day on Friday.

Aidan was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor the size of a fist. In February, Thomaston Officer Bart Deeley responded to his home for a medical emergency. The two instantly became friends.

“I got to know him that particular day, when he was probably at his darkest moment,” Deeley said. “His dream was to be a police officer.”

“He’s a very resilient boy,” said Jared Bigos, Aidan’s Dad. “He’s been through so much with chemo and proton radiation, and he came back and this is his special day.”

“Our community has been so supportive since day one,” said Aidan’s mom, Amanda Wyles. “I’m just amazed.”

His parents say his cancer is now in remission. They call him a superhero.

“I’ve learned more from my interaction with Aidan in such a short period of time, than I have in my 20 years of law enforcement,” Deeley said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

SoCal Inmate Was Dead for Days Before Body Discovered: ME


An inmate found dead at California state prison lay dead for two to three days before authorities found him, officials confirmed to NBC 7 San Diego. 

James Acuna, 58, was found dead Monday in his cell at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, according to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Vicky Waters.

San Diego County Sheriff's Department homicide detectives were called to the prison Monday. The Medical Examiner's office determined Acuna had died two to three days earlier, Lt. Ken Nelson said.

Nelson said, according the Medical Examiner, there were no indications of foul play.

Acuna was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, his second strike according to Waters. He began a 16-year sentence in October 2014.

Previous convictions included robbery with a firearm in 1984 and burglary in 2000.

No further details were given as an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Acuna's death were ongoing, Waters said.

Verizon Customer Seeks Credit After Buying Wrong Gift Cards


A Verizon customer thought she was out of luck and out $600 after she purchased gift cards she learned she could not use. 

When Cara DellaGuistina bought the gift cards, she didn’t realize the word “prepaid” meant just that.

Unlike a standard gift card, she could only apply her credits to a prepaid account. But she doesn’t have a prepaid account. She has a standard account, with an outstanding balance of more than $300.

A simple mistae that warrants a simple fix, she thought.

“Someone should be able to help me figure it out,” said DellaGustina. “I can’t be the first person to have done this.”

DellaGuistina says she called Verizon’s customer service, was transferred several times, each time, having to repeat her story.

And, she says, each time, representatives told her they could not apply the credit to her account.

To DellaGuistina, that answer was not an option.

“$600 wouldn’t have broken me before,” said DellaGuistina. “But it really was going to break me this time.”

So after much consideration, she reached out to NBC Connecticut Responds.

“I saw a snippet on TV and I said, ‘I’m gonna try,’” said DellaGustina.

Our consumer team immediately heard back from a Verizon representative, who had no comment on the details of her case, but did say he resolved the issue.

In fact, the company went above and beyond. DellaGuistina says she received a credit on her bill consisting of the $600 she spent, plus an extra $150, which Verizon says was in good faith.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Maintenance Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Woman


A maintenance worker at an apartment complex in West Hartford is accused of sexually assaulting a resident in the complex, according to police, and they said a 2-year-old child was sleeping in the home when the attack happened. 

Santos Javier Nunez, 43, of New Britain, is accused of knocking on the door of the woman’s Caya Avenue apartment under the guise of delivering a flier around 11 a.m. Thursday and refusing to leave when the woman asked him to. 

He then tried to coerce her into performing a sex act on him and he sexually assaulted her after she refused, according to police.

A child was sleeping in the apartment when it happened, police said. 

Before leaving, Nunez told the woman not to notify anyone, according to a news release from police. 

After speaking with the victim, police found Nunez performing maintenance in the building and charged him with first-degree sexual assault, home invasion and risk of injury to a minor. 

Police said, based on various stages of his versions of the story, they did not think he was being truthful.

The judge found probable cause for the charges of first-degree sexual assault and home invasion, but denied probable cause for the risk of injury charge because the toddler was sleeping.

Nunez's attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, said his client is a married father of four and grandfather of two and received four character letters, including one from his former pastor in Puerto Rico.

The Nunez family did not comment and NBC Connecticut reached out to the apartment complex, but they did not comment.

Bond for Nunez was reduced from $500,000 to $400,000 and he posted it.

The judge ordered him stay away from the victim.

The arrest report has been sealed and Nunez is due back in court on May 16.

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police

14-Year-Old Girl Struck by Tractor Trailer in Cheshire


A 14-year-old girl was struck by a tractor trailer in Cheshire on Friday. 

Cheshire Police said they responded to the report of an accident at the intersection of West Main Street and Main Street (Route 65/70) at 3 p.m.

The truck was traveling eastbound on West Main Street and making a right turn on Main Street when the rear tires struck the teen's legs at the crosswalk, police said. 

She was transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

The operator of the tractor trailer truck is cooperating with the investigation which is still ongoing.

11 Weddings Canceled After Waterford Venue Shuts Down


The owner of a wedding venue in Waterford said he had to cancel on 11 brides after the town shut down his venue.

Two cease and desist letters were sent to the My Little Ladies Farm and Design Company on Old Colchester Road in Quaker Hill.

One letter said wedding ceremonies, receptions and baby showers are prohibited in the residential district.

The second letter said mechanical, plumbing and electrical permits were never obtained. 

My Little Ladies Farm and Design Company's website says the venue fits up to 150 guest comfortably for a wedding and touts the convenience of bathrooms and air conditioning. 

The owner, Kyle Stoddard, said he is working with the town to come to an agreement.

"We are terribly sorry for all of our brides and grooms to be. But we are working with the town on the problems. I made a mistake through paperwork and zoning and building. So we are working with the town, and have a very good relationship with the town, and hope we can rectify these problems as soon as possible," Stoddard told NBC Connecticut.

Waterford's first selectman said someone had made a noise complaint during one of the wedding's held at the venue. 

Not all neighbors see the events held at the building as an issue.

"I have no clue why anyone around here would complain," Peter J. Campagna, a resident in Quaker Hill, said.

Campagna said Stoddard and his wife kept him in the loop of their plans to host weddings. Old Colchester Road already has heavy traffic, and to him, the noise is not an issue.

"It brings life to our community. It brings people around," Campagna said.

Bride Allison Horvith, of West Hartford, told NBC Connecticut the Stoddards are doing right by her. The couple was very apologetic and will refund her deposit.

The first selectman said it will involve lawyers and the zoning board for the owners to be in compliance with the city. The process could take at least six months to a year.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

I-84 Westbound in Danbury Shut Down After Serious Crash

Man Charged After Explosives Bust: ‘Not a Terrorist’


The New Haven man arrested after officers found massive amounts of explosives in his home told police officers he is not a terrorist, claims he was doing nothing illegal and said he makes the fireworks every year to put on a show for the neighborhood. 

Police responded to 35 Westminster St. at 5:52 p.m. on Wednesday to investigate a domestic dispute and a woman told the officers that she was at the house, trying to take her belongings, when she got into an altercation with her ex-husband, Pasquale Criscio, because of the fireworks he had there, according to court documents. 

She told them she took photos of the fireworks and the argument then got physical. 

Police then asked the 49-year-old Criscio about whether he had fireworks and he initially lied about them, but then a child in the house presented a tube used to light off projectiles, according to court records. 

When officers continued to ask about the fireworks, Criscio opened the basement door, revealing what appeared to be an explosive device

Officers then ordered everyone out of the house, reported what they found to the department and sent along photos of what they were able to see, according to the court documents. 

While Criscio was sitting in the police cruiser, he said he “made the fireworks and is not a terrorist,” according to police. 

He told authorities he was embarrassed about the bomb squad showing up at his house and that his neighbors would “think he is a terrorist,” police said. 

Criscio went on to explain that he “makes fireworks every year to do a show for the neighborhood,” court records say. 

He also told them he was in the process of trying to get a license to build explosives, but he’s a hobbyist and what he does is legal because he “wasn’t selling them.” 

Criscio was charged with breach of peace and two counts of a risk of injury because 15-year-old and a 6-year-old children were present, according to court documents.

After evacuating the house, police called in the bomb squad. Once they were sure there was no imminent danger, they secured the scene and waited on a warrant to go inside and investigate further.

That is when authorities found what they called hundreds of pounds of explosives, which New Haven Fire Chief John Alston said could have exploded the entire block if they went off. 

Officer David Hartman said there were piles of explosives in virtually every room of the home and some were the same type used during the Boston Marathon bombing. 

On Thursday evening, police have also charged Criscio with illegal manufacturing of explosives and bombs, illegal possession of explosives, illegal possession and storage of fireworks. 

In Friday, he appeared in court and shook his head as prosecutors described what they say could have been a catastrophe.

Bond was set at $40,000. 

Another person in the home was charged with beach of peace, third-degree strangulation and risk of injury after the domestic incident. Police have not publicly identified the person. 

The children in the home have been placed with other family members.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/New Haven Police

Body of Missing 71-Year-Old Fisherman Found in Cheshire


The body of a 71-year-old fisherman was found on Friday shortly after the man was reported missing. 

NBC Connecticut crews on the scene said multiple teams were arriving to help search for the man on Cook Hill Road near the pond.

Police said the man had been fishing at a private club and left his residence at 5:30 p.m. His vehicle was found at the New Departure Road and Gun Club located on Cook Hill Road. 

The man was reported missing just before 8 p.m.

The gun club is approximately 35.8 acres and Cheshire crews helped to search for the missing man. 

The man's body was discovered a short time after the search started. 

Police are withholding the man's name until family is notified.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Suffield Trying to Better Understand Needs of Autism Community


The Town of Suffield is coming together to better understand the needs of community members on the autism spectrum.

On Friday, the Foundation for Exceptional Children of Suffield’s Project Keep Me Safe highlighted the work being done with local first responders on how best to interact with children with autism in emergency situations.

NBC Connecticut got to speak to members at the event, including the mini ambulance, Blinky.

Foundation co-founder, Sue Davis, has experienced those situations with her son Charlie.

"He ran away from every school he was at here in Suffield," said Davis. "He ran off the bus we lost him at a beach once and we had people watching him.'

While many parents can relate to the fear of a wandering child, Davis and co-founder Jill Caron said there's also the fear of what will happen when the kids are located.

"If a first responder from ems comes in to try and help them they are going to get very defensive," Caron said.

Suffield Police Chief Richard Brown said he was impressed when he was approached with not only the concerns, but also a solution from the community. The police department has already undergone the training with Suffield’s firefighters and EMT’s too follow soon. 

"That initial two or three seconds of conversation with her child could let that whole situation become calm and easily resolved, or it could be exacerbated and turn into a disaster," said Chief Brown.

According to Caron and Davis, a big component is also getting the children comfortable with first responders. They said lights and sirens can lead to sensory overload, so the more children are able to comfortably interact with first responders the better.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

What Is 'Stealthing'?: Disturbing Sex Act Detailed in Report


A new report details the disturbing trend of "stealthing", when men remove condoms during sex without their partner's consent, NBC News reported. 

Alexandra Brodsky defined the act in the report for the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.

In the report, Brodsky interviews victims and delves into their fears of sexually transmitted infections or unwanted pregnancies. The report also looks at possible legal repercussions for those who carry out the practice.

It's unclear where this act got its start, but websites listed in the report — many of which are now disabled — give instructions to men seeking to perform the act. 

"Online writers who practice or promote nonconsensual condom removal root their actions in misogyny and investment in male sexual supremacy. While one can imagine a range of motivations for 'stealthers'—increased physical pleasure, a thrill from degradation — online discussions suggest offenders and their defenders justify their actions as a natural male instinct — and natural male right," Brodsky writes.

Photo Credit: Getty
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live