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.

Manafort Got $3.5M Mystery Mortgage, Paid No Tax


Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort took out a $3.5 million mortgage through a shell company just after leaving the campaign, but the mortgage document that explains how he would pay it back was never filed — and Manafort's company never paid $36,000 in taxes that would be due on the loan, NBC News reported.

In addition, despite telling NBC News previously that all his real estate transactions are transparent and include his name and signature, Manafort's name and signature do not appear on any of the loan documents that are publicly available. A Manafort spokesperson said the $3.5 million loan was repaid in December, but also said paperwork showing the repayment was not filed until he was asked about the loan by NBC News.

News of the missing documents comes as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is taking a "preliminary look" at his real estate transactions, including the $3.5 million loan, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Real estate experts contacted by NBC News called the omission "highly unusual," though not illegal.

Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images, File

Ambulance Involved in Crash in Granby


An ambulance was involved in a crash in Granby around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, but no injuries are reported. 

Granby police said three vehicles crashed on Route 20 and Evergreen Drive and the scene is clear.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

NTSB Releases Report on Plane Crash That Killed Cheshire Man


A preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report on the plane crash that killed a Cheshire doctor at Meriden Markham Airport on April 24 shows he was at the controls at the time of the accident.

Joseph Tomanelli, 56, died and his son, 21-year-old Daniel Tomanelli was seriously injured in the crash.

According to the NTSB, the elder Tomanelli was piloting the Cirrus SR22 plane which he bought just three weeks before the accident. Tomanelli wanted to practice in the new plane for a planned trip to North Carolina, the NTSB report states.

Investigators spoke with several witnesses and reviewed security camera video to determine the cause of the crash.

The report states the plane made one landing at the airport and witnesses told investigators the plane flared about 10 feet above the runway, came down and bounced three times before taking off again.

On a second approach, the plane flared again, abruptly touched down half way down the runway and then the engines accelerated, according to the NTSB report.

The plane then rolled to the left and came down, slid across the ground, through a fence and caught fire, investigators determined.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Asylum Avenue in Hartford Reopens


Asylum Avenue in Hartford was closed near the Interstate 84 exit 48 off-ramp after a crash, but it has reopened.

Officials from the state Department of Transportation said a driver involved in the crash turned into the path of a bus.

Asylum Avenue was closed between Spruce and Ford streets.

The eastbound exit 48A ramp to Asylum Avenue was also closed after a separate crash, but has reopened.

No additional information was available.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Water Main Break Closes School in Canton


Canton Intermediate School is closed Tuesday because of a water main break late Monday night.

The water main break happened at 11:13 p.m. Monday at the corner of Dyer and Simonds avenues and officials said the main has been fixed. 

Crews from Connecticut Water are at the scene and water will be turned back on, but it will take a couple of hours to repair the road.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Pharmacists Barred From Telling Customers Cheaper Drug Prices


Little pills are big business.

Americans spend more than $400 billion on prescription drugs every year, and a patient's face-to-face contact is their local pharmacy. But there's a secret in the drug industry that most customers don't know about. Pharmacists could often save you money by telling you to pay for some prescriptions out-of-pocket rather than through your insurance, but they risk breaching certain contracts by doing so.

"We are being forced to overcharge people for the product, so they're paying more than they should for this medication", said one independent Connecticut pharmacy owner who agreed to talk on condition of anonymity.

Pharmacists across the country have contracts with Pharmacy Benefit Managers, known as PBM's. They are the companies that administer the prescription drug benefit component of your health insurance plan. They also set the amount of your co-pay for a particular drug.

Many of those contracts bar pharmacies from telling their customers whether it's cheaper for them to pay for a drug through their insurance or out-of-pocket. Some consumers, like Patrick Ryan of Canton, say they wouldn't even know to ask the question.

"Sounds kind of backwards. If you have insurance shouldn't it cover your prescription, save you money? Otherwise, why have insurance?" Ryan said.

One pharmacy owner agreed to talk to the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters only if we hide his identity for fear of financial loss for violating a PBM contract. A clause from the provider manual of one of the largest PBM's clearly states "minimum penalties of $5,000 per incident per day."

"I could charge the patient a cash price and not even go through the insurance and save them an awful lot of money, but I'm not allowed to do that," the pharmacy owner said.

He gave us this example: Let's say you have a $20 co-pay for a generic statin to treat high cholesterol. The PBM might allow the store to keep $6 to cover the actual cost and a small profit and the PBM captures or "claws back" the $14 surplus. Instead, the owner said he could charge the patient $10 if they paid out-of-pocket. He would make a little more, and would save the customer $10 dollars.

"I would like the patient to be able to make an informed decision. If the patient knows the breakdown of the cost structure of this they can decide if they want to pay more," the owner said.

He said he tracked all of his pharmacy's generic prescription sales in 2016. In nearly 750 cases, or about ten percent of the transactions, the PBMs "clawed back" a portion of the co-pay, as much as $65 in one case.

Paul Pescatello from Connecticut Business and Industry Association says the PBM is critical to making the prescription drug process work.

"There are different provisions in all these different contracts, so it's very hard to track who's getting paid what in the supply chain," Pescatello said.

Still, Pescatello says the contractual "gag order" on pharmacists is something the business community would like to see lifted.

"Making that kind of information available to the customer would be helpful to the patient and help reduce the cost of health care," Pescatello said.

The anonymous owner's pharmacy is part of the Northeast Pharmacy Service Corporation, which represents about 300 independent stores that share the same challenge.

The Troubleshooters wanted to find out if the situation is the same with the major national pharmacies, so we reached out to CVS Headquarters in Rhode Island. They referred us to the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, the national organization representing PBM's. A spokesperson responded with a single sentence:

"Patients should not have to pay more than a network drugstore's submitted charges to the health plan."

The pharmacy owner says he just wants the freedom to present all the facts to his customers.

"Let them make an informed decision about whether they want to give me that money or pay it to the insurance company who, by the way, they've already paid a premium," he said.

Right now, there's a bill that making its way through the Connecticut General Assembly. Senate Bill 445 seeks to eliminate PBM contracts that prohibit pharmacists from sharing all relevant information with the customer. The bill made it out of the public health committee with a unanimous vote and is awaiting action by the full Senate.

Photo Credit: File/AFP/Getty Images

Blumenthal: Trump May Have Jeopardized US National Security


Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, said Tuesday that U.S. national security has been jeopardized if accusations that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian officials about an Islamic State plot are true.

The Washington Post, citing anonymous officials, reported that Trump relayed highly classified information about a threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft -- information provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement -- to Russian diplomats during a closed-door meeting in the Oval Office last week. 

The sources told the Post the information was considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government.

NBC News has not independently confirmed the Washington Post's report. 

On Monday, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster denounced the report, saying Trump did not disclose intelligence sources or methods to the Russians and "the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known," The Associated Press reported. 

But on Tuesday, Trump tweeted that he shared "facts pertaining to terrorism" and airline safety with Russia, had the authority to do it as president and did so for "humanitarian reasons." Trump's tweets did not say whether he revealed classified information about the Islamic State group.

“In the opinion of many intelligence community members, there is a jeopardy to our national security because the disclosure about this laptop plot, including the city where it was detected, an ISIS territory, could jeopardize lives of sources and it also threatens our credibility in dealing with partners and allies who provide extraordinarily valuable and sensitive information,” Blumenthal said during an appearance on the "Today" show.

White House officials have pushed back against the report, but did not deny that classified information was disclosed in the May 10 meeting.

Asked by "Today's" Matt Lauer if McMaster's denial is "the same thing as saying the president did not disclose highly classified intelligence?," Blumenthal said “no.”

“He may have well disclosed highly classified information, code word information is what the Washington Post reported, and that is a serious breach of norms and rules," Blumenthal said. "And may well enable the Russians —who are our adversaries in that part of the world — to trace sources and methods of information."

The Washington Post report also makes reference to a "transcript" of the Russia meeting, raising questions of whether conversations in the Oval Office have been recorded.

Blumenthal said Congress must issue a subpoena of any tapes or transcripts of recordings in the Oval Office "to uncover truth and preserve evidence - both [of ousted FBI Director James] Comey and meeting with Russians.”

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

Man Pointed Gun at Man, Child in Car in West Hartford: Police


A West Hartford man is accused of pointing a gun at a car with a woman and child inside near the Crab Shack in Hartford and has been arrested.

Police said they responded to the Crab Shack, at 2074 Park St., at 8:17 p.m. Sunday to investigate reports of someone being threatened with a firearm. They determined that 27-year-old Luis Galarza, of West Hartford, tried to get into a white Nissan Maxima in the Crab Shack parking lot and pointed a gun at a woman and in a child in the car.

Police detained Galarza and said they found a stolen Kel Tec 9 mm handgun with 10 live rounds in his waistband, according to police.

Galarza was charged with second-degree breach of peace, first-degree threatening, criminal possession of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit, theft of a firearm and reckless endangerment.

More Cuts Coming to State Police


More cuts are coming to Connecticut state police to save millions of dollars, according to state police sources, and that means a new class of state troopers will not be hired. 

Last week, the union that represents state police said five state troopers could be laid off.

Sources within Gov. Dannel Malloy's administration confirmed two more layoff notices have been sent to state police, bringing the number to seven.

State police were expecting around 80 recruits coming in, going through training and eventually joining the force, but the Malloy administration cut the class. 

The new plan not to bring in new state troopers is expected to save $3 million.

Multiple sources told NBC Connecticut that the final number of state police layoffs isn't clear, but it could include both police and civilian personnel.

In all, 120 state employees have received notice that their jobs are going away. 

Warm Today, Record-Breaking Temperatures by Thursday


The warm weather today will be replaced with hot weather by tomorrow and Thursday. 

High temperatures today are expected to reach the upper 70s with some locations nearing 80 degrees.

The weather will turn from warm to hot by tomorrow. We're forecasting high temperatures in the upper 80s with a few locations closing in on 90 degrees. Take a look at forecasted high temperatures for tomorrow. 

Record breaking warmth moves in by Thursday with temperatures surging into the 90s. The current record for the Hartford area is 90 which was set back in 1936.

Many locations are expected to reach the 90s with some locations surging climbing to the middle 90s. Temperatures along the shoreline will be a bit cooler. The water temperature in Long Island Sound is still in the middle 50s. The southerly wind off of the water will keep temperatures near 80. 

Here's a look at forecasted high temperatures for Thursday. 

The warm weather will linger into Friday with high temperatures in the upper 80s. Temperatures will turn more seasonable by the weekend with high temperatures in the low 70s.

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

President Trump Coming to Coast Guard Academy Tomorrow


President Donald Trump will visit the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London Wednesday to participate in the commencement ceremony.

Before the presidential visit, representatives from the City of New London met with the Secret Service on security plans and New Haven police will have dozens of officers on duty, which means hefty overtime costs for New London Police.

"We're projecting it's going to be a large number turning out because of what we've seen around the country and the outcry that's going on with this president,” said Acting New London Police Chief Peter Reichard.

All 66 New London officers are asked to be on the clock for the president's visit.

"Because it's an event with the federal government, we don't get reimbursed for this,” Reichard said.

Groton, Waterford, Norwich, Stonington, East Lyme and state police officers are also lending a hand, Reichard said, adding the city can't sign off on any permit requests to rally or protest for the event, until they consult with the president's secret service.

Reichard also said to expect Deshon Street and Riverside Park to be blocked off for the entire event, including some of the streets leading into the park.

Additionally, the motorcade will temporarily shut down part of Interstate 95 and Route 32 by the Coast Guard Academy, but state police said they do not expect any significant highway closures.  

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials said that Bluff Point State Park and Coastal Reserve in Groton will be closed Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon due to the visit.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

StubHub to Move from East Granby Next Year


StubHub is moving its customer service center out of East Granby next summer after 12 years in town. 

The ticket-selling company said in a statement that they made a strategic business decision to move the Center of Excellence for Customer Experience and Trust Operations to Salt Lake City when the lease in East Granby expires in June 2018. 

“East Granby has been our North American hub for customer service for more than 12 years and we are grateful for all of the support we’ve received from the community,” the statement says.

East Granby First Selectman Jim Hayden said around 250 jobs would be lost.

Photo Credit: StubHub

Trumbull Teen Charged with Sexually Assaulting 8-Year-Old


Trumbull police have arrested a 15-year-old boy who is accused of kidnapping an 8-year-old girl and sexually assaulting her in his house.

The incident was reported on May 8.

The girl’s mother reported that around 4:30 p.m. that day she called outside for her daughter, who came running from a house nearby.

According to police, the girl told her mother that the teenage boy who lives in the house grabbed her and pulled her inside, then touched her inappropriately. The mother immediately called police.

Police said that when investigators spoke to the victim, the child provided described the details of a sexual assault. She also told them that a similar incident happened a few days earlier.

The 15-year-old, whose name has not been released due to his age, was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a minor, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree unlawful restraint, fourth-degree sexual assault, second-degree threatening and risk of injury to a minor. He was arrested Friday.

The investigation is ongoing.

Police Seek Southbury Shoplifting Suspect


Police are trying to identify a suspect wanted in connection with the theft of several cases of Red Bull in Southbury.

Connecticut State Police said the suspect pictured above stole several cases of Red Bull from the Stop & Shop at 100 Main St. North in Southbury on May 11.

The suspect left in a silver Jeep Cherokee and had a plaid blanket hanging over the rear window, police said. The Jeep was driven by a male.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect is asked to contact Southbury police t at 203-264-5912 or text TIP711 with any information to 274637.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Hamden Bar Says 'BYOB' After Losing Liquor License


A Hamden bar that did not have its liquor license renewed by the state is now encouraging customers to bring their own alcohol.

Town officials lobbied for the Department of Consumer Protection Liquor Control to revoke Slyce Pizza Bar’s liquor license because neighbors raised concerns about violent crime in the surrounding area.

“This is a restaurant, not a club,” said David Casanova who lives near 141 Arch St. “It wound up being a club, that’s why they lost their liquor license.

“After about 9 or 10 o’clock at night, we just knew not to come by here because there were a lot of people and it seemed like a dangerous area,” Casanova added.

Hamden Police Chief Thomas Wydra said he learned Slyce is now advertising itself as BYOB “almost immediately after we found out that the liquor control commission had denied the renewal permit” at the end of April, he said.

The Hamden Town Planner and Town Attorney are reviewing what they can do to regulate “Bring Your Own Booze” businesses at the local level, Wydra said.

“As far as I know, they’re not in violation of any local laws or any state laws,” Wydra told NBC Connecticut. “We did check with liquor control at the state level and they informed us nothing they would get involved with once the renewal permit was denied that means there’s no regulatory authority involved.”

Regular Slyce customer Kwamaine McCarter said Slyce has been unfairly punished and that the business is not responsible for crime plaguing the surrounding area.

“Everywhere you go is drama,” McCarter said. “You can’t run from drama. Anywhere you put liquor and people it can be drama.”

Chief Wydra stands by the DCP’s decision that Slyce lost its privilege to sell liquor based on the testimony from 16 witnesses.

“This particular establishment causes concern because for a long time we believed that alcohol in some ways was at least fueling the violence that was occurring in the parking lot and around the neighborhood,” Wydra said.

While he is a concerned neighbor, Casanova said he doesn’t want to see Slyce go out of business.

“I’m hoping they can survive on their pizza it’s a good pie,” he said. “I’d recommend people stop here and eat the pizza. I hope the bar disappears and this BYOB is not something that lasts.”

NBC Connecticut reached out to the attorney for Slyce’s owner but did not hear back. In the past, the owner has told NBC Connecticut he’s unsure if his business can survive without serving alcohol.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Democrats and Republicans Release Budget Plans


The two GOP budget proposals from the House and Senate each depend on even more union concessions than the $700 million sought by Gov. Dannel Malloy.

When asked why the House GOP budget banks on hundreds of millions in more savings, Rep. Themis Klarides, (R – Derby), the Minority Leader said, “When you add $1.5 billion more to the existing three billion and change, the three billion and change we were asking for $700 million. What do you think we should be asking for if it’s a billion and half more?”

The Republican budgets notably don’t raise taxes, depend on some revenue shifts, and maintain funding levels to cities and towns for both operating expenses and education.

Funding for cities known as “distressed” is cut more in the Senate GOP plan, while it is maintained in the governor’s budget.

As for tax increases, Sen. Len Fasano, the GOP President Pro Tem says taxpayers expect cuts and not taxes to deal with the budget crisis.

“They’re looking not to go back into their pocketbook again to take money out. They’ve had enough of that in this state,” he said.

On the Democratic side, both the House and Senate caucuses shared a budget proposal which more closely resembled a list of priorities and broad policy ideas than a fiscal document.

The Democrats proposed raising revenue in myriad ways: the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana, installing tolls along the state’s highways, and the opening of a third casino in East Windsor.

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz acknowledged that the votes aren’t yet there for a controversial topic like the legalization of marijuana but said the Democrats’ plan is for all of the issues to be discussed as options.

“When we’re talking about cutting services to the folks that need it the most. When we’re talking about cutting municipalities that fund education and local projects, not putting that on the table is a big mistake and we showed that by putting it in our proposal in the budget,” Rep. Aresimowicz, (D – Berlin), said.

The Democrats’ budget also depends on $100 million in regionalization efforts by cities and towns to provide savings, and millions more in agency consolidation across state government.

Bipartisan budget talks with Gov. Malloy are expected to resume Wednesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

House Oversight Chair Seeking Comey Memos


The Republican chairman of the House oversight committee says he will seek copies of any memos former FBI Director James Comey wrote about his meetings with President Donald Trump.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said in a tweet that he has his "subpoena pen ready." The move by Chaffetz comes just hours after the disclosure that Comey wrote in a memo that Trump asked him to shut down a federal investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

"If the memo exists, I need to see it, and I need to see it right away," said Chaffetz, outgoing chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

"We are drafting the necessary paperwork to get the memo, so we will find out in a hurry if it's out there." Chaffetz told NBC News, adding that if the memo exists and accurately recorded the conversation, "that seems like an extraordinary use of influence to try to shut down an investigation being done by the FBI."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, meanwhile, said the country "is being tested in unprecedented ways."

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

Norwalk Police Officer Rescues Kittens


A Norwalk police officer came to the rescue of three abandoned kittens Tuesday.

Police said Officer Oullette removed the kittens from a construction site on Reed Street because they were in danger from construction vehicles on site.

The kittens were taken to animal rescue where they are in good condition, police said.

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

DDS Employee Charged in Connection With Patient's Death


A state Connecticut Department of Developmental Service employee has been charged with negligent homicide in the death of a 50-year-old man who he was tasked with taking care of.

Police responded to the Lower Fairfield Center, a Department of Developmental Service facility at 146 Silvermine Ave. in Norwalk, on Aug. 16 after receiving a call about a man who was unresponsive.

The 50-year-old resident, Thomas Lanza, was brought to Norwalk Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to police.

Norwalk police investigated the death and determined that 40-year-old Jamal Lee, of Bridgeport, was responsible for Lanza’s care on Aug. 16 and did not follow the documented level of care protocol, police said.

Lee has been charged with criminally negligent homicide. He turned himself in on Tuesday. Bond was set at $5,000 and he is due in court on May 25.

Photo Credit: Norwalk Police

63-Year-Old Reported Missing from Middletown


A Silver Alert has been issued for a missing 63-year-old man from Middletown.

Stephen Alfred was reported missing on Saturday and hasn’t been seen since Thursday, according to Middletown police.

Alfred is 5-foot-7, 145 pounds, with brown eyes and is bald. He wears brown-rimmed glasses.

He was last seen in the area of Rapallo Avenue wearing a light blue and tan long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans and white Converse sneakers.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact Middletown police at 860-638-4000.

Photo Credit: Middletown Police Department
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live