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Eversource in $1.7B Deal to Acquire Aquarion


Eversource Energy has reached an agreement to acquire Aquarion Water Company in a deal worth nearly $1.7 billion.

They said this would combine New England’s largest energy company and the region’s largest private water company.

The acquisition requires approval from the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. It also requires U.S. Justice Department review under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

Aquarion has more than 300 employees serves nearly 230,000 customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Eversource has 8,000 employees and 3.7 million electric and natural gas customers.

The transaction is expected to close by Dec. 31, according to a statement from Eversource.

The deal is comprised of $880 million in cash and $795 million of assumed Aquarion debt and Eversource says it intends to finance the transaction with a combination of cash and a small amount of debt.

Photo Credit: necn

3rd Arrest Made in Kidnapping, Robbery at Milford Motel 6


A person was kidnapped, tied up and robbed at a Motel 6 in Milford in April and police have arrested a third suspect in the case.

Police took 39-year-old Edgardo Patron, of Milford, into custody Friday in connection with the incident at the Motel 6 at 111 Schoolhouse Road on April 12.

The victim reported being attacked by four people, including one who had a handgun.

Police said the victim’s mouth was covered in duct tape and he or she was restrained with zip-ties, then a large sum of cash and clothing were taken.

Patron has been charged with home invasion, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping with a firearm, criminal use of a firearm and first-degree larceny. 

He was held on a $250,000 bond.

On May 4, police took 37-year-old Abimnel Mangual, of Waterbury, into custody.

Police said they identified Mangual as a suspect through DNA.

He was also charged with first-degree home invasion, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping with a firearm, criminal use of a firearm and first-degree larceny, according to a news release from police.

He was released from custody and is due back in court on July 6.

Police previously arrested 18-year-old Jacqueline Steck, of Milford, and charged her with home invasion, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping with a firearm, criminal use of a firearm and first-degree larceny. 

Photo Credit: MIlford Police

Seymour Man Charged in 3 Hamden Burglaries


A Seymour man has been charged in three burglaries in Hamden. 

Police said they investigated burglaries on Johnson Road and Eramo Terrace. A few days later, on April 2, police responded to a report of a forcible burglary on Gaylord Mountain Road and saw the burglars had gotten in through a rear slider, the mud room and a window and stole several items, including jewelry and electronic equipment. 

Police obtained three arrest warrants for David Connelly and he was arrested on Thursday. 

Connelly was charged with three counts of burglary in the third degree, three counts of criminal mischief, larceny in the third degree and larceny in the sixth degree.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

5 Accused of Vandalizing Wallingford Business


Wallingford police have arrested five people accused of vandalizing a business early Friday morning.

Police said around 5:15 a.m. they responded to Alleghany Ludlum Steel at 80 Valley Street for reported vandalism. When they arrived they found broken windows and broken items littered about in several rooms of the building. There was also writing on the walls, and several tools were stolen. It was not immediately clear how much it would cost to repair the damages.

Police located 18-year-old Alyssa Bowers and a 16-year-old suspect in a nearby field. Officers found two additional suspects, 20-year-old Jose Cardona and a 15-year-old, hiding at Bowers home.

A fifth suspect, 21-year-old David Locklear, was also identified and arrested.

Bowers was charged with first-degree criminal mischief, third-degree burglary, and conspiracy to commit criminal mischief and burglary. She was held on a $10,000 bond.

Cardona was charged with second-degree burglary, third-degree larceny, first-degree criminal mischief and conspiracy to those charges. He was held on a $25,000 bond.

Locklear was charged with third-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary. HE was held on a $5,000 bond.

The 16-year-old suspect, who will not be identified due to age, was charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree larceny, first-degree criminal mischief, and conspiracy. The suspect is also accused of kicking out the rear window of a police cruiser during the arrest.

The 15-year-old suspect was charged with second and third-degree burglary, third-degree larceny, criminal mischief, and conspiracy to those charges.

Bowers, Cardona and Locklear are due in court on June 12. 

Photo Credit: Wallingford Police Department

DCF Social Worker Charged With Child Porn Possession


A state Department of Children and Families social worker has been arrested under suspicion of possessing child pornography and is no longer on the job.

Police started investigating in February 2015 and arrested 56-year-old Luis Rivas-Vasquez Thursday after seizing computer equipment from his Hamden home and finding 13 movie files of suspected child pornography, according to a news release from police.

“The Department has high professional and ethical standards for all its 3,400 employees, particularly for those who have contact with children and we are disturbed by these allegations. When we learned of the arrest of one of the Department’s social workers, we took immediate action, including ensuring he is no longer on the job and seizing his state computer which will be made available to law enforcement. In addition, although we have not received complaints regarding his treatment of children in the course of his work, we nevertheless are conducting a full assessment of that question,” a statement from DCF says.

DCF did not identify Rivas-Vasquez in the statement, but later said the statement is regarding the arrest of Rivas-Vasquez.

Rivas-Vasquez turned himself in at the Hamden Police Headquarters on May 31.

Rivas-Vasquez was charged with possession of child pornography and his bond was set at $35,000.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police Department

Tracking Another Round of Showers & Thunderstorms


NBC Connecticut meteorologists are tracking another round of showers and thunderstorms for this afternoon.

We're forecasting the showers and storms to develop after 1 p.m. and continue into the early evening hours.

Here's a look at First Alert Future Radar at 3:30 this afternoon which shows a line of showers and thunderstorms moving across the state.

Some of the storms that move through the state could be strong however we're not expecting any of the storms to be severe. 

The main threat with the storms will be heavy rain, small hail, gusty winds, and some lightning. 

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

Woman Smashed Window at Hartford Public Safety Complex: PD


Hartford police have arrested a woman accused of throwing a rusted brake pedal and injuring two Teleserve officers during an outburst in the lobby of the city’s Public Safety complex.

Police said that on May 27, Katherine Alamo-Nieves, 30, of Rochester, NY, threw items and punched a glass Teleserve window in a “sudden burst of violent rage.” The suspect threw the items so hard it actually broke the thick glass of the window, police said.

Two officers suffered minor injuries during the incident, but declined medical treatment. Police said it will take an estimated $2,300 and four to six weeks to fix the glass.

Alamo-Nieves was charged with second-degree threatening, first-degree criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, and two counts of assault on a police officer.

She was held on a $49,000 bond and is next scheduled to appear in court on July 11.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

Cosby’s Accusers Say Trial Is ‘Moment We’ve Been Waiting for’


Some of Bill Cosby's accusers plan to be at the courthouse in the suburbs of Philadelphia on Monday where he will be on trial for allegedly drugging and molesting Andrea Constand.

The trial is seen as a broader reckoning by many of the 50-plus others whose stories emerged in a cascade of interviews, press conferences and lawsuits in 2014 and 2015 accusing Cosby of sexually assaulting them.

Victoria Valentino and Therese Serignese, two of the many accusers, booked an Airbnb five minutes from the courthouse and ordered buttons emblazoned with a gladiola and these words: "We Stand in Truth."

Cosby, 79, has pleaded not guilty to assaulting Constand. He and his attorneys have suggested race, money or revenge might have fueled claims that began piling up a decade before they erupted into a full-blown scandal.

Photo Credit: Photo/Matt Rourke

Thousands Descend on Hartford for Downtown Events Friday


It’s going to by a busy Friday night in downtown Hartford and that means a mess of traffic.

A Yard Goats game, a concert at the Xfinity Theatre, and a performance at the Bushnell are all scheduled to start between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Tailgaters were out early for the Dierks Bentley concert at the Xfinity Theatre. Hartford police said the theatre holds about 15,000 people and Friday night’s show is a sold-out.

Another 6,000 people are expected to attend tonight’s Yard Goats game at Dunkin’ Donuts Stadium. And more for a showing of "The King and I" at the Bushnell. Overall, police anticipate around 21,000 people heading in for these events.

“Our traffic division will be out there and we’ll be helping that run as smooth as possible and believe me there’s no one better than that. At the concert tonight, we will have our full deployment of our traffic division. We are also going to be enforcing the underage drinking and the public drinking as well,” said Hartford police Deputy Chief Brian Foley.

Police are reminding residents and visitors to be patient heading through the area and to plan for heavy traffic leaving later tonight.

“I mean I was already expecting a nightmare getting out of here like last year when we came to the Jason Aldean concert but we didn’t have that much more events going on so it’s probably going to be a lot worse,” said Joshua Ward of Southbrook, Maine, who came hours early to avoid the traffic and see Dierks Bentley.

The hospitals are also prepared for what Dr. Steven Wolf described as the “mayhem” that comes during major events.

“Nobody is managing these under age kids and so we can’t do that ourselves and the families and parents need to step up to the plate,” he said.

Police stressed that they would be out in force not only for traffic enforcement, but also to look out for underage drinking and drunk drivers.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

UTC CEO on Connecticut: 'The Right Place for Our Future'


Walking into the expanded United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford was like transporting to a different state or parallel universe Friday afternoon.

No one was critical of Connecticut’s finances. No one said the state was in a fiscal death spiral. No one said Connecticut was a bad place for business. No one said Connecticut can’t draw young, highly educated talent to the Capital Region.

Instead, it was only high praise for the state that’s housed Pratt and Whitney and corporate parent United Technologies since the early part of the 20th century.

The company’s CEO directly thanks Gov. Dannel Malloy and attributed the company’s commitment and success in Connecticut to the relationship he and his executive team have with the current administration.

That same administration had to deal with the political fallout of finding out that Aetna will likely announce it is leaving Hartford in the coming months.

CEO Greg Hayes said, “This is the great example of why Connecticut is such a great place to do business because we can have such a talented organization like this."

The United Technologies Research Center is the main innovation hub or the aerospace and engineering giant. It employs more than 500 people from 45 different countries.

Those who run the center say they haven’t had any trouble recruiting talent, even though the narrative about Connecticut is that it has trouble with that very issue.

"Half of our folks we hired in the last five years. They love being here,” said Dr. David Parekh, the Director of the UTRC. “They put their roots in the community and they enjoy working together and they themselves are the ones recruiting others saying hey, come and work and come and join us and be a part of the innovation that's happening at UTC."

Governor Dan Malloy said following the event that walking through the center, he thinks the talk of Connecticut’s demise are overblown, even though on his watch both General Electric and Aetna made clear their intentions to find new homes.

"In this very building you have 45 different countries represented as part of this research team and there aren't too many places in the world where that can happen and East Hartford is one of them."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

State Police Seek Haddam Burglary Suspect


Connecticut State Police are trying to identify a suspect in a residential burglary in Haddam.

Police said sometime between 11 a.m. and 1:40 p.m. Friday someone broke into a home on Moodus Road and stole credit cards.

The credit cards were later used by a male suspect at the Interstate 95 rest stop in Madison. The suspect was driving a white sedan, police said.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect or the car pictured above is asked to contact Trooper Enrico Milardo at 860-399-2100. Calls will remain confidential.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Southeastern CT Camps Taking Steps To Protect Against Ticks


With schools ending in just a couple of weeks, some camps on the southeastern shoreline are taking precautions to make sure campers are safe and tick-free.

At Camp D.A.S.H. in Waterford, some staff members just received state medical certifications that allow them to apply insect repellant to campers with parent permission.

"We get parents how are concerned, especially when it gets hot and there's a lot of food and soda that's around. So that attracts a lot of bugs and insects,” said Chris Gigliotti, the program coordinator for Waterford Youth Services.

Those certified staffers can also remove ticks. The plan is to certify even more Camp D.A.S.H. employees.

All staff members are trained to spot when a tick attaches.

In Groton, the Parks and Recreation Department runs about 50 summer camps and they try to keep the grounds "tick-free."

"Mow the grass short, we put mulch in flower beds, we keep brush trim back,” said Recreation Services Manager Gerry Lokken.

While they don't apply insect repellant to campers, they do advise parents on proper attire and preps for field trips.

Kathleen Leivers, of Pawcatuck, appreciates the precautions. Her grandkids attend summer camps. For them to a have carefree summer, she's glad camps care about being tick-aware.

“Ticks and mosquitos have so many diseases that they carry,” Leivers said. “I think that will be a great thing.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

I-84 Off-Ramp at Exit 60 Closed Due to Crash

Putin to Megyn Kelly: US Hackers Could Have Framed Russia


Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an exclusive interview with NBC News' Megyn Kelly, insisted that hackers who interfered in the U.S. presidential election could have come from "anywhere" and then they could have made it look like Russia was responsible.

Putin found himself on the defensive Friday when asked by Kelly to explain his earlier claim that private "patriotic" hackers could have interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Megyn Kelly's interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin airs Sunday at 7 p.m. EST during the premiere of "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly" on NBC.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, Pool

Bella Bond's Mother Describes Night of Daughter's Death


Bella Bond's mother testified Friday in the trial of her daughter's accused killer, describing in graphic detail how her then boyfriend punched the 2-year-old in the stomach and then stuffed her body in a duffel bag so he could dispose of it.

Michael McCarthy, 37, is accused of killing Bella Bond in 2015 in the Dorchester apartment he shared with the girl's mother. Rachelle Bond pleaded guilty in February to being an accessory after the fact for helping McCarthy dispose of the young girl's body after he allegedly beat her to death.

Bond said in court Friday that she and McCarthy were watching a movie on TV on the night Bella died. Her daughter got out of bed two or three times, and eventually McCarthy went to to put her back to bed.

"I didn't think he'd hurt her," Bond said, choking back tears. "I thought it would be all right."

After a few minutes, she said she went into her daughter's bedroom to see if McCarthy needed help.

"He punched her in the stomach," she said. "I just saw her bounce off the bed. She bounced up and came back down... I think I yelled, 'What the [expletive] did you do?'"

She said she grabbed her daughter, who wasn't breathing, and attempted to give her CPR. "Her head was swollen and gray," Bond said.

Bond also described Friday how McCarthy disposed of her daughter's body, placing the young girl in a duffel bag and driving her to the waterfront.

She said she told McCarthy, "You [expletive] killed her," and he replied, "It was her time to die. She was a demon."

Bond also testified Friday about her drug use and criminal history, saying she has used marijuana, heroin and crack cocaine at various times. She also revealed that she sold drugs and resorted to prostitution to get by on the streets.

She spoke of how she and McCarthy would do heroin together with Bella in the apartment with them. But she said she was still able to parent Bella, even while on heroin.

"She was always happy...," Bond said. "She was a pretty happy child."

Earlier on Friday, McCarthy's older brother, Joseph McCarthy Jr., testified about his brother's struggles with drug addiction and his interactions with Bella and her mother.

He said he last saw Bella in the third week of May 2015, about a month before her body was found washed ashore on Deer Island.

McCarthy Jr. described her as a "happy, well-adjusted" child. He said she always had clothes on, was not disheveled, bruised or abused, and "always had food."

Also on Friday, McCarthy's friend Michael Sprinsky wrapped up his testimony, describing the close relationship the two once had. It was his second day on the stand.

Sprinsky testified on Wednesday that McCarthy had an interest in the occult and "thought that he could remove demons from people's houses," and that McCarthy claimed he "had abilities to rid people of evil spirits."

"I've known Mike for a long time and he gets into these moods where there's a lot of dark stuff," Sprinksy had said. "Talking about evil spirits, talking about demons."

The defense has argued that it was Bond, and not McCarthy, who had an obsession with demons and spirituality. The defense added that Bond's testimony should not be believed because she had lied about her daughter's whereabouts after her death.

Photo Credit: NBC Boston

Zuckerberg Shoots Down Investors Calling for Transparency on Fake News


Some shareholders called for Facebook to produce an annual report detailing what it has been doing to thwart fake news at the company's annual shareholder meeting on Thursday; however, the idea was put to a vote that did not pass.

Natasha Lamb of Arjuna Capital spoke at the meeting, pointing out that investors "seek assurance" that Facebook is doing all it can to responsibly handle the fake news pandemic.

Instead of passing the vote, Zuckerberg -- who controls the majority of voting shares -- pointed to steps Facebook has already taken to stop the spread of fake news.

Facebook has tweaked its algorithm to better understand if a story is disputed, weighting it less in a user's News Feed. The company has also started working with third-party fact checking organizations to help label stories if they are disputed.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Mueller Taking Close Control of Russia Investigation


Special Counsel Robert Mueller is already closely managing the Russian election meddling investigation he was appointed to oversee, receiving daily briefings and weighing in on investigative tactics, a spokesman told NBC News.

Mueller was appointed May 17 after the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, took himself out of overseeing the Russia investigation.

Members of Congress called for a special counsel after President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, a decision that Rosenstein fully supported.

Since Mueller is only the second special counsel appointed under rules drafted nearly two decades ago, there were few precedents to guide how he would oversee the investigation.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Scientist Explains: Worst-Case Scenario From Paris Withdrawl


President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which aims to curb greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to combat climate chance.

The move set off a wave of outrage from environmental groups, international allies and business leaders, while garnering support from conservatives.

But what does it mean for the planet?

NBC News reached out to Dr. Ben Sanderson, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, who researches the effects of climate change, for some answers.

Photo Credit: AP Images

Supreme Court Is Trump’s Best Hope for Reviving Travel Ban


The Trump administration is hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court will grant what the lower courts have so far denied — permission to begin enforcing the president's executive order on travel.

The government filed papers late Thursday asking the justices to take up its appeal and, in the meantime, to let it enforce the travel ban while the court decides whether to hear a full argument later on the legal aspects of the case.

The government has some reasons for optimism, NBC News reported.

The current Supreme Court, back to full strength with the arrival of Neil Gorsuch, is ideologically the most conservative body to consider the issue so far. And it generally, though by no means always, tends to defer to presidents on national security issues.

Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lineworkers Compete at Regional Lineworkers Rodeo


More than 60 competitors climbed up, shimmied down, and hung high on utility poles at the Eversource work center in Tolland on Saturday. Their high wire act was timed for the Regional Lineworker’s Rodeo, which featured Eversource employees from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

“It’s not just about speed. You have to have good technique and good practices,” said Anthony Mascero of Woodbury.

Any slip up cost the competitors points. Mascero was the first to show off his skills in the pole climb, which required competitors to carry an egg in their mouth.

“Climbing is probably one of the most dangerous parts of our job,” he said.

Mary-Kate Daley was one of only two women who competed in the challenge.

“People are generally surprised I guess when they find out what you do or you show up on a job site, but it’s no different as long as you can do the work and you enjoy it, that’s all that matters,” said Daley.

The rodeo was a reminder to the general public watching from the sidelines how difficult and dangerous this work can be.”

“Hopefully they can picture them out in the bad weather, the heavy snowstorms, torrential downpours. It’s an art,” said Chuck Fontenault of Eversource.

“See what it’s like if you put a ladder up against a huse and you hit your wires. It’s gonna arc,” said Amanda Greco, of Casco Maine whose son competed on Saturday.

The winners will head to the International Lineman’s Rodeo in Kansas City this October.

“When you go to Kansas City you’ve got thousands of other lineman who you just walk up to and you just start talking to them, it’s just a brotherhood that not many trades have,” commented Mascero.

Daley said she feels a similar camaraderie at this regional competition.

“The support that is there is incredible. You meet people from different parts of the state, different companies, other states, and you come back or if you’re working on a storm you always know a face. It’s amazing,” she said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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