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Expect Reduced Staffing at State Parks, Beaches, DEEP Says


The state agency that operates Connecticut’s campgrounds and beaches says visitors should be ready to see similar conditions to 2016.

The directive from agencies includes limited hours for lifeguards, maintenance staff and others who work in the parks.

Further, the busiest state beaches along Connecticut’s shoreline are expected to only have a maximum of five days of lifeguard coverage. That could dip down to four days due to budget cuts.

The parks are a casualty of an uncertain budget situation for the month of June. The state’s fiscal year ends June 30, and on July 1, if the state doesn’t have a budget, then Governor Dannel Malloy said he has the legal authority to assert control of most spending.

“In some respects, yes, but that’s not without limitation and I will speak to that, what will guide us, not just legal precedent, but our own guiding principles so the people know how I’ll operate the state without a state budget,” Malloy said during a press conference Friday.

A spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said visitors can expect to see fewer people performing maintenance on the buildings that house food vendors and restrooms. He added that when it comes to campgrounds, the grass is expected to be mowed, but not as regularly as in years priors to 2016.

Three campgrounds are expected to close following July 4 because they typically don’t see many visitors during the summer months. Those campgrounds are Devils Hopyard in East Haddam, Salt Rock in Baltic and Greens Falls in Voluntown.

DEEP’s spokesman also said the agency is prepared for adequate staffing during the week of July 4, even though it is after the end of the fiscal year, but said after that week, funding levels become even more uncertain and further cutbacks could be expected.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

ICE Detains NY High School Student Days Before Graduation


A Westchester high school student was detained by federal immigration police on the day of his senior prom, and a day after his mother was taken into custody for deportation, according to officials and family. 

Diego Ismael Puma Macancela, a 19-year-old Ecuadorean national is a senior at Ossining High School. He arrived in the U.S. with his mother in 2014. They fled their native country because of gang violence.  

Puma Macancela was just weeks away from graduation when his mother was detained Wednesday.

Fearful after her detainment, Puma Macancela went to his cousin's apartment that night. But U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents came knocking at the door Thursday. 

His cousin, Gabriela Macancela, said they hid in fear as ICE agents surrounded the home because he was "really scared."

Puma Macancela eventually walked out and was detained. Macancela said she heard the agents say, "He's coming out, he's coming out," as he left the apartment. 

"They grabbed him like he's a criminal," Macancela said. "He didn't do anything wrong, he was just doing the best he could for his future." 

ICE told News 4 New York that the arrest was the result of an immigration judge's final order back in November 2016. 

Relatives said they didn't know about the order for Puma Macancela to leave the U.S. and thought there would be a chance to appeal as the teen finished his schooling. 

"He came here to start a new life, and now he's going to have to go back and start all over again," Macancela said. 

Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity told News 4 she learned about the ICE raid by watching it unfold outside her window. She has criticized the federal agency for not notifying village officials beforehand. 

However, in a statement to News 4, ICE spokeswoman Rachael Yong Yow said officials were notified. 

"Contrary to a statement issued from the Ossining Mayor’s Office, local police received prior notification that ICE would be in the local area conducting targeted enforcement actions," she said in a statement.

Gearity said she's concerned about the impact ICE raids will have on immigrant communities. 

"When people are very scared, it's tough to distinguish between local law enforcement and federal immigration officials," she said. "What that means is people won't report crimes." 

Puma Macancela's family said they're exploring legal options and working with local immigration groups. 

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-Rockland/Westchester) called on ICE to postpone his deportation so that he can graduate from high school. 

In a statement, Lowey said the teen was well-liked and admired, and that "young people who were brought to the United States as minors and have no criminal record should never be subject to such a cruel, deportation-first policy."

"While it is critical we work to improve our nation’s immigration system, the Trump Administration’s increasingly aggressive assault on immigrant families does not reflect the values on which this nation was founded," the statement continued. 

An online petition in support of Puma Macancela had more than 2,000 signatures by Friday evening, as he and his mother await deportation in ICE holding centers.

Photo Credit: Gabriela Macancela
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Va. Candidate's Flyers Criticize Rival for Backing Gay Judge


A flyer sent to Virginia residents ahead of the primary election Tuesday lists reasons why, according to one Republican state senator, voters should pick him and not a rival with a "liberal voting record in Richmond." 

The first reason: She "voted to approve the first openly gay judge in Virginia and [sic] only Republican to vote for special rights for gays and transgenders."

Fellow Republicans say the candidate for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Bryce Reeves, is using anti-gay bigotry to try to sway voters from longtime rival State Sen. Jill Vogel. 

In 2013, Vogel voted with the majority to confirm decorated Naval aviator Tracy Thorne-Begland as a Richmond judge. Reeves abstained.

Reeves' campaign defended the flyers. 

"My criticism of Ms. Vogel is that she voted to put a liberal on the court," a statement from his campaign said. 

Vogel's campaign chairman defended her vote for Thorne-Begland, citing his "exceptional qualifications" and said Vogel believes "discrimination is wrong."  

Republican Brian Schoeneman edits the conservative website Bearing Drift. He said the flyers from the Reeves campaign were wrong because it came across as "a straight-up attack on a judge because he happened to be gay."

State Sen. Adam Ebbin, a Democrat, was the first openly gay lawmaker in the General Assembly and said Reeves' actions were "wrong."

"He was wrong to have not voted on that nomination, and he's wrong to call out his fellow Republican on it and especially to scapegoat and use bigotry to do it in the waning days of the campaign," he said.

Glenn Davis, a Republican who also is seeking to be Virginia's lieutenant governor, also criticized the Reeves campaign for sending the flyers. 

"It's stuff like this that turns people off to politics, turns people off to serving in office, and, honestly, turns a lot of Republicans off," he said in a Facebook video.

This is not the first bad blood between Reeves and Vogel. Earlier this year, Reeves filed a civil lawsuit accusing the Vogel campaign of spreading false rumors about him. That case will not be resolved until after the primary.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington

Trump to Reveal Cuba Policy Changes in Miami Next Week: Source


President Donald Trump is expected to announce plans to undo Obama-era Cuba policies in Miami next Friday, a source with knowledge of the visit told NBC 6/Telemundo 51.

Trump will travel to Miami to detail the plan, which has been in the works for weeks. The location of the announcement has not been made public.

Several sources told NBC News last week the White House's plan to reverse U.S.-Cuba policies. Trump would announce the rollback in an executive order, citing human rights abuses on the communist-run island, according to NBC News.

The rollback is unlikely to completely sever diplomatic ties or shutter the U.S. Embassy in Havana, but it would prohibit business with the Cuban military, according to a Trump administration official and a person involved in the ongoing policy review.

Towards the end of former President Barack Obama's term, policies were changed to allow travel from the U.S. to the isolated country, and reauthorized U.S. businesses to operate in Cuba. Obama's approach to Cuba was one of engagement, his administration arguing that isolationist tactics would not fix Cuba's communist government.

In January, the Obama administration ended the "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which allowed any Cuban who made it to U.S. soil to stay and become a legal resident. He did this in an effort to treat the citizens of Cuba like every other country. 

Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Philly Day Care Worker Caught on Camera Smacking Child


A Philadelphia day care worker was fired after surveillance video surfaced Friday showing her smacking and pushing a child.

The Director of Olney Academy confirmed to NBC10 that the worker was immediately fired after the video surfaced on Facebook. In the video, the worker is seen approaching a small child, then swatting him.

The mother of the hit child, Brianna Woods, says she's glad the worker was fired. Her 2-year-old son Noah is seen falling in the video after the worker smacks him in the back of the head.

"I'm glad to hear she's been fired, but when I looked at the video myself I was wondering why she wasn't in cuffs," Woods said.

The director of the day care told NBC10 they followed protocol by immediately notifying the child abuse hotline.

Woods has filed a police report.

Photo Credit: NBC10

Dem Group to Troll Trump With Aerial Sign Over Jersey Shore


A Democratic group will take trolling to new heights this weekend.

The Bridge Project, affiliated with the Democratic super PAC American Bridge, will have a plane fly an aerial banner along the beaches of the New Jersey Shore on Saturday to call attention to the cost of President Donald Trump’s trip to his nearby golf resort, NBC News reported.

The banner, which reads, "TRUMP IS ON VACATION WITH YOUR $$,” will be flown nearly the entire length of the Jersey Shore, from Beach Haven to Sea Bright. The banner directs bathers to website TrumpEconomy.com, which tracks Trump’s vacations and contrasts them with negative statistics about the economy.

Trump’s frequent golf outings and the cost to taxpayers associated with them have become a point of controversy.

Photo Credit: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images, file

Trump’s Attempt to Go After Comey Could Backfire: Experts


Going after former FBI Director James Comey for leaking information could backfire on President Donald Trump, experts said Friday after Trump's personal attorney is said to be preparing to lodge a formal complaint.

Trump and his defenders have seized on a portion of Comey's Thursday testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in which he said he allowed a friend to share a memo with the press about his conversation with Trump, hoping it would trigger the appointment of a special prosecutor.

Legal experts told NBC News it's impossible to find any obvious violation in Comey's behavior, instead arguing the threat by Trump's attorney Marc Kasowitz is more of a meritless attempt to bully Comey.

Stephen Gillers, an ethics expert at New York University Law School, said "in no circumstance would the Judiciary Committee have jurisdiction to impose a penalty."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

About 80 Ducklings Found Dead in Lincoln Reflecting Pool


About 80 ducklings have been found dead in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool since May 20, the National Park Service said Friday.

Necropsies performed by the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center determined the cause of death was a parasite known to grow in snails living in the pool, the NPS said.

Crews will fully clean the pool by draining it Sunday and then will chemically treat it and scrub it. The pool should be refilled by June 19, the NPS said.

After the cleaning and treatment are complete, the NPS will continue to monitor the water quality of the pool, the agency said.

The parasites' effect on humans is limited to an allergic reaction, called "swimmer's itch," which is not contagious and rarely requires medical treatment.

The risk of a person being infected at the reflecting pool is extremely low, because contracting the parasite requires sustained contact, such as swimming, according to the NPS.

Police Search for Man Stealing Change From Cars in Norwich


Police are looking for the man who broke into several cars in Norwich early Saturday morning. 

Nowich Police said the man took loose change and other money from unlocked cars between midnight to 4 a.m.

The man was in the area of Will and Ash roads, the New London Turnpike, Teachers Drive, Newton Street, Cherry Hill, Dellwood Drive and Glenwood Drive. 

Anyway who may have been a victim of similiar theft or has video suveillance outside their homes that could help with the investigation is urged to call Norwich Police.

March Against Islamic Law Held in Waterbury


Waterbury police are on hand as two groups are holding competing rallies on Saturday.

A group called ACT for America is holding a march and rally against Islamic law on Grand Street beginning at 10 a.m. It is one of several similar marches being held around the country on Saturday.

"Not all women at killed. Some are beaten or attacked with acid. We must do more to protect these women. We must stand with them," one presenter said. 

A woman at the rally against Islamic law urged attendees to take a selfie to post on social media with the group's hashtag. 

"You hear stories of what goes on in Europe and we don't want any of those things going on here in the U.S." an attendee Mike Mercier told NBC Connecticut.

"(We're here) both for the Muslim women, but also infiltrating our schools saying that the Muslim faith is peaceful and watering the religion down to something that it's not and starting to have our children think that it's OK," Ruth Mercier, Mike's wife, said. 

At the same time, a Waterbury Muslim Community Outreach group is holding an informational session and rally on the same street.

"Discrimination is illegal," one demonstrator with the outreach group said in response to the anti-Sharia law rally. "We want to end the hate in the State of Connecticut."

"Love trumps Hate," the crowd chanted shortly after.

Samia Hussein, the president of the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut, said 

"It's common sense. What we got to do is we got to get together, we got to show our community, show Connecticut, show the U-S of A that we are here to support everyone. We're not going to paint a picture of just one community, we're here for everyone," the president of the coalition said. 

Hussein said she was not at the rally to clash with protesters but wanted to come together. She explained that Sharia is the freedom to prayer and a lifestyle guideline, just like other religions have. 

"This is really anti-Muslim because if they even know what Sharia is they would not be against it," Hussein said. 

The president of the Muslim Coalition also said Sharia practices the "law of any land its in", which means the laws of the United States are the laws followed by Muslims in the country. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Bear Cubs Clinging to Tree Makes For Great Photo Opportunity


What started as a momma bear ushering her cubs across a street in Avon, Connecticut, resulted in a great photo opportunity. 

Sue Anderson was driving to work on Monday when she encountered a bear family crossing Secret Lake Rd. at the intersection of Parkview Drive. 

"I saw the bears crossing the road and waited for them to get across," Anderson said. 

Once across the road the cubs decided to climb a tree as the mother kept guard and Anderson snapped a series of photos.

A third cub can't be seen in the photos.

Photo Credit: Sue Anderson
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Parachutist Had to 'Cut Away' in Ellington, No Injuries


A parachutist may have been injured in Ellington on Saturday.

Tolland County dispatch tweeted that Ellington fire and ambulance officials were responding to the area of Porter Road and Kibbe Road for a possible injured parachutist, but there ended up being no injuries.

The parachutist had problems while falling and had to "cut away" which means they disconnected the main parachute from their harness.

There are no injuries.

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Glastonbury Police Investigating Suspicious Death


Glastonbury police are investigating a suspicious death at a home on Woodhaven Road.

Officers responded to the home around 8:30 p.m. on Friday along with the Connecticut State Police Eastern District Major Crimes Squad.

There is no danger to the public, according to police.

Police said more information would be released as the investigation continues.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Crews Put Out Boat in Fire in Monroe Home Driveway


Crews put out a boat fire in a Monroe home's driveway on Saturday. 

The Monroe Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire on Christiana Drive at about 1 p.m.

No injuries were reported. 

Photo Credit: Josh Krize/Monroe Volunteer Fire Department

Price Chopper Issues Recall for Mislabeled Fish Sticks


Price Chopper and Market 32 Supermarkets has issued a voluntary recall for mislabeled fish sticks. 

High Liner Foods on 18 ct. Price Chopper Fish Sticks are being recalled because the product potentially contains milk, a known allergen, which is not listed on the ingredient label.

The product's UPC is 41735 03402.

The supermarket chain said if you do not have a milk allergy, there is no health risk. 

Customers affected by the recall can return the fish sticks for full refunds at a local Price Chopper or Market 32 location. 

Anyone with questions can call (800) 666-7667 or visit the website

2 Suspects Rob Henny Penny in Groton


Police said they are looking for two suspects who robbed the Henny Penny in Groton.

The robbery happened at approximately 4 a.m. on Saturday at the store located at the intersection of Route 184 and Route 117.

Anyone who was in the area or observed any suspicious activity is asked to call the us at (860) 441-6712.

Photo Credit: Groton Police Department

I-395 in Norwich Closed Following Serious Rollover Crash

Rep. Apologizes for ‘How Not to Be a Victim’ of Rape Post


An Indiana state lawmaker issued an apology Saturday for sharing a Facebook post that critics say suggest rape victims are responsible for being attacked.

Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican who represents Indiana’s 69th district, shared a photo of a handwritten letter he sent to an Indianapolis Star reporter on Monday, urging her to follow up a June 4 profile of a rape victim with a story about women “taking steps & learning how not to be a victim.”

The letter, written on official stationary embossed with Indiana’s state seal, was met with swift criticism and sparked a week-long debate and hundreds of comments, pitting Lucas and his supporters against others who said the post advocated “victim blaming.”

Lucas later deleted the posts and apologized, but he told the Star that the response to the posts were "totally blown out of proportion."

Photo Credit: Indiana House of Reps Republican Caucus

Special Olympics Summer Games Kicks Off in New Haven


Chris Bailey said he had a one goal as he competed in the long jump at the Special Olympics Summer Games in New Haven on Saturday.

“I want to win,” Bailey said.

As Bailey competed for the gold, he had an important teammate by his side.

“Derrick’s an awesome coach,” said Bailey.

Derrick Ford, the Seaside-Saybrook coach, is also a mentor and an important part of Chris’s support system. Special Olympics joins people with and without intellectual disabilities, called unified partners, to help train and compete.

Kim Johnson is athlete Rebecca Golden’s assistant coach for the New Milford team.

“I learned just to have fun and it doesn’t matter what place you get as long as you have fun and just do your best,” Golden said.

Johnson said it goes both ways.

“I’ve taught her probably friendship,” Golden said.

“She is a good friend. I do consider her my friend,” Johnson replied.

That connection is what helps the athletes shine and the impact is felt on and off the field.

“When you’re out on the track and you’re running you can’t tell if someone has a disability or doesn’t. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter at all. Everybody’s just out there doing their thing, having a great time, and showing what they can do,” Debbie Horne, of Special Olympics Connecticut, said.

“We love the kids and we love the athletes and we have a lot of fun. It’s just a lot of fun,” said Johnson.

It’s a weekend that participants and coaches look forward to every year.

“Spending time with my friends and family, my whole teammates,” said Jquan Lennox, of Meriden.

“Even though you’re competitive. Even though you’re going against each other, you’re still going to have a hug, a kiss and a big smile at the end of the day,” Ford said.

You don’t need to be a professional athlete to be a coach. Anyone can volunteer and Special Olympics Connecticut is always looking for more help. You can find more information about being a unified partner here.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Body of Enfield Man Pulled From Massachusetts Lake


The body of an Enfield man was pulled from a lake in Massachusetts on Saturday morning. 

The missing swimmer, Michael Chace, was last seen in Middle pond of the Congamond Lake on Friday. 

Recovery efforts from the Southwick, Massachusetts, police and fire departments were unsuccessful on Friday night and resumed again the next day.

The 33-year-old's body was located and recovered at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

The Congamond Lake remained open while the rescue was underway. 

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