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'Dollar Tree Grandpa Bandit' Arrested in Indiana: Police


An Enfield man has been arrested in Indiana on accusations that he is a serial robber known as the “Dollar Store Grandpa Bandit,” a suspect in a series of robberies across the country.

The suspect, 53-year-old David Hunter, was arrested in Indiana on Tuesday.

According to police in North Greenbush, NY, Hunter is accused in ten robberies at Dollar Tree stores and Dollar General stores across the nation, including one in North Haven and another in Enfield.

In the North Haven incident, police said the suspect was armed with a stun gun and a hand gun.

Police departments from across the country as well as the FBI were all involved in investigating the case.

Hunter was identified by a Connecticut State Parole officer through surveillance pictures gathered from multiple incidents. Hunter had previously been on parole.

Police said they were led to Hunter when they identified the car he was driving as a stolen 2017 Dodge Charger. The vehicle was located in Lawrenceburg, Ind.

Lawrenceburg police found Hunter inside a casino and took him into custody without incident. Hunter is currently being held on a federal arrest warrant in connection with a May 6 robbery at a Dollar Tree in New York.

“While the arrest has been made, there are still many aspects of the investigation that remain open. It is hoped Hunter’s motives for the robberies will be confirmed through further investigation. Due to the complexity of the joint investigation which involves various law enforcement agencies nationwide, the investigation may take several more weeks to conclude. We are relieved that this part of the case is over and nobody was hurt. Additionally, we appreciate the assistance we received from the many local and state law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the Intelligence agencies that all worked on this investigation,” said Chief Robert J. Durivage of the North Greenbush Police Department.

Hunter is currently in FBI custody. The investigation remains ongoing and it is unclear when Hunter will return to face charges in Connecticut.

Photo Credit: North Greenbush Police Department
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1 Dead, 1 Seriously Injured After Crash in Shelton


One person is dead and other has serious injuries after a crash at Leavenworth Road, Birdseye Road and School Street in Shelton at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday. 

Police said a 2004 Jeep Liberty driven by 65-year old Michael Bonavita, of Ansonia, and a 2007 Dodge Ram pickup driven by a 28-year-old New Milford man collided. Gregory Torwich, 60, of Ansonia was a passenger in the 2004 Jeep Liberty. 

Bonavita and Torwich were transported to the hospital in critical condition and Bonavita ultimately died from his injuries, police said. 

Torwich is listed in serious, but stable condition and the other driver suffered minor injuries, but refused treatment at the scene, according to police. 

Shelton police are investigating and witnesses or people with additional information can call the Shelton Police Traffic Division at (203) 924-1544. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

3 Killed, Gunman Dead in Shooting at SF UPS Facility


At least four people are dead in a mass shooting at a sprawling UPS warehouse in San Francisco Wednesday after a gunman opened fire on employees before shooting himself.

A person wearing a UPS uniform opened fire on three fellow employees and then "turned the gun on himself," UPS spokesperson Steve Gaut said. The shooter, identified by San Francisco police as San Francisco resident Jimmy Lam, is one of the four who died in the shooting. Two others were wounded.

Lam has a history of mental illness, sources told NBC Bay Area.

San Francisco police officers responded to calls about the shooting at 8:55 a.m. and found one suspect armed with an assault pistol, according to Assistant Police Chief Toney Chaplin. Officers found wounded victims inside the building and brought them to safety Wednesday. When they found the gunman, he put the weapon to his head and shot himself.

"He saw police and turned the gun on himself," Chaplin said. The shooting is not related to terrorism, he added.

Police said the suspect was wearing a UPS uniform, but officials couldn't confirm if he was an UPS employee.

"We cannot provide information as to the identity of persons involved at this time, pending the police investigation," UPS spokesperson Gaut said. "The company is saddened and deeply concerned about affected employees, family members and the community we share. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those touched by this incident."

Employees walking outside the facility after the shooting didn't want to comment on the shooting but referred to one of the victims as "Big Mike," saying he was planning to retire soon.

The shooting early Wednesday led to a massive police response and a shelter-in-place warning for the Portero Hill neighborhood and surrounding area. UPS described the facility at 2222 17th Street as a package sorting hub and package delivery center which employs 850 people.

Law enforcement officers have seized three clips of ammunition from the scene, sources said. The gunman didn't say much, just walked in and started firing, according to sources.

The shooter was reportedly still alive when he was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he eventually died. Two victims died at the scene of the shooting.

Police activity was first reported near 17th Street and Potrero Avenue, according to a tweet from the San Francisco Police Department at 9:06 a.m.

"#SFPD is at the scene of a shooting that occurred near 17th & Vermont. Please avoid the area, expect street closures and traffic delays #SF," the tweet from SFPD said. Police are asking people in the area to shelter in place. 

A couple of tweets from San Francisco residents showed several UPS employees on the roof of the UPS facility with their hands up. Members of the San Francisco SWAT team could be seen going inside the facility and on the rooftop conducting a search.

SFPD tweeted at 10:32 a.m. that they had "contained the building and it was secure." Special Ops continues to search the building for additional victims and witnesses. Muni and traffic routes in the area have been rerouted, impacting those on the way to work and school.

Eyewitneeses on Twitter earlier reported multiple ambulances rolling to the scene.

"Terrifying. All hell broke loose. I've seen this stuff in the news but never expected to see it in real life..." Mashie Kleven posted on Twitter.

According to video from NBC Bay Area's SkyRanger, dozens and dozens of UPS employees, some of them in brown UPS uniforms, could be seen coming out of the facility in a single file, surrounded by police. They gathered below the awning of the Il Pirata bar between Potrero Avenue and Utah Street before being escorted to safety.

Investigators were searching a red car parked near the scene of the shooting.

A witness told NBC News she was driving up Bryant Street with her husband when she saw dozens of UPS employees running in the opposite direction.

Sarah Meier-Heredia said she at first thought it was some sort of “group activity.” But the closer she got to the UPS facility, she saw employees running “haphazardly” in all different directions with a look of “panic on their faces.”

“When we were immediately outside the facility entrance, I saw a tall man that looked to be directing people out and away from the building,” she said. “As the final people came running out, I heard multiple gun shots. At first I thought eight or nine, but maybe more like five or six. Rapid succession, bam bam bam bam bam bam.” She said she ducked in the car while her husband drove off quickly.

Stay tuned for details.

NBC News's Andrew Blankstein contributed to this report.

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Gunman Opens Fire on GOP Congressional Baseball Practice


A gunman opened fire on a Congressional baseball practice early Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Virginia. Five people, including the shooter, were shot during the attack. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was among those shot. NBC News sources identified the shooter as James T. Hodgkinson. He was shot by Capitol police and later died of his injuries, President Trump told the nation from the White House.

Murphy's 'Heart Sank' When He Learned of Virginia Shooting


U.S. Senator Chris Murphy was at home when he heard about the shooting in Alexandria, Virginia at the Republican Congressional baseball team’s practice early Wednesday morning and he said his heart just sank. 

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, two Capitol Police officers, and an aide to Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, were wounded during the shooting.

Murphy, the only member of the Connecticut delegation on a Congressional baseball team, is on the Democratic team, which is slated to play in the charity baseball game against the Republican team tomorrow.

“My thoughts are with Steve, with the Capitol police with all of those that were on the scene this morning. It sounds absolutely awful,” said Murphy, who was not at practice because the two teams practice at different facilities.

Witnesses, including as many as 22 members of Congress who were at the field for the early morning practice, described a terrifying scene, with the gunman reloading while standing on the field and the wounded congressman "screaming for help."

Murphy said it’s hard to imagine that you would be in danger while going to baseball practice at 7 a.m.

The gunman was identified as James Hodgkinson, from Illinois. Local and Capitol Police shot at him and he died at a local hospital in the Washington, DC area.

“Clearly the Capitol police are there for a reason and we don't have all the details as to what happened this morning. It seems as if the Capitol police did their job and everyone is thankful they were there,” Murphy said.

Congressmen at the center of the terrifying ordeal said U.S. Capitol Police and Scalise’s security detail prevented the shooting at the baseball field from becoming a "massacre."

In the wake of the shooting, some members of Congress, including Murphy, said they would not be interested in a security detail.

“I know this job brings with it danger. This is the second colleague of mine that's been shot since I've been in Congress, but our job is to go out and talk to our constituents. Our job is to be out there in the public,” Murphy said.

“We get protection if we have specific threats made against us, but I think a lot of us have really had mixed feelings about having security details. I don't have one and that allows me to just be in more easy contact with my constituents without a barrier between me and the people that I serve,” Murphy added.

Murphy has been a vocal proponent for stricter gun control laws.

“My thoughts on gun policy in this country don't change with each individual incident. There are 80 people every day who are shot by guns. There are very high-profile incidents like this but every single day there are dozens of people who are shot. My belief in the way that the laws in the country should change on guns aren't informed by one incident or another it's about the data, it's about the broad range of experiences that this country has had with gun violence,” Murphy said.

Photo Credit: Senate Television via AP

Bloomfield Police Searching for Missing Suicidal Man


Bloomfield police are searching for a missing man who they said is suicidal.

Police have been looking for 34-year-old Joel Martinez since Tuesday, when he contacted a clinician about being involved in a disturbance and feeling suicidal, police said.

When police officers reached Martinez on his cell phone, he said he had a gun and would force a “suicide by cop” if he came into contact with the police, according to a news release.

Martinez is around 5-feet-7, weighs 170 pounds and has a large scar on his upper left arm and tattoos on both of his forearms, which include symbols and a large animal.

He was driving a 2013 white Subaru Legacy with Connecticut plate AG49105.

Police said there is an active arrest warrant for Martinez connected to a domestic violence incident in West Hartford.

They urge anyone who sees Martinez not to approach him because he might be armed and a danger to himself and others. Instead, call 860-242-5501 or 911.

Photo Credit: Bloomfield Police

Woman Charged in Crash That Injured 4 in North Haven


North Haven police have arrested a woman in connection with a four-vehicle crash on Dec. 2 that sent four people to the hospital.

The crash happened at Dixwell Avenue and Hartford Turnpike at 5:54 a.m. that December morning. Police said it appears a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe traveling west on Dixwell Avenue and a 2005 Toyota Rav 4 collided and the force of the crash sent the vehicles into a 2005 Chevrolet Uplander and a 1999 Honda Civic that were stopped at the intersection.

A 43-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman who were in the Hyundai sustained serious injuries and were transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, police said.

The 30-year-old man who was driving the Honda and a woman around 40 years old who was driving the Toyota were also injured, police said.

Police said they took 38-year-old Mishelle Riopedre, of Meriden, into custody.

She has been charged with two counts of second-degree assault with a motor vehicle, operating under the influence, failure to wear seatbelt, traveling too fast for conditions, failure to obey control signal, and two counts of second-degree assault with a weapon.

She was held in lieu of a $5,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Submitted

Zima Makes a Comeback


Zima was popular in the ‘90s and early 2000s and it's back at liquor stores in the United States, at least for a little while. 

Zima was discontinued in America in 2008, according to Crain’s, but its has returned after the success of MillerCoor’s Henry’s Hard Soda line

"The 90’s have become the quintessential decade for nostalgia, so it’s time for the return of our 90s icon,” Tristan Meline, senior marketing manager for Zima, said in a statement. “The press coverage and consumer feedback has been incredible. We will support Zima with influential partnerships, retail activation and digital, all to entice consumers to try ‘Zomething different."

MillerCoors says the clear malt liquor is here in time for Fourth of July celebrations, but it will be gone by Labor Day.

Zima has its own website if you want to see what it's all about.

Photo Credit: Zima
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Mom Arrested After 4-Year-Old Boy Found Wandering in Southington


A 4-year-old boy was found wandering a trail path in Southington on Sunday. 

The young boy was allegedly playing with another juvenile relative on the front lawn of a home on Germania Street, Southington Police said. 

The boy's mother, Tracy Lynn Dagata, 47, was allegedly in the back yard while the children played, police said. 

Around 5:35 p.m., police were dispatched to the area of West Center Street and Bristol Street after two witnesses saw the 4-year-old walking along the Southington Linear Trail on Sunday. 

The boy was not injured and did not require medical attention. He was left in the custody of a neighbor and the Department of Children and Families have been contacted.

Dagata was charged with risk of injury to a child and her bond was set at $2,500.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Man Punches Woman in Face During Road Rage Incident


A man punched a woman in the face in Southington during a road rage incident last week, police said. 

The victim told police she was driving on Marion Avenue on June 9 when she drove up behind a pickup truck being driven by Paul Haburay. 

According to police, Haburay's pickup truck suddenly swerved left before pulling over to the right side of the road. The victim told police she thought Haburay wanted her to pass, so she drove around the truck and continued on Marion Avenue.

As she was driving, the truck allegedly got right behind the victim's car, making her believe she would get hit in the rear of her car, so she pulled into a parking lot and the pickup truck followed, police reported.

The two drivers got out of their vehicles and the victim said Haburay began yelling about what happened in the road minutes before, Southington Police said. 

During the verbal argument, the victim said "without warning or provocation", Haburay punched her underneath her left yet, police said. 

The victim went into a nearby building, later obtained Haburay's license and the suspect left the area.

Haburay, 58, of Southington, was charged with third-degree assault and illegal operation of a motor vehicle with intent to harass or intimidate. His bond was set at $2,000.

Photo Credit: Southington Police

Deadlocked Escape Rooms Coming to Stamford


Deadlocked Escape Rooms is opening a location in Stamford and bringing its mystery solving adventure games to the city.

Escape rooms are a form of adventure entertainment in which participants are locked in a room and have to solve a series of puzzles and clues to escape from that room.

Deadlocked Escape Rooms will open at 1000 Hope St., near the State Cinema and the Stamford Twin Rinks.

The company said the venue is appropriate for all ages and purposes, from birthday parties to corporate events, and a variety of themes are offered.

Teams can either compete solo or against another team.

Photo Credit: WNBC

Another Day with Comfortable Temperatures


Comfortable air has moved into Connecticut following a three day heat wave. 

Temperatures on Wednesday reached the upper 70s and low 80s with very low humidity values. 

High temperatures on Thursday will be a bit cooler, only reaching the middle to upper 70s. 

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

The weather turns a bit unpleasant as we head into Friday. Right now we're forecasting mostly cloudy skies with scattered showers. Showers will be more widespread during the afternoon and early evening. 

Scattered showers will continue into Fathers Day weekend. The good news is that Saturday looks wetter than Sunday. High temperatures this weekend will range from the middle 70s Saturday to the middle 80s by Sunday.

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GOP Health Care Law Could Cost Nearly 1 Million Jobs: Report


The American Health Care Act, the GOP’s answer to Obamacare, could end up costing the U.S. economy close to 1 million jobs, researchers predicted Wednesday.

If the bill passes, it would initially boost jobs and increase economic output, "however, cuts in funding for Medicaid and health subsidies then begin to deepen, triggering sharp job losses and broad disruption of state economies in the following years," said Leighton Ku, director of the Center for Health Policy Research, who led the study team.

Health care jobs are an enormous part of the U.S. economy — making for 18 percent of the total Gross Domestic Product or GDP. Hospitals, clinics, doctors and health care services are major sources of jobs, too.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

6 Years After Last Congress Member Shot, Gun Gulf Remains


Rep. Steven Scalise, wounded in the hip Wednesday morning while at a congressional baseball practice in Virginia, became the first representative to be shot since former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was struck in the head while meeting with constituents six years ago.

But if Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, have devoted the years since her shooting to tightening gun control laws, Scalise is unlikely to follow the same path, based on his record. He is a longtime pro-gun politician who describes himself as a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and he has an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association.

The country’s bitter divide between proponents and opponents of stronger gun control measures surfaced immediately after the shooting as lawmakers and others decried the nasty political climate — epitomized by comedian Kathy Griffin posing in a photo with what looked like Donald Trump’s severed head — and the increased threats they faced. Scalise, as part of the House leadership, was accompanied to the practice by an armed detail from the Capitol police.

“Had they not been there, it would have been a massacre,” Sen. Rand Paul, the Republican from Kentucky, told MSNBC.

The attack saw lawmakers and others scrambling from bullets at a northern Virginia park. Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, a pediatric surgeon who served in the Army in Iraq and who treated Scalise on the field, tweeted, “You never expect a baseball field in America to feel like being back in a combat zone in Iraq, but this morning it did.”

Congress came together afterward in a bipartisan show of solidarity.

“An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us,” Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said afterward to applause from his colleagues, Republicans and Democrats.

And Republican Rep. Richard Hudson asked Americans to think about what had happened to political discourse in the country. 

“The expressed hatred, the vitriol – often expressed behind the safety of a keyboard – and the inability to listen to and respect someone with a different point of view has become the new normal,”  he said. “It has to stop. We have to remember we are Americans first.” 

But on social media and elsewhere, people immediately began staking out partisan positions on gun control. As in the past, some conservatives criticized any mention of gun legislation too close to the shooting, with the Daily Caller publishing an article titled “Steve Scalise Was Still Bleeding, And Liberals Were Calling For Gun Control.”

Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican who used his belt as a tourniquet on Scalise, was asked by a reporter at a local ABC station whether the shooting had changed his mind on the guns in the United States.

“Not with respect to the Second Amendment,” he responded. “The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to ensure that we always have a republic. And as with any constitutional provision in the Bill of Rights, there are adverse aspects to each of those rights that we enjoy as people. And what we just saw here is one of the bad side effects of someone not exercising those rights properly.”

A congressman from western New York, Republican Rep. Chris Collins, told Buffalo television station WKVW-TF that he would carry a firearm when he was out. Collins has a concealed carry permit.

“On a rare occasion, I would have my gun in a glove box or something,” Collins told the television station. “But it's going to be in my pocket from this day forward.”

On the other side of the debate, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe in response to a question at a news conference called for background checks and shutting down loopholes for sales at gun shows.

“That’s not for today’s discussion,” the Democrat said, but added, “it’s not just about politicians. We worry about this every day for all of our citizens.”

McAuliffe noted that a Virginia state police special agent, a father of three, had been shot to death, on Friday night during a vehicle stop in Richmond,

“I talk about this every single day,” McAuliffe said. “This is a very serious issue.”

Even as the country focused on the wounded lawmakers, a shooting at a UPS facility in San Francisco left four dead, including the assailant.

After news emerged that Scalise had been shot, Giffords issued this statement: “My heart is with my former colleagues, their families & staff, and the US Capitol Police- public servants and heroes today and every day.”

The former congresswoman from Arizona, who was a Republican but now describes herself as a moderate Democrat, underwent a long and intensive rehabilitation after a bullet went through her brain. Six of the victims shot with her died and her assailant, Jared Loughner, was sentenced to life in prison.

On MSNBC, Giffords' husband, with whom she founded the non-profit Americans for Responsible Solutions, said his thoughts immediately went to moment he learned his wife had been shot.

“Things like this are an assault on our democracy,” he said. “Unfortunately, it's a dangerous country we live in but there are things we can do to try and make it a safer place.”

He and Gifford have worked for expanding the federal background check system, enacting strong laws against gun trafficking, stiffening penalties for straw purchases and investing in funding for research about the causes and impact of gun violence.

Scalise, a conservative Republican from Louisiana, was wounded when James T. Hodgkinson opened fire on the lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old from Belleville, Illinois, was killed in a shootout with law enforcement officers. 

The bullet that struck Scalise's left hip fractured bones, injured internal organs and caused severe bleeding, MedStar Washington Hospital Center said Wednesday night. He remained in critical condition and will need further surgery, it said.

Scalise has sponsored or cosponsored bills that would require states to recognize each other’s gun permits, allow for the interstate sale of firearms and lift restrictions on firearm possession in the District of Columbia.

“A member of the Congressional Second Amendment Task Force, Congressman Steve Scalise will continue fighting to protect every citizen's Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms,” his website says.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Getty Images
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Retired Shelton K-9 Dies


A retired police K-9 in Shelton died on Tuesday. 

Jager started with the Shelton Police Department in 2008 partially through a donation from People's United Bank. 

The dog was paired with Detective Christopher Nugent and assisted in several local, state and federal agencies during his career.

"K-9 Jager was an effective tool for law enforcement during major investigations in Shelton and other jurisdictions. K-9 Jager and his handler proved to be an effective team by combining Nugent’s law enforcement awareness and K-9 Jager’s willingness to work," Shelton Police Chief Shawn Sequeira said.

Jager helped with approximately 75 successful tracks and apprehended as many as 15 dangerous suspects, police said. 

Police said Jager and Nugent were active in the community and known to visit schools, functions and programs in the area. 

Jager retired in 2014 and continued to live with his partner Nugent.

Photo Credit: Shelton Police Department

Visitors Have Had Enough of Trash at Scantic State Park


The Powder Hollows section of Scantic River State Park has been left trashed and visitors who use the park have had enough.

Chris Stebbins and his family love going to Scantic River State Park. They go at least twice a week. But on Wednesday, it wasn’t the scenic trail or river they noticed most, but instead, a trail of trash left over.

"There’s garbage everywhere. As soon as you walk down there’s garbage bails as soon as you come in, you got baby diapers, there’s garbage bags! Why can you just put your stuff in a garbage bag and bring it out and take it away, that’s disgusting," Stebbins said.

"As soon as I saw this I was like ok – I don’t really want to go over here and I really want to respect the environment," Stebbins' 8-year-old daughter, Hailey, said.

Stebbins said he saw about 20 to 30 people in the Powder Hollow section of the state park yesterday making quite a mess, but he assumed they would clean up after themselves.

Even though alcohol at the park has been banned, it’s clear not everyone follows the rules.

"Who knows what’s in that and they’re trying to get at it," Stebbins' wife, Samantha, said after one of their dogs was trying to get into the trash. "And if they were off the leash to go and eat it and we didn’t notice, something could happen to (the dogs) easily.”

Garbage bins are about a 20 second walk from where the mess was left.

It's not the first time an incident like this has happened.

In July of 2015, trash was found left all over the park.

Two months later, state park officials and Enfield town leaders met with the community to try and figure out ways on how to conserve Scantic River State Park.

Hoping it would allow the town to have better oversight of the park, a change.org petition is asking the Enfield town council to request to obtain property rights for the state park from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

After NBC Connecticut reached out to the DEEP, spokesperson Dennis Schain said in a statement:

"It is certainly sad to see that people left so much trash behind at Powder Hollow. Given the hot temperatures yesterday, a larger than normal crowd visited the park, and left a mess. Staff will be there tomorrow to clean up.

We urge park visitors to help protect our parks by properly disposing of all litter - either by placing trash in the containers we provide, or packing it out and disposing of it at home at locations where we do not have receptacles. It is difficult to keep our parks clean and inviting without the cooperation of the public."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Body Pulled From Housatonic River in Stratford


A body was pulled from the Housatonic River in Stratford on Wednesday.

The man recovered from the river was identified as Tavares Harris, Stratford officials said. 

Harris went missing on June 6 after he crashed his car into the Devon Bridge shortly after midnight. Officials said he then jumped from the bridge, prompting a search and recovery effort that lasted several days and involved multiple agencies.

No other information was immediately available. 

Photo Credit: Town of Stratford

Avoid Children Products With These 3 Toxic Chemicals: State


State agencies are asking parents to avoid children's furniture and other products that contain three highly-toxic flame retardant chemicals.

“The scientific and medical communities’ understanding of the risks to health, especially for young developing children, posed by flame retardants continues to evolve and we are proud to work with our sister agencies to educate the public on the dangers of these chemicals to young children,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino. “We want parents and others to make informed, safe choices when purchasing products for their children.”

A warning about the three chemicals was put out by he Connecticut Departments of Consumer Protection (DCP), Public Health (DPH) and Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) on Wednesday. 

The first chemical, tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCPP), was previously removed from sleepwear in the 1970s because of cancer concerns, however, it is still widely used in children products including crib bumpers, changing table pads and foam padded sleep mats. 

The other chemicals, tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP), and hexabromocyclododecane(HBCD), are flame retardants that can build up in a child's body over time and potentially affect the endocrine system and brain development, the agencies said. 

State officials said TCEP is found in many of the same products as TDCPP.

HBCD can be found in some car seats and soft furniture. 

For more information, please visit the website

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Parents Speak at Sandy Hook Promise Gala in DC


Nicole Hockley, who lost her son 6-year- old Dylan at Sandy Hook Elementary School, emceed the Sandy Hook Promise’s event to honor "promise champions" in Washington on Wednesday.

The mother said so-called Sandy Hook hoaxers— who claim the tragedy never happened— have "wreaked hell in our lives."

"All I've done is have a child murdered and I'm trying to create something positive out of that. And for someone to attack me for that— I just can't understand that mentality at all," Hockley said.

Hockley told NBC Connecticut she does not engage with conspiracy theorists because she does want to feed fuel to the fire. But she did reach out to NBC’s Megyn Kelly, whose controversial interview with Sandy Hook denier Alex Jones airs Sunday.

"She's been very respectful and very gracious. We have a difference of opinion here. She believes in what she is doing, I believe in what I am doing and I believe she is making the wrong decision by broadcasting this interview," Hockley said.

Sandy Hook Promise, an anti-gun violence group, said it had asked Kelly to step down as host of its Wednesday-night gala in Washington. The group cannot support Kelly or NBC's decision to give a platform to Jones and hopes NBC reconsiders its plan to broadcast the interview, said Hockley. 

"What I think we're doing is journalism," Kelly said in a statement. "The bottom line is that while it's not always popular, it's important. I would submit to you that neither I nor NBC News has elevated Alex Jones in any way. He's been elevated by 5 or 6 million viewers or listeners, and by the president of the United States. As you know, journalists don't get the choice over who has power or influence in our country."

For more on Kelly's response, please click here

Mark Barden lost his 7-year-old son Daniel in the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.

"I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone and all I can see it is probably just too intense...too hard for someone to wrap their head around," Barden said.

Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, founded the organization with Barden.

"The fact that anyone could believe that what we live with every day is not true or that my son never lived or that my son never died or that I'm some crisis actress is reprehensible, deplorable and completely unacceptable," Hockley said.

What no one can deny is the spirit of Sandy Hook Promise.

"The ultimate goal of Sandy Hook promise is to teach people that gun violence is preventable when you know the signs," Hockley said.

Connecticut lawmakers who call for more gun control in the United States also spoke at the gala in Washington, DC on Wednesday.

"They really want to make the world safer, more knowledgeable, more caring," Senator Richard Blumenthal said about the foundation.

Senator Chris Murphy echoed Blumenthal's statement and added that the group does well not politicizing issues.

"You got Republicans here, you got Democrats here. What Sandy Hook Promise does so well is to try to depoliticize this issue. Yes they care about background checks, but they're also just trying to make sure that families and educators know how to identify the signs of serious mental illness," Murphy said.

Hockley said Sandy Hook Promise goes around the country to educate people on the signs of risky behavior and that it has helped stop multiple school shootings and suicides already.

The foundation promises to keep alive the memories of the 26 lives lost in 2012.

"It's emotional for me and it's never going to go away and I wouldn't want it to go away. I keep my little Daniel close to my heart all the time. There's not a minute that goes by that my heart isn't breaking and that I don't desperately miss my little boy," Barden said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Senate Health Care Bill Remains Shrouded in Secrecy


The Senate is finalizing a health care bill that could affect coverage for millions of Americans and overhaul an industry that makes up one-sixth of the economy.

Only one problem: Almost no one knows what’s in it, NBC News reported.

In a striking break from how Congress normally crafts legislation, the Senate is conducting its negotiations behind closed doors. The process began five weeks ago with a small working group of 13 senators, no women included.

The lack of transparency makes it impossible to evaluate whether there are any significant changes coming to health care. There are no hearings in which the public can watch experts' testimony or where Democrats can offer amendments.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mark Wilson
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