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Alert Issued for Missing Meriden Woman


Police have issued an alert for a 75-year-old Meriden woman missing since Monday morning.

Blanca Murillo, of Meriden, was last seen around 11:30 a.m. as she was leaving the Louis P. Slade Middle School, at 183 Steele St. in New Britain, according to the alert from New Britain police.

Murillo is 4-feet-11 and weighs 98 pounds, according to police. She was wearing a black coat, red and white shirt, gray pants and black boots when she was seen last, according to police.

Anyone with information on Murillo’s whereabouts is asked to call New Britain Police at 860-826-3000. 

Man Denied Service at Adult Club Comes Back With Gun: Police


New Haven police have charged a 50-year-old East Haven man accused of showing up with a gun at an adult entertainment venue after being denied service.

Just after midnight on Saturday, New Haven police responded to the Key Club and heard arguing from the front door.

A man was yelling at the doorman and demanding to know why he'd been refused service and asked to leave, police said. The doorman told the officer that the man, identified as John Alberino, had caused a disturbance inside and wasn't welcome there, police said.

The officer determined that nothing serious had happened and told Alberino to leave.

Alberino left, police said. 

About half an hour later, police said they saw Alberino drive back by the Key Club. They approached and found the doorman behind the door as Alberino was yelling at him, police said.

Police ordered Alberino to shut off the car, but he refused and tried driving off, police said.

Officers pulled Alberino from the car, handcuffed him and found a loaded Glock .45 caliber pistol on the passenger seat, police said.

The doorman told officers that Alberino had driven up, pointed a gun at him from inside the car, told him he wanted to have a talk with him and said, "I got something for you," the doorman told police.

He told officers he was afraid that he'd be shot and went inside as police arrived.

Alberino had no identification or pistol permit on him and said they were at home, police said.

His wife arrived minutes later with the items.

John Alberino was arrested and charged with threatening in the second degree, breach of peace in the second degree, failure to carry a pistol permit and four motor vehicle violations. The gun was turned into the property room at headquarters and the car was released to the wife.


Soccer Player Showed Gun at Sports Club: Police


A 26-year-old Hartford man accused of brandishing a gun inside a Glastonbury sports club while he was there for soccer game Sunday was arrested, according to police.

Police responded to the Oakwood Sports Center in Glastonbury at 11:02 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6 after receiving a report of a man brandishing a handgun inside the building.

Police said Sean Vincent, 29, of Hartford, was at the Oakwood to play in a soccer league when he showed the gun.

He left in a car. When officers stopped him shortly thereafter, they said they found a handgun in his possession.

Vincent was charged with threatening in the first degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, breach of peace and suspended registration/insurance.

Bond was set at $30,000 surety. Vincent remains in police custody and he is due in court on Jan. 7.


Proposal to Rename School to Honor Victoria Soto


The Mayor of Stratford wants to rename a school in town for teacher Vicki Soto, who lost her life while protecting her students inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Soto, 27, grew up in Stratford and still lived there at the time of her death.

Mayor John Harkins proposed Monday to rename the Honeyspot Elementary School in memory of Soto.

"In the days since the tragedy in Sandy Hook, the stories of bravery and heroism by Stratford's own Victoria Soto have been both heart-wrenching and abundant," Harkins said in a statement. "She gave her life protecting children, and we must make sure her sacrifice is never forgotten. Over the last couple of weeks, I have met with Victoria's family and discussed how the town can recognize her in a meaningful and appropriate way. Her family has shown amazing strength and resilience in remembering and honoring Victoria's life."

A new school building has already been approved for the site of the Honeyspot Elementary School and construction is scheduled to begin over the summer. Once the building is completed, it will be renamed to honor Soto, according to Harkins.

The Town Council must approve the proposal. The measure is expected to be taken up at the Town Council's Jan 14 meeting.

Police Investigate Assault at Plainfield Renewable Energy Plant


Plainfield police are investigating after the general superintendent of a construction site at the Plainfield Renewable Energy Plant was attacked at work early Monday morning.

Police responded to the plant at 5:40 a.m. to investigate an assault and found Lon Jacobs, 54, of Plainfield, lying on the ground and suffering from multiple injuries.

Police said Jacobs arrived at work around 4 a.m. and soon after confronted an individual on the property and was attacked from behind.

Jacobs had been struck in the head and across his body with a large piece of rebar, according to police.

He was nearly unconscious but was able to crawl to safety, where another employee who was arriving to work found him.
Jacob was transported to the Plainfield Backus Emergency Center to be treated.

Plainfield Police Department processed the crime scene and are in the process of obtaining video surveillance of the property.

Anyone with information about the attack is urged to call the Plainfield Police Department at 860-564-0804 or the anonymous tip line at 860-564-7065.


Man Causes Alarm By Going to School, Asking About Security: Police


Middletown police have charged a local man with breach of peace after he went to a local elementary school to ask about security and mentioned the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to police.

Police responded to the Moody School on Country Club Road just before 11:30 a.m. on Friday to investigate a report of suspicious activity.

Police said officials from the school were visibly upset and told officers that a man had come to the school about half an hour earlier and asked “How secure is the school?” according to police.

School representatives told police they did not know the man and were alarmed because of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School three weeks earlier.

The school principal went to talk to him.

“Who are you, the big guns?” he asked, according to police.

Then he asked if she should carry a gun like in Texas and mentioned the Newtown school shooting, according to police. School officials asked the man to leave and he left.

School officials provided license plate information, which eventually led police to Robert Manning, 66, of Middletown, who told police he had gone to the Moody School to see if security measures had been increased since the shooting in Newtown, according to police.

As police were speaking to Manning, he told officers that he had family members who work in and attend schools in Meriden, police said.

When officers asked why he did not go to one of those schools, he said the Moody School is closest to his house and he did not want to embarrass family members.

He then went on to say that he did not feel like there was anything wrong with going to the school and asking the questions he did, according to police.

Police issued a misdemeanor summons charging Manning with breach of peace in the second degree because of the panic the incident caused, according to a report from police, and told him not to return to Moody School.  

Driver Charged in Deadly New Year's Day Crash


A former Moosup man was arrested Monday in connection with a crash in Plainfield that killed a passenger in his car.

According to police, Zachariah Silvestri, 22, lost control of his Ford Explorer at 2:10 a.m. on Jan. 1. The SUV hit a tree off Spaulding Road and flipped over and landed on its roof. Silvestri and his front seat passenger, Trevor Swabby, 21, both survived the crash.

Cory Carlson, 21, who was in the rear seat, was ejected and died at the scene. Carlson had to be identified by fingerprints to the severity of his injuries, police said.

Police obtained a warrant for Silvestri, who now lives in Long Island City, New York. The warrant charges Silvestri with second-degree manslaughter and operating under the influence. He turned himself into police Monday morning.

Silvestri was released on $75,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Danielson Superior Court on Jan. 22.

Photo Credit: Plainfield Police

School Bleach Incident Was Premeditated: Police


A 14-year-old girl has been arrested after police said she threw bleach on girls in the school gym at Westville High School in Stamford on Monday morning.


Two 14-year-old freshmen were fighting in the gymnasium area at 7:25 a.m. and one girl threw bleach at the other, police said.


Police said it was a premeditated attack and the girl brought the bleach from home.  


Four other girls who were watching the fracas were sprayed with bleach, according to police.


The school resource officers and school security responded and detained the two involved in the fight.


Three juveniles were transported to area hospitals to be treated after coming into contact with the bleach. One sustained an eye injury when bleach was thrown in her face, police said.


All injuries appear to be superficial and all were released from the hospital.


The 14-year-old accused of throwing the bleach was charged her with assault in the first degree, criminal attempt at assault in the first degree, five counts of reckless endangerment in the first degree and five counts of risk of injury to a minor and transported to the Bridgeport Juvenile Detention Center.


School officials will take their own disciplinary actions.



Photo Credit: Getty Images

School Board Discusses Future After Sandy Hook Shooting



The Board of Education in Newtown met Tuesday night for the first time since the December 14th tragedy.  School officials admit a lot has happened since their last meeting in early December.

"We've been through a lot together and we will continue to weather this," said Janet Robinson, Newtown's Superintendent. She presented four key items at the meeting.

She and Board Chair Debbie Leidlein opened by thanking the neighboring town of Monroe for their kindness and generosity, namely allowing the students of Sandy Hook to remain as a unit

"The ability to keep our school together, words can't describe what a generous gift that is," Leidlein added.

Parents gathered for the board's first meeting at Reed Intermediate School on Travers Lane. Many came to express their desire for police to continue to remain at area schools, including Amy Roman who moved to Newtown with her family three years ago specifically for the school system.

"We feel it has gone from a want to a need," said Roman. Her kids do not go to Sandy Hook.

In her Superintendent report, Robinson laid out some of her ideas for moving forward including asking the state commissioner of education to waive the requirement of 180 days in class for Sandy Hook students; having a more aggressive security committee; continuing with the plan to beef up police presence at school; and waiving the need for Sandy Hook students to take a mandate state test because it might provoke too much anxiety.

"Every day we go through as a district we're doing better," Robinson said.

The board's chair insists there are a lot of unknowns going forward. They want to keep their focus on helping and aiding those who are still suffering from the school shooting.  As a board, they feel they will learn more about long term needs in the next few months.


Photo Credit: AP

Suspect's Girlfriend Speaks About Officer Shooting


Jason Razzino's girlfriend, Ashley Williams, said her boyfriend had much to live for, but suffered from depression and alcohol addiction. 

Police have identified Razzino, 30, as the man who shot a Norwich police officer during a stand-off on Monday, and then shot and killed himself.

Williams said she and Razzino moved into their Cedar Glen Apartment in October and were expecting their first child next month.

However, Razzino's battle with depression and alcohol addiction stood in the way of their total happiness.

It's a battle Razzino was desperately seeking help for, Williams said.

"He was trying to get help," said said from her mother's Rhode Island home a day after Razzino turned a gun on a police officer and then himself inside their apartment during an 11-hour standoff.

"He was calling doctors and trying to get in for some mental health issues for months," Williams stated.

Williams believe that the stresses of life led him to tell her to take his 11-year-old son to Rhode Island on Sunday so he could think about some things on his own.

On Monday morning he was fine, but by afternoon he became upset, telling her he called the suicide hotline while she called Norwich Police, Williams said.

“To let them know that he may be dangerous. To be careful,” Williams said.

The situation escalated when police arrived around 2:45 p.m., according to State Police. Razzino barricaded himself inside his apartment with at least one handgun and a rifle.

An hour later, shots were fired and 14-year Norwich Police veteran Jonathan Ley was hit with four of the bullets.

Williams said she remained in contact with Razzino until around 7 p.m., when his phone started going straight to voice mail. She continued to get updates from the negotiator at the scene, but never spoke to her boyfriend again.

However, a chilling last Facebook message Razzino posted during the standoff gives a glimpse of his mental state. It read, "let's bang this out."

"It's heart-wrenching because you just want to tell him that this dosen’t need to happen, ” she said through tears. "I know he was hurting and I know he was scared and that was the worst part."

Williams, who is on maternity leave from the military, said police called her at 2 a.m. to let her know Razzino was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound when they entered his apartment.

“I’m sorry that officer got hurt. As for Jason, I don’t know what he was thinking. He was not this person,” she said.

Officer Ley's condition continues to improve at Yale-New Haven Hospital.


Crash Causes Delays on Route 85, Waterford


Expect traffic delays on Route 85 Southbound at the Waterford town complex after a car hit a pole and snapped it.

No injuries are reported, but firefighters, police and utility workers will be at the scene for an extended period.

Police ask motorists to use caution and drive slowly in the area.

Photo Credit: Waterford Police

Part of Route 195, Mansfield, Closed


Route 195 is closed for a 2-mile stretch in Mansfield between Chaffeeville and Spring Hill Roads.

A vehicle hit a utility pole.

View Larger Map

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Officer's Condition Improving After Norwich Shooting


A Norwich Police officer has been upgraded from critical condition to serious condition and now to fair condition after being shot five times on Monday during a standoff.

State police have identified the shooter as Jason Razzino, 30, and  said he took his own life. Police said he suffered a single self-inflicted gunshot.

The officer has been identified as Officer Jonathan Ley, a veteran of the Coast Guard who has been with Norwich Police for 14 years. Police said he is a highly decorated veteran of the department.

Ley, the father of a 2-year-old son, is outgoing, police said, and has been the face of the department at job fairs.

Neighbors said he is an outdoorsy person who loves canoeing and bike riding.

Police were called to the Cedar Glen Apartment complex at 99 Cedar Street around 2:45 p.m. after receiving a report of a despondent person with a weapon who threatened to commit suicide-by-cop.

Police said Razzino had a rifle and a handgun.

Officers set up a perimeter around the building and tried to communicate with Razzino, according to police.

Around 3:55 p.m., several shots were fired and Officer Ley struck several times.  

He was rushed by ambulance to Backus Hospital in Norwich and then transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, according to State Police. Officials said that Ley was shot in the arm, leg, back and base of the neck. Officials said on Tuesday morning that Ley is talking and is able to move his arms and legs.

The apartment building was evacuated during the standoff. Police found Razzino dead in the bathroom.

People who were evacuated from the Cedar Street area were taken to the Kelly Middle School in Norwich. The American Red Cross delivered supplies for more than a dozen people who were there.

Neighbors said Razzino was a nice guy and had a girlfriend and at least one child.

State Police also responded to the scene with additional manpower and specialized equipment, according to Norwich Deputy Police Chief Warren Mocek.


Photo Credit: AP Photo/The Norwich Bulletin, John Shishmanianb

Jets' Press Conference Got the Expected Response


The reviews are in for the Jets' long-awaited press conference and, to the surprise of only those who have never lived through a New York sports meltdown before, they are negative

Everywhere you look, there's someone castigating owner Woody Johnson as a misguided incompetent for sticking with Rex Ryan or mocking Ryan's desire to install an offensive scheme that mirrors his own aggressiveness and attacking style. It's tough to argue too much about those takes. 

Johnson didn't even bother trying to explain why Ryan survived when Mike Tannenbaum took the fall and his coaching staff was again tweaked around him. It sounded pretty much like what Johnson had to say about Ryan when he first hired him with almost no sense that there was an increased accountability on Ryan's shoulders for the state of the team. 

And Ryan's assertions about the offense a year after vowing to take a bigger role on that side of the ball and hiring Tony Sparano as offensive coordinator because he was a "mirror" of Ryan are absolutely ridiculous. It's long past the point where it has become clear that Ryan has neither the affinity nor the skills for offense so anything he says needs to be taken with an entire salt lick. 

Here's the thing, though. What kind of grand explanation people were expecting to hear from the Jets on Tuesday afternoon? 

If you strip away the particular circumstances of this Jets season, there's not much to separate the Jets' postseason press conference from those held at the end of the season for every team that doesn't make the playoffs and doesn't fire their coach. Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese didn't make any profound statements about the Giants because no one makes profound statements at these things. 

You can't strip away the circumstances, of course, and the Jets opened themselves up to all manners of criticism for just about everything they did on and off the field this season. None of that makes their answers any more unusual on Tuesday.

Of course the Jets are going to say they believe Mark Sanchez can be their quarterback on a Tuesday in January because there's absolutely no value to them saying anything otherwise. Feel free to complain that they again failed to explain anything about why Tim Tebow was on this team, but just admit that any explanation would be derided as an excuse after the fact. 

Johnson didn't make a playoff trip a mandate for Ryan keeping his job, but does such a thing really need to be spelled out? The Chargers and Eagles did that before this season, which basically makes you wonder why they wasted an entire season with a coach they couldn't even be bothered to fake support. 


"My confidence in him as a coach, you know, obviously, gives me the confidence to keep him as the coach," Johnson said on Tuesday. 

The construction of that quote is horrendous, but the content of it isn't markedly different than anything an owner of a losing team has said in the past about holding onto their coach. If Johnson's keeping Ryan as coach, it better be because of the passion and coaching acumen cited on Tuesday.

He might be wrong in his read on Ryan, but to say he's wrong to express belief in the man he's chosen to run the team stretches things way too far. And to go any further on Tuesday -- talking specifics about the quarterbacks or trading Darrelle Revis, for instance -- would have been nuts for a team without a general manager.  


The Jets may be on the verge of another fall off of another cliff. If they do fall, though, it will be because of the offseason to come and not because of the same 45 minutes of talk we hear from all but a handful of teams every single year. 

After all, if press conferences won you anything then the Jets wouldn't have to hold one to talk about a 6-10 season. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Former CCSU Professor is Inaugural Poet


Richard Blanco, a former member of the creative writing faculty at Central Connecticut State University, will serve as the Inaugural poet at President Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremony on Monday, January 21, according to the the Presidential Inauguration Committee.
“I’m honored that Richard Blanco will join me and Vice President Biden at our second Inaugural,” President Obama said in a statement. “His contributions to the fields of poetry and the arts have already paved a path forward for future generations of writers. Richard’s writing will be wonderfully fitting for an Inaugural that will celebrate the strength of the American people and our nation’s great diversity.”
Blanco was born in Spain to Cuban exiles and his parents emigrated to New York City days after his birth and eventually settled in Miami.

Blanco was a consultant engineer, writing about abstract concepts and preparing arguments on behalf of his clients, until 1999, when he joined the creative writing faculty at Central Connecticut State University until 2001. There, he taught a course in which students studied Latino and Latina literature.

Thereafter, he served as instructor at various universities throughout the country, including American and Georgetown universities, all the while maintaining his career in consulting engineer.
Blanco won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and the PEN American Center Beyond Margins Award. 
In addition to family and love and the passing of a generation of relatives, Blanco’s work also explores how his cultural identities as a Cuban-American gay man intersect, according to a news release.
"I’m beside myself, bestowed with this great honor, brimming over with excitement, awe, and gratitude,” Blanco said. “In many ways, this is the very ‘stuff’ of the American Dream, which underlies so much of my work and my life’s story—America’s story, really.  I am thrilled by the thought of coming together during this great occasion to celebrate our country and its people through the power of poetry.”


Photo Credit: Author Photo by Nico Tucci

Alabama QB's Girlfriend: Media "Unfair" to ESPN Announcer


ESPN issued a public apology on Tuesday for announcer Brent Musburger’s on-air gushing during the BCS championship game over Katherine Webb, the 2012 Miss Alabama and girlfriend of University of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron. But in true pageantry fashion, Webb deflected the attention back to the Crimson Tide’s big win on Monday against Notre Dame.

“I am honestly really shocked that it took off like that,” Webb told Matt Lauer on the "Today" show. “I think that we need to draw back our attention to who the real winners are and that’s the Alabama football team.”

Webb’s popularity took off during the BCS championship game when Musburger’s on-air fawning led to an onslaught of Twitter followers for the beauty queen. During the broadcast, Musburger commented on Webb's looks as the camera repeatedly panned to her location in the stands. “Wow, I’m telling you quarterbacks, you get all the good-looking women,” he said. Webb, however, had no idea about her new-found fame as her phone died before the game started, she said.

“During the game, a few of my friends that were sitting beside me turned around and said ‘Oh my gosh, Katherine, look what’s on the Internet’ and it was a screenshot me and A.J.’s mom Dee Dee Bonner,” Webb told Lauer.

ESPN apologized on Tuesday, but she said people need to cut Musburger some slack.

"I think the media has been unfair to him," she said. "The fact that he said we were beautiful and gorgeous, I don't see why any woman wouldn't be flattered by that."

As of Wednesday morning, Webb had garnered over 224,000 Twitter followers. Before the game, she only had a few hundred Twitter fans.

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Photo Credit: PR NEWSWIRE

Firefighters Extinguish Commercial Fire in Shelton


Firefighters have put out a two-alarm fire at a commercial building in Shelton and investigators are trying to determine what started it.

Officials believe that the fire started inside the vacant Apex Tool and Cutter Co. building on Canal Street around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

When firefighters arrived, flames were shooting through the roof and windows. Smoke was visible from blocks away.

The fire burned for two hours. At one point, it jumped from the Apex Tool building to the Better Packages building next door, so firefighters were battling two fires in two different buildings.

Phillip White, the president of Better Packages, said the building sustained water damage and the computers on the main floor were damaged.

"It's mostly water damage. The roof had to be opened up to allow the firemen to do their job, but most of it is confined to areas that are not significant. Our production areas were mostly unscathed," White said.

The fire has been extinguished and no injuries are reported.

Photo Credit: Steve Miller, NBC Connecticut

2 Men Beaten in South Windsor Business


South Windsor Police are investigating the assault of two men at Forced Induction Motor Sports, LLC on Edwin Street on Tuesday night.

Police identified the victims as Robert Lareau, 28, of Enfield, the business owner; and his employee, Ryan Kelleher, 21, of Windsor.

Kelleher called police at 9:20 p.m. to report that he and his boss had been beaten at the business, which is located at 51 Edwin St., police said.

Lareau was not responsive when police arrived.

Both had head and facial wounds and were taken to Hartford Hospital, police said. Lareau is in intensive care, according to police.

No guns were used, police said.

Police said they do not know what prompted the assault and they do not know if anything was stolen.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance video and are hoping to find the assailant or assailants.

Anyone who was in the area between 8:30 p.m. and 9:20 p.m. should call police at 860-644-2551.

Bristol School Closed Because of Water Main Break


The Ivy Drive School, at 160 Ivy Drive in Bristol, will dismiss at noon on Wednesday because of a water main break, according to the principal.

The morning kindergarten will dismiss as usual at 11:25 a.m., and there will be no afternoon kindergarten.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Alleged Shoplifter Threatens Employee With Syringe


Bridgeport police have arrested a 39-year-old local man accused of threatening a CVS security guard with a syringe after the employee detained him on suspicion of shoplifting on Tuesday.

Police said a loss prevention officer at the CVS Pharmacy on Boston Avenue saw Christopher Somsky put medicine into a bag and try to leave the store without paying.

When the employee detained Somsky and brought him to a break room to determine if the store would press charges, they realized that the man had shoplifted from the store before, police said.

When the employee told the manager they should call police, Somsky stood up calmly, pulled out a syringe, said he had AIDS and demanded the employee return his cell phone, police said.

The employee ran into a bathroom and locked the door and Somsky ran from the store with the seven packages of Children's Advil, police said.

Police took Somsky into custody the area of East Main and Jane streets and found four syringes, police said, and it appeared that Somsky already had sold the medicine to one of the stores in the area.

Somsky was charged with first-degree robbery  and bond was set at $7,500.


Photo Credit: NBCPhiladelphia.com
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