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Vandals Paint Satan, Swastikas on Headstones in Watertown


Someone spray painted “Satan” and swastikas on headstones at a Watertown cemetery and police are investigating.

Police said they responded to the Mount Olivet Cemetery at 669 Platt Road Sunday to investigate vandalism to four headstones and determined it happened between Friday afternoon and Sunday.

The damage has since been repaired.

Watertown police are asking anyone with information on the vandalism to call the Watertown Police Department at 860-945-5200 or Crimestoppers at 860-945-9940 for an anonymous cash reward.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

State Offering $50,000 Reward to Help Solve Norwalk Cold Case


The state is offering a $50,000 reward to help solve an 11-year-old homicide case.

Laray Moore was shot and killed while sitting in his vehicle between buildings 11 and 12 at Roodner Court around 11 p.m. on June 29, 2006 and police said they believe he was killed in retaliation for the homicide of Fulton Raines at 1:50 a.m. on June 11, 2006 at the William Moore Lodge.

The state has offered a $50,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for Moore’s death.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Norwalk Detectives at 203-854-3011 or the Connecticut Cold Case Hotline at 860-623-8058. Anonymous tips can be left on the Norwalk Police Tip Line at 203-854-3111.

Anonymous tips can be sent to Norwalk Police website www.norwalkpd.com or submitted by typing "NPD" into the text field, followed by the message, and sending it to CRIMES (274637).

Photo Credit: Norwalk Police

Issue in Cos Cob Causing Massive Metro-North Delays


Overhead wire damage and mechanical issues near Cos Cob are causing massive delays on Metro-North's New Haven line,

The rail service has delays of 30 minutes to an hour and 45 minutes.

Service is suspended between Stamford and Grand Central Terminal, according to a Tweet from Metro-North.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Trump's Brzezinski Insults Earn Rebukes From His Party


President Donald Trump's mocking tweets of MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski's looks and temperament earned a quick rebuke from some members of his own party Thursday.

Some fellow Republicans called the insults beneath the dignity of the office of president, a precedent set by George Washington. One political communications expert calls the breach of decorum unprecedented and problematic. 

Hours after Brzezinski said on "Morning Joe" that "it's not normal behavior" for a leader to tweet about people's appearances, Trump claimed she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift" on a New Year's visit to his South Florida estate.

"I heard poorly rated @Morning Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore)," Trump wrote. "Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came ... to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!"

A statement from MSNBC referred to the tweets as "bullying," and while a White House spokeswoman said Trump is the kind of president who "fights fire with fire," other members of the party were critical of the remarks, starting from the top.

"Obviously I don't see that as an appropriate comment," House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters, adding it's not helping to "improve the tone and civility" of debate.

"Inappropriate. Undignified. Unpresidential," tweeted Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who ran against Trump for the Republican nomination for president

Several Republican senators took issue with the tweets on the platform, with Nebraskan Ben Sasse the most direct, urging the president, "Please just stop."

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, elaborated on her comment while appearing on MSNBC Thursday afternoon: "We're not always going to get along but there's no need for such uncivil language."

The notion that the presidency should be imbued with dignity dates back to the end of George Washington's term. He wrote John Adams in 1789 that in all matters of business & etiquette," the president must "maintain the dignity of Office."

"Presidents are supposed to uphold the highest standards of behavior so that the country can model itself on the president's behavior and so the children can look up to the president," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

She said the tweets about Brzezinski raise questions about Trump's ability to adhere to Washington's precedent of decorum and suggest that he's not focused on important domestic and international issues.

"To try to take news attention away from contentious world issues … then engage in this level of inappropriate discourse is unprecedented, and highly problematic," Jamieson said. "Why would the president of the United States demean himself and the office by engaging in this kind of rhetoric, if the person was capable of self-reflection and self-control?"

One Republican in the House, Lynn Jenkins, of Kansas, linked the president's tweets to her own experience as a female politician, while Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., said leaders need to "set the example" on participating in politics without vitriol.

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., invoked the dignity of the office as well, and used the hashtag, "#StopTheTwitterTantrums."

Evan McMullin, a Republican who ran for president as an independent in 2016 and remains a staunch critic of the president, argued that, "if you're a Republican leader and you're still supporting President Trump, you own this." 

NBCUniversal is the parent company of MSNBC and this station. 

Photo Credit: Molly Riley-Pool/Getty Images
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Crews Responding for Rescue at Enders Falls in Granby

Route 8 Closed After Dump Truck Loses Load in Torrington

At 10, the iPhone Is Still Changing Everything: Analysis


It's been 10 years since Apple launched the iPhone, puzzling critics with its all-glass screen without a raised keyboard.

Today, the first model seems tiny and and low-powered, NBC News reports, but at the time we didn't know just how right Steve Jobs was when the Apple CEO called it a "truly magical product."

But the iPhone "fundamentally changed the way we thought about phones as well as defining what the industry considered a smartphone," said Tuong Nguyen, principal research analyst at Gartner.

And the revolution it began — the $1.3 trillion app economy — is still in full swing, giving anyone with coding skills the chance to strike it rich and changing other industries, as Uber and Lyft did transportation.

Photo Credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images

Hundreds Rally Against Health Care Bill in New Haven


Hundreds of people rallied in New Haven on Wednesday against a health care bill that could impact thousands in Connecticut.

Republican lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are working to shore up more support for the controversial plan. A vote that was scheduled for this week has already been put on hold.

Sally Grossman held her 4-month-old daughter, Sadie, on the steps of the Yale School of Medicine, recalling an ordeal four years ago, when she said she went into pre-term labor at 28 weeks with her son.

"I think back to that day, when I went into the hospital and they whisked me away into labor and delivery and they started pumping me full of medication," said Grossman, who lives in Windsor. She said doctors were able to stop the birth and her son was born healthy weeks later. Grossman said Medicaid was then and is now the primary way her family's health care gets covered.

Medicaid funding would see deep cuts if Senate Republicans in Washington pass their current health care bill.

"It's really personal to me," Grossman said.

The battle over health care is spilling over into senators' home offices nationwide and spurring rallies, like Wednesday's in New Haven.

"I hope that this issue is one that crosses partisan lines because it really is about everyone," said Melody Oliphant, one of the event organizers.

At the White House on Wednesday, President Donald Trump was confident that a senate bill would pass.

"We're going to have a big surprise," said President Trump. "We have a great health care package."

Some Republicans said that it is time to reach outside their own party.

"I think we should work with Democrats," Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said.

"It's something we should've done from the beginning," Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said.

If the Republican bill passes as written, Governor Dannel Malloy's office said more than 220,000 people in Connecticut could become uninsured by 2026.

"It's affecting real people and it's affecting me," Grossman said. "It's affecting my daughter. It's affecting my family. It's affecting people like me."

Man Charged in Connection With Stabbing at Party in West Haven


West Haven police have arrested an 18-year-old Stratford man who is accused of stabbing someone in the chest during a party in November. 

Police said they arrested 18-year-old Skyler Crabtree, of Stratford, Tuesday on an outstanding arrest warrant in connection with an incident on Nov. 19, when the victim was stabbed three times in the chest, police said. 

The stabbing happened during a house party on York Street and the victim was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he was in serious condition. He was eventually released.

Police said they also learned that another victim been stabbed in his back, but he never sought medical attention.

Crabtree was charged with two counts of assault in the first degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree and breach of peace. 

He was released on a $75,000 bond.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police

Aetna to Move Headquarters from Hartford to NYC


Aetna announced this morning that the company is moving its headquarters from Hartford to New York City next year.

The Hartford-based company that has been in Connecticut for more than 150 years, said it a statement that the move will have minimal impact on Aetna’s Connecticut-based associates and the company's long-term commitment to Connecticut will be based on the state’s economic health.

When word began to circulate last month that Aetna could be leaving the state, Gov. Dannel Malloy said he believes the "vast majority" of the 5,800 Aetna jobs in Connecticut would likely remain in the state.

“While Aetna has decided to move 250 jobs to New York City, the vast majority of their nearly 6,000 employees in Connecticut will stay here," Malloy said in a statement. "At the same time, this is an important reminder that to be competitive, Connecticut state government must immediately take the necessary steps to produce a balanced biennial budget with recurring measures to reduce spending and structural solutions to our long-term problems. We must also continue to invest in the revitalization of our cities."

A statement from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Aetna will be moving into a 145,000 square-foot facility in Chelsea and bringing 250 well-paying jobs to New York.

Empire State Development offered Aetna $24 million in performance-based tax credits delivered over 10 years, according to Governor Cuomo's office, and Aetna will add 250 senior positions to the new headquarters at 61 Ninth Avenue in Chelsea over the next five years and invest $84 million to fit out and equip the facility. 

Aetna said its long-term commitment to Connecticut will be based on the state’s economic health/

"The company remains hopeful that lawmakers will come to an agreement that puts Connecticut on sound financial footing, and that the state will support needed reforms to make Hartford a vibrant city once again," Aetna said in a statement.

Malloy said his budget proposal this year is not only focused on protecting Connecticut's cities, but growing them.

“My budget proposal this year is focused on not just protecting our cities, but in growing them, and making them even more dynamic and exciting places to work and to live. Make no mistake – Hartford is experiencing a transformation with hundreds of new housing units, a major university campus moving downtown, and an arts and culture scene that grows more vibrant each and every day," Malloy said in a statement. "It is imperative that we act expeditiously in taking the necessary steps to address our long-term challenges head-on so that we are able to provide predictability for business and taxpayers alike.”

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin also released a statement, saying he hopes that Aetna's decision serves as "a clear and powerful message" to political leaders of both parties in Connecticut that it's necessary o take bold action quickly.

"The City of Hartford is finally seeing the start of the revitalization that eluded us for so long, and you can feel the new energy in the Capital City. But at the same time, Hartford and the State of Connecticut as a whole are facing fiscal crises that are decades in the making, and can’t be fixed with stop-gaps or band aids," Bronin said in a statement  "I hope that, as a state, we can use the loss of Aetna’s flag as a rallying cry to put Connecticut on a sound fiscal path and position our cities – including Hartford – to be the strong, vibrant centers of growth that Connecticut needs and that our major employers demand."

Following is Aetna's full statement

Beginning in late 2018, Aetna’s corporate headquarters will be located in New York City. The decision is a meaningful investment in Aetna’s future, and a key step in evolving from an insurer to a health company focused on consumers and their communities.

“New York City is a knowledge economy hub, and a driver of the innovations that will play a significant part in our ongoing transformation,” Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark T. Bertolini said in a statement. “Many of the roles in our new office will be filled by innovators from the area’s deep talent pool, which will be an invaluable resource as we consider additional investments in the city going forward. I thank Gov. Cuomo and his team for their partnership throughout this process, and look forward to working closely with Mayor de Blasio as we build on our role as a responsible corporate citizen.”

Aetna already has an established presence in the city, including operations in Harlem.

“Aetna’s decision to call New York home is another testament to the Empire State’s extraordinary economic momentum,” said New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. “New York has a deep, diverse talent pool and pro-growth environment that businesses need to succeed, and today more companies are choosing New York to grow and diversify their business. By relocating to New York and bringing another 250 jobs to the state, Aetna is sending a clear signal that New York is open for business.”

“New York City is where talent and technology come together. We’ve never been stronger, and that’s why companies like Aetna and their workers want to be here. We’re proud to support its move to the city,” stated New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The move will have minimal impact on Aetna’s Connecticut-based associates. The company remains committed to its Hartford campus and the thousands of associates based there, in addition to other established locations throughout the country and around the globe. Several of Aetna’s key businesses will remain primarily based in Hartford, and the Consumer Health & Services team will continue to operate out of Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Aetna’s long-term commitment to Connecticut will be based on the state’s economic health. The company remains hopeful that lawmakers will come to an agreement that puts Connecticut on sound financial footing, and that the state will support needed reforms to make Hartford a vibrant city once again.

Firefighters Responding to Sleeping Giant State Park After Reports of Injury

Missing Milford Woman's Car Spotted in Maine


Police have issued a Silver Alert for a 31-year-old Milford woman who has been missing since Sunday.

Kimberly Piccolo was last seen around 7 a.m. Sunday when she left her family's home. She was heading to her aunt's house in Newtown, but did not arrive and her vehicle was seen in Clinton, Maine. 

Kimberly is driving a 2009 gray four-door Mazda 3 with Connecticut registration 926YOV.

Police said her family is concerned because she has been feeling depressed and is not taking her anxiety medication.

She has brown hair and brown eyes. She is 5-feet-10 and weighs 130 pounds.

Anyone with information on where Kimberly Piccolo is should call Milford police at 203-783-4771.

Photo Credit: Silver Alert

United Illuminating Rates to Drop on July 1


Rates will be dropping slightly for United Illuminating customers as of July 1.

A statement from UI says its default Standard Service generation rate for residential Rate R customers will fall from 9.2641 cents per kilowatt-hour to 7.5998 cents per kilowatt-hour, which will save about $11.65 for a typical UI residential customer who uses 700 kilowatt-hours a month.

The company also offers a “time-of-use” rate, Rate RT, which provides a discount for electricity consumed during off-peak hours — 8 p.m. to midnight, and 24 hours on weekends.

As of July 1, the on-peak Standard Service generation rate under RT will be set at 10.1602 cents per kilowatt-hour, and the off-peak generation rate will be 6.6602 cents per kilowatt-hour.

UI’s Standard Service generation rates are adjusted every six months, on Jan. 1 and July 1, to reflect changes in the price of electricity in the wholesale market.

Eversource rates are going up. 

Eversource says a residential customer who uses 700 kilowatt hours of electricity each month will see an increase of approximately 98 cents per month on the supply portion of their Eversource bill, but how much a customer actually pays will depend on how much energy is used, their rate category, and weather conditions. 
Source: Slight Rate Increase Coming for Eversource Customers NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Slight-Rate-Increase-Coming-for-Eversource-Customers-421329333.html#ixzz4lQB4Drli 
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Eversource says a residential customer who uses 700 kilowatt hours of electricity each month will see an increase of approximately 98 cents per month on the supply portion of their Eversource bill, but how much a customer actually pays will depend on how much energy is used, their rate category, and weather conditions. 

New CBO Report Finds Deep Medicaid Cuts in GOP Bill


The Senate health care bill’s Medicaid cuts would grow even deeper after a decade, according to a new report Thursday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, leaving more people without coverage under the government program.

The new report complements the CBO’s main analysis of the Senate bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which found Medicaid would spend 26 percent less and cover 15 million fewer people in 2026 if the bill passed, NBC News reports. The Senate bill caps Medicaid spending and, starting in 2025, grows it at a rate of inflation that’s expected to be less generous than either current law or the House bill, which included major cuts as well.

While the CBO warns that projecting beyond the first decade is difficult, the new report estimates that the slower growth rate would drive relative spending down even further in the second decade. By 2036, the government would spend 35 percent less on Medicaid than it would under current law.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Police Investigate Anti-Islamic Statements on Man's Home


New Britain police are investigating a possible hate crime in front of an Arch Street home after a man found a shirt hanging on his utility pole. 

Omer Abdelgader is a native of Sudan and has been a New Britain resident for the last 27 years. He is also the president of the Islamic Center of Central Connecticut.

On Wednesday, he left his home around 1 p.m. for afternoon prayers. When he returned from the mosque about 40 minutes later, he found a shirt hanging on a utility pole outside of his home with statements referring to ISIS and the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"What it makes me sad is it’s in front of my house. Out of all the houses in the neighborhood- right here hanging in front of my house," Abdelgader said.

On the shirt are messages asking "what is your plan?" and "are you supporting or possible terrorism?" One question of extremism is also displayed.

The statement that stuck out most to Omer's daughter, Ebaa Mohmed, is on the center of the shirt and reads "911 was not a joke."

"I was like, 'why would they be directing that towards us?' Like what does that mean? As if we’re going to do something worse than 9/11," she said.

"On the other side of the shirt also, ‘ISIS or ISOL'," Abdelgader said. "What is really hurting me and making me feel sad is my message of love and peace and doing good in my community hasn’t gone through to everybody yet."

A second shirt was also left outside the house, but Abdelgader said there were no phrases of hate or intimidation on it.

The New Britain Police Department is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. The police chief calls New Britain a diverse community and told NBC Connecticut a crime like this is rare in the city.

Investigators are looking for witnesses who may have seen or heard anything between 1 p.m. and about 1:40 p.m. Wednesday on Arch Street and asking them to call police

As for whoever left the shirts hanging outside of Abdelgader’s home, he wants to invite them to the Islamic Association of Central Connecticut on Arch Street in New Britain so that they can learn more about the Islamic culture.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Man Dies Seeking Care, Left in Hallway at Hospital: Lawsuit


A lawsuit against the Waterbury Hospital alleges a man died when the facility neglected to care for him while he was experiencing extreme pain in the hallway for three hours. 

The family of Abip Sadiku is seeing $15,000, excluding interest and costs, from Waterbury Hospital after the 49-year-old died at the facility on Aug. 26, 2016, according to Faxon Law Group, who is representing the man's wife. 

"Mr. Sadiku would have received better treatment in veterinary hospital," attorney Joel T. Faxon said. "He was inexplicably abandoned in a hallway while he and his family pleaded for help." 

The New Haven-based law firm said Sadiku was brought to the hospital's emergecny room via ambulance for excess pain in his abdomen, chest and neck. 

According to an expert who reviewed Sadiku's medical records, Sadiku expressed that his pain was 10 out of 10 to nurses who did not document such a high level of pain, the law firm said. 

Sadiku was held in the hallway because no beds were available and apparently given an antacid cocktail by a nurse, which should have only been given by a doctor, the complain alleges.

The medical expert said had the nurses treating Sadiku documented correct information, the hospital's emergency pain alert guidelines would have been triggered. 

Medical records found that Sadiku had waited in the hospital hallway for nearly three hours before dying, with nurses not checking vital signs regularly or alerting physicians of the severe pain he was feeling.

Sadiku died of aortic dissection, a preventable condition if treated promptly, without ever seeing a physician.

"In summary, the standard of care required that aortic dissection be included on the list of differential diagnoses in life of the above, and, had evaluation and treatment been rendered consistent with the (hospital's) standard of car, diagnosis of Mr. Sadiku's condition should have been made in the emergency department of Waterbury Hospital," the expert emergency physician said, according to the law firm. 

The complaint says the hospital failed to follow policies or procedures designed for prompt treatment of aortic dissection, reassessment Sadiku's vital signs, obtain evaluation to administer medication to the victim, report critical findings, follow medication protocols, among other claims. 

Waterbury Hospital's interim director of communications, Patricia Charvat, said the hospital doesn't comment on pending litigation.

"Waterbury Hospital is committed to providing safe, high-quality care to all of our patients, in all areas of the hospital. Patient privacy laws prevent us from commenting on specific patient cases and we do not comment on pending litigation," Charvat said. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Tractor Trailer Involved in Multi-Car Crash in East Hartford

Left Lane Close on Route 8 in Waterbury After Fatal Motorcycle Crash


The left lane on Route 8 in Waterbury is closed after a motorcycle operator died in a crash, police said.

The motorcycle operator was the only one involved in the crash on Route 8 southbound near exit 36.

No other information was immediately available. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

ATV Rider Dies After Hitting Utility Pole in Hartford


Detectives are investigating an ATV crash that left one man dead in Hartford on Thursday.

Hartford police said they were called to the scene just after 5:30 p.m. The single quad came north on Newfield Avenue before the operator lost control and hit an utility pole. The ATV continued into a car parked in a driveway.

A witness, Christian Gonzales, noted that he didn't see the operator wearing a helmet. 

"He was doing a wheelie, I guess, and lost control some way, some how and he fell off the bike, hit the pole and the bike- the quad went right into the car that was parked in the driveway," Gonzales said.

Gonzales said having ATVS driving around the neighborhood is common when it gets hot out.

"I looked and he was upside down, floor down and he was on the curb and everyone ran to him," Gonzales said. "Everyone ran to him and he was just gone, he didn’t move, he didn’t respond."

The victim has been identified as a 26-year-old man. The group the man rides with is known by Hartford police.

"We've been having an issue with this in the City of Hartford for several years now and it is without a doubt one of the greater complaints that we get in the summer time," Deputy Police Chief Foley said about ATVs in the city. "This is just a morbid reminder that it is much more than a public nuisance; that obviously it can be deadly."

Police said this was the first fatal ATV accident this year. 

"They tried to turn him over you know moving him slapping his face as soon as the cops came even the cops said I have no pulse and they did CPR and everything-- and nothing," Gonzales said.

Newfield Avenue remains closed as police investigate.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Crematorium Enforcement Follows Years of Unanswered Complaints


State air officials are citing a Cromwell crematorium for dark smoke coming from their facility.

The citation comes after years of complaints from neighboring businesses.

Greg Gondek does not want the smoke when when he looks out his Cromwell business office window, but says it often is.

“We thought they were burning tires,” said Gondek. “We had no idea it was a crematory."

The Connecticut Valley Crematory and Rocky Hill Vault share a warehouse just a few hundred feet from Gondek’s ACT Group. When smoke comes from their stacks, Gondek records on his cell phone and sends the video to state regulators.

"One picture is worth a thousand words,” said Gondek. “Somebody needs to do something.”

Because the facility was grandfathered in to old rules, state inspectors have less oversight over this facility. They have to catch them in the act. Over three years, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection staff monitored the facility 19 times for potential violations. None were found.

“These types of circumstances are sporadic,” said Robert Girard, DEEP’s Air Enforcement Program Assistant Director. “We're limited in resources.”

Shortly after NBC Connecticut and the Cromwell Health Department shared the videos with DEEP, they took action, citing the smoke seen in the video.

Connecticut Valley Crematorium owners said if not for that video, DEEP would not have acted.

“In a nutshell, we have been operating legally," said one of the crematory owners. “(Our business has) had no violations and we will continue to operate legally and do what we can to be a good neighbor. This wouldn’t be a violation except DEEP had to react to that video.”

DEEP’s Notice of Violation gives 30 days for a written corrective action plan to be submitted. The smoke in Gondek’s video has low opacity, or is thicker than legally allowed. Under the statute, DEEP can fine business owners as much as $25,000 a day for each violation found. No fines have yet been levied.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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