Photo Credit: Danbury Fire Department
Photo Credit: Danbury Fire Department
Thomaston police officers have begun regularly patrolling Nystrom’s Park on Turner Road in Thomaston.
The police chief, along with the first selectman and parks director decided to make the change after they received numerous complaints over the Fourth of July weekend.
Complaints ranged from people drinking alcohol, to them bringing dogs and setting off fireworks, all of which are against park rules.
The police chief said he feels at this point more patrols are necessary.
“We feel if we don’t, it’s just going to get out of control and they keep adding to that facility, nicer things. So the more things they put there and attractions, the more people we’re going to attract. So we want to ensure in the future and for the rest of the season that everyone’s trip up there is pleasurable,” said Thomaston Police Chief Jeff Madden.
In light of recent complaints and disruptions, local residents have asked if the park can be restricted to just Thomaston and Litchfield residents.
But Parks and Recreation Director Marty Egan said that is not possible.
“The town on several occasions has accepted money from the state of Connecticut for improvements here. Once you do that you are tied to some rules that come with that and that includes the inability to leave non-residents out,” Egan said.
Those improvements include upgrades to an old bathhouse in the 1980s, construction of a new bathhouse in the 1990s where the town accepted $70,000 from the state, and improvements to the lower end of the park that amounted to about a half a million dollars from the state.
A man is recovering after being injured in a drive-by shooting in Waterbury Sunday night, according to Waterbury police.
Police said that at about 9:30 p.m. they responded to the area of 38 Englewood Ave. for a reported shooting. The victim told police he was standing out front when a dark four-door sedan drove by and someone fired two shots at him.
The victim was hit in the ankle and thigh. He was taken to Saint Mary’s Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
The victim said the sedan fled south on Englewood Avenue toward Plank Road. Police recovered a .40 caliber shell casing at the scene.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information should contact the Waterbury Police Department.
Police are looking for the man who exposed himself to two young girls who were selling rocks in Hamden.
The girls were selling the rocks in front of a home on Maher Avenue Saturday when the man exposed himself to them, according to police.
Officers responded to the street around 5:30 p.m. and learned that a bald man who appeared to be in his 30s stopped and bought a rock, then returned in his vehicle and told the girls he wanted to buy another rock.
When one of the girls approached the man’s vehicle, she saw him “playing” with his exposed genitals, then he made a lewd comment, police said.
The description of the vehicle the man was in was a two-door silver Honda Accord that fled toward Lincoln Street.
Police said the driver was wearing round-framed glasses and a black shirt.
Officers searched the area but could not find the man.
Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Kelley Cushman at (203) 230-4030.
About 5 billion emojis are sent each day on Facebook Messenger, the social media giant said on Monday, World Emoji Day.
Many of those emojis might be kissing winky faces, the most popular one on Messenger in the United States, according to statistics released by Facebook to mark the day, which was first proclaimed by Emojipedia in 2014.
On Facebook, which sees just 60 million emojis posted each day, Americans (and Indonesians, too) preferred the rolling on the floor laughing emoji. Facebook users in Brazil and Mexico go gaga for the heart-eyes emoji, while the face throwing a kiss is popular in Italy and Spain. Globally, the tears of joy face was most used.
In the privacy of Messenger, the love seems to come out. Both Americans and Indians use the kissing winky face the most, while various heart emojis are the most popular in the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Brazil and Thailand.
The first World Emoji Day was celebrated three years ago on July 17 because it's the date that appears on the calendar emoji, according to the official website.
This year, Twitter is expected to crowdsource ideas for new emojis, while the Empire State Building will be lit up yellow at night.
The Trump administration acted Monday to allow 15,000 more visas this year for temporary seasonal workers, though some business owners say the effort comes too late.
Under authority from Congress, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly extended the cap on H2B visas, which cover non-agricultural guest workers in seasonal industries like landscaping, fishing and resorts.
Local economies in parts of New England and the Great Lakes rely on the program to cope with a major surge in business over the summer.
Jane Nichols Bishop, who runs an agency in Mashpee, Massachusetts, that works to secure visas for local businesses, said earlier this month that the H2B program serves to fill temporary jobs that Americans don't apply for.
“It’s not that Americans don’t want work, it’s that Americans don’t want these jobs because they’re back-breaking hard work,” Bishop said. “You’re standing on your feet in the heat of the kitchen peeling onions and washing dishes until 2 in the morning.”
A federal law caps the number of available H2B visas at 66,000 a year. Until last year, guest workers who had already participated were not counted toward the cap.
But after Congress effectively reduced the number of guest workers allowed in for the summer, it gave DHS the power to authorize more visas in May.
Some employers have complained that relief on the issue was coming too late into the summer, given the two months it took DHS to take action on increasing the visa cap.
“There are still so many hotels and restaurants that have been impacted by this in a negative way,” Steve Hewins, president of the Maine Innkeepers Association said after Monday's decision. “It’s still going to be weeks before any of the workers who are available can make it here.”
DHS spokesman David Lapan told NBC News that the authority to allow the additional visas was provided by Congress at least six months later than normal.
Last year, the federal government allowed 13,382 additional visas beyond the statutory cap to meet seasonal demand.
While President Trump has expressed his opposition to guest worker programs, he has made an exception for the H2B visa — one his Mar-a-Lago resort regularly applies for in order to supplement its staff.
A senior DHS official told NBC News that businesses applying for the program must state that they will be irreparably harmed without a workforce boost, so the additional visas are consistent with an "America First" policy.
"This does help with American businesses continuing to prosper," the official said.
Sarah Mace Diment, the owner of a bed and breakfast in Algonquit, Maine, on Monday called the delay on the issue "ridiculous" and said that the additional visas are only a "drop in the bucket" that may not fulfill business needs.
“I have no idea if I’m even going to get a visa once they’re processed,” Diment said. “It’s going to be anywhere from a three to six-week process to see if I get my visas, and by then we’re talking mid-August.”
Diment had to close some rooms in her hotel because she was not able to fill six housekeeping positions she has been filling with H2B workers for over two decades.
Residents of North Stonington are being urged to boil their water after tests revealed E.coli in one location and total coliforms in three others, according to the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority.
Josh Cansler, the general manager of the water authority, said the findings came during routine testing last week and that a boil water order was immediately put into effect and customers were notified.
Cansler said the Department of Health was notified, work began to flush the system and there was no evidence of E.coli during a second round of tests.
The boil water order was issued out of an abundance of caution, but residents can bathe without risk of health, according to the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority.
The areas affected include Kingswood Drive, Laurel Wood Road, Hewitt Road and a portion of Main Street.
Officials from the water authority said they expect the Department of Health to give the all-clear on late Wednesday or early Thursday.
Total coliforms are a group of related bacteria that are -- with few exceptions --not harmful to humans, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA says a variety of bacteria, parasites, and viruses, known as pathogens, can potentially cause health problems if humans ingest them. EPA considers total coliforms a useful indicator of other pathogens for drinking water. Total coliforms are used to determine the adequacy of water treatment and the integrity of the distribution system.
Glastonbury police have arrested a man accused of stealing from two different places where he worked as a custodian.
Forty-two-year-old Manuel Hernandez, of Hartford, faces larceny and burglary charges in two different cases.
In the first case, Hernandez is accused from stealing over $20,000-worth of parts from an aerospace company on Sequin Drive. Police said Hernandez worked as a custodian in the building.
He was charged with first-degree larceny and third-degree burglary and issued a $25,000 bond in that case.
Manuel was also charged in a separate investigation into thefts from a child care facility on Eastern Boulevard. According to police, Hernandez stole items from the building, again while working as a custodian.
Hernandez was charged with fifth and sixth-degree larceny and third-degree criminal mischief in that case. His bond was set at $25,000.
Stratford police have arrested a second man on murder charges in connection with a shooting on Saturday, May 27.
Police have arrested 24-year-old Cris Concepcion, of Bridgeport. He has been charged with murder, weapons in a motor vehicle, criminal possession of a firearm, reckless endangerment, unlawful discharge of a firearm and carrying a firearm without a permit.
He was held on a $750,000 bond and he’s scheduled to appear in Bridgeport Court on July 26.
Brandyn Ford, 24, of Stratford, was previously arrested and charged with murder, risk of injury to minors, reckless endangerment, unlawful discharge of a firearm, weapon in a motor vehicle, and carrying a pistol without a permit.
He is being held on $1.25 million bond and is due in court on July 21.
A missing Cheshire woman who was reported missing last week is missing again.
Police issued said 52-year-old Kelly Ann Effa left home around midnight on her son's blue Cannondale bicycle and has not been since in the hours since.
She is described as 5-foot-5, 150 pounds and has blonde hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact Cheshire police at 203-271-5500.
Stamford police are investigating after a man was shot several times Sunday night and another incident in which a residence was riddled with bullet holes.
Police responded to Spruce Street just after 9:30 p.m. Sunday to investigate a report of suspicious males in the area and found a victim who was shot several times. Police said the victim was transported to Stamford Hospital, where he is recovering.
At 10:21 p.m., police responded to Seaside Avenue to investigate reports of gunshot and found that had been shot at several times. The house was occupied at the time, but no one inside was injured, police said.
Anyone with information on either incident should call the Bureau of Criminal Investigations or contact Crime Stoppers at (203) 977-TIPS.
The First Alert Exclusive 10 Day Forecast features high temperatures in the 80s and 90s with a chance for thunderstorms this week.
The average high temperature in the Hartford area for this time of year is 85 degrees.
Temperatures are forecasted to reach the low 90s by Wednesday and Thursday.
As temperatures increase the humidity will also climb. Dew point values are expected to reach the low 70s by Wednesday which is considered oppressive humidity.
Take a look at the dew point trend,
The increased heat and humidity will also lead to a scattered thunderstorm threat Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Scattered storms are expected during the afternoon hours.
West Hartford is suspending the entertainment license of Los Imperios for more than two weeks following a hearing about the restaurant's disturbance violations.
The suspension of the restaurant's entertainment license includes putting an end to the music but still allowing alcohol.
The town adopted an ordinance last October which requires businesses to turn off music at least a half hour before they close.
But police found that a DJ at the restaurant played music past the allowable time for the entertainment ordinance.
Additionally, police said a least two fights broke out between Los Imperios patrons, and while the victims reported to officers outside the restaurant, employees did not report the incidents to police.
West Hartford police said the owner of the restaurant and his attorney presented nothing at the hearing concerning a plan to prevent further disturbances inside or immediately outside Los Imperios.
Mary Alice Sullivan, a West Hartford resident, said the real boom begins every night when she's trying to wind down.
“It's very loud and that shouting sometimes it sounds kind of violent,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said the sound that comes from the Los Imperios restaurant and night club has kept her up for years and is convinced suspending the restaurant's entertainment license won't change a thing.
“Music is not the problem, I never hear any music at all what I hear is people coming out from the party continuing right on the street,” Sullivan said.
Building a robot is hard. Now try doing it over Skype.
A group of Iranian teenagers was accepted to compete in the the FIRST Global Challenge, a robotics competition designed to encourage youths to pursue math and science, in Washington, D.C. this week.
But sanctions on their country blocked them from ordering parts from the United States. High schoolers from George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Virginia, stepped up to help, building their robot for them over Skype.
The American and Iranian high schoolers communicated for three months that way, with the Iranians sending sketches and diagrams so the American students could build their robot for them.
“Our main goal is to show the world that we can do everything we want, without paying attention to the political problems,” said Amin Dadkhah Tehrani, a 15-year-old from Iran. “We just want to show the world that science cannot be limited.”
For their first Skype session, the Iranians stayed awake until 2 a.m. to accommodate the nine-hour time difference.
“That was just kind of crazy,” said Kirstin Springer, a member of the Virginia team. “We are talking to people all the way on the other side of the world, who have such different life experiences than us.”
The Virginia team's captain volunteers at NOVA Labs, a programming and engineering space in Reston, Virginia. She connected with FIRST Global leaders there, who asked her team to help the Iranians.
Nearly 160 teams from around the world are competing Sunday through Tuesday in the FIRST Global Challenge. They face off against each other using unique robots built from a uniform kit, packed by FIRST Global with gears, pulleys and more.
Not every Iranian student spoke English, so they relied on a few to translate their designs for the Virginia students.
“It was a trusting experience for all of us,” Tehrani said. “That was the first time we’ve done something like this. We make their ideas better, they make our ideas better.”
Tehrani and two teammates made it to D.C. to compete. A fourth classmate couldn't make the trip.
Team Iran is competing against teams from India, Vietnam and Austria, among others.
President Donald Trump celebrated American-made products on Monday, and in doing so brought renewed attention to his own family's production and sale of goods made overseas, NBC News reported.
“We want to build, create and grow more products in our country using American labor, American goods, and American grit,” Trump said at a White House event kicking off the administration's "Made in America"-themed week.
"We are going to put that brand on our product because it means that it's the best," Trump added. He then signed an executive order aimed at better supporting American companies and protecting U.S. workers.
But White House aides have struggled to answer questions about the Trump Organization’s and Ivanka Trump’s decisions to manufacture a number of products overseas in places like China and Mexico.
The aunts of a 23-year-old man who was rescued at sea have filed a lawsuit accusing him of killing his mother — their sister — and his grandfather in order to collect millions of the real estate mogul's inheritance.
The lawsuit calls Middletown native Nathan Carman the prime suspect in his mother's presumed death after she went missing at sea during a fishing trip with her son last September.
"The surviving sisters cannot stand idle while their father's killer, and perhaps their sister's killer also, profits from his actions. Since the law has a provision to stop this unjust inheritance, they have filed a so-called ‘slayer action’ in New Hampshire State Court to block Nathan from collecting money from his murdered grandfather's estate," a statement put out by the Chakalos' family attorney. "This is not about money, it is about justice."
Carman's grandfather, real estate mogul John Chakalos, was fatally shot in 2013 and the lawsuit alleges that the 23-year-old is also the suspect in this unsolved case.
The suit, which was filed in a New Hampshire probate court that oversees Chakalos' estate, asked the court "to declare that the murderer was Nathan Carman — John's grandson, their nephew — and that Nathan committed this heinous act out of malice and greed."
Carman currently lives in Vernon, Vermont, and has not been charged in either case.
Last September, Carman was rescued more than 100 miles off of Martha's Vineyard after more than a week on a life raft following a fishing trip disaster with his mother. Her body was never recovered and she is presumed dead.
A search warrant executed on the Vernon, Vermont, home of Nathan Carman by the Windham County Sheriff’s Department at the request of South Kingstown, Rhode Island, in September, appears to show authorities there believe Carman is connected to his mother’s disappearance.
For more on Nathan Carman, here is everything we know.
Here is the full statement from the Chakalos' family, via their attorney:
“In 2013, four sisters suffered an unthinkable tragedy when their father John Chakalos was murdered in his own home. Less than three years later one of those sisters, Linda Carman, disappeared at sea under highly suspicious circumstances. The last person to see both of these family members alive was Nathan Carman, John's grandson and Linda's son. The details and evidence in the death of John and the disappearance of Linda all point to Nathan as the prime suspect. Yet he now stands to inherit millions of dollars from their estates.
The surviving sisters cannot stand idle while their father's killer, and perhaps their sister's killer also, profits from his actions. Since the law has a provision to stop this unjust inheritance, they have filed a so-called ‘slayer action’ in New Hampshire State Court to block Nathan from collecting money from his murdered grandfather's estate.
This is not about money, it is about justice. If the Chakalos sisters win this lawsuit and any money that would have gone to Nathan instead goes to the surviving sisters individually, they pledge to use those funds exclusively to pay for expenses incurred relating to the investigation into the death of their father and disappearance of their sister, and any remaining funds will go to charity.
The Chakalos sisters did not undertake this action lightly. This entire ordeal has been extraordinarily painful to the family and the public attention has made it even more difficult. However, they also know this is the right thing to do, and it is what their father and their sister would have wished.” Dan Small, Holland & Knight LLP, attorney for the Chakalos family, wrote.
At lunchtime, the staff at Costello's Clam Shack, in the Noank part of Groton, expects to fry up a lot of clam strips this summer.
But a strip shortage has owner Deirdre Mears a bit clammy.
"The name of the restaurant is Costello's Clam Shack. It's kind of embarrassing if you don't have a clam,” she said.
The shack had one Sunday this summer when they ran out of clam strips for four hours.
"It would've been better if we said we ordered wrong, we just screwed up. But no… it's a supply issue,” Mears said.
Some seafood shacks said it's been challenging to get clam strips this summer.
And the thought of a shortage has customers in a frenzy.
"If I came someplace and I wanted a particular thing, and it's right on the seashore, I would be shocked,” said Pam Zbierski, of Mystic, who was eating a dish with clam strips at Costello’s.
Atlantic Capes Fisheries sells to major northeast seafood distributors. The vice president of sales, Jim Mullin, said at one point, three of the company’s six clam boats were down.
Two of the clam boats were out because of mechanical issues. Combine that with storms and bad weather, which prevents other boats from getting out on the water, and that results with a supply shortage.
Mullin told NBC Connecticut that all six boats should be back on the water this week. The company said it is working on introducing a seventh boat to the fleet.
“It's very tough when you have a product that people love and are coming just for it, send them away without what they came for,” said Ryan Devlin-Perry, operations manager at Sea Swirl in Mystic.
Delvin-Perry has had a couple of days without clam strips. The company posted on Instagram and wrote, in part, “Because we won’t serve you frozen clam strips that came from who-knows-where, there may be days when we don’t have clam strips available on our menu.”
Distributors are also feeling the clam strip shortage. James Lampropoulos, the key account manager for Ipswich Maritime in Massachusetts, said at this point they're only able supply to the top 25 of their 1,200 businesses. That includes Costello’s.
Lampropoulos said it's not that they don't want to provide everyone with clam strips, it’s just not possible to fill all of the orders. Many businesses are looking to multiple distributors for a clam strip supply, he added. And the area where some fisheries go, there are not as many clams.
Ballots for state employee union members across Connecticut were submitted by the close of business Monday with their decisions on whether to approve retirement and health coverage concessions.
The $1.5 billion deal was negotiated by Governor Dannel Malloy’s administration and has been described as a sort of “lynch pin,” of budget talks since the state is dealing with a $5 billion projected shortfall over the next two years.
When asked Monday about the prospects for the deal, Malloy said he wasn’t sure what to expect.
“They’ve been tight-lipped,” Malloy said. “At least I haven’t talked to anybody who has gotten anything back to me on it, so tonight, when we hear, will be the first time I have any real notice.”
The Malloy administration had an actuarial analysis done on the deal, and it came back showing it could save taxpayers more than $24 billion over the next twenty years.
The base of the proposal includes creating a new tier of retirement benefits for future state government hires, some higher healthcare costs for employees, and controversial provisions that would prohibit layoffs for four years, and extend the existing union contract by five years, to 2027.
The new retirement tier alone, the governor said, is a win for the state, because of the future savings for fixed costs.
“The idea that we would hire up to 16,000 people in Tier 3 as opposed to Tier 4 makes no sense at all. Does it? Can anyone explain why that would be good for the state in the long run?” Malloy said.
Republicans have said with such a large budget hole, more concessions are needed. House and Senate GOP budget proposals have included statutory changes that would reduce retirement and health benefits. Their own projections show savings closer to $2 billion, meaning fewer cuts would be needed to balance the budget.
If unions approve the concessions package, it would then go to the General Assembly for approval, and it would go into effect automatically if there is no action within 30 days.
Many towns and cities are sending bills out late this year because they still don’t know how much money they’re getting in the state budget.
A late car tax bill can cause big problems.
A struggling medical student, Morgan Gilmour, said he moved to Illinois, left a forwarding address with the post office, yet never got his tax bill. Years later, he has a collection agency demanding he pony up 50 percent more than what he originally owed.
"This completely shocked me. I always paid my bills on time," Gilmour said.
The city trying to collect the taxes said he has no choice but to pay up and the law is on its side.
The 2014 motor vehicle tax bill for Gilmour’s Ford Escape was originally $196, but by the time a collection agency found him two and a half years later, penalties and interest ballooned it to more than $320.
Gilmour explained he filed a permanent change of address form with the postal service and notified the DMV that he sold the Escape before moving. The USPS said it will forward mail for one year when someone makes a permanent address change.
But when Gilmour moved, New London delayed sending out its motor vehicle tax bills six months because it could not pass a budget. The bill, while sent less than a year after Gilmour left town, never got to him.
He said Mayor Michael Passero looked into the matter, but in the end, could not assist, citing a very clear state law connected to an 1862 court case that remains precedent in Connecticut.
Passero told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters, "Even if the city is at fault, I believe that is still not a defense to paying your taxes."
Gilmour also reached out to New London state representative Chris Soto, who said he had a similar case when he moved away years ago. He’ll see if there’s anything the legislature can do, “Morgan raises a good point and this is an opportunity for us to look at the way we do business at that small town city level and see if there's ways that we can make life easier for people living in our communities.”
Gilmour adds, “I don't think it's right. I think that a 150 year old court case should not determine the modern day situation that we find ourselves in. People are a lot more transient now than they were 150 years ago.”
Gilmour said he is willing to pay just the taxes he owes. However, the city of New London said state law also does not allow towns and cities to waive interest or penalties that taxpayers get charged.
Using the HARC as a backdrop, a non-profit that works with the intellectually disabled, Governor Dannel Malloy chided lawmakers for their inaction on even a short-term spending plan.
He said a "mini budget," as he’s called it, could have provided some relief from sweeping budget cuts that are the result of the state not having a two-year budget in place.
“Nobody was willing to check their egos at the door,” Malloy told a group of reporters, in a room filled with staff and advocates for the HARC.
At the HARC, staff there said they have had no choice but to start limiting programs and furloughing staff in response to the cuts that have already taken effect.
For now, some staff will be forced to take one unpaid day off soon, and those who oversee the facility said the wide-ranging impact across the organization will be significant.
“I don’t know if I can really quantify that but I can tell you that it is much more than that one person,” said Hajib Habesch, who sits on the Board of the HARC.
Democrats and Republicans in the Connecticut Senate had voiced their support for a mini budget, acknowledging it was a way forward even though it wasn’t their favored method of running state government.
In the Connecticut House, however, both Democrats and Republicans ruled out a short-term spending plan, killing any notion of passage.
Democrats in the House will meet Tuesday to discuss a possible route forward on the budget.
Gov. Malloy described the lack of a short-term budget in terms of a lost opportunity.
“If we’re not going to have a permanent budget or a biennium budget in a matter of days then let’s get beyond that and bring something about that brings a level of relief,” Malloy said. “That’s what I’m looking for.”
At the HARC, Irene Fortier spoke with the governor about her sister who’s been in the group’s care for nearly four decades.
Fortier said she hopes lawmakers and the governor comprehend what will happen without a budget for the foreseeable future.
She said, “It’s frightening to not know what the future holds for my sister or anyone else that the HARC is helping.”