Channel: NBC Connecticut
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

New Haven Introduces Mobile App for Parking Payments


New Haven is introducing the Parkmobile smart phone app as a quick and easy means of feeding the meter at on-street parking spots around the city.

The app allows users to pay for parking remotely. Registration is free at www.parkmobile.com. Once registered, users can make a payment through the app, online or by a calling a toll-free number.

The Parkmobile app is compatible with iPhone, Android, Windows and Blackberry.

Users are given the option of receiving text alerts 15 minutes before their meters expire and can add money without returning to the meter.

Basic and Preferred memberships are available. Basic members are charged a 33-cent convenience fee each time they use the app. The fee is reduced to 28 cents when Basic member use the “Wallet” payment method. The Wallet allows users to load a designated sum of money onto their accounts from which payments are deducted.

Preferred members pay a monthly fee of 99 cents with a 28-cent convenience fee, reduced to 23 cents with the Wallet.

“Our mobile payment service is an example of another technology that can make our lives easier and more efficient,” said Parkmobile CEO Cherie Fuzzell.

Parkmobile services are also offered in areas of Hartford and Norwalk. New Haven is the only Connecticut city to adopt Parkmobile at all metered parking locations.

Photo Credit: Parkmobile USA, Inc.

Retired Police Officer Rescues Man from Burning Car


A retired police officer from Milford rescued a man from a burning SUV in New Jersey on Saturday.

Retired Milford police sergeant Joe Della Monica Jr. said he was on his way to his cousin's surprise party when he and his family noticed another driver swerving and speeding along the Garden State Parkway.

"And my wife looked at me and said, ‘You know that guy is going to cause an accident,” Della Monica said.

And the driver did. He crashed his vehicle into a tree near an overpass and the SUV caught on fire.

Within seconds, Della Monica jumped into action.

"So I punched the window out in the back of the SUV and I crawled through the vehicle to make sure nobody else was in it because he couldn't tell us. I tried to get his legs out," Della Monica said.

Della Monica said the driver was badly hurt and unconsciousness.

He said a NYPD officer and an off-duty fireman were also at the scene to help.

"When we finally got him over the other side of the guardrail, whole inside of the car had been engulfed and by the time we took 20 steps, the car literally exploded. It was like something on TV,” Della Monica said.

The driver, who New Jersey State Police identified as 55 year old John Gordnick, survived.

Police have not said what caused Gordnick to lose control.

After Della Monica said learned Gordnick was OK, he decided to head to the party.

"When I showed up for the surprise party, all bloody, like surprise! I don’t think my cousin was expecting that, but it all turned out well. The gentleman survived, nobody that helped got hurt, so it was a good day," Della Monica said.

Senate Minority Leader McKinney to Run for Governor


The race for governor has begun.
Republican State Senator John McKinney is the first candidate to make it official. He made his announcement on Tuesday not with a big news conference but rather by press release.
Election Day 2014 is still 16 months away and it's likely McKinney will face some stiff competition from members of his own party before entering a general election campaign.
A confident McKinney said he isn't too concerned about a bruising primary fight.
"I plan on being the Republican nominee for governor in November of 2014," he said.
The Republican field could get crowded. Tom Foley, a 2010 candidate is likely to get in, as could Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. 
A recent Quinnipiac Poll gives Gov. Malloy a 7-point lead over McKinney. In a primary match up Foley leads with 36-percent, followed by McKinney with 11-percent.
In his hometown of Fairfield the Republican leader told us he won't go negative in his campaign. He said he plans on focusing on the man who holds the job now.
"In the last two years Dan Malloy has given us the largest tax increase in our state's history," McKinney said.
He has spoken out against Governor Malloy's fiscal policies. 
State Democrats fired back saying that McKinney is out of touch with the middle class.
"It's one thing to be a nice guy but it's another thing to know what Connecticut's middle class really needs," April Capone, the political director of the Connecticut State Democratic Party, said.
McKinney has been known to work with lawmakers across the aisle. He was a key supporter of the gun legislation crafted after the Sandy Hook School shooting.
"At the end of the day as an elected official I have to do what I believe is in the best interest of my constituents and what a majority of my constituents want us to do," he said.
The senator represents Newtown and said he is not worried about criticism from some in his own party. Moments after McKinney announced his candidacy on Tuesday, the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, a gun rights group, said they would not support him.
"Senator McKinney was instrumental in implementing a historic gun control law with zero consideration for the constitutional rights of law abiding gun owners," Scott Wilson, Sr. the president of CCDL, said. "With his deliberate act of siding with gun control supporters, there will be no support from CCDL for his run."
McKinney, a native of Fairfield and father of three, has served in the legislature since 1998. His late father, Stewart McKinney, was a congressman representing Fairfield County.
He said what he learned in his hometown he hopes to take with him to the governor's residence.
"There's a lot about Fairfield that speaks to the rest of Connecticut," McKinney said.
Gov. Malloy has yet to officially announce his bid for a second term.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Strong Storms Move Through the State


Strong storms are moving through the state, bringing a tremendous amount of rain and the potential for some damaging winds.

A flash flood watch is in effect for Litchfield and Fairfield counties until 8 p.m.

Areas of Litchfield County are at an elevated risk for flash floods and damaging winds until 8 p.m.

Fire officials in Torrington said trees are down in some areas of town.

A severe thunderstorm warning issued for Litchfield County has expired, but flash flood warnings are in effect for New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties until 6:30 p.m.

Follow the interactive radar to track the path of the storm.

If you see severe weather and can safely take a photo, send it to us at photos@nbcconnecticut.com.

Photo Credit: Lori McKinney

Travelers to Lay Off 90 Conn. Employees


Travelers Insurance plans to lay off 456 employees company-wide, 90 of which are located in Connecticut, according to a company spokesperson.

Most of the layoffs will be concentrated in the personal insurance sector, particularly in auto insurance. According to a Travelers spokesperson, the upcoming layoffs are due in part to pricing competition within the market.

A recent earnings report shows net income for the past quarter, which closed June 30, to be about $925 million, or $2.41 per share. This represents an increase of 91 percent over the past year. Last year during the same quarter, net income was $499 million, or $1.26 per share. 

Quarterly operating income for reached $816 million, or $2.14 per share, as opposed to $495 million and $1.26 per share last year. This represents a 69 percent increase, according to the release.

Travelers remains one of the state's largest employers, with around 7,800 employees in Connecticut.


Photo Credit: Flickr user Chiot's Run

Dunkin' Brands Celebrates Royal Birth


Everyone is celebrating the birth of the royal baby, both at home and across the pond. Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins have introduced celebratory treats to welcome the new royal into the world.

Dunkin' Donuts is recognizing the royal birth by rolling out the Royal Munchkin, an old-fashioned donut hole dipped in pink, blue and white sprinkles to represent baby colors, according to a release.

The special-edition munchkin will be available in 25-count and 50-count boxes for a limited time this week.

Baskin-Robbins will celebrate with a festive Baby Shower Cake, available in stores year round. The cake is designed with baby booties and can be created in any combination of ice cream and cake flavors.

Participating Baskin-Robbins locations in the U.K. are offering a signature Royal Baby ice cream cake.

A combination of caramel chocolate crunch ice cream and chocolate cake, the Royal Baby cake is decorated with a chocolate frosting ribbon, a white chocolate bow and gold chocolate candies.

The cake will  be priced at £8.60, the weight of the royal baby.

In 2011, Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins rolled out celebratory desserts in honor of William and Kate's royal wedding.

"We offer our heartfelt congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the newest addition to the Royal Family," said Dunkin' Brands CEO Nigel Travis.

Photo Credit: Dunkin' Brands

Gov. McDonnell Apologizes, Says "I Broke No Laws"


Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell issued a statement Tuesday apologizing for the embarrassment that he and members of his family had brought on his state's citizens -- but he also said that in he "broke no laws" in his dealings with a connected campaign donor.

The brief statement said that loans made to McDonnell family by Jonnie Williams, CEO of Star Scientific, had been paid in full.

The repayments included $52,278.17 that was loaned to his wife, Maureen McDonnell, in 2011 and $71,837 loaned to a small real estate business owned by the governor and his sister, the statement read.

The loans include principal and interest.

"I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment certain members of my family and I brought upon my beloved Virginia and her citizens," the statement read. "I want you to know that I broke no laws and that I am committed to regaining your sacred trust and confidence. I hope today's action is another step toward that end."

McDonnell has been under state and federal investigation -- and under public fire -- for his ties to Star Scientific, a Henrico County-based company that makes a dietary supplement that the company hopes could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and depression.

Authorities also are believed to be examining gifts that the McDonnell family received from Star Scientific, which reportedly paid the $15,000 catering bill for the wedding of McDonnell's daughter and gave the governor a $6,500 Rolex watch.

The controversy has taken a toll on McDonnell's popularity in the state, with only 46 percent of Virginians in a recent poll saying they approved of McDonnell's performance as governor. The poll, released earlier this month, measured McDonnell's lowest approval ratings of his time as governor.

But the statement seems to mark a change in McDonnell's approach to the controversy since he added to his legal team earlier this month.

Previously the governor defended his handling of the gifts and loans from Star Scientific and had suggested some media reports were misleading.

One of three Northern Virginia Democrats who have called for McDonnell's resignation says the governor's statement does not change his opinion.

"His statement does not deal with or address any of the luxuries or gifts he and his family allegedly received, " Fairfax County Democratic Delegate Scott Surovell told News4's Julie Carey. "There were $50,000 in gifts. It doesn't begin to address that."

Surovell says he does not believe McDonnell can continue to govern effectively with the distraction of the federal investigation that is underway.

Three GOP leaders in the Virginia House issued their own statement shortly after McDonnell.

House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford), Del. Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax County) and Del. Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) called McDonnell's apology "an important step toward regaining the trust and confidence of the people of Virginia."

Their statement also says the controversy involving the governor raises questions about Virginia's financial disclosure system.

The governor has maintained all along he's properly accounted for gifts from Jonnie Williams. But Virginia law does not require reporting of gifts to family member. The GOP House leaders say they are reviewing the disclosure system and plan to seek strong reforms in the 2014 legislative session.

FBI: Woman Kidnapped from SD, Kept as Sex Slave


A 19-year-old man is accused of kidnapping a woman in San Diego, taking her across the country and keeping her as a sex slave.

Brandon Todd is being held on a federal kidnapping charge, after he was taken into custody July 10.

His capture came after his alleged victim escaped by faking an asthma attack in May and calling police, according to an FBI affidavit.

The ordeal started in April at the Greyhound bus terminal downtown, according to the FBI. The criminal complaint said a 26-year-old woman, who was traveling from San Diego to Florida, met Todd and was coerced into sharing a hotel room with him.

In an affidavit, an FBI agent said Todd threatened to harm the woman and her family if she didn’t comply. He allegedly showed her weapons, told her he had gang connections and destroyed her phone so she couldn’t be tracked.

After two days in the hotel, Todd took the woman cross-country to Naples, N.Y., according to investigators. According to the FBI, Todd kept her against her will at his grandparents’ house, where he repeatedly raped her. The victim said she was held captive for more than two weeks.

Fire Breaks Out at West Hartford Restaurant


West Hartford fire officials have put out a fire that started on the roof of AC Petersen Farms Restaurant on Park Road, authorities said.

Officials at the scene said the fire started on the roof soemtime after 5 p.m. and spread to a storage area that houses the electric unit. The fire has since been contained and officials are clearing the scene. 

There is no apparent damage to the restaurant area, but the extent of damage to the top floor of the building is unclear. Authorities said some refrigeration units may be affected.

The restaurant is located at 240 Park Road in West Hartford.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Will and Kate Welcome Baby George

Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, carries her new born son, the Prince of Cambridge, who was born on Monday. into public view for the first time. outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital, in London, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. The boy will be third in line to the British throne. (AP Photo/John Stillwell, Pool)

Waterbury Revitalization Project in the Works


The city of Waterbury is planning a massive revitalization project for the area of Gaffney Place and Central Avenue, and officials are hoping to see big changes in a year's time.

"We're excited here," said Mayor Neil O'Leary. "This is ground zero for downtown revitalization here in Waterbury. This is the most historic community we have in the city, and this is a great place to start."

O'Leary and Webster Bank CEO Jim Smith visited the neighborhood today to discuss plans to repair and rehabilitate the area. The city has gathered $3.8 million from private and public funding.

The goal is to turn five run-down homes into 10 housing units for sale and rent. Plans also call for streetscaping.

Project leaders are confident their improvements will become contagious.

"As this develops, I think you will find the residents take more pride in the neighborhood and improving their properties," said Smith. "And that will be a very obvious sign for how successful we are."

Carlos Mauroza lives in one of the five buildings in the Hillside neighborhood that will be receiving a major facelift.

"I think it's good for the community. All these buildings are run down," said Mauroza. "They have mold growing around here. It's just disgusting."

For the Webster Bank CEO, the motivation is very personal. It's where he has spent most of his life.

"My dad was born in the building five up this street on Central Avenue in 1911," said Smith. "Today is his birthday, which is why it's so great to be making this announcement today."

Construction on the homes is scheduled to begin in August and shoulud be completed by next year.

There's no end in sight. Next, community leaders will look to fix other blighted properties in the neighborhood.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Sandy Homeowners Battle Insurance Loophole


A New York senator is urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency to eliminate a federal flood insurance loophole affecting thousands of Sandy victims in New York and New Jersey.

The so-called "earth movement" clause in national flood insurance policies reads, "We do not insure for loss of property caused directly by earth movement even if the earth movement is caused by flood."

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand blasted the clause as "bureaucratic fine print" that was preventing Sandy-affected homeowners from getting back on their feet. 

Freeport homeowner Stephen Parke said it was "like getting punched in the stomach from Sandy, then getting hit in the face when they deny you." 

Parke's home was condemned after Sandy floodwaters damaged its foundation. Then his insurance carrier in the FEMA-managed flood program refused to pay the full value of his $180,000 policy.

Instead, Parke has received only $85,000 on his claim. It's not enough to rebuild, he said. So nine months after Sandy, the damaged home remains vacant, with Parke, his partner and son living in a rental apartment.

The home is scheduled for demolition Wednesday.

"I had a policy. Why shouldn't our policy cover us?" asked Parke.

According to Parke, he will have to take a loan to replace the home Sandy destroyed.

"It's immoral," said Garden City lawyer Jerry Reisman, who represents about six homeowners fighting the earth movement clause.

"If you're buying flood insurance, you should be covered for a flood."

FEMA did not respond to requests for comment.

In the past, FEMA has reportedly said it is "following the law." Homeowners whose full claims are denied can appeal, but in Parke's case, his appeal was also denied last week.

"We thought we were protected," Parke said. "So did a lot of other people."

Cyclist Pleads Guilty to Felony Vehicular Manslaughter


A bicyclist who struck and killed a 71-year-old man in San Francisco has pleaded guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter, according to San Francisco's district attorney.

Chris Bucchere, 37, was riding his bicycle through the intersection on Market and Castro Street on March 29, 2012, when he hit Sutchi Hui and his wife, who were walking across the street.  
Hui suffered blunt force trauma injuries and died four days later.
The felony conviction is the nation’s first one involving a bicyclist. 
“We hope this case continues to serve as a reminder that blatant disregard of the traffic laws can have dire consequences,” said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon.
Bucchere will appear in court again on August 16 to be sentenced.
Under the plea deal, Gascon says he faces 1,000 hours of community service and three years of probation.
A judge can decide in six months if the conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor.


Standoff at Vernon Apartment Complex Over


A standoff at Vernon Pines apartment complex on Regan Street in Vernon is over.

At 9:15 a.m., police responded to 17 Regan Street, an apartment complex with around 70 units, after a crisis unit called them about a man threatening harm and alluding to having a gun.

Police tried to make contact with the resident, but he did not answer, police said.

Some units were evacuated and the complex was sealed off as the SWAT team, along with police from East Hartford, South Windsor, Manchester, Coventry, negotiators and state police. responded.

The standoff lasted about three hours and the man was taken to a local hospital for a psychiatric hospital.

Police said he does not have a criminal background.

Police did not recover a gun. There is no word on charges.


View Larger Map

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Exposed Self at Hamden Marshalls: Cops


Police are looking for the man who exposed himself to a female employee at a Marshalls store in Hamden last week.

The man police are trying to identify exposed himself to a young female employee in the fitting room area of the store at 2100 Dixwell Avenue on the afternoon of Monday July 15, police said.

This was not his first interaction with the woman. He tried in the past to have a conversation with her, police said.

The photo police released comes from video surveillance.

Investigators are looking for a 5-feet-10-inch tall man in his 30s. He weighs about 200 pounds and has an athletic build.

Anyone with information about the man should call Detective Donald Remillard at (203) 230-4040 or 230-4000.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police

Students' Dream Trip Canceled When Travel Agency Closes


Students at a New Jersey high school French club lost thousands of dollars when the travel agency they used to arrange a week-long trip to France abruptly closed, leaving them with no arrangements or accommodations for their planned trip. 

The Westwood High School French club had been planning to travel to Paris this summer until the Mariden USA travel agency declared in an email it was going bankrupt. The company left no information about flights or hotels and did not indicate what would happen to the $3,500 each student paid for the trip.

"We took jobs to pay for it, and I feel like that is just for nothing," said junior Matthew Untalan.

Senior Emily Griffin mourned the loss of a chance to "go and learn French with my two best friends."

"I just feel like somebody grabbed my pocketbook that had $3,500 in it and ran down the street," said parent Darlene Kane. 

Parents said they trusted the company because the school had used it a few years ago for similar tours. But they did not know that in the past three years, there have been a dozen complaints against the company, first with the Better Business Bureau and then with the Virginia attorney general.

The BBB rated Mariden USA an F, the worst possible score, citing 14 closed complaints and three open. Virginia's attorney general said there have been six complaints filed about canceled trips since 2011; one has been resolved. 

Phone messages and emails to the Alexandria, Va.-based company were not returned. 

"It's not right to steal from children, and I don't know how they live with themselves. I couldn't," said parent Ann Eichorn. 

Most parents paid for travel insurance, but some were told their policy would not cover loss from the company going bankrupt. Whatever the outcome, the parents wanted to warn others of also becoming potential victims. 

4 Imported Hot Sauces Have Excessive Lead: Study


Hot sauces sold in the U.S. have been found to contain concentrations of lead that exceed the FDA's standards, according to a new study from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Researchers examined 25 brands from Mexico and South America, and determined that four of them contain more lead than the FDA’s 0.1 parts-per-million standard allows for in candy and dried fruit.

The four sauces are made by companies in Mexico and exported to the U.S.:

  • Salsa Chamoy
  • El Pato
  • Bufalo Salsa Clasica
  • Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero

One of the sauces, El Pato, is made in Mexico and distributed by Los Angeles-based Walker Foods, Inc., the company's president and CEO told NBC4 Wednesday.

Researchers are calling on the FDA and USDA to establish standard guidelines for products imported from Mexico, including hot sauces.

“Without enforceable standards for hot sauces and condiments, manufacturers will not be encouraged to improve quality control measures designed to reduce the amounts of lead and other toxic elements before exporting," Shawn Gerstenberge, a UNLV researcher, said in a news release issued July 15 titled "Study: The Hidden Dangers of Hot Sauce."

The results of the study were published in the scientific journal Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B.

Though the FDA has set some standards for lead in food, the study notes there is no known safe level of lead exposure.

Lead, a toxic metal, is commonly found in homes and can cause kidney problems and high blood pressure in adults. Children exposed to lead may suffer from learning disabilities or delayed development, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to reflect that El Pato’s hot sauce is made in Mexico, then exported to and distributed from Los Angeles-based Walker Foods Inc., said Robert Walker, president and CEO of Walker Foods Inc.

More Southern California Stories:


Photo Credit: University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Miss USA Returns to Hometown of Portland


It's been a month since Erin Brady received the title of Miss America, and today, Portland welcomed her home.

Erin Brady left Portland High School eight years ago as an honors student and returned to visit with summer campers at her old stomping grounds.

"Honestly, I was really nervous only because it's been so long, and you're coming back as a different person, kind of," Brady said. "But it's great to have people that have known me beforehand that are supporting me."

Some of Brady's former teachers stopped by with her senior picture to let her know just how proud they all are.

"Erin was always special, and she's always been the charming person you see," said Brady's former teacher, Stu Noelte.

"Erin has a chance to be a pillar, one of the foundations for so many people in this country, and she's going to be an inspiration," said another teacher, Dan Record.

Portland's First Selectwoman declared Tuesday, July 23, to be Erin Brady Day. It's a big honor for Erin, but also a great one for her town.

"That means a whole lot to us to know that she was educated and brought up here in Portland, and we're just thrilled to have her and so proud of her," said First Selectwoman Susan Bransfield.

Brady spent time handing out sweet treats to the campers and reminded them to follow their dreams.

"You can do it all. You can be whoever you want to be and make it to the top," said Brady.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

2 Hospitalized After Fight at Bristol McDonald’s


A man and a woman were taken to local hospitals after a fight and stabbing at a McDonald’s restaurant in Bristol early this morning.

Police responded to McDonald’s Restaurant, at 646 Farmington Avenue, at 1:25 a.m. after receiving a report of a stabbing.

Officers found a male suffering from a severe laceration to his upper arm and a female suffering minor head injuries, police said. 

An ambulance brought the man to Hartford Hospital and the woman was transported to Bristol Hospital.

Police said there had been a disturbance between two groups of patrons and several people were involved in a fight.
Police are investigating. Anyone with any information should call the Bristol Police Department at (860) 584-3011.

Person Falls 20 Feet Down Ravine at Hamden Park



The Hamden Fire Department is working to rescue someone who fell down a ravine late Tuesday night.
According to the fire department, a person fell approximately 20 feet down a ravine at West Rock Ridge State Park near Lake Wintergreen.
The department is using ATVs as well as other rescue equipment.
We have a crew headed to the scene and will bring more details as they become available.


Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live