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Hiring Boom Seen in Southeastern Connecticut


The southeastern part of Connecticut is employing at a faster rate than the rest of the state, according to the Department of Labor. 

In July, the Norwich, New London and Westerly, Rhode Island, hired 1,200 people, making it the fastest growing labor market in the Connecticut when looking at the rate of jobs added in the last year.

Many hires are for Electric Boat (EB), which plans to take on 15,000 to 18,000 new people between now and 2030 to reach a peak employment of 18,000.

Dan Mullins, of Waterford, is one of those new hires who plans to start working at EB soon.

"I think it was great that (EB) just reached out to me. And now that I know I can build a career out there, I’m really excited about it," Mullins said.

Mullins is a 2017 graduate of Ella T. Grasso Technical High School in Groton. The computer-aided drafting and design student said EB extended job offers to all 13 in his class.

"It makes me really secure to know that they’ve hired so many people from Grasso before that have stayed with the company," Mullins said.

But many other companies in southeastern Connecticut are hiring, too.

Blake Smith, who lives in Westerly, recently accepted a position at Davis-Standard in the Pawcatuck section of Stonington.

"This is the highest paying job I’ve had in manufacturing to date. So, that’s really the hard part. Finding a good-paying manufacturing job," Smith said.

Davis-Standard hired around 25 new employees this year and plans to take on even more, said Director of Operations Mike Newhall.

"This is a strong growth period for us," Newhall said, since they acquired a business in Massachusetts.

But he knows the company is competing with EB for skilled workers.

Brining people in to work, can bring them into the community long-term as well.

"If I decide I really like this job, I’ll eventually just move (to Connecticut)," Smith said.

That will have an impact on the local economy, too, starting with housing.

Tony Sheridan, president and CEO of the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, said they’re creating a new program to help spouses of new hires, specifically Electric Boat, find jobs locally.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

16-Month-Old Baby Left in Unattended Van in East Windsor: PD


The mother and uncle of a 16-month-old baby girl left unattended in a van with the windows up in East Windsor on Monday have been arrested, police said. 

Gloria Sanchez-Cerritos, 22, of New Britain, and her brother, Juan Sanchez-Cerritos, 30, of New Britain, face charges that include risk of injury to a child, leaving a child unsupervised in a motor vehicle and reckless endangerment. 

East Windsor police said they were investigating an incident where a child was left in the vehicle at Wal-Mart on Prospect Hill Road around 6:30 p.m. 

A passerby was going to shop when they saw the baby in the vehicle with the windows up. They immediately called 911, police said.

Police and medical personnel were able to get the baby girl out of the unlocked van and they were transported to the Connecticut Children's Medical Center for evaluation.

The external air temperature was noted to be approximately 81 degrees at the time of the incident. The 16-month-old baby was distressed and sweating profusely but overall, she was unharmed, police said.

East Windsor officers were at the scene for 45 minutes when two people, later identified as the baby's mother, Gloria Sanchez-Cerritos, and her brother Juan Sanchez-Cerritos, came to the parked vehicle.

The mother of the baby girl said she forgot the child was in the van.

The Department of Children and Families and police are investigating the incident.

The temperatures were as high as 87 degrees in the area on Monday, according to NBC Connecticut meteorologists. 

Both suspects were held on a $100,000 bond and are expected to appear in court on Tuesday. 

CORRECTION: Police first reported that the baby was under the age of 1 but corrected her age to 16 months. 

Photo Credit: East Windsor Police

42 Hurt After Train Crash in Pennsylvania


Officials will reveal new details on the crash in a press conference starting at 5 p.m. Watch it LIVE in the video embedded above.

A high-speed train barreled into a parked train at one of SEPTA's busiest terminals overnight, injuring more than 40 people and causing what one passenger described as a bloody scene.

SEPTA officials say a Norristown High Speed Line train was arriving at the 69th Street Transportation Center on Market Street in Upper Darby around 12:10 a.m. Tuesday when it crashed into an unoccupied train that was sitting in the terminal.

"I stood up to get off to get ready to get to my bus on time and smack, it hit the other trolley, parked," Ronnie, a passenger who asked us only to use his first name, told NBC10.

At least 42 people — including the conductor — were injured in the crash. SEPTA officials say none of the injuries are life-threatening. At least four of the victims are in critical condition.

It's not clear how fast the train was traveling when the crash happened, but passengers described a violent collision. Upper Darby Mayor Thomas Micozzie said the train came into the station "hot."

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"My face hit the wall, put a big hole in the wall and I went straight down and I blacked out," Ronnie said. "There was blood everywhere. The driver is all banged up and there was this one girl bleeding out of her face pretty bad."

Three of the victims were taken to the Lankenau Medical Center and the conductor was taken to the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. He was treated and later released, according to SEPTA.

The other victims were taken to other area hospitals including Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, Misericordia Community Hospital, Springfield Hospital and Taylor Hospital.

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Ronnie claimed that prior to the crash, the train had twice overshot stops during the trip.

"I was waiting at Gulph Mills. The train came by, it blew past us about three or four train lengths, stopped, backed up, picked us up," Ronnie said. "The same thing happened at Bryn Mawr."

SEPTA officials have not confirmed the allegations. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the terminal Tuesday morning to start an investigation.

This is the second major train incident at the 69th Street Terminal this year.

In February, an out-of-service Market-Frankford El train collided with two others on a loop track. The impact caused several cars to derail and tip to the side. Four people were hurt in that incident.

Micozzie said he's concerned about safety at the terminal. He plans to call U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, the Philadelphia Democrat, Tuesday and ask for help in improving track safety.

SEPTA spokeswoman Heather Redfern said the Norristown High-Speed Line uses Automatic Train Control, a safety system that's been deployed on rail lines nationwide for decades.

With ATC, a train operator will get an in-cab warning when they violate a speed limit. If they fail to slow the train within a few seconds, the system takes over.

Experts say ATC is an effective technology for preventing crashes, but Amtrak has said it's not as advanced as a newer technology called Positive Train Control (PTC).

PTC can halt a train when it fails to comply with a stop signal and prevent derailments at curves, the rail service wrote in the wake of the 2015 derailment of Amtrak 188 in Northeast Philadelphia.

The Amtrak line Train 188 was traveling on didn't have ATC activated when the derailment happened. PTC was not yet installed on the line. It's since been deployed.

In May, U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, a Republican, and Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey announced nearly $6 million in federal funding for SEPTA to improve regional rail — SEPTA's commuter train lines — including the enhancement of PTC on those lines.

Norristown High Speed Line service between 69th Street and Norristown resumed as regularly scheduled at 4:20 a.m. Tuesday. One of the tracks is not operational however so passengers should expect delays. Express service is also shut down for the day.

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Photo Credit: NBC10
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Police Investigate Untimely Death in Milford


Milford police are investigating an untimely death, according to a post on the department's Facebook page.

The post indicated that the investigation was in the area of East Rutland Road and North Rutland Road.

Early Tuesday morning police were outside a home at 212 East Rutland Road. The crime scene van was on scene.

Police said it appears to be an isolated incident. 

No other information was immediately available. NBC Connecticut will provide updates as they come into the newsroom.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Driver Charged with DUI After Hitting State Police Cruiser


A state trooper was injured when a drunk driver crashed into a cruiser pulled over on Carrington Road (Route 69) in Bethany Tuesday, according to state police.

Police said that 32-year-old Anthony Waiters, of Waterbury, faces operating under the influence charges after he sideswiped the cruiser, which was pulled over on the side of the road from a previous traffic stop. Waiters kept driving after hitting the cruiser, trying to flee, according to police.

The accident happened around 12:35 a.m. near the intersection with Gaylord Mountain Road. The trooper was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital with minor injuries.

Waiters was not hurt, but police said his blood alcohol content was .2265, which is almost three times the legal limit of .08. He was arrested and charged with evading responsibility, operating under the influence of drugs/alcohol, and improper passing. 

The suspect was released on a $1,500 and is due in court on Sept. 5, 2017.

The vehicle that had been stopped was not involved in the collision.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Major Renovation Project Gets Underway at West Haven High


West Haven High School is about to get a facelift.

Groundbreaking begins Tuesday to renovate the campus with new state-of-the-art facilities for science, technology, engineering and math.

The school was built over 50 years ago, but the plans will mark a changing blueprint. Officials said 98,000-square feet of the building will be renovated. The rest will be demolished, and another 168,0000-square feet of new construction will be added.

The completed school will offer a new media center, advanced STEM classrooms and labs, and upgraded public areas.

Construction will be done in three phases to make sure the 1,450 students can continue taking classes during the work.

The project’s price tag is $129.9 million, with the state reimbursing the city for 75 percent of it.

These major changes are being made even as the state slashes the budget on school funding. So far there’s no word on how the final budget could change this project.

The groundbreaking is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bail Reform: The Justice System Turns to Algorithms


Counties around the country are using “risk assessment tools” to help them decide which suspects should remain behind bars, as some states have found that the bail system discriminates against the poor, NBC News reported.

Created by data scientists and criminal-justice researchers, one risk assessment tool — an algorithm used in New Jersey — promises to use data to scrub the system of bias by keeping only the most dangerous defendants behind bars, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Six months into this venture, New Jersey jails are already starting to empty, and the number of people locked up while awaiting trial has dropped.

But it’s also become clear that data is no wonder drug.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

2 Seriously Injured in Crash on Route 5/15 in Berlin


Two people were seriously injured in a two-car crash on Route 5/15 in Berlin Tuesday morning.

The crash happened near Taco Bell, near Rowley and Selden Streets. Police said that two people, one from each vehicle, were taken to Hartford Hospital with serious injuries.

The cause of the crash is under investigation at this time.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Man Threatens to Kill Girlfriend in Front of 10-Year-Old: PD


Stamford police have arrested a man accused of driving under the influence with his girlfriend’s 10-year-old son in the car, then strangling and threatening to kill his girlfriend during a subsequent argument in front of the child.

David Perez, 38, faces charges including OUI, assault, strangulation, and risk of injury to a minor after the incident on Saturday.

According to police, the victim told police that Perez was driving from New York to Connecticut with her son in the car when he flew into the driveway at a high rate of speed. When he got inside the couple began arguing, and Perez allegedly hit, pushed and strangled the victim, and threatened to kill her by grabbing a knife.

Police said Perez then tried to hide from police in a bedroom and struggled when officers arrived to place him under arrest.

Several witnesses assisted police with the investigation.

Perez failed field sobriety tests and was charged with OUI, reckless operating and risk of injury to a minor over that. He was also charged with third-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor, second-degree threatening and disorderly conduct for the domestic argument. He was issued a $100,000 bond for these charges.

Photo Credit: Stamford Police Department

New York Man Suspected in Several Connecticut Bank Robberies Arrested


A New York man suspected of robbing banks in Westport, Darien, Waterbury and Pawtucket, Rhode Island was arrested after a traffic stop in New York.

Alpha Jalloh, 34, of Bronx, New York, was arrested Monday, according to Westport Police.

They said he is suspected in the bank robbery at TD Bank, at 1111 Post Road in Westport, just before 1 p.m. on July 2. He’s accused of passing a note to the teller, stating a robbery was occurring and he had a gun.

When investigators looked at surveillance video, they saw a 2006 to 2008 Lincoln MKZ or Zephyr enter the parking lot right before the robbery and leave right after.

Police also determined that the description of the robber matched the description of the man who robbed the Citizens Bank at 454 Post Road in Darien on June 13, as well as a Citizens Bank in Pawtucket, R.I. and a TD Bank at 1254 West Main St. in Waterbury, police said.

Darien police identified Jalloh as a suspect, according to Westport police.

On July 27, the New York Police Department Fugitive Task Force Team stopped the Lincoln MKZ Jalloh was driving and took him into custody based on warrants out of Darien and Waterbury.

Jalloh admitted to the robbery and the 24-year-old passenger in his car admitted to driving Jalloh to Westport with the intention of committing the robbery, police said.

Jalloh was charged with second-degree robbery, second-degree conspiracy to commit robbery and third-degree larceny.

He was held on $100,000 bond.

Charges for his alleged accomplice are pending.

Photo Credit: Westport Police

Man Who Shot Would-Be Car Thief Arrested on Drug Charges: PD


A Ridgefield man accused of shooting a teen who was allegedly trying to steal a car from his driveway has been charged in connection with the shooting, as well as drug charges after police said they found steroids and marijuana when they searched his home. 

Mauro Tropeano, 33, of Ridgefield turned himself in to police on Tuesday night after learning there was a warrant for his arrest. 

Police said juveniles were trying to steal a vehicle from the driveway of Tropeano’s Hulda Lane home just before 3 a.m. on June 5 and Tropeano fired several gunshots, striking a 15-year-old girl. 

When police searched Tropeano’s home, they found more than seven pounds of marijuana, a lot of steroids, steroid-related items, more than $28,000 in cash and multiple firearms, according to police. 

Tropeano was charged with second-degree assault with a firearm, unlawful discharge of a firearm, interfering with an officer, illegal sale, distribution, manufacture/non-drug dependent person. 

He was released on a $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Danbury Superior Court on Sept. 5. 

A 15-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl, both from Waterbury, were previously arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit larceny. 

Police are still looking to identify other suspects.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File

Service Restored After Water Main Break in West Hartford


Water service to 17 West Hartford homes has been restored after a 6-inch water main break on Crosshill Road early Tuesday sent water gushing down the street, temporarily flooding the road before crews were able to shut the water down and begin repairs.

The break happened in the area of 15 Crosshill Road around 3:15 a.m. According to the Metropolitan District, the main was installed in 1940.

Seventeen homes on Crosshill Road between Boswell Road and Greenacres Avenue were affected by the shutdown, which lasted about six hours. Water service was restored at 9:17 a.m., and repairs to the road are wrapping up.

MDC warned that customers may have a brief period of discolored water. If this happens, customers should run the water in the bathtub or shower until it runs clear.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Hartford Police Recover 9 Stolen Cars, Arrest 2 Juveniles


Hartford police said they found nine stolen cars and arrested two juveniles Monday morning.

Hartford police held an all-day, citywide auto theft detail Monday and said they found nine stolen cars, seized on dirt bike and arrested two juveniles accused of driving the stolen cars.

Police said they also developed information on several stolen vehicles and more arrests are pending.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

Greenwich Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting 14-Year-Old


Connecticut State Police have arrested a Greenwich man accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in North Canaan, and this is not the first time the suspect has been charged with sexual assault.

Twenty-two-year-old Taiel Gookool was charged with second-degree sexual assault, risk of injury, and providing alcohol to a minor on Tuesday.  He was previously arrested in November 2015 on sexual assault charges out of Greenwich, according to court records.

According to the arrest warrant for the more recent case, the incident was first reported by the victim’s father on Nov. 12, 2016. The father reported to police that his younger daughter told him she’d been raped by someone named “Ty” while at a friend’s house in North Canaan in July or August of 2016.

The victim told police that she knew the suspect as “Tai” and that he forced her to have sex one night when she was staying at a friend’s house in North Canaan. The victim told police that “Tai” and another boy came over and that “Tai” brought vodka for everyone to drink. The victim said that "Tai" raped her and that after it happened, her friend’s mother caught the boys in the room and kicked them out.

According to the arrest warrant, when police spoke to the victim’s friend she told police that she’d met “Tai” through Instagram and provided his username.

Police identified Gookool as the suspect through the Instagram account. Police found that Gookool had been talking to other underage girls through his Instagram account. According to an interview noted in the arrest warrant, Gookool denied using the account and said he'd given it away, but there were recent pictures of him posted on it.

Gookool was charged and appeared in court Tuesday in this case. His bond was set at $100,000 in this case.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges in the November 2015 case.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

East Hartford Man Accused of Stealing from Hamden Company


An East Hartford man is accused of committing a burglary at JLS Paving in Hamden. 

Police said they responded to the paving company at Tabor Street on Aug. 5 and determined that someone broke in through the side door and took power tools, keys to a truck and the truck, which was parked nearby. 

After investigating, police obtained a warrant for 34-year-old Edwin Doss, of East Hartford, and arrested him Monday. He was charged with burglary in the third degree and larceny in the first degree. 

Doss was detained on a $10,000 court-ordered bond and is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on Sept. 5.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police

Sex Offender Thought He Was Meeting Teen: Police


A registered sex offender has been arrested on new charges, including attempt to possess child pornography, after he tried to meet up with a person he thought was a 14-year old boy, according to Southington police. 

Officers believe 31-year-old Keith Durbin, of Southington, used social media to arrange to meet a teenage boy in Southington but he was actually confronted by an organization that targets sexual predators. 

Durbin was charged with criminal attempt to commit risk of injury to a minor and criminal attempt to possess child pornography.

Photo Credit: Southington Police

Quinnipiac Students to Live in Senior Living and Retirement Home


While most college students choose to live on campus or in an off-campus apartment with their friends, Quinnipiac students Kevin Currie and Sarah Cullen are opting to live at Masonicare Ashlar Village, an assisted-living home, with senior citizens in Wallingford. 

They arrived at their new home Tuesday morning, greeted by Masonicare staff, and residents hand them the keys to their rooms. 

For the next year, Kevin and Sarah will be living at the senior and retirement community, providing care for at least eight hours a week to residents. 

Masonicare Coordinator Grace Giannini said this is about breaking the stigma of ageism and showing how similar people can be, despite their age difference. 

“Whether you’re an elder living here in this community, or you’re a college student coming in for the first time, it’s just people meeting people and getting along,” Giannini said. 

This is the second year of Quinnipiac’s Students-In-Residence Program - a collaboration between the school and Masonicare. 

The goal is to help students like Sarah and Kevin prepare for careers in elder care by providing an experience they can’t find in any classroom. 

Sarah, a rising junior studying occupational therapy, has been waiting for this move-in date all summer. 

“I’m just excited to hopefully make a difference here and put some smiles on some faces,” she said. 

Kevin Currie, a graduate student studying for his MBA, is hoping this experience in eldercare will give him a better perspective of the aging community. 

“In this country, we seem to forget these folks and I think that’s really sad because we can learn a lot from them,” he said. 

Residents, like Alice Leighner, are just as excited to learn from their new neighbors. 

“They bring a new perspective,” Leighner said, “and just fresh ideas. Keep us young. I think we’re just very lucky to have such nice people because they both are very lovely.” 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

7-Year-Old Helped Save Toddler Left in Hot Van


A 7-year-old girl is being credited for helping to avert tragedy by noticing a toddler who was left alone in a hot van in East Windsor and alerting her mother, who then called police. 

On Tuesday, East Windsor police honored a 7-year-old girl and her mother for their heroic actions the day before. 

Police said the family was returning to their vehicle in the Walmart parking lot and the girl told her mother that a small child was alone in a van parked next to theirs and the windows were rolled up, police said. 

The mother called 911 and emergency responders were able to remove a 16-month-old child, who was distressed and sweating profusely, from the van and get the child medical attention.  

Police said it was over 80 degrees when the girl saw the toddler and around 45 minutes passed before the baby’s mother and uncle returned to the parked van. 

The department said “tragedy was averted” because of the 911 call. 

Police have presented the mother and daughter with challenge coins for their actions. 

To celebrate East Windsor’s upcoming 250th anniversary and the Police Department's 45 years of service, Chief DeMarco and Deputy Chief Roger Hart have designed challenge coins that each officer will have. 

Starting on Sept. 1, officers will give out the challenge coins to deserving people who have contributed to the safety of the community or who have helped identify and solve problems to improve the quality of life for all. 

However, the department decided to present the two coins early “due to the significance of the Walmart incident.” 

Officers have a limited number of challenge coins and officers will be handing them out soon. 

Photo Credit: East Windsor Police

Person Trapped Under Concrete Equipment in Goshen


A person was trapped under construction equipment in Goshen on Tuesday, dispatch said. 

Goshen fire and ambulance responded to Wellsford Drive after a call came into the Litchfield County Dispatch at 12:19 p.m.

Crews found that a person was trapped under concrete equipment.

LifeStar was called to the scene at 12:23 p.m. and transported the patient to a local hospital, dispatch said.

The extent of the person's injuries is not clear. 

No other details were immediately available. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Patriots Thank Trump for White House Visit With Super Bowl Ring


President Donald Trump has made no secret about being a New England Patriots fan, now he has the hardware to cement the relationship — a Super Bowl ring.

Trump is the proud owner of a custom New England Patriots Super Bowl LI ring, courtesy of his longtime friend, team owner Robert Kraft.

Patriots’ Vice President of Media Relations Stacy James confirmed to NBC News that Kraft gave the president the commemorative ring following the Patriots White House visit in April.

At the time, Trump told the team he was so proud the Patriots were the first championship team to visit the White House during his presidency, he planned on displaying the custom #45 jersey he received in his presidential library one day. Kraft offered him a better exhibit: a personalized Super Bowl ring.

News of the ring finding a home 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. was first leaked on social media by Anthony Scaramucci. In a direct message with a Twitter user who asked Scaramucci whether Trump could ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to give Kraft back his stolen 2005 Super Bowl ring, the former White House communications director replied that Kraft had given Trump the Super Bowl 51 ring.

James said the president "over-delivered" on his promise to make it a special trip for the team, giving them a private White House tour that included the Oval Office and the residence. Every team member got their photo with the president as well. 

The NFL covers the cost of 150 rings for the Super Bowl-winning team, which includes players, coaches, staff members and team executives. Additional rings and any extra costs for commemorative rings are accounted for by the team, according to league rules. Teams are allowed to customize their rings.

The Patriots' ring is encrusted with 283 diamonds, a nod to the 28-3 deficit the Patriots overcame to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history. It also features five marquise-cut diamonds representing the franchise's five Vince Lombardi trophies. Engraved inside the ring are the quotes "Greatest Comeback Ever" and "We Are All Patriots."

Though the value of the ring is unknown, what is clear is that if it exceed $350 in value, Trump won't be able to keep it. According to federal guidelines, personal gifts from a member of the American public that exceeds $350 in value "is considered accepted on behalf of and property of the United States, and in the case of such a gift for the President or the President's family, is handled by the National Archives and Records Administration."

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