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Police Want Access to Cameras at Waterbury Train Station


Waterbury police want to have access to the surveillance cameras at the Waterbury train station after a recent rise in car break-ins in the commuter lot.

Time is the one thing Metro-North commuters know can make or break an arrival or departure.

It's also what Waterbury police know can make a difference between catching a criminal and them getting away.

Visitors at the Waterbury train station said allowing police officers to access Metro-North and the Connecticut Department of Transportation's (CTDOT) surveillance cameras on the property could help slow down the recent rise in car break-ins at the station's parking lot.

"The fact that they know they can get away with it is why they keep on doing it," a visitor, Amber Lewis, said.

Waterbury police made a recent arrest in connection with the more than 30 break-ins this year, riders like John Lewis said having access to the surveillance cameras could help them make more.

"I think obviously they can get to it a lot faster it would crack down on the crime as far as them breaking into the cars because they know they're going to get caught," Lewis said.

Waterbury police, Metro-North and CTDOT met Wednesday to discuss the plans, no word yet on when they will gain access to the surveillance cameras.

Big Improvements to Hartford Housing Development


A $20-million housing project is giving a Hartford’s Frog Hollow neighborhood a big boost.

Recently, the apartments inside a former mill on Broad Street were renovated.

Jendayi Nelson has lived in the Billings Forge apartments for five years. She no longer has to take the stairs to her third-floor apartment.

“It’s come a long way,” Nelson said.

A new elevator is just one of the improvements made to the 112-unit housing complex. The public spaces were renovated, the windows replaced, and all the units brought up to code. Outdoor spaces, including a garden, were also added.

“It makes me feel like I matter because they didn’t have to do that,” said Nelson.

The state contributed $5 million to the price tag. Another $9 million came from federal funds, and the rest, private investment.

“What we see here in this wonderful neighborhood are newly renovated apartments here for folks and really brings new vibrancy to this whole area,” said the Connecticut Commissioner of Housing, Evonne Klein.

The project is the latest in an effort to revitalize this Frog Hollow neighborhood. New restaurants and shops have popped up, and the weekly farmers market bustles with activity.

“We’re able to bridge that gap with food access,” said Jocelyn Cerda, the Billings Forge Farmers market manager.

“I think everybody likes supporting the local people,” said Judy Secord.

Secord has called the neighborhood home for 20 years and said she’s witnessed the positive change this public-private partnership has brought to the area.

“There wasn’t the vitality that there is now. There are people who are interested in the area and are taking care of things,” Secord said.

Klein said it’s critical to invest in affordable housing. One-hundred-two of the units are priced for people making under $59,000 a year.

Seymour Residents Say Tax Dollars Paid for Bad Repair Job


Three Seymour homeowners complained they received shoddy repair work through a federal taxpayer-funded grant designed to repair homes in blighted neighborhoods.

George Noe, Kevin Flaherty, and John Stelma live minutes away from each other in Seymour. Since last year they have been updating their homes through a Community Development Block Grant the town of Seymour won in 2014 to help low-income, elderly, and disabled homeowners make repairs.

The three men showed the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters pockmarks, loose gravel, leftover asphalt dumped in bushes, and even a footprint scarring their newly paved driveways, as well as problems indoors ranging from vinyl flooring that has not remained glued down, to an oil tank installed in George’s garage that failed inspection by the town’s building department.

The three men said they first raised complaints more than eight months ago to the town’s grant consultant, Lisa Low, and her team, who administers the program for the town. The men said the repairs Low offered would still leave them with sub-standard work.

Low sent the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters a lengthy email that says she was blindsided by their complaints and only received a phone call from George. Her email did not say whether she received multiple emails that Kevin and John said they sent her with their grievances, but she acknowledged HUD and the State Department of Housing contacted her about their concerns after our team reached out.

George said the men also approached town leaders for help, having assumed that the program, “was backed by the town.”

However, Seymour’s town attorney, Rich Buturla said during a town Board of Selectmen meeting that the homeowner’s contracts, prepared by Low on behalf of the town, prevent the town from getting involved, and he told the board, “you cannot interfere in the contract.”

Buturla said Low, as the administrator of the program, is not a party to the contract either.

The contract is between the homeowners and a contractor who won the work through a bidding process Low managed, and it calls for homeowners to sign off on the work done at their properties. However, the contract also gives the town and Low’s team the power to override homeowner approval and issue payments in full to contractors if work meets industry standards.

However, George, Kevin, and John’s driveways need repair, according to an engineering firm Low hired, so the men said they don’t understand why final payments were issued to their contractor for all three projects last year.

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters went to the state Department of Housing, which oversees the Small Cities Grant program, for answers. Commissioner Evonne Klein explained her department expects towns to take responsibility and resolve complaints. “They deserve quality work to be done,” she said.

After the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters’ visit, DOH toured the three homes and told us Low was asked to draw up resolutions addressing certain repairs they hope all three homeowners will agree to.

The grant money spent toward the repairs on their homes is not free to the homeowners. It’s awarded in the form of a 0 percent interest loan, meaning George, Kevin, and John currently owes the town of Seymour a combined $80,000.

George told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters this is not just about the money. The Korean War veteran said he wants to see a change in how the program is managed. “If it happened to the three of us, you have to figure, did it happen to people before? Is it going to happen to people after?” he said.

Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller and Lisa Low have declined repeated requests for an on-camera interview. Seymour has won another Small Cities Grant and re-signed with Low to administer it.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

CCSU to Launch Safety App for First Day of Classes


When students head back to Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), they’ll notice a new safety measure can be added right to their phones.

CCSU Police are testing out the LiveSafe app, which allows students and staff to share information with CCSU's police if they see any suspicious activity.

The app is set to go live on on the first day of classes, Aug. 29.

The app is free in the app store. A student or staff member can select the tip type they want to submit to CCSU Police, such as an accident, any suspicious activity or a medical issue. After, the user can enter the more detailed information, like a description of the incident. 

"It is the blue light phone in your hand. You can press a button, text a message, send it to our dispatch center. You can take pictures, videos and do it anonymously or even add your phone number and name and we can get back to you for more information," CCSU Police Sgt. Jerry Erwin said.

The app can also act as a personal escort by sending a location to whoever the user wants and the person can watch where the user is walking.

It’s a feature CCSU student Antonia Newman said she would use.

"That might be a little more better than just calling my friend," Newman said.

Even parents, like Amalia Teixeira, can use it. She lives in New Jersey and can track her son, a CCSU student, if he requests her to do that through the app.

"I like the fact that you can open up the app and kind of watch him walk where he’s supposed to be just in case because you never know what happens," she said.

Some believe the app wouldn’t be useful to them.

"I don’t think I would use it because I’m always around people and I don’t really feel like I’m at trouble," CCSU student, Terrell Huff, said. 

CCSU police said it’s just another resource they can use to keep students safe.

Currently, CCSU has armed police officers, About a thousand cameras scattered across campus and emergency call boxes.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Police Investigating Suspicious Fires at Newington Park

Should Cape Cod Beaches Ban Kites, Tents and Ball Games?


Beaches in Falmouth, Massachusetts, could face stricter rules under a new proposal submitted to town leaders.

In a plan filed by the Falmouth Heights-Maravista Neighborhood Association, there would be a ban on activities common to the town's shores, such as flying a kite or tossing around a football.

"It's been the topic of greatest concern for years now," said Howard Grosser, president of the association.

In recent years, Grosser said families in the association, a few hundred in total, have become increasingly bothered by the noise and activity on the nearby beaches.

Their proposal would limit or prohibit several activities, including tents of a certain size, radios that play music beyond a 15 foot radius of its location and games that involve balls, Frisbees or lawn darts.

"They belong in parks. They belong in backyards. Not so much on crowded sand areas," Grosser said, "Ball playing when you can hardly find a place for your umbrella or towel is enormously disruptive."

The town's bylaws concerning the beaches have not been updated in 50 years, according to Grosser. However, other residents do not believe they should be altered at all.

"This is a waste of our time," said Phil Alfonso, who has started a petition to block the initiative.

As a longtime resident of Falmouth, Alfonso argued they have never had the issues the proposal is attempting to address.

"There's no issue with a ball or a kite, or I can't hear a single bit of music from anybody," Alfonso explained, "This is just more foolish legislation on a town wide level."

However, it is unclear if it will have support from town leaders.

The Board of Selectmen still must recommend the issue for consideration at a town meeting scheduled for November.

"This is a democracy," Grosser said, "If the majority of people want the beaches to be a free for all, that's what they're going to be."

Photo Credit: NBC Boston

Fire Breaks Out at Fish Store in Vernon


The fire department is investigating a fire at Wet Pets in Vernon.

Vernon fire chief Stephen Eppler said a state police fire marshal spotted the fire at the Wet Pets fish store in a strip mall on Hartford Turnpike around 2:45 a.m. Friday.

When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke and a small fire in the back of the store.

According to its website, Wet Pets has been in Vernon for 15 years and specializes in fresh and saltwater aquariums.

The status of the fish in the store is unknown.

Body of Suffield Sailor Recovered from USS John S. McCain


Navy and Marine Corps divers have recovered and identified remains of Suffield native 26-year-old Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon.

He is the second victim identified from the collision between the destroyer USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker near Singapore. Eight sailors are still missing.

Doyon's family put out the following statement via the First Selectman's Office:

"On behalf of the entire Doyon family, we want to thank all those who have extended their support and prayers. Dustin was a wonderful son, big brother, and Sailor. He truly loved his family, the Navy, and his shipmates. We are incredibly proud of him and his service to our country. We will miss him immensely and we are so very thankful for the 26 wonderful years we had together."

"As we mourn the loss of our son and brother, we would like extend our appreciation to so many people, especially to the community of Suffield, Connecticut who has been supporting us since we first learned of the accident. We are also thankful to the United States Navy for their continued support and are thinking of the brave crew of USS John S. McCain who are still hard at work with a difficult task."

"We ask everyone to keep the families and friends of those affected by this terrible tragedy in your thoughts and prayers."

"As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for our family and we respectfully request that you continue to respect and honor our privacy."

Doyon graduated from Cathedral High School in Springfield, Massachusetts in 2009.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has issued a directive to lower United States and state flags to half-staff in honor of Doyon.

“It is with tremendous sadness that we mourn the loss of Petty Officer Doyon and his fellow shipmates, who gave their lives serving our nation,” Gov. Malloy said in a statement. “Petty Officer Doyon is an American hero who represented the best of Connecticut and the United States. This loss reminds us of the dangers faced day and night by the men and women of our military who are stationed overseas. Our hearts are with his family and friends during this difficult time – they should know how incredibly proud the people of Connecticut are of his service to our country.”

Congressman Joe Courtney also issued a statement.

"The Doyon family's tragic loss of their beloved son Dustin who was ably serving in our nation's defense is a loss for every American. His decision to volunteer to join the Navy, and put himself in harm’s way for his country showed his patriotism and caring for others, which we should all revere and honor,” Courtney said.

On Wednesday, the commander of the Navy's Asia-based 7th Fleet was dismissed after a series of warship accidents raised questions about its operations in the Pacific.

A two-sentence statement issued by the Navy says Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, had relieved Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin "due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command."

Photo Credit: Submitted

Construction Continues as Move-in Begins at UConn


The incoming freshman class at UConn begins a new adventure today as the newest class of Huskies moves in at the Storrs campus. The rest of the student body will be moving in over the next few days.

In all, 12,400 students will be moving into the residence halls on the Storrs campus.

One of the biggest challenges families will face while moving the students in is getting around construction to replace old pipes. 

The Route 195 entrance into campus at North Eagleville Road is closed and there are one-way traffic patterns on part of that road. 

UConn officials said the university scheduled as much of the work as possible during summer, but it was not possible to finish the work before the start of classes or to reopen the parts of North Eagleville Road that remain under construction. 

More information on traffic restrictions and check-in areas is posted on UConn’s website

UConn warns that drivers should not rely on GPS because it does not reflect the traffic patterns and detours. 

All traffic is one-way on Alumni Drive between Hillside Road and Hilltop Apartments this week and university officials suggest avoiding the area if possible. 

People moving into the Hilltop area and to the North and Northwest complexes should enter the campus from Discovery Drive, which connects to Route 44 at its northern end and carries traffic directly toward the heart of campus. 

Drivers who are not part of move-in or work-related traffic are being encouraged to use alternate routes on and around the Storrs campus during daylight hours on Friday and over the weekend to avoid delays from the heavier-than-usual traffic and detours.  

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Wires Come Down on Occupied Garbage Truck in Vernon

Crash Closes Route 25 in Newtown for Several Hours


Part of Route 25, or South Main Street, in Newtown will be closed for several hours after a crash.

Police said the crash is in the area of Cold Spring Road. 

The state Department of Transportation has set up a detour for southbound traffic on Route 25 to Wasserman Way, to Route 34, to Route 111, back to Route 25 in Trumbull.

Northbound has the same detour in reverse.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Route 15 North in Wethersfield Shut Down Due to Crash


Route 15 going northbound in Wethersfield is shut down following a roll-over crash, CT DOT said. 

The crash happened at exit 85 on the northbound said of Route 15. 

Wethersfield police said there were no injuries. 

CT DOT first reported the accident at 4:36 p.m.

It is not clear when the roadway will reopen but police said it will only be closed temporarily. 

No other details were immediately available. 

North Korea Launches 3 Short-Range Missiles, US Says


North Korea on Saturday morning fired what are believed to be three short-range ballistic missiles, U.S. Pacific Command said.

The missiles were launched near Kittaeryong between 6:49 a.m. Seoul time (5:49 pm. Friday ET) and 12:19 p.m. The second missile "appears to have blown up almost immediately," Pacific Command said. However, the first and third missiles did not "fail in flight," the Pacific Command clarified in a later update early Saturday.

"We continue to monitor North Korea's actions closely," Pacific Command said. "U.S. Pacific Command stands behind our ironclad commitment to the security of our allies in the Republic of Korea and Japan."

The latest launch comes during an annual joint military exercise between the United States and South Korea that the North condemns as an invasion rehearsal, and weeks after Pyongyang threatened to lob missiles toward the Pacific U.S. territory of Guam.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File

Most Popular Names, Breeds for Dogs in Hartford: Report


With National Dog Day coming up this Saturday, we wanted to share the most popular name and breeds in our state's capital city. 

Nextdoor, a "neighborhood social network," compiled a list of Hartford's top dog names overall and by breed. The full list can be found at the end of this article. 

For the second year in a row, Bella ranks top in Hartford and across the nation, with the name Lucy as #2 in Hartford and the United States.

Want to see how your favorite dog name stacks up nationwide? Check out NextDoor's interactive map here

Hartford’s Top Dog Names:

  1. Bella
  2. Lucy
  3. Max
  4. Buddy
  5. Daisy
  6. Molly
  7. Bailey
  8. Maggie
  9. Charlie
  10. Sadie

Hartford's Top Dog Names By Breed:

  1. Beagle - Brooke/Buddy
  2. Boxer - Jake/Luke
  3. Chihuahua - Amerell/Nicky
  4. Dachshund - Alfie
  5. German Shepherd - Bear/Sasha
  6. Golden Retriever - Blue
  7. Lab - Ace
  8. Mixed - Abbie
  9. Shih Tzu - Rocky/Sadie/Zoey
  10. Yorkshire Terrier - Lola

Photo Credit: AP
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Sex Offender Gave Teen Drugs, Sexually Assaulted Her: Police


A 28-year-old registered sex offender is accused of giving drugs to a 15-year-old girl and having sex with her while she was under the influence. 

Police said they received a complaint in May and 27-year-old Miguel Feliciano, of Shelton, was accused of giving narcotics to a 15-year-old girl at a friend’s house, then waiting until she was under the influence and having sex with her several times over the course of the weekend. 

Police said they realized while investigating that Feliciano is a registered sex offender who was not in compliance with the State of Connecticut. 

Shelton police arrested Feliciano Thursday and he has been charged with sexual assault in the second degree, risk of injury to a minor and risk of injury to a minor involving intimate parts. 

Bond was set at $150,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Shelton Police

Car Crashes Into Gas Station in Hartford


A car crashed into a gas station on Weston Street in Hartford Friday and went part way into the building, just missing customers who were inside.

The car crashed happened at the Mobil gas station at 125 Weston St. just after 10 a.m. Friday.

The owner of the vehicle said he shut down his car, which has a manual transmission, and turned it off, but did not realize he left it in first gear. He then told his girlfriend to start the car and it lurched forward when she did, hitting the building.

“She started the car and it was in gear, so when she let off the clutch, the car just took off and smacked into the wall,” Shanki Knott, of Hartford, said. “I was trying to stop the car but I got out the way because the car wasn’t stopping.”

Firefighters said the car was going 5 to 10 miles per hour when it struck the gas station.

The estimated damage to the building is around $10,000.

Rajendra Patel, the owner of the Mobil Gas Station, was in the back office when he

The store’s owner was in the back office when the car hit the building, heard the crash and ran outside.

“I said ‘Oh my God. How could this happen?’” he said.

No one was hurt. There is a counter on the other side of the wall the car hit, but no one was there at the time.

“Thank God it didn’t hurt anybody,” Patel said.

The gas station is still open and police said they do not believe charges will be filed.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Sebastian Gorka Is Out as Trump Aide


Sebastian Gorka, a combative adviser to President Donald Trump and harsh critic of Islam, is the latest aide to leave his White House post.

Whether Gorka resigned or was fired is unclear, NBC News reported. One White House official said he resigned, and another said Gorka did not resign but confirmed he no longer works at the White House.

According to a report from The Federalist citing multiple sources familiar with the situation, the national security and counterterrorism expert expressed dissatisfaction with the current state of the Trump administration in a letter.

"[G]iven recent events, it is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are – for now – ascendant within the White House," Gorka wrote. "As a result, the best and most effective way I can support you, Mr. President, is from outside the People's House."

A deputy assistant to the president, he was hired as a counterterrorism adviser and appeared regularly on television to defend Trump. In the White House, he was aligned with Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist who was pushed out on Aug. 18, and Stephen Miller, a senior policy adviser. Gorka was once an editor for Breitbart News, which Bannon ran.

Among the controversies that have followed him is whether he is a member of a Hungarian Nazi-linked group Vitezi Rend. Born in Britain to Hungarian parents, Gorka has repeatedly denied he is a member but wore the group’s medal to Trump’s inaugural ball. He said the medal was his father’s.

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images, File
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Police Searching for West Haven Arson Suspect


West Haven police are searching for the man wanted in connection with arson at a house in West Haven last month. The fire trapped a woman inside her home and she was hospitalized for several days.

Police are searching for 21-year-old Tyrece Perry, who is suspected in connection with the fire at 339 Center St. on July 11 and wanted for charges including arson in the first degree, assault in the second degree, home invasion and three counts of reckless endangerment in the first degree.

The fire broke out around 3 a.m. on July 11 and Fire Marshal Keith Flood said evidence showed ignitable liquids in the stairwell of the entryway of the two-family home.

The fire completely burned the stairs, trapping a woman on the second floor. She was rescued through a second-floor back window and taken to a hospital, where she remained for several days.

Anyone with information on where Perry is should contact West Haven police.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police

How to Survive a Flash Flood in Your Car


A few critical tips can help you survive if a flash flood ever strikes while you’re driving a car, the "Today" show reported. 

Jim Douglas, an instructor with Raven Rescue, told the “Today” show’s national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen that "not even a foot" of water is enough to make a car float. SUVs and 4x4s are not immune to danger. "Those big tires will make a truck float even easier," Douglas said. "They are like big buoys. They'll float even faster."

Last year, on a special training course in Whistler, British Columbia, the Rossen Reports team staged a dramatic demonstration of just how quickly a pickup truck can be swept away in a flash flood — and how to survive such a situation. 

Critical tips:

  • Roll the window down the second the water rises: It is your only way out.
  • Get on the roof of the vehicle.
  • Stay low and hang on. Stay stable: A car can flip in 6 feet of water. "At least being on the roof you've got a fighting chance," Douglas said. "If you are inside and that car flips over, you've got no chance."

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
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CT Volunteers to Help in Texas During Hurricane


Volunteers from the American Red Cross and Stamford-based Americares have been sent to Texas to help as Hurricane Harvey, now a Category 3 storm, approaches.

Save the Children, a Fairfield based organization has also sent members to Texas. The group will be providing supplies to families at shelters to make them feel more like home. Those items include cribs, changing tables, diapers and play places for children.

The Red Cross has sent five people from Connecticut to Texas.

The National Hurricane Center is predicting that Harvey will make landfall along the Gulf Coast Friday night and becomes the first hurricane to strike Texas in almost several years.

The Red Cross said it is mobilizing trained Red Cross disaster relief workers to support the response effort and has more than 17 shelters ready to open and support thousands of people if needed.

Another dozen or more Red Cross volunteers are expected to travel to Texas after the hurricane makes landfall to provide relief.

Americares said it has been in contact with its network of local health centers, free clinics and response partners in Texas and is already responding to requests for water and medications.

Connecticut’s division of the National Disaster Medical System is also in Texas to help.

New Britain resident, Dave Cruickshank, is a member and will serve as the police chief. It’s something familiar to the 10-year Berlin Police officer, who is part of the command staff to a team of 47 people that will provide medical attention for anyone who needs it.

“We go and we set up field hospitals and we have the ability to replace hospitals that are damaged or without power or flooded,” he said.

The team has everything they need to staff a hospital for 24 hours a day for two weeks.

At this time, it’s unclear where they will be stationed.

To make a donation to the Red Cross, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Donations to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund will support Americares response to the storm. To make a donation, go to americares.org/Harvey.

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