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.

Essex Attorney Accused of Embezzling $300K From Client


An Essex attorney who is accused of stealing nearly $300,000 from clients and fleeing to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and San Diego, California has been arrested in Connecticut and charged with embezzlement.

Police said the attorney, 72-year-old John Carta Jr., of Essex, transferred nearly $300,000 from a client fund account to his own accounts instead of paying the client’s title insurance for property in Essex.

The investigation started in March and the San Diego County sheriff’s department took Carta into custody on Aug. 17, with help from U.S. marshals, while he was trying to re-enter the country, according to state police.

He waived extradition and was brought back to Connecticut to answer to a first-degree larceny charge.

He was held on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Drunken Woman Shot and Killed Birds on Birdfeeder: Police


A Ledyard woman has been charged with cruelty to animals after she was found drunk with a pellet rifle in her garage, which was littered with feathers from birds she admitted to shooting, according to Ledyard Police. 

Police officers responded to a home on Meetinghouse Lane in Ledyard Wednesday to investigate after receiving reports that 49-year-old Melinda Bennett was shooting birds off of her birdfeeders daily, police said. 

Officers who went to the house found Bennett intoxicated and holding a pellet rifle in her garage, police said. The garage floor was covered in fresh blood and feathers and police said Bennet admitted to shooting birds. 

Bennett was charged with reckless endangerment and cruelty to animals.

She was released on a $500 non-surety bond and scheduled for court on Sept. 28.

Photo Credit: Ledyard Police

Families in Connecticut Trying to Reach Loved Ones in Puerto Rico


Hurricane Irma has killed at least 100 people in the Caribbean and knocked out power to more than half of Puerto Rico and many Connecticut residents are trying reach family and friends in Puerto Rico. 

“I call every three hours to my family to know, and my dad says, ‘Listen, everything is OK,’” Gladys Mendes, of New Britain, said. 

Her family, like many others, has no power. 

“My family, they are safe in Puerto Rico at the moment. They don’t have electricity. A lot of trees have come down so they are fixing that,” Mendes said. 

Lillia Burnett, also of New Britain, has not yet heard from her friends. 

“Disaster is disaster. We can’t prevent it, but we can try and help each other any way we can,” she said. 

Yessenia Ramos, of New Britain, said her family is lucky. Their home in San German is OK, they are safe and have power and gas. 

“Everything is good. It’s fine. The house is fine, my family is fine,” she said. 

Ramos is now focused on making sure her brother in Tampa will be safe.

Photo Credit: AP

How Hurricane Irma Is Affecting Air Travel


As Hurricane Irma continued its track toward the U.S. mainland, major airlines have started to cancel flights and waive change and cancellation fees at several of Florida's busiest airports.

Some airlines dispatched extra planes ahead of Irma's arrival to help people in the storm's path evacuate, while others capped fares for those trying to flee.

The Category 5 storm's near-record 185 mph winds, which have waned slightly, have left a trail of destruction across the Caribbean, leveling whole cities.

In anticipation of Irma, more than 400 flights scheduled for Friday have been canceled in Miami and nearly 200 in Fort Lauderdale as of 7 a.m. ET Thursday, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.

American Airlines, which operates one of its busiest hubs at Miami International, said it would suspend all of its flights there starting Friday afternoon. American's last flight from Miami before Irma hits will be a 3:49 p.m. ET departure on Friday for Dallas-Fort Worth in Texas.

The airline said it will also begin winding down operations in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Meyers, Sarasota and West Palm Beach by Friday afternoon. In all, American has canceled more than 2,000 flights between Sept. 7 and 11.

Jet Blue Airways has canceled about 150 flights as of Wednesday afternoon. Additionally, the airline said it also added extra flights out of cities that may be impacted by Irma.

Delta airlines also added flights and up-sized aircrafts on flights out of South Florida. New flights will transport customers out of Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Key West into Atlanta, the airline's largest hub. Delta says it is also temporarily waiving baggage and pet-in-cabin fees for customers traveling to and from cities on Irma's track

A spokesman for United says the airline is sold out in Florida through Friday and added six flights. United expects to cancel most flights to and from southern Florida from Saturday through Monday.

American, Delta, Southwest, United, Jetblue and Frontier are among the carriers waiving change and cancellation fees for travelers with flights in and out of some airports in Florida and the Caribbean.

Some airlines have also moved to cap fares on the few flights out of Florida that still had seats available.

JetBlue Airways is offering $99 direct flights from every Florida city where it operates, the airline said on Wednesday. A price cap through Sept. 10 is also in place for all of JetBlue's Florida connecting flights, a maximum fare of $159 up to the last available seat, the company said. A fare ceiling was also in place for flights out of the Caribbean through Sept. 8.

"We want those trying to leave ahead of the hurricane to focus on their safe evacuation rather than worry about the cost of flights," JetBlue spokesman Doug McGraw said.

American Airlines has also capped the price of main cabin seats at $99 and premium one-way seats at $199 through Sept. 17. An airline spokesman told The Associated Press that American has a limited number of seats left before Irma hits.

Delta announced it won't charge travelers more than $399 for tickets on all flights to and from southern Florida and the Caribbean. The cap applies to all seats, including first class. The price cap for Delta will be in effect through Sept. 13.

Both Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport said they are closely monitoring the storm and will halt operations when sustained winds reached 55 mph.

But Miami International spokesman Greg Chin urged passengers to check with their airline about flight statuses as some airlines may decide to not fly well before the airport decides to close.

Travelers to the region should be prepared for the possibility of severe disruption, Chin added. The two airports also stressed that stranded passengers should not seek to take cover at their facilities, noting they are not shelters and may not have resources like food and water readily available.

The Key West airport is preparing to halt operations Thursday evening as Irma approaches the island chain. For passengers scrambling to get out the Keys, three Delta flights to Atlanta were scheduled to depart Thursday at 7:05 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark said in a news release that all commercial flights will then be canceled indefinitely.

International flights in and out of the Key West airport were suspended Wednesday afternoon when U.S. Customs and Border Protection ceased operations.

In the Caribbean, Irma has already grounded flights across several islands. In Puerto Rico more than 220 flights into and out of Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport have been canceled since Tuesday evening. One flight slipped out of the

Irma's travel impact could be long-lasting in some parts of the region.

Early images from the Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten show extensive damage, according to the island's interior minister, raising the possibility that the airport could be closed for weeks. The airport is famous around the world because of its runway ends very close to the beach, where tourists can stand and watch landing aircraft skim low overhead.

Next in Irma's path was the Bahamas, where over 75 Friday flights across the island were canceled and the government says the international airport in Nassau will close late Thursay.

Flights in the region — including in the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos — were likely to be severely affected or grounded altogether as Irma tracked through the area.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Pats Fan Who Helped Recover Brady Jerseys Attending Opener


Dylan Wagner, the man who helped the FBI find Tom Brady's stolen Super Bowl jerseys, was at Gillette Thursday morning, waiting in line for Nike Patriots sneakers that go on sale at 9 a.m.

The sports memorabilia collector and avid Patriots fan who lives in Seattle will be attending the season opening game versus the Kansas City Chiefs. It's his first Patriots game, and he's very excited.

College Students Fleeing Irma Return to Connecticut


As Hurricane Irma takes aim at Florida, thousands of people are evacuating the state, including some Connecticut residents who go to school there. 

Brittany Chen and Shayna Rogers, who are both from Farmington, are college freshmen at Florida Gulf Coast University near Ft. Myers and they both caught a last-minute flight to Connecticut on Wednesday night to escape the storm’s path. 

Chen said she realized how serious the storm was when her fellow Floridian classmates grew concerned. 

“Even they were scared and I’m like, ‘Well they’re from Florida and they’re used to this and I’m used to blizzard storms,’” Chen said. 

But getting a flight out of Florida was challenging. 

As they scoured the internet and called all available airlines, they were experiencing the mayhem in Florida. 

“We actually waited in a line for gas for two hours at Costco. It was crazy. Water ran out three days before I left,” said Rogers. 

Both Chen and Rogers said they are relieved they evacuated in time. 

“I’m glad, I’m happy. We don’t even know if it’s going to hit us, but rather be safe than sorry,” Chen said. 

But they are still worried about their friends in Irma’s path. 

The university canceled classes for Thursday and Friday. Rogers said there is an arena on campus that many of her classmates plan on hunkering down in. 

“Our arena is hurricane-proof so they can feed people up to two weeks so people can sleep in there and stuff,” Rogers said. 

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency, as did officials in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

East Haven Chamber of Commerce Collecting Donations for Shelter Dogs from Texas


The East Haven Chamber of Commerce is collecting donations to help the Shore Haven Veterinary Hospital, which will be receiving shelter dogs from Texas on Saturday.

The Chamber of Commerce will be accepting donations at the Business Showcase, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday under the big tent at the Fall Festival.

The veterinary hospital needs, paper towels, blankets, towels, laundry detergent and dog food.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hero Images

Governor Gives Glimpse of Budget Proposal Coming Tomorrow


The state has not had a budget since July 1 and the governor plans to release a compromise budget proposal tomorrow

On Thursday afternoon, Gov. Dannel Malloy released an overview of the proposal that he will offer to the members of the Connecticut General Assembly tomorrow. 

“It is imperative that leaders in state government come together and pass a biennial budget – one that continues to address Connecticut’s real fiscal challenges head on,” Malloy said in a statement. “The reality is that in an extremely difficult budget year, no one is going to achieve all of their priorities. There are no easy answers left or rabbits that we can pull out of a magical hat. We have to meet one another in the middle and make difficult compromises, and we do it in a way that stabilizes the state’s finances over the long-term. That’s what my budget proposal seeks to achieve.” 

The statement from the governor’s office says Connecticut must live within its means and not spend more revenue than the state takes in. It must prioritize services, direct aid based on need and make smart investments to grow jobs and strengthen the economy. 

He said Connecticut must arrive at a solution that addresses the state’s fiscal situation through realized labor savings, spending reductions in state services and municipal aid, and revenue – prioritized and achieved in that order. 

The governor’s budget plan will accommodate an increase of more than $136.8 million in the fiscal year 2018 and $89 million in the fiscal year 2019 in various municipal aid over the revised May 15 budget proposal and more than $897 million in the fiscal year 2018 over the current Executive Order Allocation Plan. 

It includes a phase-in of a progressive education funding formula meant to smooth the transition for communities that will experience a shift in aid. 

It asks cities and towns to contribute only the employer share of educator pension payments for their current employees and phases in those payments over a two-year period, reducing the amount to be paid by municipalities by $315.7 million in FY 2018 and $231.2 million in FY 2019 compared to the original budget proposal. 

The statement from the governor’s office says full details are being finalized and will be released tomorrow. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Services Held for Petty Officer Killed in USS McCain Crash


Funeral services will be held for U.S. Navy Electronics Technician 2nd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, a Suffield native who died after the collision between the destroyer USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker near Singapore.

"I'm not lost, I'm exploring," was Doyon's motto, according to his obituary

The 26-year-old was the second victim identified from the Aug. 21 collision and his remains are expected to arrive at Bradley Airport on Friday. The petty officer's remains will be escorted by Suffield police to the funeral home.

Police encourage the public to pay respects at the Suffield Center in the vicinity of the Suffield Veterans Memorial, on Route 75 and Bridge Street, at 4:45 p.m.

On Monday, Sept. 11 from 4 to 8 p.m., public calling hours will be held at Nicholson & Carmon Funeral Home at 433 East Street North.

On Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. a memorial service and Catholic mass will be held at Sacred Heart Church at 446 Mountain Road. Following the mass, the procession will travel with police to the cemetery.

A private military burial will be held after the mass at the West Suffield Cemetary. The burial is for family and friends only.

Doyon graduated from Cathedral High School in Springsfield, Massachusetts in 2009. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Feb 6, 2015.

"Dustin was an avid skateboarder, he enjoyed hiking and spending time outdoors, he loved to cook, but his true passion was running and diving, and hanging with his friends," his obituary reads.

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

On Aug. 23, 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.

Photo Credit: Submitted

First Hearing for Suspects in 4 Pa. Farm Slayings


The role of Sean Kratz, the alleged accomplice in three of four slayings that took place at a Bucks County farm in early July, was painted by his attorneys Thursday at an initial hearing as that of surprised bystander to a "massacre."

That's the word he used in describing the shootings, allegedly perpetrated by his cousin Cosmo DiNardo, to detectives in the days after the murders that took place July 5 and July 7 on the DiNardo family estate in Solebury.

DiNardo also had a preliminary hearing Thursday, except he appeared via closed-circuit video from Bucks County Jail. 

Both men are being held without bail for the alleged drug deals-turned-murders of Dean Finocchiaro, 19, of Middletown Township; Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg, Montgomery County; Tom Meo, 21, of Plumstead Township; and Jimi Taro Patrick, 19, of Newtown Township. 

Kratz, 20, walked with a limp in and out of the courtroom in Doylestown and his lawyers said he suffered serious injuries in an unrelated shooting in Northeast Philadelphia a few months prior to the Bucks County murders.

"Philadelphia police are investigating a shooting in March, which apparently he was shot 19 times," one of his attorneys, Neils Eriksen said following the hearing.

Eriksen, who along with another attorney Craig Penglasse took over as defense lawyers for Kratz last month, said details of that shooting remain unknown.

"We're still trying to figure it out," Eriksen said.

Kratz, of Northeast Philadelphia, and DiNardo, also 20, who lived in Bensalem, each face multiple counts of criminal homicide and conspiracy to commit homicide, according to court records. DiNardo is charged with all four of the slayings while Kratz is charged on three.

While DiNardo confessed to three of the murders in the days after investigators began searching his family's estate in Solebury Township, according to his attorney Michael Parlow in July, he has claimed Kratz took part in the shooting of Finocchiaro. According to testimony Thursday by a Bucks a county detective, Kratz gave a statement that DiNardo pulled the trigger that killed Finocchiaro.

DiNardo spoke in short garbled answers to a judge’s questions at his hearing..

“My lawyer explained it to me and that’s what I’d like to do, your honor,” he said when Common Pleas Judge Maggie Snow asked if DiNardo would like to waive his preliminary hearing in three separate cases.

A couple dozen family members of the victims in the cases were present at the Bucks County Courthouse in Doylestown along with two well-known Philadelphia attorneys representing the Finocchiaro and Meo families in potential future civil litigation.

Attorney Thomas Kline, who is representing the Finocchiaros, described DiNardo’s appearance and responses on the television screen in the front of the courtroom as “odd and awkward.”

“It was short,” Kline said of the hearing. “Rather than describe it as short and sweet, I would say it was short and bitter.”

He said the Finocchiaros are determined to see DiNardo serve the rest of his life in prison, adding that they remain shocked and saddened.

DiNardo allegedly confessed to the murders in return for the Bucks County District Attorney’s promise not to seek the death penalty. DiNardo also provided investigators with the locations of all four young men’s bodies on the sprawling 70-plus-acre farm.

Kratz's attorney Neils Eriksen, of Langhorne, declined to comment specifically on the proceedings. 

Both men are being held without bail. DiNardo faces a charge of unlawful possession of a weapon, receiving stolen property for allegedly stealing one of his victim's cars and multiple counts of criminal homicide, conspiracy and abuse of a corpse.

DiNardo lawyer Michael Parlow previously said his client gave a "full confession" to police days after an investigation led to DiNardo's arrest after the grim discovery of four bodies at a farm in Solebury.

Investigators believe the victims were killed at the 70-acre property owned by the DiNardo family. It is a few miles outside of the borough of New Hope on the Delaware River.

Patrick was shot to death by DiNardo on July 5 as the two were alone on the farm, according to the affidavit. DiNardo told authorities that he and Patrick had arranged to meet on the farm for a marijuana drug deal, but once Patrick had arrived, DiNardo fatally shot him instead. He said he used a backhoe to dig the hole in which he buried Patrick's body.

The other three victims were killed July 7 in two separate incidents at the farm, both of which were under the guise of a drug deal, according to the criminal affidavit.

Kratz and DiNardo had planned to rob Finocchiaro after luring him to the farm, but instead Kratz shot him in the head, the affidavit said. Later in the day, Kratz and DiNardo met up with Sturgis and Meo and shot them to death in a similarly sudden manner, the charging document said.

After killing Finocchiaro, Sturgis and Meo, DiNardo and Kratz put their bodies into a large container — what DiNardo called a "pig roaster" — and burned them using gasoline, according to the affidavit.

Three of the men's remains, however, were found by law enforcement in a common grave on the property. A fourth, Patrick, was found in a very remote section of the property.

Photo Credit: SkyForce10/ Bucks County DA
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Dad Hired Man So Daughter’s Boyfriend Would Go to Jail: PD


A Shelton father who did not like his daughter’s boyfriend is accused of hiring a man to file a complaint against the beau in the hopes that he’d be sent to prison, according to Shelton police. 

The police investigation started on July 13 when a 20-year-old man went to the Shelton Police Department to file an armed robbery complaint against a Shelton man, police said. 

The man claiming to be a victim said the other man robbed him at knifepoint and picked the alleged robber out of a lineup. 

As detectives investigated, they determined that 47-year-old Philip Prokop of Seymour and another family member paid the man to file the complaint because Prokop was upset about the person her daughter was dating. 

Police said he came up with a plan to have the boyfriend arrested for armed robbery in the hopes he would be arrested and sent to jail, paid the person who would file the complaint and drove him to the Shelton Police Department to make the false complaint. 

In 2012, police arrested Prokop when he was accused of paying a 17-year-old girl $21 to fight a 13-year-old enemy of his daughter

Prokop was arrested today and charged with second-degree conspiracy to commit/giving a statement. 

Prokop posted a $5,000 bond and is due in court on Sept. 21. 

Police said they expect to make more arrests in the case.

Photo Credit: Seymour Police

Officials Say Hartford Could Go Broke Without State Budget


The city of Hartford could have to file for bankruptcy if the state fails to pass a budget or doesn't provide additional state funding, according to the mayor, treasurer, and president of the court of common council, and they are calling on the state to step in and help get the city on the right path.

Mayor Luke Bronin, Treasurer Adam Cloud and Court of Common Council President Thomas Clarke II wrote a letter to the governor and state legislative leaders Thursday alerting them to the dire financial situation the capital city is in.

They said the city will not be able to meet its financial obligations in around 60 days if there is no state budget.

“For the past year, we have highlighted the urgency of Hartford’s fiscal crisis. The time has come to decide, together, what future we want for our Capital City. If the State fails to enact a budget and continues to operate under the Governor’s current executive order, the City of Hartford will be unable to meet its financial obligations in approximately sixty days. If there is no budget or additional State funding in place at that time, we anticipate seeking authority to file Chapter 9,” the city leaders wrote.

The Hartford officials said that over the last 18 months they have already done what other cities and towns are thinking about doing, including using their fund balance, enacting a large number of layoffs and cutting services.

They added that they cannot make cuts to get out of the fiscal crisis and they cannot tax their way out.

“Our property taxes on commercial property are the highest in the State and may be the highest in the nation. With a mill rate of 74.29, our long-term growth and sustainability depends on reducing, not raising, the property tax,” city leaders wrote.

The mayor, treasurer, and president of the court of common council laid out what they consider to be options fior the state to help the city.

“Connecticut would be the first State in the nation to have its Capital City go bankrupt. We want to avoid bankruptcy, if possible — and filing for bankruptcy because the State has failed to adopt a budget, rather than because we have collectively determined that it is the best way to achieve sustainability, would be a sad commentary on the State’s budgetary gridlock. That said, a well-planned bankruptcy is a tool that can be used to address long-term liabilities like debt and pension obligations. If we are unable to find an alternative path to sustainability together, then we should all be prepared to use that tool rather than condemn Hartford and the Greater Hartford region to a future of decline,” Bronin, Cloud and Clarke wrote.

Meg Green, a spokesperson for Gov. Dannel Malloy released a statement Thursday afternoon.

“We could not agree more with the urgency of the situation, particularly for the City of Hartford. With rising fixed costs, eroding revenues, and limited powers, executive authority does not provide flexibility for allotting funds in the absence of a budget passed by the General Assembly. Inaction was not an option and we needed to sharply reduce spending in many areas – including spending that we all agree is important and worthwhile, such as municipal aid. We recognize this is difficult for the municipalities as many communities will face cash shortfalls if we continue forward without a state budget. We continue to hope to have a full budget adopted by October to mitigate the harm and avoid having towns or cities go through reorganization,” Green said in an emailed statement.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hartford Cousins Await Word From Loved Ones in St. Maarten


As Hurricane Irma inches closer to Florida, many islands in the Caribbean have been left with catastrophic damage.

Some of the places hit worst include Anguilla, Barbuda and St. Maarten.

NBC Connecticut spoke with a Hartford family, originally from St. Maarten, who is anxiously awaiting word from their loved ones on the island.

"I lived there for almost 10 years. I know the place very well. And pictures I’ve seen- it’s just heartbreaking," Elon Munroe said.

Munroe and his cousin, Melissa Clarke, spoke to NBC Connecticut on the same day the Dutch Government confirmed that Hurricane Irma caused devastating damage on the former independent Dutch colony: from destroying homes to the Princess Juliana Airport.

The family has been glued to their phones since Sunday, which is the last time they heard from Elon’s sister-in-law and niece or Melissa’s brother.

"I try to call them, but I ain’t getting through to them because maybe the power down or something," Clarke said.

The pair is trying their best to keep busy by working inside Elon’s cellphone repair shop in Hartford. Their family is on the Dutch side of the island in the town of Saint Peters.

"I know my wife’s sister is going to the fire station shelter. But that’s the last we hear from them. After that, we can’t get through to them," Munroe said.

"Calling, calling, calling. Every day I try to call," said Clarke. "The last thing I texted him was, ‘are you good?’ ‘Are you safe?’ But no reply."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Hurricane Jose to Give Irma-Battered Islands Another Lashing


Hurricane Jose, now a Category 3 storm, is a "major hurricane," according to the National Hurricane Center, and it is expected to bring wind and rain when it brushes by the northern Leeward Islands — the same ones just ravaged by Irma.

As of 5 p.m. ET, it had maximum sustained winds of 120 mph and was moving west-northwest at 18 mph and was located about 590 miles east of the Lesser Antilles islands. Irma is not expected to make landfall, but the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for the dual-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

Barbuda, the smaller of the two islands with roughly 1,800 residents, was particularly hard-hit by Irma.

In addition to the hurricane watch for Jose, a tropical storm watch is in effect for numerous other Caribbean islands, including Anguilla and Saint Kitts.

Photo Credit: NOAA

Florida Families Fly to Connecticut to Take Shelter From Irma


David Lopez already planned on traveling to Connecticut for his family to meet his new newborn baby, but he never anticipated he'd be leaving behind his Florida home to potentially one of the strongest storms to hit the area. 

"We boarded everything up, we got water just in case because I don't know what I'm going to face when I go back," Lopez said.

While many travelers are thankful to be on Northeastern ground, passengers like Moses Harvin are headed toward Hurricane Irma to check on family. 

"Make sure everything is secure and then we will hunker down for the storm," Harvin said.

Others like Lillian Smith have family in Connecticut flying them away from Florida and out of harm’s way.

"We didn't make the decision, my daughter did," Smith said. "She bought the tickets already, she said, 'You're going because I already got the tickets'," Smith said.

Smith is leaving behind her dog and cat at a kennel and moving her photo albums to higher ground.

"We didn't board anything up," Smith said.

As the travelers count down the days until Irma could hit their home state, they know there’s only so much they can do until they know how the hurricane plays out.

"I've been a little stressed out over there so I want to relax I'll start my stress on Tuesday when it's time to come," Lopez said.

Photo Credit: Jose Jimenez/Getty Images

Low-Risk Insurance Requests Spike After Harvey


As Houston begins its rebuilding process from Hurricane Harvey, experts estimate only about 20 percent of now-flooded homes in the Lone Star State have flood insurance, suggesting the vast majority of homeowners will have a long, expensive road ahead if they can find a way to afford moving back in at all.

Most of those homeowners live in low-risk zones where they didn’t think they’d need it. Homes within a one percent flood zone, meaning the property has a one percent chance of flooding in any given year, are required to have flood insurance.

Many of the properties damaged in Harvey were in a 0.2 percent flood zone. Those zones exist in almost every part of the country, Connecticut included.

"Now, whether it’s Connecticut or Florida, (people) look at that and they go, 'Okay, I’m in a low-risk zone. Now it’s time to buy flood insurance'," the Flood Insurance Agency’s CEO Evan Hecht said.

Hecht said in the week since Harvey, inquiries about voluntary flood insurance from low-risk zones are up 1,500 percent. That’s compared to the 50 percent increase he expects in typical hurricane seasons.

"FEMA is certainly larger than we are so my numbers aren’t representative of the entire picture," Hecht said. "But we have enough numbers that mathematically, would play out across the entire spectrum."

As far as benefits go, some policies will cover up to $250,000 in building damage and $100,000 in contents coverage for less than $500 per year.

That would save homeowners just as much in the next big storm, assuming they keep it.

“We did experience something similar after Katrina and within three years, people allowed those policies to die," said Hecht.

Photo Credit: AP

'We Have to Open': Trinity Bar Plans to Rebuild After Fire


At the start of a busy time with college students back in town and a new NFL season, New Haven’s Trinity Bar and Restaurant on Orange Street is closed and boarded up following last Friday’s fire

The fire started in a second-floor apartment right above Trinity Bar, but the cause remains under investigation, a New Haven Fire Marshal tells NBC Connecticut.

"You’ll never beat the Irish," Trinity co-owner and head chef Shane Carty said. "We’ll be back again, bigger and better, bigger and stronger."

Carty told NBC Connecticut the past week has been, "horrible, absolutely horrible, I keep waking up thinking it’s just a nightmare."

Carty’s nightmare began last Friday afternoon when the flames broke out while he was running an errand. He said he could see the smoke from the highway driving back to his business.

"We’re just dealing with all the water that came down afterwards and it's just the lingering smell of smoke," Carty said.

Carty took NBC Connecticut inside where staff is taking inventory of what can be saved. All the food and any open bottles had to be thrown away, he said.

"We have to open," Carty said. "Our life saving’s is in this place. I have a family, we all have families, I can’t just sit around."

The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop owner Matthew Feiner rushed into the burning building to help before later being taken away on a stretcher to the hospital because of smoke inhalation.

"I’m having a hard time getting a breath and keeping breath," Feiner said.

Feiner stayed overnight at Yale-New Haven Hospital before being released last Saturday.

"We knew the guy inside, we knew they were yelling that there was someone on the floor upstairs and we knew who it was so we kept going back in looking for him," Feiner said.

The man who lives in one of the apartments and suffered burns to 70 percent of his body, according to New Haven Fire Chief John Alston, got out by the back fire escape. His identity has not yet been released.

All 22 Trinity employees are now without work, Carty said, adding that Christy’s, one of the other Irish pubs in New Haven, has offered some of them jobs in the meantime.

Inside the bar, one of Carty’s prized possessions, a picture of the Trinity Library in Dublin, wasn’t damaged.

"I’m delighted it survived," Carty said. "This was a huge expense when we opened first, and plus it’s the centerpiece of the bar you know."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

UConn's Game Against University of South Florida Canceled


UConn football was set to play the University of South Florida (USF) at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford on Saturday, but the game has been canceled. 

“Obviously we are disappointed for our team and our fans at the cancellation of a home game,” Director of Athletics David Benedict said. “Our thoughts are with USF and all of the areas in the path of this storm. We wish them all the best as they deal with this terrible storm and are here ready to assist in any way that we can.”

Officials from both schools and from the American Athletic Conference discussed options and originally decided to move the kick-off time to 10:30 a.m. from the original noon start time, according to a release from UConn. 

However, on Thursday, it was announced that the game was canceled. 

“I know both our team and USF were excited about a chance to play this weekend,” UConn head coach Randy Edsall said. “We certainly are disappointed, but clearly understand that this is something totally out of everyone’s control. I hope that Coach Strong, his team and the entire community impacted by this storm remain safe and know that we are thinking about them as they deal with this.”

UConn will provide details next week to all USF game ticket holders regarding future ticket options due to the cancellation.

USF is located in Tampa, Florida.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

‘What Happened’: Hillary Clinton Blames Many for Defeat


At the height of the scandal over her email server, Hillary Clinton says she was "tempted to make voodoo dolls of certain members of the press and Congress and stick them full of pins," she writes in a new memoir of her 2016 presidential campaign.

"Mostly, I was furious at myself," she says, adding: "It was a dumb mistake. But an even dumber 'scandal.'"

That "yes, but" tone defines Clinton’s "What Happened," obtained by NBC News through a source who had purchased the book ahead of its official publication Tuesday. The book offers her understanding of one of the biggest upsets in presidential history.

"I go back over my own shortcomings and the mistakes we made. I take responsibility for all of them," she writes. "In my more introspective moments, I do recognize that my campaign in 2016 lacked the sense of urgency and passion that I remember from (husband Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign)."

Photo Credit: Win McNamee/AP

ICE Cancels Massive Roundups of Undocumented Immigrants


President Donald Trump's Department of Homeland Security had planned nationwide raids to target 8,400 undocumented immigrants later this month, according to three law enforcement officials and an internal document that described the plan as "the largest operation of its kind in the history of ICE," an acronym for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

But after NBC News reported the plans late Thursday, the agency issued a statement saying it had cancelled nationwide enforcement actions due to Hurricane Irma and the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

"While we generally do not comment on future potential law enforcement actions, operational plans are subject to change based on a variety of factors," ICE spokesman Sarah Rodriguez said in a statement. "Due to the current weather situation in Florida and other potentially impacted areas, along with the ongoing recovery in Texas, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had already reviewed all upcoming operations and has adjusted accordingly. There is currently no coordinated nationwide operation planned at this time. The priority in the affected areas should remain focused on life-saving and life-sustaining activities."

Prior to the initial NBC News report, another spokeswoman for ICE, Jennifer Elzea, had said the agency was "not able to speculate about potential future targeted enforcement actions."

Photo Credit: NBC 6
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live