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Route 66 in Willimantic Reopens After Driver Crashes Trying to Miss Cat


A driver who hit a utility pole in Willimantic early this morning was swerving to avoid hitting a cat, according to police.

No one was injured when the car struck a pole on Route 66 between Linden and Beach streets around 3:30 a.m., officials said. 

Police said they expected the road to be closed for much, if not all, of the morning commute.

The side roads are open and traffic is being diverted.

Connecticut Light & Power crews responded to the scene to make repairs.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Affordable Care Act Round-Up: Boomers May Benefit Most


With the Affordable Care Act set to go into effect on Oct. 1, there is an ongoing debate as to whether the law will keep insurance premium costs down, if employers will continue to offer insurance for their employees, and how the federal law will impact Americans.

Here are a few recent stories taking a look at the issues:

 "Obamacare Isn't Causing Employers to Cut Worker Hours: White House"

  • Nine out of 10 jobs created since the ACA became law in March 2010 have been full-time positions, according to the White House Council of Economic Advisers. And there's no evidence that employers are cutting back worker hours to less than 30 hours per week. (The Huffington Post)

"Plenty of options under health care law, studies show"

  • New government tax credits would allow for the monthly price of some health policies to drop to as little as $100.
  • Once the ACA goes into effect, those without health insurance on the job can go to new online insurance markets in their states and shop for a plan. (The Associated Press)

"Boomers may benefit most from Obamacare" 

  • An analysis done by reporters at The Wall Street Journal shows that older workers' share of their insurance premiums could fall dramatically, leaving them with less to pay than younger, healthier people with similar incomes.
  • The ACA's health insurance exchanges and subsidies are designed to help lower prices for this older crowd – those who are too young to qualify for Medicare, but find it too expensive to buy insurance in the private sector. (MarketWatch: The Wall Street Journal)

"Obama's Affordable Care Act Looking a Bit Unaffordable"

  • The National Journal has an analysis of new coverage and cost data that reveals premium prices will be higher in the individual exchange than what some pay for employer-sponsored benefits.
  • The premiums under the ACA may be lower than predicted, but they may not be competitive with workers are currently paying for employer-sponsored care. (The National Journal) 

Photo Credit: AP

Fla. Dance Teacher Arrested for Sex With 15-Year-Old: Cops


A Florida dance teacher has been arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old she met through the Coral Springs studio she manages, officials said Sunday.

Detectives arrested Jennifer Efre Deberry, a 30-year-old instructor and manager at Dance Effect Studio, after an 8-month investigation that uncovered 117 pages of text messages between Deberry and the victim detailing their sexual relationship, police said.  She was charged with felony lewd and lascivious battery and taken into custody Friday, Coral Springs Police said.

"This child is under 16 years of age and she's 30 years old and taking advantage of that role of being an authoritative figure or a grownup," said Sgt. Carla Kmiotek with the Coral Springs Police Department.

No one answered the door at Deberry's apartment when NBC 6 went there Monday.

Deberry first met the male victim at the dance studio when he was 13 years old, according to an arrest report. The sexual relationship began when he turned 15, sometime in September of 2012, and lasted until Jan. 26, 2013, police said.

The last time the two were together sexually, they spent more than five hours alone together at Deberry's house in Coral Springs, the report said. Messages exchanged through texts, Facebook and e-mail accounts made it "very evident they were involved in some kind of relationship," Kmiotek said.

"Oh my love its so amazing that today was so incredible for you ;D It really was very incredible for me too <3 It was so perfect and amazing and making love with you was just the greatest feeling in the whole world <3 :D XOXO," read one of the texts, according to the arrest report.

Deberry, who is married, also allegedly sent the minor messages about building a future together.

"I hope one day I will be their daughter-in-law. I can't believe how I want to spend the rest of my life with you and I'm sure of it <3 I love you more than anything and I have loved you for a long time."

Deberry was released on $10,000 bond following her arrest.

Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact Coral Springs Detective Lisajo Smith at 954-346-1301.

More Local Content:


Photo Credit: Coral Springs Police

Tropical Storm Humberto Continues Strengthening


Tropical Storm Humberto continued to strengthen Monday night as it headed away from the Cape Verde Islands, with its maximum sustained winds increasing to 60 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

As of 11 p.m., Humberto was moving west-northwest at 10 mph about 120 miles west-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands. Its maximum sustained winds had increased by 10 mph since 5 p.m.

A tropical storm warning was discontinued for the southern Cape Verde Islands of Maio, Santiago, Fogo and Brava, according to the NHC. There are no coastal watches and warnings in effect.

Humberto is expected to strengthen further and become a hurricane on Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Humberto is expected to turn toward the northwest with a decrease in forward speed on Tuesday, and then turn toward the north-northwest Tuesday night.

More Weather Content:


Photo Credit: National Hurricane Center

Grandma Shot As 2 Brothers Fought Over Cell Phone: Cops


An 83-year-old grandmother was shot – on National Grandparents Day – as two brothers fought over a cell phone Sunday in a Southwest Miami-Dade neighborhood, police said.

The grandmother, Marian Hall, was trying to break up the fight between her two adult grandchildren outside a Goulds home at 223rd Street and 117th Place, according to Miami-Dade Police.

At one point, one of the brothers, identified as 23-year-old Kenneth Smith, went inside and picked up a gun, officials said.

"Once inside the home, one of the brothers armed himself with a firearm where he intended to shoot at the brother and struck the grandmother in the leg," said Miami-Dade Police spokeswoman Robin Pinkard.

Hall was airlifted to Kendall Regional Trauma Center, but close friends said she is in stable condition.

Smith, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a person 65 or older and battery.

He was being held on $19,000 bond Monday and it was unknown whether he has an attorney.

The other grandson, 28-year-old Robert Hill, wasn't charged.

More Local Stories:

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

UTA: Woman Reports Sexual Assault at Frat House


A male student and two fraternities at the University of Texas at Arlington campus were suspended Sunday after a woman reported being sexually assaulted at a fraternity house.

UT Arlington said its campus police responded Saturday at 11:38 p.m. to an unconscious woman in a residence hall. She was transported to the hospital, where she said she had been sexually assaulted at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house.

In a statement released Sunday, UT-Arlington said it suspended a male student. 

"Additionally, an interim suspension has been issued for two fraternities - Sigma Phil Epsilon and Pi Kappa Phi - related to unregistered parties and possible use of alcohol by individuals under the age of 21," said the statement.

"We take these issues very seriously. We are taking decisive and appropriate action while the investigation continues and due process is served related to these unfortunate circumstances," President Vistasp M. Karbhari said in the statement.

"We are deeply committed to the well-being of our University community and will not tolerate behavior that is potentially dangerous for our students and others."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Several Primaries to Be Held on Tuesday


Municipal primaries will be taking place in 21 Connecticut communities on Tuesday.

Democrats and Republicans have until noon today to register in person for primaries and unaffiliated voters have the same deadline to enroll with a major party to vote.

Polls will be open on Tuesday from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. for municipal primaries on Tuesday September 10, 2013. 

Absentee ballots are available. To be counted for the municipal primary, they must be received by town clerks’ offices no later than 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Voters can go to the Secretary of the State’s website www.sots.ct.gov to see if they are registered to vote and where their polling place is located. Primaries will be taking place in the following communities:

  • Bethel: Republican for First Selectman, Selectman, Police Commission
  • Bridgeport: Democrat for common council districts 132-1, 132-2, 135-1, 135-2, 135-3, 136-1, 136-2, 136-3, 137-1, 137-2, board of education
  • Cromwell: Republican, town council
  • East Haven: Democrat, mayor, town council districts 1-5, board of education, board of finance
  • Enfield: Republican: Councilman at Large
  • Haddam: Republican and Democrat, town clerk
  • Killingworth: Republican, first selectman, selectman, town clerk, town treasurer, board of finance, board of assessment appeals, planning and zoning commission, ZBA fire commission, Reg. Bd of Ed-2yr. Vacancy
  • Lisbon: Republican, board of education
  • Middletown: Democrat, planning and zoning commission
  • Milford: Democrat, board of education
  • New Haven: Democrat, mayor, city clerk, alderman districts 2, 4, 7, 8, 11, 14, 19, 20, 22, 26, 27
  • North Haven: Democrat, selectman
  • Norwalk: Democrat, mayor
  • Norwich: Democrat, mayor
  • Sherman: Democrat, selectman
  • South Windsor: Republican, town council
  • Stratford: Democrat, mayor and council 3
  • Stamford: Democrat, mayor and board of representatives districts 6, 13
  • Stamford: Republican, mayor and board of representatives districts 13, 18
  • Torrington: Democrat, mayor
  • West Haven: Democrat, mayor, treasurer, tax collector, board of education, board of assessment appeals, council at large and council districts 1-10
  • Woodbury: Republican, first selectman

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

Bridgeport Firefighter Sees Bias in Pregnancy Leave


Bridgeport has placed a pregnant firefighter on unpaid leave, forcing her to do without a paycheck until the birth of her baby at the end of the year.

Regina Scates, a six-year firefighter, is being forced to use her 11 days of accumulated vacation and personal time. Under terms of the contract, the checks will then stop.

The 36-year-old Scales, a single mother of two, said she could be assigned to light duty.

Fire Chief Brian Rooney told the Connecticut Post (http://bit.ly/15LiiLO) he's reviewing the matter and will issue a decision in a few days.

Thomas Bucci, a lawyer representing Scates, said the fire department is violating federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Treating pregnancy differently than other disabilities is prohibited and Scates should be transferred to a job requiring light work, he said.

Aaron Burr Charged With Threatening in Middletown


Among the people charged in Middletown this weekend is a 24-year-old man with a name straight out of history.

Aaron Burr was arrested at the Sagamore Hill Apartments on Washington Street.

Complex staff called police just before noon on Friday to report that Burr, 24, of Middletown, threatened to put a gun to the head of any worker who entered his apartment in the future without calling first, police said.

On Friday morning, a maintenance worker went to Burr’s apartment to fix a leaking toilet, and entered the unit after knocking four times and getting no response, according to police. 

The worker said Burr, 24, of Middletown, and another person were in the apartment and said nothing while the repair was done.

At some time after this, Burr called apartment management and threatened that if staff entered his apartment again without calling first, he “would put a gun to their head,” police said.   

When asked about the alleged threat, Burr told police, “Yes. If they come in here again without calling, I am going to put a gun to their head,” according to the arraignment report.

Police said Burr has valid pistol permits for a Glock .99 millimeter and a Springfield Armory .40 Caliber. Inside the apartment, police found both guns. The Springfield Armory was under the couch cushions and loaded with nine rounds of ammunition, police said

They also found a Colt M4 Carbine .22 caliber rifle and a safe, police said.

Burr was charged with first-degree threatening, held in lieu of $100,000 surety bond and is due in court today.

As history buffs will know, Burr holds the same name as a U.S. Senator from New Jersey in the late 1790s who shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in 1804 during a duel.

Aaron Burr was also a household name after the 1993 “Got Milk” ad about a history buff who is trying to answer a $10,000 trivia question after eating peanut butter. You can watch it here.

Photo Credit: Middletown Police

Two Injured in Shelton Motorcycle Crash


A 55-year-old motorcyclist from Orange and his passenger were injured during a collision with a Dodge Minivan at River Road and Murphy’s Lane on Saturday night, according to police.

Police, firefighters and EMS crews responded to the scene around 9 p.m. and determined that Samuel Seeley, 55, of Orange, was driving south on River Road when his motorcycle collided with a Dodge Minivan.

Seeley was taken to the hospital with serious, non-life-threatening injuries. The passenger, Ramona Seeley, 54, of Orange, was also taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Megan Kalanick, 22, of Shelton, was driving the Dodge and did not report being injured, police said.

The Shelton Police Traffic Division is investigating and no charges have been filed.

Witnesses or people with additional information are asked to call the Shelton Police Traffic Division at (203) 924-1544.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Man Accused of Hurting Dogs at Dog Park


A Glastonbury man was charged with breach of peace after people at the town dog park reported that he kicked one dog and hit another with a leash.

Police were at the dog park on Welles Street to investigate reports of an intoxicated man when several people approached the officers and said a man had kicked one dog that was playing roughly with his pet and hit another with a retractable leash, police said.

Police investigated, identified the man as Stephen Schillinger, 50, of Glastonbury, and charged him with breach of peace in the second degree.

He was released on a written promise to appear and is due in court in Manchester on Sept. 25.  

Burglar Loots San Diego Home, Stops for Cool Drink


A brazen burglar took what he wanted from a San Diego home while people were swimming in the pool outside Sunday, even stopping to enjoy a glass of iced tea, the homeowner said.

Rick Nunez said he arrived at his East County home at around 3 p.m. Sunday to find the cupboards open in the kitchen. At first he didn't think much of it, because his friends were escaping the heat wave with a dip in his backyard pool.

Then he heard something in the back of the house.

“At the same time someone is in our house and jumps through the back window and my friend sees him from the pool and starts chasing him," Nunez said.

The burglar, who Nunez believes entered his Granite Hills Drive home through a garage door that didn't have a deadbolt lock, ran to a black Ford Taurus parked right in front of the house on a sidewalk and drove away, the homeowner said.

"As he was driving down, he had the nerve to wave and poke his face out and wave at my dad," friend Joseph Zizzo said.

San Diego County sheriff's deputies pulled over the driver of the car on N. Ivory Drive about 20 minutes later. 

The suspect, identified by officials as Jere Eugene Bunnell, Jr., was arrested and charged with burglary.

Deputies said they found a large amount of stolen items in the back of the car, including a camera and jewelry.

Nunez, still in disbelief, said he's planning to upgrade his home's security system with video and alarms. The entire incident, including the thief's thirst quenching move, made the family feel violated

"He had a glass of iced tea because the pitcher of tea is on the counter, which my wife says that was not out," Nunez said. "So I think he made himself at home."


Man Struck by Truck at VA in West Haven


A 69-year-old man suffered serious injuries when he was struck by a pickup while crossing the road at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System on Campbell Avenue in West Haven around noon today.

Fire officials said one person was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Police are questioning the driver of the pickup and witnesses. 

No additional information is available.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Foley Expected to Make Announcement on Governor’s Race


Tom Foley, who narrowly lost the Connecticut governor’s race to Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy in 2010, is expected to announce tomorrow whether he will enter the gubernatorial race in 2014.

Foley, a Republican, will be making an announcement at 11 a.m. at the Burroughs Community Center in Bridgeport.

The Republicans who have said they are considering running include state senate Republican leader John McKinney, state senator Toni Boucher and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.

Kenneth Long, a political science professor at the University of St. Joseph, said last month that Foley has a better chance of beating Malloy than he did in 2010 if he becomes the GOP's nominee, mainly because Linda McMahon won't be on the same ballot.

A Quinnipiac Poll released in June showed Foley besting potential Republican primary rivals McKinney, Boughton and House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero Jr. The same poll gave Foley a slight edge over Malloy, with the potential challenger leading the incumbent governor 43 percent to 40 percent.

Photo Credit: AP

Police Arrest Man Accused in 2007 Sex Assault


Bridgeport police arrested an 84-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old child years earlier.

Joseph Livramento, who most recently lived in Cape Verde off the coast of Africa, was arrested on Thursday.

Bridgeport Detective Eric King learned that Livramento had returned to Connecticut and had a doctor’s appointment scheduled, police said.

Police arrested him when he showed up for the doctor’s appointment.

According to Bridgeport police, Livramento was wanted on a warrant issued in 2007 in connection with the sexual assault of a relative who was 12 years old at the time.

He was held on $350,000 bond.

Police said the Detective Warren Del Monte, who passed away in 2011, had secured the arrest warrant.

 “Warren was the consummate professional and he took his job personally,” said Capt. James Viadero, who heads the detective division.  “I know he would be happy that he could bring justice to this victim.”

The victim told police that Livramento assaulted her several times in Bridgeport and during trips to Cape Verde.

Livramento was charged with first-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

Photo Credit: NBC Philadelphia

Stranger Tried to Lure Child at Bus Stop With Money: Cops


Police are looking for the man who approached a 13-year-girl at a bus stop in New London this morning and offered her money to go with him, according to police.

The girl was waiting at the bus stop at Montauk Avenue and Mitchell Court at 6:40 a.m. when the man approached her, according to a news release from police.

Police said the man is in his 40s or 50s, is around 5-feet-2 with a medium build and has a heavy accent.

He was wearing a dark baseball cap, dark gray polo-style shirt and blue jeans.

He appeared to be intoxicated when he approached the girl, according to police, and no vehicle was seen.

Anyone with information about the incident should call police at (860)-447-5269.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

FAA Investigating Plane Crash in Woodstock


The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a plane crash that occurred in Woodstock yesterday.

A small plane crashed in a corn field at Coatney Hill Farm off County Road yesterday, but it was not discovered until today, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

According to the FAA, the Piper PA-24, registration N7333P, left the airport in Woodstock around 3 p.m. yesterday and crashed into a corn field nearby.

John Elms Jr. of Long Beach, California, is a co-owner of the 1961 fixed-wing single-engine plane, according to the FAA database.  

Dwayne Gardner, spokesman with the state DEEP, said the pilot notified the FAA, which alerted the state police and the local fire department, which then notified the DEEP.

The plane sustained substantial damage, but no injuries are reported.

One person was onboard and was not hurt.



Photo Credit: Connecticut state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Heavy Traffic Backup on I-84E in Waterbury


The traffic backup is heavy on Interstate 84 East in Waterbury, near where a tractor-trailer rolled over five hours ago.

The tractor-trailer rollover happened on Interstate 84 East before exit 18 around 11 a.m. and two lanes of traffic were closed.

No other vehicles were involved and the truck is upright.

Photo Credit: Connecticut DOT Traffic cameras

Powder Ridge to Reopen for Ski Season


Months before the ski season, Powder Ridge in Middlefield is buzzing with activity. Contractors have gutted the main lodge at the base of the hill while Powder Ridge employees put the finishing touches on newly refurbished ski lifts.

Sean Hayes, who owns nearby Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park in Portland, purchased Powder Ridge from the town of Middlefield in 2012. He expects to have the mountain to be up and running the day before Thanksgiving.

“We’re actually very encouraged,” Hayes said. “Brownstone, our other entity for the summer, is winding down. We shifted all those employees over here to get this running.”

With Brownstone open in the summer and Powder Ridge open in the winter, Hayes believes he has the right business model to make both resorts successful. Many of the 195 employees at Powder Ridge are already employed at Brownstone and will now be able to stay employed for 10 months out of the year.

Powder Ridge will feature a restaurant and bar on the second floor of the main lodge. The first floor of the lodge will feel similar to the old lodge though many structural and aesthetic changes will be made. The building that houses the ski and snowboard rentals was also recently refurbished and is already stocked with equipment.

Powder Ridge opened as Powder Hill in 1959. The resort fell on tough times in the late 90s and early 2000s and was shut down entirely in 2007.

“We are bringing everyone back home,” Hayes said. “This is where they learned to ski and this is where they want to teach their kids to ski. It has something unique, it has a feel, it’s very convenient.”

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Mt. Diablo Fire Grows to 3,700 Acres


A fire dubbed the "Morgan Fire" burning near Mount Diablo State Park in California quadrupled from overnight, charring a total of 3,700 acres by Monday afternoon and forcing evacuations of about 100 homes.

That was more than double the number from early Monday morning, when the blaze had charred 1,500 acres, and four times the size of Sunday's peak – 800 acres – after the brush fire broke out just after 1 p.m. on the eastern side of Mount Diablo.

Despite the increase in size, a cast of local and state firefighters had contained 20 percent of the fire by Monday afternoon, up from 10  percent in morning. And still, only one remote outbuilding had burned, though 100 homes remained threatened.

"The fire has grown significantly," Cal Fire Division Chief Dave Shew told NBC Bay Area. He could not estimate when the fire might be contained. That, he said, might become more clear in the next day or two.

PHOTOS: Mt. Diablo Morgan Fire

As the fire expanded, crews worked furiously to prevent the flames from licking a PG&E transmission line, communications infrastructure on the peak of the mountain and historical buildings nearby.

And because of the amount of smoke billowing from the mountaintop, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued warnings for residents of Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties. Spokesman Tom Flanningan said people who smelled the smoke should shut their windows and stay indoors.

Ash fell from the sky like snowflakes in East Bay cities such as Danville and Dublin.

MORE: Cal Fire Incident Command Details

A total of 705 firefighters were sent to contain the brush fire burning near Morgan Territory Road - hence, the nickname of the fire. One firefighter suffered a minor foot injury.

map of morgan fire

By Monday morning, the fire had nearly reached the peak of Mount Diablo, a stunning mountain that stands more than 3,800 feet tall. It is a popular spot for hiking among many who live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Aerial footage from NBC Bay Area's chopper showed intense, raging flames and thick, billowing smoke shooting from around the mountain top. Parts of the fire looked like lava oozing from a volcano. Viewers submitted photos of smoke and flames stretching from Sacramento to Redwood City.

RAW VIDEO: Mt. Diablo Brush Fire 

Still, fire officials said the fire's size should not reach the size of the Rim Fire, which had burned more than 250,000 acres in the Stanislaus National Forest near Yosemite since Aug. 17. But to be sure, a total of 500 firefighters were expected to help on the lines Monday, and special crews were being positioned to protect historic buildings in the area.

"This is one of the driest seasons in California history," said Contra Costa Fire Protection District spokesman Dennis Rein, adding that the blaze is growing at rapid speeds because of dry fuels and the steep terrain making access difficult.

Because of the fire's reach, the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office had issued more evacuations:  Trail Ride Road, Russelmann Park Road, East Trail Road, Upper Trail Road and Lower Trail Road, in addition to Curry Canyon Road and Oak Hill Lane, are under mandatory evacuation.

MORE: Fire Near Mt. Diablo Grows Past 800 Acres

Roads were also closed to anyone except residents. Those included portions of Marsh Creek Road, Morgan Territory Road and Deer Valley Road.

The Clayton Community Library at 6125 Clayton Road  was set up as an evacuation center, and the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds was being used as a safe place to take horses, cattle, hogs, sheep and  goats. (For information call 925-673-0659 and 925-757-4400). The Heather Farms Equestrian Center in Walnut Creek was also taking in large animals. (For more information, please visit: www.ecwc.org or call 925-939-2929.)

The shelter didn't have that many people using it on Monday morning, but on Sunday, many nearby residents were concerned that the fire was so close to their homes.

"There's 60 acres of open land behind my house, 40 acres of open land on the other side of my house and if a spot fire hits either one of those two properties, then I'm kind of sandwiched in between," said Andy Cuellar of Clayton, a city of about 11,000. "That's the fate of most of us who live out here."

NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez, Kyle Bonagura, Vince Cestone, Tim Bollinger and Shawn Murphy contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Bgill in San Ramon
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