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Suspect in Fatal Bristol Crash Was on Drugs, Taling on Phone: Cops


The Bristol man accused of causing a crash in August that killed an 83-year-old woman and seriously injured an 85-year-old was under the influence of drugs and using his cellphone when it happened, police said.

Police said Elvis Caban, 21, of Bristol, was driving a 2004 Cadillac CTS west on Stevens Street in the area of Cherry Hill Drive just before 8:30 a.m. on August 24, crossed the center line and struck a 2009 GMC Acadia carrying four people head-on.

All five people were trapped and had to be extricated, according to police

Lifestar transported Sophie White, 83, of Bristol, a passenger in the Acadia, to the hospital.

She died at 3:40 p.m. on Saturday, August 24 at Hartford Hospital as a result of the injuries received in the crash, police said.

Penelope Sobolewski, 70, of Bristol, was driving the Acadia and suffered minor injuries.

Two other passengers in her car, Evelyn Petosa, 84, of Bristol, and Mary Ann Spirito, 66, of Bristol, were also injured, according to police.

Caban was alone in the Cadillac, police said. He was arrested at police headquarters this morning and has been charged with first-degree manslaughter,  second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle, second-degree assault, operating under the influence of drugs, fail to drive right, using a cell phone, distracted driving and failure to wear a seatbelt. 

He is being held on a $350,000 surety bond and will be arraigned today.

Photo Credit: Bristol Police and NBCConnecticut.com

Train Stops Feet from School Bus Stuck on Tracks


There were some frightening moments in Norwalk when a school bus with 40 children on board stalled on Metro-North train tracks Wednesday afternoon.

According to police, the bus, which had just left Silvermine Elementary School stopped at the crossing on Broad Street near Main Avenue around 4 p.m.  The driver looked both ways and began to cross the Metro-North tracks when the bus broke down, police said.

Just then, the railroad crossing gates lowered, alerting the driver that a train was approaching.  The driver immediately evacuated the bus and moved the students to a safe area.

The southbound Metro-North train stopped 10 feet from the bus, according to police.

Two students received minor injuries while evacuating the bus.  They were treated at the scene.

Officers at the scene commended both the First Student bus driver and the Metro-North train crew for their actions in preventing a more serious incident.

Target: 40M Hit in Data Breach


A warning for anyone who shopped at Target stores since Thanksgiving: Your debit and credit card information may now be in the hands of hackers.

"Approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been impacted between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013," Target said Thursday in a statement on its website.

The Secret Service earlier confirmed it was investigating the breach beginning on Black Friday weekend, and which reportedly involved nearly all Target stores nationwide.

Investigators believe the data stored in the cards' magnetic strips was hacked at Target cash registers, according to the security industry blog Krebs on Security, which first reported the breach and cited sources from two credit card issuers.

"Target alerted authorities and financial institutions immediately after it was made aware of the unauthorized access, and is putting all appropriate resources behind these efforts," Target said. "Among other actions, Target is partnering with a leading third-party forensics firm to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident."

The chain has 1,797 stores in the United States and 124 in Canada.

Target says anyone who suspects unauthorized activity should call them at 866-852-8680.

Photo Credit: AP

Gay Olympian "Proud" to Be Delegate


Two-time Olympic medalist and openly gay athlete Caitlin Cahow appeared on the "Today" show on Thursday and said she is "very proud" to be part of the U.S. delegation for the Sochi Games selected by the White House earlier this week.

"I am going to Sochi to represent a country that has made the most dramatic shifts on some of these issues in the last few years and I am very proud to be representing that kind of diversity," Cahow said, referring to recent strides made in gay rights in the U.S.

Cahow, who medaled in ice hockey in Turin and Vancouver, received a call from the White House with an invitation to join a delegation that includes another openly-gay athlete, tennis great Billie Jean King. 1998 Olympic figure skating gold medalist Brian Boitano was also added to the delegation. On Thursday, Boitano announced in a statement that he is gay, saying that his sexual orientation is "just one part of who I am."

The delegation selections come amid much public conversation about Russia's anti-gay laws, even though President Vladimir Putin insists his country's first priority as host is to provide "equal terms" for all athletes.

Cahow told host Matt Lauer that mixing politics and sports is inevitable at the Olympics and hopes she can make the best of what she perceives as her "John Carlos moment," a nod to the U.S. track and field Olympian who, along with fellow athlete Tommie Smith, raised their fists in a Black Power salute on the podium during their medal ceremony in 1968 in Mexico City.

"Honestly, I think that my John Carlos moment right now is going to Russia and being present and representing the United States," she told Lauer. "This delegation represents so much more than just LGBT diversity."

President Barack Obama will not attend the games in February, but the White House said in a statement that the delegates will "showcase to the world the best of America -- diversity, determination and teamwork." This marks the first Olympics since the Sydney games in 2000 that a U.S. president, vice president, first lady or former president is not part of the U.S delegation.

Cahow and King will be accompanied by former Homeland Security Secretary and current president of the University of California Janet Napolitano, and speed skater Bonnie Flair.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Post Office in Cobalt Closed After Odor Discovered


The U.S. post office in Cobalt is closed today after an unusual chemical odor was discovered.

A postal worker became overwhelmed by the odor of sulfur and was taken to Middlesex Hospital.

Police spoke with a patron who described the smell as a burning plastic odor and said that person did not become ill.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded to the scene and did not smell anything when they went through the building.

DEEP has since left the scene and said the post office remained closed at the time.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Are Searching for Missing Branford Teen


Branford police are searching for a 15-year-old girl who left home on December 5 and they need your help.

A Silver Alert issued for Alexis Wilks earlier this month remains in effect and police detectives think she might be in the New Haven area.

Alexis is 5-feet-5, weighs between 160 and 170 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. She also might have a birthmark on the rear of her neck.

Any information should be reported immediately to Branford Police at 203-481-4241.

Photo Credit: Branford Police

Call Reporting Shots Fired at Bridgeport School Was Hoax


A scary situation at the Blackham School in Bridgeport this afternoon turned out to be a hoax.

Around 2 p.m., police received a 911 call reporting shots fired and it referenced a specific room.

About two dozen police officers responded and did not find anything wrong at the school, police said.

The first officers to arrive went right in, according to police. 

Some students were kept in place while others were evacuated.

Police searched the whole building and said they identified the student who made the call and recovered the cell phone used.

Charges will be determined later.

More information will be posted once it becomes available.

School Cuts "Christ" From Song


A Long Island school board is apologizing after a fifth-grade chorus left out some of the lyrics of "Silent Night" during a concert performance, including the line about "Christ the Savior."

The children at Ralph J. Osgood Intermediate School did not sing the line "'round yon virgin, mother and child," or the line "Christ the Savior is born."

The two-minute version of the 19th-century German carol performed by the school chorus on Dec. 12 was a mix of the first and second stanzas of the song.

The children's version did include references to "heavenly peace" and "holy night."

The Kings Park Central School District Board of Education said it "sincerely apologizes to our community members who were offended" by the change.

"This action was not approved by the Board of Education or district administration, nor is it their role to approve the songs chosen for our concerts," the statement said.

The Board of Education said it, too, was offended by the children's song.

The school superintendent did not immediately return a call.

Photo Credit: Frank Heinz, NBC 5 News

Fla. Congressman Won't Resign


Florida Congressman Trey Radel said Thursday that he will stay in office, shortly after he left a Naples rehab facility.

Radel, who is on leave from Congress, said he plans to keep serving his constituents, but he would not give a timeframe for his return to Washington.

“Politics and re-election are the absolute last thing on my mind right now," he said in a news conference at his Cape Coral office.

Radel entered the Hazelden addiction treatment facility in Naples on Nov. 21 after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor cocaine possession charge. But he said Thursday that he is working to recover one day at a time as he is treated for alcoholism.

“More tangibly, here’s exactly what I know: alcohol does not work for me," Radel said. "It was selfishly fun, but it became a problem, and it led to poor choices, and more than that, missed opportunities. It never interfered with my congressional obligations, but it let me down a path that slowly but surely chipped away at my relationship with my wife, my child, and God. And it led to really bad decisions which put me here today.”

Radel said that he used cocaine a handful of times.

Radel, a freshman Republican who represents the 19th Congressional District in southwest Florida, thanked members of the public for their prayers, support and encouragement.

“While I’m thankful, I am still remorseful. I made a mistake, and I know that. I let you down. I let our country down. And again for that, I am sorry," Radel said. "I will do everything in my power to make it up and to regain your trust.”

Radel said he is focused on his family, rebuilding trust with his constituents and having a great new year.

The House Ethics Committee is investigating Radel.

"It is my hope, through this process, I will come out a better man. I will work hard to gain back the trust and support of my constituents, friends and most importantly, my family," Radel said in a statement when he entered rehab.

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

Three Teens Stabbed After Basketball Game at Stamford High School


Three teens were stabbed, pepper-sprayed and punched while leaving a basketball game at Stamford High School last night and police are looking for the attackers.

One victim, an 18-year-old man, told police that six or seven males he did not know followed him as he left the game.

As he was going through the back entrance to the football field just after 9:30 p.m., the group sprayed him with the pepper spray, attacked him and fled, police said.

The victim was transported to Stamford Hospital to be treated for a serious cut to his right arm as well as cuts and bruises to his head. His injuries are not life threatening, police said.

As officers were investigating what happened at the high school, they learned from headquarters that two other teens, one 18-year-old and one 19-year-old, had been stabbed and went to the emergency room. 

They told investigators that a group of males they did not know who attacked them as they were leaving the game, police said.

They had been sprayed with pepper spray, punched and stabbed with a small knife, police said.
Both victims had head and back injuries that required several stitches.

Police said the victims who went to the ER were uncooperative with officers conducting the investigation.

Anyone who witnessed the attack is asked to call the Stamford Police Detective Bureau at 203-977-4417.

Photo Credit: NBC Philadelphia

1 Dead in SoCal Tour Bus Crash


One woman is dead and 21 others were injured after a tour bus heading to Valley View Casino overturned on southbound Interstate 15 at State Route 76 near Fallbrook Thursday afternoon.

"When officers arrived, they found quite a chaotic scene, as you can imagine, with so many patients that were in the area," said Officer Jim Bettencourt with the California Highway Patrol.

According to CHP, the victim was a 64-year-old woman from Glendale. Officials said she partially ejected from the bus and became trapped underneath it.

The driver was a 56-year-old man from Compton, CHP said. As of Thursday night, officials had not released his name or the victim's.

Of the 21 people injured, six people were seriously hurt, 14 suffered minor injuries, and one person refused treatment. The injured passengers were taken to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside and Fallbrook Hospital, according to CHP.

"My neck and head hurt, but nothing is broken," said passenger Elda Rodriguez as she waited in the emergency room at Palomar.

A passenger, who identified herself only as Maria, said she remembers very little of the accident.

"The bus flipped, and I ended up on the floor," she said. "My arm hurts, and my head is spinning."

Watch: Passengers Describe Casino Bus Crash

The passengers are described as a mix of men and women between age 40 and 60, mostly from the Los Angeles area.

Palomar Hospital spokeswoman Bobette Brown said the people brought to Palomar has non-life-threatening injuries.

"They all in good shape," Brown said.

"An infusion of 12 patients for us is something we do every day at this time, so we were fully ready," she added. "It has not impacted our services much."

People left the hospital shortly after being treated. Patients were similarly released from Tri-City.

"It is my understanding that nobody is critical. All the seven will be released tonight," spokesman David Bennett said. "Three are from the LA area. There is a possibility that one will be admitted to our hospital. We're not sure yet."

The bus is from Five Star Bus Charter out of Bell, a company that has been involved in other crashes.

According to federal safety records, Five Star Bus Charter operates just two buses and employs two drivers. Those buses were involved in two other accidents in the past two years. Federal records reveal one of those crashes resulted in an injury. 

But as of Sept. 8, Five Star has a "satisfactory" safety rating from the federal Department of Transportation.

The company's corporate registration was suspended two weeks ago because it failed to pay taxes or penalties owed to the franchise tax board.

Watch: Casino Bus Company License Suspended

A representative of the company said she’s trying to get more information about Thursday’s fatal crash and declined to comment further.

A Sig Alert was issued after the crash, which blocked the right two lanes and backed up traffic for several hours. There was rain in that area, and CHP says slick roads could have been a factor in the crash.

The crash occurred around 2:30 p.m. No other vehicles were involved.

According to police, the driver said he was going approximately 55 mph when the bus began swerving. The driver lost control, and the bus flipped on its side. CHP does not believe drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.

Also on Thursday, a tour bus crash in Corona shut down two lanes of freeway. According to CHP, no one was killed, but most of the 30 passengers suffered minor injuries.

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Fire Service Line Break Reported in South Windsor


Crews are responding to a fire service line break in the area of 405 Sullivan Avenue in South Windsor.

It was initially reported to be a water main break, but Connecticut Water crews responded to the scene and discovered the affected pipe to be a fire service line most likely connecting to the sprinkler system at East Rock Inc.

Police said an officer noticed water bubbling up from underneath the pavement while on patrol in the area.

No residents have been affected by the break. No road closures are in place.

It's not clear exactly when the break will be fixed.

Photo Credit: Associated Press

I-95 South Exit 3 Closed Due to Water Main Break


The exit 3 ramp off Interstate 95 southbound in Greenwich is shut down due to a water main break, according to police.

The intersection of Railroad Avenue and Arch is street is also mostly closed and will remain shut down until about noon Friday. The exit 3 ramp will reopen at midnight and will stay open through the Friday morning commute, according to police.

It's not clear how many people are affected by the water main break.

Call to Hillhouse High Is Similar to Prior Yale Threat: Cops


Hillhouse High School in New Haven was on lockdown today after receiving a phone call with a threat that someone was going to come in and shoot a teacher, police said. 

Now, police are saying this call is similar to the call that prompted a campus-wide lockdown at Yale last month and they want to speak with the person of interest in that case.

The threat to Hillhouse High came from a payphone at 10:04 a.m., police said.

Police do not believe it is is credible threat to the New Haven High School, but they have responded and said they are taking the every  precaution possible.

The lockdown has been lifted and students were dismissed.

Police are looking for possible witnesses and surveillance.

Crews Respond to Fire in Winchester


Police are battling a fire at a house and barn at 156 Ashley Road in Winchester.

Crews received a call reporting fire at a house and barn around 2:25 p.m.

The fire departments from Winsted and Winchester has responded, along with mutual aid from surrounding towns.

The Centerbrook Fire Department was also requested.

No one was in the house or barn at the time the fire started. 


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

6 Adults, 4 Children Displaced by New Haven Fire


Ten people are without a home after a two-alarm fire ravaged a house on Kossuth Street in New Haven on Thursday evening, according to a spokesperson for the city.

Fire officials worked for hours to stamp out the flames at 27 Kossuth Street. The home was heavily damaged and six adults and four children were displaced.

No injuries have been reported.

It's not clear what caused the fire, but investigators said they're looking into the possibility that it may have started near the Christmas tree.

New Haven firefighters tweeted photos from the scene, one of which showed Christmas gifts that officials were able to save from the flames. 

Photo Credit: @NewHavenFire/Twitter

Hartford Bodega Sold Synthetic Drugs, Bootleg DVDs: Cops


The Big Star bodega at 129 Barbour Street in Hartford is shut down indefinitely and the owner is in police custody after an unannounced inspection revealed numerous violations and illegal activity, including selling synthetic drugs and bootleg DVDs, according to police.

Officials from the Dept. of Labor, Dept. of Revenue Services, Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Hartford Health Department conducted the inspection around 10:15 a.m. Dec. 19.

Investigators discovered labor law violations and found that the bodega had been selling synthetic marijuana, bootleg DVDs and selling liquor without a permit.

The owner, 23-year-old Noemi Ramirez of Mather Street, was taken into custody and is facing a string of charges, including dispensing alcohol without a permit, possession of a hallucinogenic substance, possession of a hallucinogenic with intent to sell, sale of bootleg DVDs, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance within 1500 feet of a school.

Police said investigators also confiscated 227 bags of synthetic marijuana and dozens of other illegal items.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

Kraddick Battled Cancer: Report


Beloved radio show host David "Kidd" Kraddick secretly battled lymphoma in 2009, according to a newly published magazine article.

The cover story for the January 2014 issue of D Magazine details the late DJ's hidden battle with the disease. According to the article, Kraddick kept his diagnosis and treatment a secret from listeners, close friends, and even his daughter, Caroline.

The story states that only Kraddick's best friend, attorney Toby Wilson, knew of his diagnosis and treatment that included aggressive chemotherapy as well as stem cell treatments that left him frail and thin.

According to the article, Kraddick worried about what would happen to his syndicated radio show, "Kidd Kraddick in the Morning," if it was revealed he had cancer.

Kraddick's death in July 2013 was ruled as by medical examiners as caused by cardiac disease.

Photo Credit: 106.1 KISS FM

Boyfriend, Girlfriend Found Dead in Waterbury Home


Waterbury police are investigating after two people were found dead in a home on Cooke Street on Thursday afternoon.

According to police, a woman called 911 when she had trouble reaching her friend and grew concerned.

Police conducted a well-being check and found a man and woman dead in the home they rented at 258 Cooke Street. The two were boyfriend and girlfriend and were last seen entering the house on Wednesday, authorities said.

The Waterbury police forensics unit went to the scene to investigate.

It's not clear how the victims died but police are calling the incident suspicious. Police said they are not looking for suspects but are revealing very little additional information at this point.

"I can't comment on the injuries or the type of weapon that was used, or if a weapon was used," said Deputy Chief Christopher Corbett of the Waterbury Police Department.

Neighbors said the couple had only lived in the house for a few weeks and that they had never noticed anything suspicious.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Fire Damages Manchester Sports Bar, Apartments


Fire caused damage to the Sportsman's Cafe at 208 Spruce Street in Manchester and the apartments above it.

The sports bar closed at 11 p.m., so no one was there when the fire broke out just after 1 a.m., but two people who live in an apartment above it were sleeping at the time.

One woke up, saw fire and they were able to call 911 and escape uninjured.

However, one firefighter was injured. Authorities said the firefighter slipped on ice while battling the blaze.

Most of the damage is on the rear third of the building, but officials from the Manchester Fire Department said the fire started coming through the floor of the apartment.

“This building is uninhabitable. It's going to be closed for major renovations. The apartment will not be reoccupied, the bar will not be operating,” Manchester Fire Chief Robert Bycholski said.

The bar, known for its burgers and roast beef sandwiches, last had a fire on April 19, 2010. It started in the kitchen, according to the fire department.

The fire marshal will investigate.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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