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Cat Killed in Colebrook Fire


One cat died in a house fire at 16 Chapin Road in Colebrook this morning.

The blaze started around 3 a.m. and five fire departments responded to put out the blaze.

There are no hydrants in the area, so a tanker had to bring water in from a mile and a half away.

The fire was even more difficult to fight because water froze in hoses due to frigid temperatures.

The homeowners managed to escape unharmed.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Girl Scouts Go Gluten Free


Gluten-free eaters: the Girl Scout cookie season is underway and you're (finally) welcome to indulge.

The group known for its delicious and much-anticipated treats is joining the gluten-free movement, testing the grain-free goodies in select test markets, two of which are in Southern California.

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Gluten intolerance can cause digestive problems, abdominal pain and even depression and irritability, a symptom most common in children, according to the Celiac Disease Center.

The newest addition to the Girl Scout cookie line-up is a gluten-free chocolate chip shortbread cookie (pictured below), according to ABC Bakers, which makes the treats.

Twenty Girl Scout councils are testing the gluten-free cookies, including those in San Bernardino and Orange counties.

If there's a hunger for them, the celiac-friendly treat soon could be available nationwide.

It’s estimated about 1 in 133 Americans have celiac disease, an inherited autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive process of the small intestine and the cure for which is a gluten-free diet, according to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center.

A protein found in wheat, rye and barley, gluten can cause digestive problems in people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Another group that may opt to go gluten-free could have "non-celiac gluten sensitivity," which often results in symptoms affecting the gastrointestinal tract but is not the same as the immunological response that occurs in eaters with celiac disease.

Introducing a gluten-free cookie isn’t the first time the Girl Scouts took into consideration alternative diets when baking up their signature snacks. Four of the Scouts’ cookies –Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Patties among them – are vegan.

If you don’t know a Girl Scout, you can download the Girl Scout Cookie Finder app for iPhone or Android to find a sale near you.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

4 Medical Marijuana Producers to Open


Four medical marijuana producers have received state approval to open in Connecticut. Sites will open in West Haven, Portland, Simsbury and Watertown and state officials expect medical marijuana to be available this summer.

Gov. Dannel Malloy and Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein announced the producers at a news conference today at 400 Frontage Road in West Haven, the future site of Advanced Grow Labs.

Advanced Grow Labs has 15 employees and hopes to begin construction as soon as possible.

"We have a double security system. Every measure has been taken. It's really the Fort Knox here," David Lipton, of Advanced Grow Labs said.

Sixteen facilities applied.

Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions, LLC will open a facility in Portland, Curaleaf, LLC will open in Simsbury and Theraplant, LLC will open in Watertown.

Theraplant released a statement saying it plans to buy a more than 60,000 square-foot building in the Watertown Industrial Park near other manufacturers and begin renovating it immediately.

They said several Theraplant experts who ran a medical marijuana production and dispensary facility in Colorado will join the Connecticut team to cultivate and produce pharmaceutical-grade medical marijuana.

"We're really hopeful that we will have product on the shelves and available for patients this summer," said Rubenstein.

The next step is to license five dispensaries.

Malloy said 1,684 patients have been certified for the state's medical marijuana program.

In 2012, Malloy signed the law to allow licensed physicians to prescribe medicinal marijuana for adults suffering from certain debilitating diseases or medical condition. 

Malloy’s office said Connecticut, in 1981, was one of the first states in the nation to pass a law approving medical marijuana, which allowed a doctor to prescribe the substance to relieve nausea associated with chemotherapy and the treatment of glaucoma.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Water Main Break in New Haven


There is a water main break in the area of Orange and Chapel streets in New Haven and it is flooding the basement of The Hospital of Saint Raphael.

 No additional information is available.


Wilbur Cross High School Cleared After Bomb Threat


Students were evacuated from Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven because of a bomb threat.

Police said a bomb threat came through an Internet relay at 11:30 a.m.

The students were moved to East Rock and Hooker because it was too cold to have them outside, but are now returning to school.

State police and the New Haven police bomb dogs went through the building.

Police are investigating the IP address the threat was sent from.


Middletown Police Make Counterfeit Bust


Middletown police raided a local store earlier this month and said they found hundreds of counterfeit items, including Nike sneakers, Northface jackets, Uggs, CDs and DVDs.

Police served search warrants on Definitely Urban Clothing, at 540 Main Street, around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 15 and deeply discounted items in poor packaging.

The long list of counterfeited items includes 247 pirated CDs, 72 DVD movies, 41 pairs of Nike sneakers, 21 True Religion fleeces, 20 Northface jackets, 14 pairs of Uggs, 13 G Shock watches, 12 pairs of Timberland boots, one Northface vest, one Louis Vuitton handbag, one Louis Vuitton scarf, one Gucci watch and one pair of Coach sneakers, according to police.

Police said Tracey Merritt, 47, of Hartford is listed on the permit.

When police raided the store, he and his common-law wife, Jasmine Lattice Williams, 28, of Middletown, said that they are “not big players” and could not understand why police were searching their business, according to police.

Williams waived her Miranda rights and  admitted they she and Merritt both owned the store and had owned Blueprint 1, a store in Hartford that had previously raided, according to police.

She also acknowledged that the items seized from the store were counterfeit, but did not say where they came from, police said.

Merritt and Williams were charged with forgery of stamps or labels, possession of unauthorized recordings and manufacturing/distribution of recorded media. She was due in court today. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Seymour Movie Theater Employee Injured in Armed Robbery


Seymour police are investigating the violent armed robbery of a local movie theater and are asking anyone who was in the area Monday afternoon to contact detectives.

The Entertainment Cinemas, located in the Tri-Town Plaza at 814 Derby Avenue, was robbed at knifepoint just before 5 p.m. Monday, according to police.

Authorities said a movie theater employee called 911 after the robber approached the concession stand, flashed a knife and demanded money, then got into a physical fight with a concession stand worker. The worker received several cuts but refused medical treatment, according to police.

Police said the robber grabbed money from the register and left the building. He got into a black four-door Nissan or similar car with tinted windows and fled. Police said plastic was covering the license plate.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male standing about 5-foot-7 and weighing 210 pounds. Police said he was wearing dark pants, a black knitted hat, a black hooded jacket and a gray scarf wrapped around his face.

Anyone who was at the Tri-Town Plaza between 4:30 and 5 p.m. Monday and anyone with information is asked to call Seymour police at 203-881-7624 or 203-881-7638 or email tips@seymourpolice.com

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Police Make 2nd Bridgeport Shooting Arrest


Bridgeport police have arrested a second suspect in connection with the shooting on Pond Street on January 14 that left Geraldo Costa, 33, critically injured.

Frank Gonsalves, 25, of Bridgeport, was arrested when he arrived in court Tuesday for an unrelated case. He has been charged with first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery.

Last week, police arrested Leah McNellis, 23, of Bridgeport, who has been charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery.

Costa was shot inside 585 Pond St. last week and police it happened during a robbery attempt.

He remains in critical condition.

Police said they are still investigating and expect to make more arrests.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police

Suspected Heroin Dealer Arrested in Glastonbury


Two Hartford residents, including an accused drug dealer, are facing charges following a heroin bust in Glastonbury on Tuesday.

Members of the East Central Narcotics Task Force went undercover to conduct an undercover “buy-and-bust” operation outside a Dunkin Donuts in Glastonbury. They arrested Lee Roy Ferrer, an accused heroin dealer known as “Flaco,” and an accomplice, Moises Melendez.

Both men are 22 years old and live in Hartford, according to police.

Police seized 39 bags of heroin and a Mazda RX-7.

Ferrer is charged with the possession and sale of heroin. Police said the task force is also applying for three additional arrest warrants charging Ferrer with the sale and possession of heroin and conspiracy to sell and possess heroin.

Melendez was charged with conspiracy to possess and conspiracy to sell heroin.

Ferrer’s bond was set at $75,000 and Melendez’s was set at $10,000.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Cheshire Home Destroyed by Fire


A Cheshire family is without a home after their house went up in flames early Tuesday afternoon.

The blaze broke out around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at 104 Hickory Lane. Fire officials said the fire spread quickly and the house is destroyed.

Wolcott firefighters provided mutual aid.

No one was home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. 

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Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Obama's State of the Union Addresses Through the Years


Americans are looking to President Barack Obama to tell them how the country is doing at his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Before we weigh in on what Obama says tonight, let's take stock of the promises he made in the past.

Below are word clouds generated from Obama's State of the Union addresses since 2010, the year of his first official speech. The words he used the most in the speech are represented by larger fonts.

Click on the year to see a full transcript of the speech.










Photo Credit: Getty Images

Dallas Cop Accused of Sex Assault


A Dallas police officer who once played football for Southern Methodist University has been arrested, accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a police car while in uniform and on duty.

According to the Dallas Police Department, 28-year-old Police Officer La'Cori Johnson was on duty when he stopped a woman and another person on the 9300 block of Larga Drive on Sept. 9, 2013. 

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Johnson performed a background check on both people and told the woman she had a warrant out for her arrest and told her friend to leave the location. As she was instructed to get into the back of the police car, the woman, whose name is not being released, started to cry.

According to the arrest affidavit, Johnson asked the woman why she was crying and said, "You don't have to go to jail if you do what I tell you to do."

The affidavit said Johnson then drove his patrol car to a dead end behind the Pecan Square Apartments on the 3300 block of Storey Lane.  Once parked, the affidavit said, Johnson came to the back seat, removed his gun belt, placed it on the seat and pulled down his pants.  According to the affidavit, the woman was directed by Johnson to perform oral sex on him before he had sex with her.

In the affidavit, the woman said she had sex with the officer out of fear because the man was an armed police officer and because she was afraid of going to jail.

After the encounter, the woman told police she was dropped off on Clydesdale Drive and then walked home where she told her mother what had occurred.

On Oct. 4, 2013, the woman reported the incident to the Dallas Police Department and Johnson was immediately placed on administrative leave.  At the same time, a criminal investigation by the department's Public Integrity Unit was initiated. That investigation was followed by an Internal Affairs investigation that began on Jan. 24 of this year.

On Tuesday, Johnson was questioned by Internal Affairs detectives. He later resigned from the department and was immediately arrested and booked into the Dallas County Jail. As of this writing, Johnson was being held on $25,000 bond.

The sexual assault charge is a 2nd degree felony.

Johnson had been with the department since April 2009 and was assigned to the Northwest Patrol Division.  Prior to joining the Dallas Police Department, Johnson attended SMU and played football for the Mustangs between 2004 and 2007.

NBC 5's Ray Villeda contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5

Man Says Cops Framed Him For Murder


A 24-year-old father is suing Los Angeles police officers for allegedly framing him for murder and paying a homeless pair $10,000 to falsely testify against him at trial, according to a lawsuit.

Roy Galvan, who was acquitted by a jury, spent 13 months in county jail awaiting trial in the 2011 murder of a reputed gang member in South Central Los Angeles. Filed Jan. 22 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Galvan’s lawsuit seeks unspecific damages.

It accuses LAPD Officers Miguel Terrazas, David Nunn and Richard Arciniega of destroying evidence in the case, falsifying reports and bribing witnesses for statements, false arrest and malicious prosecution, among other claims of misconduct and civil rights violations.

NBC4 Southern California reached out to LAPD, but the department said it does not comment on pending litigation.

Documents: Read the Complaint

Officers accused in the lawsuit were tasked with investigating the unsolved killing of Joey Gutierrez, a member of the Hang Out Boys gang, on Jan. 28, 2011, near Main Street and 43rd Place.

Witness Ernesto Jurado, who lived nearby and saw the shooting from his second-story window, told the officers he saw the assailant run alongside the building, fire shots and run away, according to the complaint.

Jurado also said he saw two bicycles in the courtyard immediately before the shooting that had not been there before. The bikes were taken and booked into evidence the next day but later destroyed before DNA and fingerprints could be taken from them, the complaint alleges.

The lawsuit describes botched evidence gathering in which multiple and different caliber bullet casings were collected from the scene but not marked as to where they were found, and allegedly handled without gloves.

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None of the casings matched the bullet found in the victim, which the complaint alleges officers did not run any ballistics examinations on to determine who owned the gun used to kill Gutierrez.

Though he had never been tied to any gang activity, Galvan was arrested in connection with the slaying on March 1, 2011.

He told police he had been at home taking care of his toddler daughter at the time of the shooting. And, “more importantly,” was recovering after rupturing his Achilles tendon a month before Gutierrez’s killing, according to the complaint.

Witness Jurado had told police the assailant ran from the scene with “no physical defect in his stride,” something Galvan’s lawyer said was impossible for his client to have done.

When he was taken into custody, Galvan had not yet started physical therapy and was still on crutches, unable to “even stand on the foot, let alone walk or run,” he claims.

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“The lack of evidence, the alibi and (Galvan’s) physical condition presented a severe blow the Defendant’s desire to pin the murder on (Galvan),” according to the complaint.

To support Galvan’s arrest, the complaint alleges, Terrazas falsified his police report to include that Jurado called him back on Feb. 14, 2011, to tell him “that he had completely forgotten to mention that the shooter had run off ‘with a limp.’”

Jurado’s phone records show that call was never made, according to the complaint.

Galvan claims the officers who took him to trial strong-armed, bribed and refused to investigate “several” potential witnesses, including two homeless people – Mark Loving and Syrella Carpenter, who had paranoid schizophrenia – living in a tent near the shooting scene.

"Terrazas and Nunn would repeatedly harass these two, physically abusing and sometimes handcuffing them. Defendants began threatening them, dragging them out of their tent, throwing them up against a wall asking them what they knew about the shooting.

“They took Loving to the police station on at least three occasions but only documented one of these times. In this interview, according to defendant Terrazas, these two 'witnesses' told him that plaintiff had approached them saying that he knew who had shot the victim and quoted the witnesses as quoting plaintiff saying, 'We got him,'" according to the complaint.

Galvan’s attorney, Hermez Moreno, said two check requests totaling almost $10,000 in city money to be paid to the homeless men for their statements were submitted into evidence during Galvan’s murder trial.

Two other witnesses were promised immunity from deportation in exchange for false statements, the complaint alleges.

Witness Jurado told investigators that the assailant looked like a man, later identified as Inocente Hernandez, who was involved in a car crash at the same intersection a few days after the shooting. The complaint alleges that Terraza “refused to investigate” this detail and left out of his report that he knew of Hernandez.

Jurado also said one of the people he saw near the scene looked like an associate of a locally known gang member with the moniker “Flaco,” according to the lawsuit.

Nine months after the shooting, a second witness who had been arrested on an unrelated matter also named Flaco in the killing, saying he had heard the reputed gang member confess to “being in a shootout with Gutierrez … and expressed concern about having left two bicycles behind at the scene.”

The lawsuit claims the defendant officers were aware of this second witness statement, but never interviewed Flaco.

A father of a 5-year-old daughter and an infant son, Galvan is seeking unspecific damages.

Police Arrest Suspect in Stafford Subway Robbery


Police have arrested the man who they say robbed a Subway restaurant at gunpoint in Stafford over the weekend.

Charles Perkins, 53, of Stafford, was arrested at his home Tuesday in connection with the robbery. He's charged with first-degree robbery, sixth-degree larceny, possession of a facsimile firearm, second-degree breach of peace and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.

Perkins is accused of robbing the Subway restaurant at 88 West Main Street/Route 190 in Stafford on Saturday evening.

According to police, the suspect entered the restaurant, displayed a handgun and demanded money from the cash register.

He fled in a silver Toyota, police said. It's not clear how much money was stolen.

Perkins was held on a $200,000 bond and is due in court Wednesday.

Photo Credit: State Police

4-Year-Old Girl Killed in Hartford Fire: Family


A 4-year-old girl has died and her 43-year-old mother is in the Bridgeport Burn Unit after a fire at 62-64 Bedford Street in Hartford, according to family members.

A 7-year-old child also suffered minor injuries and is being treated at the hospital.

The fire broke out on the first floor of the multi-family home just after 5:30 a.m. and several firefighters and crews from the Hartford Police Major Crimes Unit rushed to the scene.

The injured mother suffered burns to her face, back and arms, officials said.

Officials said a firefighter pulled bars off the kitchen window to pull her out.

Three families live in the home and the Red Cross is assisting eight adults and two children from three families.

Firefighters said there were smoke detectors in the building, but it is not clear where they were located.

Neighbors said this morning there were a couple of rescues from the house, but police were concerned that a 4-year-old child might still be trapped inside the home.

The child's name has not been released, but Lashawn Times said the girl was her cousin.

"Just a sad tragedy," Times said. "She's a smart, intelligent little girl. ... It's hard. It's hard. It's real hard."

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra also issued a statement: 

“We are sincerely saddened by this horrific tragedy. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones and the families that have been impacted by this terrible loss. I have instructed our Health Director to provide any support necessary as we monitor the situation over the next several days. Any time a child is lost in our community it affects every single one of us. ”

An ambulance transported a woman who appeared to collapse from the scene and one police officer injured his knee in the fire. He is expected to be OK.

Bedford Street and Albany Avenue are closed as crews investigate and a warming bus is at the scene for emergency crews and tenants.

The American Red Cross is also responding to provide assistance.

Bedford Street was closed for most of the day, but reopened at 2 p.m.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


3 Teens Arrested After Assault, Robbery in New Haven


Three teenagers from New Haven are facing charges after reportedly attacking and robbing a 26-year-old man while he was walking home from work yesterday evening.

According to police, the victim was on his way home from workaround 7:15 p.m. Monday when he was struck in the back of the head around 10 Amistad Street in New Haven.

The victim told police he turned around and saw three teenagers, who surrounded him, punched him in the face and stole his iPhone and wallet. One of the teens had his hand in his pocket as though holding a gun, the victim said.

An officer in the area of Howard Avenue and Minor Street chased three people who appeared to be the suspects and caught up with one of them, a 17-year-old from Hallock Avenue in New Haven.

Shortly thereafter, two other officers apprehended a 15-year-old from Greenwich Avenue in New Haven.

The third suspect got away, but was later identified as a 17-year-old living on Eastern Street in New Haven.

He was taken into custody after police arrested a man with a BB gun at the Church Street South public housing complex who had reportedly spent time with the attackers. That investigation helped police to identify the third juvenile.

The three suspects were held at the Juvenile Detention Center on Housatonic Avenue in Bridgeport. They were charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, sixth-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit all four. Police said two of the juveniles have criminal records and are on probation.

The victim was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment of a bloody nose and possibly a broken jaw.

Investigators are working to determine whether the three suspects are connected to a similar robbery that happened in the same area yesterday.

Candidate for Governor Announces Running Mate


Republican candidate for governor Mark Boughton announced his running mate Tuesday.

Heather Somers, the former mayor of Groton, is running for lieutenant governor alongside the longtime Danbury mayor, who is seeking the Republican nomination.

"We can both speak in terms of Main Street, not just Wall Street," said Somers.

The announcement comes early in Boughton's campaign. He admits that he's taking a different approach.

'Why bother waiting?" said Boughton. "The times are so challenging, the issues are so important that we should be working together right now as a team to be sharing a vision of Connecticut."

Even though candidates can chose their running mates, it's up to the parties to nominate the governor and lieutenant governor separately.

GOP contenders are already jockeying for position.

State Sen. John McKinney is another candidate for governor. Tom Foley, the 2010 nominee, could officially get in as soon as Wednesday. Toni Boucher is exploring a run for the top job.

On the Democratic side, Gov. Dannel Malloy still won't say whether he's running for a second term, although it's widely expected that he will.

State Democrats have been doing the fundraising and the talking.

The party chairwoman blasted Boughton's choice for lieutanant governor.

"They're rooting for failure in Connecticut," said Nancy DiNardo. "That's not leadership. Give us specifics on how you want to cut taxes and spending."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Water Main Break Affects Hospital in New Haven


Water service to part of the St. Raphael’s campus of Yale-New Haven Hospital and several surrounding buildings was shut off around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday after a contractor accidentally damaged a fire service line this afternoon.

The break happened around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday on Chapel Street near the intersection with Orchard Street. Police said construction crews were digging in the area.

A contractor working on the Yale-New Haven Hospital sewer line accidentally damaged a water pipe, rupturing the main, according to a spokesperson for the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority.

Water flooded the hospital basement following the break, according to police.

Crews are at the scene making repairs. Fire and water service has been shut off to part of the hospital and a half-dozen buildings across the street from the main.

The shutdown is expected to last 6-8 hours, according to the water company.

An emergency management plan is in effect at the hospital, which will be using bottled water until service is restored.

The New Haven Fire Department has also rigged a temporary line as a precaution in case fire services are required at the hospital during the shutdown.

No homes have been impacted by the shutdown.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Travelers Says Worker Attacked in Downtown Hartford


Travelers has sent a company-wide email warning workers to “take extreme caution and watch [their] surroundings” after one employee was attacked by a stranger while walking past the Old State House building in downtown Hartford on Monday morning.

According to the email, the employee was walking to the Travelers Tower from bus stop on Market Street when a stranger lunged at him from the area of the Old State House building and tried to hit him over the head with a metal rod. It happened around 7:15 a.m. Monday.

The employee managed to defend himself and received minor injuries, according to the email.

Travelers corporate security is investigating and is available to walk employees to and from their vehicles late at night and early in the morning, the email says.

Workers said they were surprised to learn the incident had happened in such a well-traveled area.

“You don’t expect it here,” said Mark Small, of Hartford. “There’s just too much traffic. I mean, you’ve always got employees going from building to building.”

Photo Credit: Flickr/cliff1066

Greenwich Woman Tied and Bound During Home Invasion


Greenwich police are investigating after a resident was tied and bound during a home invasion Tuesday evening.

According to police, a resident of East Elm Street returned to her home around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to find that her mother had been tied up by intruders.

The victim told police she was home alone when two men wearing ski masks broke in, demanded money and struck her in the face, authorities said. They bound her hands and feet and left.

Police are actively investigating. It’s not clear if they’ve identified any suspects.

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