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Man Dies After Falling in Trash Compactor


A 59-year-old man died after falling into a compactor at the transfer station in New London on Thursday.

Emergency crews responded to the transfer station at 45 Lewis Street around 2:30 p.m. They found the victim had fallen into the compactor and was lodged in the machine's hopper.

First responders extricated the man from the hopper. The victim suffered traumatic injuries, according to police.

He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police did not release the victim's name until his family had been notified, but said he was a New London resident.

Police and OSHA are investigating the accident.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Branford Quarry Fire Likely Accidental: Officials


A fire at a Branford quarry is likley to smolder for days, according to fire officials.

The fire started Thursday afternoon at Stony Creek Granite Corp. on Quarry Road in Branford.

Homes within a one-mile radius of the quarry were evacuated due to concerns about explosives being stored at the site.

Captain Geoff Morgan, of Branford police, said a phone message went out to all residents to alert them about the fire.

Blasting mats caught fire, but the main concern was over the explosives being stored near the fire scene, according to Branford Fire Chief Jack Ahern. 

The fire appears accidental, and may have started because people burned cardboard boxes near the blasting mats, according to Branford fire marshal Shaun Heffernan.

Firefighters held back initially because of the danger of explosions, but  emergency crews used a drone to fly over the quarry and send back pictures to determine how close the flames were to the explosives.

Officials determined the explosives were secure and firefighters moved in to fight the flames around 5:15 p.m. People were also allowed to return to their homes.

Shelters had been set up at the Community House at 46 Church Street and Mary T. Murphy School at 14 Brushy Plain Road for residents who were moved from their homes.

The State Police Bomb Squad, members of the State Police Fire & Explosives Investigative Unit, and ATF agents also responded to the scene.


Photo Credit: Branford Fire Dept.

Arrest Made in Hartford's First Homicide of 2014


Hartford police have charged a Manchester man with murder for the city's first homicide of the year, according to authorities.

Deranna Fletcher, 28, of Manchester, has been charged with the murder of 33-year-old Mark McNickle of Hartford.

McNickle was found in the parking lot of 85 Summer Street at 9:41 p.m. on Jan. 15. He'd been shot several times, police said.

Neighbors said they heard seven to eight gunshots and saw a car drive off in the direction of Asylum Avenue.

McNickle was transported to St. Francis Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:22 p.m., police said.

Police said a car was seen speeding from the scene of the shooting.

For the last two weeks, the Hartford Police Department Major Crimes Division has worked to develop leads.

On Wednesday, they developed a suspect and executed warrants on Thursday in East Hartford and at Fletchers's residence, 39 Buckland St. #1522 in Manchester.

Police found Fletcher at the Manchester address. They also found 98 pounds of marijuana, $39,000 in cash, two firearms, ammunition and more evidence, police said.

Manchester Police Narcotics Detectives arrested and charged Fletcher and Hartford Major Crimes Detectives obtained an arrest warrant charging Fletcher with the murder of McNickle.

Manchester Police released Fletcher to the custody of the Hartford Police Department.

Fletcher has been charged with murder, murder conspiracy and criminal possession of a firearm.

He is being held on a $2,000,000 bond.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.
Fletcher is scheduled to appear at Hartford Superior Court on Friday.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

Vigil Held for Mother and Daughter Killed in Hartford Fire


A candlelight vigil was held Thursday night for a mother and daughter killed in a deadly house fire in Hartford on Tuesday.

Family and friends gathered together in the city’s North End to remember 4- year- old Shantay Drake and her mother Susan Therrian.

“Somehow I still don’t believe it I still can’t believe it,” said the child’s grandmother Jeanette Blackman.  She was devastated over the loss.  “That little smiling face…she was smiling all the time,” Blackman explained.

On Tuesday morning, Shantay Drake was trapped in her home on Bedford Street as it went up in flames.  The fire was so intense, rescue crews could not get to her.

“The whole place was engulfed we want answers,” said the girl’s uncle Richard Drake.

Her mother, who had stage 4 cancer made it out with severe burns, but died at the hospital Wednesday night.

“Susan was an excellent mother she worked hard for her girls she would do anything for them,” Richard Drake added.

Shantay Drake went to Milner Elementary School, and her mother spent quite a bit of time here.  The situation was tough on students and parents.

“It's hard it's really hard,” explained Melody Morales.  Her daughter was Drake’s classmate and best friend.  She has had a difficult time explaining what happened. “I tell her she’s in heaven she’s an angel now,” Morales said.

The grieving family and friends spent their Thursday night finding strength in each other.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and firefighters, who were at the scene that day, also attended the vigil to show some support.

For some, moving forward after the tragedy could be a big challenge. “Our loved ones are dead that’s what we know,” said Richard Drake.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation.  Shantay Drake’s 6 year old sister, Kayla Drake,   made it out of the fire safely, and she is now living with family.


Police Arrest Suspect on Drug and Weapons Charges


Police arrested a 34-year-old Hartford man on Thursday morning while investigating someone with a gun selling drugs in the Capitol Avenue area of Parkville, police said.

Police canvassed the area at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, noticed a red Pontiac Grand Am driven by Asa Boyd, 34, of Hartford.

Police said Boyd is no stranger to police. He is a convicted felon with an extensive criminal history, including two prior firearm related arrests.

Detectives followed the car into the parking lot of 95 James Street, at which point Boyd ran behind 95 James Street.

When police pursued him up a back stairwell, he took a gun from his waistband and threw it, then tried to kick in the second floor apartment door, police said.

Officers were able to apprehend Boyd and take him into custody after a brief struggle.

Police said Boyd had 2.9 grams of crack cocaine.

Officers recovered a Glock .45 caliber pistol with a magazine containing thirteen live rounds and one chambered round.

Boyd was charged with carrying a pistol without a permit, criminal possession of a firearm, weapons in a motor vehicle, high-capacity magazine with more than 10 rounds, possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with the intent to sell, interfering with police and third-degree criminal mischief.


Photo Credit: Hartford Police

Woman Confesses to Son's Murder


Police in Frisco say a woman has been arrested and charged with killing her 10-year-old son.

Officers found the boy's body in the tub at his home, wrapped in cloth up to his neck. Police said there were also several plastic bags found around the boy, but did not elaborate.

In a news conference Thursday, Sgt. Brad Merritt, with the Frisco Police Department, said the boy's father, Sumeed Dhawan, called police at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and said he was concerned about the welfare of his wife and child.

Sumeed told police he had just returned home to North Texas after traveling for three weeks and that he was concerned over the time it took his wife to return home and because he had also received an email from his son's school stating he had not been in attendace the last several days.

Sumeed told police that his wife had apparently left the home a couple of hours before he called them and he was growing more and more concerned about their welfare.

Officers arrived at the home and, as they talked with Sumeed, his wife returned home. Police asked Pallavi Dhawan about the location of Arnav and she said she wished to speak with her husband privately — which the officers allowed.

As Pallavi and Sumeed talked, the man grew noticeably upset, police said.  He then called the officers over and directed them toward a locked bathroom door.  

"Officers asked Mrs. Dhawan if the child was in the room, and she nodded her head `yes.' Officers asked her if she killed the child, and Mrs. Dhawan nodded her head `yes,"' said police Sgt. Brad Merritt, at an afternoon news conference.

Police said that Pallavi was arrested Wednesday and is said to be cooperating in the investigation. On Thursday, the boy's mother was charged with 1st degree murder, police said.

She was held in the Frisco City Jail on $50,000 bail, but bonded out of jail just after midnight on Friday. At this time, police have not released a motive.

Attorney: "Not So Fast" on Mother's Confession

Despite statements from the police, Dhawan denied admitting to killing the child, said her attorney, David Finn, of Dallas.

"We categorically deny that she indicated in any way or form that she was responsible for his death," he said.  "Any statement that my client nodded of affirmed that she was responsible for the child's death, not so fast."

Arnav had been "the center of their universe," Finn said of the family. "He was a happy, fun-loving boy."

Pallavi and Sumeet Dhawan are naturalized U.S. citizens, Finn said. Family members described the couple's only child and his mother as being "inseparable," he said.

Finn said there are "a plethora of unanswered questions." For example, he said there were no signs of physical trauma or water in the boy's lungs.

The Collin County medical examiner performed an autopsy on the boy Thursday, though the findings have not yet been released.

The Frisco ISD said Thursday morning that Arnav was in the fifth grade at Isbell Elementary School. The district said additional counselors will be at the school on Thursday and Friday as needed.  A letter about the death has already been released to parents to notify them about the death.

New London Mayor Wants $10.10 Minimum Wage for City Workers


During the State of the Union Address on Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced an executive order for federal contractors to pay employees at least $10.10 an hour. He also urged mayors, governors and state legislators to raise wages as well.

On Friday, New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio announced that he has proposed a minimum wage ordinance. He wants to raise the city’s minimum wage for municipal employees and contractors to $10.10.
“I believe New London should answer President Obama’s call to action,” Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio said in a statement. 

“America’s minimum wage workers deserve a raise so that they can begin to approach earning a livable wage.” Finizio said. “These honest, hard-working, Americans deserve our support.”

The minimum wage in Connecticut is $8.70. By Jan. 1, 2015, it will be $9.

1 Person Injured in Bristol Fire


One person was injured in a fire in Bristol early this morning.

Fire broke out at 68 Cronin Street, a single-family house, just after 1 a.m. on Friday.

One occupant sustained minor injury because of the fire.

The fire marshal responded to the scene to investigate.

4 Waterbury Police Officers Placed on Leave


Four Waterbury police officers who have been accused of using excessive force during an arrest are on paid leave and under investigation, NBC Connecticut has confirmed.

The man who claims he was attacked shared his story exclusively with NBC Connecticut.  He wants to remain anonymous, because he fears retaliation.

“I know for a fact he kicked me in the face because he went over said hey let me get a turn,” he said.

The victim said he was attacked for no reason.  “They’re supposed to be protecting the community not beating us up,” he added.

That man claimed a few Waterbury police officers beat him up in a church parking lot at Willow and Ludlow Streets on January 13th, after he ran off when they were trying to arrest him.  He showed NBC Connecticut a mark on his back, and said it was from police dragging him across the asphalt. 

The victim said he didn’t know why police were after him in the first place. “I was already on the ground they was kicking me in the face punching me in the face…they said I was resisting arrest but I was already on the ground,” he added.

The Waterbury Police Chief Vernon Riddick is now investigating four officers for allegedly using excessive force, but wouldn’t talk on camera about it, or say if it was in connection with that man’s case. 

Riddick  said he put those cops on leave after a witness reported the issues a few weeks ago.  The supposed victim who did not come forward with the claims of abuse to police, said the Internal Affairs Department had been in touch with him. “They asked me what happened and I told him my side of the story,” he explained.

The Waterbury Police Union released the following statement:

“It is not unusual for people to complain about cops. These allegations are rarely proven true. It is my sincere belief that after a complete investigation the officers will be cleared of any wrongdoing. As the facts of the incident are revealed, everyone will see that four dedicated officers risked their own safety to effect the arrest of a very bad person,” wrote Nick Lukiwsky, the Union President.

As for the man who alleged he was beaten, he still questioned why this even happened. “I think they thought I was somebody else they might have thought I was somebody else who did something,” he said. 

Records showed he was charged with resisting arrest, but he maintained he did nothing wrong.

Waterbury Police Chief Vernon Riddick said he takes all citizen complaints seriously and the allegation will be thoroughly investigated.

43-Year-Old Man Killed in North Haven Rollover


A 43-year-old man was killed in a crash on Skiff Street in North Haven, police said this morning.

The vehicle involved was a white SUV that flipped over.

The road was closed for hours as police investigated. It has since reopened and the vehicle was removed from the scene.

No additional information is available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Suspicious Powder Sent to 6 Hotels


Seven hotels near the New Jersey stadium hosting the Super Bowl received envelopes containing a suspicious white powder, but the letters appeared to be part of a hoax after early tests showed the substance at some locations was cornstarch, NBC 4 New York has learned.

A law enforcement source tells NBC 4 New York that the hotels, none of which are housing the teams playing at MetLife Stadium, received the envelopes Friday.

The substance at five locations was cornstarch, the source said. The others were still being tested, but the FBI in New York said all the letters were deemed "non-hazardous."

That includes several other suspicious envelopes discovered at nearby post offices, and a location in Manhattan.

The message in all the envelopes was similar, the source said.

The FBI in Newark said the Joint Terrorism Task Force and hazmat units responded. No injuries were reported.

The Super Bowl is Sunday.

Jerry Seinfeld to Perform at Palace Theatre


The one and only Jerry Seinfeld is coming to Connecticut in April.

He is bringing his signature stand-up routine at the Palace Theatre in Stamford.

The visit comes as rumors buzz after Seinfeld and former Seinfeld co-star, Jason Alexander, were seen at Tom’s Restaurant in New York, a regular fixture on the show.

Seinfeld will be at the Palace Theatre in Stamford on Friday, April 4 at 7 p.m.

Tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. Friday. They are available online at www.scalive.org, at the box office or by phone 203-325-4466.

Photo Credit: WireImage

Goodell on Redskins Name


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the Washington Redskins nickname has been "presented in a way that honors Native Americans.''

Goodell said Friday at his annual pre-Super Bowl news conference that he's been talking to Native American leaders in the past year. But he claimed the vast majority of Americans in general and Native Americans in particular support the franchise keeping the nickname.

Asked if the term was appropriate to refer to a Native American, Goodell said, "This is the name of a football team.''

In the past few months, the debate surrounding the Redskins name has gained momentum, as demands to change the team name have come from the Oneida Indian Nation, the D.C. Council and various media outlets including The San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post.

Ray Halbritter, the leader of the Oneida Nation, has taken the lead in the campaign to change the Redskins' name. Halbritter appealed to the U.N. this month to gain their support in changing the name.

Redskins team owner Daniel Snyder has told USA Today that he "will never change the name of the team." Snyder reiterated his intention to keep the name when he met with Goodell in October.


Photo Credit: AP

Body Found on the Shore of Farmington Reservoir


Police closed part of Reservoir Road in Farmington after a body was found on the shore of Farmington Reservoir on Friday.

Someone who was ice fishing found the man's body and called police at 1:30 p.m., according to police.

Reservoir Road was closed from Route 6 to Diamond Glen Road.

The man has been identified, but his name has not been released, pending notification of his family members.

Police said there was no sign of trauma and the death does not appear to be suspicious.  It is possible he succumbed to the elements, police said.

Investigators are looking in whether the man was somehow connected to an accident in the same vicinity on Wednesday.

According to police,  the driver of a vehicle involved in the accident abandoned the vehicle before officers arrived at the scene. Police described the accident as minor and said there was no indication anyone had been injured in the crash.

It is still unclear if the two incidents are linked, police said.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Car Bursts Into Flames on I-84 East in Hartford

Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, Union Reach Tentative Agreement


Lawrence + Memorial Hospital and the union representing its nurses, health technicians and technologists have reached a tentative labor agreement.

L&M Hospital issued a statement saying this agreement encompasses both the issues before the National Labor Relations Board and new collective bargaining agreements for the nearly 800 union workers represented by AFT Locals 5049 and 5051, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, health technicians and technologists.

The unions have scheduled a ratification vote for members on Monday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A joint news conference will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, at the Professional Development Center on the Hospital’s main campus at 365 Montauk Avenue in New London.

Things To Know: 2014 Tax Season


Despite delays due to the 2013 government shutdown, the IRS has officially begun accepting tax returns for the 2014 tax season. Here are some tips on navigating tax season:

Why should I file a tax return?
Because it's the law. If you don’t file your taxes, you risk losing your tax refund. The average taxpayer refund was $2,755 last year, according to the IRS. And if you owe money, you can face serious penalties, and even jailtime, if you fail to pay.

What’s new for 2014?

  • Tax Day is March 17 for corporations, and April 15 for individuals and partnerships.
  • Taxpayers under age 65 can only claim deductions for medical and dental expenses that exceed 10 percent of their gross income, up from 7.5 percent.
  • All legal same-sex marriages are recognized as “married” for federal tax purposes.
  • If you work from home, you can use a simplified method of calculating your home office deduction: $5/square foot of home office space, up to 300 square feet. You could also qualify for a tax break.
  • Click here for more information on other tax changes for this year.

What is the easiest way to file my taxes?
On the Internet: the IRS offers Free File. E-filing also allows the IRS to process your return more quickly than filing by paper. In 2013, more than 122 million taxpayers filed their individual tax returns using IRS e-file.

What are the benefits of filing my tax returns early?
The sooner you file a tax return, the sooner you get your tax refund. According to the IRS, you can expect your refund within 21 days. But if you wait too long to file, you may run into delays. You can check on the status of your refund using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool. If you e-file your taxes, you can check the status of your refund within 24 hours. If you file by paper, you’ll have to wait four weeks.

What if my taxes are late?
If you know your taxes won’t be finished by Tax Day, then you can request an automatic 4-month extension. However, an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. If you owe the government tax money, then you still have to pay it on time.

Where can I find help?
You can find a tax professional or tax software to help you file your taxes. The IRS also offers a 24-hour, 7-day toll-free number to help answer any questions you have: 1-800-829-1040. For more information, visit irs.gov.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Christie Knew of Bridge Closures, Ex-Ally's Lawyer Says


Gov. Chris Christie knew about the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge as they were happening, according to the lawyer for a former ally who oversaw the traffic changes.
A lawyer for former Port Authority official David Wildstein said in a letter Friday that the order to close the lanes was "the Christie administration's order" and said he had evidence tying the governor to it. He did not elaborate.
"Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some,” the letter added.
Lawyer Alan Zegas wrote to the Port Authority to argue that the agency should pay for his legal representation in connection with the case.
Christie's office said in a statement that he first learned of the lane closures when they were reported by the media and believed them to be part of a traffic study until just this month. Further, "the governor denies Mr. Wildstein's lawyer's other assertions," the statement said.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski, a Democratic co-chair of the joint Senate and Assembly committee investigating the lane closures, told CNBC Friday, "Mr. Wildstein's allegations today add more material for the committee to consider. No one should jump to any conclusions, but I think it's fair to say these are troubling allegations that need to be examined." 
Wisniewski added: "What my frustration is, now we have a letter saying Mr. Wildstein has documents that refute the governor's statements in his Jan. 8 press conference. My question simply is, why today? Why not when all of the other documents were submitted?"
Christie has repeatedly denied knowing about the lane closures, which caused traffic chaos last September and were apparently ordered as political retaliation. 
Emails and text messages were released in early January showing that about three weeks before the lanes were shut down, Bridget Anne Kelly, then a Christie deputy chief of staff, emailed Wildstein, then a Christie appointee at the Port Authority, which controls the bridge.
"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," Kelly wrote.
A few weeks later, on the weekend before the lane closures, Wildstein wrote to her: "I will call you Monday AM to let you know how Fort Lee goes."
After those messages were made public, Christie insisted he was misled by his staff members and announced Kelly had been fired. Wildstein had already resigned in 2013.
"I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge," Christie said on Jan. 9. "...This behavior is not representative of me or my administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions."


Photo Credit: Getty Images/AP Images

Third Arrest in Kidnapping, Sex Assault of Teen


Plainfield police have arrested a third person in connection with the kidnapping and gang sex assault of a teenage girl at the Moosup Little League Field.

Police began investigating in October 2012 after the teen told police she had been kidnapped, taken to the Moosup Little League Fields on Lions Drive against her will and several people sexually assaulted her.

Police said James Tyson, 33, Cherelle King, 21, and Muhammed Yakubu, 28, are accused of sexually assaulting the teen.

At 11:34 a.m. on Friday, the United States Marshals Office, State Police, and members of the Plainfield Police Department went to 1097 Plainfield Pike in the Oneco section of Sterling, to serve an arrest warrant for Tyson, 33.

As law enforcement officers entered the home, James broke into a neighboring apartment and tried to escape, but didn’t get far before he was apprehended, police said. 

James has been charged with kidnapping in the first degree, aggravated sexual assault in the first degree and conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual assault in the first degree.

He was held on a $250,000 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned on February 3, 2014.

State Police also charged Tyson with burglary and interfering with police and other charges.

King and Yakubu were previously charged.

Photo Credit: Plainfield Police

Dad Charged in Abuse of 3-Month-Old


A Guilford man has been arrested, accused of abusing his 3-month-old child.

Guilford police started investigating on July 25, when the state Department of Children and Families reported suspected child abuse.

The baby had been admitted to Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital for vomiting and a swollen head, police said.

Police investigated and a warrant was issued for Daniel James Rudisill, 31, who went to the Guilford Police Department today.

Police said Rudisill lived in Guilford at the time of the incident, but provided an address in Sayreville, New Jersey when he was arrested.

He was arraigned at 121 Elm Street in New Haven this morning and held on a court-set bond of $100,000.

He has been charged with first-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor.

Photo Credit: NBC10
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