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Shelton Student Received Death Threat Prior to Shooting: Family


A15-year-old Shelton High School student is still in critical condition after he was shot Saturday night, and family members say he received a death days before the incident.

Kristjan Ndoj was shot in the head and leg on Saturday. Police said he was found around 8:45 p.m. in a driveway on Agawam Trail, lying next to a bicycle.

He was taken to Bridgeport Hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries, and police are trying to figure out who is responsible.

A few days before he was shot, someone had called Kristjan and threatened to kill him, his aunt said, adding that her nephew is a good kid who stayed out of trouble.

During a news conference Monday, police said Kristjan and another teen had gone to Agawam Trail to meet up with a group on Saturday.

Neighbors said he was visiting a female friend.

The threat against Ndoj's life may have come from her boyfriend, who allegedly said "that if he hangs out with her or talks to her anymore, there's going to be problems," according to Anthony Franco, a friend and fellow student.

Franco said he couldn't believe Ndoj might have been targeted.

"This hasn't happened to Shelton in a long time," he said. "And to happen to a great kid like that, it's just shocking because no one would think he had enemies or he had anybody that wanted to hurt him."

Shelton High School is providing counseling for classmates who need support. 

Counselors will be available for the rest of the week and the school has identified some students who they will be watching in case they need support services in the coming weeks and days.

The school headmaster, Dr. Beth Smith, held a security meeting Sunday night and extra police officers were brought to the school on Monday.

Police are actively investigating and are combing the area for evidence. On Monday, authorities concentrated on the woods across from the driveway where Ndoj was found.

Environmental police state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection are assisting with the investigation.

 Police ask anyone with information about the shooting to call Shelton Police at 203-924-1544.


Photo Credit: Shelton High School Yearbook and NBC Connecticut

Office at UConn in Norwich Evacuated


An office building at the UConn New London County Extension Center in Norwich is evacuated because of an odor of gas. 

The center is located at 562 New London Turnpike in Norwich and emergency crews are responding to assess if there is an issue.

No classes or students are affected.

Protesters Say McDonald’s Steals from Workers


Days after class-action lawsuits were filed against McDonald’s and some if of its franchises, alleging wage stealing, protests are being held in New Haven and Hartford.

The lawsuits claim that McDonald's is deliberately stealing from their employees by forcing them to work off the clock, shaving hours off their time cards and not paying them overtime.

The McDonald's Corporation did not comment on today's protests, but representatives for McDonalds said they will investigate the allegations and take the necessary actions.

Protests are set to happen in Hartford, at 98 Weston Street, and in New Haven, at  308 Ferry Street, today at noon.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Girl Struck in New Haven Hit-and-Run


An 8-year-old New Haven girl is in the pediatric emergency department at Yale-New Haven Hospital after being struck in a hit-and-run this morning.

Police said the girl was struck by a white van at Ferry and Pine streets just before 7:30 a.m. Neighbors ran to held and the driver fled the scene.

The girl was running into a daycare when she was struck, according to a man who said he knows the victim.

Hector Rivera said the girl had run across the street to ask a bus driver if that was her bus. When the bus driver said no, the girl started running back to the daycare and was struck.

Police said the school bus driver witnessed the crash and was not involved in it.

Police and emergency medical technicians responded and an ambulance took her to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where  she is being treated for injuries. The girl is in stable condition and police said the injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Investigators have been at the scene and are interviewing people who might have information on the crash.

The white van police are searching for has double rear doors with windows.

Police said they believe it has damage on the front passenger side near, or involving the headlamp.

Police do not have any additional information on the van or the driver.

Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call investigators at 203-946-6316. You can remain anonymous.

2 Dead in Seattle News Helicopter Crash

Pod Cars Considered in California


If you can’t build out, build up.  That’s the idea behind exploring bringing elevated pod cars to Mountain View.  On Tuesday night, the City Council is considering its next steps as to whether they should develop these "pod cars," to help solve traffic problems. 

SkyTran is the Mountain View-based company developing the technology.  The pod cars are not a train but sleek looking pods on an elevated track designed to move people above traffic, not through it.  They're looking to complete a proof of concept project.  The cost is estimated at $750,000.

The city manager may soon begin talks with the U.S. Transportation secretary and local businesses to create a grant for the fund, according to the Mercury News.

The cars, profiled by NBC Bay Area in June 2012, could help alleviate traffic at the downtown transit center, North Bayshore Area and Google’s future campus at Moffett Field. 

Estimates are that the cost could run $7 to $8 million dollars and more 5,000 people per hour.  Development may take 5 to 10 years.

VIDEO: Futuristic Pods Considered for Mountain View
(Original report from 2012)  

Photo Credit: Unimodal Systems

Man Charged in 2012 New Britain Murder


A man accused of assaulting and killing a 70-year-old man at his New Britain home in 2012 has been charged with murder.

Alexis Rodriguez, 32, of New Britain, was arrested Tuesday morning in connection with the homicide of 70-year-old James Joseph, Sr.

Police said Rodriguez has a child with Joseph's daughter and has been behind bars since three days after the 2012 attack for violating a protective order that forbid him from seeing her.

Joseph was found suffering from severe head injuries while authorities investigated a robbery at 548 South Main Street in New Britain the morning of May 13, 2012.

Joseph was interviewed briefly and was taken to an area trauma center, where his condition deteriorated. He died four days later.

Family members said Joseph was returning from the Valero gas station, where he filled up every Sunday, when he was attacked.
According to police, Joseph was struck in the head several times with a blunt object. His neck was also broken and his spinal cord was damaged. 

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled Joseph’s death a homicide.

Police obtained a warrant for Rodriguez's arrest Feb. 28 and served it Tuesday morning.

Rodriguez appeared in court this afternoon and was held on a $1 million bond. He's due back in court March 31.

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call the New Britain Police Department at 860-826-3134 or 860-826-3120.

Photo Credit: New Britain Police

Georgia Homicide Suspect Charged in Chicago Standoff


A man suspected of a homicide in Georgia is expected in bond court Tuesday afternoon on several charges stemming from a standoff with police on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive.

Joseph Andrew Felton, Jr., 44, was charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated fleeing police, and fugitive from justice on an out-of-state warrant, all felonies, according to a release from Chicago Police.

Felton, of the 700 block of Union Drive in University Park, is suspected in the murder of his wife, Sheray Felton, who was found dead Saturday in Georgia.

Henry County Police in Georgia said the extradition process would begin after Felton is presented with the charges in Chicago.

An autopsy revealed Sheray Felton's death was blunt force trauma including lacerations with an edged weapon, according to a statement from Sgt. Joey Smith, public information officer for Henry County, Ga.

"At this time we are building a case for prosecution and to maintain integrity, we will not discuss specifics of the investigation," the statement read.

Felton's vehicle was spotted by authorities in south suburban Harvey just after noon on Sunday. An ensuing chase ended about 20 miles later with a crash on Lake Shore Drive but Felton kept police at bay for nearly nine hours.

He was removed from his vehicle and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with wounds that police said were self-inflicted.

Crash Prompts RHAM to Evaluate Traffic Pattern


RHAM Middle School in Hebron is increasing security and evaluating the traffic pattern on campus in the wake of a crash that critically injured a seventh grade math teacher last week.

Dawn Mallory-Bushor, 65, of Groton, was struck outside the school on Friday morning.

Officials said a mother was leaving the parking lot after dropping her children off at the high school and drove into the bus lane from the middle school.

When she realized she was in the bus lane, she abruptly backed up and hit Mallory-Bushor.

Police are investigating the crash and no charges have been filed.

In the wake of the accident, RHAM is monitoring the traffic flow this week as school officials work to determine whether the traffic pattern needs improvement.

On Tuesday morning, the superintendent met with a civil engineer who will study the traffic flow and make recommendations.

A resident state trooper is also stationed in front of the school for security.

Mallory-Bushor remains hospitalized and her family and friends are raising money to help with living costs because she is unable to work at the middle school, her tax business and her college jobs.

More on the fundraiser is posted on GiveForward.com.

The family is also posting updates on Mallory-Bushor’s condition on the page.

Photo Credit: RHAM Yearbook and NBCConnecticut.com

Crews Filling Potholes on Connecticut Highways


Crews from the state Department of Transportation have been out on the highways today, patching potholes, today.

Road work is underway or scheduled for several highways across the state today.

See the full list here.

These are only temporary fixes because asphalt plants don't reopen for the season for a few more weeks.   

Aquarion to Credit Customers, Decrease Rates


Aquarion customers will be getting credits on their water bills starting in 2015 and will see their rates decrease by 5.6 percent, according to a release from the state Attorney General and Consumer Counsel.

It’s the result of an agreement filed with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority on Monday and awaiting approval from regulators.

According to the release, Aquarion is being refunded $29 million for taxes paid since 2007 following new IRS tax law regulations issued in Sept. 2013. The water company says it will reimburse customers the full amount.

Aquarion customers will receive credit on their bills over a three-year period starting Jan. 2015, when rates will also decrease by 5.6 percent, according to the release.

”This is a very positive result for Aquarion’s customers,” said Consumer Counsel Katz, in a statement. “They will see nearly $10 million in bill credits annually over the next three years, which will make a noticeable difference in customer’s bills.”

The water company will also delay imposing an additional Water Infrastructure and Conservation Adjustment surcharge from April 2014 until Oct. 2014, the release says.

“We are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality water and outstanding service,” said Charles V. Firlotte, Aquarion President and CEO, in a statement. “We are grateful that these regulations will allow us to continue to reliably provide safe, high quality water, at an even more economical rate. I am also appreciative of the assistance and support of the Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel and the office of the Connecticut Attorney General in making this happen.”

Gas Leak Located at NYC Blast Site


Investigators have located the leak in a gas main near the two buildings that exploded in Manhattan last week, killing eight people and injuring more than 70 others. 

The NTSB, which investigates pipeline accidents, said in a written update Tuesday that the leak was found in the main adjacent to 1646 Park Ave., one of the collapsed buildings.

Officials had previously said that they suspected a gas leak was the cause, but had not found the source.

The buildings erupted about 15 minutes after someone from a neighboring building reported smelling gas, authorities said. Con Edison said it immediately sent workers to check out the report, but they got there too late.

The NTSB said Tuesday that investigators found the leak after the 8-inch cast iron and plastic main failed pressure tests.

The agency said it was taking two pieces of the service line to the two buildings, one 20 feet long and the other 3 feet long, into evidence for further study.

Va. Man Finds $1M Lottery Ticket


You may want to sift through your household clutter.

Robert Manning, of Springfield, Va., recently cleaned out his wallet and decided to check the stack of Powerball tickets he'd been carrying around. It turned out one of the tickets -- which he'd purchased March 5 -- was worth a cool million bucks.

"It feels crazy," he said as he presented his winning ticket to lottery officials, according to a news release.

Manning's win had made the news before he himself did. The morning after the drawing, officials announced that a million-dollar ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven at 6621 Rolling Road. It matched the first five numbers of the Powerball drawing (3, 7, 9, 26 and 54), missing only the Powerball number (19).

Manning, a federal employee, has one child in college and another planning to go next year -- so he said the win comes at a good time.

"It feels like there's nine million things going through my mind," he said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Police Cruiser Struck by Tractor-Trailer on I-95


A state trooper is recovering from injuries sustained when his cruiser was struck by a tractor-trailer on Interstate 95 in Stamford around midnight Tuesday.

Police said Trooper Thomas Ehret, 35, had pulled over a car on I-95 southbound and was parked on the right shoulder near exit 8 when a tractor-trailer driving in the opposite direction drifted onto the shoulder and sideswiped the cruiser.

The truck, driven by 44-year-old John Sgro, of Columbus, N.J., stopped briefly, then sped back up and fled the scene, police said.

Stamford police stopped Sgro on I-95 northbound between exits 9 and 10. He was arrested and charged with evading responsibility, failure to maintain a lane and failure to move over when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle.

Ehret was taken to the hospital for treatment of shoulder, neck and back injuries. Police said Sgro was not injured.

Sgro was released after posting $2,500 bond and is due back in court April 8.

National Guard Welcome Home Ceremony


About 60 soldiers from the Connecticut National Guard returned from Kuwait in December and were honored in a formal welcome home ceremony Tuesday evening.

Two Purple Hearts and 20 Bronze Stars were awarded to members of the143rd Combat Support Sustainment Battalion of Waterbury, which served in Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The ceremony was held Tuesday, March 18 at 6 p.m. at the Governor William A. O'Neill State Armory in Hartford.

Photo Credit: Office of Gov. Dannel Malloy

Pawcatuck Woman Seriously Injured in Rhode Island Crash


A 24-year-old woman from Pawcatuck is in critical condition following a rollover crash on Route 95 in Rhode Island, police said.

According to Rhode Island State Police, Amy Sherman, of the Pawcatuck village of Stonington, was seriously injured after losing control of her car on Route 95 southbound in Hopkinton, R.I., near the Connecticut border.

Police said Sherman was driving at a high rate of speed when she began passing other cars and lost control. The crash happened around 1 a.m. Tuesday.

Sherman's 2000 Lincoln Navigator struck the median and rolled over onto the passenger side. Police said Sherman was ejected and was pinned underneath the car as it rolled.

LifeStar was called to the crash site and flew Sherman to Rhode Island Hospital, where she’s listed in critical condition.

Part of the highway was shut down for two hours while crews responded to the scene.

No other cars were involved in the crash.

An accident reconstruction team is investigating.

View Larger Map

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

New Q House for New Haven


What was once at the heart of New Haven's Dixwell community has long been boarded up, but today officials announced $1 million in state funding to breathe new life into the city's Q House.

Alderwoman Jeanette Morrison remembers the days when the Q House was brimming with life.


"This was my place. This was the place that taught me," she said. "I thought at 8-years-old I was going to the Olympics because I took gymnastics here and our coaches said we were preparing to go the Olympics."

She says it provided a safe haven for New Haven's youth and met the needs of everyone in the community, up until about 10 years ago when the Q House was shut down.

“It really devastated the community, because we had no central place to go,” said Morrison.

However, on Tuesday, Gov. Dannel Malloy joined New Haven Mayor Toni Harp to talk about revitalizing the Q House by knocking the current building down and putting up a new one its place.

“I'm so proud to stand with Mayor Harp today to announce $1 million in state funding to get the new Q House up and running,” said Malloy.

The funding will go toward designing the new building, which will not only house a community center, but a library and possibly a health center.

It's something the community says will benefit residents young and old.

“This community has been seeking an opportunity to make young people better in this community for several years, and this is a golden opportunity to make that happen,” said Clarence Phillips, Jr., a member of the Greater New Haven Business and Professionals Association.

“Crime will go down, children will be saved, and people will learn skills, marketable skills,” said Morrison.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Search for Clues in Shooting of Shelton Teen


A Shelton teen is still fighting for his life after he was shot over the weekend, and police are trying to figure out who pulled the trigger and why.

Investigators went back to Agawam Trail on Tuesday to search for clues about the shooting of 15-year-old Kristjan Ndoj.

“It’s rough for everyone we're all a family at Shelton,” said his friend Joseph Gjidoda-Ostertag.

Some of his classmates at Shelton High School told NBC Connecticut, the sophomore was still on life support at Bridgeport Hospital. “It’s really hurting us,” added Gjidoda-Ostertag.

According to police, Ndoj rode his bike to a friend’s place on Saturday and was shot twice in the driveway that night. The shooter may have opened fire from the woods across the street to be concealed.

Police are investigating several theories about the incident, one of which includes a possible death threat that was made against Ndoj a few days earlier. Authorities said a girl’s boyfriend could be behind it.

“For Albanians, it’s tough," explained Gjidoda-Ostertag. "We are always together.”

The members of Ndoj’s Albanian community wanted answers. No arrests have been made, and police would not say if they're any closer to finding the person responsible.

“Right now everybody’s in shock… Who is going to hurt a little boy like that?” said Qerim Dumani, adding that the teen’s family is struggling to comprehend the situtation. “They're in shock they don't know what to do... He would not hurt a fly. That little boy would not hurt a fly."

Police Crack Mysterious Winsted Vandalism Case


Police have arrested the man they say is responsible for 40 cases of vandalism in Winsted.

Kurt Neubauer, 30, of Winchester, was arrested Tuesday. He faces a total of 40 counts of criminal mischief for his alleged involvement in ongoing graffiti cases from April 2013 to Jan. 2014.

Police said the vandalism involves the letters “LOR,” which the Republican American reports were painted on buildings, mailboxes and signs around town.

According to the Rep-Am, the graffiti also cropped up in Torrington this winter.

Neubauer is charged with one count of first-degree criminal mischief and 39 counts of third-degree criminal mischief.

He was held on a $15,000 bond and is due in court Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Winchester Police Department

Murphy Condemns EU's Cheese Naming Proposal


When it comes to cheese, Sen. Chris Murphy and his knife know their way around the block.

At an appearance Murphy called the "cheese challenge," the senator cut thin slices of Beaver Brook feta to demonstrate what would happen to Connecticut cheese makers if a European Union proposal to limit the use of cheese names to their geographic origins is pushed through.

"Naming rights are always controversial but in this specific product," Murphy said. "It really makes sense to acknowledge that the place where the cheese may have originated is inconsequential."

The cost of compliance would be consequential, said Suzanne Sankow of Sankow's Beaver Brook Farm, maker of the feta cheese.

"Many people would just walk through a farmer's market and say, 'I want feta. Do you have some?' And I would have to say I make one but I can't name it. And they would assume it wasn't feta," she said.

Murphy said the proposal could lead to misconceptions about Connecticut cheese.

"They would assume two things: that it's different, and that it's worse. Neither are true," said Murphy.

Actually, the farm's feta is a little different because it's made with cow's milk rather than sheep's milk, but wherever it's made, feta is defined by being cured in brine for two months.

Murphy said negotiations on a trade deal with the EU have just begun and won't conclude until 2015.

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