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Torrington Police Search for Shoplifting Suspect


Torrington police are looking for the man accused of stealing from a Target store on East Main Street/Route 202 Monday evening.

It happened around 6:45 p.m. April 14. Police said the suspect shoplifted from the store, and loss prevention officers confronted him, but he got away.

He’s described as a black man between 40 and 50 years old, about 6 feet tall with a medium build. Police said he was wearing a black baseball cap, blue button-down shirt and jeans. He had glasses and a cast on his left foot.

Police said a weapon was implied but not seen.

The suspect left in a gray or silver four-door Toyota Corolla sedan.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Torrington police at 860-489-2000.

Photo Credit: Torrington Police Department

Enfield Residents Outraged Over Cemetery Cleanup


A massive cleanup of Hazardville Cemetery in Enfield left residents outraged, and many said their property was damaged and loved ones' gravesites destroyed.

Family members were shocked when they realized the personal items that once adorned the graves of their loved ones had been piled in a large heap near the cemetery dumpster on Friday.

Some said they received no warning or notice before the cleaning.

Cemetery Superintendent Jeff Buckley disagreed and said that he gave fair warning. He said an ad ran in the Journal Inquirer, a local newspaper, for two weeks prior to the cleanup to notify the public.

Hildegard Perry said she was  blindsided by the cleaning when she came to visit the cemetery where her mother, father and brother are buried.

As a former Enfield resident who now lives in Longmeadow, Mass., Perry said she has no access to the local newspapers and was very upset that cemetery officials did not contact the families directly.

"We were never notified. They should have at least sent a postcard or a phone call. We got nothing. We just came here and found everything in this huge heap,” Perry said.

Katherine Johnson, an Enfield resident, frequently visits the cemetery to visit the resting place of her son, Lance Cpl. Philip Johnson.

The former Marine was killed in battle while deployed in Iraq in 2006. She spoke of the anger and sadness she experienced after discovering that the military décor that had been placed on her son’s grave had been removed.

“It hit the community very hard. I don't want this to ever happen to anybody ever again,” Johnson said.

Many people reported that their belongings were broken or missing after the crews moved them from the plots. Some of the items included statues, flags, benches, lanterns and other mementos.

Buckley said that the intent of the spring cleaning was to allow family members who visit frequently to be able to reclaim their belongings, and place them back on the gravesites of their loved ones.

He said that over the years, caretakers of some grave sites have passed themselves, and there is no one to clean up the sites. Whatever items are unclaimed will be placed into storage temporarily.

Photo Credit: Scott Kaupin

Bus Crash Vic's Twin Had Nightmare


The sister of a Riverside girl killed in a fiery Northern California bus crash last week spoke out Monday and said she hasn't been able to sleep since losing her beloved identical twin.

Marisol Serrato recalled the moments before her twin sister, Marisa, boarded the ill-fated bus tour to Humboldt State University.

"I told her, 'What if I get in an accident and God saves you from that because you are on the waiting list?'" she said. "'You might not go.'"

Marisol was on the same college tour, but she boarded a different bus that made it safely to the university.

"And she told me, 'We think the same,' and I asked her, 'Would you cry for me?'" she said. "And she just smiled at me and she just kind of like hit me a little."

Ten people died April 10 when a FedEx big rig slammed head-on into the charter bus carrying dozens of Southern California high school students. Days before the crash, Marisol had a nightmare.

"I had a bad feeling, I was nervous," she said. "I saw my dad in the dream, and he was dressed in all black."

Marisol said she believes it was a sign, but at the time the twin sisters were just excited they both got seats.

"I can't get that image out of my head when I last saw her," she said. "She was just waiting there with my mom and she was smiling. My mom says she got on the bus happy."

After nearly 24 hours of agonizing over whether her sister had survived the crash, Marisol got the confirmation Marisa was killed. The family has since asked for the public to pray for them as they believe that's they only way they will get through her death.

"My heart wants to break. I keep shaking in the night," she said. "I can't stay still. Her image pops and pops in my head over and over again."

Marisa told Marisol that if she ever died, she could read her journal -- something Marisol has decided to do.

"I think she wants me to move forward with this and do something for her, and that's what I'm going to do," she said. "I think, 'Why me? Why did God still want me around? And why her? Why was it her time?'"

Marisol is expected to receive her sister's high school diploma from Norte Vista High School in June. She has also decided not to attend Humboldt State University.

Anyone who wants to donate to the family can do so by using Bank of America trust account for Marisa Serrato, account number 325026597007.

Photo Credit: Tony Shin/Alex Vasquez

"Wheel of Fortune" Flub Costs Contestant Shot at $1M


An Indiana University freshman appears to have found his Achilles heel when it comes to the TV game show "Wheel of Fortune" -- pronouncing the name "Achilles."

That error narrowly, plus a handful of others, cost Julian Batts his chance to win $1 million, a trip to London and a car on Friday, which capped "College Week" on the game show.

The honor student's closest miss came when he guessed all the letters in the “Character” category, to spell out “Mythological Hero Achilles.” Unfortunately for him, his pronunciation of "Achilles" was more akin to "A-chill-us," and he wasn't given credit for the answer.

The next contestant swooped in for an easy win of the puzzle.

Julian's next flub came when he had to solve a puzzle in the “Person” category; the sentence read “The World’s Fastest _a_”. Julian guessed “Car” for the incomplete word, but the answer was “The World’s Fastest Man.”

Another upsetting loss came in the last regular round. The incomplete puzzle stood at, “_n-Th_-Sp_t D_c_s__n,” and Julian guessed “On-The-Spot Dicespin.” The next contestant solved for the win with “On-The-Spot Decision.”

Despite his flubs, Batts still managed to win the game and advance to the bonus round, collecting $11,700. It's not much compared to a cool $1 million, but it's not a terrible consolation prize.

Watch the video of Julian’s blunders.


Photo Credit: Brian Ach/Getty Images

"Blood Moon" Eclipse to Wow U.S. Sky Watchers


The first of four lunar eclipses known as the "blood moons" will take place on Tuesday and those living in the U.S. are in for a treat.

"The most unique thing about the 2014-2015 tetrad is that all of them are visible for all or parts of the USA," said NASA expert Fred Espenak on Nasa.gov. A tetrad is a series of four consecutive total eclipses that take place at six month intervals.

Tuesday's eclipse starts at 2 a.m. EST, according to NASA, when the edge of the moon will enter the core of the earth's shadow. Total eclipse will occur at around 3 a.m. for those on the East Coast and at around midnight for those in the west. The event will last about 78 minutes, according to NASA.

A total eclipse takes place when the earth casts a shadow on a full moon. The sunlight on the earth's surface shows up on its shadow and gives the moon a red, coppery glow.

Three more total eclipses are expected on Oct. 8, 2014, April 4, 2015 and Sept. 28, 2015.


93-Year-Old Woman Mauled by Pit Bull Mix


A 93-year-old woman was attacked and mauled by a pit bull mixed breed in Branford on Sunday afternoon after the dog broke free from its owner’s home, police said.
Police officers and firefighters responded to Harbor Street and McKinnell Court around 2 p.m. on Sunday after receiving several 911 calls from neighbors and others who were witnessing the attack, police said.

"I need a cop really, really quick," one man who called 911 said. "There's a pit bull attacking a bunch of people. ... This dog is attacking a lot of people."


Another person reported a "pit bull biting people all over the place."

Police Officer Joseph Harrington said the animal had run from inside of the owner’s home and attacked the victim as she was walking.

On Monday, police said the dog somehow pushed the door and got out.

Several neighbors went to help the victim and began fighting the dog off with a cane and a baseball bat until the dog’s owner could subdue and cage the animal.

When police arrived, the dog's owner had captured his dog and put it in a cage.

Sergeant Richard Dahlin said the victim sustained a massive amount trauma to her lower left leg.

Paramedics from the fire department transported the woman to an area medical facility to be treated for serious injuries. The woman later underwent surgery, police said.

Animal Control Officers at the Branford quarantined the dog at the Branford animal shelter as the investigation continues.

Police said they are still investigating, but do not plan to file criminal charges at this point.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Truck Crash Causes Delays on I-95N in Norwalk


A tractor-trailer struck another truck on Interstate 95 Northbound in Norwalk this morning and traffic is still congested.

The crash happened between exit 16 and 17 around 5 a.m.

According to the fire department, a tractor-trailer carrying 20 bundles of rolled paper, weighing 2,400 pounds each, hit another tractor-trailer that was parked on the shoulder just beyond the exit.

The compromised trailer split open, causing the trailer to buckle under the weight of cargo and come to rest under the Strawberry Hill Avenue bridge.

Several rolls of paper, weighing up to 600 pounds, fell out of the trailer and firefighters and State Troopers moved them to free up a lane so traffic could move. Nat’s Towing is working to remove the trucks from the highway.

The driver of the truck that was parked suffered minor injuries and was transported to Norwalk Hospital.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Silver Alert Canceled for Hartford Teen


A Silver Alert has been canceled for a 16-year-old Hartford girl who had been missing since April 8.

A Silver Alert issued for Anna Alicea was canceled on Tuesday.

She returned home, safe, around 8 p.m. on Monday and has been reunited with her family, according to police.

Photo Credit: Silver Alert

Tweeters Respond to Palindrome Week


This week is palindrome week—every date reads the same forwards and backwards. 4/12/14, 4/13/14, 4/14/14... you get the point. Just like words and phrases can be palindromes—mom, racecar, level, live not on evil—so too can numbers. The palindrome has a long history that goes all the way back to the ancient Greeks, who would inscribe palindromic phrases on fountains. One of the most popular fountain inscriptions was "wash the sin as well as the face." Although that phrase isn't a palindrome in English, it is one in Greek.

Palindrome week is only really celebrated in the United States, as it's the only country that uses the mm-dd-yyyy format when writing out dates. Most countries around the world use the dd-mm-yyyy style, although China and Japan are notable for using yyyy-mm-dd. In any case, Twitter has been abuzz with tweets about the week-long holiday. Some have taken to Twitter to celebrate the wordsmith holiday.


Photo Credit: Getty Images/Image Source

Moose Alert in Southington


A moose was spotted this morning going into a swamp on West Street in Southington near Interstate 84.

Because of that sighting, drivers are asked to be extra careful when traveling in the area of Southington.

According to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Connecticut moose population is estimated at 100 to 150 animals. 

They are most often found in the northeastern and northwestern wooded corners of the state, but have been seen in most other parts of Connecticut.

DEEP warns drivers that it is difficult to see moose when you are driving at night and an injured moose is more likely to collapse through a car’s windshield because they stand so tall. 

If you are involved in a crash with a moose or deer, report it to local or state authorities, or DEEP Environmental Conservation Police Officers (860-424-3333).  Anyone who sees a moose is asked to report the sightings on the DEEP Web site.

If you saw the moose in Southington, send photos to shareit@nbcconnecticut.com

Photo Credit: AP

Power Restored to Hartford Schools


Power has been restored to the Sport and Medical Sciences Academy, at 280 Huyshope Ave. in Hartford.

The outage also affected the Kinsella Magnet School of the Performing Arts at 65 Van Block Ave.


Woman Nabbed Soon After Trying to Rob Bank: Cops


A woman accused of trying to rob a Meriden bank did not get far before police took her into custody.

Meriden Police received a 911 call from staff at the Wells Fargo Bank, located at 43 E. Main Street, at 10:37 a.m. on Tuesday.

They said a woman had just lunged over the tellers’ counter, shoved the bank teller and tried to take money from the cash drawer.

She did not get any cash and ran when she heard police had been called.

Several police officers responded to the scene and bank customers pointed out the woman, who officers later identified as Priscilla Jones, 31.

Officers immediately apprehended her and took her into custody.

Police said Jones might have been under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and medical personnel determined that no treatment was required.

Jones was then transported to the police department and charged with criminal attempt to commit robbery in the second degree, criminal attempt to commit larceny in the third degree and breach of peace.

She is being held on a $50,000 bond and is due in court on April 29.

No one was injured and no weapon was shown.

Photo Credit: Meriden Police

Fake Shooting Report Prompts Windham High School Lockdown


A report that a person had shot his mother at a home in Willimantic that prompted the lockdown of a nearby high school turned out to be a false report that could have been called in from the United Kingdom, police said.

Police said a “distraught male suspect” called 911 around noon April 15 to say he had just shot his mother with a rifle. He told police it happened at a home on High Street in Willimantic, and provided a first and last name that police confirmed were associated with that address.

The caller stayed on the phone with the dispatcher for more than 10 minutes while officers and detectives headed to the scene, police said. Windham High School was notified and locked down as a precaution.

Police arrived at the home to find no victims, no suspects and no scene. The residents came outside and told police there were no issues, authorities said.

Investigators determined that a false report had been made and involved a “juvenile acquaintance” of one of the residents. Police said an accomplice in Great Britain may have placed the call.

Sprint Email Calls Man "Sissyboy"


A Chicago man said he received an unwelcome email from Sprint this weekend after he called the company to report an error with his account.

Kelvin Mathews claims he was sent an email addressed to "Sissyboy Kelvin Gay Matthews" after he sought assistance from customer service.

“I gave [the representative] my email address, and that’s the email they sent me,” Mathews said.

Mathews said he originally called the company Sunday because he was still receiving messages from a Sprint account he thought he closed.

He told a customer service representative about his issue and was directed to check the status of his phone on his online account. When he couldn’t remember his login information, he said the representative sent him an email with instructions.

When he received the email, however, he was shocked and called customer service again.

“I expressed my concerns to them and how serious this is to me and my wife,” he said. “I don’t live a homosexual life, I never gave Sprint anything to go on and think that, and even if I did I don’t think it would be fair to say this on my account.”

Sprint said its investigation is ongoing but did acknowledge the error.

A spokesman for the company said the salutations on the automated emails can be changed by employees.

"We have apologized to Mr. Mathews and deeply regret what happened over the weekend,” the company said in a statement. “Mr. Mathews should never have received this email from our representative. We have dealt with that employee appropriately."

Mathews said a representative from Sprint contacted him Monday following his report, apologizing for the email.

The representative offered to close Mathews’ Sprint account with no early termination fees and agreed to open a new business account with an iPhone and two months of free service, Mathews said.

Mathews said he had not yet accepted the offer.

“To have this email is a form of degrading someone and I think people need to know about it,” he said. “They’re not treating customers like they should.”

Earlier this year, a suburban Chicago couple who lost their teenage daughter in a car crash received mail from OfficeMax addressed to "Daughter Killed in Car Crash."

And in February, a California woman named Lisa McIntire received mail from Bank of America addressed to "Lisa Is a Slut McIntire."

NYPD Disbands Muslim Spying Unit


The New York Police Department says it has disbanded a special unit whose efforts to try to detect terror threats in Muslim communities through secret surveillance sparked outrage.

The NYPD confirmed the decision on Tuesday.

The surveillance program by the NYPD Intelligence Division had come under fire by community activists who accused the department of abusing civil rights.

The program relied on plainclothes officers to eavesdrop on people in bookstores, restaurants and mosques. The tactic was detailed in a series of stories by The Associated Press and became the subject of two federal lawsuits.

The NYPD's decision to disband the unit was first reported in The New York Times.

Photo Credit: AP

New Haven Police Search for Bank Robber


New Haven police are investigating the robbery of a Santander bank and attempted robbery of a People’s Bank in the city.

Police said a man tried unsuccessfully to rob the People’s Bank in the Amity Stop & Shop at 150 Whalley Avenue in New Haven yesterday. He passed the teller a note that demanded money and said he had a gun, but the teller refused to give him any cash and the man took the note and left.

The same man is believed to have robbed the Santander bank at 215 Grand Avenue this morning. Police said the robber handed the teller a note that was “similar or identical” to the one used yesterday. The clerk handed over an unknown amount of cash and the robber took the note and left through the back door.

In both incidents, he was wearing a gray sweatshirt with a “New York” logo printed on the front. He’s described as an “older dark-complexioned black man” standing about 5 feet 7 inches tall with bad teeth and a medium build.

Police said he wore blue jeans and a blue-and-orange baseball cap to the People’s Bank. He arrived at the Santander bank wearing a dark-colored baseball cap with “California” written on the front.

He left the People’s Bank as the passenger in a black Nissan Altima, police said.

The robber did not display a weapon in either incident.

Anyone with information is urged to contact New Haven police detectives at 203-946-6304.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police Department

Formerly Conjoined Twins Thriving


The conjoined twins who were separated at Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas are expected to be released from the hospital Wednesday, eight months after their surgery.

Medical City announced Monday that Owen and Emmett Ezell are expected to be released to a local inpatient rehabilitation center this week.

To celebrate the twins' health and success, a small celebration is being planned on Wednesday prior to their departure. Ahead of that celebration, the hospital and Ezell family released new photographs of the now 9-month-old boys on Tuesday.

In the past the hospital had said the boys had to pass three major hurdles to go home -- eating and breathing on their own and fully healing from their surgical wounds.

"This is the next step to getting the boys home with their family," the news release said.

The hospital said Monday the twins are breathing on their own through trachea breathing tubes and are no longer being fed through an IV, but they continue to be fed through tubes in their abdomens.

While at rehab, the boys' parents will learn to manage those tubes until the boys can eat on their own.

The boys are expected to be released on Wednesday, but the hospital says as with any fragile patient, the release could change.

The hospital plans to celebrate the twins release at the hospital Wednesday, though the boys will not be there because of their fragile state.

The family has been chronicling the boys' progress, since their separation surgery in August 2013 on The Ezell Twins blog.

The Ezells are selling T-shirts through their blog that read, "The Works of God Displayed in Them, John 9:1-3."

The funds donated go into a trust fund set up for Emmett and Owen and their direct care.

More: The Ezell Twins blog | The Ezell Twins T-Shirts | Contribute

Photo Credit: Ezell Family/Medical City Children's Hospital

Man, Teen Arrested After Bridgeport Burglary


A Bridgeport man and 16-year-old are facing charges after reportedly stealing two iPods, an Xbox and a pair of sneakers from a home on Durango Place, police said.

The victim called police Monday night with a tip about the location of an iPod that had been stolen from her home. GPS tracking software showed the iPod to be at a house on Park Street. The victim told police she knew the teenager who lived there and had been to the house, authorities said.

Police arrived to investigate and confronted 26-year-old Juan Feliciano, who told officers he had bought the iPod from a stranger on the street. Officers searched the home and found other stolen items, including a second iPod, an Xbox and a pair of sneakers, police said.

A 16-year-old at the home claimed the Xbox, but the victim told police all the items were stolen from her house, according to police.

Both Feliciano and the 16-year-old were issued summonses for fifth-degree larceny.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Interstate 84 to be Widened in Waterbury


Interstate 84 was built through Waterbury 50 years ago, with two lanes each way. The last time it was widenened, drains were installed upside down or not connected at all and the project had to be done over.

In June, lanes will be added to the last narrow stretch Gov. Dannel Malloy called a "chokepoint" during a presentation Tuesday morning in a parking lot along the highway.

Watrebury Mayor Neil O'Leary thanked Malloy, saying, "We have waited and waited for years for leadership to get this project moving."

The $400 million construction phase of the project is set to begin in June and will last five or six years. It's part of a $3 billion transportation improvement plan.

Drivers will want to avoid the area. That's nothing new.

The top-ranking elected officials in the state were on hand, including Sen. Chris Murphy, who said, "I live about two miles down the road off of Interstate 84, and I have probably lost about a year of my life sitting in traffic along this stretch of road along Interstate 84."

His neighbor, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who lives in Cheshire, said gridlock in Washington is even worse than the gridlock Waterbury often sees.

"The Highway Trust Fund might run out of money in August, and if that happens, we are going to have to start shutting down these projects. For us here in the north, it's asphalt opening day today. But asphalt closing is the end of October. We can't afford a couple months this summer," Esty said.

Police Arrest Suspect in Nordstrom Rack Crime Spree


Farmington police have arrested one of the men suspected in a crime spree at Nordstrom Rack in February.

Police have charged Peter Dimanno, 34, of Enfield, with two counts of sixth-degree larceny, one count of fifth-degree larceny and one count of failure to appear.

His car was used during several thefts at the Farmington department store at 1600 Southeast Road, according to police.

In February, police reached out to the public for help to identify the people behind the string of four thefts on Feb. 14, Feb. 16, Feb. 22 and Feb. 24. 

Different people stole from the store in each case, but the vehicle used in all four crimes appeared to be the same, police said at the time.

That car belonged to Dimanno, according to police, who said he was there for all four thefts.

Dimanno was released on bond and is due in court on Wednesday.

Authorities have submitted arrest warrants for a couple of accomplices as well.

Photo Credit: Farmington Police
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