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Critics Pan Cost, Secrecy of Proposed Rock Cats Move


Many people spoke at the Hartford City Council meeting on Monday night to express their discontent with the city's proposal to move the New Britain Rock Cats baseball team to Hartford in a plan that would include a bond of up to $60 million to pay for a brand new stadium.

"If the Rock Cats want to move to Hartford, they have a millionaire that owns the team. Let them build it," Hartford resident Hyacinth Yennie said.

"That we would invest $60 million into a minor league franchise we could buy for 1/6th of that shocks the conscience," resident Ken Krayeske, of Hartford, said.

Many more people spoke against the move than for it during the public comment period, but those in support say it's a much-needed asset to the downtown area.

Rory Gale, who owns Hartford Prints on Pratt Street, said it's a chance to bring more opportunity and foot traffic.

"Creating more retail, more jobs, and connecting our city in bigger ways and also making it an attraction," said Gale.

Many people said they were upset that the city and the Rock Cats were in talks for a year and a half and the public was left in the dark.

"How do you hold 18 months of meetings and consider that transparency for the Hartford community?" Evelyn Richardson asked and her question was met with applause by other residents.

"It is a transparent process moving forward now that this is in the council chamber," said Hartford Council President Shawn Wooden.

Wooden added that there's still a lot that needs to be looked at before any decision is made, but some have already made up their mind, calling it a waste of money.

"We need to focus on education," Krayeske said. "Dollar for dollar education brings more economic development than pro sports."

Following the public comment period, Mayor Pedro Segarra released a response saying, "We have understood from the beginning that this project would require public discussion, participation and dialogue. Just like tonight, there will be many opportunities to learn more about how this revitalization will be an asset to the community for years to come.”

A public hearing further discussing the move is set for July 21.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

4 Seconds With Hillary Clinton


Hundreds of people lined up at a Manhattan bookstore to meet Hillary Rodham Clinton for four seconds and have the potential 2016 presidential candidate sign a copy of her new book being released Tuesday.

The Barnes & Noble store in Union Square had wristbands to give out to the first 1,000 people in line, who were told they'd get four seconds with Clinton and could not pose for photos with her. She was expected to sign copies of her book, "Hard Choices," for about two hours.

"It's really about the hard choices everybody has to make in life," she told the crowd before sitting down.

Sean Brennan, of Queens, said he stood in line because he wants to tell her to run for president again.

"I know it's selfish but please, please give us eight more years," he told NBC News.

The former Democratic senator from New York says she has not decided whether to run again.

Clinton's book was released Tuesday amid a media blitz of television interviews that touched on a wide range of topics, including the tough 2008 campaign.

The former secretary of state told NBC's Cynthia McFadden for an interview airing Tuesday on Nightly News that her advice for a younger version of herself would be to not take everything so personally.

"I would say that what I have learned and really incorporated since – to take criticism seriously, but not personally, not to be so anxious and worried about everything that everybody says and try to figure out how to incorporate that into your thinking," she said.

Clinton said the White House reviewed the book before it was published but did not ask for any changes.

Nothing Dangerous Found in Suspicious Package in West Haven


West Haven Police responded to investigate a suspicious package on Boston Post Road near the University of New Haven campus and found nothing dangerous.

West Haven and state police, along with other law enforcement, responded to investigate a bag with a beeping sound coming from it.

Police are continuing to investigate, but the roads have reopened. 

No additional information was released on what was in the bag.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Suspect in Simsbury Shooting Arrested


Simsbury Police have arrested a suspect in the shooting of a 20-year-old man in the parking lot of Wolcott Woods Condominiums in Simsbury on the night of Monday, May 19.

Police said they received several 911 calls around 11:29 p.m. reporting a man had been shot in the parking lot in front of 47, 49 and 53 Wolcott Woods. One of those calls came from the victim himself, police said.

Officers arrived and immediately started treating a man who was suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper body.

The victim was not a resident of the condominium complex, according to police. He was transported to a local hospital and survived the shooting, according to police.

As police began investigating, they said they and believed that the victim and the suspect or suspects were acquaintances. 

On Monday, police arrested Alexander Rivera, 20, of in Hartford and said he is suspected in an armed robbery and the shooting.

Rivera was charged with first-degree assault, conspiracy/assault in the first degree, first-degree robbery, first-degree threatening, third-degree larceny and conspiracy/larceny in the third-degree.

Bond was set at $500,000. Rivera is due in Enfield Superior Court on June 10.     

It’s not clear if he has an attorney.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com and Simsbury Police

Girl, 2, Nearly Lost Arm in Dad’s Drunken Crash: Police


A 2-year-old girl was injured so badly that she nearly lost her arm when her father drove into a swimming pool in Ledyard while driving drunk last month, according to police.

Police said Marcus Harvin, 25, of New Britain, admitted to having “a few” alcoholic beverages at Mohegan Sun Casino before the crash. When officers later obtained medical records, they showed a blood alcohol level of .293, which is more than three times the legal limit.

Police started investigating at 12:44 a.m. on Sunday, May 25, after a witness called 911 to report a drunken driver.

She told the 911 dispatcher that she had gone up to a car that was stopped at Route 12 and Route 2A in Preston and noticed a man who appeared to be asleep as well as two young children in the car.

When she knocked on the window to get the man’s attention, he woke up and fled south on Route 12, toward Ledyard, police said.

After the witness called 911, police asked authorities, especially those in Ledyard, to be on the lookout for a black Acura.

At 12:53 a.m., a Ledyard police officer noticed a car matching the description running in the parking lot of the Henny Penny, so he approached.

The driver appeared to be asleep behind the wheel and two small children were in the back of the car, police said.  

When the officer knocked on the window, Harvin opened it, and the officer noticed the smell of alcohol and his bloodshot eyes, police said.

With slurred speech, Harvin gave police his brother's name and admitted to having had drinks at the casino, police said. As the officer went to his car to check Harvin’s information, he heard the engine as Harvin sped down Route 12.

The officer turned on the sirens and started to follow Harvin, but called state police to say he would no longer try to stop the car because of the children, police said.

As Harvin fled, he lost control of his car, went off Route 12, hit a utility pole and traffic control box, went through a metal guard rail on the opposite side of the road, then crashed upside down in a swimming pool on Baldwin Hill Road in Ledyard, according to police.

After police rescued Harvin and his two daughters, the father told officers he did not remember anything leading up to the crash, police said.

The 2-year-old girl suffered the most serious injuries.

Her arm was “partially severed” during the crash, police said.

She went through a nine-hour surgery, followed by a second surgery, and has a pulse in her fingers, with the exception of the thumb, according to court paperwork.

More surgeries will be required, including a skin graft.

The 4-year-old broke her right ankle in the crash, police said, and has been released from the hospital.

Harvin was arrested and charged with second-degree assault with a motor vehicle, two counts of risk of injury to a minor, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, reckless driving, first-degree reckless endangerment and failure to obey an officer's signal.

He was due in court on Tuesday, but the case was postponed to June 24.

Mayor Violates "No Poop Zone"


The mayor of an affluent Southern California city was caught on camera leaving a bag of what appeared to be dog feces on his neighbor’s property, police said, and the neighbor believes this wasn't an accident. 

Dennis Kneier, mayor of San Marino, a town of approximately 13,000 people just south of Pasadena, was identified as the person placing a plastic bag in the private walkway of a home in the 1400 block of Charlton Road around 6 p.m. Saturday. According to San Marino Police, the bag was tied closed and appeared to have been intentionally place at the walkway entrance.

Homeowner Philip Lao says that surveillance footage shows Kneier and his wife walking. In the video, Kneier’s wife is seen pointing to Lao’s walkway, and then Kneier is seen tossing the bag onto it.

Lao believes that Kneier was seeking revenge for his opposition to the mayor’s dog park proposal. Lao is against the dog park because he believes dogs are left there for hours as their owners run errands, and the dogs tend to fight when left unattended.

Lao lives a block away from Lacy Park, and as such, has "no poop zone" signs in his front lawn. According to Lao, Kneier does not like him posting signs like that, but Lao believes it is his right as a homeowner. Lao told the city council that when people take down their USC and UCLA signs, he’ll take down his "no poop zone" signs.

Kneier had previously said that he found the bag near the sidewalk, but told NBC4 that he could not know for sure where he picked up the plastic bag before placing it on Lao’s walkway. He acknowledged that he did not reach down and place the bag on the walkway, but instead that he was "standing up and dropped it," adding that he "may have flicked it off a bit."

When asked about the "no poop zone" sign, Kneier said that he personally does not like it, but that there has been no animosity between himself and Lao. Kneier added that the sign is "not the look we want to have in San Marino," but that it is not against any city ordinance.

The mayor lives two blocks from Lao and says he regularly walks by Lao’s home.

Kneier said that if he had to do it all over again, he would have walked by Lao’s home and left the plastic bag where he says he originally found it, or else he would have disposed of it in a trash can.

"I take responsibility for what happened," Kneier said. "I’m sorry it happened… this was a mistake." 

Neither Kneier nor Lao is a dog owner.

City Worker Stole $170K from Library: Police


Waterbury police have arrested a city employee, who is accused of stealing $170,000 from a local library over five years because she thought she should be making more money.

The investigation started a little over a month ago, when the city’s personnel department found out that Lynette James, 51, had paid herself $12,000 in stipends over eight years that she was not entitled, police said.

But that investigation uncovered more thefts and these were from the Silas Bronson Library, police said.

At first, James denied stealing the money, but then police presented the evidence and James admitted to taking the money because she thought she should be earning more.

She said she started taking the cash in 2006 to help pay for her son’s college education and food, according to police.

James was in charge of depositing money from the library and is accused of stealing as much as $100 per day over a five-year span.

The money came from fines that library patrons paid for overdue books and videos, according to police.

Police started investigating a little over a month ago and also determined that James was also paying herself thousands of dollars in an unauthorized stipend, police said.

NBC Connecticut went to James’ home for comment, but no one answered the door.

James is expected to be charged with first-degree larceny and appear in court later this month.

2 Hurt, Main Street Closed After Explosions in Norwalk


Police are investigating underground explosions at Main and Wall streets in Norwalk that injured two people, shattered the windows of a bakery and prompted street closures until further notice.

Police officers, firefighters and the Norwalk Hospital Emergency Service unit responded to reports of fire and explosions just after 8:30 a.m. and found smoke and fire from three manholes on Main Street.

Two people suffered minor injuries, according to police. 

The explosion dislodged manholes and a business and a vehicle were damaged. The front windows of the New York Bakery were shattered.

Main Street will remain closed to traffic between Cross and Wall streets, including Main and Hoyt, according to police. Police ask drivers to avoid the area until further notice.

Police believe the was caused by an electrical issue and said there is no evidence that the problem is gas.

Connecticut Light & Power and Yankee Gas both responded, as have police officers and firefighters. They are working on determining the cause.

Photo Credit: Keith Muro, owner of the bakery.

Couple Shoplifted, Ran Down Officer in North Haven: Cops


North Haven police are looking for a couple accused of shoplifting and then running down a police officer.

Workers at Ulta cosmetics store at 370 Universal Drive called police around 8 p.m. on Monday to report a man and a woman were taking perfume from the shelves and hiding it in a bag being held by the woman, according to police.

Officers arrived as the pair left the store and got into a gray BMW. As one of the officers approached the car, the driver sped towards the officer and hit him as the officer tried to jump out of the way.

The couple took off and was last seen on I-91 South where they got off Exit 6 onto Willow Street.

The car had a license plate in the back window. The first three characters read "1AG", according to police.

The officer was taken to the hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Anyone who recognizes the couple or has information on the car is asked to call North Haven Police at 203-239-5321.

Photo Credit: North Haven Police

Branford Man Accused of Neighbor’s Murder


Branford Police said they have solved the mysterious disappearance of a local man on Memorial Day weekend 2013 and charged his former neighbor with the murder.

Police have charged Thomas Malinka, 44, with the murder of John Deveau, 61.

Malinka, who is prison for other crimes, was arraigned in New Haven Superior court this morning and is being held on a $500,000 bond.
The two men were neighbors at 33 Crouch Road and police issued the Silver Alert for Deveau on June 6, 2013.

Branford detective worked closely with Connecticut State Police and the New Haven Office of the State’s Attorney.

“This has been a very difficult case for the detectives, due to their continued perseverance they have been able to link Thomas Malinka to this crime,” Police Chief Kevin Halloran said in a statement.

Photo Credit: Branford Police

Sterling Not Selling Clippers


Donald Sterling says he is not selling the Los Angeles Clippers and is not dropping his $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA, after announcing last week that he had agreed to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

"I have decided that I must fight to protect my rights," Sterling said Monday in a letter obtained by NBC News. "I love the team and have dedicated 33 years of my life to the organization. I intend to fight to keep the team."

Sterling made the announcement, less than one week after indicating he had agreed to the sale, because he believes his "rights to privacy and the preservation of my rights to due process should not be trampled."

Sterling also said on Monday he would pursue his lawsuit over the NBA's effort to oust him, after his lawyer Bobby Samini told NBC News last week that he was dropping it.

"We have been instructed to prosecute the lawsuit," said lawyer Maxwell Blecher on Monday.

The $2 billion sale was negotiated last week by his wife, Shelly. Sterling's lawyer Samini said June 4 that Donald had agreed to the deal and would drop the suit against the league because "all disputes and outstanding issued have been resolved."

The lawsuit alleges the league violated his constitutional rights by relying on information from an "illegal" recording that publicized racist remarks he made to a girlfriend. It also said the league committed a breach of contract by fining Sterling $2.5 million and that it violated antitrust laws by trying to force a sale.

The Sterling firestorm began after the audio surfaced of Donald Sterling telling V. Stiviano to not bring black people to Clippers games. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver moved to oust him as owner by banning him for life and fining him $2.5 million.

Sterling decided not to sign the papers inking the deal with Ballmer after learning the NBA won't revoke its lifetime ban and fine.

Shelly Sterling utilized her authority as sole trustee of the Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers, to take bids for the team and ultimately negotiate a deal with Ballmer. The deal would have record-breaking if approved by the NBA's owners.

Samini was asked on the TODAY Show Tuesday morning whether his client understood that the fine and life-time ban would stand when he seemed to agree to the deal last week.

"I'm not going to go into the particulars of the discussions, but that clearly wasn't the understanding," said Samini. "Adam Silver has come out now and made it clear he isn't going to back off. The bigger issue here is that my client is out to clear his name."

If the deal does go through, its terms would allow Shelly Sterling to remain close to the organization by allowing for up to 10 percent of the team — or $200 million — to be spun off into a charitable foundation that she would essentially run.

Shelly Sterling and Ballmer would be co-chairs of the foundation, which would target underprivileged families, battered women, minorities and inner city youths.

Under the deal Shelly Sterling would also get the title of "owner emeritus" and be entitled to continuing perks such as floor seats, additional seats at games and parking.

One of the individuals said the deal also includes conditions that allow Ballmer to buy back the 10 percent portion of the team for a pre-designated price upon Shelly Sterling's death.

 The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Police Charge Torrington Woman With 22 Counts of Animal Cruelty


More than a month after police seized more than two dozen animals, including dogs, rabbits and chickens, from a home in Torrington, police have arrested a resident of the home. 

Police said they went to a home on Hayden Hill Road around 6 p.m. on April 28 after someone contacted authorities to report that a person might need medical attention.

When officers arrived, they noticed an unpleasant smell and found several animals in the home, so they called the City Animal Control Officer, who determined that the environment was unfit for the animals.

Authorities seized two dogs, one cat and 19 rabbits. They also removed four chickens from a coop in the yard.

The animals, which did not appear to be malnourished, were transported to the animal control facility on Bogue Road, where a veterinarian checked them.

On Tuesday morning, police arrested Tracy Mailhot, 48, on a warrant. 

She was charged with 22 counts of cruelty to animals, three counts of failure to vaccinate and two counrs of failure to license a dog.

Mailhot was released on a promise to appear and is due in Bantam Court on June 23.

2 School Buses, 3 Vehicles Involved in Torrington Crash


Six adults were injured and 22 children taken to the hospital after a chain-reaction crash involving two small school buses and three other vehicles in Torrington on Tuesday afternoon.

The students are OK, but many were taken to the hospital to be evaluated, the fire chief said.

A pickup truck slammed into the back of a Jeep Grand Cherokee on Kennedy Drive near Winsted Road around 3:45 p.m., police said.

The Jeep was pushed into the back of a KinderCare bus, which in turn rear-ended an All Star Student bus from Torringford Elementary School. A Volvo in another lane was also damaged in the chain reaction, police said.

The woman driving the Jeep was flown to Hartford Hospital by Lifestar helicopter, according to police. She was the only person in the Jeep, and her condition is not known.

No other adults, including the driver of the pickup, were seriously injured, police said. The names of those involved in the crash have not been released.

The road is expected to remain closed for several hours.

Superintendent Cheryl Kloczko and the Torringford principal both responded to the scene.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Traffic Patterns on I-95 in New Haven to Change This Weekend


The Connecticut Department of Transportation is warning drivers about a planned shift in traffic patterns on I-95 in New Haven this coming weekend.

Crews will move traffic onto a new Exit 47 offramp from 95 onto Route 34. The shift is planned to take place between 10 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Saturday. There will be lane closures during those hours on I-95 South and Exits 47 and 48, according to the DOT.

"If you can, follow Exit 46 or 45 if you're coming from the south, Exit 3 of I-91 if you're coming from the north, and try to find an alternative route that can help you get around downtown and get you into work safe,"said Doug Hausladen, New Haven's director of transportation.

The city has three changes in just this month to traffic patterns nearby. Wednesday, it will turn George Street into a two-way street near the Knights of Columbus building. Later in the month, the city will close the hairpin turn at Exit 1 of Route 34 forcing drivers headed for the train station to go up Orange Street to George Street to State Street.

Also it will close Exit 2 at Church Street entirely, swamping Exit 1 with traffic.

The Department of Transportation urges drivers used to following their GPS to not rely on those devices during the changes.

"We've contacted the services that supply information to the GPS companies and they don't react fast enough," said Brian Mercure, of the DOT. "The best they do is update every six months. We can change traffic patterns three times in six months."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Professional Tennis Coming to New Haven


When women's tennis comes back to New Haven this August, it will have a new name: the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies.

“The rebranding to the Connecticut Open broadens the overall appeal. It more accurately reflects the fact that fans and sponsors come from all over Connecticut and beyond,” said Tournament Director Anne Worcester.

It also represents Connecticut's investment in the tournament. Last year, the State bought the tournament to keep it in Connecticut.

“It's an important event in the state. We have annually $26 million in economic activity around the tournament. Each year, the tournament draws tens of thousands of spectators and volunteers from around the country. Many of whom eat at local restaurants and stay at local hotels and shop, I hope, at local businesses,” said Governor Dannel Malloy.

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp says the tournament also puts New Haven on the map.

“The timing of this tournament is key as it plays out just ahead of the US Open in New York City. It has a huge benefit to have these events mentioned in the same breath,” said Mayor Toni Harp.

The Connecticut Open will also being doing its part to benefit others, because it just became a not-for-profit organization. It is pairing up with its new presenting sponsor, United Technologies, to make sure that it gives back to the community. On August 18, there will be a Military Appreciation night with discounted tickets. There will also be fundraising for the Smilow Cancer Hospital.

“We'll also use the tournament's last day to pay tribute to our tens of thousands of employees and celebrate UTC Day on August 23,” said Charles Gill, UTC Senior Vice President and General Counsel.

Men’s tennis will also be returning to New Haven for the first-ever Connecticut Open Legends event on August 21 and August 22. James Blake, Andy Roddick and Jim Courier are expected to participate.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

State Begins Mosquito Management Program


The Connecticut Department of Public Health is working to combat one of summer’s most persistent pests: mosquitos.

The state’s Mosquito Management Program is currently monitoring mosquitos across the state for the presence of viruses that can affect humans, including West Nile Virus (WNV) and eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE).

The mosquito trapping and testing program began on June 2nd and has been coordinated by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

To date, all tests have been negative.

On top of current efforts, the program also released findings from the 2013 season. The results revealed that the first confirmed human case of EEE in a Connecticut resident took place in 2013.

The infection was officially identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“While rare, EEE is serious and underscores the importance of taking personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen.

Dr. Mullen went on to say that the DPH is preparing to advise Connecticut clinicians about the epidemiology of EEE and WNV, as well as potential options for testing patients for the diseases.

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station manages 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities across Connecticut.

Those looking for more information are encouraged to visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program Web site at www.ct.gov/mosquito.

Photo Credit: AP

Torrington Woman arrested for Animal Cruelty


A Torrington woman is charged with 22 counts of animal cruelty after police made a startling discovery inside her home.

They just arrested Tracy Mailhot and say she was keeping dozens of animals in deplorable conditions inside her home.

Torrington Police released pictures of some of the animals they confiscated from a home on Hayden Hill Road.

They say there were dozens, mostly rabbits, along with chickens, cats, and dogs. Many of them were infested with fleas and matted in feces.

“If people can't take care of their animals they should just give them up,” said Jason Palmer.

He lives across the way says he never noticed anything suspicious.

“We’ve never seen any animals outside and no one’s gone in her house or anything,” Palmer explained.

Investigators say they made the shocking discovery in April when they showed up at the home to do a welfare check.

They claim the smell was so horrendous they noticed it before they got to the front door.

“That's pretty terrible,” Palmer said.

According to authorities, her pets have been nursed back to health. They are now at a shelter and a local rescue ready for adoption.

Alert Issued for Missing Hartford Teen


Police have issued an alert for a missing 14-year-old boy in Hartford.

Jaquan Bonilla, 14, was last seen on Tuesday morning before going to school at Fox Middle School in Hartford, according to the alert.

Jaquan’s foster parents reported him missing at 9:45 p.m., when he did not return from school. Whether he went to school on Tuesday is not known.

The Silver Alert says Jaquan is considered an endangered runaway.

He is 5-feet-8, weighs 130 pounds, and has dyed red hair and brown eyes.

When he was last seen, he was wearing khaki pants and a blue Polo shirt.

Anyone with information on Jaquan’s whereabouts should call the Hartford police department at 860-757-4000.

Photo Credit: Silver Alert

Police Investigate Burglary at Plainfield Pizza Shop


Early Wednesday morning, a man broke into a Plainfield pizza shop and stole the cash drawer, and police are asking for help to solve the crime.

At 12:13 a.m., police responded to Zoe’s Pizza, at 597 Putnam Road in Wauregan, when the alarm went off and found a broken window, police said.

The cash drawer was missing. The burglar ran south on Putnam Road, possibly to a vehicle waiting for him, police said.

The man police are looking for has a medium to heavy build and was wearing a baseball hat, a long-sleeve shirt and jeans. He and might have also been wearing boots.

Police have released surveillance images from an infrared camera in the hopes that someone will know who the man is. The colors are off, according to police.

If you have any information, call Sergeant Soler of the Plainfield Police Department at 860-564-0804 or the anonymous tip line at 860-564-7065.


Photo Credit: Plainfield Police

Willimantic Evacuations Underway Due to Broken Gas Line


The Keating Street area of Willimantic is being evacuated because of a broken gas line, according to police.

Yankee gas has responded and Keating Street is blocked at Emerald Avenue.

Windham Middle School, which is located less than half a mile away, is not affected and has not been evacuated.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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