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Groton Man Accused of Exposing Himself to Children


A Groton man is facing charges after allegedly exposing himself to children in two separate incidents, police said.

Steven Waterman, 56, of Godfrey Street, was arrested Wednesday morning. He's charged with three counts of risk of injury to a minor, two counts of public indecency and two counts of breach of peace.

The details of the incidents are unclear.

Waterman appeared in court today and was held on an $80,000 bond.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com

McDonald's Is America's Least Favorite Fast Food Chain


Apparently not everyone is lovin’ McDonald’s.

The Illinois-based chain ranks the lowest of all big-name fast-food chains in terms of customer satisfaction in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, released Tuesday.

McDonald's dropped 3 percent compared to last year, giving the chain an ACSI rating of 71 out a possible 100. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Barely inching out McDonald’s was Taco Bell, which also dropped 3 percent for a rating of 72.

KFC, which had an all-time high of 81 last year, dipped 9 percent to 74, the biggest decline among all restaurants — fast food or full service.

Subway, which held the top spot in the fast-food category for several years, and Starbucks also saw major declines, with the coffee giant dropping 5 percent to 76 and the sandwich hub dipping 6 percent to 78.

Papa John’s and Pizza Hut were the only fast food chains that didn’t see a decline. Papa John’s remained steady and Pizza Hut increased by 3 percent, with both coming in at 82.

Americans ate out an average of four meals per week in 2013, according to data from the ACSI, marking a 60 percent increase since the end of the Great Recession.

“In a weaker economy, price plays a more important role in determining dining preferences and smaller restaurants that compete on quality rather than price may be more challenged to thrive,” the report states. “But in a strong or improving economy — as is the case now — the opposite is true.”

Full service restaurants are reportedly keeping customers happier, with a rating of 82, an increase of more than 1 percent. Fast food followed with an ACSI score of 80 and large.

But perhaps the biggest contenders in keeping customers pleased are smaller chain restaurants like Panera and Chipotle, which were up 2 percent for an overall score of 83.

Wet Kids Riding on Car's Hood Hurt


Four children were hospitalized Tuesday evening after they were thrown from a moving car being driven by an intoxicated parent, Crowley police say.

Kisha Young, 39, let six children ride on the hood and trunk of her Chevrolet Malibu because their clothes were wet; the group, including another adult, had been swimming at the Creekside Community Pool, according to police.

The children, ranging in age from 8 to 14, slipped off the car and were flung into the road after Young took a corner too fast along the 400 block of Angler Drive, witnesses said. Young initially didn't realize the kids were injured until she got to the end of the block. She turned around and drove back to help, appearing panicked, witnesses said.

Demi Garcia was in the front yard of her home with her father when they both witnessed the kids fall off the car.

“Then the mom started backing up after my dad ran over there to the kids. Cause they were trying to lift up the little girl,” she said.

Four of the children riding on the trunk were seriously injured and transported to Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth. All of the injured children have been treated and released except for a 12-year-old girl who was taken by CareFlite to an area hospital due to a severe head injury.

Neighbors said they were shocked by what happened.

“Anybody, they can’t be in their right mind to do that with their own kids!” said Geneva Carpenter, who lives on the street where the incident happened.

“Who in their right mind think[s] a little kid can hang on to a hood? You can’t hang onto a hood,” Carpenter said.

Police said Young was arrested and charged with intoxication assault, a third degree felony. She remained in jail Wednesday; bond has not been set. 

Officials have not revealed the second adult's name and are still investigating the incident. Police said additional charges are pending on both adults.

Child Protective Services has been contacted and is expected to investigate.

NBC 5's Amanda Guerra contributed to this report.

Stamford Dentist Charged With Medicaid Fraud


A Stamford dentist is charged with Medicaid fraud after reportedly billing the program for services that were never rendered and pocketing the cash, according to the state Division of Criminal Justice.

Georgy Betser, 71, of Advanced Dental, LLC, is accused of submitting false claims for services at nursing homes in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Britain, New Milford and Waterbury between Dec. 2012 and Jan. 2013.

According to the DCJ, Betser received more than $25,000 in fraudulent compensation for dental procedures he never actually performed.

He was placed on payment suspension in Feb. 2013 after the Department of Social Services audited some of the bogus claims as part of an investigation into “credible allegations of fraud,” according to the warrant for his arrest.

The DCJ said that, in some cases, Betser didn’t actually visit the facilities on the dates he claimed and was even hospitalized for some of the time.

Betser is charged with first-degree larceny by defrauding a public community and insurance fraud. He was released on $50,000 bond and is due in court June 26.

If convicted he could serve up to 25 years behind bars.

Photo Credit: Office of the Chief State's Attorney

Enfield Dentist Fights to Keep License


An Enfield dentist is fighting to keep his career after one patient died shortly after surgery and another almost died under his care.

The state Dental Commission held its first day of hearings over the license of Dr. Rashmi Patel today in Hartford to decide whether or not the Enfield- and Torrington-based dentist will retain his license. Patel was suspended in April following an investigation by the state Department of Public Health.

Defense attorneys for Patel estimate the dentist has performed anywhere from 50,000 to 75,000 dental procedures throughout his career, but his decision making surrounding two cases in particular have put his practice and reputation on the line.

Investigators allege that in one instance, Patel ignored pleas from his dental assistants to stop working and administer emergency medication to 64-year-old Judith Gan of Ellington, who was having 20 teeth extracted and six implants added.

Gan suffered a heart attack during the procedure. She was rushed to a hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she died a short time later.

“How can any dentist continue to do any dental work on a patient who is in such severe crisis?” asked Dept. of Public Health attorney David Tilles at the hearing. “Any dentist has to recognize these problems, has to respond to protect the patient.”

Another patient, a 55-year-old man, nearly choked to death on a throat pack while under conscious sedation in December.

Other allegations include claims that Patel has allowed at least five medications to expire.

Patel’s attorneys argue that the allegations are false and say the evidence and witnesses testifying against him are not credible. Defense attorney Michael Kogut referred to them as “charges that are unsupported by medical and empirical data.”

Patel spoke briefly following the proceedings and believes that when all the evidence has been presented, he will be vindicated.

“I feel awful about what Michael Gan and his family are feeling at this point, hearing what happened in the media,” Patel said. “I really want to give my deepest sympathies to them.”

Rick Kenny, an attorney representing the Gans, said the family is waiting for all the details to come out before deciding whether to pursue a civil suit.

The next hearing is scheduled for July 16.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

2 Accused of Trying to Steal Copper From Radio Tower


Two Rhode Island men are facing charges after allegedly trying to steal copper from the State Police Telecommunications Tower in North Stonington, according to state police.

John Fahey, 25, of Pascoag, Rhode Island, and Jeffery Joergensen, 24, of Chapachett, Rhode Island, were arrested Monday morning. An alarm went off at the tower and police intercepted the men, who had already caused between $6,000 and $10,000 worth of damage to the site, police said.

The tower is used as a communications hub for state police, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.

Police said the men initially identified themselves as communications company employees. One tried to run while troopers were questioning the other but didn’t get far before police caught up to him.

Fahey and Joergensen were arrested and each charged with breach of peace, criminal trespassing, criminal mischief, criminal attempt at larceny, reckless endangerment, interfering with police, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal misrepresentation.

Fahey was held on a 50,000 bond and Joergensen’s bond was set at $35,000. Both were due in court Wednesday.

Crumbling Cliff Could Be Dynamited


A crumbling limestone cliff overlooking Lake Whitney in Texas could soon be blasted with dynamite or pried off with inflatable balloons, days after a luxury home perilously perched on its edge was burned to the ground.

Those are just two of the plans being mulled by authorities hoping to hasten the cliff's collapse, since experts believe the fault line through it will only grow.

The home that sat atop the cliff was razed on Friday, after a landslide had caused part of the ground beneath the home, and part of the home itself, to collapse into the lake. Authorities intentionally burned the home to the ground, rather than wait for the rest of it to tumble into the water below.

What remains on the property are the home's slab and a large crack in the ground that experts believe will only get bigger.

Randy Cephus of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Wednesday that they are working with Hill County officials and homeowners in White Bluff Estates to determine the best method of removing the rock.

One of their options is to blow the cliff face into the lake with dynamite. Another is to drop inflatable balloons into the fault line and then inflate them until the rock separates from the cliff and falls into the lake.

There is no set time for the demolition, but Cephus said they would like to have it completed before the busy Fourth of July holiday, when the lake is full of boaters.

A decision on a method and schedule may be made early next week.

Until the demolition is complete, the area of the lake near the cliff is off limits.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Isla Vista Victims' Moms Speak Out


The mothers of two UC Santa Barbara students slain in an Isla Vista apartment last month are calling on parents worldwide to teach their children compassion and keep a closer watch on them, weeks after the bloody rampage that claimed six young innocent peoples' lives.

“We are not living our lives any more. We are surviving day by day,” said Kelly Wang. Her son, George Chen, 19, of San Jose, was fatally stabbed May 23 in his friends' apartment amid Elliot Rodger's killing spree in Isla Vista.

“Something needs to change,” she added, clutching the hand of Jane Liu,  whose only son, Weihan “David” Wang, a 20-year-old from Fremont who was roommates with Rodger in the apartment where the men were killed, was also killed.

The two women and Chen’s father, Junan Chen, a software engineer at Juniper Networks, spoke exclusively to NBC Bay Area on Wednesday in the Chens' San Jose living room, adorned with uplifting Buddhist sayings to pass to guests as they exit their modest home.

A small shrine to their son was created in a small bedroom facing east – his photo, incense, a candle, Buddhist music and his favorite treats, potato chips and a bottle of Coke – were arranged to help his soul pass to a more peaceful place, his mother said.

"It is the parents’ responsibility to watch their children," Wang said, adding that her family's Chinese heritage meant close bonding between parents and their children. "We teach them community service and to care and love others. It is the parents’ responsibility to make sure their children are not so full of hatred."

“Our pain,” she added, “is unbearable, unspeakable. We hope we are the last family who has to experience this.”

Liu added that responsibility extends even further to that - to property managers who rent apartments, to police who conduct welfare checks, to family psycholgists - and basically to anyone who notices inklings of trouble in a young person who may need help. 

"Everybody in society has a responsibility," said Liu, an oncology nurse at Washington Hospital in Fremont. "This can be preventable."

George Chen’s ashes, along with the ashes of David Wang, will be buried somewhere together in the Bay Area, their parents said.

The parents of a third friend killed in the apartment that night — C.H., 20, of San Jose, whose family requested that his initials be used instead of his full name — were in China on Wednesday, burying their son’s ashes.

All three men were sophomores at UC Santa Barbara, and Chen had simply been visiting his buddies at the apartment they shared with Elliot Rodger.

Wang and C.H. had ended up rooming with Rodger after the complex's property manager randomly selected the three to live together based on the students' applications.

Kelly Wang specifically directed her words Wednesday to their sons' killer's father, Peter Rodger, a Hollywood director who worked on "The Hunger Games" and has an upcoming interview exclusive with ABC’s Barbara Walters.

Wang said they are worried all the attention will increase the focus on "the killing part of the story.”

Peter Rodger and his ex-wife said in a statement after the killings that they were "crying in pain" for the victims and their families. "It is now our responsibility to do everything we can to help avoid this from happening to any other family," they said.

Rodger did not immediately respond to an NBC Bay Area request for comment on Wednesday.  However, a spokesman at Rodger Pictures said he would pass an emailed question to Rodger and his lawyers.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff told the public that Peter Rodger and Elliot Rodger’s mother had seen their son's violent 137-page manifesto just minutes before the rampage and had begun racing toward Santa Barbara – but it was too late.

Before they could get to Santa Barbara, Elliot Rodger had fatally stabbed the three men in his apartment and had begun a shooting spree that left another three UC Santa Barbara students dead.

Those victims were sorority sisters Katherine Breann Cooper, 22, of Chino Hills, and Veronika Elizabeth Weiss, 19, of Westlake Village, as well as Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20, of Los Osos, who was gunned down at a deli.

Elliot Rodger killed himself after the rampage.

Kelly Wang, a software engineer at SeaChange International, said she had tried to teach her son George to practice love and compassion from a young age.

When George was little, his mother taught him early to volunteer at such places as the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, where he learned to care for anyone in need. They would also feed the homeless together as a family and George often sang at a local nursing home. In high school, he tutored students in math.

Parents are their childrens' first teachers, she said. And if children show signs of mental illness, she said, then parents must do everything in their power to stay at their sides and help.

“Children are hungry for parents’ time, to be physically with them,” she said. “I would quit my job. I would check on him every day. I would invite friends to come over. I would make sure he was taking his medicine. This is more important that money.”

The irony, Wang and Liu said, was that if their sons had known that Elliot Rodger was in need or suffered from mental illness, they would have been the first to help.

Granby High School Student Helps Save Man's Life


A Granby man is lucky to be alive after suffering what’s believed to be a heart attack at a high school athletic field, and a high school senior is credited with saving him.

Cassia Shoaf had just finished classes at Granby Memorial High School and returned to the field Monday afternoon to train for her college soccer team. She never expected to come across what she did – the man was lying there, clearly in trouble.

“I ran over to him and I was trying to talk to him, and he wasn’t really responsive,” Shoaf said. “I was talking to 911 to help him, and hten he stopped breathing.”

Shoaf is certified in CPR and knew what to do to keep him alive.

“In that type of situation, I didn’t really have time to be scared,” she explained. “I just had to trust my skills and hope for the best.”

A short time later, Officer Jeff Murphy arrived at the scene and rushed over to help. He used a defibrillator while Shoaf continued CPR.

“She was doing exactly what she should have done. She was trained; she used her training,” Murphy said. “She gave us time to get here with our equipment.”

Then paramedic Steven Johnson arrived on scene and took over the CPR.

“After four or five minutes of resuscitation by Officer Murphy and Cassia, the patient had regained a pulse, which was remarkable,” Johnson said.

While many are calling Cassia a hero, she says she’s just happy to be part of the team that saved this man’s life.

“I don’t consider myself a hero,” she said. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Shoaf is looking forward to her high school graduation on Friday. She’s off to college after that, and is planning to put her CPR training to good use – she’s pursuing a career in the medical field.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Charged in Sexual Assault of Plainfield Woman


Police have arrested the man accused of sexually assaulting a Plainfield woman in July of last year.

Robert Jackson, Jr., 38, was taken into custody in New York on March 26 and was extradited to Connecticut on June 18, where he was charged with first-degree and second-degree sexual assault, police said.

The victim told police she and Jackson had known one another prior to the attack.

Jackson was held on a $250,000 bond and is due in court June 19.

Photo Credit: Plainfield Police Department

What Redskins Trademark Move Means


So what happened Wednesday?

A board of the U.S. Patent Office canceled six Redskins trademarks, ruling 2-1 that the marks were disparaging to Native Americans. They were ruling in a case brought by five Native Americans in 2006. The Redskins have said they will appeal.

So does this mean the Redskins can no longer use that team name?

No. First of all, this ruling addresses only one question: Whether the Redskins can use federal trademark protection to go after people who are counterfeiting its name or trademarks. They can continue to use the name -- but, if this case stands, other people may feel empowered to do so, too, though other protections remain. (Anyone feel like renaming their book club after Washington's football team?)

Anyway, the Redskins will appeal -- and any change to the Redskins trademarks will be put on hold during the appeals process.

Why were the trademarks canceled?

U.S. patent law specifically says that trademarks may not disparage a group of people -- they can't expose that group to ridicule or contempt. The patent office said that it did not consider whether all Native Americans were disparaged, or even most, but whether a "substantial composite" of Native Americans would be.

Is a claim of disparagement common?

Challenges to trademarks and patents are common, but usually the objection comes from other trademark holders who say a trademark application is too close to their own and could be confusing to customers.

Challenging a trademark on the grounds that it is disparaging is unusual, say patent experts -- but it does happen.

"These marks have to be adopted very carefully," said Q. Todd Dickinson, exeutive director of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and a former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. "Over time, the use may change and the sensitivities may change." 

In fact, the Redskins faced an identical challenge back in 1992, when another group of Native Americans claimed the name was disparaging. That case took years to resolve, but eventually was dismissed because the plaintiffs waited too long to file a claim.

Wait, why was that ruling in the case filed in 1992 overturned?

It was overturned initially because a federal court ruled there was not enough evidence that the plaintiffs were disparaged, and also because the court said the plaintiffs waited too long to file their case.

There's a concept in trademark law that if someone is being hurt by a mean trademark, they have to argue that point soon after they experience the injury -- which, for lawsuit purposes, is usually when someone turns 18 and is able to sue.

In the 1992 case, the plaintiffs were much older, and that became a major issue in the appeal. (Interestingly, after saying that there was not enough evidence of disparagement, the appeals courts did not address that issue again.)

In the new case, the plaintiffs are much younger.

How will this ruling affect the Redskins' day-to-day business?

It won't affect it much, for now. Again, the team will appeal and the trademarks will remain while the appeal continues.

If this ruling stands, it would mean that the team will not be able to protect its trademark using federal trademark law. That means people could counterfeit Redskins goods, though there are still some protections under common law for trademarks. Licensed merchandise is a big source of revenue for any NFL team.

Could this ruling affect other NFL teams?

Well, yes -- if the ruling stands. If so, and if the Redskins lose merchandising revenue, all but one of the other NFL teams could be affected, because they share merchandise licensing revenue. The lone exception is the Dallas Cowboys.

So what does this mean for the Atlanta Braves? The Kansas City Chiefs?

Nothing. This case was specifically about the Redskins. Someone could bring a case against those other teams, but they'd have to prove to the board that ruled today that the names were disparaging.

What's the Redskins' next step?

They will certainly appeal, though they face a choice about where they will do that. They can appeal either to the the federal circuit court in D.C. or to the federal court in the eastern district of Virginia. That second option wasn't available to the 'Skins in the previous case, and gives the Redskins some additional legal options, including an extra possible level of appeal and even the chance for a jury trial.

Photo Credit: File Photo

Woman Hires Man to Brutally Assault Ex-Husband: Police


A Wallingford woman is accused of hiring a man to brutally attack her ex-husband, but the man she hired was a police informant, according to police.

Cynthia Hannon, 59, of Wallingford, is accused of plotting a vicious attack on her former husband, then hiring the man for $25,000 to carry it out and put her ex in the hospital, according to police.

She went so far as to give the man her ex’s photo, provide details about his daily routine and make part of the payment, according to police.

After the attack, she was going to pay him the rest of the money, police said.

But the man was a police informant and Wallingford police arrested Hannon at 10 p.m. on Tuesday.

She was charged with criminal attempt at assault in the first degree and conspiracy to assault in the first degree.

Hannon was held on a court-ordered $100,000 and arraigned this morning in Meriden Superior Count.  

No information was available on the court docket indicating whether she has an attorney.

Photo Credit: Wallingford Police

Massive 2-Alarm Fire Destroys Portland Home


A home on Belle Vista Heights in Portland is decimated after a two-alarm fire tore through the house Wednesday afternoon.

"The whole thing moved very quickly," said Wayne Schmidt, who lives nearby and saw the billowing flames from his backyard. "Within the course of 10 to 15 minutes that whole upstairs was gone."

Some family members were home when the fire broke out around 2 p.m., including a teenager who was set to graduate from Portland High School tonight, according to friends at the scene.

The homeowner said everyone made it out safely, and even though their home was in ruins, they all showed up to the graduation ceremony to watch him receive his diploma.

Portland fire officials said wind carried the flames and caused the fire to intensify.

"I couldn't believe it," said neighbor Sean Healey, who caught sight of the smoke from his car down the road. "[There was] just black smoke everywhere. I was shocked coming through."

Almost everything in the home is destroyed. Only the garage remains untouched.

"The whole house is black," Shea said. "You're never going to be able to get into that house again. It's without words."

The above photo is courteesy of Maria Appell.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Mother Accused of Branding Her Kids


A Southwest Florida woman is facing child abuse charges after police said she intentionally branded her two young children with a hot stick in order to know the kids were hers, according to NBC 2 in Fort Myers.

The children, aged 5 and 7, told police their mother, Kayla R. Oxenham, 23, used a lighter to burn a stick and then injured their arms by touching the hot stick to them, NBC 2 reported.

The kids said Oxenham told them she burned them so they could have ice cream and to identify both kids as hers.

NBC 2 reported medical exams on the kids showed at least one had injuries indicative of a burning.

Oxenham also faces allegations she grabbed her child by the hair and hit the child. According to police, Oxenham declined to talk with law enforcement about the alleged burns.

Oxenham has bonded out of jail, according to NBC 2.

Photo Credit: Charlotte County Sheriff's Office

Mother Fights Hospital for Son


A Kansas City mother is fighting to get custody of her son back after she says a Chicago hospital accused her of medical child abuse.

Michelle Rider took her 16-year-old son, Isaiah, to Lurie Children's hospital after doctors in her hometown, Texas and Boston were unable to effectively treat his neurofibromatosis -- a painful condition that causes tumors to grow on his nerves.

When Isaiah's pain continued at Lurie, his mother sought to have him transferred to another hospital.

But Lurie officials -- citing Michelle Rider's requests for stronger medications -- told a Cook County Court that it was  best that Isaiah be taken into temporary protective custody. They said the boy's symptoms appeared to improve when his mother was not around.

"You just feel like ... I think I was in shock. It was like a nightmare that wasn't happening. How can they take my son? I don't understand how someone can do this. It's been heartbreaking," Rider said.

"They took extreme measures to keep Isaiah there, they removed me from the situation, they took my parental rights away."

Rider's aunt, Carol Hart, and supporters from her Kansas City church drove to Chicago Wednesday in hopes of raising awareness about the case.

"They are trying to say it only happened in her presence, so how could it start in the operating room and continue under anesthesia and after she was kicked out and they still say she is causing the problems?" Hart said.

A hearing in the case was scheduled for Wednesday but was postponed until next week.

"We were hoping that justice would be ... that he would come home," Rider said.

Hospital officials say they cannot comment on the case because of privacy concerns.

Michelle Rider has not been charged with any wrongdoing. Her son remains in foster care.


Driver in Morgan Crash Speeding


The truck driver charged in the fatal crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that injured comedian Tracy Morgan and several others had logged over 13 hours behind the wheel and was driving 65 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Kevin Roper pleaded not guilty last week to charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto. Roper was driving a Wal-Mart truck on June 7 when he allegedly swerved to avoid slowed traffic on the turnpike and plowed into Morgan's limo.

Roper had a logged a total of 13 hours and 32 minutes on the job that day, the NTSB report said. The maximum consecutive duty period allowed for commercial drivers is 14 hours. The report also states that Roper was traveling at 65 mph for 60 seconds preceding the crash in a construction zone where the speed limit had been reduced from 55 mph to 45 mph.

A criminal complaint alleges that the 35-year-old Roper, of Jonesboro, Georgia, hadn't slept for more than 24 hours before the accident. Wal-Mart has said it believes he was in compliance with federal safety regulations.

The 45-year-old Morgan suffered a broken femur, a broken nose and several broken ribs. His friend and fellow comedian James McNair was killed, and two other passengers were seriously injured.

Morgan underwent surgery for his broken leg and his condition was upgraded earlier this week from critical to fair.


Police Make Second Arrest in Simsbury Shooting


Simsbury Police have arrested a second 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.

Jevon Collins, 28, of Hartford, was arrested on Wednesday.

Police found the shooting victim in the parking lot in front of 47, 49 and 53 Wolcott Woods after receiving several 911 calls, including one from the victim himself.

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

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

Collins has been charged with accessory to assault in the first degree, conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree and threatening in the first degree.

Bond was set at $250,000 and Collins was arraigned in Enfield Superior Court on Thursday.

Last week, police arrested Alexander Rivera, 20, of Hartford. He 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.

Rivera is being held on $500,000 bond and is due in court on June 24, according to online court records. It is not clear if he has an attorney.


Photo Credit: Simsbury Police

Crews Respond to Pfizer


Emergency crews responded to Pfizer in Groton because of bulging chemical drums, according to the Groton City Fire Department, which was placed on standby.

Pfizer released the following statement Thursday afternoon:

"As a cautionary measure, we safely evacuated a building at our Groton facility after receiving a report that two containers located inside the building appeared to have built-up pressure. Our on-site fire department worked with the local fire department to safely vent and dispose of the containers and there were no injuries or property damage reported."

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

2014 Travelers Championship Underway in Cromwell


Brendan Steele used an eagle at the 1st hole to launch his round of 62 in the first round of the 2014 Travelers Championship in Cromwell on Thursday.  His 8-under par opening round was one better than Bud Cauley and Ryan Moore, who both shot 7-under.

Steele started his round in the rain early Thursday, something he said normally doesn't help his game.

"I'm normally not a very good rain player, but I holed my second shot on the first hole, so I guess that gives me a little better feeling in the rain," Steele said after his round.

Bubba Watson, the 2010 Travelers Championship winner, drew huge crowds for his morning round. Watson finished 3-under par after shooting a 67 on Thursday.

The sun finally broke through in the afternoon, making conditions near-ideal for the players with later tee times.

Two 50-year-olds, who now play on the Champions Tour, held their own on Day One.  Jeff Maggert and Joe Durant both shot 6-under par rounds of 64 to jump to the first page of the leaderboard.

Chad Campbell also shot a 64, one better than a host of players at 5-under, including 2013 Travelers Championship winner Ken Duke, Sergio Garcia, K.J. Choi and Brandt Snedeker.


The golf wasn't the only focus on Thursday. Arianna Huffington spoke to a group of women gathered for networking breakfast as part of the Travelers Championship Women's Day events. She offered advice from her new book, "Thrive."

Celebrity chef Ming Tsai also spoke to the crowd and offered some tips on cooking and healthy eating.

It is the sixth year Travelers Championship has hosted a Women's Day at the tournament.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Man Stabbed in Milford Also Facing Charges


Police have arrested the alleged victim of a stabbing in Milford earlier this month and charged him with breach of peace.

The man accused of stabbing him, 21-year-old Gustave Meyers, was arrested June 3 and charged with first-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace.

Two weeks later, on June 18, officers arrested 49-year-old Michael Meahan, of Wiley Avenue in Milford. Police said Meahan and Meyers were involved in a dispute during which Meahan was struck by Meyers’ knife.

Meahan’s injuries were non-life threatening but he needed surgery after the incident, police said.

During a 911 call, Meyers reportedly told the dispatcher that he stabbed Meahan in self-defense. Witnesses said during Meyers' court appearance that Meahan stormed the house and started hitting Meyers and another friend.

Two other people were also wounded in the fight: a 20-year-old woman whose hand was cut and a 21-year-old man who received other minor injuries, according to police.

A protective order has been issued to keep Meyers from threatening the victims, police said.

Meahan will appear in court July 15.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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