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Entrepreneur Barbie Makes Her Debut


From nurse to pilot to NASCAR driver to computer engineer, Barbie has had a lot of different careers. Now she’s adding entrepreneur to the list of titles under her exceptionally small plastic belt.

Equipped with a smartphone, briefcase, tablet and even LinkedIn, Entrepreneur Barbie is now being sold.

The doll’s description explains that she has partnered with “a diverse group of female entrepreneurs,” including the founders of the Girls Who Code, Rent the Runway, One Kings Lane, Plum Alley, Genuine Insights, Sugarfina and TheTomKat Studio.

Adding to the innovation element of the plastic doll, who dons a hot pink dress, “elegant hair” and a glam necklace, Entrepreneur Barbie even hosts Twitter chats alongside her established entrepreneur partners and has her own hashtags like #BarbieChat and #unapologetic.

The entrepreneurs offered tips and advice to young girls with a Twitter discussion Wednesday to help reinforce the doll’s slogan, “If you can dream it, you can be it.”

“This year alone, female entrepreneurs have graced the cover of TIME's Most Influential People issue and lead 1-in-5 start-ups,” toy maker Mattel said in a statement. “Alongside Barbie, female entrepreneurs are changing the world, surpassing their goal and showing girls they can be both capable and captivating.”

More companies are starting to take note of female entrepreneurs. In Chicago, 1871 is set to launch a new facility designed to foster growth and opportunity for women-owned tech startups in the city.

But Entrepreneur Barbie isn’t without criticism. Some have questioned why she has no real career focus, and others claim she is categorized an “entrepreneur” thanks to her handy electronic devices and “dressed for success” attire.

Others have also rasied questions about her hashtag, #unapologetic, wondering what a female entrepreneur would need to be sorry for.

It wouldn’t be the first time the doll has been at the center of a controversy over her 55 years in the mannequin “business.”

Most recently, Mattel received criticism after the doll appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit Issue.

In the issue Barbie wears an updated version of her black-and-white bathing suit she sported when first introduced in 1959.

Photo Credit: Business Wire

Man Charged in Shooting of 57-Year-Old Woman


Police have arrested the man accused of shooting a 57-year-old woman who was driving on Dixwell Avenue in New Haven late last month, and say he’s also connected to a number of other shootings in the city.

Terrance Brown, 20, has been charged with first-degree assault, unlawful discharge of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit and first-degree reckless endangerment in connection with the shooting.

He was also arrested June 3 after reportedly firing at officers outside the Presidential Gardens housing complex on Dixwell Avenue, where he lives.

Police said they had just obtained a search-and-seizure warrant for illegal guns at Brown’s apartment when investigators identified him as the suspect in the shooting of Celia Mitchell the night of May 31.

Mitchell was struck by bullet while she was riding in the passenger seat of her daughter’s car, police said. Her daughter drove from the scene and stopped at Munson and County streets.

Police said Mitchell was struck once in the shoulder and was also wounded in the cheek. She was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police Department

More Problems in Shuttered Stadium


The deep cracks that forced Allen school officials to shutter Eagle Stadium were likely caused by structural problems with the nearly $60 million stadium's press box, scoreboard and more, a new report by engineering experts has found.

The report Nelson Forensics presented to the school board detailed numerous shortcomings in the 2-year-old stadium's structural design that extended beyond significant cracking, officials with the Allen Independent School District said Thursday.

They include "inadequate concrete columns that support the press box" and "insufficient steel framing of the press box," the report said. Also, connections at the base of the main scoreboard were not strong enough, and a retaining wall had inadequate steel reinforcement, it found.

Allen ISD has authorized its consulting engineers to begin working on a plan to repair Eagle Stadium starting in late July. The district hopes to have the stadium back in operation in time for graduation in June 2015.

"This district did everything it should have done with regards to this stadium. This is not a black eye – I've said that from the beginning – for Allen ISD, nor a black eye for the City of Allen," Superintendent of Schools Lance Hindt said Thursday.

The stadium was designed by PBK Architects Inc. and built by Pogue Construction. Hindt said the district will insist that PBK and Pogue pay for the repairs.

"We have an issue with an architect and a contractor. I'm not going to speculate who's more responsible than the other – they can work that out amongst the two of them – but they've accepted that responsibility," said Hindt.

Pogue Construction company's Ben Pogue also spoke to the media on Thursday.

He said the engineering firm's findings were similar to what Pogue's own assessment team found.

"We knew there were other issues and concerns around the stadium," Pogue said. Taxpayers will not be out a dime for this, and I want to be very clear. This is not their problem and it will not be their burden."

The 2-year-old stadium, the most expensive high school stadium in the country, was shut down earlier this year amid concerns over the structural integrity due to "extensive cracking."

Allen ISD released the following to the media before the news conference Thursday:

Repair Schedule for Allen Eagle Stadium Taking Shape
Final engineering report reveals additional structural deficiencies

Allen ISD has authorized its consulting engineers to begin working on a plan to repair Eagle Stadium with a goal that it can be re-open in time for graduation next year, Superintendent of Schools Lance Hindt announced today.

The announcement comes after engineers provided a detailed presentation to school board members on Monday night that reported additional shortcomings in the structural design of the stadium that extended beyond significant cracking on the concourse level. Monday's meeting was in closed session as the board met with its lawyer to discuss the legal implications of the report.

Work crews could begin repairs in late July, Hindt said, starting with some the smaller design defects.

As the full scope of the project emerges, we are not able to develop a repair plan that will address the design flaws and have the stadium back in operation by next June," Hindt said.

Nelson Forensics, the engineering firm the district hired last year to investigate cracking on the concourse of the 18,000-seat stadium that opened in 2012, completed its analysis of the entire stadium and found structural design shortcomings in seven major areas: retaining walls, concourse framing, press box support columns, press box structure, single-story structures, main scoreboard and durability of the structure.

The engineers found no problems in the concrete seating, the concrete pier foundations that support the above-ground structure, and on the small scoreboard on the north side.

The stadium was designed by PBK Architects Inc. and built by Pogue Construction.

"These are primarily engineering failures," said Ryan T. Chancey, a structural engineer and executive director of operations at Nelson Forensics. "While the concourse is the largest and most serious area, we did find failures in the structural design throughout the stadium."

The deficiencies may not be visible, but their design does not meet building codes, particularly in high winds for the press box and scoreboard, and they must be fixed, Chancey said. Examples of the structural deficiencies uncovered beyond the concourse are:

  • inadequate concrete columns that support the press box;
  • insufficient steel framing of the press box;
  • connections at the base of the main scoreboard are not strong enough;
  • a retaining wall does not have adequate steel reinforcement.

Hindt said the district will insist that PBK and Pogue pay for the repairs. Both firms have said they will stand behind their work, but no agreement has yet been reached over how much each company should pay, Hindt said.

The cost of repairs is still being developed by Nelson and a second firm, Datum Engineering, which is developing the repair and strengthening plan. The district and its consulting engineers are in regular discussion with engineers hired by both PBK and Pogue.

The repair work will be broken into segments so construction can begin as the design for each segment is completed.

The stadium has been closed since Feb. 27 after an initial structural analysis revealed design and construction deficiencies that were causing cracking on the concourse. The district announced last month the stadium would remain closed until repairs are completed and relocated home football games to neighboring Plano.

School district officials noticed the cracking near the time the stadium opened in September 2012, but were assured it was normal as concrete shrinks when it dries. When the cracks became more pervasive and grew in width, the district hired Nelson Forensics to investigate.

More: Nelson Forensics - Allen Eagle Stadium Presentation, Allen ISD Stadium Information

NBC 5's Elvira Sakmari, Holley Ford and Catherine Ross contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Chopper 5

Elderly Woman Critically Injured in Crash Near School


An 83-year-old woman is in critical condition after being struck by a car in front of Huntington Elementary School in Norwich this morning, according to Norwich Police.

Police have not yet released the woman’s name, but said she is not a teacher at the school nor is she affiliated with it.

The school is located at 80 West Town Street and the woman was struck just before 9:30 a.m.

West Town Street in the area of the Huntington School was closed, but has since reopened. 

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officers Thomas Lazzaro or Andre Rosedale at 860-886-5561 ext. 6.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Nude Photos of Madison Students Shared on Smartphone App


At Daniel Hand High School in Madison, a new smartphone app called “Streetchat" is causing concern among some parents and administrators.

“There were allegations that there were images of students that were shared back and forth between other students, but nothing was confirmed,” said Madison School Superintendent Thomas Scarice.

The images are allegedly nude photos of female students. The posts are supposed to be anonymous, but school officials say there are some names associated with the photos. The school district has already notified the parents of those students.

“We feel obligated to inform parents that if your child's name is being used in this type of way, we have an obligation to inform every mother and father and guardian to protect their child,” said Scarice.

On the "Streetchat" app site, it says the app can only be downloaded by people ages 17 and older, and it comes with warnings about profanity and mature and suggestive themes.

However, officials don't think the students recognize how dangerous it can be.

“I think kids don't really understand the repercussions of where this can go," said Madison Police Officer Joseph Race. "Once things get out into the World Wide Web, they can almost go anywhere. And with this Streetchat app, you're never really going to know who you're talking to.”

School officials are also having a hard time blocking the app and others like it.

“Right now, we're faced with the challenge that these apps come out on a regular basis, almost weekly, and to try to stay out in front of them is a real challenge,” said Scarice.

Parents agree.

“It's really frightening to parents because they can say whatever they want about each other and not be held responsible,” said Mia Corvino, who has a daughter at Daniel Hand High School.

School officials are continuously educating parents and children about the dangers of misusing apps and the Internet. This is not a problem isolated to Madison. It's popping up in other towns across the United States.

Pedestrian Critically Injured in Bridgeport Crash


A 47-year-old Bridgeport resident suffered life-threatening injuries after being pinned under a car that veered off the roadway and struck a building Thursday afternoon.

Police said a Nissan minivan and Ford pick-up truck collided at the intersection of Barnum Avenue and Elizabeth Street around 3:15 p.m., causing the Nissan to drive onto a sidewalk and into a building.

According to police, the pedestrian became pinned underneath the van and firefighters helped lift the car off him.

The pedestrian, who has not been identified, is in critical condition.

Authorities are investigating the crash.

No charges have been filed.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Crews Resond to Watertown House Fire


Emergency responders are at the scene of a house fire on French Mountain Road in Watertown.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Matthew Longo

3 Killed in Bozrah Crash


A teen and two men have died after crashing into hit a tree on Route 82 near Wawecus Hill Road in Bozrah, close to the Norwich line, according to state police.

The fatal collision happened just after 1 a.m. on Thursday. The victims have been identified as Kenneth Barki, 23, of Taftville, Jesse Robinson, 22, of Uncasville, and Terence Garland, 19, of Norwich.

The car, a 1995 Mitsubishi, was crushed and two people were ejected from it after the driver lost control while traveling eastbound and struck trees, according to police.

All three victims were unconscious when emergency crews responded and were pronounced dead at the scene.

"Whenever there's a loss of life in a car crash, it's terrible, but to have three individuals lose their lives in a single vehicle... it just adds to the tragedy," said state police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance.

Route 82, also known as Salem Turnpike, was closed from Wawecus Hill to Teddy Lane for several hours as troopers investigated.

State police are asking anyone with information about the crash to call State Police Trooper McGregor at 860-465-5400 ext. 4092.

Residents said this is a dangerous stretch of road and said they would like to see more patrols or speed bumps.

Keith Lafaille lives just across the street and rushed over to the scene after hearing the impact.

"One of the Norwich PD guys said he's been doing it for 20 years and he's never seen an acicdent this bad," Lafaille said.

In May 2012, Nathan Williams, 36, of Norwich, was killed when a car hit a utility pole in the same location and another person was hospitalized.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

2 Charged in Overdose Death of New Milford Woman


Two accused heroin dealers could spend the rest of their lives in prison after three of their alleged customers died of overdoses, including a 35-year-old New Milford woman.

Laura Brown was found dead on her bathroom floor Feb. 1 after shooting a brand of heroin known as “Breaking Bad,” according to a complaint filed by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The men held responsible for selling her the drug, Dennis Sica, 36, and John Rohlman, 25, of Duchess County, N.Y., are charged with distributing the heroin used in the fatal overdose.

The arrests stem from an investigation launched after the first of the three deaths in Dec. 2013.

Brown is one of three people who have died after reportedly purchasing “Breaking Bad” heroin from Sica and Rohlman, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Sica and Rohlman were due in court Thursday.

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Women's Soccer Team Comes to Connecticut


Welcome back to the U.S. women's national soccer team, which came home to Connecticut on Thursday and will take on France in a friendly summer spar at Rentschler Field.

It's one of the first times the teams have met since the 2012 Olympics.

Though the United States holds an impressive 13-0-1 all-time record against France, the country is regarded as home to some of the most talented players in the world.

The United States women have played eight previous matches in Connecticut. The largest crowd was recorded in October when the US tied Germany 2-2.

Tonight, members of Glastonbury’s Hartwell Club team escorted the soccer stars onto the field. Kick off was set for 7:30.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Burglar Targeting Homes in West Hartford


West Hartford police are stepping up patrols after someone broke into two West Hartford homes and tried to break into five others overnight Wednesday.

Police said the burglar struck between 11:45 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. Thursday, targeting an eight-block radius that included homes on North Quaker Lane, Farnham Road, Robin Road and Vanderbilt Road, police said.

He entered the homes – or tried to enter – by looking for unlocked windows and pushing up screens, police said. Police said residents were home at the time.

Cash and a laptop were stolen.

A suspect description wasn't available, but police said the man was wearing dark clothing and used a bicycle to get away. He did not confront any residents of the homes.

Police are urging residents to keep all ground-floor doors and windows locked, ensure that all exterior lights are working and cut back bushes around their homes.

Similar burglaries were reported in Bristol earlier this week. Police said intruders sliced window screens and entered while the residents were sleeping.

If you see anything suspicious, call police immediately. Extra patrols, both in marked and unmarked vehicles, will be checking the area.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

More Questions About Rock Cats Relocation


Rock Cat relocation questions are being fielded once again.

Today, Hartford City Council President Shawn Wooden expressed concerns about where funding for a new $60 million stadium will come from.

“The proposed stadium project should be funded by multiple revenue streams,” said Wooden. “It is unfair to taxpayers of a municipality to pay 100 percent of the cost.”

Wooden is not the only one looking for answers. The Metro Hartford Alliance is now working to piece together the bigger economic picture.

“We want to understand what this means to the city financially, from an entertainment standpoint and what it means for residents,” said president and CEO Oz Griebel.

Both topics are being discussed at tonight’s Hartford 2000 meeting. Hartford 2000 is the coalition of the city’s 13 Neighborhood Revitalization Zone Committees and the City of Hartford. Another topic on the agenda is plans for a downtown supermarket that appear to be striking out.

“Our operator, our team feels like this location is no longer appropriate for the project,” said Rex Fowler, executive director of the Hartford Community Loan Fund.

According to Fowler, the master plan presented by the city in December outlined a residential retail space. That has since changed. The proposed supermarket site sits directly across the street from the proposed stadium.

“My neighbors they were extremely hopeful that we were going to be able to bring a new opportunity for them to access healthy and affordable food for the city,” said Fowler. “We’re not able to make good on that commitment we made to the residents, so it’s disappointing.”

In a written statement Hartford’s Director of Development Service, Tom Deller said “This is not an either-or situation. Simply because we have a ballpark does not mean we will not have a supermarket in Downtown North.”

Deller says there will be a supermarket and the city has received several inquiries since the announcement. He promises to pursue the options that provide the greatest benefits for the city.

Firefighter, Expectant Mother Diagnosed With ALS


For the people who work with them at the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company and the Madison Ambulance service, there's one way to describe Amanda and Chris Bernier.

“They're always the first ones to reach out and help anybody in the community,” said Brandon Stowe, Deputy Director of Madison Ambulance.

Now the community is coming together to help them. The couple just found out they are expecting their first child, but in the midst of all the excitement, Amanda Bernier was also diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease.

“This is a debilitating disease that robs a person of the ability to use their muscles, so in Amanda's case, she's been diagnosed with a very aggressive form, and in a matter of weeks she's gone from a very active firefighter and runner to being in a wheelchair,” said Eric Alletzhauser with the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company.

Friends say there's a chance that Amanda Bernier may not even live to see her child, but the couple is focused on keeping the baby healthy and helping Amanda get through each day. To do that, friends, neighbors and coworkers have been pitching in to help. They've already built a wheelchair ramp outside the couple's house and are working on renovations inside, too.

“We need financial support. We're trying to get a van for her. She can no longer drive, so we're trying to get a wheelchair-type van for her. And the medical bills are starting to come in,” said Bob Blundon with the North Madison Volunteer Fire Department.

They've started a "Go Fund Me" page for Amanda's Angels. The goal is to raise $250,000. Nearly $45,000 has already been raised.

“People have been so supportive, everybody in the whole community. But a lot of that also comes back to Chris and Amanda because they've been so supporting in everything they do in this community,” said Blundon.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Dog Left on Wolcott Dog Pound's Doorstep


This little guy was left by the front door of the Wolcott Dog Pound on Thursday morning and they are reaching out through Facebook to figure out the story of the abandoned pup.

If you know anything about the dog, call the Wolcott Dog Pound at 203-879-7620.

Photo Credit: Wolcott Dog Pound

11-Year-Old Boy Dies in ATV Accident in Roxbury


Authorities are investigating after an 11-year-old boy died in an ATV accident in Roxbury on Thursday, according to state police.

Emergency responders are on scene.

No additional information is immediately available.

Check back for updates.

West Hartford Third-Grader Gets Letter From Obama


A West Hartford third-grader is starting his summer vacation on a high note – he received a letter in the mail today from his newest fan, President Barack Obama himself.

Shaun Martin, Jr. wrote a book report on the life of the president as part of a Black History Month assignment at Saint Brigid School earlier this year. He so proud of his work, he wanted the president to see it.

“I got an A on it, so I wanted to send it to the president,” said the boy, who goes by Junior. “My parents sent it to the president and he sent me something back.”

While most of the other kids in his class chose to write about professional athletes and celebrities, Junior knew right away who he would pick. In return, Obama mailed Junior a signed photograph, a personal letter and pictures of his dogs, Bo and Sunny.

“He said always work hard and be the best you can be,” Junior explained.

Junior said he plans on keeping his new prized possessions forever and will never forget the moment he heard his story on the news.

“My dad yelled for me,” Junior said. “Then he showed me the letter and I read it, and I was so proud that I got it.”

The next day, Junior showed the letter to his classmates and teacher. Suddenly, he wasn’t the only one who was proud.

"We were absolutely surprised when Shaun came to school with a letter addressed to him from the President of the United States," said school principal Shevon Hickey, in a statement. "For Shaun to hear from the president that doing one's best at all times and hard work are two of the most important keys to success only reinforces what we teach our students each day. I'm sure this is something that Shaun and the other students will always remember."

Junior told NBC Connecticut he wants to play in the NBA when he grows up. He said the most interesting thing he learned about the president is that Obama was the only left-handed player on his basketball team.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

5 Things to Know About New House GOP Leader McCarthy


House Republicans selected a new majority leader Thursday, tapping  Rep. Kevin McCarthy to the conference's No. 2 post.

The California native replaces outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who was handed a surprising defeat by a little-known GOP challenger in Virgnia's primary election

The promotion puts the 49-year-old McCarthywho has quickly risen through the leadership ranks during his four terms in Congress, next in line to potentially succeed House Speaker John Boehner.

Here are five things you may not know about the new majority leader:

He got his (lucky) start in sandwiches.

A young McCarthy used a $5,000 lottery prize to start his own business, opening a sandwich shop called Kevin O's Deli at age 19. The shop he has descibed as "Subway before there was Subway," offered "fresh Dutch Krunch white rolls every day," and sandwiches "hot upon request," according to The Orange County Register. McCarthy says he used the profits from later selling that deli to finance his college education. The experience of building a business before hitting 21, he says, helped shape his views on limited government regulations and taxes.

He sees (some of) himself in “House of Cards.”

When Netflix’s popular political drama debuted in 2013, a few things felt a little too familiar to McCarthy, who, like the show’s fictional lead, Rep. Francis Underwood, served as majority whip. That framed whip hanging in Underwood’s office? A spitting image of the one McCarthy received as a gift from Cantor. The scene where Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, tells members “Vote your district, vote your conscience, don't surprise me"? Sounds strikingly like what McCarthy says he tells his own conference. The real-life whip believes those nods came out of a meet-and-greet he had with Spacey before the show started filming. He says the similarities between him and Underwood, a Democrat known for his duplicitous and Machiavellian ways, stop at those superficial references, though. "This one is made professionally about Washington, but it's not Washington," he said of the show during an appearance in Sacramento. "Don't believe what you see in there, but it's intriguing."

He co-starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In the California state Capitol, that is. McCarthy, first elected to represent his home district in Kern County in the state Legislature in 2002, rose to leader of the Assembly’s Republican caucus during his first term. That put him at the bargaining table with then-Gov. Schwarzenegger, who entered office via a 2003 recall election, on state budget negotiations and other major issues facing the Golden State. McCarthy left California's Capitol for the halls of Congress after the 2006 election, when he won the House seat vacated by his own political mentor and former boss, former Republican Rep. Bill Thomas.

He’s an all-star Instagrammer.

McCarthy’s filter-laden Instagram account has attracted more than 12,000 followers to date. While cameos from the likes of Beyonce, Ringo Star and cute dogs don’t hurt, the GOP congressman also uses the social platform to post behind-the-scenes photos from his political and personal life (including frequent “Throwback Thursday” pictures). His social media savvy led BuzzFeed to name him the “best Republican congressman on Instagram” in 2013.


He splits with some GOP conservatives on immigration.

McCarthy hails from one of the nation's bluest states. But the California native hasn’t strayed much from the GOP line in his own time in office, voting with his party 96 percent of the time, according to one Washington Post analysis.  Still, he's split with the more conservative factions of his caucus on at least one key issue seen as a potential factor in Cantor’s primary defeat: immigration reform. Unlike his tea party-aligned colleagues, McCarthy has expressed support for creating a path to legal status for the country’s undocumented immigrants. His campaign for majority leader drew criticism from some conservative commentators, who blasted his backing of immigration reform, Sandy relief funding and a budget compromise. Despite some differences in ideology and style, McCarthy, a skilled networker and social butterfly, has made many friends in Washington, thanks in part to his success in raising cash and building a program to train and support up-and-coming candidates.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Deadly Crash Closes East Center Street in Manchester


Police are at the scene of a fatal crash on East Center Street in Manchester, according to the Manchester police department.

East Center Street is closed at Brookfield Street while authorities investigate.

The victim has not been identified. No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Ellington Mourns Loss of Teen Killed in ATV Accident


Hundreds of mourners gathered on the Ellington High School football field and lit candles Thursday night for a 19-year-old former student who lost his life in an ATV accident earlier this week.

Police say Austin Tautkus was riding his ATV at his family farm in Suffield earlier this week when the vehicle flipped, pinning him underneath.

His father Keith was there that day.

“It’s just an unfortunate accident that happened,” Keith Tautkus said at the vigil Thursday night. “It was a disaster for him.”

Keith Tautkus added that, rather than focusing on the incredible loss he and his family must endure, he hopes the community can remember his son for the way Austin Tautkus lived to the fullest.

“[He was] a happy kid all the time,” Keith Tautkus said. “He was more concerned about others than himself. I think that’s what made him special.”

Austin Tautkus was a football star at Ellington High School. After he graduated last year, he took his talents to Western Connecticut State University, where teammates say he was a natural leader.

His loss is a blow to his college community.

“I’m still in shock,” said teammate Joe Leslie. “It doesn’t seem real.”

Friends from back home said Austin Tautkus spent time giving back to the community and helping others.

“He volunteered his time for the kids with the Little League and stuff like that,” explained neighbor Peter Sherba, who said the teen was taken “too soon… Very tragic for such a young man.”

Thursday night, residents were honoring his memory, paying tribute to a teen who touched their lives.

“This is unbelievable to see all the people here, telling stories about him,” said Keith Tautkus. To him, the support makes all the difference and has been instrumental in helping him get through the past couple days.

Keith Tautkus said his son’s organs will be donated to about 10 people in desperate need of transplants.

Photo Credit: Facebook/NBCConnecticut.com

East Haven Residents Voice Beach Parking Concerns


Cosey Beach in East Haven gets very busy this time of year. But neighbors say as visitors pour in all the extra people and their cars are making the streets unsafe.

"We need to enforce the parking down here for the residents and try to straighten out some of the problems," said Joe Santino, a member of East Haven's town council from the 2nd district. "There's safety issues where fire apparatus can't get down the road because there's cars on both sides."

Resident Michelle Lettieri described a scene where this exact situation occurred two weeks ago on Cosey Beach Avenue. "When the fire trucks came down there were obviously cars parked on both sides of the street," she said.

She says both sides of the street were full and an ambulance had nowhere to go. The ambulance was trying desperately to get to someone who was having an allergic reaction.

"Somebody is seriously going to get hurt or worse and I don't want that because it's a beautiful area," Lettieri said.

She says there are directions for non-residents on where to park. But residents say nobody follows these rules, particularly on East Haven Street.

Dozens of residents showed up at a community meeting Thursday night to voice their concerns over these issues to the police department. They also complained that non-residents take up spots that should be reserved for residents.

According to East Haven Police Chief Brent Larrabee, there will be an uptick in enforcement in the beginning of July. He says they'll do the best they can to deal with the problem he considers a big nuisance. But it’s difficult for police to determine who’s from out of town and who’s a resident.

"For them I understand. They have to live there. They have to listen to this at night. They have to experience the fact that they can't get into a parking space," Chief Larrabee added.

One proposed solution is to have non-residents pay to park, hopefully reducing the number of people parking in the neighborhoods.

"We have to find a way; a middle to make everybody happy and keep the area safe," Lettieri said.

Neighbors say they're going to bring up the idea of parking fees at a meeting with police next week.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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