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Police Investigate Vandalism Spree in Vernon


Vernon residents are repainting their mailboxes, cleaning their cars and, in one case, residing a garage, after what police call a rash of vandalism on Sunday.

"It was all spray painting on houses and vehicles and street signs," Lt. John Kelley, the patrol commander, said. "We had 13 reported incidents."

The man who resided his garage said he was removing paint when the siding started to come with it.  He felt compelled to erase the vandalism "’Cause of the words that were on there," he said.
A scrawl still on a house said "holy" with something obscene beneath it. 

A white mailbox across Donnel Road still had black spray paint on it, as did a stop sign and a ‘No Outlet” sign.

"We're just asking for anyone that may have seen anything to give us a call," Lt. Kelley said.  "Or if anybody has any damage to give us a call so we can document that.

He said the department is following up on some leads, but any information would be helpful.

You can reach Vernon Police at 860-872-9126.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

9 Computers Stolen From New Haven School


Police are investigating after eight laptops and one desktop computer were stolen from the Conte-West Hills Magnet School in New Haven over the Fourth of July weekend, according to the Wooster Square Block Watch.

According to police, suspects forced their way into the building on Chapel Street and then broke into a classroom, where they took nine computers, all Macs.

Police responded to the scene. The Wooster Square Block Watch said the school does not have video surveillance or an alarm system.

Anyone with information about the burglary should contact New Haven police.

Atlantic City's Trump Plaza Warns Staff of Plans to Close


Trump Plaza has officially notified its 900 employees that the Atlantic City casino is headed for closure.

The 908-room hotel and gambling hall at Mississippi Avenue and The Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey. distributed state-mandated WARN notices to staff early Monday. In the notice, management said the casino and hotel would most likely cease operations between Sept. 16 and Sept. 30.

NBC10.com first reported on Friday that the announcement was imminent.

In a statement, the casino's parent company Trump Entertainment Resorts said it has been "reviewing alternatives for the property" and while a final decision has not yet been made they expect to shut down operations.

Among Atlantic City's 11 casinos, Trump Plaza has pulled in the lowest amount of gambling revenue. Through the end of May, it made only $21.9 million. Comparatively, its sister property Trump Taj Mahal made $89.4 million. Borgata pulled in the most revenue with nearly $255 million during the same period.

Trump Plaza opened in 1984 and was one of three casinos owned by real estate mogul Donald Trump. He later reduced the size of his holdings two two casinos, selling the Trump Marina in 2011.

Should the casino close, it will be the third Atlantic City gambling hall to shut down this year. The Atlantic Club Casino shut down in January and Showboat is set to close in August.

Revel, the city's newest casino, is also entering bankruptcy protection for a second time in as many years. Its management warned a judge that they might have to shut down operations as well if a buyer is not found.

Trump Plaza's closure coupled with others could drop the number of gambling halls to nine and leave just one bearing Donald Trump's name -- the Trump Taj Mahal.

Photo Credit: Getty

Homeowner Moves On After Devastating Fire


A Middlebury mansion burned to the ground nearly two weeks ago as the owner stood by helplessly and watched. Now, he says he’s determined to put the tragedy behind him and move on.

Businessman Larry Janesky, who owns Basement Systems in Seymour and is also a motivational speaker, says he will rebuild on the same lot where he watched his more than 10,000-square-foot mansion burn.

“It’s been a tough week but we’re moving forward,” said Janesky.

Janesky was not at home on July 3 when the fire broke out, but he quickly returned to the scene to watch in frustration as the flames burned for about eight hours.

“My son was here and he smelled smoke and he did his best, got the fire department out here as quickly as possible but they just... obviously what started small became a total loss,” said Janesky.

Firefighters rushed to the scene and initially thought they had knocked down the fire, which started in the attic above the pool, but soon realized the flames had spread behind the walls.

“We pulled everybody out. We knew that we had a well involved fire. We had limited water cause it’s in a non-hydrant area and we made a defensive attack on it,” said Chief Paul Perrotti of the Middlebury Fire Department.

He says about 100 firefighters responded from Middlebury and other nearby towns. They hauled upwards of 500,000 gallons of water to the property from hydrants more than a mile away, he said.

Janesky and his family members lost nearly everything. He says he’s determined not to dwell on that, but is instead focused on moving on.

“Every day you get up and you have a choice to make. You can either carry anger and bitterness and resentment and all this stuff with you or you can turn toward the sun and move forward and that's what we're doing,” said Janesky.

The town’s fire marshal says the fire started by the spontaneous combustion of foam insulation that contractors had just applied.

The investigation into the incident continues.

Photo Credit: Viewer Photo

Man's Ear Bitten During Brawl at Bravo Premiere Party


A premiere party for a new Bravo show at  Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard on Sunday escalated into a brawl between some cast members, according to a publicist representing the stars.

State police responded to an altercation at the premiere party that evening promoting "Game of Crowns," a "docu-series" on the lives of pageant wives that aired Sunday night on Bravo.

A cast member bit the ear of Brian Sebastian, who is the husband of "Games of Crowns" star Vanassa Sebastian, according to Elissa Buchter, a publicist from Schmooze Public Relations representing Vanassa. Brian Sebastian was transported to the hospital for treatment and needed stitches, she confirmed.

Sebastian is member of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which owns Foxwoods, according to the Norwich Bulletin.

"The incident at the Game of Crowns premier was a personal matter between two individuals," a Foxwoods spokesperson said in a statement. "Foxwoods security, as well as Mashantucket and State Police all responded, and the situation was quickly diffused."

NBC Connecticut went to the Sebastians' home in Ledyard on Monday, but there was no answer.

State Police said that no arrests have been made and that the incident is a tribal police matter.

The show follows the pageant wifes' competition on the "'Mrs.' circuit" locally and nationally seeking "beauty queen status," according to Bravo's website.

Vanassa Sebastian, one of six pageant wives featured on "Game of Crowns" and  the 2012 Mrs. Connecticut America pageant winner, was scheduled to appear on NBC Connecticut News at 11 a.m. Monday, but Buchter postponed that appearance on her behalf the day after the premiere party dispute.

Cast member Leha Guilmette and Shelley Carbone were also scheduled to attend the premiere party at Foxwoods.

Bravo is owned by NBC Universal, the parent company of NBC Connecticut.

Shooting Reported in Andover


Authorities are responding to a shooting at 110 Hutchinson Road in Andover, according to Tolland County Dispatch.

Firefighters were sent to the scene at 5:30 p.m., dispatch said. State police are also responding.

State police spokesperson Trooper Kelly Grant said the case is still under investigation, but there doesn't appear to be any criminal activity involved.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Filmmaker Probes Batkid Phenomenon


The story of the little California boy with leukemia who transformed San Francisco into Gotham City for a day is now being made into a documentary in the hopes of answering the question: Why were so many people transfixed by Batkid?

KTF documentary filmmaker Dana Nachman is the creator of "Batkid Begins," which she hopes to turn into a feature-length film by Nov. 15.

That's the one-year anniversary of when Miles Scott, now 6, realized his dreams and then some, when 16,000 volunteers stopped their normal lives to pitch in to turn him into America's favorite superhero for a day. He drove around the city in a Batmobile and received keys to the city, and thousands of actors re-created highlights of the Batman saga, complete with encounters with the Penguin, the Riddler and a damsel in distress.

Miles is now entering first grade, and his cancer is in remission.

Nachman, a New York native who lives in the Bay Area, is hoping to raise $100,000 through the fundraising site Indiegogo to pay for post-production costs to finish the film. Fundraising officially begins on Tuesday.

"I watched with the rest of the world, how Batkid took over the world," Nachman says in a YouTube video to promote her fundraising efforts. "How did this happen? Why were so many people transfixed by it?"

And so she set off with her "teeny, tiny crew," which includes NBC Bay Area producer Liza Meak, to get behind-the-scenes with Miles' family in Tulelake, Shasta County. There, the team spent a weekend with the Scott family, including Miles' parents, Nick and Natalie, who describe in the upcoming film how, when Miles was first diagnosed with leukemia, he felt a deep connection to Batman.

"One of his doctors told us that with this disease they just become like a fighter," his dad told the documentary crew. "I think he sees the good versus evil battle in superheroes and just relates to it."

Nachman's Santa Clara-based team also did extensive interviews with the people at the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area Foundation in San Francisco who put together the thousands of volunteers to create a day followed by people in 117 countries across the globe.

After all those conversations, Nachman said on Monday that the story of Batkid is also the story of those who live and work in San Francisco, which she feels is a "central character" in the film.

San Francisco is the center of technology, Nachman said, where people not only post photos to Instagram and Twitter, thus propelling the Batkid story forward. But it's also physically, where many of the high-tech executives live and play. "All the right people heard about it, and the companies got on board," she said.

Plus, Nachman added, there is simply the whimsical, childlike nature of San Francisco that added a larger-than-life aura to the magical day.

"People just love dressing up in San Francisco," she said.

All proceeds from the film will benefit the Batkid Fund, which supports several charities.

Nachman and her crew will also be taking part in a panel to discuss their film at Comic-Con International in San Diego on July 27.


People who RSVP’d to volunteer via Make-A-Wish website: 16,077
Estimated size of the crowd at San Francisco City Hall on Nov. 15, 2013: approximately 20,000
Number of #SFBatkid/#Batkid tweets generated from Nov. 15-17, 2013: 545,576
Percent of all tweets coming from outside US: 13%
Number of countries where Batkid was discussed: 117
Total tweets: 555,697
Number of Instagram photos with #SFBatkid: 16,000
Number of hits per second to all Make-A-Wish websites during peak: 1,400
Number of staff in the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area office: 23 full time; 4 part time
Number of wishes granted by our chapter each year: approximately 350

Source: Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area.

Stolen Burger Statue Back at Big Steve's in Plainville


The iconic burger statue is back where it belongs at Big Steve’s Grill in Plainville.

“It’s nice having it back. Customers love it,” said Steven Andrikis, who owns the burger joint along with his wife, Robin.

Thieves swiped the giant burger last month from outside Big Steve’s on Whiting Street in Plainville.

Steven and Robin Andrikis said an anonymous tip led police to the woods off Progress Lane near Interstate 84 in Waterbury, where the statue had apparently been dumped.

Plainville police retrieved the giant burger last week and returned it to its rightful place on Thursday.

Robin Andrikis said customers are "so excited" to see it once again standing outside the restaurant.

The Andrikis couple said they know who’s responsible but decided not to file charges.

“It was just a prank,” Steven Andrikis said, explaining that they’re just glad the burger is back. “All’s well; we’re happy.”

As for the tipster – Big Steve’s returned the favor by offering him a five-burger reward, which Robin Andrikis said he happily accepted.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Teen Pilot Sets Record With Flight


A determined 19-year-old pilot put wheels down in San Diego Monday night and landed in the record books as he completed a 29,000-mile solo flight around the world – becoming the youngest person to achieve that feat.

"I guess it's good to be back," said Matt Guthmiller, a man of few words, as welcomers called for a speech.

Just over one month ago, Guthmiller took off from Gillespie Field in El Cajon, California, on his way to circumnavigate the globe.

Flying in a 1981 Beechcraft A36 Bonanza he leased, Guthmiller’s journey led him through Rome, Cairo, Abu Dhabi and other exotic locales with nothing but his thoughts to keep him company.

Now, with 14 different countries and five continents beneath his seat belt, the MIT student has fulfilled a passion he’s harbored his childhood.

Each part of the trip lasted an average of eight hours, but he wrapped up his longest leg Monday as he traveled 14.4 hours from Honolulu, Hawaii, and El Cajon. He reached Gillespie Field around 8:45 p.m.

One useful tool his family is sure to be thankful for: a flight tracker, where anyone can watch his progress online.

With this goal complete, Guthmiller should break the Guinness World Record for the youngest person to circumnavigate the world by aircraft solo. The person who formally held that record was 21-year-old Jack Wiegand, who finished his 24,000-mile trip in Fresno, Calif. last year.

But his trip had a dual purpose. Guthmiller also set out to raise money for Code.org, a nonprofit that introduces computer science in more schools, by offering ad space on his plane, clothes and website.

However his journey does not stop in San Diego. According to his website, the young pilot will be doing a bit more touring around Las Vegas and Seattle before heading back to his hometown of Abberdeen, South Dakota. 

20M-Year-Old Fossils Found in Calif


More than 500 specimens believed to be about 20 million years old have been unearthed in Fremont.

The fossils include teeth from the biggest prehistoric shark and what appears to be an entire whale skeleton. The specimens were uncovered during construction for the Calaveras Dam Replacement project.

The new dam is being built next to the existing Calaveras Dam. Officials said 20 million years ago the ocean extended inland as far as the Central Valley, which is why fossils are being discovered in the area.

The prehistoric specimens were found during construction of the new dam, which calls for 10 million cubic yards of rock, soil and dirt to be moved.

"We've found both vertebrates and invertebrates," said San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spokeswoman Betsy Rhodes.

Among the invertebrates founds are snails, scallops the size of dinner plates and barnacles, Rhodes said. Vertebrates unearthed include whale skulls and shark teeth.

Paleontologists at the Calavares Dam Replacement project have also found the teeth of an animal called the Desmostylus, a long extinct hippo-like creature.

More resources and a team of paleontologists have been called to the area to protect, extract and identify the fossils.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

Man Sues Over Day Trapped in Jail


A man who was accidentally trapped inside Cook County Jail for more than 30 hours while trying to visit his son is suing the county over the ordeal, calling it a "tragedy."

While visiting his son last Saturday evening, Farad Polk was taken to a part of the Chicago jail he'd never been to after his son was moved.

After being directed to "go down the hallway and turn to the right," Polk entered a door that had been propped open. The man thought he was entering the visiting area to see his son, but the room is reportedly where people visit the “highest classification” super-maximum security prisoners and is not used on the weekends.

"I'm sitting there waiting for five minutes and say, 'This ain't right,'" Polk said at a news conference Monday, "so as I turned around to buzz out, there was nothing to buzz out. It's just a room."

Polk said he was trapped in the 8-by-8 box for 32 hours. He had to use the bathroom on the floor and sleep on concrete with no food and water, he said.

"I think it is a tragedy," he said. "I did as I was told, so I don't know how it could happen."

Polk said he thought he would die in there and is suing for emotional trauma. He said he keeps reliving the traumatic event and hasn't been able to visit his son since the incident.

Cook County Jail spokesperson Cara Smith last week called the incident “the perfect storm” and said “a set of bizarre circumstances” allowed it to take place.

Polk was rescued after he broke a sprinkler head and was found by firefighters with the Chicago Fire Department.

He said he was handcuffed and questioned before being released. Polk needed stitches on one of his thumbs from breaking the sprinkler and was treated at Rush University Medical Center.

Polk's attorney, Cannon Lambert, told reporters this never should have happened and wants to make sure it never happens again.

"This could still happen to someone else," Lambert said, "even now, and that can't be."

Polk is seeking compensation but wouldn't say how much.

Smith said last week an incident like this has never happened before, and he hopes it never happens again.

“I met him at the hospital, and he was exceptionally gracious and grateful to be out of the room,” Smith said. “We expressed how sorry we were and gave him a ride back to his vehicle [at the jail].”

Crews Tackle Avon Apartment Fire


Dozens of apartments and condos at 47 Avonwood Road in Avon filled with smoke Monday afternoon after a fire broke out in the basement of an condo building, according to the fire department.

The fire alarm sounded just after 2 p.m. Monday at Avon Place Condominiums, and residents called 911 to report smoke in the building, according to Asst. Chief Tom Kline of the Avon Fire Department.

Crews from Simsbury, Canton, Burlington and Lost Acres, Massachusetts provided mutual aid, according to dispatch. Avon police, the Farmington Fire Department and Granby's Lost Acres Fire Department also responded to the scene.

A second task force was called in for additional manpower.

The fire was under control by about 3 p.m. Most residents were able to get themselves out safely when the alarm sounded. No tenants or firefighters were injured, Kline said.

Dozens of units were affected by smoke as it spread through all three stories and the basement, where the flames broke out, according to Kline.

Medical providers were called to the scene as a precaution, and the gas and electric companies are also standing by in case utilities need to be shut off, Kline said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Goodwill Given 3-Carat Diamond Ring


A diamond ring isn't a gift that's usually given to a stranger, but Goodwill staff were thrilled when they received one.

Employees at an Annandale, Virginia, branch of the thrift store chain were amazed when a three-carat diamond ring was anonymously donated to them in a Ziploc bag with some other jewelry.

"I was just like 'wow'," said Sari Schray, the assistant retail manager who processed the generous donation. "It's unbelievable that something of that value would come through that location."

The ring is being sold on Goodwill's online auction site, ShopGoodwill.com. It went up with a starting bid of $1,499 and over the course of a bidding war between 15 interested people (so far) that price has soared to $8,000. Bidding closes Tuesday at 8:26 a.m.

The ring was brought to the donation center in early June, but no one knows who dropped it off. The rest of the jewelry in the bag was worth about $1,500. But Schray suspected the ring was something special.

"I thought it was really pretty and plain," she said. "I checked for markings on the inside and thought 'Hey, this might be worth something'."

Schray sent the ring to Goodwill's D.C. headquarters to have it appraised. The verdict: A 3.07-carat diamond with a light brown hue, which rests in a 14K yellow gold setting.

Although the ring's original owner remains a mystery, precious items have found their way into a Goodwill donation by accident in the past. 

In June, the Panama City News Herald reported that a northern Florida man’s girlfriend accidentally donated a $6,000 engagement ring that he had hidden in a pair of pants. Closer to home, a northern Virginia woman donated an old desk to Goodwill and was amazed when employees discovered a cigar box in the desk containing almost $80,000 in bonds.

But whether the ring was intentionally donated or slipped off an unlucky finger, the money that it will generate should be a huge boon for Goodwill. Proceeds from donated merchandise are used to help vulnerable people gain job skills, access family services and find employment.

"Whoever it was that donated the ring, we're just so grateful," Schray said. "The money will really, really help people in our community."

Photo Credit: News4/ShopGoodwill.com

Judge Shutters Bridgeport Social Club


A Bridgeport social club “widely known for violent incidents and wreaking havoc on the community” has been ordered to shut its doors and its owners to pay $2,000 apiece.

According to the mayor’s office, Judge Barbara Bellis ordered the closure of L&A Billiards at 1506 Stratford Avenue on Monday. The club, located in the city’s East End, has been a hotbed of violence in the city.

“The social club is permanently closed, and the premises that contained the social club will remain vacant,” the order reads. “As stated in more detail on the record, no one is permitted in the backyard fenced area of the premises located at 1506-1514 Stratford Avenue, except for maintenance or trash drop off.”

The order requires the property owners to remove furniture from the area immediately and prohibits residents from bringing alcohol into common areas. Police must receive the names of all tenants within the next 24 hours and be notified of any apartment vacancies.

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch issued the following statement in response to Monday’s court order:

“Today’s decision is a victory for kids and families in the East End and across our city. For too long, L&A Billiards wreaked havoc on a Bridgeport neighborhood. It served as a place where abusive and violent behavior were a regular occurrence. It operated through loopholes under state law that weren’t in the best interest of kids and families on the East End. I’m thankful for the hard work of our police department and city attorney’s office, and the tireless efforts of community leaders including Councilwoman Eneida Martinez-Walker. I’m also thankful for the decision by Judge Bellis today. The closing of L&A Billiards serves as another step toward Bridgeport becoming an even safer and more secure place to live, work, and raise a family.”

It comes the day before Gov. Dannel Malloy will meet with city officials to brainstorm ways to reduce violence in Bridgeport. Malloy and Finch, along with Asst. Chief James Nardozzi of the Bridgeport Police Department, will hold a news conference with community members at noon Tuesday.

According to the Connecticut Post, Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane filed a lawsuit to shut down the social club in March. The Post reports that three people were shot in the social club, one fatally, in March of 2011.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Vetta

Parking Passes Could be Permanent Fixture in Hartford


For the past couple years, pilot programs have restricted parking on several Hartford streets to vehicles with resident passes, and the Hartford Parking Authority could make it a permanent change.

On Seymour Street, a block away from Hartford Hospital, employees and visitors used parallel park on the road so residents had nowhere to put their vehicles, until signs went up saying "No Parking Except With Resident Pass."

Kyle Krupa, a Hartford firefighter, presented the Parking Authority with 50 signatures from residents of Charter Oak Place, who he says are willing to pay $25 per year for a residential parking permit.

"I just want to park, that's all," Krupa said, describing to officials what it's like when he finishes an overnight shift and people who work downtown have left their cars on his street. "I come home from work, drive around in the morning, I have to go get breakfast. It's just ridiculous."

The Parking Authority officials at a public hearing were receptive to Krupa's petitions. They plan to engage the Sheldon-Charter Oak NRZ, one of 17 Neighborhood Revitalization Zones in Hartford.

"So it's through that, each organization, we sit down with them, address the parking issue, and within that NRZ, it's street by street, block by block, with residents concerned," said CEO Eric Booth. "So if the residents don't want it, we don't do it."

Columbia Street, off Capitol Avenue and thousands of state government workers' cubicles, developed a residential placard program of its own ten years ago.

Other streets with pilot programs set to become permanent include Rosemont Street, where people going to clubs on North Main Street take up the street parking, and several blocks on Asylum HIll.

Closure Postponed for Route 34 West Exit 2 in New Haven


Severe weather conditions have postponed the closure of exit 2 off Route 34 westbound in New Haven, which was scheduled to shut down tonight as part of the city's Downtown Crossing project.

The closure will be "rescheduled as conditions allow," according to a spokesperson for the mayor's office.

Exit 2, located between Church and College streets, was originally scheduled to close for good at midnight ahead of the permanent closure of Route 34 and redevelop the neighborhood.

More information about the Downtown Crossing project can be found online.

45-Year-Old Man Missing From Connecticut Valley Hospital


Middletown police are searching for 45-year-old Pasquale Hodge, who walked away from Connecticut Valley Hospital on Monday, and are asking for the public’s help in finding him.

Police said the facility, located on Silver Street, does not consider Hodge a danger to the public. Local residents received a reverse 911 call alerting them of Hodge’s absence, and a Silver Alert was issued Monday evening.

Hodge is described as a black man standing 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 185 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Police said he walks with a limp and was last seen wearing a green T-shirt with a Darryl Strawberry logo, jeans and blue baseball cap.

His last known residence is in Hamden, according to police.

Anyone with information about Hodge’s whereabouts is urged to call the CVH Police at 860-262-5555.

Photo Credit: Middletown Police Department

Teacher Accused of Sexually Assaulting Student


A Ledyard High School teacher who is charged with sexually assaulting a student is due in court on July 30 after his case was continued on Monday.

Police began investigating William C. Friskey, 36, of East Lyme, when the school administration contacted them about an inappropriate sexual relationship he allegedly had with a female student. 

The Ledyard High School Web site lists Friskey as a teacher of independent studies, journalism and English. Police said he began working at the school in August 2007.

School administrators contacted police June 10, according to the warrant for his arrest. Friskey was arrested June 30 and charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault. 

According to the warrant,, Friskey had a sexual relationship with a high school senior who turned 18 in June.

She was in his English class her junior year and the two began emailing back and forth after school hours. By the end of the year, "they began sharing feelings and personal secrets," according to the arrest warrant.

The student started visiting him during her lunch breaks senior year and the two would perform sexual acts on one another in his classroom, the warrant says.

She also started going to his house on Pattagansett Court in the Niantic section of East Lyme, sometimes while Friskey's son was home, according to the warrant. They went on dates, and Friskey once reportedly wrote an email to the student asking why she considered him her lover and not her boyfriend.

"On several occasions, she attempted to end the relationship because she knew it was wrong," the warrant explains. "Mr. Friskey would always pull her back in by threatening to harm himself or telling her he couldn't live without her."

According to the arrest warrant, the student broke off the relationship in May "because she wasn't happy with their situation."

School administrators learned of the relationship when the technology coordinator found a letter from Friskey to the student in the recycling bin of Friskey's school-issued laptop, the warrant says.

In the letter, Friskey allegedly apologized for the sexual nature of their relationship and mourned the loss of their friendship, according to the warrant.

"The other thing is the thought of you seeing me as your abuser or even your rapist," the warrant quotes Friskey as saying in the letter. "I can't stand that thought. I deserve to feel that pain. I hope you don't see me like that."

Friskey appeared in court Monday and is on administrative leave, according to a statement from the Ledyard Board of Education. 

“This individual is currently on administrative leave from the Board pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings. The Board shares the concern that parents and the public at large will have in receiving this news. As a school district, the Board continues to uphold high standards for our staff and anyone working with children. Staff members are in a position of significant trust and they must at all times be held responsible and accountable for adhering to established policies and the law," the statement reads. “The District is cooperating with the police investigation. As this matter involves pending internal disciplinary proceedings as well as criminal proceedings, the Board will make no further comment on this matter.” 

He was released on $75,000 bond. 

The Ledyard and East Lyme police departments worked together on the investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com and Ledyard High School Yearbook

Police Identify Jogger Struck and Killed by Dump Truck


A dump truck struck and killed a 75-year-old man while he was jogging on Mount Sanford Road in Cheshire, according to police.

Police said the dump truck hit Benjamin Feinn, of Cheshire, at the intersection of Mount Sanford Road and South Brooksvale Road around 2 p.m. Monday.

Feinn lives in the area and was running on the shoulder because there are no sidewalks on the road, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mount Sanford Road was closed for several hours, and traffic was detoured around the area. The road reopened around 6 p.m.

Authorities are investigating the crash. Police said the dump truck is privately owned and did not seem to be driving at an unsafe speed.

Police said both Feinn and the truck were traveling southbound on Mount Sanford Road, and it's possible the driver didn't see the jogger as he approached.

Feinn died instantly, according to police. The driver of the dump truck, a 54-year-old Milford resident, was not injured.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Storms Bring Flooding to Western, Central Connecticut


Heavy rain from thunderstorms brought flooding to parts of western and central Connecticut, and flash flood warnings issued for Middlesex and New Haven counties were extended until 12:30 a.m.

Flash flood watches are also in effect for parts of the state as heavy rain moves in from the west. Shortly after 10 p.m., the National Weather Service canceled a flash flood warning for Fairfield County.

More than 2 inches of rain has already fallen in southern Fairfield County and more is on the way, according to Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan.

Widespread flooding has also been reported in Westport, particularly around Bridge Street and Compo Road, Imperial Avenue and Main and Canal streets, where flooding is common, according to police.

Stamford police said Elm Street and South State Street are flooded in the city. Firefighters said at least one car has been stranded in high waters near the Interstate 95 overpass on Elm Street. They're cautioning drivers to avoid East Main Street, which is also prone to flooding.

The New Haven Fire Department tweeted that a car is stuck in flood waters at River and Poplar streets, and that the department has received multiple calls for flooded buildings and streets.

I-95 is flooded near exit 45 in New Haven, and flood waters damaged Union Avenue right outside the train station.

The Fairfield Police Department also took to Twitter to report downed wires on Round Hill Road, which is closed between Papermill and Barlow roads after storms swept through.

Severe thunderstorm watches for southwestern Connecticut expired at 8 p.m. but strong storms are expected to return again tomorow, and a First Alert Weather Day has been declared for Tuesday.

Periods of very heavy rain are possible tonight, and thunderstorms will likely bring vivid and dangerous lightning, torrential rain and damaging winds to the state Tuesday and possibly Wednesday.

Parts of the state could receive up to 5 inches of rain by Wednesday.

Flash flood watches are in effect for Hartford, New Haven, New London, Middlesex, Litchfield and Fairfield counties until late Tuesday night.

Watches issued for Tolland and Windham counties will last through Wednesday afternoon.

We'll see some relief from the storms when drier arrives by Wednesday night.
If there is severe weather where you are, send photos to shareit@nbcconnecticut.com.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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