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Suspect in Fatal Hit-and-Run Panicked: Attorney


Police have arrested the suspected driver in a hit-and-run that killed a pedestrian on Ella T. Grasso Boulevard near Orange Avenue in New Haven late last month.

Isaac Cintron, 22, of New Haven, turned himself in to New Haven Police Monday night and appeared in court on Wednesday.

Police said he confessed to driving the 1997 red Honda Civic DX involved in the hit-and-run that killed Frank Aceto, 49, of Wallingford, late last month. Officers had recovered the vehicle on July 2 in the backyard of 84 Frank Street in the city.

Cintron told police that he had been meaning to turn himself in for a while but was scared so he delayed doing so. He is facing felony charges.

His attorney Rick Silverstein said his client panicked and that if he had stopped, he wouldn't have been charged, because the victim's friend said the victim crossed the street during a green light.

But prosecutors said Cintron took extra steps to cover his actions.

A police officer said the car involved was found covered with a tarp, and an officer who was responding to another incident spotted it. Police said the car's VIN had also been scratched off.

Aceto was crossing the road with a friend when he was hit by a small red Honda, police said.

Police recovered the sideview mirror from the scene and used it to identify the car's color, make and model, police said.

"This is a sad case all around," said New Haven police Det. Jeff Goodwin. "Had the driver remained at the scene, things would have been much different. He would have been charged, but not with such serious crimes."

Aceto's friend who was walking with him that night, Thomas Manning, stopped for traffic but couldn't get to Aceto in time, according to police. 

"He was hit so hard and so fast," Manning told NBC Connecticut on Wednesday. "We saw a car off in the distance, just the headlights, and we thought, 'Oh, it's safe to cross.'"

Police haven't determined whether speed was a factor, but Manning said the car seemed to come out of nowhere.

"I heard an engine rev and before I knew it, the friend four feet in front of me disappeared, disappeared like a magic trick," Manning said. "[The driver] just went straight through, didn't stop, didn't pause, didn't tap his brake lights or anything until he got to the red light down there."

Police said that Aceto might be homeless and were not able to reach a family member as of Wednesday morning. His last known address was in Wallingford.

Cintron was charged with felony evading responsibility for reportedly leaving the scene of the crash, tampering with physical evidence, operating an uninsured car, driving with a suspended licence, misuse of marker plates and mutilating a vehicle identification number.

His family declined to comment on Wednesday.

Cintron is being held on $100,000 for the evading charge and an additional $2,500 for another motor vehicle charge.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police Department

Lifeguards Race to Help Victims of East Hartford Crash


Lifeguards were the first to arrive at the scene of a crash across the street from a public pool in East Hartford on Wednesday morning and help the people who were injured, according to police.

Police said a woman in her 20s was driving when she lost control of her vehicle and slammed into a parked car, causing it to spin and strike a home at 310 High Street in East Hartford.

The car came to a stop in the bedroom of a home. Fortunately, no one was there at the time of the crash.

"No one was home at the time of the accident, so no one was hurt actually inside the house," said Sgt. Mike DeMaine of the East Hartford Police Department.

The scene was across the street from the East Hartford Public Pool. Lifeguards were first at the scene and administered first aid to the victims until medical personnel arrived.

Witnesses said the car seemed to be traveling fast – too fast.

"Speed was definitely a factor," said Stuart Sevene, who saw the crash from across the street. "They had to be going over 80-100 [mph]."

When emergency crews arrived, they had to cut the driver out of the car.

"I believe they had to remove the roof of the vehicle to get her out," DeMaine said.

The driver and two passengers, who are all from East Hartford, were taken to the hospital. They are between 18 and 21 years old and are all in stable condition, according to the mayor.

"Two kids jumped out and started to run away, and one of them dropped to the ground almost fell unconscious," Sevene said.

The building inspector has been called to determine the structural integrity of the building.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

DMV in Norwich Closed for Air Conditioning Problem


The state Department of Motor Vehicles' Norwich Office closed at 1 p.m. on Wednesday because of air conditioning problems.

The DMV office is expected to re-open on Thursday.

Visit ct.gov/dmv to find an alternate location to transact DMV business.

Decaying Bodies Taken from Mortuary


The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office says the bodies of six adult females removed from a Fort Worth funeral home have been identified. Two fetal remains, possibly a boy and a girl, have not yet been identified.

Officials said all of the remains, except one, showed advanced stages of decomposition at the Johnson Family Mortuary.

The building's landlord had evicted the funeral home business' owners, and when workers checked on the building Tuesday morning, they found the unattended bodies, police said. The landlord contacted police, who then began investigating possible felony abuse of corpses.

While there have been no arrests or charges in the case, co-owner Dondre Johnson was booked Wednesday into the Tarrant County Jail on a contempt of court charge for allegedly failing to pay child support.

There is much frustration for one family after learning their relative, Victoria Vasquez, was left decomposing inside the Johnson Family Mortuary for possibly more than a month.

“Apparently, she wasn't refrigerated. She hasn't been cremated and the funeral was so unprofessional, so out of whack,” said granddaughter Elizabeth Vasquez. “I would wish this experience on my worst enemy.”

Vasquez and her family want answers and their $2,000 back.

One of the funeral home's owners met with the Vasquez family Wednesday to apologize.

“Yes, we may have dropped the ball,” Johnson Family Mortuary owner Rachel Johnson told them. “But we have not neglected members of your family. We have not neglected anybody at Johnson Family Mortuary.”

The landlord of the building let NBC 5's Johnny Archer inside Johnson Family Mortuary on Wednesday morning. Archer said the first thing he noticed was a foul odor that was so bracing, he and his photojournalist had to wear masks.

One of the landlord's employees told NBC 5 an infant's body was found in a plastic container, and several bodies were on stretchers or in caskets, none of them refrigerated.

State regulations require refrigeration for bodies kept longer than 24 hours. Police said the facility did not have any refrigerated rooms, but the building did have working electricity.

The Johnson Family Mortuary was started by twin brother Derrick and Dondre Johnson.

Dondre Johnson maintains he did nothing wrong. "Business as usual, until our landlord came today and said he wanted to put us out," he said on Tuesday.

But the landlord tells NBC 5 the Johnson Family Mortuary only paid rent once since March and that he initiated an eviction on July 1.

Court records show Dondre and Derrick Johnson lost a lawsuit filed in 2010 for not paying $159,730 in rent at another funeral home in south Fort Worth.

In addition, NBC 5 has learned that the funeral home has outstanding complaints with the state's regulator and its license is on a "do not renew" status.

Among the reasons is the fact that the mortuary does not have a funeral director on staff. Smith said the former licensed funeral director left a month ago, and the funeral home should not have been doing business for the past month.

NBC 5 has learned the funeral home has seven total complaints against them from the Texas Funeral Service Commission.

Kyle Smith, the staff attorney for the Texas Funeral Commission, said neither brother is licensed as a funeral director or embalmer and that Johnson Family Mortuary's license is set to expire July 31.

The Johnson Family Mortuary license is held by Rachel Johnson, Dondre Johnson's wife, according to the Texas Funeral Commission.

The Texas Funeral Commission said the twins could not get a license because the one for their prior business, D&D Mortuary Service, was revoked and canceled in September 2010 for monies owed to the Texas Funeral Commission and the state attorney general.

The commission says it cannot prevent Rachel Johnson from obtaining a license, since she does not owe monies to the commission and has no criminal background.

Police say the investigation is continuing.

NBC 5’s Don Peritz Jr. contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Route 34 Exit in New Haven Closes Thursday


Exit 2 off Route 34 westbound in New Haven will be closed permanently as of Thursday because of the Downtown Crossing Project.

Traffic will be redirected to exit 1 and drivers will have the option to turn right on Orange Street or continue on MLK Boulevard to the intersection with Church Street.

From there, drivers could turn right or left on Church Street or continue further straight on MLK Boulevard.
This is part of the city's long-term plan to close Route 34 and reconnect city streets and neighborhoods.
Signs will be posted and access to local businesses will be maintained.

More information is available online and by watching the following YouTube videos:

Once-Conjoined Texas Twins Turn 1


In their red bow ties and baby blue birthday suits, all eyes were on Owen and Emmett Ezell. On Tuesday, the formerly conjoined twins from Grand Prairie turned one.

"They are miracles," said the twins' mother, Jenni Ezell. "I see God's blessing in them every time I look at them."

The past year has consisted of major surgeries for the boys and a constant battle with their health. It has also been an emotional roller coaster ride for their mom and dad.

"We've cried, we've laughed. It's just been a gamut of emotions and experiences, and it's been worth it," said Jenni Ezell.

The strength of Owen and Emmett has brought their family closer together. Many came in from Arkansas, making a six-hour trip to celebrate their birthday in Grand Prairie. But getting to this point was not certain a year ago.

"We didn't even know if they were going to make it through the operation," said Dr. Tom Renard, with the Medical City Children's Hospital. "You always hope and plan for the best. But you never know. This is real exciting."

Dr. Renard was the twins' lead surgeon at Medical City Children's Hospital, where the boys were separated at the stomach. Still, a year later, Owen and Emmett need close medical attention.

But with the prayers of relatives and even strangers, the family feels able to conquer its many challenges.

"When we're going through the hard times, it's encouraging to hear people that we don't even know saying, 'We're praying for you,'" said Jenni Ezell.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Death Penalty Struck Down in Calif.


A federal judge on Wednesday declared the death penalty "unconstitutional" in the state of California – the first ruling of its kind in the United States.

U.S. District Court Judge Cormac Carney in Orange County called the system "dysfunctional" and "arbitrary" in his 29-page ruling.

"No rational person can question that the execution of an individual carries with it the solemn obligation of the government to ensure that the punishment is not arbitrarily imposed and that it furthers the interests of society,” he wrote.

California has not executed anyone since 2006, when a U.S. district court judge decided to block the execution of a convicted murderer because of concerns over the administration of lethal injection. Carney’s ruling can be appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Spokespersons for both California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the California Department of Corrections said they were "reviewing the ruling."

ACLU of Northern California Associate Director Natasha Minsker, who is not directly involved in the case but following it closely, tweeted as she read the ruling, citing the judge who said the current system is plagued by delay and violates the Eighth Amendment.

It is not immediately clear why Carney's rule was released Wednesday.

In her opinion, Minsker said the judge made this unprecedented ruling at this juncture in time because he felt that "enough was enough."

Death penalty proponent Marc Klass, whose 12-year-old daughter, Polly, was kidnapped and killed in 1993, called Carney's decision "another slap in the face of California's crime victims." His daughter's killer, Richard Allen Davis, was sentenced to death.

Klass said Carney's ruling flies in the face of what the people of California want and that eventually, the death penalty will be back on the ballot.

Carney was appointed to the federal bench in 2003 by Republican President George W. Bush, who supported capital punishment and who earned the nickname of "the Death Penalty Governor" when he was chief executive of the state of Texas.

Carney's ruling stems from the 1995 case of Ernest Dewayne Jones, who sued Kevin Chappell, the warden of the California State Prison at San Quentin. Jones was sentenced to death for the 1992 rape and killing of Julia Miller, 10 months after he was paroled for a previous rape. Jones remains on death row, still awaiting his execution nearly 20 years after his sentence.

"Mr. Jones is not alone," Carney wrote.

Of the 900 people sentenced to death for their crimes since 1978, when the current death penalty system was adopted by California voters, only 13 have been executed so far.

Carney wrote that it will continue to result in an unpredictable period of delay preceding their actual execution.

For the random few for whom execution becomes a reality, Carney said they will go on to languish for so long on death row that "their execution will serve no retributive or deterrent purpose and will be arbitrary."

Carney wrote that when an individual is condemned to death in California, the sentence carries with it the promise that it will actually be carried out. That promise is made to citizens, jurors, victims and their loved ones, and to the hundreds of individuals on death row, he wrote.

However, Carney argues, “for too long now, the promise has been an empty one.”

The delays have resulted in a system in which arbitrary factors, rather than legitimate ones like the nature of the crime or the date of the death sentence, determine whether an individual's execution will be carried out, Carney wrote.

In his closing paragraph, Carney writes that the current system serves no “penological purpose.” 

From 1893 to 2006, there have been a total of 513 executions in California, including 307 by hanging, 196 by lethal gas and 10 by lethal injection.

At the time a federal judge put California's death penalty on hold in 2006, lethal injections were carried out in San Quentin's old gas chamber, which the judge found too cramped, too dark and too old for prison staff to properly administer execution drugs.

Since then, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has built a new execution chamber on the grounds of San Quentin in Northern California and made a number of changes to its procedures to address the judge's concerns, the Associated Press reported.

A new federal judge has taken over the case and has not ruled on whether those changes are enough to restart executions.

Additionally, the corrections department is drafting a new set of regulations for administering lethal injections. No executions can take place until the new regulations are formally adopted.

NBC Bay Area's Mark Matthews and the Associated Press contributed reporting.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Program Helps Older Workers Dive Into Nonprofit Sector


For many older workers, getting a job in this economy can be a challenge. But despite retiring from a 31-year education career, Karen Adamson felt she had more to give.

So Adamson joined Encore! Hartford, a UConn-based program that trains seasoned workers for nonprofit careers, all because she wanted “to continue to make a difference.”

Now, she does marketing for a Hartford nonprofit that helps families get back on their feet financially.

Jim Brady, who also went through Encore!, now works as an elder abuse advocate, following more than 30 years in investment management.

“I wanted to take a skill set that was honed in that particular industry and apply it to the betterment of those around me,” said Brady.

Karen and Jim are two of the 125 people who have completed the four-month immersion program.

Students in the program learn the nuts and bolts of running a nonprofit from those who do it every day, then get hands-on experience in a fellowship.

It’s a leg up for older workers trying to get back in the workforce, where misconceptions about both salary demands and lack of social media savvy can hurt them.

“The financial system, the current economy, has a tendency to hit the age 50 and up population harder than it does their younger counterparts,” said Nora Duncan, spokesperson for the AARP, which works closely with Encore!.

Now in its fifth year, Encore! Hartford aims to reduce unemployment in the corporate world, while increasing the workforce in Connecticut’s nonprofit sector, filling the talent void that it says exists throughout the state.

“The ideal beneficiary is, in my mind, the age-50-and-up employee who came from a for-profit sector in a management position, a higher level position, and really has struggled to get back to work and wants to do something more meaningful, with more social impact and more community involvement,” explained Duncan.

The program costs around $3,000, but the AARP and the state say they provide some students with grants.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

I-84 Hartford Exit Ramp to Close This Weekend


The Asylum Street I-84 exit in Hartford will close this weekend due to construction of the CTfastrak bus ramp in the area, according to the state Department of Transportation (DOT).

CTfastrak is a "new bus rapid transit system" that will span 9.4 miles and connect Hartford to New Britain on a traffic-free route that bypasses I-84, according to the CTfastrak website.

Exit 48A is scheduled to be closed from 10 p.m. Friday, July 18 until 5 a.m. Monday, July 21, DOT said in a news release.

Traffic will detour onto Capitol Avenue via Exit 48B, Broad Street and then Farmington Avenue, DOT said.

Representatives from The CT Fund for the Environment, CT League of Conservation Voters, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Partnership for Strong Communities, League of Women Voters, the town of West Hartford, ReSet, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation and environmental- and energy-related organization are scheduled for a tour of the CTfastrak construction on Thursday, according to Ron Dresner, a public relations spokesperson from Dennis PR Group, LLC, representing CTfastrak.


Manchester Pool Vandalized Twice in One Month


A popular pool in Manchester lost six days of use this month after not one but two cases of vandalism.

Waddell Pool, adjacent to Waddell School on Broad Street, has reopened to swimmers, but Manchester Parks Department workers has installed lights on the pool house to deter vandals.

"Having that closure for a long period of time hurts us, the workers, and it hurts the town as well," said Joshua Charette, codirector of the department's Aquatics Division.

Charette said someone threw glass bottles into the pool, forcing the first closure of four days while the pool was drained and cleaned.

Then, after it was open for just one afternoon, another bout of bottles hit.

"That time, we decided we'll bring some divers in with a high-powered vacuum. And they went to work," Charrette said.

It was closed for two days but, as the investigation continues, the pool has reopened.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Vernon Amber Alert Mom Pleads Not Guilty to New Charges


The mother of three boys from Vernon who were at the center of an Amber Alert in May pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to new charges after police said she violated a protective order that prevented her from seeing her sons.

Jackie Morris, 32, appeared in court on Wednesday to face charges including three counts of violating a protective order and stalking after police were called to a home on Talcotville Road on Thursday.

Police said Morris tried to find her children there and was waiting outside their apartment in her car when officers arrived.

According to the warrant, she told officers at the time of her arrest that she wanted to see her children and asked who was going to protect her.

She did not make contact with the children and they were not harmed, according to police.

She pleaded not guilty and a court date of August 13 was set.

Morris was the subject of a region-wide Amber Alert issued May 13 after driving up to Maine with her children, 9-year-old Ryan Lewis and 7-year-old twins Brandon and Dylan Lewis, instead of returning them to their father after a weekend visit.

She will be evaluated for her mental competency to stand trial.

Photo Credit: Vernon Police

New Train Station Coming to Bridgeport


A new train station is coming to Bridgeport and is expected to open in the fall of 2018, according to a press release from Gov. Dannel Malloy’s office.

The new Barnum Train Station will be located in the city’s East Side at the former Remington Arms factory, which has fallen into disrepair. The State Bond Commission is expected to approve $2.75 million for the engineering, design and environmental permitting of the site at its next meeting July 25, the governor’s office said.

A feasibility student conducted on the site of the new station says it has the potential to help stabilize neighborhoods and improve roadways in the area and provide an economic boost by drawing in businesses and retailers, according to the release. It could also lead to the redevelopment of the Yellow Mill Channel.

The design phase will last 18 months and preparations of the site will begin in the spring of 2016, the release says. Construction will get underway in 2017 and should be completed by 2018. The station is expected to open in the fall of that year.

“With this investment in the Barnum Train Station, we are improving the quality of life for residents in Bridgeport’s East Side and East End while at the same time encouraging transit-oriented and economic development in our largest city,” Malloy said in a statement Wednesday. “Moving this project forward demonstrates our commitment to helping municipal partners and stakeholders make their communities more accessible, more walkable centers of cultural and economic activity. In the process, we are also building a foundation to make Connecticut a stronger and more regionally competitive state by growing jobs for residents and providing more flexible, convenient transportation options for employers and employees alike.”

The Bond Commission will meet at 10:30 a.m. July 25.

Woman Struck by Truck While Walking in Bristol


A 33-year-old woman is in the hospital with serious injuries after she was struck by a truck while walking on Redstone Hill Road in Bristol shortly before noon Wednesday, according to police.

Police said Jana Olsen was walking westbound along the curb when she was hit by a 2008 Chevrolet truck traveling in the same direction. The truck, which had a dump body, was registered to a Hartford business. The 76-year-old driver was not injured, police said.

Olsen was taken to a local hospital for treatment of head and back injuries, according to police.

Authorities are investigating. No charges have been filed.

Anyone with information is urged to call Bristol police at 860-584-3030.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Dirt Bike and Bus Collide in Hartford


Police are investigating after a dirt bike and Lincoln Technical Institute bus collided at the intersection of Farmington Avenue and Sigourney Street in Hartford.

Authorities responded to the scene to investigate the crash. The bus involved had damage to the driver's side door and is marked "Lincoln Technical Institute."

The Lincoln Education Center is located on Sigourney Street near the crash site.

The motorcycle has been towed from the scene, and roads that were closed after the crash have been reopened.

Police said the driver of the dirt bike suffered non-life threatening injuries and the bus driver was not hurt. It's not clear if anyone else was on board at the time of the crash.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Charged With Cruelty to Persons in Child Abuse Case


Manchester police have arrested a man accused of abusing a child in a case that also saw a Connecticut Children's Medical Center nurse arrested.

Doel Reyes, 37, turned himself in to police on Wednesday.

Reyes faces charges of second degree assault with a firearm, intentional cruelty to persons, risk of injury to a child and third-degree assault with injury.

He was arraigned in Manchester Superior Court and held on $100,000.

According to police, the alleged abuse happened at the home of Sirializ Ortero, a nurse at CCMC. Ortero was arrested and charged with risk of injury to a minor and cruelty to persons after police said she tried to conceal the boy's injuries.

A spokesperson for CCMC said the hospital was gathering information about the arrest and that they would not make a comment until they have all the facts.

Inmate Gripes at Jail Towels, Meals


A Joliet man awaiting trial on murder charges isn't happy with the conditions at the jail he's staying in.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Adam Landerman, 21, has filed a 15-count complaint asking a judge to fix conditions at the Will County Adult Detention Facility ranging from tiny towels, a lack of variety with the food, poor temperature control, the lack of a barber and high-priced items in the commissary.

Landerman, the son of a Joliet police sergeant, is one of four people accused of luring Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover to a house last year, robbing and strangling them and then playing video games until police arrived.

Landerman's complaint cites jail standards from the Illinois administrative code to argue his case, according to the newspaper.

He also criticizes the jail for not providing breakfast after 6:30 a.m. and for serving lunch too early.

Will County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas told the Tribune that inmates are treated fairly and that it's not a hotel.

Alisa R. Massaro, 20; Bethany L. McKee, 20; and Joshua F. Miner, 26, are also charged with of first-degree murder in the case. All four are being held on $10 million bail.

Man Made Threats on Plane: Feds


A passenger who claimed he had a bomb, spat and threatened to kill flight attendants and open an aircraft door on a British Airways flight from London to Los Angeles was arrested by the FBI on suspicion of interfering with a flight crew, according to a federal criminal complaint released Wednesday.

Kevin Lee Mosele, 20, of Hawaii, made an initial appearance in federal court in Los Angeles Tuesday and was freed on $10,000 bond, according to federal authorities. If convicted on the single count, he faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

Mosele could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Los Angeles-bound British Airlines flight 283 Monday was two hours out of London when a flight attended contacted the captain and said there was an "abusive and disruptive passenger" that was "swearing and screaming," the 11-page criminal complaint said. The captain, Sean Dewbury, told Mosele he would divert the flight and "drop you off in Iceland" if his behavior continued. A short time later, he was restrained with metal handcuffs and placed in a rear seat.

For the next eight hours, the captain told authorities Mosele was "struggling in restraints, screaming and spitting," the federal complaint alleges. At one point federal authorities said Mosele began to mock the captain by saying, "Ooo, El Capitan, can I pretend to be a stewardess?" and dared him to land the plane saying, "You won't land for just one person."

In all, the captain said he spent 2 hours of the flight dealing with the allegedly unruly man, the complaint said. A flight attendant discovered two small wine bottles and two small whisky bottles in Mosele's seating area that were not sold on the flight. They believed he brought the liquor on the flight.

Mosele allegedly said, "I am going to set off a bomb" and "I am going to open this door," and told a flight attendant, "I am going to [expletive] kill you" as many as seven times. He also allegedly "spit in the face of a male flight attendant."

According to the complaint, Mosele told an FBI agent that he drank a couple of beers and a couple of wine beverages as well as purchasing a small bottle of white wine during a nine-hour layover at Heathrow International Airport. He also stated he didn't know if they would serve him alcohol because of his age. He joked with the flight attendants for about an hour-and-a-half, but a male flight attendant said he was "getting too aggressive" and admitted he might have scared the female flight attendants by walking around the rear galley area. He said that he became agitated after being restrained and just went "crazy," the complaint said. He also allegedly apologized to the agent.

2 Hurt When Car Crashes Into Water Off I-84 in Southington


Two people are in the hospital after their car rolled down an embankment on the side of Interstate 84 in Southington and landed in 2-3 feet of water, according to the fire department.

Firefighters were called to the scene around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday after the car left the roadway and went crashing through the woods near exit 30 off I-84 eastbound. Emergency responders arrived to find the car in water about 100 feet from the highway with two people still inside, the fire department said.

A driver and passenger were extricated and firefighters used ropes to pull them back up to the road, according to the fire department. They were taken to Hartford Hospital in unknown condition and have not been identified.

Exit 30 remains closed, along with one lane of travel on I-84 east, while police investigate and work to clear the scene.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Beer and Baseball: Brewer Eyes Hartford Move


The Hooker Brewing Company is once again considering a move to Hartford.

The Bloomfield company will submit a proposal to build a 50,000-square-foot brewery and restaurant across from the proposed $60-million Rock Cats stadium, according to company president Curt Cameron.

"Our goal is to build not only a production facility but kind of a German-style beer garden which is a restaurant, a visitors' center," Cameron said.

The building would go up on North Main Street on the site of the former Butt Ugly Building, which was torn down after the corruption scandal involving the city's former mayor. It would also sit just across from the stadium and create 50-80 new jobs, Cameron explained.

The cost: $5 million for new equipment, plus millions more for the land and other expenses.

"We've been talking to banks and we've been talking to equity investors, we've been talking to the state and all these different people and sources of funding so I feel we're pretty far along in that process," said Cameron.

He said the company has tried to move to Hartford in the past, but was unable to find a suitable location. They've also been considering a move to Windsor.

Hartford is also seeking other development proposals for the proposed stadium area and city council still has to sign off on the stadium deal, which is expected.

In Hartford, residents have been critical of the stadium project.

Business owner Lenworth Williams says the stadium and the brewery would be a win-win for the city.

"I think it's a good idea. It brings a lot of business back to downtown Hartford and the businesses that are already here gives them an opportunity for growth," said Williams.

If the move to Hartford becomes a reality, Hooker hopes to sell its Bloomfield facility to another local brewer, Cameron said.

Development proposals for the stadium area are due to the city of Hartford on Aug. 1.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bridgeport Investigate 5th Homicide of Year


Bridgeport police are investigating after a person was shot to death in the city's East End on Wednesday night.

The victim was found unresponsive with a gunshot wound on Jefferson Street between Newfield and Seaview avenues, according to police.

That person has not been identified.

Police are at the scene investigating.

It's the city's fifth homicide of the year.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com
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