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Moose Killed on I-84


A tractor trailer truck struck and killed a moose walking on Interstate 84 eastbound Sunday morning.

That is the first moose that has been killed on a Connecticut roadway this year as far as the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is aware, according to a news release.

The truck collided with a small female moose between Exit 31 in Bristol and 32 in Southington at about 4:30 a.m., DEEP said.

The accident was reported to State Police at Troop H in Hartford. The state Department of Transportation removed the moose from the crash site.

DEEP said that "it is not possible to say with absolute certainty" that the moose killed was the same one spotted near I-84 in Cheshire a day ago.

 According to DEEP, the state agency often donates "remains of suitable animals" to Hunters for the Hungry and "other organization that help feed people in need" if possible, but DEEP said that it wasn't an option in this case.

Photo Credit: Aaron Forstrom

Man Arrested After Waterbury Store Shooting


Police have taken a shooting suspect into custody during an investigation into a reported armed robbery at Bucks Hill Market on Sunday afternoon, police said.

Police say nineteen-year-old Tony Dupre shot a male store employee at the 846 Boyden Street market during an "apparent robbery".  The shooting happened at about 11 a.m and surveillance footage captured Dupre's image.

The store clerk shot was transported to Waterbury Hospital to be treated for a serious injury. He was later transferred to Hartford Hospital for further treatment. Police say the victim was shot in the neck, but the wound does not appear to be life threatening.

Those who know the victim, who has not been publically identified, are shocked.

"I don't know why anybody would do that. Everyone in the neighborhood, he's nice to everyone," Varese Larue said.

Dupre is charged with criminal attempt at murder, first-degree robbery, larcengy and interfering with an officer. He is being held on $750,000 bond at the Watebury Police Department.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Waterbury Police Department

Truck Hits Overpass, Closes Lane on Merritt Parkway


One lane of the Merritt Parkway is closed in the northbound direction at Exit 29 in Greenwich.

A tractor-trailer struck an overpass on the New York border. The highway was closed, but one lane has since reopened.

Avoid the area if possible on your morning commute.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Fire Damages Building on West Main Street in Meriden


Meriden firefighters responded to a fire at 250 West Main Street late Sunday afternoon.

Officials say the fire was contained to the basement, but smoke rose to upper levels causing damage.

The building contains six apartments and a business. Fire officials estimate about 25 people live in the building. Everyone made it out of the building safely, and firefighters rescued a dog that was still inside.

Firefighters left a large parrot inside, but he survived.

"There was no smoke in the room...we left the bird there," Assistant Fire Chief Robert Burdick said. "We found that bird's respiratory system is a lot faster than ours and are more readily overcome by smoke and changes in temperature, so if we had to bring him through smoke to get him out, that wouldn't have been a good thing. Left him where he was 'cause he was fine."

Several firefighters experienced heat issues and were evaluated by medical personnel before returning to duty. No serious injuries were reported.

Berlin and Wallingford provided mutual aid.

As of 6 p.m. Sunday, the fire marshal had not determined whether the residents could return to their apartments. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Major New Haven Intersection Closes for Construction


The busy Whitney Avenue and Audubon Street intersection in New Haven is scheduled to close for five days for construction, starting on Monday.

The intersection will close from 7 a.m. on Monday until 4 p.m. Friday as crews do roadwork on the intersection to make it more pedestrian-friendly and to calm traffic on that route.

The improvements include a new crosswalk, curb extensions, intersection markings and LED lighting to enhance safety and reduce speeds to make it safer for pedestrians.

There's also an economics motive to the project, as officials hope the upgrades will also help increase foot traffic to businesses in the area.

"A walkable, bikeable community. You know the dollar churns more than a car-based culture," Doug Hausladen, New Haven's director of transportation, traffic and parking, said.

The city has posted detours to move traffic around the intersection.

"Drivers can turn right on Wall Street from Church Street, left on Orange Street, and then left on Trumbull Street to return to Whitney Avenue, according to a news release.

"Alternatively, drivers can turn left at Church Street and Grove Street, proceed along Grove Street to Hillhouse Avenue, and then take a right on Trumbull Street to return to Whitney Avenue," according to a news release from Lawrence Grotheer, the city's communications director .

Local traffic will be allowed through on a southern portion of the area between Audubon and Grove streets and on the northern side between Audubon and Trumbull streets to reach Whitney Avenue destination points in the area, according to the news release.

The Connecticut Transit bus stop at Church and Grove streets will be closed during the construction.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Legislation Proposed to Save Pet Owners Money on Animal Meds


Senators from Connecticut and New York are spearheading a bill that they say would save pet owners hundreds of dollars annually.

United States Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-New York) introduced the Fairness to Pet Owners Act, which would allow people access to prescriptions for their pets' medicine. That includes 1.9 million pet owners in Connecticut.

The law would require vets to write prescriptions so that people have the option of buying pet medication elsewhere, including at pharmacies and online.Veterinarians are not currently required to do so. Blumenthal said in a press release that it sometimes enables vets offices to charge higher prices for pet medication purchased on site without much other competition.

“A simple piece of paper could save Connecticut pet owners $123 million a year," Blumenthal said. 
"This common sense bill is about enabling pet owners to shop around for the best price for their pets’ medications. The same right to a prescription without having to ask has worked for contact lens consumers, where similar legislation passed in 2004 drove down prices in the industry by 20 percent. Veterinarians provide invaluable care for our pets but they should compete for the consumer’s pet prescription business."

In the U.S., 71 million American households own a pet, spending roughly $10 billion on medications for their pets, according to Blumenthal. The average pet owner spent $140 on medicine for their pets in 2011, Blumenthal said citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But they could save 45 percent making those purchases online, amounting to $63 in average savings annually, he said citing Consumer Reports.

Major pharmacies like Walmart, Wegmans and PetCareRX also carry pet medications.

Federal law currently prohibits pet owners from buying medication for their animals without a prescription, but vets are not required to give them a copy, Blumenthal said.


Injuries Reported in Manchester Crash


Injuries are reported after a two-vehicle crash at Main and Center streets in Manchester on Monday morning.

The intersection was blocked, but the scene has since cleared.

No information was immediately known on the extent of injuries.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Pose With Red Sox World Series Trophies Tonight


2004, 2007 and 2014 were good years to be a Red Sox fan and you can continue to bask in that glory by posing for a photo with the team’s trophies.

They will be on display at New Britain Stadium tonight as the Rock Cats take on the Altoona Curve.

The price is the cost of a ticket to the game.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

It’s National Junk Food Day


There is a day to celebrate everything and July 21 is National Junk Food Day.

Whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer something salty, some snacking favorites are made right here in Connecticut.

Old Lyme is home to Deep River Snacks, with makes mesquite BBQ chips, sweet Maui onion and more. The company also makes popcorn.

If sweet snacks are more your thing, the U.S. headquarters for PEZ is in Orange.

The company still offers the assorted fruit flavors you grew up loving, but it also offers chocolate, cola and sour flavors, including sour green apple, sour blue raspberry, sour pineapple and sour watermelon. 

Thanks for a Greenwich billionaire and his sons, Twinkies are back on the shelves after a hiatus. 

Some might consider chocolate junk food, while others might consider it a crucial food group. Whichever side you are on, you can find good chocolate right here, including at Bridgewater Chocolate, Tschudin Chocolates in Middletown, Knipschildt Chocolatier in NorwalkMunson's in Bolton and many more. The state tourism Web site includes a chocolate trail to follow for a chocolate fix.

Connecticut is also home to several soda companies.

Avery’s Beverages are made in New Britain, Foxon Park Beverages are made in East Haven, Castle Beverages are made in Ansonia and you can find Hosmer Mountain beverages in Willimantic and Manchester.

If you want to indulge, but stay as healthy as possible, you can check out the list of USDA-approved smart snacks on the Connecticut State Department of Education Web site.

What’s your favorite snack food?

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Chokehold Cop Stripped of Badge


Four EMS workers who responded to the arrest of a man who later died in police custody were placed on modified duty a day after an eight-year veteran of the NYPD was stripped of his badge and gun for allegedly using a chokehold while handcuffing the man.

The EMS workers, who have not been identified, included two EMTs and two paramedics. The workers are not city employees but work for Richmond University Medical Center, according to the FDNY.

On Saturday, NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo was placed on modified assignment pending further investigation into the arrest of 43-year-old Eric Garner, which was captured on a cellphone video that showed the 43-year-old saying "I can't breathe, I can't breathe" as he was brought to the ground by an officer using a chokehold, a tactic prohibited by NYPD policy.

In the video, EMS workers are not shown giving CPR when arriving at the scene.

Officials said another officer involved in the arrest, a four-year veteran of the force who has not been identified, had been put on administrative duty but didn't have to surrender his gun or shield.

The Staten Island District Attorney's Office is investigating the death of Garner, who was being arrested for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes on Victory Boulevard and Bay Street in Tompkinsville Thursday afternoon, according to police.

While he was being handcuffed, he went into cardiac arrest, police said. He was taken to Richmond University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

On Sunday, the medical examiner's officer said autopsy results are still pending.

"At this time, no determination has been made by the Medical Examiner's office as to the cause and manner of death of Eric Garner," the office said in a statement. 

Earlier in the weekend, the Rev. Al Sharpton rallied with supporters and Garner's family. The man's death has sparked community outrage.

"The issue is not whether one was selling cigarettes. The issue was how an unarmed man was subjected to a chokehold, and the result is he is no longer with us," Sharpton said after leading the crowd in chants of "no justice, no peace."

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Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said in a statement that the NYPD's decision regarding Pantaleo was politically motivated.

"The department’s modification of this police officer under these circumstances is a completely unwarranted, knee-jerk reaction for political reasons and nothing more," Lynch said. "It is a decision by the department that effectively pre-judges this case and denies the officer the very benefit of a doubt that has long been part of the social contract that allows police officers to face the risks of this difficult and complex job."

Mayor de Blasio has said he was "very troubled" by the video.

"It is too early to jump to any conclusions about this case -- we must wait for all the facts and details of the incident to emerge," de Blasio said following Garner's death.

On Sunday, while on vacation in Italy, de Blasio received a briefing from administration officials about the ongoing investigation and the administration's community efforts, his office said.

Court records show that within the past two years, three men sued Pantaleo in federal court over allegedly unlawful, racially motivated arrests. Pantaleo did not return a telephone message. 

Photo Credit: Daily News

Neighbors Object to Proposed East Hartford Church


Residents on Christopher Court in East Hartford get along well with each other, but they're concerned about a new neighbor looking to move in at the cul-de-sac toward the end of their quiet street – a church.

“We have nothing against the church,” Celine Goorahoo, who bought her house in the neighborhood in 1997. “It’s not the church. It’s the traffic.”

The Pentecostals of Greater Hartford applied to build a 14,000 square foot church on the 19-acre wooded land, meaning Christopher Street would be the only way in and out.

“We will never be able to get out of our driveway. Never!” said Goorahoo. “And when they disturb that land, [they disturb] a lot of creatures. Where is it going to drift? To our homes.”

Goorahoo said the dead-end cul-de-sac was one of the reasons she bought her home because it allowed her kids to play freely.

Don Alex has lived across the street for nearly 20 years and feels the same. “I have one granddaughter that lives with me, and you know, all that traffic plus her playing in the front yard.”

While the East Hartford Planning and Zoning Commission was scheduled to vote on this application on June 25, residents said that the sign advertising the hearing wasn't visible, posted on a tree trunk tucked behind other trees and obscured by branches and leave.

“We’re the taxpayers here,” said Goorahoo. “The church is going to be tax-exempt. We’re the ones that are going to be picking up the [slack]. We should have a say.”

East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc declined to comment. So did members of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

One commissioner said planning and zoning is waiting to be briefed on the application at the Aug. 13 meeting.

Christopher Street residents plan to attend.

Man Drove Over Old Lyme High Sports Fields: Cops


An Old Lyme man is accused of driving on several athletic fields at Old Lyme High School and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage in the process.

State police said Connor Robbins, 23, drove his father’s car through a wooden guardrail, a chain-link fence and two safety nets at the high school early Monday morning and drove across the football, lacrosse and soccer fields. The damage estimate is around $5,600.

Police said Robbins fled the scene and authorities found him at his father’s house.

Robbins was charged with one count of criminal mischief.

Bond was set at $5,000. He is due in court on August 6.

No phone number was listed for the address listed for Robbins on the police release.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Connecticut Senators Push Incentive for American Businesses to Keep Jobs Local


Both of Connecticut's senators are calling on Congress to end tax benefits for shipping jobs overseas.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) visit Hartford Monday morning to promote a bill that seeks to create American jobs and strengthen the United States economy.

The legislation would provide a tax credit for companies that move jobs and business activities from others countries back to the U.S.


NYC Wedding Venue Owner Who Stiffed Couples Gets Prison


The owner of a popular Brooklyn restaurant that closed abruptly and left dozens of couples without a wedding venue was sentenced Monday to up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud and grand larceny.

Jason Stevens, the owner of reBar, pleaded guilty to the charges last month. As part of a plea deal, he was sentenced to three and a third to 10 years in prison.

"I have nothing left to give but an apology. From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry," Stevens said in court. 

He's also been ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution, to be split among the nearly 100 couples who were shut out of the weddings they'd paid for at reBar when the venue closed without warning in May. 

His lawyer, Allan Bahn, has said the 41-year-old Stevens is "taking responsibility."

In addition to stiffing couples out of their wedding money, prosecutors say he stole about $200,000 in sales tax collected between 2009 and 2012 and failed to collect more than $1 million in taxes on the business the same period. 

Newlywed Camille Hlavka, of Astoria, was in the Brooklyn courtroom as Stevens was sentenced. She says she lost $18,000 to him and ended up shelling out about that much for her July 12 wedding. She says she and her husband will probably never recover the money Stevens owes under the state-imposed restitution settlement, but believes justice was at least partially served by his sentencing. 

Another jilted couple, Jennifer Cabrera and Kitoh Grey, said they could only afford a small wedding in Central Park after losing their $13,000 deposit to Stevens, but are looking forward. They said seeing him being led away in handcuffs at least brought some sort of closure. 

"We got married, we had a perfect day," said Grey. "We're moving on with our lives and whatever he wants to do with his life, it doesn't affect us anymore." 

Blumenthal Says Putin Must Apologize After Ukraine Plane Crash


Members of Congress, including a U.S. senator from Connecticut, want to ratchet up the pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin after a Malaysian Airlines jetliner was shot down in an area of Ukraine that pro-Russian separatists control.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) weighed in on the Flight 17 crash, stating that stronger sanctions should be put in place against Russia for its role in the tragedy. The crash killed at least one American.

"President Putin must be compelled to pay and apologize -- pay the victims' families through a compensation fund, and apologize to them and the world for Russia's role in this terrorist massacre," Blumenthal said on Sunday.

President Barack Obama said in a press conference Monday that the "burden is on Russia" to open access to the crash site to international investigators, according to NBC News.

You can visit the NBC Connecticut website for further coverage of the plane crash.

Equipment Moved In To New East Haven Dispatch Center


At the East Haven Police Department, the computers are going in and the room is being set up for the new dispatch center.

It’s a project that Mayor Joe Maturo says he’s wanted to see for years.

"For 13 years, I’ve wanted to do this... and the reason being is public safety," said Mayor Maturo.

Maturo says the new dispatch center will combine the individual operations of the fire department and the police department into one location. Right now, a single person is left manning the fire dispatch.

"If all the firemen are out on a fire, they cannot leave that dispatch center, so it’s really unsafe," said Maturo.

It will also use six civilians, which means the police officer currently staffing the police dispatch center will be back out on the field and help boost the staffing numbers at the department.

However, the police union questions how accurate that would be.

In a statement, union president Bob Nappe said, "When the union negotiating team asked the Town, 'So you will put that dispatch officer on the road?' The Town's answer was 'we cannot commit to that.'"

Others are questioning why $12,000 in new equipment has already been purchased when the Town Council still needs to vote on bonding for the new center.

"I’d like to know first of all, where they got this $12,000 from, without approval of the Town Council," said Town Council member Joseph Badamo.

He also questions why six civilians are already being trained.

"In the budget, we received for 2014-15', there’s no department heads for who’s in charge of them, how much money is for salaries, how much money is for overtime, how much money is for sick time," said Badamo.

Mayor Maturo says there’s always seed money used before the bonding vote.

"It’s already been passed by the Town Council, not the bonding, but the hiring the six dispatchers has already been passed. It’s already in the new budget, so we already have money set aside for that," said Maturo.

The Town Council is scheduled to take up the issue at its next meeting on August 5.

Four New Haven Restaurants Offering Seating in Parking Spots


Outside the Tikkaway Grill on Orange Street, there are tables, chairs and umbrellas set up in a parking spot that the restaurant has rented for the summer.

The tables give Tikkaway customers an extra dining option.

"My handicap in here is lack of space. I only have 14 seats, and if I could get more, I know I could use more space," said Gopi Nair, who owns Tikkaway.

Nair says he also hopes that it will help attract more people to his restaurant, which has been open for about 11 months now.

Meat and Co. on Crown Street was the first restaurant, and pilot, for the city’s parking space rental program last September. By December, it said the outdoor dining doubled business.

"I have a strong feeling that I will get a good bump, and I would love that bump," said Nair.

So far, customers seem to be liking the outdoor option.

"I think it’s a great way to expand their ability to serve people," said Jeff Browning.

"Sometimes I come here and it’s really nice out, I want to sit outside," said Catherine Maslan.

However, there are some businesses that are complaining that taking up a parking space is bad for business, because in downtown New Haven, parking is already limited.

"No question parking is valuable, and every space is a value statement on what we can use the space best for. Right now, we’re saying in the City of New Haven a couple of the parking spaces in our network can be outdoor dining options for customers," said Doug Hausladen, New Haven's Director of Transportation, Traffic and Parking.

Each year, the city hopes to improve the program.

Last year, New Haven only had one restaurant use the program. This year, it has four.

Heist Suspect Charged With Murder


The only surviving suspect in last week's bank robbery, police chase and deadly shootout in Stockton that left three dead, including one hostage, was charged Monday with three counts of murder.

Jaime Ramos, 19, was also charged with 22 counts of attempted murder of police officers involved in the pursuit, as well as additional counts for the dozen homes struck by bullets. He faces a total of 35 felony charges.

Joaquin County Chief Deputy District Attorney Ron Freitas said police continued their investigation over the weekend while his office drafted the charges stemming from Wednesday's bank robbery and hour-long running gun battle.

The charges, including kidnapping, robbery and being a gang member, could make Ramos eligible for the death sentence if convicted.

Ramos appeared before a packed courtroom Monday, which included the son of 41-year-old Stockton mother Misty Holt-Singh, who police say Ramos used as a human shield during a gun battle. The confrontation left police cars riddled with bullet holes and an entire community reeling.

Authorities are still trying to determine who fired the bullet that killed Holt-Singh. An autopsy may be able to answer that.

The other two suspects who were killed have been identified by the coroner's office as Gilbert Renteria Jr., 30, and Alex Gregory Martinez, 27.

Investigators say Martinez robbed the same bank back in January.

Police continue their search for the driver who took the robbers to the bank.

The robbery suspects were known gang affiliates with deep criminal pasts and no qualms with taking human life amid their "reckless and chaotic" crimes, police said.

Holt-Singh left her 12-year-old daughter Mia in the car when she ran into the Bank of the West building for what she thought would only be a minute or so.

After that, all hell broke loose, resulting in the kind of crime Stockton police say they haven't witnessed in recent history.

Holt-Singh's family said Friday they are launching their own investigation into the incident.

At times in tears, the family thanked friends, family, community members and even strangers from all across the country for the outpour of love and support they have received.

“What happened to Misty is a nightmare,” Holt-Singh’s husband Paul Singh said. “It’s something I would never want to happen to anybody.”

The family urged law enforcement agencies to be transparent with sharing information -- including dispatch logs and video -- about the incident, including protocols followed during the deadly police chase and gunfight.


KCRA-TV and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: KCRA

Protest Planned Against Rock Cats Move


Protesters are planning to march from the proposed downtown Hartford baseball stadium site to City Hall Monday night to rally against the planned Rock Cats move to the capital city.

The city is looking to have the baseball stadium built on Main and Trumbull streets and ready by the Rock Cats' 2016 season.

The march is slated to start at 4:30 p.m.

City officials are revising the proposal to reflect private funding options after dropping a $60 million bonding plan to take the burden off taxpayers.

Police Investigate Stabbing in Vernon


A 24-year-old Vernon man was stabbed in the abdomen at the Vernon Pines apartments early Sunday morning and police are searching for the attacker.

The victim was treated at Rockville General Hospital, according to police, and he was transferred to Hartford Hospital, where he went through surgery.

He is in stable condition, according to police. His name has not been released.

Police responded to the apartments at 17 Regan Street at 2:46 a.m. on Sunday after learning that the stabbing victim was at the hospital.

Authorities are investigating and have not arrested anyone.

If you have information about the stabbing, call Vernon Police 860-872-9126.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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