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Winsted Town Manager Suspended


The Winsted Board of Selectmen voted Thursday to suspend Town Manager Dale Martin with the intent of firing him after 30 days, according to the Register Citizen.

The board’s two Democrats stood by Martin but were outnumbered by the five Republicans who wanted him out, the town clerk said.

A resolution obtained by the Register Citizen cites a loss of confidence “in the ability of the Town Manager to perform his duties” and says Martin failed to “lead the recovery from a period of failed oversight.”

Last winter, former finance director Henry Centrella was charged with embezzling $2 million, nearly forcing the closure of a school due to inadequate funding. He was sentenced in April to 11 years in prison.

The resolution also alleges that Martin showed poor judgment in negotiating the sale of the blighted Lambert Kay factory building. The deal fell through and town officials learned that the man brokering the deal was a convicted scam artist with a “documented record of long-standing fraudulent dealings.”

The board says Martin’s 2013-2014 budget fell short and that he failed to complete two consecutive annual reports. According to the resolution, he also neglected to appoint an interim town manager when he went of town for two weeks.

Martin is now entitled to a public hearing, which will be held Thursday, Sept. 18, the resolution says.

The Register Citizen reports that Martin was also suspended and fired from his post as city manager in Davison, Michigan in 2010.

Man in Surgery After Shooting in Norwalk: Police


A 22-year-old man is in surgery after he was shot in the back in Norwalk Friday evening, and police say two other men have been arrested for interfering with the investigation.

According to Norwalk police, the victim was shot on Saint John Street around 6:30 p.m. Friday. He was driven in a private car to Norwalk Hospital, where he’s undergoing surgery for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Police said two men at the scene were arrested for inhibiting the investigation. The suspects, who have not been publicly identified, are each charged with one count of interfering with police. One of the men was also charged with assault on an officer and second-degree breach of peace.

Anyone with information is urged to call Norwalk police Det. Mark Edwards at 203-854-3185. You can also submit an anonymous tip online or by calling 203-854-3111.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com

Silver Alerts Issued for 4- and 5-Year-Old From Hamden


Police have issued Silver Alerts for 4-year-old Webster Zackery and 5-year-old Kaylani Zackery, of Hamden, who were last seen with their mother Aug. 7.

The children's parents are divorced and share custody. Hamden police said the kids' father hasn't heard from them since last week and is concerned for their welfare.

Authorities do not suspect the children are in danger and said they're likely with their mother, Jessica Lopez, according to a desk sergeant.

Both children are black or Hispanic and have brown hair and brown eyes. Police said Webster stands 3 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 45 pounds. Kaylani is also 3-foot-6 and weighs 50 pounds.

Webster was last seen wearing an orange polo shirt, blue jeans and black sneakers with white trim. Kaylani was last seen wearing a multi-colored tank top with jean shorts and pink sneakers. Police said she has braided hair.

Anyone with information on the children or their whereabouts is asked to call Hamden police at 203-230-4000/

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Family, Friends Remember Slain Killingly Teen


Nearly 100 people gathered Friday night to celebrate the life of a Killingly teen killed last week in what police say was an accidental shooting.

Friends and family members stood together at Davis Park to remember 16-year-old Matthew Regula who was shot at his girlfriend’s house when a rifle accidentally discharged Aug. 5, according to police. Many said they’re devastated and are working through grief and anger.

“He was just a gentle guy,” said Gahrett Bond, a friend of the family and first responder who was called to the shooting scene. “He was always there. He’d give you the shirt off his back.”

Mourners lit candles and shared memories of Regula, describing him as kind and happy-go-lucky. They’re still shocked he’s gone.

“My heart was torn out. It’s like losing a brother,” Bond said.

Twenty-two-year-old Kyle Carney is accused of shooting Regula while carrying a rifle through the house on Kenneth Drive. He’s been charged with second-degree manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

Regula’s friends say they don’t think it was an accident.

“That’s another thing that hurts, you know? Thinking that maybe he died scared,” said another friend, Daniel McMaster.

Friends and family say they’re overwhelmed with the support they’ve received from their community. They ended the vigil by asking everyone to follow Regula’s lead and be kind in his memory.

"Accept people for who they are like Matthew did. Keep his name alive," said Bond.

The community is planning fundraisers to benefit the Regula family, including one at the Music Lady Cafe at 6 Green Hollow Road in Moosup at 1 p.m. Aug. 24.

A can and bottle drive and bake sale will take place Sept. 13 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Thompson Town Hall. To donate a raffle basket or baked goods, call Dawn at 860-634-4900.

MMA Fighter "War Machine" Arrested


MMA fighter Jonathan "War Machine" Koppenhaver was arrested at a Southern California hotel Friday a week after an alleged confrontation with his ex-girlfriend, adult film actress Christy Mack.

Koppenhaver was sought by law enforcement for one week after allegedly assaulting Mack in Las Vegas on Aug. 8, according to the Simi Valley Police Department and the US Marshals Service.

He was wanted by Las Vegas police on suspicion of battery by strangulation, domestic battery, assault with a deadly weapon, coercion with force, battery substantial bodily harm, and open and gross lewdness, officials said.

Mack claims Koppenhaver left her with 18 broken bones in her face, a fractured rib and a ruptured liver. She shared photographs of the attack with NBC News and on her Twitter account.

He was arrested about 1:45 p.m. at the Extended Stay America Hotel in the 2400 block of Stearns Street in Simi Valley, police said. Police found cash and pizza inside his room.

"Police came, they used a battering ram to batter down the door," hotel guest Mary Casamento said. "We heard some loud thuds and banging, it sounded like chairs or furniture."

According to the US Marshals Service, Koppenhaver had been hiding out at the hotel for a few days.

Mack took to Twitter about the alleged confrontation.

Koppenhaver tweeted earlier this week about being "cursed" and that police "never believe me." He also tweeted Mack, saying he "can't believe what happened."

A person who identified himself as a Koppenhaver family spokesperson told NBC4, "The family does not have anything to say."

Koppenhaverwas awaiting extradition to Las Vegas. He faces multiple battery and assault charges.

NBC4's Kate Larsen contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Ventura County Sheriff's Department

Local Businesses Warned about Unofficial UConn Posters


The Windham Chamber of Commerce is sending out a warning to local businesses about what they’re calling an advertising scam.

“It’s an absolute scam,” said Diane Nadeau with the Chamber for Commerce. She’s frustrated with what’s been happening to her members in the last week. “We were very upset,” Nadeau explained.

She says 40 businesses in 5 towns have contacted her saying an out of state company is calling them and asking for hundreds of dollars to advertise on a UConn men’s and women’s basketball poster that includes the game schedule. Then they’re sent an example, showing what it would look like. “It sounded funny and fishy to us because we work with UConn and know how things work,” Nadeau said.

That company is Spectrum Demographic Marketing. They also send out a contract and supposedly mislead businesses to think it’s an official UConn poster. Nadeau says a dozen local businesses have paid for a spot. “That's a waste of your money,” she added.

An official from UConn Licensing and Branding told NBC Connecticut that this is not official and the company has no affiliation with the university. He says he contacted the owner, letting them know it can’t mislead businesses into thinking the poster is official, and can’t use UConn’s trademarks or logos including the school and team names. If that happens, UConn could take legal action.

“Don’t fall for it make sure you know who is selling it,” Nadeau said.

NBC Connecticut contacted the company listed in Ohio and Kentucky for a comment but it was after hours and no one returned the phone calls.

UConn says if you get a call for advertising, research who is on the other line, and make sure they’re actually linked to the school.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Garner Video Shooter Pleads Not Guilty in Weapons Case


The man who shot a video of a fatal police chokehold pleaded not guilty Friday to weapons charges following his arrest earlier this month. 

Ramsey Orta, 22, was arrested Aug. 2 on Staten Island, blocks from where Eric Garner died in police custody.

Police said plainclothes officers from a borough narcotics unit saw Orta stuff a silver, .25-caliber handgun into a 17-year-old female companion's waistband after they walked out of the Hotel Richmond. Police called the location, on Central Avenue, a "known drug prone location."

Police said Orta, who has been jailed since the arrest, had a previous weapon conviction that prohibited him from possessing a firearm. He remained in jail after pleading not guilty Friday.

Orta shot the video of an officer using a chokehold to restrain Garner on July 17. Garner died shortly thereafter, and his death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner's office.

Orta's wife, Chrissie Ortiz, has said she believes Orta's arrest was a "setup" in retribution. 

Photo Credit: AP

Middletown Animal Control Needs Help Saving Sick Puppy


Middletown Animal Control is asking for donations to help cover the cost of treatment for a puppy who came to the facility in grave condition.

Four-month-old “Kira,” a Daschund mix, is slowly recovering from parvovirus, which can be deadly. Animal Control is nursing her back to health but needs help covering her veterinary bills, which have reached $1,400 and continue to climb, the agency posted on its Facebook page.

Since the pup’s owner couldn’t afford her medical expenses and had to give her up, Animal Control hopes to soon find Kira a new home.

She began eating solid food today and even chewed her IV, which means she’s getting better, the agency wrote.

Donations can be sent to:

Middletown Animal Control
222 Main Street
Middletown, CT 06457

Call Animal Control at 860-638-4030 to learn more about Kira or ask about adoption.


Photo Credit: Middletown Animal Control

Woman Stole $400,000 From Bank Where She Worked


A Bridgeport woman has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $400,000 from the People’s United Bank branch where she worked, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Maria Rosa Esteves, 40, is accused of misappropriating some 300 cashier’s checks while working as the lead adjuster at a People’s Bank in Bridgeport. She was employed at the bank between 1993 and 2014 and began leading the adjustments department in 2006, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release Friday.

Esteves used the embezzled funds to pay her utility company, homeowner’s insurance company and mortgage providers, according to the release.

She’ll be sentenced Nov. 7 in Hartford and could face up to 30 years in prison. Esteves could also be ordered to pay the bank $1 million in restitution, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Buses Replace Danbury Line Trains During Railway Work


Buses will run along the Danbury branch of Metro-North in lieu of trains due to work at grade crossings.

The buses will replace the train service at stops including Danbury, Bethel, Redding, Branchville, Cannondale, Wilton, Merritt and South Northwalk from Saturday through the last train scheduled on Sunday, as well as from Saturday, Aug. 23 through the last train on Sunday, Aug. 24, according to an alert from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

Information on the substitute bus schedule on the Danbury line can be found on MTA's website.

Silver Alert Issued for Missing Mother, 3 Kids


State Police have issued Silver Alerts for a Danbury mother and her three young children.

Jacobet Vasquez, 32, and her children, Michael Guzman, 6, Joanna Guzman, 5, and Elizabeth Guzman, 4, were reported missing from Danbury and were last seen on Friday, Aug. 15, according to State Police. All three children were last seen with their mother, State Police said.

State Police classified Vasquez and Michael Guzman as "endangered missing" and described Elizabeth and Joanna Guzman as "endangered" runaways.

State Police described Vasquez as a Hispanic female with brown hair and eyes, Michael Guzman as a white male with brown hair and blue eyes who is about 3-foot-7, Joanna Guzman as a white female with brown hair and brown  eyes who is 3-foot-5 and weighs 40 pounds and Elizabeth Guzman as a white/Hispanic female with brown hair and brown eyes who is 3-foot-2 and weighs 34 pounds.

The circumstances of their disappearance is unknown. State Police are not releasing further details at this time.

Danbury police ask anyone with information on their whereabouts to contact the department at 203-797-4611.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of State Police

2 Dead, 8 Hurt in Chicago Shootings


Two people were killed-- including a 16-year-old girl fatally shot on Chicago’s South Side and a 25-year-old man killed a block from the Chicago Police Department headquarters-- and at least eight others were wounded in overnight Chicago shootings.

The teen girl was among two shot in a possible drive-by shooting in the city’s Englewood neighborhood early Saturday morning.

Police said the girl was standing outside around 12:45 a.m. with a man when a car drove by and someone inside fired shots. She was shot in the head and was found unresponsive at the scene and a 20-year-old man was shot in the back and taken in stable condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Janel Sedevic.

A 25-year-old man was shot to death late Friday night in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood.

The man was found unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the abdomen about a block of Chicago Police Headquarters in the 3500 block of South Indiana at around 11:35 p.m.

Authorities said someone walked up and fired shots at him before fleeing the scene.
At least eight people were wounded in shootings since Friday.

  • Just after 3 a.m. Saturday, a 32-year-old man was shot near Grand and Ashland Avenues in the West Town neighborhood. Police said the man saw a woman and a man arguing and attempted to intervene when another man walked up to him and opened fire. The man was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County in critical condition.
  • Two people were shot around 1:45 a.m. in the city’s North Austin neighborhood. A 19-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man were standing with a group in the 1600 block of North Mason Avenue when they told police they “heard shots and felt pain.” The woman was shot in the thigh and the man was shot in the leg. Both were taken to West Suburban Medical Center in stable condition.
  • A 22-year-old man was shot around 10:30 p.m. Friday near 103rd and State Streets in the city’s Roseland neighborhood. The man was a passenger a vehicle that was stopped at a stoplight when someone walked up to it and opened fire. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene and police were notified shortly after. The victim suffered a wound to the buttocks and ankle and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in stable condition.
  • Ten minutes earlier, two people were shot in the 8900 block of South Ellis Avenue. A 32-year-old man was shot in the leg and back and a 19-year-old man was shot in the abdomen and buttocks. Both were taken in stable condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center.
  • Around 6:40 p.m., a 20-year-old man was shot in the stomach during a possible drive-by in the 7400 block of South Greenwood Avenue. The man was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition.

Suitcase Murder: Woman Hit in Head


An autopsy has revealed that a Chicago woman, whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase in Bali this week, was struck by a blunt object, officials said Saturday.

The body of Sheila von Wiese-Mack was found inside a suitcase in the trunk of a taxi at the St. Regis Bali Resort Tuesday. Her daughter, 19-year-old Heather Mack, and her daughter’s boyfriend, 21-year-old Tommy Schaefer are accused in her murder.

Officials said an initial examination of the victim’s body indicates she suffered a blow to the head and back of the neck with a blunt object, according to NBC News. A defensive wound was also found on her left hand, according to Dr. Dudut Rustyadi, head of the police forensic team.

Local police said Saturday that a bloody towel, bloody vase and bloodied sheets were found at the crime scene.

The new details come just one day after reports that Heather Mack told police she is pregnant.

Mack’s attorney, Michael Elkin, issued a statement Saturday claiming Mack is approximately two months pregnant. He also alleged she has been “seriously physically assaulted while in custody.”

“Heather was told that if she does not speak to the police she will be deprived of food and water,” the statement read.

Local police said the two suspects are not talking and police are waiting for the results of the pregnancy test.

Von Wiese-Mack’s body is expected to be returned to the U.S. on Monday for further investigation, officials said.

Van Explodes at Miami Gas Station


A South Florida man who was conducting an illegal operation to obtain gas, was arrested by Miami Police after his portable gas pumping van exploded at a Marathon gas station on Friday.

The driver was identified as Onelio Castro, 47. He was charged with first-degree grand theft over $100,000, petit theft and criminal mischief.

The van exploded Friday afternoon at the Marathon gas station at Flagler Street and 72nd Avenue in Miami, sending a cloud of smoke into the air that could be seen from miles away.

The van was part of what Miami Fire said was an illegal operation to obtain gas. The van had the capacity to store upwards of 150 gallons of gas.

"We're trying to determine whether or not the person was in the process of trying to siphon out gas," said Iggy Carroll of Miami Fire. "Did he just finish or did something happen inside of it as a result of the explosion."

Miami Fire rescue said the man who was operating the van took off on foot. A perimeter was set up to look for the driver and Miami Fire investigators and Miami Police investigators were investigating the explosion.

"People that have this type of operation are obviously trying to do something illegal," said Iggy Caroll of Miami Fire. "But they obviously have no regard for their safety and as a result, this could've been deadly not only for the person that was doing this, but for the people in the area."

Castro's bond was set at $23,000. It is unknown at this time if he has an attorney.

Stay with NBC6.com for updates on this developing story.

Victims Jump, Escape Home Invaders


Three people survived an armed home invasion robbery by jumping out of a window on the second floor of their home Friday night, police said. 

Arcadia Police responded to the 600 block of West Lemon Avenue just before 11 p.m. to investigate sounds of a male and female screaming for help.

The residents told police that three men entered the home through an unlocked rear window, one of whom was armed with a dark-colored handgun.

The residents said the alleged robbers took them to an upstairs bedroom where they were forced to lie face down on the floor while one man pointed a gun at them. The other two alleged robbers ransacked the home.

When the armed robber was not watching, the victims ran to the window, pushed out the screen, jumped onto the roof and then jumped to the front yard where they began screaming for help.

Two of the victims were taken to the hospital after sustaining injuries from the jump.

The three men suspected of robbing the home have not been located. The victims described two of the men as adult males, one wearing a black hoodie and the other wearing a red hoodie.

Anyone with information is asked to call Arcadia Police a 626-574-5150.

3 Stabbed at Grand Central Station


A drunk man getting off a subway Saturday at Grand Central Terminal bumped into a child, then slashed and stabbed three men in the ensuing confrontation, police said.

Witnesses held the 38-year-old attacker until police arrived and took him into custody, according to the NYPD. The bloody altercation unfolded shortly after midnight on the northbound 6 train platform.

A 25-year-old was in critical but stable condition after being stabbed in the chest. A 29-year-old was slashed in the arm and a 27-year-old was wounded in the stomach. None of them knew their attacker, police said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Funeral Held for Teen Killed in Triple Shooting


The family of a 15-year-old killed in a triple shooting last week in New Haven gathered at a funeral Saturday in mourning of their lost loved one.

Jacob Craggett, 15, was a rising sophomore at James Hillhouse High School and was gearing up to join the varsity football team in the fall, according to his obituary published on Washington Memorial Funeral Home's website.

The family received relatives and friends Saturday morning at Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church in Hamden before the funeral service and then the burial at Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven, according to the obituary.

Just more than a week ago, two or more people fired shots into the car Craggett was in, killing him and critically wounding his brother, Joshua Craggett, 23, and the driver of the car, Timothy Jones, 22.

Joshua spoke to family and friends attending the funeral through Facetime from Yale-New Haven hospital and the boys' mother, Lisa Craggett announced a plan to start a scholarship fund in honor of her son, The New Haven Register reported.

Family and friends remembered Jacob's life at a candlelight vigil last week, the day after the Aug. 8 fatal shooting. They walking in his final path from his grandmother's house, where he was earlier that night, and ending at the place he was shot at a half a block away.

"He had his whole life to live and now he's gone," Tina Craggett, Jacob's aunt, said.

Lisa Craggett shared a memory of her last moment with her son last week.

“The day before yesterday he said ma, you ain’t give me a kiss in a day. Can I get a kiss?” she said. “And I gave him a big kiss on the cheek, and he said ‘Now that’s what I’m talking about ma.’”

Memorial contributions in Jacob's name can be sent to the Jacob S. Craggett Athletic Scholarship Fund, c/o James Hillhouse High School, at 480 Sherman Parkway, New Haven, CT 06511, according to his obituary.

Woman Steals, Crashes Police Car


A 22-year-old San Diego woman took a joy ride in a stolen police car Friday night, leading officers on a long, high-speed pursuit and ultimately crashing the vehicle.

According to the San Diego Police Department, the suspect – Felicitas Flores – stole an officer’s parked vehicle in the 300 block of 17th Street in downtown’s East Village area just before 11:30 p.m.

Flores took off in the patrol car, hopping onto northbound Interstate 5 and leading police on a pursuit all the way to the North County.

The tires of the vehicle were spiked in Carlsbad, but Flores continued driving through Oceanside until she pulled into a rest stop. As officers attempted to arrest her, she collided head-on into another police vehicle, the SDPD said.

The stolen police car stalled out and Flores was taken into custody.

“CHP did take over the negotiations to get her out of the car,” explained SDPD Lt. Steven Shaw. “She did not want to get out of the vehicle. Eventually, she opened up the driver side door. She started to get out of the car then she started to get back in. It afforded our officers the opportunity to go up to the car and physically take her out of the car.”

Flores was booked into Las Colinas Detention Facility on at least nine charges, including grand theft auto, driving under the influence of alcohol, being under the influence of a controlled substance and evading officers. She’s also facing counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

The incident is under investigation, with officers trying to determine how Flores was able to steal the police vehicle in the first place. It is unknown if the vehicle was left unlocked.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

Riverfront Dragon Boat and Asian Festival


Scenes from the 14th annual Riverfront Dragon Boat and Asian Festival in Hartford this weekend in photos.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Dragon Boat and Asian Festival Draws Crowds to Hartford


The Connecticut River was full of dragons Saturday morning – dragon boats, that is.

The 14th annual Riverfront Dragon Boat and Asian Festival is happening this weekend in Hartford.

Boats launched from Riverside Park for a colorful and competitive event.The event has grown over the years to attract thousands of people to downtown Hartford to take in the ancient tradition of Dragon Boat Racing.

The sport dates back more than 2,000 years to its beginnings in China, and it’s grown in modern times to become a competitive event around the world, including Hartford. The festival was recently named one of the top 10 of its kind in the country.

Organizers said that a record 93 teams signed up for the two-day competition, with some racers coming from as far away as North Carolina.

But the Hartford festival is very much a Connecticut-focused event, with teams from corporations like Aetna and Cigna and area nonprofits like the Aurora Foundation helping women and girls in the Greater Hartford area, all coming together for a great day on the water.

"I came here last year to support my daughter who rode on one of the other teams, and I thought this is a great way to do team building, we can do a little fundraising out of it, and just great fun, a great way to spend a beautiful day on the Connecticut River,"
Michelle Morgan, of the Aurora Foundation, said.

This is part of the larger Asian Festival happening throughout the weekend. The event is free and open to the public. Features food, vendors, an Asian beer garden, martial arts demos, and much more.

Riverfront Park is located at 300 Columbus Blvd. in Hartford.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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