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School Bus Crashes on I-95 South in Stratford


A school bus crash caused lane closures on Interstate 95 southbound in Stratford and the exit 31 off-ramp was also shut down Monday afternoon, according to state police.

Police said a few "very minor injuries" were reported. It's not clear if children were on board the bus or if any of them were hurt.

The right and center lanes were closed in the area of exit 31, causing delays through rush hour.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Run for Poverty at ECSU


Get fit and give back this Friday with the Annual Poverty Awareness Marathon at Eastern Connecticut State University.

The race takes place from 7 a.m. to noon and will begin at the Student Center Patio on the ECSU campus. Participants are encouraged to run or walk the entire 26.5 miles, or complete as much as their schedule allows.

Dr. Charlie Chatterton, a health and physical education professor at ECSU, and the Center for Community Engagement on campus are working together to host the marathon and raise awareness of issues stemming from poverty.

Runners are encouraged to donate nonperishable foods, children’s books or cash. Participants can also volunteer to read to children at the Child and Family Development Resource Center on campus by contacting Niloufar Rezai, CFDRC Director, at rezain@easternct.edu.

Runners can register online.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Winter-Blend Gasoline Likely to Lower Gas Prices


Connecticut gas prices are down nearly 10 cents from last month due to a switchover to a less expensive blend of fuel.

This gas is cheaper because it does not need to meet emissions requirements that usually exist to prevent pollution in warm temperatures, according to a report from AAA.

At $3.70 per gallon, statewide prices have dropped 19 cents since last year, and are predicted to fall even more for the second half of September, AAA said.

Connecticut, which has the seventh most expensive average gas price in the U.S., made the switch on Sept. 15, along with most other states.

Hurricanes or other events that might disrupt gas production, however, could still cause temporary price spikes in the coming months, according to AAA.

Drivers are reminded to check their car battery, tires, lights and windshield wipers as winter weather approaches.

"Played Out": Final Moments as Latest Atlantic City Casino Folds


The last blackjack hand dealt before the Trump Plaza casino closed its doors in Atlantic City Tuesday morning was a 21, for the house.

That luck came too late for the casino, which shut for good just before 6 a.m.

The floor was mostly empty, the chandeliers lighting vacant gaming tables and workers clustered together. Only a handful of players were left, loyal customers and determined gamblers to the end.

Ruth Hardrick’s last shift had ended at 4 a.m. but she returned a few hours later for the final moments. For 26 years, the casino had been her second home, she said.

“You see it coming but you never think it’s going to get to this point because you always try to stay optimistic that it would come out of the slump somewhat,” said Hardrick, who lives nearby in Mays Landing, New Jersey. “I had a good run here.”

The two men playing blackjack left as security guards escorted people from the building at 5:59 a.m.

Ruth Modrell set her alarm for 4:30 a.m. to play the slot machines one last time.

“This is a great place,” said Modrell of Bridgewater, New Jersey. “I feel like I’m a favorite daughter in the family and so does everybody else. The people here are just wonderful. You can’t win but that’s true at all casinos.”

The retired communications engineer had been visiting Trump Plaza for about 10 years, and on this final night, she was trying her hand at one or two more slot machines before heading out.

With no drinks to serve, 30-year-old Marilyn Solis was gathering up empty ash trays as the minutes ticked down. This was her second casino closing, she said. She had worked at the Sands Casino Hotel before it shut in 2006.

“I never thought it was going to happen again,” she said.

She has been filling out applications for another job, but was not optimistic.

“It’s been very hard,” she said. “You have to know somebody now to get in.”

At the front of the casino, 60-year-old Rich Everett complained that the owners had not even tried to make the casino successful. He hopes to work for himself instead by buying a limousine to take customers between the casinos, he said.

“They didn’t promote the place at all,” he said.

Soon after the doors closed, workers could be seen inside the lobby pulling up the fake plants.

The day before Linda Winsett stopped in to say goodbye to the workers she'd come to know over her decades playing the slot machines.

 “I know everyone here,” said Winsett, who was visiting Monday with her husband, Jon, a retired Wildwood, New Jersey, police officer. “They’ve always been good to me. Sad. Everyone’s out of work.”

Winsett had known the casino was failing. It had become run-down, and there were fewer employees on the casino floor. Its imminent closure was no surprise to her. “I could see it coming,” she said.

When the Trump Plaza shuttered its doors early Tuesday morning, it became Atlantic City's fourth casino to close this year, following the Atlantic Club in January and Showboat and Revel over the Labor Day weekend. Trump Entertainment Resorts is threatening to shut down a fifth, Trump Taj Mahal, if it cannot cut costs there.

On Tuesday, Donald Trump hinted that he might jump back in the game.

In August, Trump sued Trump Entertainment Resorts, formed after his casino empire emerged from one of its three bankruptcies and in which he retains a 10 percent stake. In the lawsuit, Trump demanded that his name be removed from the Trump Plaza and the Trump Taj Mahal casinos because the company had allowed them to fall into disrepair.

Still, the march of casino closures comes as New Jersey casinos' revenue lags, and as state leaders scramble to turn the tide. New Jersey casinos' August revenue was down $3.65 million compared with last year, state gambling figures out Friday show. Last week, Gov. Chris Christie held a special summit to help the troubled casino resort community, and issued a directive to let casinos begin sports betting.

“The whole industry is played out,” said Linda Winsett's husband Jon, 59, who does not gamble. “If you put six McDonald’s on one intersection, not all six are going to do good.”

"I'm going to pick up the pieces"

At mid-day Monday, a smattering of gamblers dotted the Trump Plaza's cavernous casino floor, most of them at the slots. As the day wore on, visitors streamed up the escalators to games whose dazzling names — "Dozens of Diamonds," "Invaders from the Planet Moolah" — belied the casino's future.

That future was on casino employees' minds Monday, as nearly 1,000 workers prepared to lose their jobs. Some said they said they would apply for unemployment benefits or maybe return to college, and a dealer was overheard discussing competition from casinos in neighboring states.

Theresa Volpe, 56, a cocktail server who has worked at Trump Plaza for 26 years, is looking for a job in one of the other casinos, and hopes the city can rebound to thrive again. She lives just outside Atlantic City in Northfield with her disabled sister and her mother, who is recovering from a fall. Both rely on her, but Volpe said she wasn't worried.

"I’m going to pick up the pieces," she said. "I’ll be good. We’ll work it out."

The closing of Trump Plaza has also left uncertain the future of its boardwalk restaurant, EVO. Waiter Elgun Alakbarov, 25, is applying for jobs at other restaurants, but he may leave Atlantic City instead.

"It’s time to do something different. But I'm young," he acknowledged. “People who have a family — it’s hard."

The union representing casino employees, Unite Here Local 54, will host a resource center in Boardwalk Hall from Wednesday through Friday where union and non-union workers can learn about unemployment benefits, health care, rent assistance and other resources, said Donna DeCaprio, the secretary treasurer. "It's kind of one-stop shopping," she said.

"There's already enough poverty"

On a sparklingly sunny Monday on the Atlantic City boardwalk, Janice and Malcolm Blalock had their photograph taken in front of the casinos. Retired government workers from Clayton, North Carolina, they were on a motorcycle trip and were on their way to Philadelphia.

“It’s a little bit sad,” Malcolm Blalock said of the casino closures. His wife, who described herself as a small gambler, said the casino closures reflect the ongoing struggles of a still-rebounding economy.

The pair was only briefly stopping in Atlantic City en route to Philadelphia.

Derek Ljongquist, 31, and Jennifer Cote, 33, stopped at the Starbucks in the Trump Plaza, but they had no plans to stay, either. The couple from Naugatuck, Connecticut – he a computer technician, she a health-care administrative assistant – was headed for a swim and then shopping at the Tanger outlet mall, during a visit for Cote’s birthday.
And though not gamblers, they thought the Atlantic City casinos paled in comparison with their home state's Mohegan Sun casino, though they called the Trump Plaza's closure "a shame."

“It's a shame, because there are a lot of jobs to be lost,” Cote said. “There’s already enough poverty in the city.”

"The whole vibe is different"

Like many others, longtime Trump Plaza patrons Ed Heron Jr., 68, and his wife, Marge, 67, had come to their old haunt Monday to say goodbye to longtime employees.

“This used to be our place,” Ed said. “We used to be here at least two or three times a month."

The retired couple, who live in Philadelphia, recalled steak dinners they had eaten and performances they'd seen by Cher and Diana Ross there. But what was once a fabulous casino now looked desolate, Marge said, and the couple blamed its owners for its failure.

“Ten years ago, the place was hopping,” Ed remembered.

That wasn't the case Monday, another worker at the Trump Plaza's restaurant EVO conceded. Andrea Gant, 29, is moving to Boca Raton, Florida, to waitress in another of the owner’s restaurants for the winter. "It’s hard to get a job here in the winter," she said.

It wasn't just during the winter that business had lagged, though, she said. With fewer patrons to serve, she could tell the casinos were suffering.

"You can feel it," she said. "The whole vibe is different."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

Photo Credit: AP

NASCAR's Joey Logano Heading Home to Connecticut


NASCAR driver and Connecticut native Joey Logano will return to his roots on Thursday.

He'll attend the grand opening of a new transitional housing program for homeless adults in Middletown that bears his name. Logano's foundation has supported the program. 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Logano Place will take place at 11 a.m. in Middletown ahead of the foundation’s inaugural Hometown Showdown, a charitable kart-racing event.

The event runs from 3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at On Track Karting in Wallingford. 

Logano himself will join the competition, which allows participants to raise money for the homeless.

"It's an honor for me to host this event in Connecticut where my racing career began and give back to the community who helped me get where I am today." Logano said in a statement Sunday. "I have wanted to do something like this for a long time and seeing it come together is really exciting for me.”

Logano Place is the latest project from The Connection, a Connecticut-based nonprofit that agency helps homeless adults looking to reenter the workforce.

It will house 28 homeless adults struggling with behavioral health and substance abuse issues.

You can register for the Hometown Showdown online or by calling 203-915-9235.

Photo Credit: Daniel Tarango, KXAS-TV

Police Investigate 2nd Possible Burglary at Hamden Apartments


Just hours after a Hamden woman was tied and bound in her own apartment, another resident of the complex returned home to find her apartment had been ransacked.

Now police are investigating to determine whether the two are connected.

"I found all the apartment amiss, my clothes everywhere and the kitchen and my bed, the clothes over that," explained Shouq Jamalaliel, who lives with her husband in the Seramonte apartments on Kaye Vue Drive.

Jamalaliel said she also found a key chain that isn't hers.

Police spent much of the afternoon at this apartment complex after an armed intruder broke in through a bathroom window, tied up a 26-year-old resident and made off with her money and car. 

It's not clear if police believe the cases are related. The investigation is still in the early stages, and the first step is to track down the victim's car and identify a suspect.

The intruder is believed to be driving a black Subaru hatchback with Connecticut plates 436-YRA.

Anyone with information about the crimes is urged to call Hamden police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

SoCal Heat Wave Prompts Power Alert


As a sweltering heat wave has gripped Southern California for days, managers of the state's power grid said on Monday they had plenty of electricity available to handle anticipated peaks in power usage, but fear power outages if energy use continues to be consumed at its current rate.

Officials with Southern California Edison and the Department of Water and Power urged residents to conserve power.

"The generation picture, the actual power customers are consuming, looks very good today," Steven Conroy, a Southern California Edison spokesman, said. "So what you're seeing is that our customers are using a lot of energy during the day. That's normal. But they're really, really using a lot at night."

He said from 6 p.m. to midnight, equipment doesn't have enough time to cool off and that's why it's failing. Some 3,000 Southern California Edison customers lost power in Los Angeles and Orange counties from overheated transformers on Sunday afternoon and evening.

As of 11:50 p.m. Monday, the LADWP said about 6,000 customers were without power, most of it split between the Hollywood area and Valley. The bulk of the Valley outages were random and in the Valley Glen, North Hollywood and Sherman Oaks areas.

Meanwhile, Edison said it was working on 126 outages that knocked out power to 15,000 customers. The Los Angeles area had 72 outages, leaving 4,800 customers without power. The largest LA outage was in Pico Rivera with 797 customers and Inglewood with 428 customers. There were 15 outages in the San Bernardino area, leaving about 7,395 customers without power.

Edison's big concern is Tuesday and the rest of the week.

Edison opened its Emergency Activation Center in Irwindale to provide a central coordination center to monitor and respond to outages.

The utility also canceled all planned maintenance outages that could be deferred.

DWP officials said the utility broke its all-time record for energy demand and issued another call for customers to conserve power.

The demand was at 6,196 megawatts, surpassing the previous all-time record of 6,177 megawatts set on September 27, 2010.

The peak demand was nearly double the amount of energy demand experienced on a typical day in the city of Los Angeles.

The DWP currently is forecasting that it will break today’s record again Tuesday and exceed 6,200 megawatts as heat-wave temperatures continue.

"Under these extreme conditions, our system is holding up quite well, but we urge our customers to continue to conserve to reduce strain on the grid," said General Manager Marcie Edwards. "Conserving electricity can help prevent a local power outage if you take simple steps like setting your thermostat to 78 degrees, turning off pool pumps and giving your appliances the day off tomorrow. Days like today are an important reminder that we must continue to plan for and invest in our infrastructure to ensure reliable service for our customers as demand increases and weather gets more erratic and intense."

Officials also encourage residents to conserve energy by closing curtains and blinds and turning off lights.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Tree Snaps Utility Pole in Killingworth


A portion of Schnoor Road in Killingworth is closed due to a fallen tree.

A tree fell on and snapped a utility pole, also knocking down some electrical wires.

Schnoor Road is closed in both directions between Burr Hill Road and Bethke Road.

Drivers who need to travel in that area can take Burr Hill or Route 148 as a detour.

I-95 Lane, Exit Closures Expected Due to Q Bridge Project


Commuters can expect lane and exit ramp closures and traffic shifts on Interstate 95 South in New Haven Tuesday night as crews get ready to dismantle the last piece of the Q Bridge.

It's all part of the I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program to build a new connection from I-95 South to I-91 North.

There will be a single ramp to exits 47 and 48 and the split will likely be marked by an Interstate 91 shield painted on the roadway.

Ramp/Detour Information:
Tuesday, Sept. 16, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

  • Closure and detour of I-95 South off-ramp to I-91 Northbound (Exit 48)
  • Closure and detour of I-95 Southbound off-ramp to Hamilton Ave

Lane Closure Info
Thursday, Sept. 18

  • 8 p.m. to 10 a.m.:  Single right lane closure on I-95 South between the off-ramp to Frontage Road (Exit 51) and the Woodward Avenue on-ramp to I-95 Southbound.
  • 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.: Single lane closure on I-95 South between the off-ramp to Frontage Road (Exit 51) and the I-95 Southbound off-ramp to Route 34 Westbound (Exit 47). Exit 47 will remain open.

Drivers traveling on I-95 South to I-91 Northbound at exit 48 should expect a new alignment beginning on Friday, Sept. 19.

In the case of rain, the work planned for Tuesday, September 16 will be rescheduled to Wednesday, Sept. 17, and the work planned for Thursday, Sept. 18 will be rescheduled to Friday, Sept. 19, 2014.

There might be traffic delays and back-ups as commuters navigate around the new traffic patterns and the state Department of Transportation is asking drivers to pay close attention to the new overhead and electric signs that will be posted.

More information on the project and scheduled lane and ramp closures is available at www.i95newhaven.com.

One Year Ago: 12 Killed in "Carnage" at D.C. Navy Yard


Bertillia Lavern has told the story of finding her co-worker shot in the temple, strapping him into an evacuation chair and undertaking the terrifying job of pulling him out of a building under attack.

A Park Police officer, who had been on the job only three years, has shared the story of blocking out what a spokesman called "absolute carnage" in an office to conduct a cubicle-to-cubicle search to find, and eliminate, a gunman.

The doctors at MedStar Washington Hospital Center didn't have to tell their stories. The emotions of a year ago were clear on their faces in photographs taken during the long wait for "multiple gunshot victims" coming to them in a fleet of ambulances.

One year ago Tuesday, 12 people were killed and eight people were injured in a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. For anyone in the Washington, D.C. area, or anyone with ties to the Navy — or, frankly, for anyone who heard the story — the news came like a gut punch: Hell had broken out inside a secure military facility.

Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old civilian contractor, had entered Building 197 at the Washington Navy Yard and shot at victims indiscriminately, killing a dozen people before police killed him. 


Tuesday, the focus is on remembering the lives of the 12 victims and on supporting their families.

The day began with an invitation-only ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard, gathering officials and family members to remember those lost.

"...[I]n 22 minutes, our worlds turned upside down," said Rear Adm. Margaret Grun-Kibben, chief of chaplains.

Navy Sec. Ray Mabus said the pain of the losses will never completely fade.

"Even in our sleep, pain which we cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own depair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God," he said. "One year. We know now that while the pain has receded, it will never completely leave."

Other speakers included Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert and Vice Adm. William Hilarides, who is commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, or NAVSEA, which was headquartered in Building 197.

Hilarides read the names of the victims as a bell rung 12 times, for each of those killed: "Mike Arnold. Marty Bodrog. Arthur Daniels. Sylvia Frasier. Kathy Gaarde. J. J. Johnson. Frank Kohler. Mary Knight. Kisan Pandit. Ken Proctor. Gerry Read. Mike Ridgell."

At 6 p.m., city and federal officials will join Hilarides for a community event at Canal Park in southeast D.C. to commemorate the anniversary with prayers, readings and meditation. (NBCWashington will carry the event live from 6 to 7 p.m.)


Family members will commemorate in more personal ways, too. Judy Johnson, wife of John "J.J." Johnson, who died in the shooting, plans to skip the ceremonies to spend time with her family and toast her late husband, with whom she used to have a martini after work.

"My husband was the most beautiful human being that I have ever had the honor of having in my life," Judy Johnson said. "He just loved his Lord, he loved everybody, loved his country, loved his job.

"He loved me with all his heart and soul," Judy said. "He was the light of my life. He was my best friend, my partner, he was my soul mate."

Johnson told News4 how difficult this year has been, how she struggled to sleep, to eat or to leave her home.

During some of the toughest times, she sought solace in a personal letter from Vice President Joe Biden, who suffered his own loss in 1972, when his wife and young daughter were killed in a car accident.

"The time will come when J.J.’s memory brings a smile to your lips, before a tear to your eye," the letter reads. "My prayer for you is that day will come sooner, rather than later. But I assure you that it will come."


The victims of the shooting ranged in age from 46 to 73. Several were veterans. One was a former state trooper working as a security guard.

Sylvia Frasier was a computer systems manager who also held a night job at Walmart because she loved interacting with people. Arthur Daniels installed office furniture for federal buildings, and was in Building 197 on a job.

Vishnu Pandit, who everyone knew as Kisan, was born in Bombay but was proud of his civilian career with the Navy. He was the man whom Bertillia Lavern brought out of the building.

They are among the victims who will all be honored Tuesday. They are:

Michael Arnold, 59, of Lorton, Virginia, an avid pilot who was building a light airplane in his garage in his spare time;

Martin Bodrog, 54, of Annandale, Virginia, a Naval Academy graduate who could be counted on to shovel an elderly neighbor’s walk;

Arthur Daniels, 51, of Washington, D.C.;

Sylvia Frasier, 53, of Waldorf, Maryland;

Kathleen Nark Gaarde, 63, a wife and animal lover from Woodbridge, Virginia;

John Roger "J.J." Johnson, 73, of Derwood, Maryland;

Mary Francis Knight, 51, a civilian contractor from Reston, Virginia;

Frank Kohler, 50, of Tall Timbers, Maryland, a Rotarian who served as "King Oyster" for the Lexington Park, Maryland Rotary Club;

Vishnu "Kisan" Pandit, 61, of North Potomac, Maryland;

Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46, of Waldorf, Maryland, a utilities foreman who was in building 197 just to get breakfast;

Gerald L. Read, 58, of Alexandria, Virginia, who saved a co-worker’s life before losing his own; and

Richard Michael Ridgell, 52, of Westminster, Md., the former Maryland state trooper who called himself on Twitter "just a dad who loves his girls."


The reasons for Alexis' rampage died with him. But investigators have said there are "multiple indicators" that Alexis had delusions, including the belief that he was being controlled or influenced by extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves, which are used in submarine communications.

Alexis had etched the words "End to the Torment!" onto the barrel of his Remington 870 shotgun, and "My ELF weapon!" onto its receiver, along with "Better off this way!"

Inside a backpack in the fourth-floor bathroom were what investigators described as "electronic media," including a document that stated, "Ultra low frequency attack is what I’ve been subject to for the last 3 months, and to be perfectly honest that is what has driven me to this."

Investigators know that, at about 8:08 a.m., Alexis went into Building 197 using a valid building pass. He went into a bathroom on the 4th floor and, at about 8:15 a.m., emerged with a Remington 870 shotgun with a sawed-off barrel and stock. Later he armed himself with a handgun as well.

Alexis shot his first victim at 8:16 a.m., and for more than an hour, he shot indiscriminately at people inside the building. At 9:25 a.m., police found and killed Alexis.

The lockdown at the Navy Yard lasted hours longer, and Building 197 has been closed ever since.


In the year since the shooting, the Navy has begun to transform Building 197. There are plans for a "Remembrance Area." A new entrance was created.

Workers are expected to return for the first time in February. The building will be renamed after Joshua Humphreys, who designed the Navy's first six frigates.

There’s also been investigations into some problems communicating that rescuers experienced that day, and that some victims’ family members experienced as they waited for news of their loved ones.

Douglass Gaarde, Kathy’s husband, waited about 12 hours for news; he spent much of that time in the parking lot of Nationals Park, where military officials were bussing Building 197 employees.

"Every bus that came, she wasn't on it," Gaarde said. "The anxiety just started exploding. I was just walking up and down. I was just pacing. I don’t know how many times."

Meanwhile, the security contractor who did the background investigation into Alexis (and into NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden) is losing its massive contract with the federal Office of Personnel Management.

But those continuing reverberations of the mass shooting — the second-deadliest mass shooting at a U.S. military facility and one of the deadliest single events in the nation's capital — will take a back seat Tuesday, to memories of those lost.

"I know he’s here," Judy Johnson said of her husband.

"And I know he loved me, with all his heart and soul. A lot of people never have in their life what I had."

Police Investigate Car Break-in at Newington Gym


Newington police are investigating after someone smashed a car window at a gym last week and stole the victim’s purse.  

They released surveillance photos on Tuesday morning in the hopes that someone can identify the people in them.

The Nissan SUV that was parked in the lot of Planet Fitness on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington between 5:30 p.m. and 5:40 p.m. on Thursday when the theft happened, police said.

The victim’s credit cards were used at the Shell gas station and McDonald’s in New Haven and police have released images of a man and woman who were trying to use the stolen credit card inside the Shell gas station on Quinnipiac Avenue in New Haven, police said.

They were seen getting into a tan or gold Dodge minivan with Connecticut license plates. 

If you recognize them, call the Newington Police Department and ask for Detective Derek Aivano at (860) 594-6230.

Photo Credit: Newington Police

New Jersey Drivers Detest Connecticut Drivers: Survey


When it comes to driving, we’re pretty rude in Connecticut, but drivers in 12 states are worse than we are, according to a new list from Insure.com

Connecticut ranks 13th and the drivers who most detest us the most are from New Jersey. Why, New Jersey? What did we do to you?

The results are based on a survey of 2,000 drivers across the country and show that the rudest drivers in the country are apparently from Idaho, followed by Washington, DC and New York.

Neighboring Massachusetts came in 5th, New Jersey came in 8th and Rhode Island came in 14th.

Same Men Might Be Behind 6 CT Bank Robberies


Police in several towns, as well as the FBI, are investigating.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police

2 Men Might Be Behind 6 Connecticut Bank Robbers: Police


Two men might be behind six recent bank robberies in Connecticut and an $8,000 reward has been offered to help solve the case.

Police said the descriptions of the bank robbers in cases from West Haven, New Haven, Hamden and East Haven are similar and the FBI is investigating, along with local law enforcement.

The first robbery in the spree happened on Friday, May 23, at First Niagara, 36 Fountain Street in New Haven.

Ay 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, June 10
, the First Start Community Bank at 299 Whalley Avenue in New Haven was robbed. Police said bandanas covered the men’s faces and one of them pulled a large silver revolver during the robbery.

On Friday, June 27, two men wearing bandanas robbed First Niagara at 36 Fountain Street in New Haven at gunpoint. They fled in a white Toyota Corolla that was waiting for them, police said.
At 12:05 p.m. on Thursday, July 31, two men in masks and hats robbed The First Niagara Bank at 2856 Whitney Avenue in Hamden. They were wearing hats and had a handgun.

On Friday, August 29, two men robbed Greater West Haven Federal Credit Union at 502 Main Street West Haven.

On September 10, two men in ski masks robbed the First Niagara on Frontage Road in East Haven.

The reward offered is from the Connecticut Bankers Association. If you know who is behind the robberies, call West Haven Police detectives at 203-937-3907.

Police said there is a “strong probability” that the same men were involved in the robberies in the area, including one at the First Niagara branch at 36 Fountain Street, New Haven on June 27.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police

Police Seek Robber Who Shot Store Owner


Bridgeport police are looking for a man who shot a business owner in the foot during an armed robbery at a Boston Avenue store Monday evening.

Police responded to Hair Plus at 161 Boston Avenue at 6:26 p.m. to investigate a report that someone was shot during a robbery there.

The robber came into the store and demanded money at gunpoint, shooting store owner Se Jong Chung, 55, in the foot, police said.

The robber escaped with a customer's handbag and some cash, police said.

Police obtained security footage of the incident and are asking for the public's help in identifying the suspect.

The department asks anyone with information to contact Det. John Tenn at 203-581-5243.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Tractor-Trailers Crash on I-95


Two tractor-trailers collided on Interstate 95 North in Fairfield near the Exit 22 service plaza.

The crash happened at about 4 a.m. on Tuesday and the trucks have been on the shoulder of the highway for a couple hours.

There are traffic delays in both directions, largely due to rubbernecking, according to State Police.

Photo Credit: DOT

Remains Found in Vernon Are of Woman in Her 40s


A year and a half has passed since human remains were found on the site of a former landfill in Vernon and police released new information on Tuesday that they hope will generate new leads in the case,

A local resident who was searching for scrap metal to build a sculpture stumbled upon the skull in March 2013 in the area of 126 West Street, which used to be the Rockville Landfill.

Police had just the skeleton to go on, but now say it the remains are those of a white woman between 40 and 50 years old, but could be slightly older or younger.

They released a sketch on Tuesday of what she might have looked like. Police said she had a slightly narrow face with high cheekbones.

A medical student at the Quinnipiac University's Frank H. Netter School of Medicine drew the sketch based on examinations of the remains.

Lt. William Meier III, of the Vernon Police Department, said the drawing is only an approximation of what the woman looked like and might not exactly resemble the features of the person found dead.

The mystery is still unsolved because officers haven't identified the skeletal human remains, but they have released a sketch based on the woman's biological profile in the hopes that someone will recognize some of the facial features and come forward with new information.

"We're hoping that a family member, a friend, a neighbor, or someone else will recognize this person and come forward to investigators with information that will lead to the identity," he said.

Police believe she was between 5 feet tall and 5-foot-3. The cause of death has not been determined.

Police ruled out the possibility that the remains might belong to one of three girls who disappeared between 1968 and 1974.

Officers planned to use dental records and DNA to cross-check the National Missing Persons Database, but there has been no match, Meier said.

Many older missing persons reports were taken before DNA technology existed and several have not been updated with DNA profiles, according to Meier.

Police have not said how long the remains were in the landfill. The case has been challenging due to the nature of the terrain and that the spread of remains made it difficult to recover.

Vernon police will continue to work with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the Connecticut State Police MIssing Persons Unit and scientific experts in an effort to identify the victim.

Police said it's possible the woman was not from Connecticut or even New England.

Anyone with information on the investigation is urged to call Vernon police at 860-872-9126. Callers may remain anonymous.

Photo Credit: Vernon Police Department

First Smashburger to Open in Waterford


The Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut announced Tuesday that its first burger franchise restaurant will be in Waterford.

The tribe has entered into a franchise agreement with Denver-based Smashburger to open up 16 restaurants in Easter Connecticut, Western and Centeral Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The franchise has burgers, salads, fries and sandwiches on the menu, as well as "hand-spun" milkshakes. The Smashchicken sandwich is a featured menu item, including provolone cheese, baby spinach, pesto, giardiniera, tomatoes and mayonaise on a ciabatta bun.

The burgers are all-natural certified Angust Beef and "smashed on a 400 degree flat grill to sear in the juicy flavor" and served on artisan buns, according to a news release from the Mohegan Tribe.

The first Connecticut Smashburger will move into a 2,500-square-foot  storefront at Waterford Commons on the Hartford Turnpike (Route 85) and is expected to open in early December. The space is under renovation "to match the sleek and modern design of the burger brand," according to a news release from the Mohegan tribe. The new restaurant will bring in about 30 to 40 new jobs.

“Smashburger will continue our Tribe’s reputation for bringing the best to our region,” said Kevin Brown “Red Eagle,” Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council. “We have been consistently impressed by the company’s commitment to bringing the fast-casual restaurant experience to a higher level and providing excellent customer service. We also look forward to bringing new jobs to our community. Smashburger is a great addition to the Tribe’s continuing business diversification efforts.”

The tribe is "in the planning stages" its other future Smashburger locations.

The tribe, which has been exploring "diversification opportunities" for years, also has entered into an agreement with Arooga's Franchising, LP to run 15 Arooga's Grille House and Sports Bar restaurants in New England, according to a previous news release from the tribe. 

Northeast Wood Products, LLC, the tribe's subsidiary business, also recently acquired a wood pellet production operation in Peebles, Ohio and plans to purchase another in Ligonier, Indiana.

"After almost two years of careful diligence on diversification opportunities for the Tribe, we have been able to see the results of our efforts with the addition of the Smashburger franchise to our group of new companies,"  Brown said. "We chose this brand because of its superior product offering and its reputation as one of the fastest growing and most successful franchises in the United States."

A Smashburger spokesperson said in a statement that the franchise is enthusiastic expanding its footprint to the Northeast.

“This opportunity was one that is a perfect fit for our brand," Matt Stanton, vice president of development and strategy for Smashburger, said. "With the experience of the Tribe and our desire to find experienced multi-unit operators to grow with, we know this partnership will be one that aligns with our growth plans for Smashburger.”

Smashburger President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Crane said that the company is "thrilled to debut" the restaurant in Connecticut and "introduce our menu of premium smashed-to-order burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, and signature sides and handspun Haagen-Dazs shakes to this culinary capital."

“The Mohegan Tribe will be a perfect partner for us as we continue to expand our presence nationally and bring the better burger experience to the Connecticut market," Crane said.

Under the agreement, Smashburger will open up locations in New London, Tolland, Windham, Litchfield and Middlesex Counties in Connecticut, as well as Rhode Island and Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and Worcester counties in Massachusetts.

More information about Smashburger is available on the company website.

Danbury Hospital Sends Specimens to CDC for Enterovirus Testing


Danbury Hospital is the latest Connecticut hospital to send specimens to CDC to be tested for enterovirus.

This comes days after state officials said Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford is treating suspected cases of Enterovirus D68, the mysterious respiratory illness that has hospitalized children in a dozen states.

In all, 130 people have lab-confirmed cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infants, children and teens are most at risk to become ill because thy don't have the immunity.

Dr. Greg Dworkin, chief of pediatric pulmonology, at Danbury Hospital, said they sent specimens to be tested for Enterovirus D68.

‘We are doing our due diligence. We are not overly alarmed. We just want to know what we have,” he said.

Enterovirus 68 presents like a bad cold or flu, according to doctors.

Symptoms include high fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing, according to the CDC. No fatalities have been linked to Enterovirus 68.

2-Alarm Fire in Middlefield


Firefighters from at least six departments are responding to a two-alarm fire on Jackson Hill Road in Middlefield. 

No additional information was immediately available on the fire, but crews from the Middlefield Volunteer Company, Durham Volunteer Fire Company, Westfield Fire Department, South Fire District Firefighters, Middletown, and Meriden are providing mutual aid.


Check back for updates.

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