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Cases of Whooping Cough Reported at Plymouth School


School officials in Plymouth are urging parents to be on alert after two cases of whooping cough at Plymouth Center School.

Carolyn Giannini, the school nurse coordinator for Plymouth Center School, sent a letter to all parents and guardians of students in Plymouth Public Schools to make them aware of the symptoms and to urge them to ensure children are up to date with vaccines to protect against pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

Symptoms can be mild or severe. Whooping Cough usually starts with cold-like symptoms, a runny nose, sneezing and a cough, according to an information sheet the school provided on pertussis.

The letter said the State Department of Health advised the school about the confirmed case and school officials have been in touch with the Torrington Health District, which provides health services to 20 cities, towns an boroughs in the Northwest corner of the state. 

Anyone who needs more information should call a health care provider or the Connecticut Immunization Program at (860) 509-7929.

Earlier this month, there was a case of whooping cough at Moran Middle School in Wallingford.

Learn more about the causes, symptoms and how to prevent pertussis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site.

Second Human Case of West Nile Virus in Connecticut This Season


A Stamford resident has tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to the Department of Public Health.

It is the second human case of West Nile in Connecticut this season.

The patient was hospitalized and has already been released, according to a release from the Stamford Department of Health and Social Services. It was not clear when the person was hospitalized.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus include fever, headache, body aches and nausea. In rare cases, patients can develop severe symptoms, such as high fever, neck stiffness, tremors, coma and paralysis, according to Stamford's health department.

The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes.  Several mosquitoes infected with West Nile have been trapped throughout Connecticut this season.

The state's first human case of West Nile Virus was in a patient in Bridgeport.

CDC Confirms CT Case of Enterovirus


Enterovirus D68 infection, a mysterious respiratory illness, has hospitalized children in several states and the CDC has confirmed a case here in Connecticut.

The state Department of Public Health received confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on of a case involving a Connecticut child.  The child was treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital, according to a hospital spokesperson.

The child was recently hospitalized, has improved and been discharged.

A statement from the state Department of Health said it is likely the virus is already causing respiratory illnesses in many places across Connecticut because of this confirmed case and reports of suspected cases involving children at four other Connecticut hospitals, and confirmed EV-D68 cases in New York State and New Jersey.

Officials from Danbury Hospital said earlier this week that they sent specimens to the CDC to be tested.

Officials from Connecticut Children's Medical Center said last week that they were treating suspected cases of Enterovirus D68. The confirmed case was not one of their patients.

As of Sept. 16, the CDC was reporting 130 lab-confirmed cases in 12 states since mid-August. Those 12 states are Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

Most people who are infected with non-polio enteroviruses do not get sick, or they only have mild illness, according to the CDC. Symptoms of mild illness may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, skin rash, mouth blisters, and body and muscle aches.

DPH is working with health care providers and local health departments to closely monitor for increases in respiratory illnesses in hospitals across the state.

Laboratory specimens from patients with respiratory illnesses that could be due to EV-D68 at four other Connecticut hospitals are in the process of being sent to the CDC for confirmatory testing.

Rabid Bat Causes Concern in Hamden


Hamden police are looking for the person who brought a rabid bat to a Veterinarian's office.

The man walked into the Mount Carmel Veterinary Hospital at 3320 Whitney Avenue around 1 p.m. on Tuesday and left a box containing a bat, according to police. He walked out without identifying himself.

The vet decided to euthanize the bat and test it for rabies. On Wednesday, the test came back positive for the rabies virus, according to the Quinnipiac Valley Health Department.

Police and health officials are concerned the man that handled the bat may have been exposed to rabies and should be tested.

He is described as a black man between 18 and 25 years old, 5'10" tall and a medium build with a short "Mohawk style" haircut, according to police.

Anyone with information on who the man may be is urged to call the Hamden Animal Control Division at 203-230-4080.

Photo Credit: Mount Carmel Veterinary Hospital

Malloy Stands by his Record, Slams Foley


In an interview for NBC Connecticut’s Decision 2014 Sunday morning news program, Gov. Dan Malloy said he stands by his record on everything from jobs to education.

“I believe that this is a debate about Connecticut's future” Gov. Malloy said. “With the creation of thousands private sector jobs we see that Connecticut is moving forward.”

Malloy used the interview as an opportunity to tout some of what he thinks are his best accomplishments, while attacking Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley.

Malloy said the agreement the state struck with United Technologies was “historic.”

“We’re going to be producing engines in Connecticut for 20 or 30 years at two plants that are being updated. This is exciting stuff. He’s criticized that deal. He’d rather I suppose United Technologies leave the state.”

Foley responded to some of Malloy’s criticisms saying if the incumbent is elected, then Connecticut will continue to struggle with job growth.

"Dan Malloy thinks one of the worst job recovery rates in the nation is good enough. He thinks 1% growth in our state is good enough. But he doesn't think the largest tax increase in state history is big enough” Foley said in a statement.

On the issue of taxes, Gov. Malloy said there will be no tax hikes in his second term and defended his record on taxes and spending, arguing that he inherited a bad situation that he had to fix.

“I did what I had to do because of the situation we were in. Connecticut had the worst per capita deficit in the nation. We had to solve that. We have solved it and we’re creating tens of thousands of jobs and we’re taking our foot off the tax pedal.”

The entire interview with Gov. Malloy will air Sunday at 10AM during Decision 2014.

HS Queen Shares Crown After Prank


Two friends at a North Texas high school vowed to make up for their classmates' cruel prank by awarding the Grand Prairie High School homecoming crown to one of their best friends.

Lillian Skinner, 17, is described by friends as "just an amazing girl" and "one of the nicest people I've ever met."

"She's so sweet," said 17-year-old Anahi Alvarez, a senior at the North Texas school. "We need people in this world like Lilly."

"My mom tells me, and I remember to tell my friends, 'Look inside [to see what] counts. Not the outside. Look inside your heart,'" Skinner told NBC 5 about her life motto. "If you judge people's skin, that's bad. But look inside their heart, to who they are."

But Skinner's sweet and innocent nature also made her the target of a recent prank in which some unnamed girls told her she had been nominated for the homecoming court alongside her longtime best friends, Alvarez and Naomi Martinez, also a GPHS senior.

After learning of the prank, Alvarez and Martinez, who have been friends with Skinner since 7th grade choir, hatched a plan to pass their crown to Skinner should either of them be named homecoming queen.

"We promised each other and we were like, 'No matter what, no backing down. If one of us wins, we're giving Lillian the crown,'" Martinez said.

On Friday night, in front of thousands of friends, family members and fans at the Gopher-Warrior Bowl, that is exactly what happened.

Principal Lorimer Arendse, now in his fourth week at the helm of Grand Prairie High School, was let in on the plan shortly before halftime and the planned announcement of the homecoming winners.

"In all my time in school, this is probably the greatest moment I've ever experienced as a principal," said Arendse, who has five years of prior experience in school administration.

It was Arendse's job to escort Skinner onto the field, under the guise of helping to take pictures of the homecoming court's procession. So Skinner had front row seats for when her friend, Anahi Alvarez, was named 2014 homecoming queen.

"When she won the queen, I took a picture and she told me to come over. And I said, 'It's OK. It's OK. It's your crown, you know? My name is not on the list,'" Skinner said.

Slowly it dawned on Skinner what was really happening, according to the others in attendance.

"That's when it was just, the moment itself took over," Arendse said, still smiling four days after the fact.

"Seeing the look on her face and the way she reacted toward it, it was priceless," said Martinez. "I knew it was the right decision."

Skinner did not know what to think as Alvarez placed the crown on her head.

"I was like, 'Wow, really? Like, wow! Like, is this a dream or something?'" Skinner said Tuesday, pinching her arm as she did.

As for the girl who got the most votes Friday, she said she would gladly do it all again.

"Well, for me, I want to say, and I always say, 'Lilly won. I just ran in her place, in her position,'" Alvarez said. "When they ask me, 'Were you homecoming queen?' I say, 'No, Lilly is homecoming queen.'"

Photo Credit: Anahi Alvarez

Stolen Jaguar Found 46 Years Later


A classic British roadster regarded as one of the most beautiful cars ever made will be returned to its 82-year-old owner nearly five decades after the vehicle was stolen.

The 1967 Jaguar E-type convertible was seized by authorities last month at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport. Referred to the XKE in the United States, the car has captured hearts of auto enthusiasts, including Ivan Schneider, since it roared onto the scene in the 1960s with its sporting pedigree, graceful long hood, sleek profile and other timeless design elements. The New York Museum of Modern Art even added an XKE to its permanent design collection in the 1990s.

This particular car's story is not all about looks -- although, most of it is.

The car was stolen 46 years ago in New York City and Schneider, now living in Miami Beach, had no reason to believe he would ever see his beloved sports car again. He was so enamored with it that whenever he bought a new car, Schneider recalled regaling dealers with tales of his lost E-type, which the trial lawyer then in his mid-30s bought for $15,000 after winning a big case. Hagerty's classic car price guide now values the convertible 4.2-liter engine model at more than $112,000.

"I've had a lot of great cars since then, but none of them as pretty," Schneider, a car collector, said Wednesday. "I've had every car you can think of. That was, in looks, my favorite car.

"It's gorgeous. It looks like a bullet almost. It's a car they should make now again."

The theft occurred outside his New York City residence. Schneider walked downstairs on his way to work and realized the car wasn't where he parked.

"I walked up and down Madison Avenue, then up and down 5th Avenue, and it wasn't there," he said. "I was heartbroken."

He filed a police report. Holding out hope that the Jag would be found, he did not buy another car for about four weeks. Eventually, he accepted the possibilty he would never see it again.

Forty-six years later, he found what a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official told him during an August phone call even more difficult to accept. The car had been located in a shipping container at the Port of Long Beach/Los Angeles that was bound for Europe.

"When I got the call, I thought they were kidding me," Schneider said.

The break in the decades-old vehicle theft case came when Customs and Border Protection was notified by the National Insurance Crime Bureau of a vehicle reported stolen. CBP typically cross-references documentation provided by exporters with information, including vehicle identification numbers, in the Crime Bureau's active stolen vehicle reports.

"When we located the vehicle, it was in a container bound for the Netherlands," said Javier Larios, of the CBP.

The agency notified the carrier that the container should be returned to the Southern California port complex. When agents opened the container, they found Schneider's Jag, painted white over its original gray color.

"The outside looks great, the inside looks terrible," Schneider said. "This is just a miracle, a miracle."

Schneider plans to have the car restored in New York before it is shipped to his Florida home. He said he is "very excited" to take it for another ride after only putting 6,000 miles on the car before it disappeared.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

Former Officer Charged with Stealing from Police Union


A former Cheshire police officer has been accused of stealing almost $21,000 from the police union he once served, according to the State’s Attorney office.

Authorities say Jay D. Markella, 46, of Maple Street in Cheshire, stole more than $6,100 from the union’s money market account, $14,000 from its checking account and another $1,000 using a credit card issued for union use. Investigators believe the thefts occurred between April 2007 and October 2012.

According to officials, Markella served as the union treasurer from January 2005 until he was promoted to Captain, a non-union position, in September 2010. He resigned from the Cheshire Police Department in 2013, according to police.

The investigation was prompted by a complaint filed by the Cheshire police department and leaders of the Cheshire police union in February 2013.

Authorities say Markella was charged with one count of Larceny in the First Degree. He was arrested and released on a $20,000 non-surety bond and will be arraigned in Superior Court in Meriden, on Sept. 24, 2014.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Developers Pitch Ballpark Plan to City Council, Residents


The developers hoping to build a baseball stadium for the Rock Cats in Hartford pitched their plan to city council members before an overflow crowd on Wednesday night.

Centerplan Construction detailed its $350 million vision for the area just north of Hartford's downtown during a city council committee meeting at the Parker Memorial Community Center on Wednesday night.

"I think people see the vision. I think people understand that we're trying to do something transformative in north Hartford," said Yves Joseph of Centerplan Construction.

The project would include a $56.5 million stadium which would be leased by the city for 25 years. The city would then make a final payment to purchase the ballpark.

The project would also include a supermarket, a brewery, apartments, houses, and office space which would all be built in three phases over five years.

"I am confident that this is not only going to be good for the city of Hartford, I'm confident this is going to be good for our region and the state," said Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.

After the developers spoke, residents got their chance to weigh in on the proposal.

Some expressed support for the project saying it would revitalize an area that's been neglected for too long.

"Let's hope that this particular project is only the start," said Mike McGarry, a former city council member.

Others questioned whether the project makes fiscal sense.

"In whose imagination are these equity investors rushing towards DoNo?" said JoAnne Bauer of Hartford.

City council members plan to hold another hearing on the project next week.

This comes as the Rock Cats make another move.

The team is no longer affiliated with the Minnesota Twins and has instead signed a two-year deal with the Colorado Rockies.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Father of Rape Victim Relieved Attacker is Behind Bars


A New Britain father is sharing his story exclusively with NBC Connecticut after police arrested the suspect accused of raping his teenage daughter.

Antonio Porter has been on the run for weeks, but detectives tracked him down today. NBC Connecticut is concealing the parent’s identity to protect the family.

“I really struggled not to fall down on my knees,” the victim’s father said as he described his reaction when police called him, letting them know the man accused of raping his daughter on September 6th was finally captured. “This guy stole my soul,” the parent explained.

This morning Hartford Police got a tip that Antonio Ponder was spotted in the city’s North End. They say they chased him down in a stolen car and arrested him at an apartment complex by Albany and Adams. “We can’t let a person like that be on the streets,” the victim’s father explained.

He said his entire family is grateful the convicted felon is off the streets - especially his 18-year-old, the target of his alleged random attack on West Main Street and Grove Hill in New Britain. “It was magical seeing her face when I got home seeing her relief saying they got him,” her father said.

The teen was walking home from a friends place around 9:30 p.m. when police say she was raped, beaten up, and robbed out of nowhere. Her father says she showed up at home with significant injuries and he called for help. “I don’t see how a monster would target a person like that,” he added.

The victim has been frightened ever since - worried Ponder would somehow find her and go after her again. Now that he’s behind bars, this family can try to move forward and stop being so afraid. “I'm hoping we can heal soon for my daughters sake,” her father said.

Antonio Ponder is behind bars at the New Britain Police Department. He is expected to face a judge tomorrow.

Photo Credit: New Britain Police

Lawsuit Over Teen Killed by LAPD


The mother of Ezell Ford, an unarmed black teenager shot and killed by LAPD officers during an altercation, filed a $75 million wrongful death lawsuit against the department Wednesday, arguing her son’s civil rights were violated the night he died.

Ford, 25, was fatally shot Aug. 11 after he allegedly struggled with two Los Angeles police officers from Newton Area Gang Enforcement Detail after he was stopped near 65th and Broadway streets. Police said Ford reached for an officer’s gun when they opened fire.

Family members have contradicted that narrative, and asserted that Ford was mentally ill and the officers should have better known how to deal with him.

“This was a homicide plain and simple,” said Steve Lerman, who is representing Ford’s family. “A disarmed, unarmed, helpless, hapless person who was shot to death for no reason other than two officers were bored on Monday at 8 p.m. and they knew Ezell Ford was handicapped.”

Lerman, who represented Rodney King in his lawsuit against LAPD 22 years ago, did not elaborate on why the family believed the two officers knew Ford was handicapped, but said new evidence and scores of witnesses have come forward in the case who will back up his claims.

Ford’s death has sparked outrage, demonstrations and marches from activists who say they’re fed up with the recurring problem of law enforcement and how they deal with the mentally ill.

Ford battled bipolar and schizophrenia, according to Lerman, the family attorney.

The family’s claim argues officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas unjustifiably shot Ford and denied him due process.

LAPD did not comment on the lawsuit because the investigation is ongoing and the department does not comment on pending litigation.

Cases of Enterovirus Confirmed in NY, NJ, CT: Officials


Officials Wednesday confirmed cases of enterovirus EV-D68 in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut as the unusual and potentially severe respiratory illness continues to sweep across the U.S.

Officials said that at least one of the 12 confirmed cases of the virus previously confirmed in New York state is in New York City, and another case is on Long Island. Cases have been reported in more than a dozen states nationwide.

The CDC also confirmed a case in New Jersey on Wednesday. That case was identified from a specimen sent to the CDC from a Philadelphia hospital, the CDC said. The child was discharged from a hospital after their condition improved.

On Long Island, a girl from North Hempstead was hospitalized earlier in the month and is now recovering at home, according to the Nassau County Health Department. 

Connecticut health officials also said that a child in that state also contracted the virus. The child was being treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital, but it's not clear what town that child was from..

Enteroviruses, which usually cause mild cold-like symptoms that last about a week, are common, afflicting up to 15 million people in the U.S. each year, but the CDC says this particular strain of the virus is unusually severe.

Infants and children are at particular risk, and though most affected people recover on their own and have no future problems, those with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions such as asthma may need to be hospitalized.

There is no vaccination. Prevention involves hand-washing, disinfecting surfaces and any usual steps to prevent the spread of flu.

There are more than 100 types of enteroviruses. EV-D68 was first identified in California in 1962.

Health officials urge anyone who has trouble breathing, or notices a child does, to call a doctor immediately.  

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

Photo Credit: AP

Doctor Infected With Ebola Expected to Make Full Recovery


A Massachusetts aid worker who contracted Ebola in West Africa is now expected to make a full recovery, according to the doctors treating him at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

Wednesday night, NECN interviewed Dr. Rick Sacra's brother, Doug Sacra of Wayland. Doug says his brother's appetite is starting to come back, he's mentally sharper and more talkative.

"Oh it's great, we are very pleased," said a smiling Doug Sacra.

Dr. Sacra's wife, Debbie, has been briefing the family from Nebraska, where he's been in isolation since returning from Liberia.

Wednesday, Doug said he spoke with his brother over the phone for a half hour.

"He sounded perfectly normal, Dr. Rick at his best. On the other hand he's just laying there in his bed, so he is totally with it mentally, and now he can talk to you for a while, where a week ago he could talk to you for a minute and a half and then doctor said he has to lay back down."

Just last week, doctors explained how Dr. Sacra has been getting blood transfusions from Dr. Kent Brantley, another Ebola survivor. He's also taking another experimental drug, which doctors refused to identify, saying it's uncharted territory.

Over the past week, Dr. Sacra has done so well that doctors are now working to keep him entertained. They've brought in books, a stationary bike, chess board and Nerf hoop, even Ben and Jerry's chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

Doctors are now awaiting results of a second set of blood samples. There must be two negative blood tests done within 24 hours apart for Dr. Sacra to be released.

Photo Credit: SIM USA

Calif. Wildfire Threatens Homes


The King Fire was still raging out of control in Pollock Pines, 60 miles east of Sacramento, on Wednesday evening, as more than 2,500 firefighters battled the blaze, which grew by thousands of acres overnight and has burned through nearly 29 square miles.

The wildfire was threatening 500 homes, with some under mandatory evacuation orders, and was just 5 percent contained.

“It's burning in steep, dense terrain with heavy timber that's posing quite a challenge,'' said Alyssa Smith, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Homeowners are just waiting, hoping to get word that their house is in the clear. Mark Catrambone, along with his wife and dog, were evacuated from their home in Swansboro. They said they’re thankful they had enough time to pack their valuables and get out safely.

“We’re safe and that’s the most important thing,” Catrambone said. “Would hate to lose it all. It’s just property, but still, it’s your life and home.”

Twenty-one families have been evacuated. Fire officials said keeping those houses safe is a top priority, but fire crews are struggling with dangerous conditions.

“It’s risky out there. It’s a fire, moving quickly, and it’s very steep and rugged terrain,” Capt. Michelle Eidam said, adding the low humidity and the wind is making their job tough.

“Our fuels are very dry,” Eidam said. “That’s playing a huge role in helping this fire grow quickly, burn hot and spread fast.”

The King Fire is one of a number of wildfires burning across California. Dozens of homes, churches and buildings were wiped out after a fire roared through the small logging town of Weed, California.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: @NWSSacramento / Twitter

Celebrate National Cheeseburger Day


It's National Cheeseburger Day! If you are a burger connoisseur, you know there are many places to grab a mouthwatering, juicy cheeseburger in Connecticut.

Here are some of them:

Louis’ Lunch
261-263 Crown Street in New Haven
(203) 562-5507

Ted's Restaurant
1046 Broad Street, Meriden 203-237-6660 and 43 Berlin Road, Cromwell 860-635-8337

Harry's Place in Colchester, a viewer favorite, has been featured in Roadfood for the incredibly juicy burgers. They also call a Harry’s cheeseburger “fast food perfection.”
Harry’s holds the distinct honor of being on the National Register of Historic places.

Max Burger in West Hartford serves up everything from a classic burger, to a gourmet chicken burger or a veggie burger. Trust us, your taste buds will be very, very happy with this food outing. The Inside Out burger is delicious, but check out the full menu, including the specials.
Max Burger
124 LaSalle Road, West Hartford

Plan B Burger Bar is one of those places that you’ll keep going back to, time and time again. They pride themselves on the fresh beef burgers, but you can get just about any kind of burger you can imagine. The New Englander is made with lobster, smoked gouda, caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato and corn spread.

There are several locations in the state:

Plan B Burger Bar: 

120 Hebron Ave., Glastonbury, 860-430-9737
1638 Boston Post Road, Milford, 203-713-8700
4 Railroad St., Simsbury, 860-658-4474
230 Tresser Boulevard, Stamford, 203-964-8353
138 Park Road, West Hartford, 860-231-1199

Prime 16 in New Haven and Orange. In the past, viewers have lauded these burgers. Build your own or pick one of the specialties. You won't find a honey truffle burger on too many menus.

Shady Glen, in Manchester, is another viewer favorite. It's not uncommon for people who've had a Shady Glen cheeseburger to say it's the best -- ever.

Corner Pug, West Hartford. If you’re heading out on national burger day with someone who, for some reason, does not share your burger love, head to the Corner Pug in West Hartford. You can indulge on a blackened Cajun burger or knife and fork Irish nacho burger while your dining partner has salad, steak, mac and cheese or chicken.
These are just some of the best places to go for burgers. There is no way to name them all. Let us know your picks by commenting below.

Lake Zoar Drive-In, 14 Roosevelt Drive (Route 34), Monroe, CT (203) 268-8137

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Route 7 Closed in New Milford


Route 7 in New Milford is closed both directions at Sullivan Road near Candlewood Valley Country Club after a car hit a pole, according to New Milford Police.

A detour has been set up from Sullivan Road to Larson Road.

The pole is down. Connecticut Light & Power is at the scene and the road is expected to be “closed for a while.” 

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Crash Slows Traffic on I-84 East in East Hartford


Traffic is getting by slowly after a crash on Interstate 84 East in East Hartford.

The left lane is blocked and a tow truck is at the scene.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Make Second Arrest in August Homicide


Bridgeport police have made a second arrest in the murder of Ryan Hernandez, 21, in August.

Hernandez was shot in the chest during a confrontation at Park Avenue and Olive Street on Aug. 10, according to police.

School Resource Officer took a 17-year-old suspect into custody at Lakeview Cemetery on Wednesday, police said. Police believe he is the shooter and the teen has been charged with murder, as well as other charges, police said.

On August 11, police released video from the scene in the hopes that it would lead to clues in the case.

It shows one male approached Hernandez with what appears to be a gun and the two argue. 

The suspect takes a swing at Hernandez with his weapon, then backs up as Hernandez walks toward him.

The men continue to argue and they go off-camera when the individual, identified as Hernandez, lunges after the suspect.

Then the video shows the suspect fleeing into a car that was stopped in the road and it drives away once the suspect is inside as a third man runs after the car.

Then, a man partially visible in the edge of the camera frame falls to the ground.

Hernandez was transported to St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport and later pronounced dead.

Last month, detectives charged a 16-year-old with conspiracy to commit murder. Police said he was the driving the car the suspected gunman was in.

Police have not released the names of the suspects.

School Lockdown Over in Windham


Two schools in Windham were on lockdown after an armed robbery at a nearby gas station, according to Willimantic Police, but the lockdowns have been lifted.

There was an armed robbery at A-1 gas station on West Main Street at 9:20 a.m. and lockdowns were issued at the Windham Middle School and the Sweeney School.

Police tried to pull a car over in connection with the case, but the people in it ran off, police said.

Two robbery suspects are in custody, police said.

Avon School Increases Security After Suspicious Incident


Pine Grove School in Avon has stepped up security after a suspicious man was spotted in the area, according to a letter the superintendent sent to parents.

A staff member was arriving to work on Wednesday morning and saw a man who did not look like he had any connection with the school, the letter said.

Avon police Lt. Kelly Walsh said the staff member saw "a suspicious vehicle occupied by one male. We responded and by the time we got there, the vehicle had already left the scene."

The staff member called police and provided a description of the driver, the white SUV and the license plate, school officials said.

Police are investigating and said extra security will be provided at the school for an undefined period of time, according to the superintendent.

"You cannot walk out of that school or into that school if they don't recognize you," said Jessica Bettencourt, the parent of a Pine Grove student.

The school principal raised the issue at a PTO meeting Wednesday night and reassured parents that authorities are taking every precaution.

"He said that all the staff is trained to recognize people who don't look like they belong," Bettencourt said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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