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Thomaston High School Dismissed After Bomb Threat


A bomb threat was reported at Thomaston High School on Thursday morning and the students were dismissed for the day.

According to police, a student found a message written in ink on a stall in the girls' bathroom around 9:45 a.m. Thursday. The message mentioned wanting to blow up the school, and police were called to the scene.

The state police bomb squad responded to the high school to check the area and the scene was cleared as of noon. Investigators will be sifting through surveillance footage from the school.

It's not clear when the note was written, but a custodian said it was not there over the summer.

"We are confident right now it was recent," said Thomaston police Chief James Campbell.

Students were evacuated and taken to Black Rock School until buses arrived to take them home. Both parents and students said they were comfortable with the decision to dismiss the school.

"They don't want to chance anything," said high school student Alexis Boulanger. "It's a lot safer to just have no school."


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Mom Killed Son During 2nd Attempt


The Oceanside, California, woman charged with her son’s drowning made the decision to kill him twice, according to the prosecution.

Veronica Rivas, 28, faced a judge for the first time on Wednesday. Rivas pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder and assault on a child under 5 causing death.

Rivas’ son, 21-month-old Elijah, was found dead Sept. 10 at her condo on Woodpark Way. Investigators say during questioning, Rivas confessed to drowning her son.

Rivas shook her head as the prosecutor shared details of that confession.

Rivas told police that she decided earlier in the day that she was going to kill her son, according to prosecutor Claudia Grasso.

“She said, ‘I thought of the tub because it would just be the easiest,’” Grasso said.

Grasso said that Rivas filled the tub and called her son into the bathroom.

“She herself says that she put him in the water face down and held him there,” Grasso said.

According to the prosecutor, when Rivas thought the boy was dead, she took him out of the tub. However, he came to and started crying, coughing and vomiting.

“She made the decision to put him back in the tub,” Grasso said.

The boy’s grandmother came home, discovered Elijah unconscious and called 911. The toddler was pronounced dead at the scene.

Rivas was also found unconscious and was rushed to the hospital. Police say she was treated for a medical emergency but could not say if it was an attempted suicide, as neighbors had speculated. The prosecutor said she had taken Tylenol and alcohol.

Police say Rivas was suffering from depression over a custody battle with her son’s father. The boy’s father was in court Wednesday but did not comment.

Judge William Gentry set Rivas’ bail at $3 million. The prosecution had asked for only $2 million.

A readiness conference is scheduled for Sept. 25, and a preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 30.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

Water Main Break in Shelton


A water main break on Bridgeport Avenue in Shelton is affecting some residents.

The road is closed at Long Hill Cross Road.

To get around the closure, use Route 8 or Long Hill Avenue.

Photo Credit: Googlle Maps

Cromwell Man Injured in Plainville Motorcycle Crash


A Cromwell man was injured in a motorcycle crash in Plainville early Thursday morning.

Police said David Turner, of Cromwell, lost control of his motorcycle on Route 177 between Bradley Street and Day Road around 1:30 a.m. and hit a pole.

He was transported to Hartford Hospital and is in stable condition.

A neighbor said Turner was clutching his leg and yelling for help. 

“I ran outside because we heard the guy screaming, ‘Help, Help. Help.’ So then that’s when I came running one street over and I saw the guy lying on the ground clutching his, leg screaming help,” Robert Flowers, of Plainville, said.

The intersection was closed as crews responded, but it has since reopened.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Manchester Asks Residents to Conserve Water


Manchester's reservoirs are down to 80 percent capacity, so town officials are asking residents to start conserving now before they get to a critical level.

Police Investigate Danbury Bank Robbery


Police are investigating a bank robbery in Danbury this morning.

The robber handed a note to a teller at the Union Savings Bank at 226 Main Street just before 10:30 a.m. Thursday and got away with cash, police said. He did not show a weapon.

The man who committed the robbery is husky and around 5-foot-10. He was wearing a light hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.

If you have information that can help police, call the detective bureau at 203-797-4662.

Photo Credit: Danbury Police Department

DNA Samples Taken from Families of 2 Missing New Haven Women


Family members of two women reported missing from New Haven around 10 years ago have submitted DNA samples as police try to identify human remains found in Vernon last year.

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

For the last year, police have been unable to identify the remains but have made some progress and determined they are that of a white woman in her 40s. On Tuesday, police released a sketch a Quinnipiac University medical student created based on the woman’s biological profile.

New Haven police said on Thursday that they have two missing persons cases, each about 10 years old, that could be related and police have taken DNA samples from their relatives to help the investigation.

One of the family members is the mother of Evelyn Ann Frisco, who disappeared on June 29, 2004 at the age of 42 following a court appearance for shoplifting.

"Everybody says she must be dead. I think so," said Janet Frisco, who said the family has ideas about what may have happened but are still living in uncertainty. "She used to call all the time, reverse the charges, or whatever. I would take it, but I haven't heard a word."

Police took a DNA sample from Janet Frisco and from the family of Lisa Calvo, wo went missing from New Haven in 2005.

This is a common investigative tool, police said, and there is no evidence to tie the missing women to the remains found in Vernon other than their ages.

"The only thing you can do is pray now that maybe the DNA will come through that it's her," Janet Frisco said.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons System compares unidentified remains and missing persons. So far, they have ruled 15 cases.

New Haven police said DNA samples have been taken about a dozen times since the remains were found in Vernon.

Photo Credit: Vernon Police and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System

Burglar Steals TV From Hamden Store


Police are searching for the man who broke into a Hamden retailer on Wednesday and stole a flat-screen TV.

According to police, surveillance footage shows a suspect breaking through the front window of Aaron’s, a discount store selling furniture, electronics, appliances and computers, at 995 Dixwell Avenue around 9:15 p.m. Sept. 17.

The suspect enters the building and takes a 50-inch flat-screen LED TV, then walks out with it and puts in the back of a white GMC van, police said.

He’s described as a white or Hispanic man wearing a long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans and white sneakers.

Anyone with information on the crime is urged to call Hamden police Det. Jomo Crawford at 203-230-4040.

Hartford, East Hartford Police Search for White Van


Police in Hartford and East Hartford are investigating the thefts of car parts and a motorcycle, and are searching for a white van in connection with the crimes.

Authorities have linked the van to a string of recent thefts in both towns and are asking anyone with information to come forward.

If you have seen the van or have any knowledge of the crimes, call Hartford police Sgt. Brnadon O’Brien at 860-757-4089 or submit an anonymous tip online.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

2 Cases of Viral Meningitis Reported at Wilton High School


Administrators at Wilton High School sent a letter to parents after two cases of viral meningitis were reported at the school, according to Principal Bob O'Donnell.

The letter reminds parents and students to take precautions such as washing hands and covering sneezes to help prevent the spread of infection.

Viral meningitis tends to be less severe than bacterial meningitis and often goes away on its own, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It can, however, be severe or fatal, depending on the patient's age and health, the CDC says.

Most cases of viral meningitis cases in the U.S. are caused by enteroviruses, especially during the summer months, according to the CDC, but only a small number of enterovirus patients develop meningitis as a result.

The diagnoses come amid the spread of Enterovirus D68. Connecticut confirmed its first case of Enterovirus D68 on Wednesday, and two state hospital have submitted samples to the CDC for testing.

Viral meningitis can also be caused by measles, mumps, herpes, influenza, viruses spread through insects and occasionally the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, which is spread by rodents, the CDC says.

Police Shut Down Simsbury Meth Lab


Police have arrested a Simsbury man accused of running a meth lab at his home.

Kenneth A. Brothers, 43, was arrested Wednesday, Sept. 17 after authorities searched his home on Herman Drive and found meth, heroin and marijuana, according to police.

Police said he also illegally owned a gun.

Brothers was charged with a string of offenses, including:

  • Manufacture and sale of restricted substances, including meth, heroin and marijuana
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia in a drug factory situation
  • Possession of meth with intent to sell
  • Possession of a controlled substance (meth)
  • Possession of more than 4 ounces of marijuana
  • Possession of narcotics (heroin)
  • Possession with intent to sell hallucinogenic substances (meth and marijuana)
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Criminal possession of a firearm
  • First-degree reckless endangerment

He was held and arraigned in Enfield Court on Thursday, Sept. 18.

Photo Credit: Simsbury Police Department

2 Arrested in 6 Willimantic Armed Robberies


Two men have been charged in connection with six recent armed robberies across Willimantic, and police say they were caught red-handed while targeting a gas station this morning.

Bryant Jefferson, 27, and his alleged accomplice, Tim Perry, 42, were arrested while trying to rob the A-1 gas station at 1605 West Main Street in Willimantic around 9:20 a.m. Thursday, according to police.

Police said Jefferson went after the gas station attendant with a hammer, then fled and were seen  running through backyards in the neighborhood. Authorities chased him on foot and eventually took him into custody.

Meanwhile, Perry got into a car and drove home. Officers and detectives captured him at his home on Emerald Avenue, according to police.

The nearby Willimantic Middle School and Sweeney Elementary School were placed on lockdown as a precaution while police responded to the incident.

Jefferson and Perry have been linked to six armed robberies in Willimantic since Aug. 15, according to police.

"There have been countless man hours used leading to these two arrests," police said in a news release Thursday evening.

Jefferson was charged with second-degree robbery, sixth-degree larceny, breach of peace, interfering with police and second-degree threatening. His bond was set at $500,000.

Perry was charged with conspiracy to commit the above charges. His bond was also set at $500,000.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Willimantic Police Department

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison Stepping Down


Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, a Silicon Valley icon, is stepping down, effective immediately, the Redwood Shores company announced on Thursday.

Ellison will be replaced by Mark Hurd and Safra Catz. Oracle's Board of Directors announced in a statement it had elected Ellison to the position of Executive Chairman of Oracle's board and appointed him the company's Chief Technology Officer.

"Larry has made it very clear that he wants to keep working full time and focus his energy on product engineering, technology development and strategy," Dr. Michael Boskin, the current director of Oracle's board, said in the statement.

"Safra and Mark are exceptional executives who have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to lead, manage and grow the company. The directors are thrilled that the best senior executive team in the industry will continue to move the company forward into a bright future," Boskin said.

Before being promoted, Catz and Hurd were Oracle's co-presidents. Ellison founded Oracle Corp. in 1977. In 2014, Forbes listed him as the third-wealthiest man in America and the fifth-wealthiest person in world, with a net worth of $51.3 billion.

"The three of us have been working well together for the last several years, and we plan to continue working together for the foreseeable future. Keeping this management team in place has always been a top priority of mine," Ellison said in the statement.

Tech industry experts said Thursday that Ellison stepping aside, even a little bit, could have serious implications for Silicon Valley.

“There’s an old joke in Silicon Valley -- What’s the difference between God and Larry Ellison? God doesn’t think he’s Larry Ellison," said Rich Jaroslovsky, chief journalist for SmartNews.

Jaroslovsky then quipped: "But God doesn't retire."

That joke has even become the title of a book, where reporter Mike Wilson described Ellison as the tech world’s Warren Beatty: “racing yachts, buying jets, and romancing beautiful women.”

Ellison is among the “last generation of swashbucklers,” and his departure from Oracle is sure to have “repercussions,” Jaroslovsky said.

Jaroslovsky did not know why he was stepping down, but he did say the 70-year-old Ellison’s intentions might be “admirable.”

“Perhaps he’s one of those founders who wants to exit gracefully,” Jaroslovsky said. “Bill Gates did it. But the list of those greats who leave by their own choice is a list that’s not very long.” 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

Montville Students Get Creative With 3D Printers


Students at Montville High Sschool are using cutting-edge technology to design and create useful objects.

This technology education class uses a special program to make iPhone speakers.

“They can do just about anything," said teacher Dan Healy. “It’s professional software. It’s all in 3D. They can apply materials to it, and figure out the weight of it. And figure out the math and volumes.”

Students take measurements, input data into the program and create virtual models. When they’re done, they send the design to a 3D printer.

Healy says it works by precisely injecting out hot plastic in layers until the object is solid.

“It’s pretty amazing to see it print out some of this stuff,” said Montville High School junior Benjamin Ducharme.

It’s part of a new program at Montville High School, made possible through a grant last year.

Students say it’s giving them a head start on their future careers.

“I like the program because it’s a lot of problem solving,” said high school senior Peter Pescatello. “I like problem solving. I’d like to pursue a career in mechanical engineering.”

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Phone Wizard: What Should You Buy?


The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus hit the shelves at Apple Stores on Friday morning, ending weeks of anticipation by Apple fans. At some Apple Stores, lines have stretched around the corner for days or even weeks. Apple sold more than 4 million phones in online preorders on the very first day they were available. And this weekend, the company is expected to make billions -- according to Bloomberg Business Week, the phone line accounts for more than half of Apple's $171 billion annual revenue.

But is the phone for everyone? More importantly, is it for you? We put together this Phone Wizard to help you find out. We examined the key features of eight state-of-the-art phones, looking at things like battery life, size, operating system and camera quality. By answering a handful of questions about your personality, preferences and habits, we identify the phone that we think is right for you.

Now, don't get carried away: Just because we tell you the Samsung Galaxy S5 is better for you than the iPhone 6 Plus (that 4K HD is just so important to you, right?) doesn't mean you should go and buy one today. At least visit your local retailer to see how it feels in your hand before plopping down a few hundred dollars. But consider this a starting point. 

Photo Credit: Photograph: Alamy

Boy's and Girl's Club Owes $12M After Girl Drowns


The Waterbury Boy's and Girl's Club has been ordered to pay $12.3 million to the mother of a 5-year-old girl drowning victim.

Brianna Murray, a kindergartner at Wendell Cross Elementary School, was at the Boy's and Girl's with about 30 other children on June 9, 2008 when she went under water and she was not pulled out until another child who was in the pool called for a lifeguard to help, according to the law firm representing Brianna's family.

She was taken to St. Mary's Hospital, then flown to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she died after being declared brain dead.

The lawsuit, filed in September 2009, claimed the club failed to properly train its lifeguards, failed to have the proper number of guards on duty and failed to have a proper emergency plan.

Human Remains Found Near Vernon Center Middle School


Human remains were found near Vernon Center Middle School in Vernon on Thursday, a mile from where a woman's skull was found a year and a half ago.

Police said a resident found the remains in the woods behind the school around noon Thursday. Walking trails and the Vernon Community Garden at 271 West Street are also nearby.

In a press conference Thursday afternoon, police said the remains do not belong to any of three missing women who disappeared between 1968 and 1974 and were never found.

"Although it would be wonderful to have Lisa resting in peace with my mom, I hope some family finds closure from this discovery," said Aprille Falletti, whose sister, Lisa Joy White, disappeared 40 years ago when she was 13.

The skeleton is also separate from the remains found almost exactly a mile away in March 2013.

Students have not been in danger, and all school activities will take place this evening as scheduled, according to Vernon Supt. Mary Conway.

"Our students are in no danger and we do not expect that there will be any interruption to the normal operations of the school," a statement from Conway and Asst. Supt. Jeffrey Burt says.

Although the investigation is in the early stages, police have begun to identify the person to whom the remains belong, and to determine that person's cause of death.

"The remains are consistent with a single victim, believed to be an adult," said Vernon police spokesman Lt. William Meier.

Vernon police are working with state police and the medical examiner's office to investigate.

Police are also working to identify the woman whose remains were found last year, but said earlier this week that tests revealed the woman was in her 40s.

A Quinnipiac University medical student used the biological profile from post-mortem exams and drew a sketch of what the woman might have looked like. Police released it earlier this week, in the hopes that the woman's family or friends will recognize features and come forward with new leads.

The mother of a New Haven woman who has been missing for around 10 years said police took a DNA sample from her on Tuesday.  

No evidence has linked either of the two missing persons cases to the remains found last year, according to New Haven police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Jury Begins Deliberations in Rowland Trial


Federal prosecutors did their best Thursday to lay out their final case against Connecticut's former governor John Rowland.

"Use your common sense," Asst. U.S. Attorney Chris Mattei told jurors in court.

Mattei worked to connect all of the dots surrounding Rowland and his connections to a pair of Republican congressional campaigns.

Rowland drafted a contract to work for Mark Greenberg in 2010 and later provided help to the campaign of Lisa Wilson-Foley in 2011 and 2012.

“What was he selling? What was he getting paid for?" Mattei asked jurors.

He argued that it was Rowland himself who recommended that both Greenberg and Brian Foley, Wilson-Foley's husband, pay him through secret means.

Rowland, prosecutors allege, urged the Greenberg campaign to pay him through the Simon Foundation and urged Foley to get paid through his private attorney for generic consulting work.

Mattei provided the federal government's case first.

Later in the day, Rowland's attorney, Reid Weingarten, worked to rebut the government's position that the former governor helped to orchestrate a conspiracy in order to hide his role from the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice.

"John Rowland did legitimate work for Apple," Weingarten explained to jurors.

He detailed the emails and correspondence Rowland had with Apple Rehab CEO Brian Bedard about consulting for the company.

Weingarten also pointed out that it was Rowland's idea to hire former Democratic Speaker of the House John Ritter to lobby on the group's behalf in the State Legislature.

Weingarten conceded the point that Rowland was intimately involved in the Wilson-Foley campaign but insisted that he served in that role as a campaign volunteer and not a paid consultant.

“If this is a sham, then why are they going back and forth? Why are they keeping this up?" Weingarten asked the jury. "What’s the point? Foley sharing the guts and substance of his business? It makes no sense.”

The jury started deliberations shortly before 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

The group will consider seven counts against Rowland. The former governor and member of Congress faces one count of conspiracy and two counts each of falsification of records, causing illegal campaign contributions, and causing false statements.

Car Strikes Gas Pump in Orange


Police are responding to the Shell station at 115 Boston Post Road in Orange after a car struck a gas pump Thursday night.

Dispatchers said the crash was reported around 7 p.m. According to authorities on the scene, no one was seriously hurt.

The car was towed away around 8 p.m.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

First Dave & Buster's in Connecticut to Open Next Week


The first Connecticut Dave & Buster's – a popular restaurant, bar and arcade – is set to open at the Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester on Monday.

In addition to a full service restaurant and bar, Dave & Buster's offers more than 200 arcade games from skeeball to Temple Run.

Manchester's Planning and Zoning Commission approved the restaurant last October for a 26,400-square-foot plot of land next to Market Grill.

The restaurant, which provides online job applications, began interviewing candidates last month in search of servers, hosts, bartenders, cooks and game technicians.

Currently, the closest Dave & Buster's locations are in Providence Road Island and Braintree, Massachusetts and the restaurant chain spans as far as Hawaii and Canada.

The Manchester location is slated to open on Monday, Sept. 22 at 11 a.m.

Store hours are available online.

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