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Consultant Says Hartford Stadium Project Will Boost Economy


As the city of Hartford moves forward with plans to build a ballpark and redevelop the Downtown North area, a contractor hired to analyze the plan has found the project “will have a positive economic impact for the city,” according to the office of Mayor Pedro Segarra.

The University of Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis presented its finding to the City Council at a committee meeting Thursday and concluded that the development will “deliver new economic activity” to Hartford.

According to the CCEA report, the “proposed Downtown North development has the potential to create a new neighborhood focused around the ballpark, used both for Rock Cats games and other activities.” It’s expected to create 1,806 jobs during the construction phase, along with more than 1,000 long-term jobs.

CCEA director Fred Cartensen, who wrote the report and presented it to the council, said three elements of the project stood out as highly positive: the development’s design, the developer’s level of investment and the commitment from ShopRite.

The 15-acre redevelopment will cost a projected $350,7 million, plus $525,001 to purchase the land. The first phase of the proposal will include 237 residential units and 63,400 square feet of retail space, according to the CCEA report.

The second phase will comprise 228 residences, 216,000 square feet of office space, 46,000 square feet for the Hooker Brewery and 24,000 square feet of additional retail space.

The project will be capped off with 208 apartments and another 8,000 square feet of retail space in the third phase.

“The area of Downtown North has been parking lots for decades,” said Mayor Pedro Segarra, in a statement Thursday. “Developing it will mean more jobs for Hartford residents, more customers for local businesses and more activities for our community.”

City Council President Shawn Wooden said the report “gives the Council more information to make a sound judgment on a major redevelopment.”

“We haven’t seen something like this in years and we need to understand the long term impact and any risks associated with changing the City’s landscape,” Wooden said in a statement Thursday. “Everyone wants Hartford to grow, to move forward. If the project is good for Hartford then we will support it.”

Photo Credit: Centerplan Companies LLC

Annual Food Drive Coming Up in Southington


Miss Tri-State Connecticut and other pageant titleholders will come together in Southington on Oct. to support the town’s fifth annual toy, coat and non-perishable food drive.

This is the largest of the four previous drives combined, with 23 business drop box locations. Starting in October, these locations will be accepting goods to directly benefit local community members

Donations will run through December. All proceeds go to the Southington Community Services and Southington Food Pantry.

Record Turnout Expected at 5K Race in Madison


Madison's annual Denali Run the Gantlet race is expecting a record turnout Sunday, and an extra heat is being added to accommodate more runners.

The 5K obstacle course will take place along the Hammonasset Beach shore and features tasks including wall climbs, cargo nets, tire crossings, planks and an aqua run.

With registered participants reaching close to 600, an 11 a.m. heat has been added to compensate for the already filled 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. heats.

Participants are welcome to enjoy a post-race beach party equip with live music, free pizza from Old World Pizza Truck, free beer from Thimble Island Brewing Company and an awards ceremony.

Registration is still open to those who want to join the Denali Run the Gauntlet Team Competition.

Teams will be accepted in categories including: Family Team, Corporate Team, Open Team, and Crossfit Team. The top 3 teams in each category will receive an award, and the first 600 participants to register will receive a technical running shirt.

Proceeds from the Denali Run the Gauntlet race benefits the Shoreline Greenway Trail, a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that works to create a non-motorized continuous trail on the Connecticut shoreline from Lighthouse Point on New Haven Harbor to Hammonasset Beach in Madison.

For more information, visit jbsports.com or call JB Sports at 203-481-5933.

Jeter’s Nephew Tips Hat to Uncle


There were many emotional moments during Derek Jeter’s final home game at Yankee Stadium Thursday night, but the most adorable was a simple tip of the cap from his young nephew.

Little Jalen was there in the stands and watched as his famous uncle hit the walk-off single that would end his reign in the Bronx.

The Captain’s biggest fan grabbed the brim of his Re2pect cap and tipped it to Jeter. It’s a moment you can watch over and over again.

Jeter plans to play three more games, but Thursday night was his last at shortstop.

When the Yankees head to Fenway Park in Boston, Jeter plans to be the designated hitter.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

Photo Credit: MLB
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LifeStar Transporting Teen Hit by Tree Branch


LifeStar is transporting a teen to the hospital after he was hit by a tree branch this morning, according to state police.

Police said the 19-year-old was working for a tree company on Laurel Way in Norfolk when he was hit.

The teen was being taken to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital and LifeStar will take him to another hospital.

No additional information was immediately available.

Watertown High School Dismissed After Threat


Students at Watertown High School have been dismissed for the day after a student reported hearing a peer make a bomb threat, according to police.

Police were notified of the threat around 8:15 a.m. Friday, not long after the start of the schol day. According to police, a student told a teacher he or she had overheard a peer claim to have planted a bomb in the school.

"An announcement came over the loudspeaker that said, 'Go to your first class, and teachers, take them to the football field. If you drive, sign back out,'" explained Watertown senior A.J. Catteneo.

Police swept the building with bomb-sniffing dogs and gave the all-clear around 10:30 a.m. Friday after turning up empty handed.

Students said they were transferred to Polk Elementary School in the Oakville section of town for dismissal.

Athletic events planned for tonight were held as scheduled.

Police are investigating to try and determine where the information came from and the legitimacy.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Arrested After Granby Standoff


A man is in police custody after an overnight standoff in Granby.

Police said they had several outstanding warrants for Matthew Bromson, 47, of Lost Acres Road, and were trying to arrest him around 6 p.m. on Thursday when the standoff began.

Bromson, who owns several handguns and rifles, refused to comply with officers, threatened to shoot them and barricaded himself inside his home, police said.

Negotiators and tactical teams responded and Bromson surrendered around 2:40 a.m. on Friday.

Police said no shots were fired and no injuries were reported.

Bromson was charged with threatening, harassment, breach of peace and interfering with a police officer.  

He is held in lieu of $300,000 bond and will appear today in Superior Court Enfield.  

Police said they plan to guard the house for the rest of the morning.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Housekeeper Pawned Thousands in Client’s Jewelry: Police


South Windsor police have arrested a house cleaner who is accused of stealing almost $2,000 worth of jewelry from a client’s home.

The victim contacted police in August because she suspected that the woman who cleans her home, Wanda Burgos, 38, of Manchester, stole $1,900 worth of jewelry from her.

Police investigated and determined that Burgos had pawned jewelry in East Hartford and Chicopee, Massachusetts, police said.

South Windsor detectives were able to get back some of the stolen jewelry and obtained an arrest warrant for Burgos.

Burgos was charged with larceny in the third degree. She was released on a $40,000 bond and is due in court on Oct. 29.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police

Chemical Reaction Led to Glastonbury High School Evacuation


Glastonbury High School was evacuated on Friday after some chemicals started smoldering during a science class. 

Glastonbury Supt. Dr. Alan Bookman, said students cleaned the chemicals up with a paper towel, then threw the towel in the trash can and it began to smolder. 
The fire department responded and students were evacuated as a precaution.
Everyone was allowed back in in around 20 minutes later. 
Officials from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded since it was for a chemical. 
The science room will remain empty as a precaution and classes were moved to other rooms. 
No injuries are reported. 

Fire at Chicago-Area FAA Facility


A fire at a Federal Aviation Administration facility in suburban Chicago turned one of the nation's busiest travel hubs into a travelers’ nightmare Friday morning, forcing airlines to ground or cancel hundreds of flights at O’Hare and Midway international airports as authorities battled and investigated a blaze they believe was intentionally set by a contract employee.

The incident prompted the cancellation of approximately 2,000 flights in and out of both airports, the Chicago Department of Aviation said, snarling plans for travelers across the country.

There were more than 1,400 cancellations at O'Hare -- which this week reclaimed the title as the world's busiest airport -- and 400 were canceled at Midway. Southwest Airlines canceled all flights at Midway and Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport through at least 7 p.m. A United Airlines spokesman said "very restricted operations" resumed from O'Hare just before 10 a.m.

"It's been terrible. I got to the airport early. Flights seemed to be on time when I checked," said Diana Cordova of Chicago. "I'm trying to get to Phoenix this morning. It doesn't look likely. Hopefully tomorrow."

Officials with the Aurora Fire Department said crews were called to the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center on West New Indian Trail Road after 5:45 a.m. Friday. Agents from the ATF, the FBI and the DuPage County Arson Task Force were later called to the scene.

The fire was quickly extinguished and a man found in the basement with an apparent self-inflicted, non-gunshot wound was hospitalized. Another man in his 50s was treated for smoke inhalation, officials said.

"There was no explosion but we are being cautious," said Aurora Police Chief Greg Thomas. "There is no terrorist act. ... This is a local issue with a contract employee and nothing else."

The building was evacuated of all other employees and airspace management was transferred to adjacent air traffic facilities, an FAA spokesman said.

It was just four months ago that smoke seen emanating from the Chicago Terminal Radar Approach Control building in Elgin forced the cancellation of more than 1,100 flights between the two airports.

Photo Credit: Charlie Wojciechowski
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Man Accused of Home Improvements Violations in South Windsor


South Windsor police have arrested a man accused of paving driveways without having the right registration or certifications.

Police said Alexander Cooper, 31, made a verbal agreement with a resident of King Street in South Windsor in 2008 to pave a driveway for $1,300.

When he finished half the job, he asked for another $2,000 to complete the work, police said. 

Police investigated and learned that Cooper was not registered or certified with the State of Connecticut and didn’t write up a contract for the resident, police said.

When police obtained an arrest warrant for Cooper, he had already left the state. 

Cooper had since moved to Willow Street, Pennsylvania, but West Haven Police found him on Thursday evening and turned him over to South Windsor Police.

Cooper was charged with making of offer of home improvement without a certificate or registration, failure to furnish buyer with a contract with cancellation statement, failure to provide a written three-day notice of cancellation and failure to inform the buyer of a right to cancel contract.

Cooper was released on a $5,000 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear at Manchester Superior Court on October 9.

Photo Credit: South Windsor

Ticket Issued to Bloody Cab: Union


A parking ticket was issued to a bloody livery cab in Queens, hours after the driver was stabbed multiple times, the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers said.

The driver, 30-year-old Fernando Crespin, has remained in critical condition at Elmhurst General Hospital since the stabbing in Woodhaven early Thursday.

Crespin got into an argument with a passenger who then stabbed him multiple times in the torso, arm and hands, and fled with the cab, the union said.

The cab, which was covered in blood inside and out was found Thursday afternoon by a co-worker of Crespin's in front of a bus stop in Ridgewood with the parking ticket, the union said.

"The ticket writer should have noticed all the blood on the car and called 911 to report the bloody cab to police,” said union spokesman Fernando Mateo. “What happened to if you see something say something?”

In response to the union's criticism, police said Friday that the windows of the car were tinted, peventing the parking enforcement officer from seeing inside of the vehicle and realizing a crime had been committed. The ticket has since been voided, police said.

The union also said it was looking to reward the good samaritan who saved Crespin's life by calling 911, after several cars allegedly drove around Crespin without stopping while he was bleeding in the street.

Police are looking to speak with 41-year-old Kenneth Suden of Queens in connection with the attack. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

Photo Credit: NYSFTD/NYPD

$1,000 Reward Offered in Southington Vandalism Case


Town officials in Southington are offering a $1,000 reward for tips that help police arrest and convict the person or people responsible for vandalism in town.

Vandals have been tagging mailboxes, signs and businesses in downtown Southington and the town launched a new campaign in August to catch the criminals.

On Friday, Town Manager Garry Brumback said town officials are increasing the reward amount for tips that lead to an arrest and conviction.

“The Town Council has clearly expressed their concern with the increase in vandalism around Southington.  Therefore, after consulting with Chief Daly, we are increasing the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals who vandalized Berlin Ave from the maximum of $200 to a maximum of $1000.  This reward is effective immediately,” Brumback said in a news release.

Anyone with information about the vandals is asked to call Southington Police.

You can report tips anonymously to police by calling 860-276-1234.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bystander Hailed a Hero After Fiery Southbury Crash


A quick-thinking bystander saved a porch and maybe more after a man in his 90s drove his car into a 200-year-old Southbury home Friday morning and the vehicle burst into flames.

Robert Isbell was working across the street on Route 67/Southbury Road at the time of the collision. He said airbags saved the elderly man, who was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Police said the driver, who has not been publicly identified, suffered a medical condition and veered into oncoming traffic on Southbury Road.

The car struck a stonewall and crashed into the porch at 1228 Southbury Road, a home that was built in 1800

Isbell spotted the flames and jumped into action. He grabbed a fire extinguisher from his shop across the street and doused the flames.

No one was home at the time of the crash, but resident Jack Beardsley hurried back to Southbury after he was alerted of the damage. The home is still livable, and Beardsley said his son is a general contractor who can repair the porch.

Beardsley said he's grateful to Isbell for helping to salvage the home.

"I don't know who he is, but I really appreciate the help," Beardsley said. "He might have saved the house from burning down, you know? That's fantastic. It's nice to have people like that around."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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87-Year-Old Man Missing From West Hartford


Police have issued a Silver Alert for 87-year-old Calvin Campbell, who went missing from West Hartford on Friday.

Campbell is described as a black man standing 5 feet 11 inches tall and with brown eyes and a shaved head. Police said he weighs 150 pounds and was last seen wearing a baseball cap, brown flannel shirt, white pants and white sneakers.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call West Hartford police at 860-523-5203.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Senators Search for Ways to Reduce Veteran Suicide


U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy met with doctors and mental health professionals with the Veterans Administration on Friday to brainstorm ways to reduce the suicide rate among veterans.

“There has to be more for us to do,” Blumenthal said at the forum in West Haven.

The group of about a dozen spoke for an hour on issues relating to returning veterans and their mental health needs.

“There’s a consensus that if we get them in the [VA] system, then the rate of suicide goes down,” Murphy said during the group discussion.

Doctors who work with veteran patients echoed that sentiment.

“One of the things we need is access to good mental health. If you're going to be treating a much larger veteran population then you need to have adequate mental health services” said Ismene Petrakis, chief of the Mental Health Service Line.

Doctors also said more public awareness about services that are already available would be very helpful.

On average, 22 veterans commit suicide every day according to the VA.

About 18 percent of all suicides in Connecticut from 1999 to 2010 were veterans, according to the VA.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police ID Woman Found Dead in New Britain in 2007


The last of three woman found dead in the wooded area behind 593 Hartford Road in New Britain in 2007 has been identified and the state is offering a $150,000 reward for information that leads to arrests in the case.  

Police said during a news conference this morning that the remains are of Mary Jane Menard.

She was 40 when she disappeared in October 2003. At the time, her daughter was serving overseas, officials said today.

She had been living in Waterbury and was last seen in New Britain, when she went out to get cigarettes, according to the case information on the National Missing Persons Database.

Menard is one of three missing women whose bodies were found seven years ago.

Police had already identified one of the victims as Joyvaline “Joy” Martinez, who had been previously referred to as Jane Doe Number One. Martinez disappeared from East Hartford in October 2003. She was 24 at the time.

Jane Doe Number Two was identified in 2011 as Diane Cusack of New Britain.

Menard had not been identified until now.

In 2010, police said they couldn’t find the woman’s skull but could tell from her leg bones that she was between 20 and 30 years old when she died and was probably athletic.

Police said they think the $150,000 reward is the largest ever the state has offered in connection with a single investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hartford Man Wanted for Attempted Murder


Police are searching for a 35-year-old Hartford man who is wanted in connection with a domestic assault and will be charged on a felony warrant with criminal attempt at murder and assault, among other offenses.

Authorities have obtained an arrest warrant for Rashad Wilson, of Hartford, in connection with a domestic violence incident in Hartford on Sept. 24, police said. He is believed to be hiding out with family members.

The warrant will charge Wilson with criminal attempt at murder, second-degree assault, criminal possession of a pistol, reckless endangerment, risk of injury and third-degree larceny. Once Wilson is taken into custody, his bond will be set at $1 million.

Wilson is considered a potential danger and should not be approached.

Police said Wilson is 6-foot-1, weighs 190 pounds, and has a medium complexion with brown eyes and black hair. He wears glasses and has a beard or goatee. There is also a scar on the top of his forehead and a tattoo that says "1 life to live" o nhis inside forearms.

Wilson may be driving a dark blue 2001 four-door Nissan Maxima with license plates reading 520-ZZA, police said.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call Hartford police Sgt. Andrew Weaver at 860-757-4214 or submit a tip online.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

State Rep. Votes Illegally, Fakes Home Address: Officials


State Rep. Christina “Tita” Ayala, of Bridgeport, was arrested Friday after violating state election laws and providing authorities with fabricated evidence that she lived at an address other than her own, according to the state Division of Criminal Justice.

According to the DCJ, Ayala, 31, voted in local and state elections in districts other than her own between 2009 and 2012, including Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee elections, a municipal primary election, a state primary election and the 2012 Bridgeport state general election “in districts inconsistent with location of her residence.”

She’s also accused of presenting the Elections Enforcement Commission with false evidence indicating that she lived at an address that was not her own.

Ayala has been charged with eight counts of fraudulent voting, 10 counts of primary or enrollment violations and count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

The State Elections Enforcement Commission notified the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney of the alleged misconduct in October 2013, the DCJ said.

If convicted, Ayala could receive one-to-two years in prison for each count of fraudulent voting, along with up to five years in prison for each count of enrollment violations and tampering with evidence, according to the DCJ.

She could also be fined $300-500 for each count of voting fraud.

Ayala was released on a promise to appear and is due in court Oct. 7.

She faced domestic violence charges following an argument with her boyfriend in 2013, just weeks before taking office, that were subsequently dropped.

Ayala was also fined $350 in connection with a hit and run incident.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

Photo Credit: Connecticut House Democrats

Fire at Chicago Airport Prompts Cancellations at Bradley


More than a dozen flights between O'Hare and Bradley International Airports have been grounded following a fire at an air traffic control center in Chicago on Friday, which authorities say was deliberately set.

At least 18 flights between Chicago and Connecticut were canceled as a result, leaving hundreds of passengers at Bradley Airport scrambling to make alternate arrangements.

"Right next door, I was one of the first peple to be able to get into the Sheraton tonight and it's almost full," said Jessica Alm, of Chicago, whose flight home was canceled. "I've been gone for two weeks now, traveling. I'm ready to sleep in my own bed."

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the fire at O'Hare, which was reported around 6 a.m. local time, prompted evacuations and a ground stop at the airport.

Authorities said Friday night that a contractor intentionally set the fire and was angry over a job transfer to Hawaii. Brian Howard was found with self-inflicted stab wounds and has been charged with one felony count of destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities.

A few flights arriving from Chicago have begun landing at Bradley, but most flights bound for O'Hare remain canceled, according to flight schedules posted to Bradley Airport's Web site.

Commuters can track updates on the ground stop at O'Hare by following the airport's Twitter account.

Photo Credit: WVIT
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