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Dye Pack Helps Police Nab New Haven Bank Robber


A dye pack did its job in New Haven last week, staining the clothing of a suspected bank robber and helping police track him down.

According to police, 38-year-old Derrell Soulds demanded money from a teller at the Webster Bank on Elm Street Thursday, handing over a note that read, "Empty all the drawers or get shot."

The teller handed Soulds a wad of cash with a hidden dye pack.

As Soulds was running from the scene, the dye pack exploded all over the money and his clothes, staining them red. Police said he stripped off his sweatshirt and dumped it in an alleyway near Orange and Elm streets, along with some of the red-stained bills.

Police tracked him to the back of the courthouse at 121 Elm Street, where a trail of dye indicated Soulds had climbed a fence.

Soulds got away from police, but authorities said they identified him based on his alleged involvement in a Waterbury bank robbery the previous day.

On Friday, police received a report that dye-soaked money had been used to purchase a pizza in New Haven. The tip led them to Soulds, who was also wanted for violation of parole, according to police.

He was taken into custody on an outstanding arrest warrant from Waterbury.

Soulds was arrested in connection with the New Haven robbery on Monday and charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree larceny, second-degree threatening and possession of narcotics.

He remains behind bars on $200,000 bond.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/New Haven Police Department

Foley Won't Be at Gubernatorial Forum


NBC Connecticut will host a gubernatorial forum on Thursday and has invited three candidates to attend.

Gov. Dannel Malloy, Republican challenger, Tom Foley, and unaffiliated candidate, Joe Visconti were invited to participate in Thursday's forum, which will air live on NBC Connecticut at 7 p.m.

Through a spokesperson, Foley said he will not attend the forum.

"We were unable to come to terms with NBC 30 (Connecticut) in a timely manner, so we will not be participating in their forum, said Mark McNulty, communications director for Foley's campaign, in a statement on Monday.

NBC Connecticut released a statement about Foley's decision on Monday:

"All candidates on the ballot have been invited to participate in the NBC Connecticut Gubernatorial Forum on Thursday, October 23 at 7 p.m., including Mr. Foley. Mr. Foley meets all the criteria to participate. We’ve had ongoing discussions with all the candidates on a consistent basis and welcome their participation."

The debate can also be viewed live on NBCConnecticut.com or on the NBC Connecticut News App beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Fire Ravages Milford Home


Fire destroyed a home on Underhill Road in Milford on Monday afternoon.

Firefighters were called to 28 Underhill Road around 2:15 p.m. and arrived to find heavy flames coming from the back of the house and detached garage, according to the fire department.

Everyone made it out safely, but the home suffered heavy damage to the first and second floors and is no longer livable.

Residents were able to salvage some of their belongings.

The Milford Fire Marshal's office is investigating the cause of the blaze.

Photo Credit: Milford Fire Department

New Cameras Help Police Nab Drivers Who Pass School Buses


A new system of cameras and computers targets drivers who pass stopped school buses in Plainville, and police are calling the incident an "epidemic" and have already issued more than 30 tickets since the school year began.

"Who can argue against kids' safety?" said Plainville police Sgt. Paul Shanahan. "We're not really interested in making any money."

But police are making money – each fine is $465. Plainville is one of many Connecticut towns now using bus-mounted cameras and computers to detect the license plates of cars that pass standing school buses.

The system records video of the scene when a bus slows down to stop and the driver activates its flashing amber lights.

"When they see an amber light, the first thing they should do is slow down," Shanahan said. "If the bus is driving, obviously you can't discharge kids or pick them up; however, you don't know at what point that bus is going to stop."

According to police, all too often drivers ignore the lights. The new camera system is designed to help protect children getting on and off the bus.

CDC Unveils New Ebola Gear Guidelines


Health officials have released long-awaited new guidelines for how health workers should gear up to treat Ebola patients, calling for protective garb that covers their bodies entirely and for trained monitors to supervise them as they put on and remove it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the long-anticipated updates Monday evening. Health workers have been pushing for new standards since two Dallas hospital nurses were diagnosed with the disease this month after treating an Ebola patient.

The guidelines call for face shields, hoods, boot covers and other garb that leave no part of the body exposed. They also call for a trained monitor to supervise the donning and doffing of protective wear. And they call for repeated training and practice.

The CDC guidance was expected as early as Saturday, but its release has been pushed back while it continues to go through review by experts and government officials.

Health workers had been pushing for the guidance since the nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas were infected. They had treated an Ebola-infected patient named Thomas Eric Duncan — the first person diagnosed with the virus in the U.S.

Exactly how the two nurses were infected is not clear, said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden during a Monday night teleconference with reporters.

"We may never know exactly how that happened, but the bottom line is, the guidelines didn't work for that hospital," Frieden said.

The new guidelines include:

—Use of protective garments, hoods, face shields, double gloves, face masks or respirators and other protective equipment to cover every square inch of a health worker's body.

—A call for health workers who may be involved in an Ebola patient's care to practice repeatedly and demonstrate proficiency in donning and doffing gear before ever being allowed near a patient.

—Placement of a trained hospital employee to supervise all aspects of care in an Ebola patient's room and watch that all health workers put on and take off gear correctly.

Duncan's infection and subsequent death led to the monitoring of about 50 people who came in contact with him before he entered the hospital and dozens of health care workers who cared for him after his admission.

Some good news this week: The 50 in the initial contact group have passed a 21-day observation period and no longer are deemed at risk for coming down with the dreaded disease.

Youngor Jallah spent the past three weeks confined to her small apartment with her children and boyfriend, fearing they had contracted the deadly Ebola virus from her mother's fiance.

But with the household emerging symptom-free from the incubation period, Jallah's family members are now trying to resume their lives - replacing the personal belongings incinerated in a cleanup at her mother's home, and overcoming the stigma of the Ebola scare that has gripped Dallas.

On Monday, Jallah beamed as she sent her children back to school with clearance from the Dallas County health department tucked into their backpacks. Her mother emerged from her own confinement and started looking for a new place to live.

"We were sitting here traumatized," Jallah told The Associated Press on Monday. "We just thank God we never came down with the virus."

Jallah's mother's fiance, Thomas Eric Duncan, was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. He died Oct. 8.

Health officials said Monday about 50 people have passed the incubation period safely. Others who are still being monitored include health care workers who treated Duncan as well as those who cared for two nurses who had treated Duncan and also became infected.

There are now about 120 people in Texas being monitored for symptoms, with their wait period ending Nov. 7, said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. He said the number may fluctuate.

There are also about 140 people being monitored in Ohio because of contact or potential contact with nurse Amber Vinson, Ohio officials said. Vinson, who cared for Duncan in Texas, flew from Dallas to Cleveland on Oct. 10 and flew back Oct. 13.

An Ebola patient who was being treated in Atlanta since early September was released from Emory University Hospital on Sunday after he was determined to be free of the virus and no threat to the public. Hospital and health officials never released his name, in keeping with his family's wish for privacy.

Health officials said they were relieved as the monitoring period ended for many, and after a cruise ship scare ended with the boat returning to port in Texas and a lab worker on board testing negative for the virus.

After Duncan was diagnosed with Ebola, Troh, her 13-year-old son, Duncan's nephew and a family friend were ordered by a Dallas court to stay inside the apartment among Duncan's used linens. Five days later they were evacuated to a four-bedroom home in an isolated corner of a 13-acre gated property owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas, southwest of downtown.

Except for a few plastic bins filled with personal documents, photographs, trophies and a Bible, the apartment was stripped down to the carpeting and the contents were incinerated.

The city of Dallas announced Monday it is coordinating with a local church and donors to provide Jallah's mother, Louise Troh, with funds to pay for six months of housing. Once she chooses a location, nonprofits will assist the family with furniture, linens and other household items, the city said.

"We want to restore what's lost but more than that, we want to give her a running start on her new life," said Troh's pastor, George Mason of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas.

While health workers cleared Jallah of having Ebola, the disease's stigma lingers — including among fellow Liberians, she said.

"If they see me at the store, they run away," she said.

Photo Credit: AP

Hartford Supt. Report Finds "Room for Improvement"


The new superintendent of schools in Hartford accepted a Transition Report that finds room for improvement in Hartford's public schools.

The report for Supt. Beth Schiavino-Narvaez, composed by a team charged with trying to close Hartford's achievement gap, calls for addressing several issues, including management of the central office.

It also found a difference between neighborhood schools and magnet schools, with neighborhood schools educating more students with special needs and those who are learning English, and more absenteeism and suspensions.

"We'll be able to most closely identify the schools that have the greatest needs and in turn need the most support from us," said the superintendent, addressing administrators and people involved in the study.

Narvaez said she would continue to "reach out and listen" as she and the Hartford Board of Education prioritize the recommendations.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Alderman Calls for Additional Police Station in New Haven


A New Haven alderman calling for a greater police presence in his district is asking the city to build a police satellite office in addition to the substation that already exists in the Westville-West Hills section of the city.

Alderman Darryl Brackeen, Jr. hopes additional police will help cut down on crime in his section of the city.

“The problem is the actual police district substation for District 2 is on Valley Street in West Hills, but it does not cover the great vast majority of the Westville neighborhood,” Brackeen explained.

Brackeen submitted legislation to the Board of Alders asking for an additional satellite office at the Davis Street School or another suitable location nearby, to be staffed by a New Haven police officer during school hours and into the early evening.

“We’ve seen home invasions, burglaries, car thefts, thefts by auto,” he said. “These are all upticking since January, so I believe this is one tool of many that could possibly be used.”

He said it’s not meant to burden taxpayers, since the idea is to use a facility that already exists. A hundred Westville neighbors have already signed a petition in support of a new satellite office.

“Keep the kids safe and just have the presence. People will know the police are around and helping us. I think it’s a great idea,” said Scott Vasilaitis, of New Haven.

Mayor Toni Harp said she plans to address public safety issues with the Board of Alders, police commissioners and police chief. She said her only concern would be the cost of opening and operating a new facility.

Bagel Store Owner Wards Off Would-Be Robbers


Police are searching for the two men who broke into a Norwalk bagel shop early Saturday morning and tried to pry open the cash register before the store owner hit one of the suspects with a tool used to make bagels.

According to police, the suspects shattered a window at Village Bagels on Westport Avenue overnight Saturday and tried to open the cash register with a knife.

Police said the owner was in back making bagels and confronted the suspects with a wooden tool, hitting one of them and scaring them off.

The suspects got away on Westport Avenue in a red pickup truck. Authorities spotted the truck on I-95 northbound shortly thereafter and chased the suspects into Bridgeport and Fairfield, police said.

The truck was found abandoned on Maple Street in Bridgeport and was brought back to Norwalk as evidence. Police said the suspects got away on foot.

The investigation is ongoing and Norwalk police said they hope to identify the suspects soon.

Hamden Native Heads to Knockout Round on "The Voice"


Blessing Offor, the soulful Hamden High graduate crooning his way through NBC's "The Voice," got a second lease on life in Monday's episode when coach Adam Levine saved him from elimination.

Offor went head-to-head with 15-year-old teammate Katriz Trinidad to sing "Do I Do" by Stevie Wonder.

Both singers rose to the occasion, forcing coach Pharrell Williams to make a difficult decision.

"I sent them both back with notes and I feel like they both rose to the occasion," Pharrell said before making his selection.

In the end, he chose Trinidad as the winner of the challenge, putting Offor up on the auction block and available for a steal.

Levine hit his button immediately, urging Offor to join his team.

“My wife’s name – she’s from Namibia, and her name is Behati, which in Swahili means ‘blessing’ – so it makes me love you a lot more," Levine joked. "so I don’t know how I can’t have you on my team now.”

But Levine wasn't the only one interested in taking Offor under his wing. Fellow coach Gwen Stefani pressed her button too.

"I love your voice, and just being around someone as talented as you is going to be inspiring for me in my life," Stefani explained, "so I just want to get to know you and see what you've got."

Then it was Offor's turn to make the tough choice.

"Thank you for saving me, because I truly love being here," he told the coaches before announcing his decision.

Ultimately, Offor went with Levine, who stood up to hug the Connecticut native as he left the stage.

"Blessing just has this natural ability to sing the lights out. I love his voice," Adam said.

Offor, a 2007 graduate of Hamden High School who sings from his soul, said he's on a mission to succeed.

"I'm so excited to go to the knockouts," Offor beamed in his post-performance interview. "I'm just beyond thrilled. I want this so bad."

According to Offor's Web site, the singer has performed three times at the Kennedy Center in New York City and has produced a single, "Loving Each Other," which was released last week.

Tune in to NBC Connecticut Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. to see Offor and perform on "The Voice."

Photo Credit: NBC Universal, Inc./The Voice
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Police Arrest Norwich Liquor Store Robbery Suspect


Police have arrested a man accused of robbing a Norwich liquor store at gunpoint over the weekend.

According to police, Christopher J. Griswold, 34, of West Thames Street in Norwich, entered the Amazing Liquor Store at 235 West Thames Street around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, took out a gun and demanded money from an employee.

He got away with an unknown amount of cash and fled the scene on foot, heading north on West Thames Street toward Dunham Street, police said.

Authorities searched his home on Monday and found evidence from the robbery, according to police.

Griswold was arrested and charged with first-degree robbery, sixth-degree larceny, criminal use of a firearm and first-degree threatening.

He was held on $250,000 bond and is due in court Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Norwich Police Department

"Heartbroken": 7 Bodies Found


One of seven women whose bodies were discovered in Indiana over the weekend was remembered as a "fighter" Monday, as authorities continued to investigate a killing they now believe uncovered a string of slayings by a suspected serial killer.

“She left this world fighting,” Lori Townsend said of her daughter, 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy.

Officials said the bodies of seven women, including Hardy, were found in abandoned homes and in a motel in Northwest Indiana. Authorities believe they are the victims of a suspected serial killer, whose killings could go back as far as 20 years.

Darren Deon Vann, 43, of Gary, was charged with one count of murder, as well as murder in the perpetration of a robbery and robbery resulting in serious bodily harm, all related to the death of Hardy. Police said Vann, a registered sex offender in Texas, gave authorities information that led them to the other bodies after he was taken into custody in connection with Hardy's death.

Hardy was strangled to death Friday in a Motel 6 in Hammond, Indiana. She was found naked in a bathtub with what appeared to be a black piece of clothing covering her arms and around her neck, according to a probable cause affidavit.

“She didn’t bother nobody,” said Hardy’s grandmother Debra Allen. “Everyone loved her. She wasn’t a bad person and didn’t deserve this at all.”

Police said all seven women were sex workers, and Hardy is believed to be the youngest victim.

Hardy’s mother said she had no idea her daughter had fallen into prostitution.

“I’m not grasping this,” said Townsend. “It’s not real to me.”

Aside from Hardy, three of the victims were publicly identified by midday Monday: 35-year-old Anith Jones, 28-year-old Teairra Batey, and 36-year-old Christine Williams.

Batey’s boyfriend, Marvin Clinton, says she had been missing since January.

“She was a good person,” said Clinton. “She would give you her last.”

He said the two have a 2-year-old son together.

"Now I've got to sit here and figure out how to tell a 2-year-old that mommy's never coming home again," said Clinton.

Jones’ family reported her missing on Oct. 8. They say she left Chicago for Indiana about 10 years ago.

Family members of the victims said no matter what the women did to earn a living, they were still loved.

“My heart breaks for these girls and their families,” said Townsend. “Some of them were missing for months.”

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Middlefield Officer Suspended After Lying About Crash: Cops


A 25-year Middlefield police veteran has been suspended with pay after allegedly lying about a crash that damaged his personal car.

According to the warrant for his arrest, Officer Scott Halligan, 45, of Middlefield, struck metal debris near the intersection of Main Street and Reeds Gap Road sometime in June, but failed to report the incident until weeks later when he realized how much it would cost to make repairs.

On July 8, Halligan asked a fellow officer to write up the incident. He said he had hit and killed a deer on Cider Mill Road near the Coginchaug River Bridge. A trooper who had taken EMT training classes with Halligan in June said he had noticed the damage to Halligan’s car prior to July 8, the warrant says.

Police checked the supposed crash site on Cider Mill Road and found no evidence of a collision there. According to the warrant, damage to Halligan’s vehicle also didn’t match what was listed in the incident report, and there was no deer hair or blood on the car. Halligan also did not file an insurance claim.

Halligan later admitted that he had not struck a deer but said he didn’t want to disclose the actual location of the crash, the warrant says. He eventually told state police he hit debris at the intersection of Main Street and Reeds Gap Road, but kept going and didn’t report it right away because he underestimated the damage to his car.

Halligan said he only noticed the extent of the damage the next morning and didn’t tell his colleague about the incident until he learned repairs would cost him about $3,000, according to the warrant.

He was arrested Sept. 15 on misdemeanor charges of failing to report and incident and conspiring to falsely report an incident. He faced a judge Monday and was released on a promise to appear.

According to Middlefield First Selectman Jon Brayshaw, Halligan has been suspended with pay.

Information on an attorney for Halligan was not immediately available.

Former Trooper Who Torched Brother's Home Felt Duped: Court


The former Connecticut State Trooper accused of burning down his brother's home in the Higganum village of Haddam believed his brother had cheated him out of a large inheritance and wanted revenge, according to court documents.

Ronald Carlson, 50, of Portsmouth, Virginia, faced a judge on charges of arson and burglary Monday. He's accused of setting fire to his brother's raised ranch at 575 Candlewood Hill Road the morning of Thursday, Oct. 16.

According to court documents, Carlson told authorities he had been planning the arson for seven years and that his brother Tom had cheated him out of $2.3 million from their parents.

Ron Carlson told investigators he had "willingly and knowingly" burned down his brother's home. He decided to light the fire on Oct. 14 and left Virginia at noon Oct. 15.

He spent the night at a hotel and told authorities he stayed up "thinking about how successful it was going to be, how good it was going to be to administrate [his] own justice," according to the documents.

Ron Carlson admitted to buying gas cans and forcing his way through the front door, then spreading fuel evenly throughout the home and detached garage. He told authorities he piled wood in the middle of the house and lit matches, then drove around town waiting for his brother to get home so he could confront him, according to the documents.

When Tom Carlson and his family arrived at the scene, Ron Carlson stormed up the driveway and started screaming, "I burnt down your [expletive] house!" and "You stole $2.8 million from Mom! How do you like me now?" Tom Carlson allegedly told investigators.

Tom Carlson's ex-wife told police Ron Carlson has a "history of aggressive behavior." The couple's son, Scott, said Ron Carlson became so violent toward his father several years ago that he called the police. The brothers had not spoken since, according to the documents.

State police spokesperson Trooper First Class Kelly Grant said Ronald Carlson was a Connecticut State Trooper from January 1987 to October 1988, when he was fired. The reason for his termination is unclear.

Police said Ron Carlson turned himself in the day of the blaze. A town official said Ron Carlson used five gallons of gasoline and opened all home's the windows.

His arms and face were burned in the blaze, so authorities brought him to Westbrook's Shoreline Clinic and transferred him to the Bridgeport Hospital Burn Unit.

After his release from the hospital, Ron Carlson was charged with two counts of first-degree arson and one count of third-degree burglary. He was arraigned in Middletown on Monday, where a judge raised his bond from $500,000 to $1 million.

Haddam First Selectwoman Melissa Schlag has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the Tom Carlson. Donations are also being collected at the town hall and at Ter's Package Store in Higganum.

"I am heartbroken for the Carlson family. My thoughts are with them at this time and the Haddam/Higganum community is here for them," Schlag said in a statement Thursday night.

Ron Carlson is due back in court Nov. 4.

Photo Credit: Haddam Volunteer Fire Department/Department of Correcctions

"Don't Wait" Domestic Violence Campaign Begins in New Haven


A domestic violence awareness campaign will begin in New Haven's city hall Tuesday before moving statewide.

Survivors and advocates from the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence and New Haven Mayor Toni Harp will be there to inform the public about common risk factors for domestic violence, encourage victims to use the domestic abuse hotline and to broaden public understanding.

As part of the "Don't Wait" campaign, people are encouraged to wear purple to show commitment to preventing domestic violence on what is known as Purple Tie Tuesday.

The campaign launches at noon as part of an effort to prevent domestic violence in Connecticut.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Waterbury PAL Celebrates New Park


Waterbury is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday afternoon for a new park on a blighted property the Waterbury Police Activity League (PAL) purchased.

The park includes four basketball courts, a 200-foot baseball field, walking path and concessions stand and their are plans for an ADA compliant playground, according to Lt. Daniel T. Lauer, director of Waterbury's Blight Task Force.

Waterbury's PAL bought a "blighted and contaminated former industrial complex" on 2.2 acres of land across from PAL's Division Street headquarters, Lauer said in a news release.

"Through numerous strategic partnerships in conjunction with grant awards from the EPA, HUD, the American Savings Foundation, the Gregory Spagnoletti Memorial Foundation, along with numerous private donations, PAL has transformed this location into an urban oasis," Lauer said in the news release.

PAL's board and members, Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), Director Curt Spalding of EPA Region 1, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee and other community members are scheduled to attend the event.

More information on Waterbury PAL is available on the group's website.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Crash Involving Police Car Causes Injuries: Cops


A car lost control and hit a police car in Watertown early Tuesday morning, police said.

The crash happened near 535 Straits Turnpike in Watertown.

Police said the officer in the cruiser that was struck was not injured, but people in the other car were hurt.

The nature of the injuries is unclear and no information has been released on how many people were hurt.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

6-Year-Old Suspended After Bringing Bullets to School


A 6-year-old boy has been suspended from school for three days after a bus driver for his school in North Haven found bullets in his backpack Tuesday morning, according to police.

Authorities said the driver heard the boy, who lives in New Haven, tell another student he had bullets in his bag during a school trip. The driver pulled over, checked the boy's backpack and found two 40-caliber bullets.

School administrators and police were notified when the bus arrived back at the Mill Road School at 295 Mill Road. Police said the boy did not have a gun with him. School officials confiscated the bullets.

Authorities have been in contact with the state Department of Children and Families to determine why he had the ammunition and the school is reaching out to the boy's parents.

School officials sent a letter home to parents at the end of the school day outlining the incident and explaining that no children were ever in danger.

The school, an Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES) facility, serves students in Kindergarten through grade 8.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Extradited on Terror Charge


Haroon Rashid Aswat, a British man charged with conspiring to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon, is being flown to New York from London Tuesday by U.S. officials after nine years of fighting extradition, law enforcement officials tell NBC New York.

Aswat faces federal charges of conspiring with radical cleric Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, known as Abu Hamza al-Masri, to establish a terrorist training camp in Bly 15 years ago.

Mustafa was convicted in New York in May of being involved in the Oregon terror plan. He was also convicted of helping to plot the 1998 kidnappings of tourists, including 16 Americans, in Yemem. Mustafa told the jury that he lost both hands and an eye in an accident in Pakistan while working with explosives.

A third man, James Ujaama, pleaded guilty in 2007 to being the American contact for Mustafa and Aswat in their alleged bid to build a terror camp in the United States. The fourth man to be named in the plot, Oussama Abdullah Kassir, a Swede born in Lebanon, was convicted of terror charges in 2009.

Aswat, who is being treated for paranoid schizophrenia, has been fighting extradition to America since his 2005 arrest in London on a U.S. warrant. Last month, Britain’s high court ruled Aswat could be extradited after receiving assurances from U.S. authorities that his mental illness would still be treated.

Media reports in London Tuesday say the Metropolitan Police confirm that Aswat was taken from Broadmoor psychiatric hospital and escorted onto a plane by U.S. officials.

Officials from the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office in New York declined to comment.

Photo Credit: AP

New Athletic Field Opens in Hartford


Children will soon have a new place to play in Hartford when the Cal Ripken Athletic Field opens today at the Annie Fisher Montessori Magnet.

More than 200 students, as well as members of the Rock Cats and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, will attend the grand opening ceremony at 2:30 p.m.

The city is building three new youth recreation parks in partnership with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. One is the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Youth Development Park in the City’s Clay-Arsenal neighborhood. http://www.hartford.gov/pressroom/1083-city-of-hartford-partners-with-cal-ripken-sr-foundation-to-build-city-s-first-synthetic-surface-youth-recreation-park

Another park will be located at Hyland Park.

Photo Credit: NBC New York

West Hartford Students Make Science Lessons Soar


Students at the Smith Elementary School in West Hartford were making their lessons fly on Tuesday morning when they launched their very own weather balloon into the sky.

The balloon brought science and geography lessons to life as hundreds of students watched in amazement.

“This is very exciting for me. I don’t know what to say, it is super cool,” student Jack O’Neill said. “They have a GPS attached to the balloon and they’re going to follow it and take pictures along the way.”

The project took months of planning and a grant to get off of the ground, but organizers said it gives students a deeper interest in what they’re learning in the classroom.

“We are always looking for activities that will inspire our children,” Principal Juan Melian said. 

Students can track the balloon online as it flies and a few teachers will also follow it by car and bring back the results.

“It is better than seeing it in a textbook,” student Serenity Cillery said.  “This is like we are really there.”

Organizers are hoping to share the images from the weather balloon during a school assembly in November.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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