Channel: NBC Connecticut
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

NY, NJ to Quarantine Travelers at Risk for Ebola


New York and New Jersey have enacted new restrictions for travelers at risk for Ebola, including a mandatory quarantine for medical workers returning from West African countries battling the disease, according to The New York Times.

The announcement came one day after a doctor who had recently returned from West Africa was diagnosed with the virus in New York City.

“We have to do more," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday. "It's too serious of a situation to leave it to the honor system of compliance."

Craig Spencer, a doctor just back from a month-long stint treating Ebola patients in Guinea for Doctors Without Borders, was admitted into an isolation unit at Bellevue Hospital on Thursday, less than a week after he arrived home. In the days prior to his diagnosis, he made several outings in the city, including coffee in one of Manhattan’s tourist-packed parks, a stop by a meatball shop and a subway ride to Brooklyn for an evening of bowling with friends.

While Spencer followed the self-monitoring protocols issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some experts are now suggesting health workers who return from Ebola-ravaged areas do more to avoid public places.

City officials praised the quick response to his illness and said Spencer, the city's first Ebola patient, followed all the proper steps to monitor his health and minimize exposure. But Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in retrospect those steps weren't enough.

"New Jersey and New York are going to determine the standards of quaranine since the CDC's guidance is continually changing," Christie said.

Some public health experts were already urging added extra caution as more doctors and others potentially exposed to the virus return from the front lines of fighting the outbreak in West Africa. Tighter restrictions on such health care workers could prevent mass hysteria and make the job easier on health detectives in the event of a positive Ebola test, they say.

Dr. Joseph McCormick, a professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health who has cared for Ebola patients, said while putting a large number of people in quarantine because of possible casual interaction “is not warranted,” as the virus can only be spread by contact with the bodily fluids of person with symptoms, some situations may merit more prudence.

“I would say that for somebody like a health provider like the physician who clearly was in direct contact with patients, I’m not sure that total quarantine is needed but I think a more cautious approach to traveling around the city probably would be warranted,” McCormick, a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official who investigated the first Ebola epidemic, said. “We all have to balance our messages here.”

The safeguards followed by Spencer, recommended by the CDC and Doctors Without Borders, included taking his temperature twice daily, watching for fever and other symptoms during the virus’ 21-day incubation period. Living in New York, he was well within the recommended 4-hour radius of a hospital with isolation facilities. When his temperature hit 100.3 degrees Thursday morning, he called health officials and was quickly moved to Bellevue Hospital.

Still, at least one other relief group operating in West Africa has gone beyond the CDC recommendations in light of the heightened public concern following the infection of two nurses treating an Ebola patient at a Dallas hospital, including one who took flights to and from Ohio while she was self-monitoring for signs of the virus.

Samaritan’s Purse is mandating that employees who return from its efforts in Liberia undergo a “self-imposed, no-touch self sequestration” for 21 days that limits even physical contact with family members, according to Kendell Kauffeldt, the Christian international relief organization’s longtime country director in Liberia. Employees of the organization, which made headlines after its own Dr. Kent Brantly survived an infection, are also required to take their temperature four times a day, with the trigger for alerting officials set one degree lower than the CDC's level. They require returning staff, including three who are currently in the incubation period, stay within 90 minutes of an isolation facility for those three weeks.

Kauffeldt, who lived in Liberia for 10 years before returning to the United States with his family in August, stressed that Spencer took all the required steps and the potential of “anyone else becoming infected is almost zero because he followed the protocol.” He said the added precautions enacted for his own colleagues were simply meant to go even farther to ensure general public health, the safety of their employees and peace of mind.

“It was really just in reaction to the situations in Dallas and just recognizing that there is a level of uninformed fear, but we still as an organization have a responsibility to the general public to ensure we were doing everything possible for their safety and their health,’ he said.

The protocols for monitoring and protecting those workers will likely remain in the spotlight, as more are deployed to fight an outbreak that has sickened more than 10,000 since March. Demand for doctors is still high, and thousands have volunteered through an online portal USAID set up in early September to match qualified applicants with aid organizations.

Doctors, nurses and other medical aides are considered at the highest risk for contracting the virus because they deal with bodily fluids from the sickest of patients and the World Health Organization says an “unprecedented” number have been infected in this outbreak. In all, more than 440 health care workers have contracted Ebola and 244 have died as of Oct. 19, the WHO says. Six other American health workers — four who worked in Africa and two from a Dallas hospital that treated a patient from Liberia — contracted Ebola and recovered after receiving treatment in the U.S.

Both New York City Health Commissioner Mary Bassett and National Institute of Health’s Anthony Fauci, who cared for one of the Dallas nurses, suggested Friday that the federal guidelines for monitoring are the subject of active discussion.

Eden Wells, clinical associate professor of epidemiology and director of the Preventive Medicine Residency at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, said she would personally restrict her movements if she were returning from West Africa or had been caring for someone with Ebola. She stressed she did was not criticizing Spencer, who she noted followed the current protocols.

She she’d take the more cautious approach “not only just to reassure the public but it is also to aid public health epidemiologist disease detective, because the more contact that’s out there that has to be investigated because someone did leave the home really taxes the system.”

“Whether they’re sick or not sick what happens is any time a case like this happens there’s an incredible amount of resources undertaken to do the investigation to reassure everyone that there’s not then another case as a result of a contact,” she said.

Doctors Without Borders, which did not return multiple interview requests, said in a statement Friday that it will investigate how Spencer contracted the virus. But it acknowledged that even with its “Extremely strict procedures “ for staff, the “risk cannot be completely eliminated.”

"Tragically, as we struggle to bring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa under control, some members of our staff have not been spared," Executive Director Sophie Delaunay said in a statement."Our thoughts are with our colleague in his own struggle right now, and we sincerely hope for his quick and full recovery."

Blumenthal Demands Nationwide Recall of Defective Airbags


Brandishing a picture of an exploded airbag, Sen. Richard Blumenthal repeated his demand for a nationwide recall of potentially defective airbags made by Takata.

"These exploding airbags are killers," Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal said the limited recall is "absurd and irresponsible," and insisted that carmakers provide loaners or rental cars to owners of cars taken in for replacement of airbags.

"Replacement parts should be provided as quickly as possible," he said.

The defective Takata airbags are installed in nearly eight million cars sold in the United States between 15 and 7 years ago, most of them Honda and Acura, among several other makes.

"Toyota's telling everybody not to carry passengers in a passenger car, and I think that's ironic and a little ridiculous," said Don Goldstein, the owner of a 2003 Toyota Corolla with Takata airbags.

His dealer told him no replacement parts were available.

Goldstein moved to Hartford from Tennessee and said he drove often in Florida, where high humidity supposedly makes the airbags particularly dangerous.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Body Is Missing U.Va. Student: Cops


The remains found Oct. 18 on an abandoned property are those of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, the Albemarle County Police Department said Friday.

The suspect in her disappearance, Jesse L. Matthew, Jr., was charged last month with abduction with attempt to defile Graham, 18.

"We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter, Hannah," Graham's parents, John and Sue Graham, said in a statement Friday afternoon. "Over recent weeks Hannah has been described by those who know her as bright, witty, thoughtful, loyal and fun to be around. She was all those things and more."

Graham's parents' statement continued:

Put simply, Hannah lit up our lives, the lives of our family and the lives of her friends and others who knew her. Although we have lost our precious Hannah, the light she radiated can never be extinguished. We will hold it in our hearts forever and it will help sustain us as we face a painful future without her.

Graham had intended to pursue a career in global public health and wanted to help others, her parents said. They thanked Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo and other law enforcement agents for their dedication.

The Albemarle County Police Department announced the medical examiner's results at about 4:40 p.m. Friday, saying on Twitter, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Graham family & Hannah's friends during this incredibly difficult time."

Volunteer searchers found the remains at about noon Oct. 18 in an "abandoned property" in the Walnut Creek Park area of Albemarle County, authorities said.

A day later, investigators interviewed nearby residents, and forensic teams combed the sides of a road for several miles past the site. 

Authorities are still asking to hear from people who live along Old Lynchburg Road or those who may have any information; the Charlotte Police Department's tip line remains open at 434-295-3851.

Matthew's attorney, Jim Camblos, issued a statement late Saturday night, which said in part, "We are waiting to see the results of the medical examiners autopsy. No further comment."

Graham was reported missing after a night out with with friends Sept. 12. She was last seen on surveillance videos from the early morning hours of Sept. 13.

[279017771, L]]

The videos show her walking unsteadily, and later running, in downtown Charlottesville. She is also shown with a man police have identified as Matthew, who is shown wrapping his arm around Graham. He is also accused of buying her alcohol.

Investigators believe Matthew, a hospital worker and former taxi driver, acted alone and didn't know Graham before her disappearance.

Matthew was arrested in Texas two weeks after Graham's disappearance. He was extradited to Virginia, where he remains in custody.

He is not due for a court appearance in the case until December, but could appear in a Fairfax, Virginia court earlier to face charges in a separate, earlier case.

Matthew was indicted Monday for attempted capital murder and two other felonies in that case, a 2005 attack on a 26-year-old woman in Fairfax, Virginia.

Police said the victim was walking home from a grocery store in September 2005 when a man grabbed her and forced her into a wooded area, where he assaulted her. He fled after being startled by another person.

Fairfax authorities are planning to ask for bench warrant on Thursday to bring Matthew to Northern Virginia to face charges in that case.

Authorities have previously said DNA evidence links the 2005 Fairfax assault to the murder of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington in fall 2009.

Harrington disappeared after attending a concert at the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville. Her body was found in January 2010, a little more than five miles from where human remains were found during Saturday's search for Graham.

No one has been charged in Harrington's murder. But Harrington's parents have been active in searching for Graham, noting the similarities between the two cases.

"I thought [Graham's disappearance] seemed very similar to Morgan's situation with sort of the question of her maybe being somewhat impaired, someone just picking her up and trying to take care of her," Dan Harrington said earlier this fall.

Virginia State Police said late last month that they believe they have found a link between Harrington's death and Graham's disappearance.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

Gas Company Repairing Gas Leak at Industrial Park


A North Branford industrial park was evacuated Friday morning due to a gas leak.

A gas line was broken on Enterprise Drive while workers were digging up a trench. The road was closed for a few hours in the area of the gas line break. North Branford firefighters responded.

No one was injured, but the industrial park was evacuated as a precaution.

Emergency crews had left the scene by 11:42 a.m. The gas company is on scene making repairs.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

1 Arrested, Police Seek 2nd Suspect in Fatal Hamden Shooting


Police have charged a 33-year-old East Haven man in connection with a fatal shooting in a Hamden home last Sunday and are looking for a second suspect who is "considered armed and extremely dangerous."

William Coutermash, 33, was arrested Thursday on multiple charges, including felony murder, in the shooting that killed Larry Dildy, 56, at his apartment on Circular Avenue in Hamden on Oct. 19.

Police are also searching for a second suspect, 38-year-old Nicholas Papantoniou, who is on the run and considered armed and dangerous.

Papantoniou has lived on Oprington Street in Hamden and Bright Street in New Haven and is wanted on charges of felony murder and second-degree assault, police said.

According to police, Dildy answered a knock at the door and a man entered his second-floor apartment Oct. 19. He was shot and possibly stabbed during a fight that ensued. Dildy was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he died of his injuries about three hours later.

Police said during a Friday afternoon press conference that Coutermash was not in the room during the murder but played a part in the home invasion that resulted in Dildy's death. Coutermash is cooperating with authorities.

Coutermash has been charged with felony murder, conspiracy to commit home invasion, conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, removing identification marks on a firearm and criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Authorities said after the shooting that it did not appear to be a random incident. The murder case remains under investigation.

State of Connecticut Division of Scientific Services, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the New Haven State's Attorney's office assisted with the investigation.

Anyone with information on the crime or Papantoniou's whereabouts is urged to call Hamen police right away at 203-230-4041.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Hamden Police Department

Local Hospitals Prepare for Possibility of Ebola


Hospitals in Connecticut are working to make sure they have the necessary resources to treat an Ebola case if one is diagnosed in our state.

“Whether it's Ebola, enterovirus or any other infectious disease, what do you need to do your job?” Rep. Rosa DeLauro asked hospital representatives from across the state on Friday while hosting a roundtable discussion.

The talk comes as Ebola concerns in the state continue to grow, and, according to DeLauro, federal funds for hospital preparedness continue to dwindle.

“You deal with life and death. I have been for a very long time concerned with what we do about shortchanging resources,” said DeLauro.

Table topics included talks about regionalization, training and practice. It's the same practice Yale-New Haven Hospital put to play just last week when a doctoral student who had traveled to Liberia displayed symptoms indicative of the virus.

“We were treating this as the real thing, because up until the point that the patient was ruled out by laboratory tests we thought it was,” said James Paturas with the Yale-New Haven Center for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response.

The student tested negative for the virus, but medical experts remind there is no guarantee every patient will or that the adequate treatment will be available.

“Not every hospital has the resources or should have the resources to treat patients with ebola,” said Kim Hostetler with the Connecticut Hospital Association.

Experts agree it’s not only about the steps taken during treatment, but also the steps in the days before and the days that follow. For example, in West Haven an unmarked police car has been placed outside the home of six quarantined residents after they returned from West Africa on Saturday.

“We are diligently following the protocol set out by the governor,” said West Haven Mayor Edward O’Brien.

The family is showing no signs of ebola. The mayor says they voluntarily sequestered themselves and were quarantined by the state health commissioner on Tuesday.

“It is something we have to do,” said Mayor O’Brien. “Everyone is safe in West Haven. It is more precautionary because of the governor’s order.”

That order also requires the family to stay at home for 21 days, as well as report their temperature twice a day. For now, it will also require the city to foot the bill.

“They governor said they are going to try and partner with the city to take care of the cost, but at this point it is entirely on the city,” said Mayor O’Brien.

According to Governor Malloy it has not yet been determined how such a partnership might work.

“We are not going to hang out anyone to dry on this,” said Gov. Malloy. “We are going to work with local governments, health departments and police departments.”

Residents we spoke with in West Haven say they have no problem paying for safety, but Rep. DeLauro is also calling for more federal funds.

“Can’t we put together some sort of public health emergency fund on a continuous basis to help us deal with what comes up?” said rep. DeLauro.

She is also calling for collaboration between hospitals big and small to devise a state strategy the entire country can follow.

A History of School Shootings Since Newtown


A student opened fire in a high school cafeteria on Friday, killing at least one person and wounding at least three others before killing himself, officials said.

The shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, outside of Seattle, happened during the lunch period. Witnesses described the shooter walking in with a blank stare before opening fire.

"Just all of a sudden I see him stand up, pull something out of his pocket," Austin Taylor, who had just finished lunch, told NBC affiliate KING. 

Taylor said he heard five pops, then saw three kids fall from the table.

The shooting is at least the 11th planned mass shooting at a school since the Sandy Hook massacre in December 2012, when Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 first-grade students and six adult staff members at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, before killing himself. Here's a look at the ten other major incidents.

Reynolds High School, Oregon

June 10, 2014

Parents of 15-year-old gunman, Jared Michael Padgett, were "confused and shocked" when they found out their son was the suspected killer in the school shootings at an Oregon high school that left one student dead, NBC News reported.The shooter concealed his weapons, an AR-15 type rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, a knife and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, in a backpack and guitar case. Padgett killed a 14-year-old student athlete, Emilio Hoffman. He eventually killed himself in the school bathroom, police said.

Seattle Pacific University, Washington

June 5, 2014

The man responsible for the Seattle Pacific University shootings at the beginning of June was off his psychosis medication because he "wanted to feel the hate", the Associated Press reported. Aaron Rey Ybarra, 26, was armed with a shotgun, a knife and nearly 50 shells of ammunition with intentions to attack a mass number of students and managed to injure two people and kill one 19-year-old student before a student security guard subdued the shooter with pepper spray. After being arrested, police learned Ybarra had done extensive research on other mass shootings, and the shooter told police he didn't target anyone but had a "hatred for the world in general," according to the Associated Press.

Berrendo Middle School, New Mexico

January 14, 2014

 A 12-year-old boy pulled a sawed-off shotgun from his bag and fired shots in a New Mexico Middle School gymnasium. According to officials, the unnamed seventh grade shooter opened fire in the school’s gym with a 20-gauge shotgun, killing one student and seriously injuring two others. John Masterson, an eighth grade social studies teacher, approached the shooter and talked him into putting down the weapon.

Arapahoe High School, Colorado

December 13, 2013

Karl Pierson, 18, entered Arapahoe High School on December 13th, 2013, equipped with a shot gun, a machete, 125 rounds of ammunition and three Molotov cocktails. Pierson entered the school through a door that was normally locked; he fired his first shot randomly in the school’s hallway, then his second, killing 17-year-old Claire Esther Davis. With his final shot, the gunman took his own life, shooting himself in the head. The teen was likely motivated by a dispute with his former debate coach, NBC News reported. 

Sparks Middle School, Nevada

October 21, 2013

A 12-year-old student arrived on the grounds of Sparks Middle School and shot a student in the shoulder, wounding him, then shot and killed Michael Landsberry, a math teacher at the school. The boy’s violent streak ended when he shot himself in the head. The shooter never entered the building and no shots were fired by law enforcement, NBC News reported. A Sparks student, Michelle Hernandez, told the Reno Gazette-Journal that the shooter had complained about being teased.

McNair Discovery Learning Academy, Georgia

August 20, 2013

A young male opened fire at a Georgia elementary school last year. Michael Brandon Hill, 20, was taken into custody after he fired six rounds of gun shots in the main office of the McNair Discovery Learning Academy. Hill was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, terroristic threats, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to officials. No one was injured, NBC News reported. 

Santa Monica College, California

June 7, 2013

John Zawahri, a former student of Santa Monica College, went on a mile-long shooting spree that culminated at Santa Monice College. He first set his father's house on fire, then carjacked a vehicle and threatened to kill the driver if she didn't drive him to the SMC campus, officials said. Zawahri killed five people and injured several others before killing himself, according to NBC News. Zawahri’s father and brother were among the victims.

New River Community College (NRCC), Virginia

April 12, 2013

An 18-year-old college student, Neil Allan MacInnis, faces two counts of malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony after shooting and injuring two women at New River Community College's satellite campus at the New River Valley Mall. The Christiansburg Police Department police chief said a year earlier MacInnis participated in the Christiansburg Police Department Citizens Academy program: a 12-week course where citizens observe the department on a regular day, get the opportunity to ride along in police cars, tour the offices and practice with firearms at the shooting range. 

University of Central Florida, Florida

March 18, 2013

James Oliver Seevakumaran, 30, planned a massacre at the University of Central Florida -- making a checklist that included instructions like "pull fire alarm" and "give them hell", police told NBC News. He pulled the firearm and pointed the gun at his roommate before the roommate slipped away and hid in a bathroom. When officers arrived, they found Seevakumaran dead in his bedroom, from a self-inclicted gunshot wound. They also found a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, a .22-caliber tactical rifle, ammunition and a backpack with four homemade explosive devices.

Taft Union High School, California

January 10, 2013

A 16-year-old student came to Taft Union High School armed with a 12-gauge shotgun, intent on shooting two students who had bullied him, authorities said. He shot one in the chest, and fired at another but missed the other. Both students survived. Many students described the shooter as a loner and a year earlier, the shooter was suspended for compiling a "hit list", police said.

Photo Credit: AP

Teal Pumpkins Take "Scare" Out of Halloween


Why are pumpkins going teal this year? It’s a new trend designed to take the "scare" out of Halloween for kids with food allergies.

Halloween can be a tricky time for Gina Menette Lee and her daughter, Gillian, who has food allergies.

“Most treats are unsafe for children with food allergies," Lee said. "A lot of candy is produced in places with allergens so it’s not safe for children with food allergies to eat those.”

Lee said she and her family normally spend Halloween night picking through the candy they collect.

“We separate the candy she can have from the candy she can’t have. And then I make up for it in some way because I feel badly, because most of her candy she can’t have,” Lee said.

For children with food allergies, eating the wrong candy can cause a severe reaction. To keep them safe, an organization called Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) is introducing the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Here’s how it works: If a teal pumpkin is placed outside a home, it means the residents are handing out non-food items, like flashlights, puzzles and silly glasses.

A FARE spokesperson said the goal is to make Halloween fun for everyone.

“We’re not encouraging people to take candy out of Halloween. We’re just encouraging people that there’s this other option that can make all the kid in their neighborhood feel included and have a fun and safe Halloween experience,” said Veronia LaFemina.

Lee has a teal pumpkin outside her home.

“How exciting would that be, if she was with her friends, she could automatically identify houses that have a treat for her, that’s definitely safe for her. That’s going to be a wonderful experience, and I’m really looking forward to it this year,” said Lee.

Sandy Hook Commission Invites Families to Speak


The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission announced today that it will hold a public hearing in the coming weeks in an effort to learn new information about the tragic school shootings before releasing its final recommendations and report. 

Commission members said they feel they're missing testimony from some families and will do “anything we can do to make sure their voice are heard,” according to commission member Kathleen Flaherty.

The panel of experts is looking at policy and procedure, especially when it comes to things like school safety and mental health.

“No one has been through more than the families. And even though we have extended invitations, I think we have an obligation to reach back out, not only to the families, but also the stakeholders,” said commission chairman Scott Jackson.

The commission plans to hold the public hearing within the next few weeks to avoid the time around the second anniversary of the shootings. It will likely take place in Newtown, although an exact location has yet to be determined.

“I would encourage us to work with and notify the town’s public officials because I think it’s incredibly important that they’re aware of what our goals are,” said Chris Lyddy.

Prior to the hearing, the commission plans to release a list of its initial recommendations for comment. The commission has not established a timeline as to when it will release its final report.

Neil Heslin and Nelba Marquez-Greene, the parents of two children killed in the 2012 school shooting, were originally expected to address the commission on Friday but did not attend the meeting.

1 Killed, 2 Hurt in Norwalk Hit-and-Run Crash


One person has died and two others were injured in a hit-and-run crash on Woodward Avenue in Norwalk, and police said they have arrested a suspect.

Police said three people were taken to Norwalk Hospital for treatment after they were struck by a car while walking in the area of 50 Woodward Avenue around 8:30 p.m. Friday.

One of the victims, a man, died at the hospital Friday night and the other two suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

Authorities said the driver got out of the car and ran from the scene. Lt. Paul Resnick said the driver, who has not been publicly identified, has been caught and arrested.

Woodward Avenue is closed between Grove Street and Burritt Avenue while authorities investigate the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call Norwalk police at 203-854-3114.

Man Steals From Bridgeport Business Twice in One Night


Police are searching for the man who broke into a Bridgeport electronics store not once but twice early Wednesday morning.

According to police, the suspect climbed through a window at Express Mobile on East Main Street and openend up the cash register around midnight Wednesday.

Surveillance footage also shows him grabbing cellphones from glass display cases before running out of the store through the same window he entered.

Police said the suspect came back about four hours later. He hunted through the store and took more electronics from the same display case he originally targeted, according to the footage.

Surveillance video shows the suspect to be a man wearing a white hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over his head, a dark-colored jacket, sweatpants, sneakers and glasses.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Bridgeport police Det. Badolato at 203-581-5241.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department

Stratford Football Coach Placed on Leave


The head football coach at Bunnell High School in Stratford has been placed on paid administrative leave after making inappropriate comments to one of his players, News 12 Connecticut reports.

School administrators have launched an investigation into the conduct of coach Doug Cotto, according to News 12. Cotto did not coach tonight's game against New Milford.

Stratford school officials have not returned a request for comment and have not elaborated on the nature of Cotto's remarks.

Chris Christie Heading to Groton to Support Foley


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will attend a rally in Groton alongside Republican candidate for governor Tom Foley on Monday, according the Republican Governors Association.

Details of the rally are unclear, but the RGA said it's set to begin at 6:15 p.m. Monday.

It's Christie's third visit to the state to stump for Foley. He made a trip to Stamford last month, where he spoke to the press at Curley's Diner and highlighted Foley's business credentials.

Christie also visited Greenwich in July to attend a fundraiser with Foley.

Christie serves as chairman of the RGA and is tasked with promoting Republican candidates for governor in left-leaning states around the country.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Accused Hamden Murderer is a Popular New Haven Hip Hop Artist


The man accused of shooting and killing a Hamden man in his Circular Avenue apartment earlier this month is a well-known musician born and raised in New Haven.

Nicholas Papantoniou, also known by his stage name "Nickel P," is wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of 56-year-old Larry Dildy on Oct. 19.

Police say Papantoniou, 38, and William Coutermash, 33, knocked on the door of Dildy's second-story apartment that afternoon and got into a fight during which Dildy was shot.

"We have clothing, we have video records, we have a firearm that we believe was used in commission of this crime; we have a folding knife that was seized and we believe was used in the commission of this crime," Hamden police Chief Thomas Wydra said, explaining the evidence that he says links Papantoniou to the fatal shooting.

Residents familiar with the city's music scene say Papantoniou is a hip-hop performer who has played concerts in the area for years.

"Nickel P's" public Facebook page says his "music and lyrics are the perfect example of art imitating life" and promotes his performances, including some at popular New Haven music venue Toad's Place.

Police haven't released any information about the relationship between Dildy and the suspects but said the attack does not appear to be random.

New Haven residents say Papantoniou used to frequent the Three Sheets bar on Elm Street, but they haven't seen him in about three weeks.

Police say he's on the loose and is considered "armed and extremely dangerous."

Court records show that Papantoniou has been previously convicted on drug, weapon and assault charges, among others. West Haven police are also working to arrest Papantoniou on unrelated assault charges.

Coutermash was charged with felony murder on Friday, although authorities consider him a conspirator and say Papantoniou is suspected of pulling the trigger.

Hamden police have prepared an arrest warrant for Papantoniou and are asking anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact them immediately at 203-230-4041.

Photo Credit: Facebook/Hamden Police Department

LifeStar Airlifts Motorcylist Hurt in Canaan Crash


A LifeStar medical helicopter responded to the area of Routes 7 and 63 in the Falls Village section of Canaan on Friday evening to airlift a motorcycle driver involved a crash with several other calls, according to state police.

Police said several other cars were involved in the crash, which was reported shortly after 6 p.m.

According to Litchfield County Dispatch and state police, the male motorcycle driver is being transported to Sharon Hospital and will then be airlifted for further treatment. Authorities have not released any information on his condition.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Football Game Canceled Over "Inappropriate Behavior"


A high school football game has been canceled after members of the Daniel Hand High School junior varsity team engaged in “inappropriate behavior” in the school locker room and on the bus, according to school Superintendent Tomas Scarice.

Scarice said the incident was not related to hazing and that it happened on the school bus and in the locker room, not on the Madison team's football field. He declined to elaborate on the details of the incident, citing student privacy.

The JV game scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 1 has been canceled as a result, but the Saturday, Oct. 25 game is still on. Some players, however, are banned from playing in today's game. According to the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, Daniel Hand would have been up against Xavier High School that day.

"Whether it's a big or small incident, we don't want things to get out of hand," said First Selectman Fillmore McPherson, who discussed the allegations with Scarice on Thursday.

All football players on the freshman, JV and varsity teams must now attend a mandatory meeting run by the school principal and athletic director to discuss behavioral expectations that are “not negotiable,” Scarice said. Players’ positions on the team will be jeopardized if they don’t show up.

Coaches and players must also undergo sensitivity training, according to Scarice.

"This is not the way the typical team goes in Madison," McPherson said. "The student athletes are very caring for each other. ... It's my understanding that Coach [Steve] Filippone is using the varsity players, the captains of his varsity team, to help get on top of this, to make sure they set the right example for the younger players."

McPherson said the superintendent, principal and police chief are working together to address the incident.

Carrie Hick, the parent of a Daniel Hand student, described her "surprise and shock" after learning about the allegations.

"This team plays with the highest moral fiber of any football team I've ever seen," she said. "I come to see them because they play with such heart and soul, so I'm stunned."

Nonetheless, Hick said she has full confidence in the school's response to the incident.

"Maybe the JV players aren't trained quite as well and they're going to learn," she speculated. "I'm sure the coaching staff will handle it to the fullest extent and all the kids will know what's expected of them to be a Hand Tiger."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Driver Killed in Fiery Crash at McDonald's


A driver died after his car caught fire following a car accident in the Cromwell McDonald's parking lot Saturday morning.

Cromwell police and fire crews responded to the McDonald's at 30 Shunpike Road at 5:40 a.m. to investigate a report of a motor vehicle crash. When officers got to the scene a raging fire had engulfed the car in the back parking lotand smoke was rising from the vehicle, police said.

Fire crews extinguished the fire shortly after, but police discovered that the driver was still inside and found him dead in the driver's seat.

The initial investigation showed that the driver accelerated in his car through the parking lot before crashing into "a brick and concrete enclosure blocking dumpsters," police said.

Officers from Cromwell, Berlin, Rocky Hill, Newington and Wethersfield responded as part of the Mid-State Traffic Team to investigate.

The drive-thru at the McDonald's was shut down as fire crews worked to put out the fire and police investigated.

Police continue to investigate what caused the crash and said that the cause of death hasn't been determined yet.

The driver's identity has not been released at this time pending notification of the family.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Mom Arrested in Death of Girl: Cops


A woman staying with her 4-year-old daughter in a Queens homeless shelter became enraged when she found the girl squirting hand lotion on the floor, then hit her in the face and stomach and threw her against a wall, authorities said Saturday. 

Latoya Curry, 35, was arrested Friday on charges of second-degree murder, assault and endangering the welfare of a child, the Queens District Attorney's Office said. It wasn't immediately clear if Curry had a lawyer, and no contact information for her family was available. She could face up to 25 years to life in prison.

Police found the girl, 4-year-old Linayjah Meraldo, Thursday after responding to a call at the Briarwood Family Residence, a temporary housing shelter for homeless families on 134th Street. The child's four siblings were in school when she was found; her mother said she kept the girl home because she wasn't feeling well, according to a source familiar with the case.

Prosecutors said Curry flew into a rage Wednesday night, striking Linayjah so hard that she dislodged a tooth. She then dragged the girl into another room, threw her against a wall and onto a bed, the District Attorney's Office said.

Prosecutors say the girl cried and said her stomach hurt but then fell asleep. In the morning, the girl awoke with a slight fever and later took a morning nap, but she didn't wake up, they said.

An autopsy showed Linayjah died of blunt force trauma to her torso and had internal injuries including multiple recent and healed rib fractures, a torn small intestine, internal bleeding and extensive bruising, prosecutors said. The autopsy noted she also appeared malnourished, prosecutors said.

There were no other adults living in the unit where the family was staying.

The mother initially told police Meraldo was involved in a physical altercation with a sibling -- "a tousling thing," she called it, according to the source. The source said the mother later said the child had fallen, and that the version of events she told investigators kept changing.

The family had lived at Briarwood for nearly a year.

The Department of Health and Human Services called Meraldo's death "terribly disturbing." The agency said in a statement it was working closely with police.

The child's death comes less than a week after a 3-year-old girl was found dead in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn. The medical examiner ruled her death a homicide, saying the girl died from blunt impact to her head and torso. Her 20-year-old stepfather was arrested on a murder charge.

After the Brooklyn girl's death, Mayor de Blasio called for a thorough investigation. 

-- Melissa Russo contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com

Boy Shot for Laughing: Dad


A Gary, Indiana, boy was killed Friday after being shot nine times by a neighbor whose home was burglarized earlier in the day, police said.

The 13-year-old boy, Kobe Jones, was reportedly laughing about the home invasion after his neighbor created a scene outside the home on the 1000 block of Polk Street.

Police said the home was burglarized at about 12:30 p.m. Friday. The homeowner and his girlfriend returned home about five hours later and was visibly upset about the discovery, police said.

"I was told that my son was laughing and the guy shot him dead," Jones' father, Kaunda Jones, told reporters.

The teen, one of 12 siblings and described as a funny, outgoing young man, died at the scene and his death was ruled a homicide. Family members said the unexpected funeral would be a financial burden and have created an account to collect donations. Contributions can be sent in the form of a check or a money order to 505 Adams St., Gary, IN 46402 or the Chase account 3005774699.

The neighbor and his girlfriend took off after the shooting and were arrested at about 7 p.m. when they returned to the home, police said. Their names were not publicly released because no charges had been filed by midday Saturday.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

Residents Displaced After Structure Fire


Residents of a two-family home have been displaced after a two-alarm fire on Laurel Street and Manchester late Friday night.

A mother, 43, and her two daughters, 11 and 18 years old, were home at 77 Laurel Street when she heard "popping noises" coming from the basement, according to the Manchester fire officials. When she went to check it out, she saw there was smoke. She, her two daughters and their dogs got out of the house safely and called 911 at about 10:50 p.m.

Firefighters arrived minutes later to find smoke coming from the basement, first floor windows and front door. The basement and first floor of the family's unit were engulfed in heavy smoke and flames and the fire was spreading "upwards inside the wall spaces," according to the fire department.

The other unit in the house, 75 Laurel Street, was unoccupied at the time of the fire. Firefighters sprayed water from hoses onto the blaze and put out flames in the walls and ceilings, getting it under control by 11:19 p.m. and fully extinguishing it by 12:18 a.m. Saturday.

A second alarm was raised to call in more firefighters when crews found that many "modifications" had been made to the building structure "that made it more difficult to locate and extinguish hidden pockets of fire," Manchester firefighters said. East Hartford firefighter also responded.

The fire severely damaged the basement and first floor and the second floor and attic had smoke damage, leaving the home "uninhabitable," according to Manchester firefighters.

There were no working smoke detectors in the home when the fire happened, fire officials said.

The American Red Cross and Manchester Department of Human Services are assisting the residents displaced.

The cause of the fire is unknown and the fire marshal is investigating.

Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live