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Silver Alert Issued for Norwich Woman


Norwich Police issued a Silver Alert for 74-year-old Helen Fatone Saturday night.

Fatone suffers from dementia, according to police.

She left her home in Norwich around 1:30 p.m. to go shopping at Marcus Plaza on West Main Street in Norwich and hasn't been seen since. A police officer ran her license plate at 3:25 p.m. in East Lyme before the Silver Alert had been issued, police said. She was traveling north on Route 1 at the time. It was not clear why the officer ran her license plate.

Fatone is driving a white Lincoln MKX with Connecticut license plate "HFTONE". She was last seen wearing brown pants, a 3/4 length camel hair coat and glasses.

Anyone who sees Fatone should call Norwich Police at 860-886-5561.

Photo Credit: Norwich Police

Fairfield Man Struck and Killed by Car


Westport Police are investigating a crash that killed a pedestrian Saturday evening.

68-year-old Bruce Tabackman, of Fairfield, was struck by a car on Post Road East near Bulkley Ave North just after 6 p.m.

Officers who responded began medical treatment on Tabackman at the scene, said police. He was then taken to Norwich Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Authorities said the victim was not in the cross walk when he was hit.

Anyone who may have witnessed the accident is urged to contact the Westport Police Department at 203-341-6000.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Maintenance Worker Reunited with the Toddler He Saved


A California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) maintenance worker who  helped save a toddler’s life  earlier this week was reunited with the happy, healthy baby boy and his very grateful family on Friday, according to NBC San Diego.


On Monday, Caltrans worker Joe Thomas was traveling when he noticed two women in distress on the side of the road, crying and waving for help.

The women, mother Denise Ortiz and grandmother Rebecca Hill, told Thomas their 13-month-old baby, Cesar Ortiz, wasn’t breathing and needed immediate medical attention.

Thomas called 911, grabbed the child from Hill's hands and proceeded to render first-aid and CPR on the spot, saving the tot’s life.

Hill says the family was driving on a freeway when baby Cesar suddenly began crying and shaking. After that, the baby’s eyes rolled to the back of his head and he stopped breathing.

By the time Thomas pulled over and got to Cesar, Thomas says the boy was not breathing and had turned blue.

Thomas says he immediately began compressions on the baby’s chest and back and then administered CPR. Eventually, Cesar began gasping for air and was able to breathe on his own again.

Emergency crews arrived shortly thereafter and transported the revived toddler to the hospital. He was released that same day and is now doing well.

Ortiz and Hill say they’re extremely thankful to Thomas for saving Cesar’s life.

Thomas says he just wanted the little boy to be okay and did what he had to do.

“I didn’t think about it, I just did it,” said Thomas.

All three believe Thomas was at the right place at the right time.

Normally, Thomas said he doesn’t travel along the road he was driving on for work, but that day something just told him to drive that way.

"I just think God led me that way that day. God just used me," he added.

Thomas, who’s worked for Caltrans for the past 15 years and has four children of his own, says he learned his CPR skills from training seminars held by his company.

Thomas says he receives CPR training through Caltrans every three years, but this was the first time he’s ever had to use those skills. He urges everyone to become trained in CPR as a precaution.

After this scary incident, both Ortiz and Hill say they plan to take CPR classes.

“I was scared; I’ve never been through this before,” said Ortiz. “I have to take a CPR class now, just in case.”

Happy ending and all, the story of Thomas, baby Cesar and family doesn’t end here.

They all say they plan to stay in touch for many years to come.

“We’re in a long term relationship now – I’m bringing them into my family,” said Thomas.

At Friday’s heartfelt reunion, baby Cesar was full of energy -- walking, laughing, talking and playing like a healthy, bouncy, baby boy. He hugged the man who saved him and giggled when Thomas put a white Caltrans hard-hat on his little head.

As for Caltrans, well, they're pretty proud of Thomas' quick-thinking and compassion on the job.

The company   thanked their heroic worker on Twitter this week, posting : “Great job Joe!”


Great job, indeed.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

President Bush To Eulogize Van Cliburn


President George W. Bush is among the dignitaries who will pay tribute to pianist Van Cliburn at his memorial service on Sunday.

In 2003, Bush presented Van Cliburn The Presidential Medal of Freedom. He also received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award that year. President Barack Obama honored Cliburn with the National Medal of Arts in 2010.

Cliburn died Wednesday at 78 after fighting bone cancer. He had played for every American president since Harry Truman, plus royalty and heads of state around the world.

He is best remembered for winning the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958, at the height of the Cold War.

According to the memorial service program, Van Cliburn's friend of long standing Thomas Smith, Texas Governor Rick Perry and Joseph W. Polisi, president of The Juilliard School will also pay tribute to Van Cliburn. Van Cliburn studied at Juilliard after graduating from Kilgore High School in Texas.

Family spokesman Tom Stoker says a funeral is scheduled for 3:00-5:00 p.m. Sunday at the Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, where Cliburn worshiped for decades. Entombment at the mausoleum at Greenwood Memorial Park will follow.

Fenway to Hold Fundraiser for Newtown Children's Museum


A group of Boston residents with ties to Newtown, Conn., is set to gather at Fenway Park to raise funds for a children's museum in the town where a gunman shot and killed 26 elementary school children and educators in December.
Organizers say proceeds from the March 23rd fundraiser will go to the EverWonder Children's Museum, an initiative launched in 2011 to establish a children's museum to Newtown.
Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung, who died in the shooting, was one of the earliest supporters of museum plans.
The museum will operate in a recently donated temporary space while officials raise money for a permanent location.
Future plans for museum exhibits include a tribute to the shooting victims.
The fundraiser at a Fenway Park pavilion will include live music, special guests, food and drinks.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bullied Boy Dies in Hospital, Says Family


A young boy who was the victim of bullying has died, according to his family. Bailey O'Neill, who turned 12 on Saturday, was in a coma after suffering several seizures. His family told Katy Zachry, of NBC 10 Philadelphia, that he died at the hospital on Sunday. 

Bailey's family says he was jumped by two classmates during recess at Darby Township School, about 6 miles southwest of Philadelphia, last January and suffered a concussion as well as a broken nose as a result.  He then began to suffer seizures the next day, forcing doctors to put him into a medically induced coma. Joy Fecanin, the boy's grandmother, told the local NBC affiliate that he had to have a blood transfusion after getting pneumonia.

On Sunday, the following message was posted on the Building Hope for Bailey Facebook Page:

I would like to thank everyone who has prayed and supported Bailey and his family!! Bailey has been the strongest toughest boy I know. He has fought this battle long and hard. There just wasn't a way to fix this. I wish I could say he will get better but I can't. Bailey has gone to be with God today :( I love you Jina Risoldi with all my heart and I will help you through this. Bailey I love you!!! Please keep Baileys family in your prayers!!!

While the students who jumped Bailey were suspended for two days, police have not yet revealed whether they will be criminally charged.

“I would like to see these kids punished,” said Fecanin when she spoke to Zachry last month. “Something has to be done. I don’t know what’s taking them so long.”

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan says investigators are trying to determine if the injuries Bailey received in the fight caused his seizures. Investigators interviewed kids and recess aides who were on the playground when the fight broke out.

“We can assure them that we are going to continue with our investigation,” said Whelan.

Bailey’s younger brother was taken out of the school because his parents were worried that he'd also be the victim of bullying.

Photo Credit: Family Photo

Nurse Refuses 911 Dispatcher Begging Her to Perform CPR



An elderly woman at a in Bakersfield, California retirement facility died after a nurrse refused to perform CPR on the woman after she collapsed, NBC Southern California Reported.

When 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless, resident of Glenwood Gardens Skilled Nursing Facility, Lorraine Bayless, collapsed at the facility around 11 a.m., a staff member called 911 but refused to give the woman CPR, according to a recording of the call.

In refusing the 911 dispatcher's insistence that she perform CPR, the nurse can be heard telling the dispatcher that it was against the retirement facility's policy to perform CPR.

During the exchange between the nurse and the dispatcher, the dispatcher can be heard saying "I don't understand why you're not willing to help this patient.''

An ambulance arrived several minutes after the call and took Bayless to a hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. She has been identified as a resident of the home's independent facility, which is separate from the skilled and assisted nursing facility.

The retirement facility released a statement extending its condolences to the family and said its "practice is to immediately call emergency medical personnel for assistance and to wait with the individual needing attention until such personnel arrives.''

The statement also said a "thorough internal review of the matter'' would be conducted.

A call to the facility by The Associated Press seeking more information on the incident was not immediately returned.


Bayless' daughter told a reporter for KGET, the NBC affiliate in Bakersfield, that she was also a nurse and was satisfied with the care her mother received.

Person Dies After Being Hit by Metro-North Train


Metro-North police are investigating after a person was hit by a train in the Noroton Heights area of Darien on Monday morning. Metro-North officials said the person has died.

The train involved left New Haven at 5:38 a.m. and was heading to Grand Central Station.

Metro-North said the person struck was a trespasser.

Train service was affected for hours and eastbound Metro-North trains were not stopping at Noroton Heights, Darien and Rowayton. 

Eastbound train service resumed to Darien and Rowayton starting with the 9:07 a.m. train departing Grand Central Terminal. 

Substitute bus service will be provided between Noroton Heights and Stamford.  


Photo Credit: Jaclyn DiScala

Kelly Middle in Norwich Closed After Fire


Kelly Middle School in Norwich is closed on Monday after a fire in a science room activated sprinklers, causing some flooding.

The fire chief said the fire started on the second floor in the science room and the cleanup will take a day or two.

The fire department responded to the smoke alarm and the superintendent went to the school to investigate.

Classes are canceled for the day.

Dunkin’ Donuts Employee Stops Robbery With Coffee


When a man tried to rob a Dunkin’ Donuts in West Haven on Saturday night, an employee acted quickly and stopped him with the closest weapon available --hot coffee.

The attempted robbery happened at the Dunkin’ Donuts at 967 First Ave. at 11:06 p.m. on Saturday, when a man pulled up to the drive-through and asked the clerk for change for a $100 bill, according to Sgt. David Tammaro, of the West Haven Police Department.

When the clerk refused to make the change, the man said this was a robbery and tried to climb through the drive-through window, police said.

That is when the clerk threw hot coffee in man’s face, police said.

The man fled the area in a newer model white Ford Explorer, without stealing anything, a according to a news release from police.

Anyone with information is asked to call West Haven Police at (203) 937-3905.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Man Dies During San Francisco Triathlon


A 46-year-old Austin man died while swimming in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon Sunday morning. Race organizers believes the man suffered a heart attack shortly after he entered the San Francisco Bay for the 1.5-mile swimming portion of the triathlon around 7:30 a.m., according a statement by Race Director Bill Burke.

Burke said that the race's water safety team saw the man in the water, and began CPR as they brought him to the shore. But rescuers were unable to revive him.

Burke said the man is the first person to die in the race's history.

The Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon includes a 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz Island to the shores of the St. Francis Yacht Club, an 18-mile bike ride, and an 8-mile run through San Francisco's Golden Gate Recreational Area.

Hartford Police Investigate Attempted Kidnapping


Hartford police are looking for the man they said tried to abduct a woman in Hartford on Sunday night.

The woman was walking alone in the area of 45 Capen Street at 9:10 p.m. on Sunday when a man she did not know called out to her and followed her, according to Hartford Police.

When the man caught up to the woman, he pull her jacket off, bear-hugged her from behind and dragged her into a dark alley, police said.

The woman was able to fight back, broke free and ran down Main Street.

The man went in the opposite direction.

The victim told police that the man is in his 40s, about 5-feet 11, and has a full beard, with a strip of hair from his chin to his lower lip.

He was wearing a black knit cap, long black jacket and dark pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call Hartford Police.

Burglars Steal Jewelry from Wilton Home


Wilton police are investigating a residential burglary after jewelry and a laptop computer were taken from a local home.

Police said the burglary at the Seir Hill Road residence happened between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday, March 1 and the burglar or burglars entered through an unlocked door.

Gold wedding bands, a gold ring in the shape of a braided rope between two smooth bands, a silver pocket watch with the words “my dream come true” and the date 8/22/04 engraved inside, a light blue stone in a dark box and a dark gray Toshiba Satellite laptop were taken, according to police.

Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call Officer Tornello at 203-834-6260. 

Photo Credit: NBC

Local Leaders Oppose Cutting Car Tax


Mayors, first selectman and town managers across the state are concerned about how the governor’s proposed budget would affect local communities, so they are at the state Capitol on Monday for a public hearing of the finance, revenue and bonding committee.
One of the biggest concerns for some municipal leaders is Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposal to eliminate Connecticut's property tax for cars worth less than $28,500.

Some city leaders said eliminating the tax would cut at least $600 million in revenue annually and could force local leaders to raise property taxes.

Dick Smith, First Selectman of Deep River, said the average resident’s property taxes would go up about $400 per year if the car tax was cut.

John Elsesser, the town manager of Coventry, said no car tax would force local officials to raise the property tax 8.5 percent, or an average of $207 per year.

Barbara Gilbert, town manager of Rocky Hill, said property taxes would increase by $500 on average without a car tax and the elderly could be hardest hit.

Several lawmakers are also concerned that Malloy has set aside millions of dollars in state aid just for education instead of letting towns decide how to spend that money.

The Council of Small Towns opposes another plan under consideration that would set statewide rates for motor vehicle taxes.

Elephant Statue Headed For Noah's Ark


Drivers on Florida’s Turnpike were doing double-takes Sunday as they saw a life-sized statue of an elephant on the move.

The tale of the elephant began at a southwest Miami-Dade home months ago when Reinol Fernandez put the statue he built in his front yard and was ordered by the county to remove it.

"He built this looking at a picture, it was a dream of his. I think he did a great job," his daughter Damaris Fernandez said. "I’m very proud of him, being his daughter and having seen how he can accomplish his dream.”

But the amateur sculptor had nowhere to move his statue. He was willing to donate the art, and his daughter contacted NBC 6, but every organization we called would only accept art from a renowned artist.

That was the case until there was a match many might say was made in heaven – when an organization called the Hidden Ark came knocking.

The Hidden Ark is the dream of four South Florida men who have begun building a 500-foot wooden replica of Noah's Ark in the hopes of turning it into a shelter for animals in Hialeah.

“The people at the Hidden Ark contacted us yesterday and presented the idea to my father of his elephant being placed on the park grounds,” Damaris Fernandez said.

Dutchman Launches Life-Sized Replica of Noah's Ark

Reniel Aguila, the ark's architectural engineer, said Sunday they were making their "first rescue," referring to the statue.

As the statue was being loaded onto a trailer to be transported, its creator got nostalgic.

"It hurts," Reinol Fernandez said.

He would have preferred to see it stay at home, his daughter explained.

More Local Stories:

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

Former CT Official Chosen to Lead EPA


President Barack Obama has chosen the former commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Obama is making several personnel announcements on Monday, including nominating Gina McCarthy to run the EPA.

McCarthy joined the Obama administration in 2009 as Assistant Administrator for the Office Air and Radiation.

"Gina McCarthy is an environmental protector for all seasons,” U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said in a statement. “Over the years we worked together in Connecticut, she was consistently tough, fair, and smart as an environmental law enforcer. She recognizes the need to sometimes strike a balance between environmental activism and economic growth – but that the two are more commonly mutually supportive. I'm proud and delighted that a former Connecticut colleague will assume this key environmental protection position. Achieving confirmation – which I will actively support – should be aided by her excellent service to two Republican governors, showing that environmental protection is truly bipartisan."

Woman Ejected from Car in Meriden Crash


A woman was ejected from her car Sunday morning when she crashed on I-691 at exit 7.

Sarah A. Vitale, 29, of 53 Lockwood St. in Meriden, sustained serious head injuries and was transported by Life Star to Hartford Hospital, where is she is currently in critical condition.

The car was traveling westbound at 10:53 a.m. when Vitale lost control, veering left across three lanes of traffic. The car swung back around and hit the guardrail on the right shoulder next to the on-ramp. It flipped over and Vitale was ejected. She was not wearing a seatbelt. The airbag was not deployed.

The car was totaled and had to be towed. I-691 remained closed until 2:14 p.m. while emergency responders cleared the scene.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Concert for Healing in Newtown


A community of professional musicians gathered Sunday for a fund raising concert to benefit the 26 families who lost someone in the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

The show, at Edmond Town Hall in Newtown, featured music from artists in the fields of country, jazz, rock, Celtic  and more.
Among those musicians, Mark Barden on the guitar. For him this concert is as close to home as it can get. His son Daniel was one of the children lost that day.
Barden said the concert is especially meaningful to him. "I'm part of this music community. Music was a big part of my family's life. Daniel was our drummer in our family band," he said.
In honor of Daniel and the 25 other victims, bands took turns at the stage entertaining the crowd. Former New York Yankee Bernie Williams took to the stage as well.
From the bands, to the volunteers, to the supporters, everyone had their inspiration for being part of the concert.
"I knew Daniel. Daniel was an angel. I should say Daniel is an angel, " said the organizer of the event, Jim Keneally.
Three months after the tragedy, Daniel's Dad says they continue to feel the connection and compassion from their neighbors. Being able to play for them and for his son, is one way for him to say thanks.
"For me to be part of this event, to be able to perform, to give something back to the community, and to give something to those 26 families, it's an honor for me to do that and show my gratitude to the community and the music community as well," said Mark Barden.



Crash Causes Backup on I-84


A six-car crash is causing backups on Interstate 84 Westbound in West Hartaford at exit 43.


As of 4:45 p.m., state police estimated that the back up was four to five miles.


Photo Credit: Connecticut DOT Traffic Cameras

Christian School Staffer Fired for Premarital Sex


A San Diego woman is suing a local school for firing her after it was revealed she was pregnant out of wedlock.

Teri James, 29, said that she was let go from her job as a financial specialist at San Diego Christian College last fall because her pregnancy revealed she had premarital sex. James and her now-husband Brandon James are expecting a boy in June. 

"I was an unmarried pregnant woman, and they took away my livelihood," James said in a statement. "They stripped me of my dignity and humiliated me. I not only lost my source of income and my health insurance to care for myself and my baby through my pregnancy, but I also lost my career and my community."

Read Teri’s full statement here

She also claims the college offered a job to Brandon shortly after terminating her, even though it allegedly knew he had engaged in premarital sex.

San Diego Christian College is a private institution, and school officials declined to comment about the situation.

James hired civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred to handle the case. They are suing for wrongful termination in addition to gender discrimination and are seeking damages from the school.

But when James began working at the college, she had a to sign a 2-page "community covenant," which tells employees and students to abstain from: "Abusive anger; malice; jealousy; lust; sexually immoral behavior including premarital sex, adultery, pornography, and homosexuality; evil desires; prejudice based on race, sex, or socioeconomic status; greed; idolatry; slander; profanity; lying; drunkenness; thievery; and dishonesty."

The covenant ends saying, "Appropriate action will be taken if the covenant is disregarded…. ultimately withdrawal from the community may result if these commitments are not honored."

Read the full “community covenant” here

Allred said that California has certain laws that protect female employees from being fired for pregnancy.

"We contend that it is not permitted to terminate an employee because the college thinks that premarital sex leading to pregnancy is wrong," Allred said in a statement.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Gloria Allred
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