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Simsbury First Selectman Steps Down Over Pay Cut


Simsbury’s longtime first selectman Mary Glassman announced her resignation Monday afternoon, about a week after the town’s Board of Selectmen voted to cut her pay next summer.

“It’s personal and political,” Glassman said, after reading a brief statement Monday. “No question.”

The board cut the salary of the first selectman from $113,000 to $75,000.

Glassman was approaching her 16th year of public service.

Town selectmen said the recommendation to reduce the Glassman's salary had to do with the fact that several of the first selectman's responsibilities have now been designated to new positions.

“When you change somebody’s job, the salary should change,” said Republican selectman Mike Paine, who voted to cut Glassman’s compensation.

The cuts also affect Glassman’s pension plan with the town. Glassman said she chose to resign in order to protect her pension and said she didn’t know how the new plan would affect her.

She presented the agenda item to the Simsbury Board of Selectmen last week. Under her proposal, the salary and benefit adjustments would have taken effect Dec. 7, 2015, rather than July 1, which is what the board approved.

“I was working to transition the town to professional town management and this is the thanks I get,” Glassman said.

Over the past year, Simsbury has hired several new high-wage town management positions including a director of Public Works, a risk management position and an insurance consultant, according to Paine.

Board members initially said they weren’t sure how the additional $38,000 would be spent, but later said it would be used to supplement some of the new salaried positions.

Some of the politics of which Glassman accused the board had to do with Nancy Haase, a town selectman who lost a bid for First Selectman against Glassman. Haase denied the claims and said if her vote on Glassman’s salary costs her a seat on the board, so be it.

“There are many great things that have been done and we’re extremely proud to be a part of those things and we’re really looking forward to whoever serves in this position next to serve alongside them,” Haase said.

The town charter requires the board to choose a Democrat to fill the outgoing first selectman's term. Glassman said she would help with a transition.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Car Fire Causes Delays on Merritt Parkway


A car fire on the Merritt Parkway in Westport earlier this morning is causing delays on the southbound side of the road.

The car fire was near exit 42.

Expect traffic to be slow.

Rams Dispute Police Apology Claim Over Ferguson Gesture


St. Louis County police are in a spat with the Rams over whether a team official apologized after five players made a "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" gesture on Sunday in support of protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

Police Chief Jon Belmar sent an e-mail Monday night notifying staff that the Rams' chief operating officer called to apologize, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.


Kevin Demoff later said to the publication that a conversation did occur, but said he didn’t apologize for the gesture.

"I expressed to both of them that I felt badly that our players' support of the community was taken as disrespectful to law enforcement,” Demoff said. But he said that "in none of these conversations did I apologize for our players' actions."

The St. Louis County Police responded to Demoff’s comments in a Facebook post:

On Twitter, the department also posted a dictionary definition of apologize, along with a part of Demoff’s comments to the publication.

Rams tight end Jared Cook and receivers Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Chris Givens gave the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" signal in pregame introductions ahead of their match with the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.


The St. Louis Police Officers' Association condemned the gesture, saying the players "chose to ignore the mountains of evidence” released from a grand jury that decided against indicting former officer Darren Wilson over Michael Brown’s shooting death on Aug. 9, in Ferguson, Missouri. They also demanded “a very public apology.”

The NFL said the players would not be punished. Brian McCarthy, VP of communications, said in a statement Monday: “We respect and understand the concerns of all individuals who have expressed views on this tragic situation.”

Photo Credit: AP
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Waterbury Police Search for Robbers


Waterbury police are asking for the public’s help in catching two people who they say robbed two gas stations at gunpoint early Monday morning.

The men first robbed the Sunoco gas station at 1153 S. Main St., then went to the 7-Eleven gas station at 1664 Baldwin St., before taking off, police said.

No one was hurt, but police are hoping the surveillance video from the Sunoco helps them track down the robbers.

The video shows two men walking into the Sunoco just after 4 a.m. on Monday. While one pretends to shop and goes to purchase an item, the other, wearing a ski mask, pulls out a gun and demands cash.

Minutes later, the same two men went to 7-Eleven, police said.

“He said to open the register, so I opened the register and he took the money,” said Ali Haider, who was behind the register. “Then he told me to go to the next register and take out that money too.”

Haider said both of the men were wearing masks at that point, but he recognized their shoes from the other store’s surveillance video. The men pushed him with a gun before demanding he hand over his cell phone too, he said.

Police are now putting out a description of the robbers, along with the surveillance video and ask anyone who might be able to help with the investigation to come forward.

Anyone with information should call 203-755-1234.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Naugatuck Teen Found


Naugatuck police have located a missing 13-year-old girl late afternoon on Tuesday.

Mia Dougherty had been reported missing since Monday morning.

Police released a Silver Alert Tuesday after she was reported missing from her Carrol Street home when loved ones had not seen her or heard from her since 7:20 a.m. Monday. The alert was canceled just before 5 p.m. Tuesday after she was found "safe and unharmed," police said.

Mia is a habitual runaway with no medical issues, according to police.


Photo Credit: Naugatuck Police

School Bus Involved in Crash on I-91 in Rocky Hill


A school bus has been involved in a crash on Interstate 91 North, near exit 24, in Rocky Hill.

State police said students were onboard when the crash happened, but no injuries are reported.

Traffic is stop and go from exit 23.

Glastonbury Police Trying to ID Driver Who Hit Pedestrian


Glastonbury police are trying to find the driver they said hit a pedestrian last month and left the scene after the pedestrian walked away.

Police said the driver of a white Dodge Caravan hit a person on the sidewalk in front of Welles-Turner Memorial Library at 2407 Main Street around 4:20 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 11 and stayed at first, but left when the person who was struck walked off.

Glastonbury police said they are trying to identify the driver for documentation.

The model year of the vehicle was between 2001 and 2007.

Anyone with information about the crash, should call Officer Barrett at 860-633-8301

Photo Credit: Glastonbury Police

Drug Overdose Deaths in U.S. Double: CDC


Drug overdose deaths more than doubled over the past decade, U.S. health officials announced in a report released Tuesday. Heroin-related deaths, in particular, more than tripled.

Deaths from drug poisoning linked to opioid analgesics (such as morphine, oxycodone and methadon) and heroin have jumped to 41,502 in 2012 from 16,849 back in 1999, according to the report compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heroin-related deaths grew to 5,925 in 2012 from 1,960 in 1999.

The report also stated that of the 2012 drug-related deaths, 16,007 involved opioid analgesics. 

By comparison, there were 27,762 alcohol-related deaths in 2012, according to the report.

Another 40,600 people died from suicide, 36,415 from motor vehicle accidents, 33,563 from firearms and 16,688 from assaults. The biggest killer by far was heart disease at 599,711 deaths.

Between 1999 and 2012, the age-adjusted drug-poisoning death rate nationwide also increased, from 6.1 per 100,000 population in 1999 to 13.1 in 2012.

There were also 14 states that had age-adjusted drug-poisoning death rates above the national average, according to the report. The states with the highest rates per 100,000 population were West Virginia (32.0), Kentucky (25.0), New Mexico (24.7), Utah (23.1), and Nevada (21.0).  

Click here to see the full report

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Water Main Break Affecting Customers in Bristol


Water has been shut off in part of Bristol after a water main break on Gayle Drive this morning, and the water could be off for hours.

A post on the Bristol Water Department Facebook page says crews needed to shut water off and customers on Gayle Drive and the surrounding area might be affected until around 6 p.m.

Water department crews will remain at the site until service has been restored.

Once the water is back on, there might be some water discoloration. If this is the case, run cold water faucet until the discoloration clears.

Photo Credit: AP

Note Prompts Police Response at Bristol School


Bristol police officers responded to the South Side School on Tuesday afternoon after a misspelled note referencing some sort of a bomb threat was found in a bathroom.

Officials from the superintendent's office said the incident is over.

Police Arrest Suspects in Southington Halloween Party Assault


Southington police have arrested six people accused of assaulting two people at a Halloween party and threatening anyone who spoke to police about it.

Police have arrested James Wernicki, 24, of Plantsville, and charged him with tampering with a witness, two counts of second-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace.

Andrew D’Agostino, 18, of Southington, was arrested on a warrant and charged with two counts of tampering with a witness, second-degree assault, second-degree threatening, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace.

Darrell Hotham, 25, of Southington, was arrested on a warrant and charged with second-degree tampering with a witness, second-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace.

Three 17-year-olds were also charged in connection with this case and referred to Juvenile Court. One was charged with tampering with a witness, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace.

Another was charged with tampering with a witness, second-degree assault, threatening, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace.

A third was charged with tampering with a witness, two counts of second-degree assault, third-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree breach of peace.

Police said the men and teens assaulted one person on Halloween. When witnesses tried to intervene on the victim’s behalf and stop the assault, they assaulted and threatened another witness, police said.

Photo Credit: Southington Police

Rash of Burglaries Thanksgiving Weekend in Greenwich


Police are stepping up patrols in response to several burglaries over Thanksgiving weekend in Greenwich.

There were four burglaries and another attempted one at night over the holiday weekend and there were four other burglaries in November, according to Greenwich police. Burglars got into the homes by forcing doors open, smashing windows and, in one case, entering through an unlocked window on the second-floor balcony, police said.

Police believe the burglaries are likely connected.

"We believe that the homes were targeted by an organized group and that these were not simple crimes of opportunity,"  Greenwich police said in a news release. "The homes seem to have been targeted based upon the likelihood that they were unoccupied, but in one instance the victimized home was occupied. In that instance the suspects left once they realized that someone was home. Typically thieves are looking to steal portable high value items, quickly and without conflict."

A neighbor observed one of the burglaries, but police learned that the person didn't report it. The department urges residents to be vigilant in their neighborhoods and report any suspicious activities to the non-emergency dispatch line at 203-622-8001 or to call 911 immediately if they see a crime underway.

Police are in communication with law enforcement from surrounding towns to see if other areas have been targeted.

To ward off burglars, Greenwich police advise residents to tell a neighbor about vacation plans, activate alarms, program light timers and install motion sensor lights.

Residents can also call the department's non-emergency line to notify police of the days they'll be away from their homes, the names of people and a description of the vehicles allowed to be there and key-holder contact information, police said. That way the officers patrolling neighborhoods will be aware the home is supposed to be vacant and check on those properties periodically, according to police.

In the event you do come face to face with a burglar, police caution residents not to confront the person. Instead, get out of the house and call police. If you return home and something doesn't seem right, police said to go to a neighbors and dial 911. Keep your phones charged overnight so you can make calls in an emergency and also keep an inventory of your valuables stored safely at another address, police said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Seek Person of Interest in Robbery


A variety store in Norwalk was robbed at gunpoint last Tuesday and police are looking for a person of interest who may have witnessed the crime.

A man wearing a ski mask and a dark sweatshirt entered In & Out Variety Store at 178 Main Street in Norwalk wielding a "large silver revolver," police said. The robbery happened Nov. 25 at about 9:45 p.m.

He didn't fire any gunshots and no one was injured, police said.

Norwalk police have provided a surveillance photo of  a person of interest who was in the store before the robbery happened and who may have seen part of the robbery. They are asking for the public's help in identifying him.

Police ask anyone with information to call Detective Fitzmaurice or the Detective Division at 203-854-3011.

Southington Police Arrest Gas Station Robbery Suspect


Police arrested a man suspected of robbing the Sunoco gas station in Southington.

Travis Gornto, 43, of East Windsor, was taken into police custody Tuesday and charged in the Nov. 23 robbery at the gas station at 957 West Street, police said.

Police charged him with first-degree robbery and fifth-degree larceny. Police held him on a $50,000 court-set bond and he appeared in court on Dec. 2.

The incident remains under investigation and his arrest warrant remains sealed at this time.

Photo Credit: Southington

Top Baby Names of 2014: Sophia and Jackson


Once again for another year, the name Sophia for girls, and Jackson for boys, continues to top the rankings of most popular baby names, according to BabyCenter’s Top 100 Baby Names of 2014.

This list is based on the names of over 400,000 babies born in 2014 that were registered on the BabyCenter website, Today.com reported.

An official U.S. government list comes out in the spring. The top names in 2013, according last year's government list compiled from Social Security applications, were Noah for boys and Sophia for girls.

BabyCenter found in their survey that nearly 20 percent of moms said TV-show characters inspired their choices, and 16 percent said that they looked up to celebrities for baby name ideas.

Names drawn from popular Netflix shows included Galina, Nicky, and Piper from “Orange Is the New Black,” and Frank and Claire from “House of Cards.”

The name Elsa from the popular Disney flick "Frozen" continued to be a favorite for parents.

Also big this year were “destination names” like Everest, Verona, and Bronx.

Here are BabyCenter’s top baby names for 2014. Did your kid's name make the list?

BabyCenter’s most popular names for girls:
1. Sophia
2. Emma
3. Olivia
4. Ava
5. Isabella
6. Mia
7. Zoe
8. Lily
9. Emily
10. Madelyn

BabyCenter’s most popular names for boys:
1. Jackson
2. Aiden
3. Liam
4. Lucas
5. Noah
6. Mason
7. Ethan
8. Caden
9. Jacob
10. Logan

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Police Chase Suspect to Deliver Warrant in West Haven: Cops


Police responded to a West Haven neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon and chased someone to deliver a warrant, according to the mayor.

The mayor said he believes the suspect is in police custody and said there was no danger to the neighborhood.

5 Things to Know About Giving Tuesday


A new holiday meant to promote charity after Black Friday and Cyber Monday has grow with help from social media.

“Giving Tuesday” has received support from charities and corporations alike. Only in its third year, it has also picked up steam with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Here are things to know about the holiday:

How It Started

Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by 92nd Street Y, a cultural institution in New York. Although it isn’t clear how much money the holiday raised in its first year, it did gain high profile followers. Charity organizations like the United Nations Foundation, GlobalGiving, and Crowdrise, as well as companies like Microsoft, Sony and the Case Foundation, also joined the cause during that year.

What It’s About

The point of Giving Tuesday is to celebrate charity, but it isn’t necessarily about money. Rather, it is a movement to encourage people all around the world to think of ways they can show generosity. As the video above that explains the holiday says, this could mean giving a tweet, giving your time, or even giving everyone at the office something to smile about.

Who Is Taking Part

Many organizations are offering people ways to get engaged in Giving Tuesday:

  • The United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries will match donations made to one of its programs that assists in missions.
  • Microsoft is matching donations made through YouthSpark on GlobalGiving, a site that supports education and employment for young adults.
  • Walmart Foundation will donate $1.5 million in grants to food pantries which will help buy new equipment and pay for renovations. The company is also holding a campaign to get the public to join in on the support.
  • PayPal is offering to match 1% of all gifts made in December though their Giving Fund, beginning December 2 and ending at the end of the month.
  • The Salvation Army is supporting the holiday by incorporating it into its #RedKettleReason campaign to support the movement's social media presence.

You can see other organizations taking part in the holiday here.

How to Get Involved

One easy ways to get involved is to promote selflessness with a hashtag that will both appear on the holiday’s site as well as throughout social media. Simply take a photo, tag it with #Unselfie and #GivingTuesday, and upload it to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook on Dec. 4 to support the campaign. You can also contribute to campaigns listed above.

Want to do more? You can also become a partner or a social media ambassador on the holiday's website.

I Don’t Know, Is There An App?

Fundraising platform website Crowdrise created an app showing a virtual representation of charity. Each time someone donates, a block is placed on a visual tower that includes a photo of the donor and details the recipient, as shown in the video above.

“People can watch donations grow like a thermometer for measuring donations,” Crowdrise co-founder Robert Wolfe said to NBC about the app, which is available to download in the Google Play Store and iTunes. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Man Aiming for Woodchuck Shot Landscaper: Cops


A Westport man told police he was aiming at a woodchuck when he instead shot a landscaper, according to police.

Police started investigating on Saturday afternoon after receiving a complaint from a landscaper who said one of his employees had been shot while cleaning the grounds of Parent Child Center, at 90 Hillspoint Road, which was closed at the time.

The 52-year-old victim was hit in the left upper arm by a BB or pellet, which went through two layers of clothing, causing a minor injury, police said, and medics treated him at the scene.

Before calling police, the landscaper tried to find the person who fired the shot, but didn’t have any luck.

When police responded, they went to houses in the area, but no one said they heard anything.

On Monday, detectives responded to the center to investigate and went through surveillance video.

That’s when they noticed someone who they had earlier interviewed. The video showed the man arrive on the property and hide from the landscapers, police said.

After seeing that, they went to interview the man, Eric Lindhal, 25, of Hillspoint Road in Westport, and he claimed he fired a pellet rifle at a woodchuck on the property line several times and hadn’t been aiming at anything or anyone else, police said.

Lindhal told police he realized that he might have hit one of the workers when they came to his house, but didn’t say anything because he was afraid to.

He told detectives that he broke the rifle apart after the incident and threw it away.

Police retrieved the weapon from the trash can and charged Lindhal with second-degree endangerment and third-degree criminal trespass.

Lindhal was released on a Promise to Appear and given a court date of December 11, 2014 Norwalk Superior Court.

Hamden Police to Equip All Officers With Body Cameras


Hamden's police chief said that a small, black box equipped with a camera and battery is making a big difference for his police officers. Now all of the officers in the department are getting them.

Last year, the department ordered body cameras for some officers to use. Monday night, the Legislative Council approved spending $59,000 for 39 more police body cameras, so that all 75 officers who wear a uniform will have one.

"It’s made us more transparent. It’s made us more legitimate, and that’s important in our world, especiall," Hamden Police Chief Thomas Wydra said.

Since some officers are already wearing body cameras, the department knows how how they work and how they will be used.

"Just yesterday, we closed an internal investigation where a person made a complaint that officers used excessive force during the arrest and that they were rude and unprofessional in their conduct. Based on audio and video recordings that captured the arrest process, we were able to declare the investigation as unfounded," said Chief Wydra.

Chief Wydra thinks the department will see even more benefits in the long run. The body cameras are activated by the officers, and the video and audio that’s recorded is held by law for at least 60 days. Hamden Police hope by using them, they cut down on citizens’ complaints and improve behavior on all sides.

"I think it would be a good way for them to be accountable for themselves, that way everybody will be able to see what’s going on when something happens," said Tom Ferguson, who lives in Hamden.

"People fighting with cops, if you don’t have the video camera, then they can deny it, and you want proof, so I think that’s great," said Taylor Roberts, who is a Quinnipiac University student.

The new body cams will be ordered this week, and Chief Wydra hopes they’ll be in within a month.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

DOT, Tractor-Trailer Drivers Hospitalized in Tolland Crash


Travel has been tough in areas east of Hartford due to crashes.

An accident is causing delays on I-84 west in Tolland between Exits 68 and 67. The crash nvolved a car, state Department of Transportation (DOT) plow truck and a tractor-trailer, according to Tolland Fire Chief John Littell, who also serves as the town's public safety and emergency management director. 

The driver of the DOT truck was treated at the scene and transported to Manchester hospital and the tractor-trailer driver was also injured and transported to Hartford Hospital, he said.

Another crash has blocked two lanes on I-84 west near Exit 65 in Vernon.

A mix of snow and sleet began falling around the evening rush hour, but state police said they don't know if the crashes are weather related.

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