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Pratt & Whitney to Implement Furloughs in 2015


The Connecticut-based tech giant Pratt & Whitney will furlough most of its salaried workers in the U.S. on seven different days in 2015 in an effort to cut costs.

According to a company spokesperson, the following dates have been scheduled as non-work, non-paid days:

Easter weekend on Monday, April 6
Memorial Day weekend on Friday, May 22
Fourth of July weekend on Monday, July 6
Labor Day weekend on Friday, Sept. 4
Columbus Day weekend on Monday, Oct. 12
Thanksgiving holiday on Wednesday, Nov. 25
Christmas Eve on Thursday, Dec. 24

Pratt spokesperson Ray Hernandez said that although the company has recently developed new programs that will increase revenue in the future, "we won't see the benefits of our new programs for a few years."

The company has also made launched several new projects that have required large investments. As a result, Hernandez said, Pratt "continues to face significant near-term financial challenges."

Hernandez said Pratt has made a number of moves to reduce costs, of which the furloughs are one. Other changes including the implementation of labor reductions, voluntary separation programs, travel and hiring restrictions and layoffs.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

CCSU Professor Pleads Not Guilty to Crash Charges


The associate professor at Central Connecticut State University who has faced a string of criminal charges pleaded not guilty in court Thursday to multiple charges stemming from a car crash earlier this month.

According to court papers, CCSU poet-in-residence and associate English professor Ravi Shankar, 39, was not supposed to be behind the wheel when he crashed into a guardrail on Route 9.

Shankar is accused of leaving the scene of the crash.

"This was a single-vehicle accident he called his wife and then he called a wrecker. He thought he was doing the responsible thing," said Shankar’s attorney, Jake Donovan attorney.

Shankar himself declined to comment outside the courtroom in Middletown except to confirm that he’s still employed as a professor at CCSU.

Shankar made headlines last spring when he was promoted while behind bars waiting to face charges from 2012.

At the time, CCSU officials said they weren't aware of Shankar's criminal history.

Students are now speaking up, asking for updates on Shankar's status.

"I'd be interested to see it and investigative query that would actually publish their findings and their interview process to the students," said Alex Tremblay.

Shankar is due back in court Jan. 23.

Photo Credit: Central Connecticut State University

Woman Threatens Kids With Gun: Cops


A 35-year-old woman has been accused of pointing a rifle at several children after getting into an argument with them outside of her New Jersey home Wednesday afternoon, police say.

The woman was charged with making terroristic threats, endangering the welfare of a child and several weapons crimes after police say she threatened the children with a Remington 597 rifle outside her home on Schooner Avenue in Barnegat.

"She was waving the rifle around. She was leveling the rifle at people," said Barnegat Police Lt. Keith Germain. 

Police say the woman went inside her home to grab the gun after getting in an argument with the children after a basketball game. 

Neighbor Beverly Meila said the woman had been driving her SUV down the street when she saw her son playing at a basketball hoop on the street. She yelled at him to get in the car, according to Meila.

"The kids were all screaming and yelling, and the kid got in the car and she tore off down the street," said Meila. 

Moments later, she came out of her house with the rifle, according to police. 

Several people called 911, and the woman was allegedly still in the street holding the gun when police arrived at the scene.

"They were able to talk to her, get her to place the rifle on the ground and take her into custody with no force," said Germain. 

She was arrested at the scene and was being held at the Ocean County Jail in lieu of $175,000 bail, police say. The woman did have a permit to own a rifle. 

"The children did abolsutely nothing wrong," Meila said. "They were just playing basketball like kids do. They're good kids." 

-- Brian Thompson contributed to this report. 

Cat Missing After Cromwell Fire


A Cromwell resident and four of her pets made it out safely when their home on Brittany Circle caught fire Thursday evening, but one cat remains unaccounted for, according to the fire chief.

Firefighters beat down the flames at 9 Brittany Circle within about half an hour of arriving at the burning home Thursday night. A resident of the home was taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation but is expected to make a full recovery, fire officials said.

Two dogs and three of her cats are also safe and were taken to a local animal shelter for health evaluations, but one cat is missing. Crews at the scene said they suspect the fourth cat may have wandered into the woods.

The house has been deemed uninhabitable and the Red Cross was called in to help out.

Authorities are investigating to determinet he cause of the fire.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Arson Sparked Downtown LA Inferno


Last week's massive downtown LA fire at an apartment complex that was under construction was an act of arson, authorities said Thursday.

Investigators said they recovered an accelerant, pointing to arson. The fire on Dec. 8 at 900 West Temple Street destroyed a seven-story complex under construction, damaged a nearby high-rise structures and the Harbor (110) Freeway.

Flames billowed into the air, making smoke visible for miles and radiating enough heat to shatter the windows of nearby office towers.

The blaze caused up to $30 million in damage to the DaVinci Apartments. Total damage estimates to nearby businesses and Caltrans property remain undetermined.

Local and federal Investigators sifted through 75,000 square feet of debris, took photographs, recovered potential evidence from the scene for analysis by the ATF's National Laboratory and conducted many interviews throughout the community.

The team finished combing through the debris on Wednesday, and will continue to follow up on the case to identify the culprit or culprits.

"The work at the crime scene is finished, however our investigation is not over," said ATF Special Agent in Charge Carlos A. Canino. "ATF will continue to work together with our state and local partners to investigate this crime and bring those responsible to justice."

Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Robert Nelson, who heads the agency's arson/counter-terrorism section, said the department will continue to work with the ATF, the LAPD and other law enforcement agencies to "vigorously pursue this investigation.

"Arson is a serious crime," he said in a news release. "We will use all of our available resources to arrest and prosecute any individuals involved in any arson fire in Los Angeles."

Investigators continue to seek information on two potential witnesses seen in video footage taken the morning of Dec. 8.

They are not considered suspects nor persons of interest. Investigators have identified them as being in the area of the fire, and want to interview them.

Plane Crashes in Dallas; Pilot Dead


A small plane crashed in Seagoville, killing the pilot, as it tried to land Thursday evening.

The plane went down just after 6 p.m. Thursday in the 1600 block of Bent Tree Lane near Malloy Bridge Road, officials said. Dallas sheriff's deputies are investigating.

The pilot, who was the only person aboard the plane, has not been identified. There are no other known injuries.

The plane, a 1967 Beech Bonanza, was trying to land at Mesquite Metro Airport when air traffic control operators lost contact with its pilot, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson said.

"It's broken to pieces. There's a lot of debris around," Captain Ray Calverley, of the Seagoville Police Department, said Thursday night.

Despite initial reports that the plane had hit at least one house before it hit the ground, investigators on the scene have not been able to confirm that, Calverley told NBC DFW.

Officers have gone door-to-door asking neighbors if their homes were damaged in the crash, and no one has reported that they did, Calverley said.

"I heard a sound like a plane going down, and it make a big old thud, and I wasn't sure what it was," neighbor Thomas Malone, who lives two houses away from the crash site, told NBC DFW.

The FAA confirms the plane departed from South Arkansas Regional Airport Wednesday at 3:35 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Brooklyn Rapper Arrested in Sting


The up-and-coming Brooklyn rapper who performs under the name Bobby Shmurda was part of a gang that allegedly sold drugs, dealt guns and committed violent crimes, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said in a news conference Thursday detailing the investigation that led to his arrest.

Ackquille Pollard, 20, was taken into custody with seven others shortly after he left a recording studio near Radio City Music Hall in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday. Police recovered crack cocaine and three guns from a stairwell inside Quad Studio, Bratton said.

The Brooklyn-born Pollard is best known for the hit song "Hot Boy." He also put out a music video that popularized a dance craze called the "Shmoney dance," and reportedly signed a lucrative record deal with Epic Records. 

Pollard was stopped in a vehicle with another defendant, Nicolas McCoy, soon after leaving the studio Wednesday, prosecutors said, and there were two guns and a small amount of crack cocaine inside the car. There were other passengers in the car who are not named in the indictment but face separate criminal charges. 

Five other defendants named in the indictment were arrested at the same time elsewhere in the city, and two others are in custody outside the state, authorities said.

Pollard was arraigned on conspiracy, reckless endangerment, and weapons and drug charges Thursday. Twelve other defendants are named in the 69-count indictment, including Chad Marshall, another aspiring hip-hop artist known as Rowdy Rebel. 

Pollard pleaded not guilty in court Thursday. His attorney, Howard Greenberg, failed to convince a judge that his client should be released without bail because he was framed and had no reason to run.

"He is a legitimate entertainer,'' Greenberg said. "He is rich. He is busy. He is always on tour.''

Greenberg claimed Epic had agreed to help Pollard make his $2 million bail. A spokesman for the label declined to comment.

Bratton said Pollard was tweeting about a secret concert days before his arrest.

"I don't think he was aware that location is going to be state Supreme Court," Bratton said. 

Pollard did not comment to reporters as he was led from a Manhattan police station in handcuffs Wednesday night. 

G Stone Crips, or GS9, the gang Pollard was allegedly part of, is tied to the murder of a 19-year-old rival gang member on Feb. 8, 2013, and to gunshots fired outside New York and Miami nightclubs in recent months, according to Bratton. The investigation began after 24 shootings were traced to the gang since 2013.

Most of violence stemmed from an ongoing dispute between GS9 and members of rival street gangs, including the gang known as Folk Nation and the gang known as Brooklyn's Most Wanted, or BMW, according to prosecutors. 

The deadly February 2013 shooting inside a Brooklyn bodega capped a series of violent confrontations between GS9 and BMW, according to prosecutors. Pollard was at the scene of the shooting, they said. 

Pollard is also accused of firing a gun towards a crowd of people outside a Clarkson Avenue barber shop on June 2, shattering a glass storefront. Prosecutors said a recorded phone conversation between other GS9 members revealed that Pollard had fired the gun during an argument with his brother Javese Pollard, also an alleged GS9 member. 

Prosecutors said in another July 2014 incident, just before he performed at Barclays Center, Marshall and another defendant allegedly fired shots at rival gang members while driving on a street in Boerum Hill.

According to prosecutors, a distinctive system of code words and phrases allowed GS9 members to communicate with one another while hiding the nature of their communication from others. Among the code words for firearms were “tone” and “socks." “Crills” referred to narcotics, and “suntan” or “scoom” referred to shootings.

The gang is mainly based at 95th Street and Clarkson Avenue in East Flatbush, Bratton said. The bust was made by the Brooklyn South Violence Reduction Task Force, which was formed this year. 

The case carries some "deeply disturbing themes: The gang members' enthrallment with guns, and a cavalier disregard for human life,'' Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said at a news conference.

The hip-hop artist's songs and videos were "almost like a real-life document of what they were doing on the street,'' added James Essig, head of the NYPD task force that made the arrests.

Greenberg told reporters he believes Pollard and the other defendants were targeted because "the government hates rap and hates rappers and hates lyrics." 

Pollack's video for "Hot Boy" was posted on YouTube in August has been viewed tens of millions of times, and Pollard performed the song for a national television audience in October on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." 

"My music is straight facts," Pollard recently told New York Magazine. "There are a lot of gangsters in my 'hood.'"

Pollard's criminal history included two arrests for gun and drug possession, authorities said.

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Hartford Meeting Addresses Policing Concerns


A conversation that's been hitting headlines and communities across the country landed in Hartford Thursday night as another city opened the lines of communication when it comes to interactions between the police and the public.

"There's a problem everywhere. We're seeing it. Youth are being slain left and right. It's definitely a problem," said Hartford resident Marjorie Terry.

To combat the problem, dozens crowded the Hartford Public Library for a forum that came about in response to the recent police-involved deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Mayor Pedro Segarra says he supports the use of police body cameras, that chokeholds are not allowed, and announced a program to help bring diversity to the police department.

"Starting in September there will be in Hartford a public safety academy for our youth so that our policing community reflects the community that it serves," said Mayor Segarra.

Thursday night wasn't just about informing, it was about brainstorming with the public for ways to foster a positive relationship between police and residents.

"It's time for us to come together and collaborate and make change," said Terry.

"If we start from the families and try to help build and strengthen them then I really believe we can become more powerful as a community," said Hartford resident Tasha Rose.

Organizers say the forum was an important start and that the conversation must continue if change is expected.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Experts: WWIII Looks Like Sony Hack


The term “cyber warfare” has been thrown around for years, with security experts wondering what the effects of a damaging cyber attack might look like. Now we know: a Hollywood studio left paralyzed, and the center of the tech world is wondering what's next.

As the billboards advertising Sony Pictures' "The Interview" were pulled down in Hollywood on Thursday, concerns about cyber terrorism shot up in Silicon Valley.

"World War III looks like this,” said Michelle Dennedy, Intel Security's chief privacy officer. She said technology is the new battlefield, and our gadgets are all potential targets.

"This is the wave of the future,” Dennedy said. “Bank robbers robbed banks because that's where the money was. Data is currency. Hackers are going for it because it's valuable."

What happened at Sony should, according to cyber security experts, be a warning to us all.

"This is the first time we've seen it at this scale,” said Truman National Security Project’s Mike McNerney.

The goal of hackers is not just disruption, it's fear, McNerney said. "This is different. The way they were able to combine this online attack that got them the attention they wanted, and then mix this with threat of physical violence, it's something we really haven't seen before."

But it’s likely something we'll see again, as hackers try to invade banks, retailers, anything with an easy to open virtual door.

"I think everyone needs to be worried about this," McNerney said, “whether it's an organization, government entity, or an individual.”

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

Yoga Teacher Adopts Third Son With Down Syndrome


It's been quite the journey for a little boy who will turn 4 years old in January. He arrived at his new home in Newington on Dec. 5 after being raised in a Bulgarian orphanage.

Single mother and yoga instructor Nykki Poole was researching adoption when a friend mentioned special needs adoptions. It put her in a direction to motherhood she hadn’t considered.

Poole now has three sons: Andrew, Bodhi and Elliott. All three boys have Down syndrome and were put up for adoption when they were born.

“They’re just little fighters, these kids, and they really need people to advocate for them and they need people to love them, and they need people that are going to walk through the fire with them,” said Poole.

She first met Elliott in April on a trip to his orphanage in Bulgaria. She held and rocked him to sleep for a few days after lunch, something he would not normally allow. It was then Poole realized that they needed each other.

She raised thousands of dollars for each of the adoptions through the generosity of family, friends and even strangers. Poole first shared her story on the crowdfunding page GoFundMe and later started a second page when she realized the additional costs of making an additional adoption.

Finally, her shy little orphan made it to the U.S. to begin a new life full of love.

“He’s going to have an amazing life. He would have ended up in an institution, you know, and not survived that. I know he would not have survived that because he’s so fragile,” she explained.

In her first few weeks with Elliot, Poole has taught him to chew soft foods and pick up food with his hands. She said the family has had emotional moments of all kinds.

“It has been interesting, it has been amazing and it’s been scary, and it’s been sad,” Poole said.

Photo Credit: Nykki Poole

Blaze Over NoCal Refinery "Normal"


Fire officials and Chevron said the large dramatic flames seen over the Richmond Chevron refinery in Northern California Thursday were a result of "normal flaring." But that didn't do much to comfort people living near the troubled refinery, who called the flares anything but "normal" on social media.

Both Contra Costa fire department officials and Chevron said there was no need for alarm, calling the flaring normal procedure to vent gas. They added that fire crews had not been called to the scene.The official Twitter account for @ChevronRichmond tweeted Thursday evening that "there was some visible flaring" to allow for equipment de-pressuring.

Chevron said that the refinery resumed normal operations Friday morning after the unit that needed to be depressurized Thursday night was successfully shut down. Chevron said community air monitoring stations reported levels below state and federal health limits.

"We understand that the community has been concerned about the flaring activity," a Chevron spokesperson said after the flares alarmed a number of Bay Area residents Thursday. "We had a process unit that needed to be depressurized, creating a visible flare. The flare is part of our safety system which enables us to safely shut down a unit. We are in the process of shutting down this unit now."

Some Bay Area residents tweeted about the flares, with one of them asking: "Gigantic fire balls are now normal flares?"

Another said: "If it's 'normal,' then why don't we see this regularly?"

Jamal Vaughn, who lives near the Richmond refinery, expressed concern about the flames coming out of the stacks.

"No alarm went off ... It's Kind of strange, there should have been a warning," he said. It's an alarming sight for the Vaughns, who remember the 2012 Chevron refinery fire.

"I worry about our health — last time we were at the hospital for four hours because I have asthma and needed breathing treatment," Vaughn's wife Michelle said, adding that the family will be shutting all their windows tonight.

Chevron's statement said that in flaring conditions, it is normal practice to release quantities of water vapor to assist with the flare quality, which can sometimes take on the appearance of smoke, but it is not smoke.

Both Chevron and Contra Costa Health Services said that there may be intermittent flaring Thursday evening. According to health officials, hazardous materials staff were monitoring the situation and there was no shelter-in-place.

NBC Bay Area viewers said they could see the fire from as far away as the El Cerrito Hills, San Rafael, San Francisco and the Bay Bridge. A photo taken by Twitter user @bluerabbit77 from the Oakland Hills showed the flares creating an orange haze over the night sky.

NBC Bay Area's Jean Elle contributed to this report.


Huge fire at the Chevron Refinery?? #fire #chevronrefinery #richmond

A photo posted by Blue Rabbit (@bluerabbit77) on


#apocalypse #endoftheworld

A photo posted by Pardeezy Dhillon (@kingsnake172) on

Photo Credit: Blue Rabbit ‏@bluerabbit77 Via Twitter

Outrage Over Paramedic's Photo


Mayor Michael Nutter and Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer condemned a Philadelphia Fire Department paramedic for a photograph shared on Instagram that depicted two black men pointing guns at a white police officer.

"I thought it was disgusting," said Sawyer, who added the image violates the fire department's social media policy. "We are a professional organization and I expect my members to act in a professional manner."

"In the strongest possible terms, I condemn the behavior of a paramedic ... who used social media to post a reprehensible message and image that targeted police officers particularly at a time of emotional volatility," Mayor Nutter said.

The message posted with the photo read: "Our real enemy ... Need 2 stop pointing guns at each other and at the ones that's legally killing us and innocents."

The next image posted to the same account said, "There are numerous crooked and corrupted cops (mostly white) & mostly they harass, beat or kill innocents (mostly blacks)."

The posts caused alarm among Philly firefighters, who do not want a fissure to form between themselves and police.

"In this difficult time, I want to assure the members of the Philadelphia Police Department that we are here to support and assist you whenever you may need," said Joe Schulle, president of Local 22, the firefighters and paramedics union. "[We] proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers in blue. ... We are brothers and sisters in public safety."

Hours after the initial post caught the ire of Philly leaders, the paramedic, who is based out of Medic 23 in southwest Philly, shared an apology on social media.

"That post was out of anger of what is going on around the world (Mike Brown, Eric Garner & Etc.) &  past experiences that I've had with police," the post said. "My intention was not to slander or hurt anyone or my brothers in blue. Again I am sorry."

An investigation is underway, and Sawyer said the charged images are unlikely to damage the bond between the Philly's Fire Department and police force.

"We have a pretty strong relationship with the police department," he said. "So one member's mistake is not going to severe those ties."

Man Accused of Firing Stolen Weapon While Under the Influence


Bristol police arrested a New Haven man and charged him with stealing a gun and carrying a weapon while under the influence after investigating the source of gunshots fired early Friday morning.

Police said they received reports of gunshots in the West End at 12:54 a.m., investigated and arrested Shamound Daley, New Britain.

He was charged with carrying a dangerous weapon, carrying a firearm under the influence of alcohol or drugs, stealing a firearm, interfering with a police officer and larceny in the fourth degree.

Bond was set at $75,000.

Photo Credit: Bristol Police

Friend Defends DUI Crash Driver


A friend of the woman accused of killing three people in a crash outside a church in Redondo Beach, California, has said she is not someone who would drink and drive.

Margo Bronstein, 56, has been booked on suspicion of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter, but Timothy Eakin believes medication she takes due to being disabled or a mechanical failure may have caused the accident, which also left 10 others injured, including children.

Police say toxicology reports on Bronstein are pending, and she is being held at a Redondo Beach Police Department jail on a $300,000 bond. Investigators confirmed prescription drug use by the driver is part of their investigation.

"She had had a whole bunch of surgeries on her legs and on her hips, and that’s why she’s barely 4 feet tall. She was always in a wheelchair, but she was able to drive with hand controls," Eakin said. "Maybe the hand controls might have failed, and that might have caused it. But she also did take a lot of prescription medications, and the medications she took were like, muscle relaxers, and for pain."

He also does not believe his friend, who he met at Disneyland, is the sort of person who would get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol.

"She's not somebody who just went into a bar and got wasted and plowed through an intersection at a concert. This is something that was probably a complete accident, never something she would have done on purpose," Eakin said.

Prayers have been said all day at St James Catholic Church, where victims had just attended a Christmas concert. Eiken believes his friend may have been a visitor to the event herself.

Witness Michael Tovar said he screamed at Bronstein after the crash, demanding to know if she had been drinking. He said he had to be pulled away by his wife.

"(I said) what is wrong with you? What did you do? Are you drunk? I yelled that about five times, 'Are you drunk?' And she looked up at me, made eye contact."

Children had just finished singing Christmas songs for their parents and other members of the church.

Mary Wilson, 81, Saeko Matsumura, 87, and Martha Gaza, 36, all from Torrance, died, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office. One of Gaza's three children, a 5-year-old boy, was hospitalized in critical condition.

One other adult also was in critical condition Thursday.

Photo Credit: Redondo Beach PD

4th Victim Dies After DUI Crash


A fourth victim, identified as a 6-year-old boy, has died after a DUI suspect struck a group of people in a crowded crosswalk as they left a children's Christmas show Wednesday night at a Southern California church.

Samuel Gaza was among a dozen people who were in a crosswalk outside St. James Catholic Church in Redondo Beach when they were struck by a driver who, according to witnesses, ran a red light and swerved around vehicles stopped at a red light. Gaza was hospitalized Thursday in critical condition and died late Thursday night, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner's office.

Gaza's mother, 36-year-old Martha Gaza, also was killed in the crash. Mary Wilson, 81, and Saeko Matsumura, 87, all from Torrance, also died Wednesday night.

Police confirmed at a Thursday morning news conference that prescription drug use by the driver is part of their investigation. Police also confirmed a witness account that the driver went around other vehicles stopped at about 8 p.m. at the intersection of Vincent Street and Pacific Coast Highway.

Two adults and a child were in stable condition Friday morning. Six other victims were treated for minor cuts and bruises before they were released from the hospital.

Witness accounts provided to police indicated the driver, headed northbound on Pacific Coast Highway, went around vehicles stopped at the intersection and entered the left turn lane. The driver then continued north on PCH, striking another vehicle and pedestrians, according to police.

Parishioners returned to the church Thursday morning and at noon for services to remember the victims. Michael Tovar, a St. James parishioner, said he will never recover from what he saw.

"I was standing by the front of his car and looked down, me and another gentleman, and there was the little boy underneath his left front tire," he said. "I thought it was a jacket his car was on. It was underneath the left front tire. I could not believe that."

Police identified the suspect as 56-year-old Margo Bronstein. She was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI. Bronstein was treated at a hospital for injuries before she was taken to the Redondo Beach Police Department jail, where she is being held on $300,000 bond.

She is scheduled to make her first court appearance Friday.

DMV records indicated the Bronstein does not have prior criminal offenses. Her vehicle was equipped with modifications for drivers with disabilities, including an additional passenger-side mirror and hand controls, according to California Department of Motor Vehicle records.

Police are awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

St. James Catholic Church set up a donation account for victims' families. To donate, visit donations.la-archdiocese.org/sjvf/.

Photo Credit: Gaza Family

Injuries Reported in Crash at Hammonasset Entrance


Police have responded to a crash on Boston Post Road in Madison, at the entrance Hammonasset Beach State Park, and injuries are reported.

Police said they just arrived at the scene. The crash happened close to Lenny & Joe’s Madison location.

No additional information was immediately available.

Reward Offered After Dog Injured


A dog is recovering after he was discovered with a horrific injury: a hiking carabiner hooked straight through his hind leg.

Ziggs, a one-year-old pitbull, was discovered roaming through Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood Wednesday afternoon, dragging a severed leash behind him. That leash was attached to the carabiner, which Dr. Al Meilan at South Federal Animal Hospital said was forcibly and intentionally inserted into the dog's leg.

"The carabiner is a dull thing, so in order to get it, they had to use a drill or something sharp to make the hole first, and then stick the carabiner through his leg," Meilan said.

Members of the Forgotten Dog Rescue believe the dog's owners used the carabiner to restrain the dog.

"Someone actually went out of their way to do this to this dog," said Amy Blitz with the rescue group. "It ranks on the mutilation type of torture."

Meilan said it appears the ring had been lodged in Ziggs' leg for several months, with evidence of similar injuries in the past.

Forgotten Dog Rescue said they are offering a cash reward for any information that leads to the arrest of Ziggs' owner. The rescuers said they won't stop until there is justice for the injured dog.

"The person that did this, it's probably somebody that if they could do this to an animal, they could do it to a person or a child," Blitz said.

The animal hospital expects Ziggs to make a full recovery within two to three weeks. He will be made available for adoption once he heals.

Anyone with information about the dog's owners can leave an anonymous tip with the Forgotten Dog Rescue via email at forgottendogrescue@yahoo.com.

State to Meet With Frontier on Monday


In the wake of a transition that was shaky at best, state regulators have scheduled a meeting with Frontier Communications to address problems that arose during the changeover from AT&T and left customers with lingering service interruptions.

Frontier acquired about 1.3 million AT&T U-verse voice and Internet accounts last year, and when the transition took effect in October, thousands of customers began complaining of service outages.

The state announced its plan to step in last month and has now set up a meeting for the morning of Dec. 22, according to a spokesperson for the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. It comes at the request of the Office of Consumer Counsel and Office of the Attorney General.

Frontier will be asked to speak to the following:

  • Technical or infrastructure issues that contributed to delays in successfully transitioning service
  • The current status of customer complaints to Frontier
  • Response times to customer complaints and whether the company gave those customers accurate information
  • Whether any issues have arisen with technicians making the repairs at customers’ homes
  • Whether Frontier is talks with any video and streaming service providers
  • Whether channel lineups for former U-Verse customers have changed or will change as a result of the transition
  • Whether Frontier has properly notified and customers who have experienced problems
  • Issues that Frontier considers to be partially or fully resolved
  • Other transition problems pertaining to customer satisfaction

A top company executive apologized to customers last month, and the state Department of Consumer Protection created a system to coordinate customer complaints.

The meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. at PURA offices, Ten Franklin Square in New Britain.

You can submit a complaint by filling out a form posted to the state website or emailing dcp.frauds@ct.gov.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

2 Dead in Bristol Fire


Two people are dead after a house fire in Bristol early Friday morning.

Police said fire broke out at 29 High Street early this morning.

Emergency officials received the call at 2:05 a.m., both the fire and police departments responded, and discovered that two people had died.

Detectives from Bristol’s Criminal Investigation Division and the State Fire Marshal are investigating.

No additional information has yet been released.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Crash Closed Merritt Parkway South in Stratford


The southbound lanes of the Merritt Parkway were closed in Stratford on Fridsy morning.

A car rolled over between exits 53 and 52.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut,com
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