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College to Pay Tuition for Son of Slain NYPD Officer


Bowdoin College says it will pick up the tuition for a student whose father was killed in Saturday's shooting of two NYPD officers.

College President Barry Mills sent an email to the college community on Sunday saying that the school learned on Saturday night that Rafael Ramos, one of the two officers killed in Brooklyn, is the father of Bowdoin sophomore Justin Ramos, who is now with his family in New York. Rafael Ramos and his partner Wenjian Liu were shot at point blank range as they sat in their squad car. The gunman, who investigators say had posted threatening messages to social media ahead of the attack, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"This is an unspeakable tragedy, and our hearts go out to Justin and his family," Mills wrote. "We are a close community, and we share in Justin's pain and anguish. I know you join me in offering heartfelt condolences to Justin and the entire Ramos family, and I am sure you will respect their privacy as they and we support one another in the days and weeks ahead."

The college posted a statement on its website Monday saying that it is eager to welcome Justin back to campus for the start of the second semester in January, "or whenever he is ready to return."

At Mills' direction, the college informed Justin on Sunday that it will provide full financial aid to enable him to complete his Bowdoin education.

The New York Yankees, through their Silver Shield Foundation, had offered to cover college education costs for both of Rafael Ramos' children. Ramos also had a 13-year-old son.

"We are grateful for the Yankee Silver Shield Foundation's offer to assist, but Bowdoin has it covered," the college said in its statement, saying it keeps with the school's practice of meeting the full financial need of each of its students for all four years.

Bowdoin College, located in Brunswick, Maine, has about 1,800 students.

Photo Credit: AP

Former Volunteer Firefighter Killed in Essex Crash


A former volunteer firefighter has died after crashing into a street sweeper on Route 154 in Essex on Monday morning, according to police.

State police said 28-year-old Anthony Camire, of Deep River, was driving northbound on Route 154 around 7:40 a.m. when his Volkswagen Jetta crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a town-owned street sweeper.

According to police, Camire was a former volunteer firefighter with the Chester and Deep River fire departments.

The driver of the street sweeper was not injured.

Route 154 was closed between Route 9 and Old Deep River Road, but has since reopened.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Teacher Said He Drank Bottle of Vodka Night Before: Warrant


A Southington High School teacher who was pulled out of class last month and charged with disorderly conduct after acting strangely in class told the principal he drank a bottle of vodka the night before, according to the arrest warrant.

On Nov. 6, school administrators pulled John Edward Hansen Jr., 47, of New Haven, out of class after receiving reports that he was acting strange in class and was possibly impaired, the warrant states. 

Students from Hansen's first period class told administrators that the teacher's speech was slurred, he yelled at a a student and used profanity, the warrant states.

Students in Hansen's second period class said his face was red, his speech was slurred, he was muttering and pushed a student out of class, then slammed the door shut, according to the warrant. 

When the principal spoke with police, he said students reported being worried and scared, so Hansen was brought into the principals office.

The principal went on to tell police Hansen had difficulty walking, slurred his words and said he drank a bottle of vodka the night before, according to police. 

Hansen was then brought to a medical facilty to be evaluated, but the test results have not been released.

Police obtained a warrant and Hansen turned himself in to police at 6:45 a.m. on Dec. 9. He was due in court in Bristol on Monday, but did not appear and the case was continued to Jan. 20.

Photo Credit: Southington Police and NBCConnecticut.com

Police Investigation in Norwalk


South Main Street in Norwalk is closed between Larsen and Concord streets because of a police investigation.

To get around the closure, use Woodward Avenue.

No additional information was immediately available.

Firefighters Respond to Bethel Blaze


Firefighters are responding to a fire on Blackman Avenue in Bethel, according to officials from the Stony Hill Fire Department.

The fire is at 13 Blackman Avenue, officials said. It is a two-family home that was built in 1760, according to online assessor's records.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Monica Garske

Court Date Changed for Teen Accused in Fatal School Stabbing


A Milford, Connecticut teen accused of stabbing his classmate to death inside a high school hours before the prom is due in court next month.

Christopher Plaskon, 17, is accused of stabbing and killing Maren Sanchez, 16, inside Jonathan Law High School in April. 

It was an attack some students said might have been motivated by anger that she would not go to the prom with him. He pleaded not guilty in June and was due in court on Jan. 21 for a status conference, but the court date was pushed back a couple days, to Jan. 23.

Plaskon, who has been charged as an adult with murder, waived a trial by jury and his case will instead go before a three-judge panel.

Plaskon has been held at Manson Youth Training Institute, a correctional facility in Cheshire for boys and young men between the ages of 12 and 19.

Police said the teen was spotted just moments after the April 25 stabbing with blood on his hands and clothing.

"I did it. Just arrest me," he told authorities, according to police paperwork.

According to the police report, investigators recovered a knife in the hallway, not far from where Sanchez was attacked.

The medical examiner concluded that Sanchez died of stab wounds to the torso and neck and her death was ruled a homicide.

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Craigslist Advertiser Stole Car: Cops


An East Haven man who posted a Craigslist ad offering automotive body work is accused of scamming a would-be client out of a car.

North Haven police started investigating when a Middletown resident called police in September to report a car stolen after answering the Craigslist advertisement.

The victim called the number and met Anthony Dagostino, 28, of East Haven, in a commercial parking lot in North Haven, where they arranged for Dagostino to fix the vehicle for $100 and return it the following day.

The victim handed over the keys and arranged to meet up again the next day to get the car back, police said.

However, Dagostino did not return the car or phone calls, police said.

On Monday, Dagostino was arrested by warrant and charged with larceny in the fourth degree and using a motor vehicle without permission.

He was held on a court-set $500 bond and arraigned in Meriden Superior Court on the same day.

Police Investigate Death in New Haven


Police are investigating after a man was found dead in New Haven on Saturday morning, but said there were no signs of trauma or foul play, police said.

Police responded to Hurlburt Street and Washington Avenue after a man called 911 at 8:18 a.m. to report finding a man’s body.

When police arrived, firefighters were already at the scene, where they'd found Salvadore Agosto-Diaz, 58. His body was sitting on a crate between two buildings.

The office of the Chief Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Police Investigate Armed Robbery Outside Church


Just days before Christmas, Middletown police are investigating an armed robbery in a parking lot at a Church.

Police responded to the parking area of Holy Trinity Church at 6:54 p.m. on Friday to investigate an armed robbery and met with the victim, who said a man with a gun held him up and demanded his wallet and cell phone.

After the victim handed over the phone and the wallet, which contained $21, the robber ran toward Court and Main streets, according to police.

As police approached Tyson Mayfield, 32, of Middletown, he ran from officers, according to the arraignment report, but police took him to the ground and found $21 on him.

The victim told police that he was 95 percent sure Mayfield was the robber.

Mayfield was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree larceny and interfering with an officer, simple assault.

Photo Credit: Middletown Police

Hartford Bank Robbed at Gunpoint


Police are searching for the man who held up a Hartford bank at gunpoint on Monday.

The suspect, whose image was captured on surveillance footage, robbed the Citizen's Bank at the intersection of Asylum Avenue and Trumbull Street at gunpoint.

Police said he made off with an undetermined amount of money and was last seen running northbound on Trumbull Street.

Video footage from the robbery shows the suspect wearing a dark-colored zip-up hooded sweatshirt with a large picture of a skull printed on the front, along with a black flat-brimmed baseball cap with a logo on the front.

Anyone with information on the robbery is urged to call Hartford police.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

State Police Bring Toys to Kids in the Hospital


The look of pure joy on a child’s face melts the hearts of veteran troopers.

“This is a good day. We wish every day could be Christmas,” said Lt. Col. Butch Hyatt of the Connecticut State Police.

State troopers went door-to-door at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford on Monday, handing out toys to children in the hospital's emergency department. From Barbie dolls to blocks, the wish lists were covered, and troopers raised more than $20,000 thanks to the generosity of people around the state.

“Every toy you see, and all the dollars in the check, come from the public from their hearts, so these children can have a good Christmas,” said Hyatt.

But the toy giveaway isn't limited to Christmas. State police, the Ambulance Service of Manchester and Aetna Ambulance collect toys around the holidays as part of an 18-year tradition and hand them out year round.

“To see the state police coming in and bringing toys to kids, coming into the emergency department in particular, which is a place where we see a lot of the trauma at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, it's just so fulfilling,” said Martin Gavin, President and CEO of Connecticut Children's Medical Center.

It’s fulfilling for the children, too, and a part of their healing process.

“Part of it is, is just to take their minds off of what they're doing, what they're going through overall. It's a diversion, but it's also a gift, and at this time of year, it's about a gift,” said Gavin.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

2 Shot in Bridgeport


Police are investigating after two young men, ages 17 and 24, were shot in Bridgeport on Monday morning.

Bridgeport police said they discovered the 17-year-old victim while responding to the report of gunfire on Highland Avenue around 10 a.m. Monday. Police brought him to Saint Vincent's Medical Center for treatment of a gunshot would to the stomach.

Shortly thereafter, a 24-year-old Bridgeport resident was taken to Bridgeport Hospital. Police said the second victim reported that he had been shot in a different section of the city, but authorities did not receive a report of gunshots in that area.

Police said both victims were seriously hurt but are expected to survive.

Authorities are investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

BMW Expands Air Bag Recall Nationwide


BMW has agreed to demands from the government to replace driver's-side air bags across the entire U.S.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been pushing companies to recall older cars with air bag inflators made by Takata Corp. They can explode with too much force and spew shrapnel at drivers and passengers. At least five deaths have been blamed on Takata inflators.

The decision affects 140,000 BMW 3 Series cars made between January 2004 and August 2006. It says no problems with BMW vehicles have been reported. Earlier this year the company took about 574,000 cars off the market in the U.S.

To find out if your car is part of the recall, click here.

Several automakers have been slow to expand the recall. Ford Motor Co. joined the list last week, and was quickly followed by Chrysler.

BMW is the last automaker to agree to replace air bags in all affected cars nationwide. About 15 million cars have been recalled in the U.S. in total. Initial recalls were limited to states with high levels of humidity, as the NHTSA says the air bag inflator propellant, ammonium nitrate, can burn faster than designed if exposed to prolonged airborne moisture. When that happens, the propellant can blow apart a metal canister meant to contain the explosion.

Takata has refused the agency's request for a nationwide recall of driver's side inflators, about 8 million in total, and it says it has tested more than 1,000 air bag inflators from other regions without a single failure. But the company will still make replacement parts for the automakers that are expanding their recalls. It hasn't been decided whether Takata or the automakers will pay the extra costs involved.

In total, 10 automakers have models with Takata driver and passenger air bags. There could be as many as 30 million with the air bags nationwide.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

"No Interaction": Texas Meteorologist Describes Shooting Outside Station


A meteorologist shot outside a Waco-area TV station last week spoke to the media Monday afternoon at Baylor Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, where he continues to recover.

Patrick Crawford, the morning meteorologist for KCEN-TV, said he is “slowly getting better” after the Dec. 17 shooting.

“My main focus is just to get better, to get healthy and to get home for me and my family,” he said.

Crawford said he did not know his attacker and there was "no interaction" before the shooting. Buthe said he hopes that the description he provided to police will help them track him down.

“The man that shot me didn’t say any words to me,” he said. “There wasn’t any interaction.”

Crawford was shot in the abdomen and arm in the station's parking lot. He underwent surgery at Scott & White Memorial Hospital, and a surgeon who appeared with Crawford at Monday's press conference said he has been an "ideal patient" and is "doing very well."

No arrests have been made in the shooting, and Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper D.L. Wilson said Saturday that they have no credible leads on the gunman or a motive in the shooting.

The Falls County Crime Stoppers is offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the gunman. Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 254-883-3104.

The law enforcement tip line is 1-800-863-8558.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Car and School Bus Collide in Manchester


Emergency responders were called to the intersection of Spruce Street and School Street in Manchester after a car and school bus collided Monday afternoon, according to police.

Police said children were on the bus at the time of the crash, but no injuries were reported. Officers are diverting traffic around the crash site while they work to clear the scene.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Route 1 Reopens in Waterford


Route 1 has reopened in Waterford following a Monday afternoon crash, according to police.

Police said injuries are not serious. The road was closed briefly near the East Lyme town line.

Photo Credit: Waterford Police Department

Judge OKs Oklahoma's Lethal Injection Protocols


A federal judge says Oklahoma's lethal injection protocols are constitutional and that the state can proceed with the scheduled executions of four death row inmates early next year.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot on Monday ruled against a group of condemned inmates who say the state's use of the sedative midazolam in a three-drug method presents a risk of cruel and unusual punishment.

They sued after the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett, who writhed on the gurney, mumbled and lifted his head during his 43-minute execution that the state tried to halt before it was over.

The state has purchased new medical equipment, adopted new protocols and ordered more training, and prison officials say they're ready for the next execution on Jan. 15.

Photo Credit: AP

I-95 South in Stratford Reopens


Interstate 95 South has reopened in Stratford after a car fire this morning.

State police said no injuries were reported and only one car was involved.

The fire was in the area of exit 32 and traffic was stopped from exit 35 as police and the fire department responded .


Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Vehicle Teeters on Barrier After I-95 Crash


The left lanes of Interstate 95 in Greenwich were closed in both directions on Monday after a crash involving a tractor-trailer and another vehicle that was teetering on the barrier in the center of the highway.

Photos from the scene showed what appeared to be a van or SUV stuck on the barrier in the median of the highway

On the southside of the highway, traffic was heavy through Stamford. On the northbound side of the highway, there were delays from the state line.

Photo Credit: Greenwich Professional Firefighters Local 1042

City Officers Take Precautions in Wake of NYPD Deaths


Connecticut's urban police departments are on edge after two officers were gunned down in New York City on Saturday, and now the chief of the largest city police force in the state is calling for two cops in every cruiser on all shifts.

According to the New Haven Police Department, there are two factors behind the mandate.

"One is to provide peace of mind to the officers," said department spokesman Officer Dave Hartman. "And the other is simply a 'you can watch your back' situation."

At roll calls in Hartford, police department brass told officers to back each other up and be sure to wear their bulletproof vests.

"We're urging them to communicate to the dispatchers where they are at all times," said Deputy Chief Brian Foley, "and also know where their fellow officers are on patrol as well, should the need arise."

Foley said that recent events have done nothing to shake the department's commitment to keeping people safe.

"No matter what, at the end of the day, we're going to be loyal to our city and our citizens," said Foley. "When the bell rings, we're going to come out of the corner and we're going to go back up and keep our citizens safe."

He said doubling up in cruisers has been part of the discussion in Hartford, but regardless, police are there for the public and they always will be.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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