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Police Investigate Colchester Home Invasion


State police are investigating a home invasion that sent a Colchester man to the hospital.

Police say they responded to 44 Main Street around 4:56 a.m. Sunday after a reported home invasion.

According to police, the 20-year-old victim reported two men wearing ski masks entered his apartment and attacked him. Police say the victim was pulled out of bed by the two men, who demanded “Give me everything you got” and “give it up.” One man was armed with a knife.

The victim’s wrists were duct taped and he led his assailants to his money. The victim was then thrown to the ground and hit in the head multiple times, according to police. Police say a small amount of marijuana was also taken from the home.

The victim suffered cuts to the bead and a laceration on his right bicep. He initially refused treatment but was transported to Marlborough Clinic for treatment, according to police.

Police describe the victims as approximately 5’9” to 6’ 1” with small to medium builds, wearing dark colored clothing and jeans. One was reported wearing dark colored skate shows. The males left in an unknown vehicle parked behind the building. It is believed they fled onto Cragin Court.

Anyone with information should contact state police, Troop K at 860 465 5400.

Icy Roads Played Role in Fatal Crash


An 88-year-old Woodbridge woman died in one of 40 crashes in New Haven Sunday morning amid treacherous, icy conditions.

Elizabeth Mohr, 88, of Woodbridge, died  after she lost control of her 2001 Ford Taurus just beyond Howe Street on North Frontage Road and struck a utility pole on the right side of the road, police said. Police responded to the road at 7:58 a.m. after receiving multiple 911 calls.

Nurses from Yale-New Haven Hospital happened to be nearby and rushed to help Mohr, but they were unable to save her life.

North Frontage Road closed for several hours near Howe and Dwight streets as an accident reconstruction team investigated.

Freezing rain early Sunday morning glazed the roads with a sheet of ice. New Haven police responded to at least 40 accidents and 75 percent of the people involved in them sustained minor injuries.

“Just because rain is falling doesn’t mean that there’s not also ice on the road," New Haven Police Officer David Hartman, department spokesman, said.

It will likely take awhile for the accident reconstruction team to determine a definitive cause, but video surveillance in the area showed that the icy, wet roads played a role.

“There’s pretty good surveillance footage from cameras obtained near the scene that shows the car losing control," Hartman said.

While it is unknown how fast Mohr was driving, police said the car was likely going too fast considering road conditions based on the serious damage to the car.

"Even driving the speed limit on wet, icy or snow covered surfaces is dangerous", Officer Steve Manware, a department crash investigator, said in a statement. "We are sometimes deceived into thinking when rain is falling it is too warm for ice to stay on the ground. That is often not the case and people need to take care."

North Frontage Road is expected to remain closed until 2 p.m. in the area.

15 Hospitalized in 22-Car New London Crash


Fifteen people were hospitalized in a 22-car crash on Interstate 95 in New London on Sunday morning.

Icy roads were a factor in the accident that sent two people to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to New London fire officials. The rest had minor injuries. The accident was reported at 9:15 a.m. and crews left the scene by 10:55 a.m.

All parties were taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London for treatment.

Police have not released the identities or the ages of the victims.

Multiple ambulances responded from area towns like Groton, Mystic River and Waterford.

The crash remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: New London Firefighters IAFF Local 1522

Patriots Roll to Arizona


The divisional round was a nail-biter, but when the Patriots' fourth consecutive AFC Championship Game came around, they decided to save their nerves for the Super Bowl.

The game was a blowout from the start, with the Pats defeating the Indianapolis Colts by a 45-7 margin, aided by a running back running wild - LeGarrette Blount rushed for 148 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.

An impressive ground game in nasty weather was a big help to a team that ran for just 14 yards against the Baltimore Ravens a week earlier. But the win over the Colts was anything but one-dimensional.

Quarterback Tom Brady completed 23 of 45 pass attempts through the rain for 226 yards. He added three touchdowns, throwing one pick and being sacked once.

Wide receiver Julian Edelman led the team both in catches, with nine, and in receiving yards, with 98. Tight end Rob Gronkowski made just three catches, with none coming before the third quarter. But one of them brought a touchdown.

The other two targets Brady found in the end zone were surprising - offensive tackle Nate Solder and fullback James Develin.

Darrelle Revis and Jamie Collins both caught interceptions by Andrew Luck, who took the Colts' reins from Peyton Manning, whose Denver Broncos were obliterated by Indianapolis last week.

Luck is a rising star in this league, but he may not be in the upper echelon quite yet. With a quarterback rating of just 23.0 Sunday, he completed only 12 passes in 33 attempts, throwing for 126 yards.

But were there any question marks in the game? Any holes that Bill Belichick felt needed to be addressed?

With a nod to his own oft-repeated comment that followed an ugly loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4, Belichick summed it up.

"We're on to Seattle," he said with a smile.

The Seahawks, who had to come back to beat the Green Bay Packers in overtime, are the reigning Super Bowl champs. The last team to repeat? Back in 2005, Brady brought the Lombardi Trophy to the Pats for the third time in four years.

More to come.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Crews Put Out Fire in Bridgeport


Crews extinguished a Bridgeport fire Monday morning.

The blaze happened at 1 Atlantic Street.

No further information was immediately available.

Car Catches Fire at Bristol Commons


A car caught fire in the Bristol Commons Shopping Center parking lot early Sunday morning.

The call came into the fire department around 2 a.m. The driver's parents came to pick her up and brought her home safely, according to a source with knowlege of the fire.

No one was injured. The car was towed from the shopping center, which is located at 99 Farmington Avenue in Bristol.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of an anonymous bystander

WATCH: Car Careens Down Icy Yonkers Street


A car careened down an icy street in Yonkers Sunday morning, and an onlooker caught it on video. Even after the crash, pedestrians can be seen struggling to make it even a few steps down the slick sidewalk.

MLK Worked Two Summers on Simsbury Tobacco Farm


After testing junior year in high school in hopes to qualify for early admission to Morehouse College in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King Jr. left the segregated South to work two summers on a Simsbury tobacco farm.

Some believe it was during those summers that King began his path to becoming a minister. He arrived with a group of students working for money to help pay for college and housing.

Born as Michael before his father changed both their names to Martin, King spent summers in 1944 and 1947 working for on the Cullman Brothers' tobacco farm in Simsbury. It took some convincing for him to get his parents to let him come and his mom still had her reservations when he set out on a train with his friend Emmett "Weasel" Proctor to head to the Hartford area, according to Simsbury's historical society.

King was struck by the distinction between the segregation of the train ride between Atlanta and Washington D.C. and the freedom he experienced headed north to Connecticut when he could sit wherever he wanted, according to the historical society of Simsbury.

"After that summer in Connecticut, it was a bitter feeling going back to segregation/ It was hard to understand why I could ride wherever I pleased on the train from New York to Washington and then had to change to a Jim Crow [racially restricted] car at the nation's capital in order to continue the trip to Atlanta," King wrote in his autobiography, according to the historical society. "....I could never adjust to the separate waiting rooms, separate eating places, separate rest rooms, partly because the separate was always unequal, and partly because the very idea of separation did something to my sense of dignity and self-respect."

The visits to Simsbury also opened the young King's eyes to a world to which he was not accustomed.

"On our way here we saw some things I had never anticipated to see," he wrote his father in June of 1944. "After we passed Washington there was no discrimination at all. The white people here are very nice. We go to any place we want to and sit any where we want to."

King's friends teased him that the hot sun in the tobacco fields caused him to preach, his sister, Christine King Farris, told The AP. In her book, "Through It All: Reflections on My Life, My Family, and My Faith," Farris wrote that her brother underwent a "metamorphosis" as a result of his time in Connecticut.

"That was quite an experience," Farris said.

The Cullman Brothers tobacco farm had a partnership with Morehouse College and student salaries went toward their college tuition and housing, according to Simsbury's historical society. The farm also paid for students' train fare from the South if they stayed throughout the harvest season. It gave Morehouse students a chance to travel, interact with the community and experience freedom, according to the historical society. Morehouse students stayed in a college boarding house on Firetown Road in Simsbury near Barndoor Hills that later burned down. It's now the site of a housing development.

Morehouse students would get up at 6 a.m. to work in the fields during the week from 7 a.m. to at least 5 p.m. King and other students said in accounts that they could earn extra food if they helped out in the kitchen after long, hot days of working in the fields with little breaks until dinner. They had some free time to play baseball and basketball after eating, but many of them were too tired and went to sleep by 10 p.m., according to the historical society.

The students spent Friday nights in downtown Simsbury, visiting the former Doyle's Drug Store for a milkshake or watching movies at Eno Memorial Hall, according to Simsbury's historical society. They went into Hartford on Saturdays to shop, see musicals or dine.

King wrote to his mother about it in 1944.

"I never thought that a person of my race could eat anywhere but we ate in one of the finest restaurants in Hartford," King wrote. "And we went to the largest shows there."

On Sundays, the Morehouse student workers went to church services in Hartford and Simsbury, according to the historical society. King wrote to his father in 1944 that he went to church every Sunday at 8 a.m., adding that he was the "religious leader" and that his boys choir would be singing "on the air soon."

“We went to church in Simsbury and we were the only negro’s [sic] there [sic] Negroes and whites go to the same church,” King wrote in a letter to his mother that year.

He left in September of that year, days after a hurricane struck, according to the historical society.

“The first time I was seated behind a curtain in a dining car, I felt as if the curtain had been dropped on my selfhood," King wrote in his autobiography. "I could never adjust to the separate waiting rooms, separate eating places, separate rest rooms, partly because the separate was always unequal, and partly because the very idea of separation did something to my sense of dignity and self respect."

He came back to Simsbury in 1947, that time "struggling with his call to the ministry," according to Simsbury's historical society. Emmett Proctor said in an account about his friend's return to Simsbury that he had "a minor run-in with police" because of a prank, but softened the news in a phone call to his mother "by first announcing that he has decided to follow in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather," the historical society said.

King's widow, Coretta Scott King, wrote in her memoir, "My Life With Martin Luther King Jr." that her husband talked of the exhilarating sense of freedom he felt in Connecticut that summer.
Dr. King also wrote of how his first visit to Simsbury changed him.

King visited Hartford again as a leader of the civil rights movement after graduating from Morehouse in 1948, studying at Crozier Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania and receiving a doctorate's degree at Boston University in 1955, the historical society said. But it's unknown if he ever returned to Simsbury.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

MLK Day Events in Connecticut


Schools are closed across the state Monday in celebration of Martin Luther King Day, but there are still plenty of opportunities to learn and remember the civil rights leader statewide.

Here are some MLK events happening Monday:

New Haven Museum

The New Haven Museum, located at 114 Whitney Avenue, is offering a series of storytelling events in celebration of Martin Luther King day on Monday. More information is available on the museum website.

  • 12:30 p.m.: Joy Davidson, "Martin Luther King in Word and Song"
  • 1:30 p.m.: Waltrina Kirkland-Mullins, "More Than Black & White: Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. King"
  • 2:30 p.m.: Karen Johnson, "Thriving in the Harvest"

Photo Credit: The Washington Post

Black Ice Causes More Trouble on Roads


Roads across the state are glazed with a new coating of black ice on Monday morning, which is causing some commuting troubles and crashes.

Because it's Martin Luther King Day, schools are already closed and fewer people are on the roads today.

Issues on the roads this morning come after freezing rain on Sunday morning caused a traffic nightmare statewide, with hundreds of crashes statewide at the close of the weekend.

The ground is frozen this morning, causing residual problems and icing on untreated surfaces, according to NBC Connecticut First Alert meteorologist Bob Maxon. Salt and sand placed on the roads on Sunday was washed away or diluted by rain, he said. 

A few flurries are possible this morning and skies will be mostly sunny on Monday and Tuesday, Maxon said. The next chance of snow is on Wednesday night, with possible light snow falling overnight into Thursday morning.

Police are responding to several crashes this morning, including on Interstate 84 east in Southington, where a vehicle hit a tree between Marion Avenue and West Street.

There are delays on Interstate 95 South in Old Lyme near exit 70 due to a crash, as well as I-91 North in Middletown.

Vernon police responded to the exit 64 off ramp on I-84 due to a crash because of icy conditions in the area, but the scene has since cleared.

Terryville brought in some sand trucks to help with icing as crews fought a fire.

UConn Reports Some Layoffs


UConn is reporting some layoffs at the university.

"At this time, any workforce reductions at the university are very limited in number, affecting very few employees, and are due to reorganizations within a particular office, department, or school, not because of financial need or any reduction in state support," university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said in a written statement.

No further information was immediately available on how many layoffs or the departments affected.

Sorority Awards Scholarships at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Event


Decades ago, members of Delta Sigma Theta sorority in Hartford fought for civil rights alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That’s why they’re working to keep his dream alive by awarding scholarships to young women, like Chevannah Hardie, from Hartford, who’s now a freshman at UConn.

“It’s made a huge difference financially. It’s helping me to just pursue my dreams to be a pharmacist, and giving me motivation, that I could be a recipient,” Hardie said.

More than 500 people attended a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford on Monday morning.

It was one of the largest MLK celebrations in the state. With help from sponsor United Technologies, the Hartford Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has raised more than $200,000 for scholarships in his name.

“The purpose of today’s breakfast is to not only provide scholarships to people in the greater Hartford community, but also to honor Dr. King’s vision, legacy and the dream that these young ladies can continue their education,” Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Chapter President, Veronica Delandro, said.

The sorority also works to make a difference in the Hartford community by mentoring young girls between 8 and 18 years old.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, who attended the event, said their efforts have a big impact on Hartford’s future.

“Great event to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King on his birthday,” Segarra said. “Not only for our city but also for humanity, so it’s a great day to have this event in our city to commemorate that.”


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

"Selma" Stars March in Alabama Honoring MLK


Oprah Winfrey and fellow actors from the movie "Selma" marched with hundreds in a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., one of many events around the nation ushering in Monday's federal holiday for the slain civil rights leader.

Remembrances of the King legacy come amid somber reflection by many on incidents in which unarmed black men were killed by police in recent months, spurring protests and heightening tensions in the U.S. In Ferguson, Mo., where one fatal shooting caused weeks of violent protests, leaders urged reforms to the criminal justice system in the name of equality.

"We need to be outraged when local law enforcement and the justice system repeatedly allow young, unarmed black men to encounter police and then wind up dead with no consequences," said U.S. Rep. William Clay, a St. Louis Democrat. "Not just in Ferguson, but over and over again across this country."

The King holiday, meanwhile, was being met with activities nationwide, including plans for a wreath-laying in Maryland, a tribute breakfast in Boston and volunteer service activities by churches and community groups in Illinois. In South Carolina, civil rights leaders readied for their biggest rally of the year.

Winfrey helped lead a march by hundreds on Sunday with "Selma" director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo, who played King in the movie.

"Selma" chronicled turbulent events leading up to the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and the subsequent passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Winfrey played activist Annie Lee Cooper in the movie, which was nominated for two Oscars, in categories of best picture and best original song.

A producer on the film, Winfrey praised the 1965 marchers for their courage in meeting fierce opposition on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma — scene of Sunday's remembrance march.

"Look at what they were able to do with so little, and look at how we now have so much," Winfrey said. "If they could do that, imagine what now can be accomplished with the opportunity through social media and connection, the opportunity through understanding that absolutely we are more alike than we are different."

White officers used clubs and tear gas on March 7, 1965 — "Bloody Sunday" — to rout marchers intent on walking some 50 miles to Montgomery, the Alabama capital, to seek the right for blacks to register to vote. King led a new march later that month that reached Montgomery, with the crowd swelling to 25,000.

Elsewhere, King's legacy was being celebrated with days of events in Atlanta, especially at the church he once pastored. The current pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, said the annual King holiday is a time when "all of God's children are busy spreading the message of freedom and justice."

On Monday, Oyelowo planned to deliver a holiday tribute to King at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where church members over the weekend sang the civil rights anthem, "We Shall Overcome."

Calls for unity were heard during the events surrounding the King holiday.

During Sunday's march in Selma, Common and John Legend performed their Oscar-nominated song "Glory" from the film as marchers crested the top of the bridge as the sun set. Common had a part in the movie and said that song sought to show the link between the struggle of the past and today's injustices.

"We are the ones that can change the world," Common said afterward. "It is up to us, and it takes all us — black, white, Latino, Asian, native-American, whatever nationality or religious background. There is a certain togetherness that we've got to have."

Photo Credit: AP
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Dog, Birds Dead After Terryville Fire


A dog and a couple birds are dead after fire destroyed a home in Terryville late Sunday night and displaced two people.

But the blaze was not the biggest challenge for firefighters. It was the ice. The lawn was glazed over with ice, forcing crews to bring in sand so they could safely fight the fire at 5-55 South Main Street.

The whole left side of the building was on fire when the Terryville Fire Chief Mark Sekorski arrived and he said flames ripped through the entire home. The fire started at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday.

"It's winter time, so it's tough for any firefighter to fight a fire this time of year," Sekorski said. "....Well, what we did was brought our utility truck with sand for our hazmat spills on the road and we used all our sand up. And our highway department was right out so they came right down to assist us with making it safe."

The occupants got out safely without injuries, but their dog and a couple of birds died in the fire. 

Crews also had to bring in water. It took firefighters 15 minutes to put out the fire.

The cause of the fire is unknown and the fire marshal's office will investigate the incident.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Fire Kills 92-Year-Old Woman in Putnam


A 92-year-old woman is dead and her son was injured in a fire in Putnam on Monday morning.

Fire broke out at a home on Grove Street around 5 a.m., according to officials from the Putnam Fire Department. The building is a single-family ranch house.

The 56-year-old man was rescued through a window, but heavy flames kept firefighters from locating the elderly woman in the house, fire officials said.

The son was rushed to the hospital.  Details on his condition have not been released.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

"Hail Satan" Spray Painted on Wallingford Church


Two teens and a 20-year-old man are facing charges after allegedly spray painting satanic references on the side of a church in Wallingford.

Police said Ralph Infante, 20, of Wallingford, and two teenagers have been arrested in connection with the case. They're accused of using red paint to scrawl the words "Hail Satan" across St. Casimir's Polish National Church at 240 Quinnipiac Street.

Infante has been charged with second-degree criminal mischief and conspiracy to commit second-degree criminal mischief. The teens' charges are unclear.

The Meriden Record-Journal reports that the three suspects were picked up around the same time that a Public Works employee called about several cases of vandalism.

Neighbors and churchgoers described the vandalism as unsettling.

"I'm a Roman Catholic and I'm a practicing Roman Catholic, and it's extremely disturbing," said Wallingford resident Karen Pomarico. "They should be punished and I'm sure they will be appropriately punished."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Public Input Sought on State Bus Route Changes


The public will have the chance to weigh in on plans to change some Connecticut bus routes at upcoming open house meetings in Cheshire, Bristol and New Britain. 

The state DOT is looking to expand express bus service in the Hartford, New Britain and Bristol areas. There's also talk of adding more express service between Hartford and Waterbury.

Open houses were held last week in Southington and Plainville and three more are slated for next week.

Members of the public seeking information can to the Council Chambers at 84 South Main Street in Cheshire from 6 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 21.

The New Britain open house will run from 4 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 22 at the Bristol Public Library on High Street.

The meeting in New Britain is scheduled to run from 4 to 8 p.m. Jan. 26 at Central Connecticut State University's Institute of Technology and Business Development at 185 Main Street.

More information is available online.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

New Haven Bridal Shop Closes After 70 Years


A popular New Haven bridal shop has closed its doors after 70 years in business.

Attorney Brian E. Kalligan, who represents Harold's Bridal Shop at 19 Elm Street in New Haven, said the store helped its last bride on Friday, Jan. 9.

A call placed to Harold's on Monday afternoon rang several times before going to voicemail.

"We are sorry to announce that after almost 70 years of service, we have closed our doors," the recording says, directing callers to Kalligan for more information.

Kalligan cited financial constraints and said business at Harold's had been on the decline. Every bride who ordered a dress either received the gown or was issued a full refund.

According to Kalligan, Harold's, the last full-service formal wear shop in the city, has no plans to open elsewhere.

The shop's website and Facebook page have both been taken offline.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Patriot Pulls Woman from Flipped Car After Game


After helping the New England Patriots secure the win that is sending the team to the Super Bowl, defensive tackle Vince Wilfork helped save a woman from an overturned car. And, according to Massachusetts State Police, he only needed one hand to lift the woman from the wreck.

When Massachusetts State Police responded to a rollover on Route 1 in Foxboro at 12:45 a.m., they were surprised to see Wilfork, who was heading home from the championship game. He was already beside the 2015 Jeep Wrangler and checking on the driver, who police identified as a 38-year-old Hanson, Massachusetts woman.

The woman could not get out of the vehicle, so Massachusetts State Trooper Kenneth Proulx held the driver’s side door open and Wilfork reached in and helped lift the woman out of the vehicle --- with one hand, according to state police.

Wilfork left the scene after making sure the troopers didn’t need any further help, police said.

Police arrested the woman and charged her with operating under the influence of alcohol and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

Photo Credit: Massachusetts State Police
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Hamden Woman Pistol-Whipped During Armed Robbery


Police are searching for the men who robbed a woman at gunpoint outside her home in Hamden, grabbing her by the neck and hitting her across the face with a gun late Sunday night.

According to police, the 35-year-old woman was leaving her home on Morse Street around 11:30 p.m. Sunday when two men approached her and took her money.

One of the robbers then grabbed her by the neck and pistol-whipped her, police said.

The suspects ran toward Newhall Street with $160 in stolen cash, then got into a silver Nissan hatchback and drove away, according to police.

Fire rescue personnel treated the victim for "significant facial injuries," police said.

Now police are looking for the culprits, who are believed to be in their 20s.

Police said the man who assaulted the victim stands about 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 160 pounds and has "distinct" brown eyes. The second suspect stands 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 210 pounds and was wearing a face mask.

Anyone with information on the crime is urged to call Hamden Police Department Major Crimes Division Det. Joseph Liguori at 203-230-4040.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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