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Drunken Woman Got Out of Moving Car and Fell Into Street: Police


Vernon police have charged a 57-year-old local woman with driving under the influence and other traffic violations after receiving several 911 calls reporting she had fallen out of a moving vehicle after driving erratically on Route 83 on Saturday afternoon.

The original calls said the woman, identified as Debra Bowie, had been hit by a car, but police said they determined that Bowie was drunk and she later told investigators that she wanted to hurt herself, according to police.

Vernon police received the numerous 911 calls just before 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Callers said a driver had gotten out her car while it was still moving and fallen into the middle of the street after hitting the curb several times and hitting another car, according to police.

One person who called 911 thought the driver had been run over by her own vehicle.

Police investigated and said Bowie was under the influence.

When police transported Bowie to the Vernon Police Department to be processed, she said she wanted to hurt herself and an ambulance took her to Rockville Hospital to be examined, police said.
Bowie was charged with distracted driving accident, driving too close, illegal operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and improper lane.
She is due in court on March 23.

Alert Issued for Enfield Teen


Police have issued an alert for a missing 15-year-old Enfield girl.

Jasmine Epps was last seen on Friday and was wearing yoga pants and a black coat, according to the Silver Alert issued on Sunday evening.

If you know where Jasmine is, call Enfield police at 860-763-6400.

WATCH: Street Performer Punches Heckler


Human statue David Mulder is being investigated after he punched a passerby who taunted him while he was performing at a mall in Australia.

Mulder apologized for his actions. But the organization who hired him as a street performer said it will launch an investigation this week.

"While I sympathize with the busker, it's clear both parties didn't behave as best they could. Harassment and assault are not welcome in Surfers Paradise,'' Surfer Alliance chair Laura Younger told Australia's News.com.

Mulder became an Internet sensation after a mobile phone video was posted on YouTube showing him being poked and prodded by a passerby. He lost his cool when the heckler licked his index finger and stuck it in the performer's ear. The video shows Mulder throwing a punch at the young man, leaving him with a bloody nose.

Mulder's wife told News.com that his husband will meet with Alliance officials today to state his case.

"He will tell them that this sort of behavior is extremely rare and is not something he'd like to repeat,'' she said, speaking on behalf of her husband. "He's been hassled before but doesn't normally come out swinging - it takes a lot to provoke him."

The performer was back at work on Sunday at his usual post at the Cavill Mall. He said he was not proud of his actions.

"He was in the wrong, but at the same time I was in the wrong for striking out," Mulder said.

Stephen King Coming to Hartford


If you’re a fan of Stephen King’s books, or films based on his books, then you will want to plan on attending a special live event in Hartford this summer.

The modern master of thrillers will be here for “Stephen King in conversation with Colin McEnroe” at 8 p.m. on July 18 at the Bushnell in downtown Hartford and proceeds from the event benefit the Mark Twain House and Museum. http://www.stephenking.com/index.html

If you could not put down Carrie, The Shining, The Shawshank Redemption, It or one of King’s many other hits, this is an event you will not want to miss.
Tickets range from $25 to $250. They are on sale today for members of the museum and they go on sale on March 21 for members of the general public.

VIP ticket packages, including a reception with Stephen King and a signed copy of his newest book, Joyland, are available.

Reservations can be made at www.bushnell.org or 860-987-5900.

Membership is available by calling 860-280-3112, or by going to www.marktwainhouse.org.

The event takes place at William H. Mortensen Hall.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Fire Damages Multi-Family Home in Waterbury


A house fire at Golden Hill and Proctor streets in Waterbury on Tuesday afternoon might have been sparked by some type of gas-related issue, according to a police official, the fire.

People were inside the multi-family building when the fire statted, but all were able to get out safely, the official said.

More than a dozen people might be displaced by the fire.

The smoke from the fire was so heavy that it was was visible from sky cameras facing Waterbury around noon.


NYC Mayor Wants Stores to Hide Cigarettes


Mayor Bloomberg wants stores throughout New York City to hide cigarettes behind counters, curtains or cabinets as part of his next anti-smoking effort.

"Such displays suggest that smoking is a normal activity, and they invite young people to experiment with tobacco," Bloomberg told reporters Monday.

Stores could still post cigarette ads and prices, the mayor said.

The law would apply to retail stores and requires City Council approval; it will be introduced on Wednesday. A spokeswoman for Council Speaker Christine Quinn said the measure would get a legislative review but added that she supports the goal of the bills.

Bloomberg, a billionaire former smoker, has made anti-tobacco efforts a major part of his mayoralty and private philanthropy.

Bloomberg banned smoking in bars and restaurants during his first term, a move that was not common at the time. He has also committed $600 million to programs that seek to curb smoking around the world.

City officials said display restrictions are already in place in other countries, including Canada, England, Iceland and Ireland.


Photo Credit: AP

93-Year-Old Woman Killed in Crash


A 93-year-old West Hartford woman has died from injuries sustained in a head-on collision on the morning of Saturday, March 9.

Helen Mehlman, who lived in an assisted living community on Hamilton Heights, was killed in a crash on Fern Street and Fernwood Road in West Hartford, according to local police.

One person was in a 1997 Toyota Corolla that crossed over the double yellow line and struck a 2011 Toyota Camry with a New York registration, according to police. Four people were in the Camry. 

The crash happened just after 10:30 a.m. at the crest of a hill and it appeared that neither driver had a chance to stop, according to police.

All five people involved in the crash were transported to local hospitals. Mehlman suffered the most serious injuries, according to police.

Photo Credit: Submitted

Journalism Suffers Amid Newsroom Cutbacks: Report


Newspaper newsrooms and local TV stations across the country are seeing shrinking reporting power amid diminishing resources, according to a new report by The Pew Research Center.

Newsroom cutbacks in 2012 are putting the industry down 30 percent since its peak in 2000 and for the first time since 1978, there are less than 40,000 full-time professional employees.

"This adds up to a news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands," the report said.

This was the most evident in the political reporting during a contentious election year where campaign reporters functioned "primarily as megaphones, rather than as investigators, of the assertions put forward by the candidates and other political partisans." This trend is seen in other beats as cutbacks have left a void that is being filled by other means like public relations employees.

Local television stations have been the most hard hit as live stories fell 30 percent from 2007 to 2012. Interview segments, which take up less resources, were up 31 percent.

The public has taken notice, the report says. Thirty one percent of adults have stopped turning to news outlets because they were no longer getting the kind of coverage they are accustomed to. People surveyed cite lack of beat expertise, less stories and more incomplete news stories as reasons they abandoned a news outlet for information.

Some newsrooms, however, have started charging for its online content to subsidize and improve reporting quality. The report says 450 of the country's 1,380 dailes have implemented a pay wall for online content. And this could have big payoffs.

"The rise of digital paid content could also have a positive impact on the quality of journalism as news organizations strive to produce unique and high-quality content that the public believes is worth paying for," the report said.

ComScore.com says digital news consumption from the top 25 news sites increased by 7.2 percent in 2012. Pew data says 39 percent of respondents get their news online or from a mobile device, up from 34 percent the last time the survey was conducted in 2010.

Still, newsrooms have failed to harness the power of digital advertising as a revenue source. Local digital advertising -- a critical ad component for local news -- grew 22 percent in 2012, but improved geo-targeting has pushing national advertisers to turn to Google and Facebook for ad space that once went to local media.

Social media is also taking on a larger role as a source for news information. Fifteen percent of adults get their news from friends on social media and about 77 percent of them are reading news stories through links on these sites, according to the report.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Here We Go Again: More Snow Heading Our Way


Winter storm warnings have been posted for most of Connecticut as a a storm that will bring snow, sleet and rain on Monday night and Tuesday morning approaches.

Snow will develop around sunset from west to east between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and become moderate to occasionally heavy on Monday night.

One to 3 inches of accumulation is expected along the shoreline, with 3-5 inches in central and northern Connecticut by early Tuesday morning, which could impact schools.




The snow will change to sleet and rain along the shoreline prior to sunrise on Tuesday.

Further inland, temperatures will remain at or below 32 degrees through the Tuesday morning commute.

Many towns, especially in the hills, will have to deal with a glaze of ice on top of any overnight snow accumulation.

The ice and rain will continue off and on through midday Tuesday before tapering off.

Ice, up to half-an-inch might lead to isolated power outages but, at this point, the main issue appears to be slippery travel during the morning commute. 

$4M Worth of Marijuana, Smuggling Boat Found on California Beach


About 2,000 pounds of marijuana was found in about 50 bales on a beach in California Sunday after a panga-style drug smuggling boat washed ashore.

The bales were found on Arroyo Camada Beach in Santa Barbara. The 30-foot panga boat (pictured, below) -- an open, outboard powered boat -- equipped with about 20 fuel containers was found on the shore.

The 50 bales of marijuana have an estimated street value of about $4 million, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department. The drugs were found partially hidden in bushes near a road leading from the beach.

About 20 panga-style boats have landed on the Santa Barbara County coastline during the past two years, according to the sheriff's department. The boats are commonly used to transport drugs and other contraband.

The boat and fuel containers were turned over to federal agents. Santa Barbara Sheriff’s narcotics detectives seized the marijuana, which was wrapped in plastic.

For full U.S. news coverage, visit NBCNews.com

A sheriff's canine unit searched the area, but authorities have not located the smugglers.

In December,  U.S. Coast Guardsman was killed when he was thrown from a boat that was rammed by a panga boat under investigation for smuggling off the Southern California coast. Drugs onboard the panga were seized and two smuggling suspects were taken into custody.

Photo Credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

Sandy Hook Shooter Kept Spreadsheet on Mass Killings: Report


In the more than three months since a gunman killed 20 elementary school students and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, disturbing details continue to emerge about the horrors that happened in that school building.

According to a report today in the New York Daily News, police found an elaborate 7-foot-tall, 4-foot wide spreadsheet documenting other mass shootings at the home of Adam Lanza and they believe the man behind the massacre was keeping a macabre score sheet of sorts.

The Daily News columnist reports that the information comes from a talk State Police Colonel Danny Stebbins gave during the International Association of Police Chiefs and Colonels mid-year meeting, held last week in New Orleans, and cites the unnamed source of the information as a “law enforcement veteran” who was at the conference.

"This was the work of a video gamer, and that it was his intent to put his own name at the very top of that list. They believe that he picked an elementary school because he felt it was a point of least resistance, where he could rack up the greatest number of kills. That’s what (the Connecticut police) believe," the source told the New York Daily News.

The agenda for the conference states that Stebbins was to speak on Thursday morning about the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting, active shooters and dealing with mass casualty events.

The Daily News’ source went on to say that police believe Lanza killed himself inside the school so that a police office would not kill him thus, in his mind, get his "points."

Before killing himself, Lanza killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, in the Newtown home they shared and the Daily News reports that police think she was making "straw" gun buys for her son.
State police released a statement about the report.

"The recent seminar during which the Newtown case was discussed was designed for law enforcement professionals only. Law enforcement sensitive information was discussed dealing with tactical operational approaches employed by first responders on the day of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Lt. Paul Vance, of Connecticut State Police, said in a statement. 

"Officer safety and public safety along with lessons learned from the incident were discussed. Following each tragic mass murder incident in this country it is customary for law enforcement to share their lessons learned from the investigation so that other law enforcement agencies can learn."

The statement from Vance goes on to say that State Police have not and will not speak publicly on the ongoing Sandy Hook investigation and that no information will be distributed until the families of the victims have been informed first.

"The families of the victims continue to be a priority in this investigation and this fact was clearly stated at the seminar," Vance said. "It is unfortunate that someone in attendance chose not to honor Colonel Stebbins’ request to respect the families’ right to know specifics of the investigation first."

Police said they expect that the final Connecticut State Police report will not be completed for several months.

Photo Credit: AP

Thieves Steal Snow Blowers from Hartford School


Police are looking for the four people who took two snow blowers from the Achievement First School in Hartford last month.

Police said three men and a woman stole the snow blowers from the school at 305 Greenfield Street on Feb. 24.

One snow blower is a 28-inch red TroyBilt 2840 snow-blower with serial number 1K171B70189. The other is a 24-inch red TroyBilt with serial number 1L161B30728.

One man is 5-feet-4 to 5-feet-6, with a medium build. He was wearing a mask over his face, dark green coat and tan gloves, according to police.

Another man was wearing a blue jacket with dark blue or black and white stripes on the front, a green hood with dark green stripes, black jeans and black shoes.

The  third man was 5-feet-6 to 5-feet-9, with a medium build. He was wearing a brown coat, blue jeans with rips on the front, white sneakers with black stripes on the side and brown gloves.  His face was covered in a black mask.

The woman is 5-feet-4 to 5-feet-7 and has shoulder-length braids. She was wearing a black coat, skinny black jeans, tan boot and gloves and a gray and black hat. A black scarf covered her face, according to police.


Man Confessed to Suffocating, Stabbing Girlfriend: Police


Robert White, 52, of Hartford, confessed to suffocating and stabbing his 59-year-old girlfriend in her Hartford apartment, according to police, and he is being held on $1 million bond.

On Saturday afternoon, Sawarie Krichindath's her daughter found her body inside 76 Main Street, police said.

There was a pillow and bag over her head and her neck was stabbed, according to officials.

Police said she was killed 17 days earlier, on Feb. 27, and victim of a domestic-violence homicide.

White has been charged with murder and is being held on $1million bond and police said he confesses to the crime.

Police said he has a prior criminal record. He was convicted of manslaughter in the 1980s.

In 1998, he was convicted of sexual assault, spent almost 14 years in prison and was forced to register as a sex offender.

White is next due in court on April 2.

A vigil for Krichindath is planned for Wednesday.


Victim's Mother Asks NRA Chief to Come to Newtown


The mother of a first grader killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School has issued an open invitation to National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre to visit Newtown on Easter weekend.

Nelba Marquez-Greene, mother of Ana Marquez-Green, posted Monday on a Facebook tribute page to her daughter. Much of the post was about the pain she and her family have endured living without Ana.

"There is no escaping the pain. Your brother is in unbelievable pain. He gouges your name into everything he can find... and he remembers you every minute of every day," Nelba Marquez-Greene wrote. "My hands miss combing your thick brown hair. My eyes miss delighting in your growth. My lips miss kissing your chubby cheeks."

Then Marquez-Greene, who often posts on the Facebook page, issued what she called her "battle cry."

"Guess what, America? You have my daughter's blood on your hands. And I will not be bullied into being quiet." She continued about the number of people who die each day by gunfire.

Marquez-Greene then criticized LaPierre for "espousing hatred" before Ana had even been laid to rest.

"Yet I cannot bring myself to hate him. He is a lost soul and does not represent a good number of compassionate gun owners. I wonder what he is doing Easter weekend? Mr. LaPierre, you're welcome to come to Sandy Hook and explain to my son why we have one less place setting. You can even sleep over and stay in Ana's empty bed," she wrote.

In the post, Marquez-Greene called out mental health and video game industry advocates as well, urging them not to brush off criticisms that mass shootings are a are result of a combination of issues.

"Please encourage your leaders to advocate for common sense legislation that addresses comprehensive changes to our mental health, video game and gun laws. Tell them we don't believe we should have to pick between protecting our rights and our children."

A request for a response to Marquez-Greene's post has been submitted to the NRA.

Photo Credit: AP

New Britain to Introduce New School System



The New Britain Board of Education has voted to introduce a new neighborhood school system beginning in the next school year.
The board voted in favor of “Plan C” which stipulates that that new attendance zones, basically district lines, be drawn around each school. Students will be assigned a school based on these new zones.

Currently, students can attend any school in the district.

Under the new system, any 5th or 8th grader will have the opportunity to stay at their current school. However, if they choose this option, transportation will not be provided for them to or from school.
Also, if they have a sibling who is not in 5th or 8th grade, that sibling will have to go to their new designated school.
The board is giving the  5th and 8th  graders the option to stay in their current school because they are in their last year at the school. Fifth graders in elementary and 8th graders in middle school.
On April 8th, the school district will have the new attendance zones drawn up and will meet to discuss the new zones.
At that time, parents of 5th and 8th graders will have to inform the school board of their decision to either have their child attend their new school or remain at their current school.
All of this information is according to Kate Roy, New Britain Schools Communications Director


Seasonal Businesses Enjoying Late Snowfall


While some people in the state are fed up with the winter weather and ready for spring, others are relishing in the few extra flakes that have fallen this cold season.

Seasonal businesses across the state like Ski Sundown are taking advantage of late snow fall. The New Hartford ski slopes are still open and welcoming skiers and snowboarders to enjoy the cold.

“This is the first time I’ve skied this late in the season,” said Andy Hutchison.“We feel very fortunate, typically around St. Patrick’s Day, the snow is gone.”

Last season, Ski Sundown had closed around this time. This year, with with more snow in the forecast, they could stay open until April.

“It has been better than last year,” said Bing Lantz, with Ski Sundown. “I can’t really remember the last time we saw a good March snow,” Lantz said.

More business at Ski Sundown has also meant more profits for businesses in New Hartford too.

“If there’s snow, this restaurant is packed,” said Lindsay Low with Chatterly’s Café.

Many skiers and snowboarders head to that restaurant after a day on the slopes and sales almost double if it was busy on the mountain.

“If we can’t open the patio, keep the snow coming,” Low admitted.

Nearly a half foot of snow was expected to fall overnight, so it could be a busy day in New Hartford on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Home Heating Oil Could Become Taxed


More than half the people in the state could be facing a new tax.

The Commerce Committee will hold a public hearing Tuesday on a proposal to tax home heating oil for the first time..

If passed, you'll pay 1.5 cents per gallon in the first year, 2.5 cents per gallon in the second and 3.5 cents the third.

Sen. Gary Lebeau (D-3rd District), the co-chair of the committee. says he’ll reserve his opinion until listening to people at the hearing but says the $160 million expected to be generated in the coming years will go into the states clean energy fund which is meant to help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient.

“That’s what this is all about- to have greater efficiency. Ultimately, it will help homeowners and businesses so they can save on propane and heating oil going forward.”

Janet Squires pays more than 4500 dollars a year to heat her 19th century home in Windsor Locks. The extra $50 dollars she’ll pay if the new tax becomes law won’t change her spending habits, but it still not something she’s happy about.

“Its more tax. It’s more money. It’s another gas bill, another light bill another dinner with my kids. It just keeps increasing.

Also not happy about are the states oil companies. Vice President of the Connecticut Energy Management Association, Chris Herb, says its an unnecessary tax on a household necessity for more than half the people in the state.

“The home heating oil dealers in Connecticut, they’re 600 small private family owned companies. Most in their 3rd and 4th generation. They are absolutely outraged. It’s an assault on them and their customers.”

The hearing will be held on Tuesday in the Legislative Office Building at 11am.


Watch Pope Francis Thrill Thousands


Pope Francis thrilled those gathered for his installation Mass, taking a long round-about through St. Peter's Square and getting out of his jeep to bless a disabled man in a wheelchair in the crowd. A Vatican spokesman told NBC News the crowd was estimated to number between 150,000 and 200,000 people.


Pope Francis Blesses Man in Wheelchair

Pope Francis blesses a man prior to his inaugural Mass, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis thrilled tens of thousands of people on Tuesday gathered for his installation Mass, taking a long round-about through St. Peter's Square and getting out of his jeep to bless a disabled man in a wheelchair in the crowd. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Pope Calls for Protectors in Homily

Pope Francis waves as he holds the pastoral staff in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has urged princes, presidents, sheikhs and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass to protect God's creation, the weakest and the poorest of the world. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
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