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February on Track to Become Coldest Month on Record


February is on track to become the coldest month on record in Connecticut.

As of midnight Wednesday into Thursday, the average temperature in the Hartford area this month has been 15.7 degrees, according to First Alert Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan. That’s an entire degree below the current record of 16.5 degrees, which was set in February 1934.

This month is also expected to break the record in Bridgeport, which stands at 21.9 degrees and was set in 2004. The average temperature in the Bridgeport area so far this month is 19.7 degrees.

Other cold months of note include the following:

16.8 degrees in Hartford, January 1970
16.9 degrees in Hartford, January 1961
17.4 degrees in Hartford, January 1918

21.9 degrees in Bridgeport, January 2004
22.1 degrees in Bridgeport, January 1981
23.1 degrees in Bridgeport, January 1982
23.3 degrees in Bridgeport, December 1989

Records date back to 1948 in Bridgeport and 1905 in the Hartford area.

Photo Credit: AP

AA Named in Lawsuit After Passenger Dies


A passenger on an American Airlines flight died after she had trouble breathing and was forced to give up her oxygen, according to a lawsuit.

The suit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Dallas, by the woman’s husband, Joost Tallieu of British Columbia, Canada.

The airline declined comment.

Sharon Tallieu was on a flight from DFW International Airport to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in March 2013, when she experienced respiratory distress, according to the lawsuit.

She was given oxygen, which helped, but her husband told flight attendants she had a pre-existing lung condition and needed immediate medical care, the suit said.

He asked for an ambulance to be waiting when they landed, but instead she was greeted by workers with a wheelchair, the lawsuit claims.

“While disembarking the aircraft and over Joost Tallieu’s objection, a member of the flight crew demanded that (she) give up the oxygen supplied earlier by the flight crew that had been keeping her alive,” the lawsuit said.

She died about 30 minutes later, according to the suit.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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Maid Burned, Beaten in Home: NYPD


A New York City couple allegedly kidnapped and tortured their housekeeper inside their home when they thought she was stealing from them, then drove to her home and ransacked the place while holding her at knifepoint, police sources say.

Devanand Lachman, 32, and Ambar Lachman, 31, have been arrested on felony assault, felony kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment charges, police said.

Sources said the couple, who live in Bayside, Queens, believed their maid, 54-year-old Daisy Machuea, stole money and jewelry from them. When she went to clean their home the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 13, Devanand Lachman and another man allegedly burned her with a plumber's torch and repeatedly hit her on the body with an object, according to police and the victim. 

Machuea told NBC 4 New York through her friend and housemate, Oscar Ramirez, who translated from Spanish for her, "They kept punching, one guy this side, the other guy the other side." 

Ambar Lachman then came into the house, and the three suspects put Machuea into a car and drove to Machuea's home on Long Island, Machuea said.

Ramirez said he was watching TV when the suspects knocked on the door. He opened it to find the couple and their accomplice holding a knife to Machuea's throat and demanding their valuables, he told NBC 4 New York. 

"The guy told me, 'If you move, the other guy will kill her," said Ramirez. 

Ramirez said they stole their cellphones and ransacked the home. 

The suspects eventually left and that's when the victims called police. Both went to the hospital, and Machuea was treated at a local hospital for burns to her face and legs, in addition to bruising to her body, according to police. 

Attorney information for the Lachmans wasn't immediately available. Devanand Lachman remains behind bars while his pregnant wife has posted bail. 

Police are searching for the accomplice in the kidnapping and assault, described as about 30 to 35 years old, and about six feet tall with a medium build.

Anyone who recognizes the man depicted in the police sketch is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

Winter Takes Major Toll on Seafood Industry


Commercial fishermen in Connecticut say this is the worst winter for the state's shellfish industry in at least 35 years.

Cold temperatures have caused thick ice to form, locking in boats at many ports.

Larry Williams runs commercial oyster and clam boats out of Milford and said he hasn't seen a winter this bad since at least about 1978.

Williams said the conditions have brought business to a halt.

The effect is felt from the dock to dining tables across the state.

“We can’t even get all the fresh shellfish we normally get. So it’s like a big chunk of what we do is missing,” explained David Borselle, chef and owner of Avert Brasserie in West Hartford.

With mussels, clams and oysters hard to come by, chefs and restaurant goers are left looking for other options.

“I’ve been doing this for 16 years. This is the first time there’s been a major shutdown of all shellfish in the New England, Canada, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia area,” said Borselle.

Shellfish are also in short supply at the Blue Lobster Restaurant in Berlin, and the owner said the price of lobster has skyrocketed too.

“They haven’t been this bad in probably 10 years. They are just very hard to get, you know. They’ve increased about four dollars a pound,” said Blue Lobster owner Gregory Goodrich.

Even if the boats weren't trapped by ice, only part of the problem would be resolved. In these conditions, working on the deck can be difficult, if not downright dangerous.

Ice on the deck is a safety concern, and equipment doesn’t work as well in the frosty environment.Shellfish that are caught could freeze.

Seafood workers are yearning for the days of open water and warmer temperatures.

“Business has slowed a lot because of it. We’re looking for that summer, summer to melt all this snow for sure,” said Goodrich.

Fishermen have asked the Coast Guard for help breaking up the ice near the Milford Lisman Landing Marina.

A cutter is expected back in the area next week.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Uncover Tobacco Violations at Bristol Stores


Bristol police have uncovered tobacco violations – including the sale of individual cigarettes and untaxed cigarettes – at four convenience stores in the city.

Police searched five stores in Bristol on Feb. 26 as part of a routine compliance check. All but one of the five were found in violation of state tobacco regulations, police said.

Investigators searching La Familia Super Deli at 485 Farmington Avenue found untaxed tobacco and cigarettes, along with "loose cigarette sales," according to police. Items were seized and one person was arrested.

Police found untaxed tobacco at the Tropical Market at 152 School Street and Shop & Save at 143 Divinity Street. Tobacco was seized from both stores and one person was arrested in connection with the Tropical Market search, according to police.

Loose cigarette sales were found at Bristol Brothers at 1 Divinity Street, police said. Nothing was confiscated and no charges were filed.

Discount Tobacco at 123 Farmington Avenue was found to be in full compliance.

Officer Dragged While Trying to Help Suicidal Man: Cops


A New Canaan officer was taken to the hospital Thursday night after he was dragged 35 feet while trying to help a driver who was reported to be suicidal, according to police.

Police said the officer responded to Old Stamford Road in New Canaan around 6:10 p.m., where a man was driving with his headlights off and threatening suicide.

Authorities stopped the car and approached to talk to the driver, who was later identified as 24-year-old Erik Kuranko. Police said Kuranko would not roll down the window or open the door.

One officer broke the window. As he was reaching inside the car to take off Kuranko's seat belt, the driver hit the gas, launching the car forward, police said. The officer's arm became tangled in the seat belt and he was dragged 35 feet until the car hit a snow bank and stopped.

The officer was taken to Norwalk Hospital for treatment of injuries to his knees, neck and back, police said. He was treated and released from the hospital Thursday night.

Kuranko was also taken to Norwalk Hospital with minor injuries. He was arrested and charged with assault on a police officer, interfering with police, carrying a weapon in a motor vehicle and reckless driving.

Kuranko is being held on $15,000 bond.

Earl Lloyd, First Black NBA Player, Dies at 86


Earl Lloyd, the first black player in NBA history, died Thursday. He was 86.

Lloyd's alma mater, West Virginia State, confirmed the death. It did not provide details.

Lloyd made his NBA debut in 1950 for the Washington Capitals, just before fellow black players Sweetwater Clifton and Chuck Cooper played their first games.

"The State family mourns the loss of a fellow Yellow Jacket and trailblazer who was a true champion both on and off of the basketball court," West Virginia State President Brian Hemphill said in a statement. "When Earl stepped out on the court on that fateful date in 1950, this remarkable man rightfully earned his place in the historic civil rights movement and, more important, he opened the door to equality in America."

Lloyd helped the Syracuse Nationals win the 1955 NBA title, joining teammate Jim Tucker as the first black players to play on a championship team.

The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 560 regular-season games in nine seasons with Washington, Syracuse and Detroit. He missed the 1951-52 season while serving in the U.S. Army.

Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 as a contributor, Lloyd was 22-55 as Detroit's coach in 1971-72 and the first nine games in the 1972-73 season.

Lloyd, a native of Alexandria, Virginia, lived in Crossville, Tennessee. 

Photo Credit: AP

State Police Spokesman Lt. Paul Vance Reassigned


State police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance, who has served as public information officer for the past 16 years, has been reassigned to the department traffic division, according to a spokesperson for the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

Law enforcement sources said Vance has been selected to serve as commander of the State Police Traffic Services Division. No replacement has been named.

DESPP spokesman Scott DeVico said the change will happen on or around March 20. He could not give a reason for Vance's reassignment.

Vance has been a state police trooper for more than three decades and served as the department mouthpiece during and after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

1 Person Was Trapped Briefly During Hartford Fire


One person was briefly trapped in an apartment when fire broke out at 53 Webster Street in Hartford on Friday morning.

Officials said the fire started in the hallway and was minor.

Firefighters escorted the trapped person out of the building and residents were going to be allowed back into the building this morning.

This was the second apartment fire Hartford firefighters responded to on Friday morning.

One person was hospitalized after fire broke out at an apartment building on Asylum Avenue in Hartford.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

1 Hospitalized After Hartford Fire


One person is hospitalized and others are displaced after fire broke out in a second-floor laundry room of an apartment building on Asylum Street in Hartford.

Fire broke out on the second floor of 887 Asylum Ave. early Friday morning and extended to a small portion of the third floor, according to officials.

The fire has been knocked down and one person was taken to the hospital to be evaluated for possible smoke inhalation.

Only a portion of one side of the building is affected, but residents of a few apartments on the second and possibly third floor will be displaced because of smoke and water damage and a city bus arrived to keep them warm.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Trucker Used Hydraulic Bumper to Avoid GWB Toll: Police


Police arrested a 45-year-old man for allegedly using a mechanical bumper on the front of his truck to lift and conceal his license plate so that E-ZPass cameras couldn't identify him after he blew through a toll gate on the George Washington Bridge.

The man drove the truck through the toll lane around 8:35 a.m. Wednesday.

Police say that he used a black toggle switch on the truck's dashboard to activate a hydraulic bumper, which lifted the license plate, making it impossible for E-ZPass cameras to see the truck's license plate number.

Photo Credit: PAPD
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Freezing Day, Snow Sunday


Skies will be fair on Friday and Saturday, but snow will begin late Sunday afternoon or evening and continue into Monday, bringing the possibility of several inches of snow.

This will likely have an impact for schools and the morning commute on Monday, according to NBC Connecticut meteorologist Bob Maxon.

If you don’t yet get school closing alerts, you can sign up for them here.

With just one day left in the month, February is on track to be the coldest month on record.

Temperatures will run 15 to 20 degrees below normal on Friday and Saturday, with daytime highs around 25 and morning lows near or below 0.

Hamden High School Was Evacuated for 2 Hours After Bomb Threat


Students were evacuated from Hamden High School for around two hours after a bomb threat on Friday morning.

Police said the Hamden Police Department Central Communications Division, or 911, received a bomb threat intended for Hamden High School around 8:30 a.m.

Students were evacuated and brought to the Louis Astorino Ice Arena, behind the school, where they boarded buses as police searched the school

Investigators did not find any explosives and students were allowed back inside around two hours after being evacuated.

Route 8 South Closed After Crash in Naugatuck


Route 8 South in Naugatuck is closed near exit 29 after a truck went down an embankment.

Traffic is intermittently being allowed by.

Google Expansion Worries Hometown


New expansion plans for Google headquarters, known as the Googleplex, has the city of Mountain View in a tough position as city leaders try to accommodate their biggest corporate taxpayer as well as non-Google residents who feel the tech giant is swallowing their town.

“I think most of us in Mountain View are concerned about where are we going to house the employees that work there, the new employees. How will they get to work given the traffic bottlenecks that already exist?” asked Mountain View councilman Lenny Siegel.

Reportedly, the new plans highlight a campus focused on walking or biking to work, which means one thing to Siegel: Mountain View must build new housing.

“We’re expecting as we put housing in north Bayshore and near north Bayshore that we’ll reduce the amount of miles traveled by commuters,” he said.

A mobile home park in the shadow of Google headquarters is also in the cross hairs.

“There is a mobile home park in north Bayshore, about 360 units and a growing number of Google employees are moving in there,” he said. “Now it’s unfortunately displacing some of the residents, they’ve been bought out basically.”

Gregory Legg, who lives in Mountain View said many of his neighbors are Google employees and they’re doing wonders for property values

“It’s actually bringing it up, the property values, which is good. It’s real good,” Legg said. “I mean, before, it was pretty low. And now it’s brought it up quite a bit.”

But with the higher prices, Rosemary Dozie Antoine said she will probably have to move.

“We would like to get out of here because everything’s too expensive for what I do,” she said. “And for what my husband does. So we need to kinda’ need to get out of here.”

The higher real estate is benefiting some, but pushing out others.

“It’s the housing and transportation issues that make me question the value of all this high-tech growth,” she said.

Siegel said opening up Moffett Field for a type of park-and-ride plan that would help alleviate street congestion could be in the works. But his main focus is discussing new housing developments around Google, something the council said no to last year.

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Intruder Busted When Homeowner Gives Him Wrong Keys


A West Haven man who stole a car and used it to rob a Dollar Tree in East Haven, then broke into a North Haven home and tried to steal a second car was arrested after a homeowner gave him the wrong set of keys, according to police.

Police said Rashonne Anderson, 32, of West Haven, stole a blue Pontiac Montana and drove it to the Dollar Tree at 32 Frontage Road in East Haven the night of Feb. 26.

He implied he had a gun and ordered the employees to the ground. Anderson took money from the cash register and left in the stolen Pontiac, according to police. The employees were shaken up but not physically hurt.

Police spotted the stolen Pontiac driving northbound on Maple Avenue in East Haven shortly after 10 p.m. When they tried to pull Anderson over, he led them on a chase that ended when he crashed into a snow bank, police said.

Anderson got out the passenger door and ran through the backyard of a home nearby. He forced his way inside a house on Maple Avenue and demanded keys to the resident's car, according to police.

A resident told police she was in her bedroom when she heard Anderson banging on her door. She got up and found him in her living room.

"All I want is your keys," he told her, according to police.

She directed him to her purse and he grabbed a set of keys. It turned out to be the wrong set, and Anderson couldn't get into the Toyota parked outside, police said.

With no access to a car, Anderson again ran. Officers chased him into the yard of a home on Laydon Avenue, where they arrested him, according to police.

He was charged with home invasion, first-degree burglary, reckless endangerment, interfering with police, second-degree criminal mischief, third-degree larceny, sixth-degree larceny, third-degree criminal attempt to commit larceny, engaging in a pursuit and other motor vehicle charges.

Anderson was held on a $250,000 bond and faced a judge in Meriden Superior Court on Friday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Missing 9-Year-Old West Haven Boy Found Safe


A 9-year-old West Haven boy who was reported missing on Friday morning has been found and he's safe, according to police.

Police issued a Silver Alert for Idun Obeng-Dapph this monring and said this afternoon that he was found near his home.

2 Arrested in 2012 Assault on Trinity Student


Hartford police have arrested two people tied to the 2012 assault of a Trinity College student who was attacked while walking home from a party near campus.

Pedro Carillo, 20, and Veronica Marquez, 27, both of Hartford, were charged on Thursday with second-degree assault and conspiracy to commit second-degree assault.

At the time of the incident, police said three women and two men jumped Trinity sophomore Chris Kenney while he was walking on the outskirts of campus March 4, 2012. The attack sent him to the hospital with a broken cheekbone and jaw.

"The victim was walking from a party in the early morning hours just off campus. A car drove by, words were exchanged, the female got out, we believe, and struck the male victim," Foley said.

A spokesperson for the college said Kenney has since recovered and graduated.

Although these arrests are the first, police said the case never once went cold.

"Early on in the investigation, we received an anonymous tip from our Crime Stoppers line identifying some of the suspects involved," explained Hartford police spokesman Deputy Chief Brian Foley. "Last week, our detectives were involved in an investigation where they received information from a cooperating witness."

Foley said Trinity has been cooperative and worked closely with police every step of the way. He explained that campus security has advanced over the years and said Trinity is much safer than it was at the time of the incident.

"Our detectives were relentless," said Foley.

In the wake of the incident, Kenney's family offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the suspects' arrests.

Carillo has six prior arrests in Hartford and is currently in custody on unrelated charges, according to police.

Marquez has nine previous arrests in Hartford. She appeared in court on Friday, where the judge ordered her held on $250,000 bond.

She was ordered to have no contact with her codefendants and to stay away from Trinity. 

Marquez does not have criminal record in Connecticut, but has prior arrests in Ohio, officials said. 

She is due back in court on March 19.

Firefighters Respond to Fire in Southington


Firefighters are responding to a fire at 455 Atwater Street in Southington.

Officials said there is fire in the ceiling and there are no reports of injuries.

Check back for details.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Wooden Passenger Fools Carpool Lane


A Long Island man allegedly used a wooden figure in a hooded sweatshirt to get away with driving solo in the Long Island Expressway's HOV lane, police said.

A Suffolk County Highway Patrol officer noticed the fake passenger when he pulled the man over for speeding at 6:30 a.m. on Friday in Dix Hills.

A photo of the crudely made dummy shows a wooden board with a block-shaped, wooden head wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

The man told the officer that he was driving to a new job and didn't want to be late.

He was issued summonses for speeding and occupancy violation, police said.

Photo Credit: Suffolk County Police Dept.
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