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Hartford Parking Ban Lifted


Hartford police reported strong compliance with its parking ban and several school parking lots, like Bulkeley High School  and Hartford Public High School, were packed Monday morning.

The ban went into effect at 8 p.m. on Sunday and expired at 10 a.m., but Hartford schools are closed on Monday.  Any cars parked in the school lots need to be moved by 10 a.m. so that crews can clear them for school to reopen Tuesday.

Eleven vehicles were towed overnight, according to Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley. By comparison, 500 cars in the capital city were towed the day after Super Bowl Sunday about a month ago.

People who left their cars parked in the street face about $200 in fines and fees if their cars are towed during a parking ban.

Dion Smith, of Hartford, was out clearing off his car on Monday, something that has seemingly become a Monday morning routine for many Connecticut residents. He said that he "can't wait for this to be over."

"It's a little faster with the glove," Smith said about clearing off his car. "So, I just got to push it off with my hand real fast."

Each time a parking ban is in effect, residents without an off-street alternative use the local school parking lots, giving the city's plow drivers space to clear the streets. Smith said he's had to park his car in a school parking lot at least five times this winter.

"It's a good 20- to 25-minute walk," he said.

Soloman Maple, of Hartford, also said that after spending a lot of time clearing snow off his car, he's "ready for this to end."

"I'm just ready for some sunshine," Maple said.

Both Maple and Willie Mann, of Hartford, also noted the ice they had to scrape off their windshields beneath the snow.

The snow ended soon enough Monday morning to give crews extra time to plow before you hit the roads, but you may want to leave a little extra time if you parked outside overnight to clear off your car before you head out. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Crash Slowed Commute on I-91 North in Hartford


Traffic was slow on Interstate 91 North in Hartford after a crash in the area of exit 33.

Three lanes of the highway were closed and the delays were back to Interstate 84.

No additional information has been released on the crash.

Follow Heidi Voight on Twitter for traffic updates.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

March Storm Snowfall Totals


More snow fell on Sunday, adding to the piles that have been building for weeks. Here's a look at the new snow that fell:

  • Andover: 4.5 inches
  • Ashford: 5.3 inches
  • Avon: 3.1 inches
  • Beacon Falls: 5.3 inches
  • Bristol: 3.6 inches
  • Colchester: 5.5 inches
  • Columbia: 5.3 inches
  • Darien: 7 inches
  • East Killingly: 5.5 inches
  • Easton: 5.5 inches
  • Fairfield: 6 inches
  • Gales Ferry: 4.9 inches
  • Groton: 6 inches
  • Haddam: 6.5 inches
  • Hampton: 6 inches
  • Bridgeport: 5 inches
  • Brookfield: 5.3 inches
  • Clinton: 6.5 inches
  • Danbury: 5 inches
  • Greenwich: 4.5 inches
  • Groton: 6 inches
  • Litchfield: 3.5 inches
  • Manchester: 4.6 inches
  • Madison: 4 inches
  • Meriden: 5 inches
  • Milford: 6 inches
  • Moosup: 6 inches
  • New London: 6 inches
  • New Haven: 6 inches
  • North Canaan: 3.5 inches
  • North Granby: 3 inches
  • North Haven: 7 inches
  • Northford: 7.7 inches
  • Norwalk: 5.8 inches
  • Norwich: 4.8 inches
  • Old Saybrook: 6.5 inches
  • Oxford: 6.3 inches
  • Shelton: 5.8 inches
  • Southbury: 5.5 inches
  • Staffordville: 6.6 inches
  • Stamford: 6 inches
  • Stonington: 3 inches
  • Thomaston: 5 inches
  • Tolland: 6 inches
  • Wallingford: 5.2 inches
  • Watertown: 4.4 inches
  • Waterbury: 4.5 inches
  • West Hartford: 3.5 inches
  • Weston: 7.5 inches
  • Wolcott: 4.5 inches
  • Woodstock: 5.5 inches


Mother Teresa Painting Removed From Trumbull Library


Trumbull officials have temporarily removed private artwork displayed in its public library to protect the town from possible litigation after concerns were raised referencing arguing the painting infringes on copyright with the use of Mother Teresa's image.

The painting, which Dr. Richard Resnick donated to the library, shows Mother Teresa and other women marching, holding signs that say messages including "Onward We March," "Planned Parenthood," "Mission of Charity," "Feed the Poor," "Sister of Mercy," "Shelter the Poor," "Remember The Ladies," "Hospital Reform," "Right to Vote," "19th Amendment," "Equal Wages for Us," "Not For Ourselves Only."

Independent organizations have complained that the inclusion of Mother Teresa's image in the painting is "potential copyright infringement," according to Trumbull First Selectman Timothy Herbst. The town opted to remove the painting for the time being because the library did not have a written agreement with Resnick protecting the town against "any potential liability" from the copyright violation allegation to any possible damage to the paintings or theft, Herbst said.

“After learning that the Trumbull Library Board did not have the proper written indemnification for the display of privately-owned artwork in the Town’s library, and also being alerted to allegations of copyright infringement and unlawful use of Mother Teresa’s image, upon the advice of legal counsel, I can see no other respectful and responsible alternative than to temporarily suspend the display until the proper agreements and legal assurances are in place,” Herbst said in a written statement. “I want to make it clear that this action is in no way a judgment on the content of the art but is being undertaken solely to protect the town from legal liability based upon a preliminary opinion from the Town Attorney.”

Herbst acknowledged his appreciation of residents' contributions to town libraries, but said that this move is a precaution to protect the town from any litigation that could "cost Trumbull taxpayers in the long run," he said.

“Privately owned artwork is very valuable, and absent a written agreement, we want to make sure Trumbull is protected should something happen to the paintings or should a third party allege some type of infringement,” Herbst said. “While I appreciate the good intentions of Dr. Resnick and the Library Board, I have a legal and fiduciary duty to protect the taxpayers from significant financial liability.”

The town plans on implementing the same policy for any artwork shown in municipal buildings "to protect Trumbull, its taxpayers, and employees from any potential litigation should any harm come to any paintings, sculptures, or other donated items that would be considered art," Herbst said.

“I have directed the Town Attorney to immediately adopt a policy for all municipal buildings in this regard, including any artwork that is hung at Town Hall," he said. "Corrective action is already being taken town wide to address the problems that have been identified as a result of this incident,” Herbst said. “The Town of Trumbull is always appreciative of our residents who wish to display prized collections for the public’s benefit, and we look forward to sharing other pieces of prized artwork in the near future.”

Its unclear whether the town plans on working out a legal written agreement with Resnick or whether steps are being taken so the painting can be displayed in the library again.

Herbst did not name the organizations that took issue with the painting.

Photo Credit: Town of Trumbull

Car Fire Caused Delays on I-84


A car fire caused delays on Interstate 84 East in West Hartford from exit 41 to Farmington.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Rob Berntsson

Last-Minute Tsarnaev Hearing


With jury selection in the marathon bombing trial wrapping up and opening statements scheduled for Wednesday, the judge and attorneys tried to hash out some potentially important pending motions Monday.

In one of them, prosecutors argued the defense should not be allowed to present mitigating factors during the first phase, or the guilt phase, of the trial.

"If there’s a particular piece of evidence that the judge feels doesn’t go to that aspect of duress and is simply being offered to show what a nice guy he is, or what a good kid he was before this ever happened then the judge will exercise his discretion to exclude that piece of evidence," said necn legal editor Randy Chapman.

Chapman says Judge O’Toole likely reserved judgment on this so he could rule on it in a case-by-case manner.

The judge also didn’t rule on a defense motion to prevent the prosecution from cutting panels out the boat Tsarnaev allegedly hid in during the Watertown manhunt, showing writings he made that the prosecution alleges amount to a confession.

The defense says the boat should be kept intact and the jury can view the whole boat either outside court or in a warehouse somewhere, but to cut it up would be prejudicial.

"Simply because the boat happens to be extraordinarily large doesn’t mean that 1) the jury’s not able to see it, and 2) that it can’t be broken down into a format that will allow it to be introduced at least in part as to evidence," Chapman said.

The group of 70 provisionally qualified jurors will be back at court Tuesday, when attorneys will use peremptory challenges to whittle the group down to 12 jurors and six alternates. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.

Photo Credit: AP

Yahoo! Turns 20 With a Yodel


Sunnyvale-based Yahoo is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Monday, and the employees — and the Nasdaq bell in New York — are yodeling for joy.

"We're thrilled," CFO Ken Goldman said before the Nasdaq yodeled, not rang, before the opening bell, a first on the New York stock exchange floor, according to Yahoo.

He said the Silicon Valley company has come a long way since being house in a construction trailer on the campus of Stanford University, saying it's now a "global tech company" with more than 1 billion customers.

It was in 1994 that Jerry Yang and David Filo, two Stanford University electrical engineers debuted "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web," according to — where else? — but Yahoo News.

In its first iteration, the site was a directory other pages on the web, organized in a hierarchy.

The pair renamed it Yahoo, an acronym for, "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle," and on March 2, 1995, it was incorporated. The search engine is no long the leader in search engine capability or email. But it does have a growing news site, and it’s now headed by CEO Marissa Mayer.

To mark the #YodelOn festivites, a customized Yahoo Y20 animation took over the Nasdaq billboard in New York Times Square, and in San Francisco, City Hall will light up in the company's favorite color: purple.

At lunchtime, Yahoo employees will link up online to try to break the Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous yodel.

Click here to see what 20 Internet words didn't exist before Yahoo launched.

Photo Credit: AP

Six Displaced in New Haven Fire


Six people from a large extended family are displaced after a fire broke out at a Winchester Avenue home in New Haven. 

A family that lived at the home for more than 40 years was inside 922 Winchester Avenue when the fire broke out in a bedroom at about 3:15 a.m., according to a family member who said he tried to put out the flames but that it spread too fast so he focused on getting his family out. He alerted his family members when he couldn't extinguish it on his own and they got out of the building before fire crews arrived.

"I didn’t have time to be scared. I just grabbed my nephew and got out," resident Charles Mitchner said. "I didn’t have time to be scared."

Five people were inside at the time and one person wasn't home when the fire ripped through the residence. The fire destroyed much of the upper floor of the home, where the fire began.

The New Haven Fire Department said that everyone has made it out safely, including an elderly woman and a small child.

"As soon as the water hits the ground, it ices up. There’s heavy snow," New Haven Battalion Chief William Gould said. "Members are trying to make perimeter of the building. To the rear, there’s at least a foot of snow in the rear.

Fire officials said that Monday's cold weather and the latest snowfall made fighting the fire especially tough. It took about three hours to put the fire out.

"The main thing is everyone is out safely," family member Gina Mitchner said, adding that seeing the house burn was difficult. "You can replace a house, but you can't replace a life."

The American Red Cross is providing assistance to the family.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Winchester Avenue has reopened after it was closed for several hours.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Schools Delayed, More Snow Tomorrow


A storm dropped as much as eight inches of snow in part of the state since Sunday, several schools are delayed or closed and more snow could be on the way.

Snow showers began on Sunday morning and coated most of the state with 3 to 8 inches of snow, with towns in southern and southeastern Connecticut getting the most.

Sun is expected to emerge during the Monday morning commute, with temperatures possibly reaching the mid-30s throughout the day.

New London Mayor Justin Finizio urged residents to clear snow off roofs as more snow and rain is expected Tuesday.

The snow has also been piling up in Willimantic and Police Lt. Stanley Parizo encouraged drivers to leave more time before heading out to clear off their cars.

In Hartford, schools are closed Monday as crews work to clear school parking lots that were used for off-street parking during yet another city-wide parking ban due to the snow.

More snow could be headed our way on Tuesday evening when we could see a burst of snow dropping 1 to 4 inches ahead of another storm system.

The snow could mix with sleet, freezing rain and/or rain overnight as warmer air moves in, making for a messy Wednesday morning commute.

There could be heavy rain on Wednesday, which could cause problems on roofs with heavy snow buildup, so you may want to clear off the snow and ice beforehand. Temperatures may reach the 40s.

The air will begin to get colder again on Wednesday night, so there could be ice and more snow come Thursday morning. Temperatures will continue to drop at the end of the week.

Send your weather photos to shareit@nbcconnecticut.com.

Photo Credit: Michelle Warner, Vernon
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Madison Skiers Clinch World Cup Titles


Two Madison residents on the United States ski team placed second in aerials events Sunday at the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup in Minsk, Belarus, but clinched season titles in a historic moment for the team, according to team's website.

Mac Bohonnon, 19, of Madison, won the first crystal globe for the U.S. men's ski team since Jeret "Speedy" Peterson's in 2005, placing second in the aerials event and winning the overall World Cup title with 491 points, according to the U.S. ski team's website. 

"Unfortunately I did know how close I was to winning the globe, so I was pretty stressed out all day and just tried to eliminate that from my head. But yeah, jumping went well. It was a tough site. We only had one day of training and got used to it quick and had a good day. Sasha jumped really well," Bohonnon said on the U.S. ski team's website. 

He said on the ski team's website that winning the globe "is a dream come true."

"I’ve been thinking about it for a really long time. And to do it 10 years after Speedy did it feels really special,"Bohonnon said on the ski team's website. "He was a huge influence on me and motivated me to get in to the sport of aerials. He was always someone I looked up to when I was trying to get into aerials. To think that I’m in a similar category as him, the last person who won a globe, is pretty special."

Kiley McKinnon, of Madison, placed 14 points behind her teammate Ashley Caldwell, of Ashburn, Virginia, to take second place in the aerials event with a "full, double full" move" and win the overall World Cup title, according to the U.S. ski team. She earned a crystal globe and is the first to do so on the team since Nikki Stone in 1998, the ski team said on its website.

"It’s kind of hard to describe what just happened," McKinnon said on the U.S. ski team's website. "I can’t really explain the feeling, it’s amazing. I’m so proud of Mac and Ashley for also being up there on the podium. It’s been so long since a U.S. woman has gotten this globe. It just makes me feel so honored to represent the U.S. To have me and Mac together there on top, being from the same town in Connecticut, it’s just amazing. It’s such an awesome feeling and I’m so proud of the whole team for bringing the nations cup home. It’s something that we really wanted, so to be able to stand up there with the entire team and cheer together was spectacular. It was awesome."

In February of last year, Bohonnon made his Olympic debut in the freestyle skiing men's aerial event at Sochi, Russia. His hometown declared it Mac Bohonnon Day to honor him as he competed that day. He was the only American to advance to the final round, ultimately finishing in fifth place

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Tolland Intermediate School Dismissing Early


Tolland Intermediate School is being dismissed early because of a power problem at the school Monday morning.

One of three lines bringing power to the school failed, according to Tolland Superintendent Walter Willett.

The school has a generator, but it's not powerful enough to resolve the issue, so the school is dismissing for the students' safety.

Utility crews are on scene making repairs and Willett expects the intermediate school to be open on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

State Comptroller Expects $101.2 Million Deficit


The state comptroller expects the state will close the current fiscal year with a $101.2 million deficit.

Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo wrote to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy that his projection represents a $40 million increase in the state Office of Policy Management's last deficit calculation "as a result of  lower estimated income tax income tax collections."

A "federal change in capital gains" affected income tax receipts for fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

"Taxpayers shifted gains that were likely to occur in Fiscal Year 2014 to Fiscal Year 2013 in order to take advantage of the lower tax rates in place at that time," Lembo's office said in a news release.

While estimated income tax payments grew 4.9 percent in comparison to last year and the Office of Policy and Management reports it is "anticipating a rebound," Lembo said he "is not confident that the level of anticipated increase will be attained."

“In the past, these payments through January have provided an indication of the size of estimated and final payment receipts that can be expected in April,” Lembo said. “The OPM projection relies on a 20-percent variance between January and April. An increase of this scope has not occurred in the last decade."

Lembo also expressed concern that "trading volume that generates taxable receipts has been declining" since the stock market began recovering in 2009.

"It appears that one cause is an aging demographic that has shifted to lower risk portfolios with less trading volume," Lembo said. "Complicating matters further, volume has been heaviest at lower points in the market cycle, thus reducing the amount of taxable capital gains. For these reasons, I have reduced my income tax estimate by $40 million this month. I remain hopeful that April receipts will outpace my current projection, but I believe it is reasonable to lower expectations at this time.”

However, he said he believes "that the OPM savings target for the General Fund that now totals $276.8 million is attainable."

“Over the past five fiscal years, annual realized lapses have averaged $511.2 million. Although the current lapse target is a significant challenge, it is not inconsistent with past performance in difficult budget circumstances," Lembo said. “It should be noted that in past years legislative action has been required in many instances to attain the required savings level.”

As for the next proposed two-year state budget, the state is bracing for another $55 million in proposed cuts after budget chief Benjamin Barnes announced last week he had made a mistake in crafting the governor's biennial budget due to an issue with a vendor that helped calculate the state's spending cap.The formula used factored in data from the 2008 recession era, which led to a discrepancy between the actual spending cap and the one factored into Malloy's budget, he said.

"Nothing Gloomy": Sen. Barbara Mikulski in Her Own Words


She is known as the dean of the Senate among her women colleagues. She is often described as feisty.

And after she became the chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, The New York Times reported that although her predecessors were loved and respected, she was feared.

On Monday, the longest-serving woman in Congress announced that she would retire when her term ends in January 2017.

The Maryland Democrat became a senator in 1987 after 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, was the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee and was the first woman to head it.

Mikulski has long had a reputation for being blunt. Here are some of her memorable comments:

In January 2014, announcing a bipartisan appropriations bill, Mikulski said the process involved no "cute and funnies," according to U.S. News and World Report.

"This wasn’t kind of fun and Kumbaya," she said. "This was hard work."

Of women who are strong and persistent, she told the same publication: "Men fear us, but that is the way they talked about their mothers when they said 'clean up your room.' We said 'clean up your act, it is time we do something to help the American people.'"

In August 2013, The New York Times described a reporter calling out "Madame Chairwoman" as he tried to keep up with her in a hallway.

"That's right, 'Madame Chairwoman.' I like it," she said without stopping.

In July of that year, Mikulski halted a hearing when a BuzzFeed reporter, Rosie Gray, tweeted that she was trying to keep other senators from asking the director of the National Security Agency about the agency's data mining programs, The Times also reported.

"There is no attempt here to muzzle, stifle any senator from asking any line of question," she responded to the tweet.

"So, Rosie, it's an open hearing. Hi, look forward to keeping in touch."

"OMG WHAT IS GOING ON," Gray then tweeted.

"@SenatorBarb, call me!"

In 2013, Slate reported that when Republicans tried to encourage the rumor that Mikulski was gay, she denied it. She joked to Bob Shrum, who was working for her campaign: "There was no Ted Kennedy who ever asked me out."

Senate Republicans in 2013 blocked a bill she had sponsored aimed at tightening a law that made it illegal to pay women less than men for comparable jobs.

"When I hear all these phony reasons, some are mean and some are meaningless, I do get emotional," Mikulski said of arguments against the legislation. "I get angry. I get outraged. I get volcanic."

In her comments about her retirement on Monday, she reassured listeners about her decision.

"I want the people of Maryland to know there is nothing gloomy about this announcement," she said. "There's no health problem; I'm not frustrated with the Senate. The Senate will always be what the Senate is."

Photo Credit: AP

Greek Orthodox Priest Killed in Norwich Crash


A 37-year-old Greek Orthodox priest was killed in a crash on Route 2 in Norwich on Sunday afternoon, according to state police.

Police said Matthew Baker, of Danielson, was driving a 2002 Dodge Caravan west on Route 2 at 3:53 p.m. Sunday and was thrown from the van when he lost control, crossed into the snow-covered median and rolled several times before stopping on the east side of the highway.

The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston identified Baker as the Rev. Fr. Matthew Baker and said he was recently reassigned to the Holy Trinity Parish of Norwich a few weeks ago.

Baker was traveling home from the parish with his children, according to the church.

Three of Baker's six children were in the van -- a 2-year-old boy, a 3-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, at the time of teh crash, but they are OK.

Baker became a Greek Orthodox priest in January 2014 and had made a name for himself in the orthodox community as well as the parish in Norwich, gaining a reputation as an intellectual and a man committed to the spiritual needs of his parish.

"He was very quick to form deep relationships. It was very easy to talk to him, and to feel as if you had known him for a very long time," Fr. Nick Dellermann, of St. Nicholas Church, said.

Fr. Dean Panogis, of St. Sophia Church, said Baker was the kind of man and priest you made a quick connection to.

"We went to lunch one day and an hour and a half lunch ended being almost four and a half hours of talking as if I knew him all my life," Panogis said. "That's a kind of loving priest, a scholar, but very personable."

A GoFundMe page set up to support Father Matthew's family has been set up. You can donate here. 

So far, almost $181,000 has been donated in 16 hours. The goal is to raise $250,000.

Police ask anyone with information about the crash to call Trooper Scott Pierce at 860-848-6500, extension 5075.

Photo Credit: Photo of Father Baker from Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston

Women Jumped From Burning Bridgeport Home


Two women suffered head and back injuries when they jumped from the second floor of a burning home at 100 Lindley Street in Bridgeport on Monday morning.

Officials said they received calls around 9 a.m. reporting that people were trapped and jumping from the 2-story home. They rushed to the scene and found heavy fire coming from the front and left of the building.

A total of four people were injured in the blaze. Authorities said another female resident was hurt when she slipped on ice, and firefighters brought out a male resident who was disoriented. Fire officials said everyone is expected to survive.

The fire was under control by about 10:40 a.m., but the front porch of the house collapsed. The home has been deemed uninhabitable, according to the fire department. Eight residents have been displaced.

Officials said the blaze did not spread to surrounding buildings.

The American Red Cross is helping seven adults in three families with emergency needs, including food, clothing and shelter.

Photos from the scene this morning showed smoke and emergency vehicles, including at least one ambulance.

The Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority responded and is keeping the evacuated residents warm. Mass Care and Rehab Staging Area was set up at the corner of River and Winston streets.

Fire officials have asked residents to avoid the area.

The cause of blaze remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Man Attacked Cops, EMT After Drunken Car Jumping


Milford police have arrested two brothers after police officers and medics were assaulted during a drunken rampage on Saturday night, police said.

Police responded to a Spring Street home at 11:48 p.m. on Saturday to investigate reports that a drunken man was jumping on parked cars, police said and found Michael Assad, 23, and Anthony Assad, 24, who became combative with police, police said.

Michael is accused of hitting one officer with a door, hitting another in the face and throwing a car battery and other objects at the officers, police said. He also head-butted and kicked an emergency medical services employee who was treating him for injuries he sustained while damaging a window at the home, police said.

Police said Anthony Assad fled from the area and refused to comply the officers.

Michael Assad has been charged with two counts of assault on emergency personnel, second-degree breach of peace and interfering with police.

He was held on $100,000 bond.

Anthony Assad has been charged with second-degree breach of peace and interfering with police.
He was released on a promise to appear and is due in court on March 24.

SoCal Teens Find Teacher Hanging


Crisis counselors were called to an Orange County high school Monday morning after a group of students found a teacher hanging in a classroom, officials said.

The students at El Dorado High School in Placentia found the teacher, a woman, about 8:30 a.m., according to the Placentia Police Department.

The students arrived before school started to find the classroom door locked, Placentia Police Lt. Eric Point said. They got a teacher to unlock the door, when they then found the woman inside.

"She was just really involved in her students' lives," student Lacie Urquhart said. "She would ask everybody how their weekend was. If you were down, she would try to help you. She was just a very kind, loving person."

Officers said the death was a suicide but did not provide additional information about the teacher. 

The district sent crisis counselors to the school to comfort the students and staff and provide support.

Point said the students from the teacher's class were sent home for the day, but classes will continue for the rest of the high school.

Photo Credit: Kevin Dahlgren

Farmington K-9 Retires After 9 Years of Service


A Farmington police K-9 is retiring after nine years of service, and the department is sending him off with a reception Tuesday afternoon.

The police department will say goodbye to "Drak" at 2 p.m. Tuesday, thanking him and his handler, Officer Capodiferro, for nearly a decade of police work.

Farmington police will also introduce their new K-9 team of "Ryker" and his partner, Officer Mortensen.

Photo Credit: Farmington Police Department

LAPD Body Cam Shooting Video Probed


A man involved in a struggle with Los Angeles police "forcibly" reached for an officer's holstered weapon during a fatal Skid Row confrontation that was captured on video, Los Angeles' police chief said Monday.

A screengrab from one of several witness videos shows that the man, the subject of a 911 call to report a robbery, reaching for an officer's waist where his holstered weapon was located Sunday during the altercation, Chief Charlie Beck said at a Monday morning news conference.

The slide of the officer's gun was partly engaged, and its magazine was dislodged, indicating it was part of struggle, Beck said as he displayed pictures of the weapon.

He also said an officer in the video said "He has my gun" several times before three other officers opened fire in what the chief described as a tragedy.

"He forcibly grabbed one of the officers' holstered pistols," Beck said, adding that a round had been partially ejected from the gun's chamber. "This is indicative of a struggle over the weapon.

"This is an extreme tragedy. We feel great compassion in the LAPD for people who live in conditions of homelessness and, often, mental illness with no treatment. We prepare our officers to deal as best we can with them, but the reality is this much more than a problem that police along can solve."

Mayor Eric Garcetti was expected to discuss the case at a 1 p.m. meeting with staff members.

Two Los Angeles Police Department officers involved in Sunday's altercation that led to the fatal shooting were wearing a body cameras, providing police with another video for review in the department investigation, Beck said Monday.

Video from the camera was being obtained Sunday night by the LAPD's special Force Investigative Division, LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said Monday morning.

Several witness videos also show the midday shooting that occurred after the victim of the robbery report pointed officers to the man on Skid Row. Officers responding to the robbery report encountered the man in 500 block of South San Pedro Street.

The man can be seen on a bystander's video recording swinging his arms as officers approach. The man repeatedly refused to comply with officers' commands and a stun gun had "little effect," Beck said.

"While on the ground, the suspect and officers struggled over one of the officer's handguns and then an officer-involved shooting occurred," the LAPD said in a statement.

Officers first used a stun gun on the man, whose identity was not released early Monday. At least five rounds were fired, police said.

"They struggled with him, they tried to Tase him a couple of times," said Smith. "That was ineffective. Eventually, the struggle occurred where the officers were struggling with the individual over the officer's weapon."

The subject died at the scene. Two officers suffered minor injuries.

It was not immediately clear whether the body camera video would be released. In December, the city announced it would purchase 7,000 of the cameras, worn on the front of an officer's uniform. The announcement was an expansion to the existing pilot program that provided 600 body cameras through private donations.

Police also plan to interview witnesses and have asked others with video to come forward. LAPD also has contacted Union Rescue Mission to determine whether its camera system captured the shooting.

President Barack Obama announced late last year that he wants $263 million in federal funds to go toward training police officers and buying body cameras. The request came in the wake of protests over a grand jury's decision not to indict the white police officer who killed Michael Brown, an unarmed, 18-year-old black man, in Ferguson, Missouri.

Photo Credit: KNBC/KVEA

Female Serial Bank Robber Escaped From Custody: Cops


Police have identified the woman accused of holding up banks in Cromwell, East Hartford, Vernon, Wallingford and Wethersfield as 27-year-old Jennifer Labbe, who was recently released from prison and escaped custody.

Cromwell police said during a news conference Monday afternoon that DNA evidence has linked Labbe to the crimes. She was released from the York Correctional Institution in Niantic on Jan. 20 and disappeared days later from a Hartford residential facility.

Labbe, a convicted felon, was imprisoned for committing a home invasion and is wanted by Connecticut State Police for escaping custody, according to the Cromwell Police Department.

She is held responsible for nearly half a dozen robberies in the capitol region since Feb. 6 and is believed to be working alone. Cromwell police said Labbe has never shown a weapon but implied to bank tellers that she was carrying a gun.

Police have described Labbe as transient and said she's known to frequent Waterbury, Thomaston and Hartford.

The Mid-State Detective Squad is investigating, and the Connecticut Bankers Reward Association is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to her arrest.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is urged to call Cromwell police at 860-635-2256.

Photo Credit: Cromwell Police Department
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