Channel: NBC Connecticut
Viewing all 57608 articles
Browse latest View live

Postal Worker Stole Money Orders: Cops


Greenwich police have arrested a Greenwich postal worker who’s accused of stealing U.S. Postal money orders from the Old Greenwich Post Office.

Police started investigating the theft of money orders and obtained a warrant for Keiyana Marie Lawhorne, 22, of Stratford, on March 5, charging her with six counts of first-degree conspiracy to commit forgery and fourth-degree conspiracy to commit larceny.

She was arrested at the post office on Thursday afternoon and police said she was in possession of two stolen and altered money orders, so she was also charged with two counts of first-degree forgery and fourth-degree forgery.

Bond was set at $250,000, but Lawhorne was unable to post it and remains in police custody. She is due in court on March 13.

Photo Credit: Greenwich Police

Test Runs for CTfastrak Start Tomorrow


Service on CTfastrak begins at the end of the month, but two test runs are planned for this week to get drivers used to the way this will work.

The state Department of Transportation will hold two full-scale exercises this week to “simulate real-world operations” of the service, which starts on Saturday, March 28.

This is not a test run for passengers, instead it’s meant to familiarize drivers with what is to come because the buses will cross five local streets along the 9.4 mile route.

Weather permitting, the runs will happen on Tuesday, March 10, from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and on Wednesday, March 11, from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Beginning on March 28, the CTfastrak system will provide direct service to and from Waterbury, Cheshire, Southington, Bristol, Plainville, New Britain, Newington, West Hartford, Hartford and Manchester on the bus-only CTfastrak roadway.

Housatonic Valley Regional School in Falls Village Evacuated


Students have been evacuated from Housatonic Valley Regional School in Falls Village and bought to a nearby school as state police investigate a suspicious incident.

State Police have been at the school in Canaan since around 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. and said everyone is safe and no injuries are reported.

No additional information was immediately available.

Americans Deface Colosseum: Reports


Two 20-something tourists from California were arrested in Rome, Italy, for allegedly engraving their initials into the ancient Colosseum and posing for a selfie, Italian news media reported.

The women allegedly left their tour group on Saturday and used a coin to engrave the letters J and N some 3 inches high into the walls of the ancient World Heritage site, the newspaper La Stampa reported. Then they took a selfie. Finally, they apologized, according to reports.

“We apologize for what we did,” the pair reportedly said. “We regret it, but we did not imagine it was something so serious. We’ll remember for a lifetime.”

Buzzfeed's web address for the story was titled "idiots abroad."

Where the women hail from in California was not immediately known.

Police charged the duo with “aggravated damage on a building of historical and artistic interest” after angry tourists spotted them, Rome newspaper La Repubblica reported.

Carabinieri Capt. Lorenzo Iacobone said Monday that such acts "are extremely serious, and no one considers the damage they are creating."

He told NBC News that because the women have no criminal history, they would likely be fined, or tried in absentia at a later date. For now, he told NBC News, they are free to continue their vacation.

A Russian tourist who carved his initials into the Colosseum in November was handed a four-month suspended sentence and a fine of 20,000 euros.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

$1 Million Bond for East Windsor Rape Suspect


A convicted sex offender who is suspected of raping an exotic dancer at knife-point in East Windsor is being held on $1 million bond and has been ordered to stay away from the victim. 

Police said the crime James Michael Polk, 43, of South Windsor, is accused of is one of the worst they have seen in more than a decade.

Polk picked up the woman from Mardi Gras II, a local strip club where she worked as a dancer, then brought her to the business he manages, Power Service Concepts at 8 Thompson Road, and brutally raped her, according to East Windsor Police Det. Matthew Carl.

The victim sustained severe bruises, cuts and broken bones. 

"Her injuries were very brutal," Carl said. "Of having to do Major Crimes a long time, we've seen a lot of cases and this is one of the worst ones."

Police traced a 911 hang up to a landline phone at Power Service Concepts, where police forced their way into the building and found Polk armed with a knife, police said.

The victim was able to run to police when they arrived, Carl said. 

Polk allegedly told officers, "You're going to have to kill me," and slit his own throat when police held him at gunpoint and told him to drop the weapon, according to Carl.

Polk was rushed into surgery at Hartford Hospital. 

He has been charged with first-degree sexual assault, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree strangulation and violation of probation. He is being held on $750,000 for these charges and is due in court on March 24   

Bond was set at $250,000 for violation of probation for failing to register as a sex offender. He due in court on Tuesday for that charge.

The judge has issued a protective order on the victim's behalf.

Polk is listed on the state sex offender registry with convictions on third-degree sexual assault, sexual battery and kidnapping charges. Carl said he was arrested again in 2013 for failure to register as a sex offender in East Hartford.

Photo Credit: East Windsor Police
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

Farmington High Was Evacuated Over Bomb Threat


 Farmington High School was evacuated for around 40 minutes on Monday after a student found a bomb threat message written in a bathroom, according to Farmington Police.

As a precaution, the building was evacuated as police and school personnel, along with bomb-sniffing dogs, searched the building.

School administrators notified parents and students along with staff were allowed back into the building to resume the school day.

Photo Credit: Farmington Police

Police Investigate Armed Robbery at Milford Gas Station


Milford Police are searching for two men who robbed a gas station employee at gunpoint and stole cigarettes as well as the clerk’s belongings.

Police said two people, wearing masks, robbed the Mobil gas station at 118 Plains Road was robbed at 5 a.m. on Sunday.

One robber had a handgun and the two men took several packs of cigarettes, as well as the employee’s personal belongings, police said.

They left the area in a vehicle that was parked at the Hampton Inn, across the street at 129 Plains Road.

One of the two robbers was wearing a black ski mask and a black hooded
sweatshirt. The other was wearing a ski mask with a white skeleton face on it and a gray hooded sweatshirt.

Anyone with about the robbery should call Detective Cortes at 203-783-4731,
email jcortes@ci.milford.ct.us or submit a tip online

Reward Issued for Tips in Bank Robbery


State police are investigating a bank robbery in North Windham and a reward is being issued for tips that lead to an arrest.

A man robbed the Northeast Family Credit Union at 361 Boston Post Road at 11:52 a.m. on Friday.

He went to two tellers separately and demanded that they put all their money in a green bag that he’d brought into the bank and stashed under his vest, police said.

He did not show a weapon and might have driven off in a dark car with tinted windows.

The robber had facial hair and was wearing a dark blue winter hat, a black down vest with a dark-colored shirt underneath it, sunglasses, jeans, possibly black dress shoes and yellow possibly leather work-type gloves.

A $5,000 reward is being issued for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the robber.

Anyone with information about the robbery should call Sgt. Gabianelli of Eastern District Major Crime at (860) 625-5787.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

How Much Must You Make to Buy a House?


Can you afford a home in some of the top metro areas across the country?

A mortgage research site has calculated the yearly salary needed for median-priced homes in markets across the country, from the priciest to more affordable cities such as Pittsburgh.

To be able to make the monthly mortgage payments in San Francisco’s expensive market, you would have to earn $142,448, according to data compiled by HSH.com.

San Francisco’s median home price of $742,900 led the country’s housing market in the final quarter of last year.

Rounding out the top five were San Diego at $95,433 a year, Los Angeles at $89,665, New York at $87,536 and Boston at $80,050.

Other selected metro areas: Washington, D.C., $77,395; Miami, $58,431; Chicago, $54,346; Philadelphia, $50,914; and Dallas, $48,787.

The cheapest city on HSH.com’s list of 27 metro areas is Pittsburgh, where the median home price was $135,000. You would have make $31,716 to pay the principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments.

The difference between home prices in San Francisco and San Diego was nearly $250,000. The gap between San Francisco and Pittsburgh: $607,900.

Pittsburgh was the most affordable area on the list for the third quarter in a row, according to the data, which was released last month. It tied Washington, D.C., for the lowest mortgage rates at 3.98 percent.

HSH.com used fourth-quarter data for median-priced homes from the National Association of Realtors. It assumed 20 percent down and a 30-year fixed mortgage.

Fourth-quarter prices dropped when compared to the third quarter, but on a year-to-year basis, home prices continued to rise, HSH.com noted. On average they rose 25 percent over the past three years, it said.

For a home priced at the country’s median, with a 20 percent down payment, a buyer would have to make $48,604. With 10 percent down, the income needed rises to $56,140, which also includes the cost of private mortgage insurance or PMI required by the smaller down payment.

The National Association of Realtors also calculated the qualifying salaries for 5 percent and 10 down payments.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Off-Duty Cops, Barbers Nab Suspected Gunman


Two off-duty police officers and two barbers help nab a suspected gunman in New Haven over the weekend.

Off-duty New Haven Police Officers Miguel Aponte and Milton DeJesus were getting haircuts at Orlando's Barber Shop on Grand Avenue around 11 a.m. on Saturday when a barber reported a fight with a gun next door, police said.

Aponte and DeJesus went to see what was going on as on-duty officers were called and saw a man with a Jennings Arms 9mm handgun put the weapon in his pocket and head to the door, police said.

When Aponte and DeJesus identified themselves as police officers, Ryan Ward, 19, of New Haven, pulled out the gun, police said.

A barber, standing next to him smacked it out of his hand, police said and another barber stepped on it so Ward couldn't get it back.

Aponte and DeJesus then held onto Ward until on-duty officers arrived.

Police said the victim in the case had been pistol-whipped about a dozen times and suffered several facial lacerations. He was uncooperative and an ambulance transported him to Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Ward was taken into custody and charged with second-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, risk of injury to a child, carrying a pistol without a permit and breach of peace.

The gun, a loaded and chambered Jennings Arms 9mm handgun was taken as evidence as Officers interviewed several witnesses.

Police are investigating.

"A New Haven Police Officer is never off duty. Fast work by Officers Aponte and DeJesus took another gun off the street,” Police Chief Dean Esserman said in a statement. We are particularly grateful to the merchants who stepped in to help. Their swift actions will not be forgotten."

Photo Credit: New Haven Police

Rev Jackson Wades Into Chicago Race


The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Monday used a pile of garbage on Chicago's South Side to illustrate how city services are lacking in impoverished neighborhoods and said Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia was the better candidate to lead the city.

The high-profile endorsement from Jackson is a big boon to Garcia as he tries to earn the support of black voters, who are seen as crucial in the April 7 runoff with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Garcia over the weekend was endorsed by Rep. Danny Davis and by Teamsters Local 743, which endorsed Emanuel four years ago. Meanwhile, a poll out over the weekend continued to show that Emanuel and Garcia are in a statistical dead heat in the race.

But Garcia also has big-name detractors. At a separate event Monday, a group of city leaders said everything Garcia has promised during the campaign --  additional police officers and the removal of all red light cameras -- could cost the city an additional $1.9 billion.

"Since November, Chuy Garcia has been promising, promising, and promising to spend the city's money like it's a money tree," said Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), who chairs the City Council's Committee on the Budget and Government Operations. "But after 20 years in public office, he isn't doing, he has no plan to pay for all of these pipe dreams."

Emanuel worked with Jackson's son, Jesse Jackson Jr., when both were in the House of Representatives. Jackson Jr. is currently serving time in prison on charges he used campaign cash on personal items. Jackson Jr.'s wife, Sandi Jackson, was a Chicago alderman until she resigned in 2013.

Photo Credit: Charlie Wojciechowski

Glastonbury Police Make Road Rage Arrest


A Glastonbury man is accused of punching a man and ramming his car several times after a crash on Friday night.

Police responded to Chestnut Hill Road in Glastonbury at 10:52 p.m. on Friday to investigate after receiving a report that a man punched another and rammed the victim’s car several times from behind after a crash.

Officers located Dustin Kerr, 36, at his home, around a third of a mile away from the scene of the incident, and identified him as the suspect.

He was arrested and charged with third-degree assault, first-degree criminal mischief. Second-degree reckless endangerment and improper right turn.

Kerr is due in court on March 25.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Student Falls from Building at UConn


A UConn student is in critical condition after falling from the roof of the tallest building on the Storrs campus.

UConn Police received several 911 calls shortly before midnight on Sunday, reporting that a man had fallen from the roof of the Biophysics Building, 110-foot-tall building, on North Eagleville Road.

The student’s fall was slightly cushioned by a snow bank, according to UConn, but his injuries were described as very serious.

A patrol officer rushed to the scene and an ambulance transported the student to Windham Hospital, then Life Star helicopter flew him to Hartford Hospital, according to a statement from UConn.

It appears the student was alone on the roof in an area that is not open to public access and officials do not suspect foul play, but UConn Police are investigating.

UConn has been in touch with the student’s family.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Innocent Man May Not Be Freed Yet


A man who served nearly 21 years in prison for a rape and kidnapping he didn't commit has been exonerated after new DNA evidence proved his innocence — but officials say he may not be freed yet, because of charges that he destroyed a prison sink while in solitary confinement.

The charges against Angel Gonzalez, now 41, in a 1994 rape and kidnapping in north suburban Waukegan have been dismissed, Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim announced Monday.

Gonzalez served nearly 21 years at the Dixon Correctional Center, after he was convicted and sentenced in 1994 to more than 50 years in prison.

The Innocence Project, which worked to free him, says that Gonzalez, who spoke little English, falsely confessed in 1994 after being interrogated for several hours "under humiliating circumstances using deceptive interrogation practices." He had no prior criminal record, the group added.

Recent DNA testing proved his innocence, the group said.

"If words were enough I'd say I'm sorry and I am sorry," said Nerheim. ""we are sorry this has happened and it seems trivial when you’re talking about 21 years of a person’s life but it’s important to note that we did work alongside the Innocence Project."

Although both the rape and kidnapping charges were vacated Monday, Gonzalez was not released from prison because of an outstanding conviction on a charge of criminal damage to state property from 1996, according to the Department of Corrections.

That 3-year sentence stems from an incident where he allegedly destroyed a sink while in solitary confinement, officials said.

Officials expect a hearing on that charge soon. 

"I just to say thank you to everybody for coming for brother," said Gonzalez's brother Saul Gonzalez. "I hope he can get out soon."

On July 11, 1994, prosecutors say a woman was abducted by two men from her apartment.

The Chicago Tribune reported the two men dragged the victim to a sedan and drove her to another location, where the woman says she was raped in some bushes by a man she said was Gonzalez. The woman ran and hid from her attackers, but the second man reportedly found her and raped her.

An officer testified in court that Gonzalez matched the description the woman gave them for one of her attackers, and the woman identified him, testifying in court that “he was wearing the same clothes, everything,” the Tribune reported.

Gonzalez reportedly confessed to participating in the assault. Despite the confession, he also gave officials an alibi, which the Innocence Project claims wasn’t fully investigated.

New DNA testing revealed that forensic material from the victim came from two men, but neither of the DNA profiles matched Gonzalez.

"This new evidence is substantial and casts serious doubt on the guilt of Angel Gonzalez," the Lake County State's Attorney's office said in a release.

Prosecutors say the news has been hard for the victim in the case, who is now in her 50s and whose attackers have not been caught.

Gonzalez, a Mexican national, was also in the process of obtaining a visa before he was arrested, but it wasn’t clear if he would be deported after his release, according to Innocence Project spokesman Paul Cates.

Photo Credit: Illinois Department of Corrections

Hartford Mayor Segarra Gives State of City Address


Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra is scheduled to deliver the State of the City on Monday night.

The address in front of the Court of Common Council at City Hall will begin at 5 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Fire, Explosion at Greenwich House


Greenwich firefighters responded to a small explosion and fire at a North Ridge Road home on Monday afternoon.

A resident in the home sustained minor injuries.

It's unclear if anyone else was home at the time or what caused the blaze and explosion.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: Greenwich Police Department

Skier Falls, Dies During Fundraiser


A 34-year-old New Hampshire man skiing at a Make-a-Wish fundraiser plunged 60 feet off the slopes to his death Monday morning.

Samuel Moore of North Conway was skiing in the 5 Corners area at Wildcat Mountain in Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire, around 9:30 a.m. when he lost control, tumbled down the trail and fell over a 60-foot drop, state police say. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Moore was at the ski mountain participating in the Make-A-Wish Foundation's 12th annual 100,000 Vertical Foot Challenge fundraising event.

According to Skiwildcat.com, the field was limited to 40 participants and challenged skiers and riders to log a total of 48 runs on the Lynx Trail to achieve 100,000 vertical feet over nine hours, non-stop.

That leaves an average of 4.5 minutes to complete each run. The event was open to skiers and riders of all abilities, and helmets were required for the event.

Prior to this year, the event had raised more than $595,000 to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire.

Organizers stopped the event following the incident, Wildcat said.

"This is a tragedy to what is traditionally a fun and self-fulfilling challenge for participants and a major fundraising event for Make-A-Wish of New Hampshire," Wildcat General Manager Brian Heon said. "My thoughts, and those of Wildcat Mountain and its employees, go out to the family and friends of this man."

Assisting at the scene were the Gorham EMS, Wildcat Ski Patrol, the U.S. Forest Service and state police. Anyone with information is asked to contact state police Detective Sgt. Sheldon Belanger at 603-846-5517. 

Photo Credit: FILE - Wildcat Mountain

Girls Controversial Hockey Title Tie Leaves Confusion


Players and coaches were outraged and confused after a tight state championship game between Simsbury and ETB  girls hockey teams in Stamford was called at a draw after two overtime rounds, declaring the teams co-champions.

Simsbury and ETB, which stands for Eagles, Tomahawks, and Bobcats, the mascots of East Catholic, Glastonbury and South Windsor high schools, were tied at 2 Saturday after two overtime periods when referees called the game. They thought they would play as many overtimes as it took to produce a winner.

"We went in there thinking we would have a winner and they changed the rules on us in the middle of the game and decided there wouldn't be a winner," said Leyna DiMarco of ETB. "It's disappointing. We wish we could play the game again and have a re-do."

Immediately after the girls came was called, the Darien and Greenwich boys' ice hockey teams took to the ice for their title game as scheduled. A Fairfield County conference was running the tournaments and tournament officials have denied favoring boys or their local teams over the girls championship game.


As Simsbury High's girls' co-champion hockey players took to the ice for one last practice Monday just two days after tying the state finals, players were still confused over what had happened that didn't allow them to play longer.

"We finished in a tie, I guess," said Maggie Grigely, of Simsbury, after the final practice Monday. "We're still confused about it."

DiMarco was on Glastonbury High's state co-champion field hockey team after a tie in the CIAC final. But a "re-do" wouldn't be a clean rematch. Sutton Wunderle, of Simsbury, one of its captains, was injured in the third period of the championship game.

"I feel like it needs to be more regulated," she said. "We just hope in the future it doesn't happen again. Hopefully they take this and set some standards for the girls."

Girls' ice hockey doesn't fall under the rules of the CIAC.

The two teams played each other three times during the regular season, winning once, losing once and tying once.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut.com

Senators Propose Capping Spending at State Colleges


Top lawmakers in the Connecticut General Assembly say one of the best ways to make state institutions more affordable is to put their money where their mouths are.

Sen. Martin Looney, along with several other Senate Democrats proposed capping spending for administrative costs at both UConn and the Board of Regents.

"We want to see those funds prioritized for faculty and student needs" Looney said during a press conference Monday.

When asked whether the proposal put a target on high six-figure salaries at UConn, Looney said, “Absolutely that has to be a part of it. Significant part of it.”

Other proposals include allowing students to refinance their loans and opening up financial aid for the children of illegal immigrants. Those students, Looney argues, have lived in Connecticut for their entire lives.

On making college more affordable, other senators remarked that the cost of college has led to major life decisions and purchases being delayed in some cases indefinitely.

“They delay buying their first home. They delay buying a new car and they definitely delay starting a family" said Sen. Mae Flexer, (D - Brooklyn).

Sam Silva, a Senior Criminology Major at Central Connecticut State University, said he thinks about his student loans all the time and hopes he gets a good job when he graduates.

“I’m just hoping that it’s all worth it once I get out of here. I’m looking to get a good job and hopefully afford that and every other expense I’m going to have.”

He also says he's not optimistic that the cost of attending college is going to go down any time soon.

“If you look at the past, college was actually pretty affordable back then and now it’s just getting harder and harder as the year goes on. You can just see the prices every single year just going up.”

Liquor Store Proposals Face Opposition from Store Owners


Owners of package stores from across Connecticut crammed into the lobby of the Legislative Office Building Monday as a show of defiance against the governor's proposals to make changes to their operations.

Under Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's plan, liquor sales would be allowed until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 p.m. on Sundays, according to the Mirror. Liquor stores are currently open until 5 p.m. on Sunday.

"They are not mandatory" said Office of Policy and Management Secretary Benjamin Barnes who handles budget matters for the Malloy administration. "They are optional.”

Malloy has proposed to allow liquor stores to remain open longer during the week and on weekends, and modify minimum pricing rules, allowing for great competition among stores.

But that's not how smaller store owners view the ideas.

“It just seems anti-small business to me" said Greg Nemergut, the owner of West Side Wines and Spirits in West Hartford. "It sounds like it's meant for the big stores."

Nemergut's store primarily sells wines and doesn't make much off of liquor sales but said the proposed changes confuse him. He doesn't see the need for what Malloy and Barnes are pushing.

“I don’t think my customers are screaming at me to be open until 10 o'clock at night or until eight oclock on Sundays. I just don’t see that. I’m going to respond my clientele and that’s just a personal decision on my part.”

Barnes says the proposals are meant to improve Connecticut's competitive position in New England. He says the increased hours will lead to more customers from neighboring states purchasing alcohol in Connecticut. The projected increases in revenue are paltry in the grand scheme of the state's $18 billion budget for FY 2016. Barnes projects that the measures will raise slightly more than $3 million total.

“Our estimated revenue is based on the assumption that there will be increased sales particularly at locations near the borders during those expanded hours," Barnes told the Finance Committee.

Small business owners say they don't want to see larger retailers that can afford more operating costs get their business.

"This isn't about not wanting to do the work" Nemergut said. "I'll never turn customers away but I will make adjustments to fit my clientele."

At 11 a.m., there was a public hearing on the governor's budget in the Legislative Office Building, including the  governor's plans for establishments that sell beer, wine and spirits.

If the liquor store proposal passes, the new hours would go into effect as of Jan. 1, 2016.

Viewing all 57608 articles
Browse latest View live