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Bar Attack Suspect Charged With Attempted Murder


Police arrested four people and charged one of them with attempted murder in connection to a stabbing and assaults at The Red Door bar in Watertown on Sunday that sent three people to the hospital.

Jamar "Styles" Smith, 31, of Waterbury, is facing multiple charges including criminal attempt at murder and Franklin "Frankie" Damon Jr., 33, Frederick "Freddie" Bonds, 27, of Waterbury, and Kelly Hernandez, 31, of Waterbury, are facing numerous assault charges.

A brawl started in the bar between nine people at about 1:45 a.m. Sunday, but the most serious attacks happened outside the 675 Main St. bar after security guards kicked the group out. One man was stabbed in the torso with a knife and another man was hit over the head with a beer bottle, police said. A group of people assaulted a woman, bruising her face and body after throwing her to the ground and repeatedly hitting and kicking her.

The attackers took off in two SUVs, including a light-colored Nissan and possibly a dark Acura, police said.

Police were looking for six people captured on surveillance footage, but it's unclear if police expect any more arrests.

Smith and Damon Jr. were both charged with first-degree and third-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace. Smith is also charged with criminal attempt at murder.

Bonds and Hernandez were charged with third-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace.

School Delays, Crashes in Fairfield Co. Amid Snow


Traffic is a mess in Fairfield county after snow squalls this morning caused slippery conditions. Some schools are also delayed because of the burst of snow.

Danbury, Ridgefield and Weston are some of the school districts will delays so far. Click here to see the full list.

Snow has been falling in the Fairfield, Westport, Stamford and Danbury areas and Route 7, Interstate 84 and the Merritt Parkway (Route 15) are particularly slick.

There are delays on Interstate 95 between Norwalk and Bridgeport. There are also heavy delays on the Merritt Parkway.


The Merritt Parkway was closed in the southbound direction in Trumbull at exit 48 due to a three-vehicle crash with injuries, but one lane has reopened. Then, a tractor-trailer got stuck and another vehicle crashed into it, causing further delays.

In Greenwich, a tractor-trailer was blocking a lane of Interstate 95 South in the area of exit 3.

In Westport, a tractor-trailer collided with a car on the Saugatuck River Bridge on Interstate 95 north at exit 18.  Traffic was nearly stopped in that area and has also been slow in Norwalk as snow continues to fall. There are two other crashes on I-95, including some spinouts.

There was a ladder in the roadway on Route 25 South in Trumbull between the exit 9 ramps.

There have also been multiple spinouts on Interstate 84.

Follow NBC Connecticut traffic reporter Heidi Voight on Twitter (@HeidiVoight) for live traffic updates.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Police ID 2 Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide


State police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide in a home near the town green on Main Street in Durham that happened Tuesday night.

Police found a man, a woman and a family dog dead outside the home at 73 Main Street after responding to a 911 call at about 7:36 p.m. Tuesday reporting two people possibly dead there, state police said.

Terry Oakes Bourret, 71, and Donald Bourret, 74, who lived together at the home, and their dog died of "apparent" gunshot wounds in what state police believe is a murder-suicide by firearm, according to state police.

The Major Crimes Squad was called in soon after and investigators were on scene for more than 10 hours searching the single-family home and the Terry Oakes Bourret Art Studio directly behind it, photographing the scene and collecting evidence, including a gun found by one of the deceased parties. The investigation focused on the area behind the home near the art studio.

The state medical examiner will examine the two bodies to determine the causes of death.

The incident remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Community Rallies to Rebuild Fire-Ravaged Meeting House


The Bridgeport mayor's office and a Fairfield County non-profit organization plan to rebuild a meeting house destroyed in a fire on Monday.

The fire happened at Reservoir Community Farm, according to the non-profit Green Village Initiative, which announced on its website that "the beautiful green shed that greeted us each morning...burned to the ground." The farm is located near the intersection of Reservoir Avenue and Yaremich Drive in Bridgeport.

"While we are saddened by this, it has rejuvenated our efforts to make this upcoming season our best," Green Village Initiative said on its website, thanking the community for its support. "Efforts are underway to clean the site, rebuild our community classroom and grow back stronger."

Gridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, contractors and businesses are banding together with the non-profit to rebuild the meeting house.

“I believe in Green Village Initiative and its mission. We’re committed to rebuilding,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “This is such an important community asset. This garden knits people together and makes a stronger community, and we will do everything we can to support residents to make the neighborhood farm better than ever.”

Green Village Initiative co-founder Monique Bosch said she's "blown away by the amount of support from the community, from the mayor's office and from the schools."

Finch and the non-profit will announce more information on the rebuilding plan at 4:15 p.m. at the community farm.

Hampton Coach Calls Jesus For Help Against Kentucky


Hampton University squeaked into the NCAA tournament after a first round win against Manhattan. Now the Virginia school is up against undefeated and top-seeded Kentucky – a favorite to take the tournament.

Hampton's head coach isn't counting on divine intervention.

When the coach, Edward Joyner Jr., was asked about his team's odds, he picked up his cell phone and pretended to make a call. He then joked that he had "Jesus on speed dial."

“Hey, Jesus?” Joyner told reporters. “They want to know how much of a mountain and what our odds are. Hello? Hello? I guess he'll get back to me so I'll get back to you."

Hampton is up against tough odds. No team ranked 16 in the tournament has ever won the big dance against a No. 1 seed.

“It’s a heck of a mountain,” Joyner said.

If they win that one game, it'll be an upset of biblical proportions. 

Photo Credit: AP
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Air Force Vet Pleads Not Guilty to Trying to Join ISIS


A U.S. Air Force veteran and former airplane mechanic from New Jersey charged with attempting to join the Islamic State group in Syria pleaded not guilty Wednesday to terrorism charges.

A bearded Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, wearing prison-issued khaki pants and a blue short-sleeved shirt, repeated his full name when asked but said nothing else before Judge Nicholas Garaufis in a New York federal courthouse. His attorney, Michael K. Schneider, entered the plea on his behalf. He declined to address reporters after the brief court appearance.

Pugh, 47, of Neptune, was indicted Tuesday on charges of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group and obstructing justice.

He was stopped at a Turkish airport in January carrying a laptop containing information on Turkey-Syria border crossing points as well as 180 jihadist propaganda videos, including one featuring an Islamic State prisoner beheading, according to an indictment.

In a letter addressed to a woman investigators believe is Pugh's Egyptian wife, Pugh declared: "I will use the talents and skills given to me by Allah to establish and defend the Islamic States," according to court papers.

"There is only two possible outcomes for me," said the letter, which was recovered from his computer. "Victory or martyr."

The computer, as well as thumb drive data-storage devices and other recovered equipment, appeared to have been intentionally destroyed to deny investigators access, the indictment said.

Garaufis scheduled a May 8 status conference to review prosecutors' evidence and discuss any possible plea negotiations. Schneider said in court he would need time for his own forensic expert to review the data seized by federal authorities and to coordinate interviews with potential witnesses in Turkey, Egypt and elsewhere.

Pugh has been living overseas for the past year and a half, most recently in Egypt, the court papers show.

Pugh served in the Air Force from 1986 to 1990 and was trained in installing and maintaining aircraft engines and navigation and weapons systems. The airman first class was first assigned in July 1987 to the Woodbridge Air Base in England and then to the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona in July 1989, the Air Force said. After leaving the air force, he worked as an avionics specialist and mechanic for companies in the Middle East and U.S.

The FBI got a 2001 tip about Pugh from a co-worker at American Airlines who said Pugh expressed sympathy for Osama bin Laden, according to court papers. The airline said he left in early 2000 after a few months at American. In 2002, an associate of Pugh's again told the FBI that Pugh was interested in traveling to Chechnya to wage war, the indictment said.

Pugh was stopped by Turkish authorities on Jan. 10, and returned to the U.S. five days later by way of Egypt. He told investigators he was in Turkey on vacation and to look for a job and had no intention of crossing into Syria, the indictment said.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Facebook/LinkedIn/NBC 4 New York

Poison Center Calls About Kids Hit 1.3 Million: Report


Poison centers across the country get more than 1,100 calls a day that relate to children sickened by medicine, according to a new report.

In all, there were 1.3 million poison center calls about children 19 and under in 2013, the report by Safe Kids Worldwide found. The vast majority of those calls, 53 percent, involved 1 and two year-olds and medicine, a number that the organization Safe Kids Worldwide called “alarming” and “most surprising”

Older children are also at risk for unintentional medicine poisoning, the report found, sometimes experiencing far more serious outcomes. Teens 15 to 19 were six times more likely to experience "moderate or major effects" from unintentional ingestion than children 1 to 4 years old.

The report, “Medicine Safety for Children: An In-Depth Look at Calls to Poison Centers,” analyzed data from 547,042 calls made to poison centers across the country in 2013. It found that 81 percent of the children were given the wrong medicine, while the remaining got too much. More than 10,000 emergency room visits are made each year for over-the-counter medicine overdoses by adolescents, the report said.

The most common accidentally ingested items for children under age 4, according to the report, are ibuprofen, multivitamins and diaper care and rash products. Nearly half of the emergency room visits were connected to the consumption of those products, which the report said can fall into kids' hands after being found on the ground, a nightstand or in a purse.

For teens, the top medicine mistakes were related to forgetting to take drug and then doubling up, taking two medicines with the same ingredient and taking the wrong medicine.

Fallen Trees Cause Power Outages at Putnam Schools


The elementary, middle and high schools in Putnam began dismissing students at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday after fallen trees brought down power lines and left the schools in the dark, according to the superintendent.

All after-school programs have been canceled. The superintendent's office said crews expect to restore power this evening and classes will be held as scheduled tomorrow.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Power Out, Traffic Diverted on Route 44 in Canton


Traffic is being diverted after a large tree came down at Route 44 and East Hill Road in Canton, knocking out power to traffic lights.

This started a fire and power is out to all lights on Route 44, from Route 179 to the Simsbury town line are out.

Around 885 customers are out of power on Canton now.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Route 5 Reopens in Enfield


Route 5 has reopened in Enfield after a fallen tree blocked traffic between Mullen Road and Weymouth Road for about two hours Wednesday afternoon.

Police said the road had reopened by about 4:30 p.m.

Police Arrest Machete-Wielding Man in New Haven


Police have arrested a man who threatened an acquaintance with a machete during a fight in New Haven on Tuesday night.

According to police, officers pulled over a car driven by Corey Brown, 24, on Tuesday and ticketed him for driving too fast. Brown then began arguing with passenger Christopher Rodriguez, 30, about his driving.

The two parked at 92 Emerson Street and Rodriguez grabbed a machete. Police said Brown grabbed the blade, cutting his fingers. Brown was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment.

Rodriguez admitted to picking up the machete to scare Brown but told investigators he never swung it, according to police.

He was charged with first-degree threatening and first-degree reckless endangerment.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police Department

Spilled Paint Thinner Prompts Hazmat Response


Firefighters in Trumbull were called to a loading dock at Kennedy Industries on Lindeman Drive on Wednesday afternoon after spilled paint thinner mixed with gasoline residue and created fumes, according to the fire department.

Officials with the Trumbull fire department said the fumes created a vapor that traveled into the ventilation system of the building at 39 Lindeman Drive. Firefighters responded to the scene around 1 p.m..

No one was hurt, and fire officials said crews ventilated the building within half an hour.

Photo Credit: Google Maps

3rd Arrest in Murder Over Spilled Coffee


Stamford police have arrested a third person in connection with the slaying of a 52-year-old man who bumped into a teen at a Stamford McDonald's and spilled coffee.

Antonio Muralles, 52, of Stamford, was beaten with a stick and stabbed in the heart in front of the McDonald's at 25 Bedford Street last Wednesday evening.

Police previously arrested a 15-year-old  boy and James McLamb, 22, of New Haven, who have been charged with murder.

On Wednesday, police also secured an arrest warrant for a 17-year-old Stamford resident who they said was seen leaving the scene with possible evidence. The warrant charges the teen with second-degree hindering prosecution. 

He was taken into custody on Sherman Street today and brought to the Bridgeport Juvenile Detention Center. He will be arraigned on March 19.

According to police, Muralles tried to apologize to the group of three to five people, but they did not want to hear it and things escalated to the attack.

EMS crews responding to an unrelated matter found Muralles at the corner of Broad and Bedford streets and noticed a stab wound to the chest while treating him.

Muralles was then transported to Stamford Hospital, where he went through emergency surgery for several hours but died at 1:07 a.m.

The 15-year-old allegedly stabbed Muralles several times in the arms and torso, police said. He had been hiding out in Waterbury and was arrested on Monday in Stamford after returning home, police said.

The stabbing was Stamford's first homicide of 2015.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woman Killed by Flying Plywood


A 37-year-old woman died after being whacked by a piece of flying plywood jarred loose from a Greenwich Village construction site by Tuesday's high wind gusts, authorities say.

The woman was walking east on West 12th Street shortly before 6 p.m., as sustained winds crept up near 30 mph with gusts as high as 45 in parts of the city, when a 4-by-8 piece of plywood flung off a security fence at a construction site across the street and smacked into her body.

The plywood hit the woman at a high rate of speed, police said, causing her to collapse and hit her head on the sidewalk. She suffered severe head trauma, bruising and lacerations, police said.

The woman was pronounced dead shortly after midnight at Bellevue Hospital.  

A pedestrian on the sidewalk Wednesday said the accident was horrific.

"This street is a wind tunnel and it's been rather dangerous," she said. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

Navy Sailor Killed in Parachute Jump Training


A U.S. Navy sailor was killed Wednesday afternoon during parachute jump training in Southern California, according to a statement released by the U.S. Navy.

Firefighters responded to a report of a "skydiver down" in an area along Highway 74 near Richard Street shortly after 9 a.m. in Perris, about 20 miles southeast of Riverside. Details surrounding the death were not immediately available.

The victim was identified by officials with Naval Special Warfare Group ONE, based in Coronado, as a sailor with the West Coast-based unit. The victim "died from injuries sustained during parachute jump training," according to a Navy statement.

His parachute was scattered on the ground as officials carried him away after draping the remains in a U.S. flag.

Perris is a popular area for skydivers with one of the largest skydiving centers in the world, Skydive Perris, operating out of the Perris Valley Airport, according to the company's website. Calls to the skydiving school were referred to the United States Department of Defense.

This is a developing story, refresh for updates.

Photo Credit: KNBC NewsChopper4

Luck of the Irish: Twin Girls Born on St. Patrick's Day


With a name like O'Hara, what better day to be born than St. Patrick’s Day?

Andrea O'Hara gave birth to twin girls on Tuesday in San Diego after 12 hours of labor. They arrived six minutes apart: Tessa Riley at 3:47 p.m.; McKenzie Faith at 3:53 p.m.

"An Irish family with Irish babies for St. Patrick’s Day, everyone’s just ecstatic," she said.

The twins were born early to their parents' surprise, so unexpected that there is a corned beef thawing in the family's refrigerator.

"They’re twins so our doctor predicted they’d come a couple of weeks early and they came three weeks early," their father, Todd O'Hara, said.

The couple has known each other since the fifth grade, then reconnected at the Rancho Bernardo High School reunion and had been trying to conceive for about five years.

Andrea O'Hara has an older daughter, Leigha, who is 10, and who with her sisters will have no shortage of new cousins. A total of eight additions to the O'Hara family were expected between November and June.

Andrea O'Hara is a contract manager for the San Diego Unified School District. Todd O'Hara works as a project manager for the Lockheed Martin Corp. Both are 36 and live in Rancho Bernardo.

The girls were delivered by Dr. Gary O’Hara, who is no relation to the family, at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital.

In honor of the holiday, Todd O'Hara's family brought a Guinness to the hospital to celebrate.

“We were already so grateful to be having these babies after five years of struggling to conceive,” he said. “And to have it happen on Saint Patrick’s Day – what could be luckier?”

Just to be sure of that luck, he wore a green T-shirt with O'Hara printed on the front for their birth.

Photo Credit: Courtesy photo
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Budget Cuts Could Drive the Elderly Into Nursing Homes


Buried in hundreds of millions in cuts in the governor's budget is about $3 million in reductions for the state's Home Care Program for Elders, which allows seniors who meet certain financial eligibility requirements to live at home and receive care from the state.

Evelyn Babella has utilized the program for 10 years and currently pays $30 per month to participate. She shudders at what the alternative may look like.

"It means everything," Babella said in her Manchester home. "I don’t want to live in a nursing home! My God! For heaven’s sake!”

Babella said the program allows her to live in her own home with her 18-year-old dachshund, Henrietta. She doubts Henrietta could go with her to a nursing home.

"I couldn’t have her in a nursing home. And she’s my baby. She’s my little one," Babella said.

State Sen. Beth Bye, a Democrat from West Hartford who chairs the legislature's Appropriations Committee, said she's "very concerned" about the future of the program.

"I think it’s a program that’s keeping seniors in their community and reducing reliance on nursing homes," Bye said.

Even though she wants to protect the program, Bye conceded that this year's budget presents struggles across all agencies and programs.

"The cuts are very alarming and there aren’t a lot of options, so we’re looking at cuts," she explained. "We have to take them all seriously and do our best to take care of ones like this that really save money but there are no silver bullets. This is a very difficult budgets."

Babella said she wants to stay in her home as long as possible with Henrietta and can't afford to pay more for the home health program, which is what the governor wants to do.

"It means my independence to live here and I don’t understand. If you’re going to cut anything, don’t cut for people that have worked all their life and now are seniors. It’s just not right," she said.

Young Children Left Alone for Hours in New Haven: Cops


New Haven police have arrested a mom accused of leaving her 1- and 7-year-old children home alone for hours Friday night and early Saturday morning.

Police said they were called to a third-floor apartment on Howard Avenue around 1 a.m. Saturday upon receiving an anonymous report of unsupervised children.

They arrived to find a 1-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl home alone and said the children went several hours without adult supervision. The kids were not hurt.

Police arrested the children's mother and charged her with risk of injury. She has not been publicly identified.

The Department of Children and Families placed the children in the care of their relatives.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Connecticut Considers Assisted Suicide Bill


State legislators heard deeply divided testimony Wednesday on a proposal that would allow for doctors to work with patients and prescribe drugs that would lead to their deaths.

The measure is known as "aid-in-dying" or "physician-assisted suicide." The practice is legal in just four states: Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont.

Supporters of the proposal said they have a right to end their lives the way they want to.

Connecticut resident Charles Silbert received his prostate cancer diagnosis a year ago.

"I’ve never been afraid to die, but I am afraid of how I may die. I’ve seen my mother die a bad death and I’ve seen other people die a bad death," he said.

Silbert described his possible end as "gruesome" and "unpleasant." He said he has a right to make that death a little easier.

“I want the choice and that does not mean that I do not want palliative care for as long as it works. The question is how long will it work? How well will it work?" Silbert said.

Not all patients feel the same way. During the hearing, lawmakers heard from a number of others who described physician-assisted suicide as a quick way out.

“Let’s put our great Connecticut minds toward great pain management techniques, early and easily accessible palliative and hospice care," said Maggie Karner, who suffers from terminal brain cancer.

She said the focus should turn toward extending life rather than ending it.

Karner is involved with an experimental program at Yale University, which she said could lead to a cure down the road.

"I want to fight this disease for myself and possibly for others," Karner said.

Silbert said laws have been geared toward specific cases in the past and wants lawmakers to act now on what he refers to as a civil rights issue.

"I feel the way the law is now, it truly is unfeeling, inhumane, and you know, I’ve got to do something," he said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Winds Bring Down Trees, Knock Out Power For 2nd Day in a Row


Whipping winds of up to 50 mph have brought down trees and power lines in several communities for the second day in a row.

Eversource Energy reported a total of more than 5,000 power outages around the state Wednesday afternoon. Many outages are concentrated in Portland, where a fallen tree took down wires and a utility pole snapped on Cox Road near Route 17.

Strong winds blew over a gas station canopy on Washington Avenue in Middletown, downed wires cut power to the elementary, middle and high schools in Putnam this afternoon, prompting a 2:30 p.m. dismissal.

Fire broke out when a large tree came down on Route 44 in Canton. Power was knocked out to traffic lights from Route 179 to the Simsbury town line.

Sunrise Hill Drive was closed at Ridgewood Road in West Hartford while crews worked to remove a tree from the road. The fire department in Windsor Locks reported that wires came down across South Street.

School buses in Mansfield were also affected. The school sent an alert Wednesday saying bus 1 was about 25 minutes late because of a fallen tree.

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