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Route 214 in Ledyard Closed Due to Pole Repairs


Route 214 is closed in Ledyard after a car struck a utility pole.

The pole snapped in the collision and Eversource crews are replacing the pole, according to Ledyard police. 

No one was seriously injured.

The road is closed as Eversource crews make repairs.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Hartford St. Patrick's Day Parade


After rescheduling due to rain, the Hartford St. Patrick's Day Parade marched through the capital city Saturday, March 21, 2015 despite the snow.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Fire in Colchester


Crews responded to a fire in Colchester on Saturday.

The fire happened on Westchester Road.

No further details were immediately available. 

Drunken Driver Arrested After Crashing Into Home: Cops


A Norwich man also wanted in New London and Rhode Island is facing multiple charges after crashing into a Plainfield home and fleeing the scene late Thursday night, police said.

Police responded to 592 Norwich Road at 10:03 p.m. Thursday after receiving a 911 call reporting a car ran into the home. Driver Michael Roberts, 38, ran from the scene, but police found him a short distance away, arrested him and took him to Backus Hospital in Norwich to be treated for injuries, police said. Two passengers in his car who were also found were not injured, police said.

There was also an outstanding warrant for his arrest in New London and there was a warrant to have him extradited to Rhode Island for another case, police said. The nature of the other charges is unknown.

Police charged Roberts with driving under the influence of alcohol and or drugs, failure to maintain the proper lane, evading the scene of an accident, two counts of interfering, operating without a license, violation of probation and fugitive from justice.

He appeared in Danielson Superior Court on Friday.

Webster Bank Robbed in Bethany: State Police


State police are investigating a robbery at a Bethany bank.

A man robbed the Webster Bank at 696 Amity Road Saturday morning and fled the scene in a vehicle. The bank is located on the same street as the Troop I police barracks in Bethany, a mere third of a mile away.

Keyur Patel, owner of Town & Country Liquors in Bethany, was making a deposit in the bank when he noticed something strange was happening.

“All of a sudden the teller on the left... she told the bank manager to close the door and set off the alarm," Patel said. "So, we’re all like what’s going on and then she called the cops and she stated she had been robbed.”

Police rushed to the bank, but the robber got away with cash.

State police are reviewing surveillance footage from Patel's liquor store.

“The state troopers came in. I do have a camera facing out to the parking lot," Patel said. "So, they have a few cars they feel like could be suspect so they asked me to make a copy of it for them.”

The suspect is described as a male in his 20's or early 30’s, wearing a black Carhart hat, approximately 5’10”, 220 pounds with reddish blonde hair. The suspect had visible tattoos on his hands and appeared to be missing part of his left index finger, according to police.


The suspect fled to a waiting vehicle that police believe to be a gray or silver Nissan Cube.   

Other business owners said they were shocked someone would hit a bank in the quiet town.

“It’s surprising to hear something like this during broad daylight and it’s kind of scary but you don’t hear things like that around here," Mena Argentari, owner of Hair Bottega in Meriden, said.

Patel said the town is small and "very safe."

"We have a regular clientele. We feel like it’s a safe town but stuff like this can possibly happen anywhere," Patel said.

State police ask anyone with information to call the barracks at 203 393 4200.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Nut Products Sold at Stop & Shop Recalled Due to Salmonella Scare


Stop & Shop is taking a walnut and trail mix blend off the shelves that may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The national grocery store chain pulled select products carrying the Aurora and Stop & Shop labels because of Aurora Products, Inc.'s recent recall.

The following food products are included in the recall:

  • Stop & Shop Walnuts, 6.5 ounces, UPC 8826713594, with "best if used by" dates between Oct. 29 and Dec. 7, 2015.
  • Stop & Shop Cranberry Health Mix, 21 ounces., UPC 8826713692, with "best if used by" dates between Oct. 30 and Dec. 13, 2015. 
  • Stop & Shop Cranberry Health Mix, 9.25 ounces, UPC 8826714713, with "best if used by" dates between Oct. 30 and Dec. 13, 2015.
  • Stop & Shop Roasted Salt Mixed Nuts, 9 ounces, UPC 8826714736, with "best if used by" dates between Nov. 4, 2015 and Dec. 13, 2015.
  • Aurora Forest Bounty Grail Mix, 17.5 ounces., UPC 65585200496, with "best if used by" dates between Oct. 28, 2015 and Dec 13, 2015.
  • Aurora Roasted No Salt Mixed Nuts, 9 ounces, UP

No reports of anyone getting sick from the products have come in, according to Stop & Shop. However the company gives the following warning.

"Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses," according to Stop & Shop. "Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems, such as infants, the elderly and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy. The most common manifestations of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within eight to 72 hours. Additional symptoms may be chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven days."

Anyone who has bought any of the recalled items should throw them out and bring in a receipt to Stop & Shop to get a refund.

More information is available by calling Aurora Products at 1-800 898-1048 or Stop & Shop customer service at 1-800-767-772. More information is available at www.stopandshop.com.

$300K Worth of Meth Seized


Over $300,000 worth of methamphetamine was seized from a Coachella home Thursday evening, according to officials from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Officials served a search warrant to the residents of a home in the 85-500 block of Avenida Crystal where they confiscated over 17.5 pounds of narcotics and about $1,000 in cash.

Eduardo Maciel, 19, from Imperial and Oscar Ramirez, 29, from Coachella were both arrested on suspicion of possessing the drugs.

Anyone with information is asked to call 760-341-7867.

Photo Credit: Courtesy: Riverside County Sheriff's Department

Couple Weds Around the World


It's going to be tough for this couple's honeymoon to top their weddings.

Cheetah Platt and Rhiann Woodyard didn't want the average wedding, so they packed their bridal dress and suit and left on a world tour. They've held ceremonies at locations around the world — in front of waterfalls and aqueducts, in an ancient temple, with a giraffe -- taking eye-catching pictures at each one.

The Los Angeles couple had gotten married 21 times as of Saturday, March 21, and they plan on tying the knot 17 more times before May 2, Platt said.

The icing on their wedding cake: They say that getting married around the world has saved them money, compared to the traditional, one-day affair.

The average American wedding costs more than $31,000, according to a recent survey conducted by wedding publication The Knot. Despite traveling to six continents, the couple said their trip to six continents cost less.

"It has been amazing talking to others who see the world the same way and are so excited to create their own wedding experience," the couple said in an e-mail to NBC4.

To the bride, Rhiann Woodyard, the most memorable ceremony so far was being married in India's centuries-old Ajanta Caves, a Buddhist temple carved into a mountain.

"It is such a surreal experience," Woodyard said in an e-mail.

For Platt, it was "riding camels across the sand, then standing in the ancient Egyptian desert and marrying the love of my life in front of the pyramids of Giza."

Both professional acrobats, Woodyard and Platt met at a gathering for acrobatics enthusiasts, the couple told Buzzfeed.

Their registry, posted on honeyfund.com, doesn't consist of the usual pots, pans, plates and dishware -- instead, they listed elephant rides, a Spanish hot-air balloon ride, snorkeling and flights to every corner of the globe.

Couples from around the world have reached out after hearing about their decision, they told NBC4.

And while they caution that their wedding isn't right for everyone, they believe every couple should think about what would make a wedding perfect for them.

"If you are open to changing tradition and exploring other options, you can absolutely create (and afford) the perfect wedding for YOU," said the couple, who signed their e-mail CheeRhi.

The couple does plan a ceremony for their immediate family in Big Bear, a small mountain-top town near LA.

"Nothing will change with the wedding itself, but we can't wait to share it with our family," they said.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Cheetah Platt

Norwich Police Investigate Car Burglaries


Norwich police are investigating a string of car break-ins that occurred overnight Friday into Saturday.

Police say the burglaries occurred in the neighborhoods of Washington Street, Washington Place, Bliss Place and Beech Street. Police are asking anyone who may have seen something suspicious to contact them at 860 886 5561.

Details about how many cars were burglarized and what was taken were not immediately available.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Molotov Cocktail Destroys Mercedes


A Molotov cocktail was thrown into a Mercedes causing the driver to hit and catapult a SUV into the front of a Southern California home on Friday evening.

Humberto Zubia, 22, stopped at a red light at the intersection of 2nd Street and I street at 8 p.m. when another vehicle pulled up along the driver’s side of his car.

Someone from the other car threw a fiery device into Zubia’s sedan that immediately started a fire on the floorboard of his car, officials from the San Bernardino Police Department said.

Zubia tried to extinguish the fire as he continued to drive westbound on 2nd Street causing him to crash into a Mercedes SUV. The SUV then plowed into the front of an abandoned home causing major structural damage.

Zubia managed to get out of his car before it was engulfed in flames. He was transported to a nearby hospital for non-life threatening injuries. It was unclear if the driver of the SUV was also injured.

Investigators were on scene for several hours after the crash.

Photo Credit: Newspro News

Meriden Official Charged With Falsifying Police Report


Meriden police arrested a city official on Friday on charges of falsifying a police report, according to police and the mayor's office.

Department of Health & Human Services Director Lisa Pippa was arrested in a criminal investigation into a falsified police report, Meriden Mayor Manuel A. Santos wrote to NBC Connecticut in an email on Saturday.

"I have no further comment," Santos said.

Police confirmed the arrest, but declined to release further information, stating that the records office is closed until Monday.

Personnel Director Caroline Beitman says that Pippa has been on leave since she requested personal leave time on Thursday March 13. Pippa joined the City of Meriden in the fall of 2011 as acting director for the Department of Health and Human services, and scored at the top in recruitment for the full-time position a few months later. 

The Record Journal reports that hidden camera footage may have revealed Pippa staged a burglary.

An email to Pippa seeking comment was immediately returned with an out-of-office message stating, "Lisa Pippa is not available at this time" and directs people to send correspondence to the associate director of the department in Pippa's absence. The automated email does not say when Pippa will return or why she's out.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com and City of Meriden

Overnight Freezing Could Cause Icy Roads


After brief bursts of rain and possible snow showers Saturday evening, plunging temperatures could create icy road conditions overnights as any moisture on the ground freezes.

It warmed up Saturday with temperatures in the 40s, but it's supposed to get colder overnight and drop to the 20s. Sunday will likely get a little warmer in the low to mid 30s with a high of 40 mile-per-hour wind gusts.

Sunday and Monday will be the coldest though over the next week, with temperatures in the teens on Monday.

It will likely begin to warm up again on Thursday, but rain is also in the forecast.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Drunken Driver, Teen Arrested After Mailbox Collisions: Cops


A drunken driver and a teenager were arrested after reports of a car crashing into mailboxes and knocking them down early Friday morning in a Torrington neighborhood, police said.

Evan VanDeusen, 22, is facing multiple charges including drunken driving and risk of injury to a minor and a 15-year-old boy was also charged, police said.

Calls from Hayden Hill Road residents began coming in at the Torrington Police Department at about 1:30 a.m. reporting that someone was knocking over mailboxes with a car, according to police.

When police arrived on the street, officers came upon two males trying to remove a 1996 Ford Escort from mailboxes it crashed into, police said.

Police arrested VanDeusen and the 15-year-old, but not another individual in the car who was under 18. The department did not release the third person's age.

VanDeusen was charged with driving under the influence, making an improper turn and risk of injury to a minor. The teenage boy was charged with interfering with police.

Calif. Gov.: Cruz Unfit for WH


Calfiornia Gov. Jerry Brown tore into climate change skeptics on Sunday, saying one major presidential hopeful's position on climate change should disqualify him from the highest office in the nation.

Brown warned that climate change would be a major issue for America's next president in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," days after announcing a roughly $1 billion plan to combat California's drought.

"That man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office," Brown said, when asked about Texas Senator Ted Cruz's claim that there isn't a scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human activity.

Cruz made his remarks on "Late Night With Seth Meyers" this week, saying that "climate alarmists" have a problem because scientific data doesn't back up their claims.

"My view actually is simple. Debates on this should follow science and should follow data," Cruz said.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that Cruz was preparing to formally announce on Monday that he will run for president in 2016.

Brown, who has sought the White House three times, said more than 90 percent of climate scientists "are absolutely convinced" that human and industrial activity are leading to heat-trapping greenhouse gasses that caused both California's drought and severe cold and storms on the Eastern seaboard.

According to NASA, 97 percent of climate scientists agree that warming trends in the last 100 years are "very likely due to human activities."

When pressed by NBC's Chuck Todd, Brown didn't directly link his state's drought crisis to climate change, but said more droughts are inevitable in the coming decades. Two-thirds of California are in an extreme drought after more than three years of low water levels, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Brown also called the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) letter to convince states to block or ignore the EPA's proposed carbon pollution regulations "a disgrace."

"Here's the point, that the buildup of carbon coming from coal and petroleum and other sources, that this is going to create these droughts and much, much worse. And that's why to have the leader of the Senate, Mr. McConnell representing his coal constituents, are putting it at risk, the health and well being of America, is a disgrace," Brown said.

Calling the drought California's new normal, Brown wants a presidential campaign "almost at the level of a crusade" to make the public aware that man-made carbon dioxide emissions can have an affect on the climate. He implied that politicians who dismiss the scientific consensus on climate change are doing the bidding of profit-hungry constituents and corporate donors.

"The coal companies are not as important as the people of America and the people of the world," Brown said.

Climate change, balancing the country's budget and investing in science and technology are the three issues presidential candidates should be talking about, Brown said.

Asked if he would consider running if he was 10 years younger, the 76-year-old Brown said, "Yes, I would."

"If I could go back in a time machine and be 66, I might jump in. But that's a counterfactual, so you don't need to speculate on that," he added.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/AP

Route 15 Reopens After Meriden Crash


Route 15 has reopened after a minor two-car crash in Meriden Sunday morning.

The state highway was closed as emergency crews waited for tow trucks to arrive.

There is no word on any injuries.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Connecticut Tribes Put Aside Rivalry to Plan New Casinos


For the leaders of two Connecticut tribes proposing to build new casinos together, some of the toughest people to win over have been their own tribal members.

Mohegan Tribe Chairman and retired U.S. Army colonel Kevin Brown says building the alliance with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has reminded him of his work trying to bring together rival factions in Iraq.

Meanwhile, in Springfield, Massachusetts, construction is about to begin for what likely will be the first full-scale resort casino to open in the border state. The groundbreaking ceremony for the $800 million casino that will be operated by MGM Resorts International is scheduled for Tuesday. The facility will occupy a 14.5-acre site in Springfield's South End that was heavily damaged in a tornado nearly four years ago. The casino is expected to open in 2017.

Tribes in Connecticut, driven together by the threat of outside competition, have a lot of history to overcome. For two decades they have operated two of the world's largest casino resorts only seven miles apart, and before that there was the 1637 massacre in which Mohegans raided a Pequot village.

Brown and Pequot Chairman Rodney Butler tell The Associated Press the tribes are rallying around the threat of new competition from Massachusetts casinos.

Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Driver in Airborne Rollover Crash Airlifted to Hospital


Life Star airlifted a driver to the hospital who was extricated from a car in a serious rollover crash in on Route 6 in Andover Sunday morning that closed part of the road.

Karla M. Dominguez-Cruz, 29, of Willimantic, was driving in the westbound direction on Route 6 when she veered out of the travel lane and hit two metal highway signs and then a dirt embankment near the right shoulder by Bunker Hill Road at about 6:53 a.m. The collision launched the car into the air and it struck multiple trees before landing on its roof on the shoulder of the road, state police said. 

Emergency medical responders extricated Dominguez-Cruz from the car before a Life Star Helicopter transported her to Hartford Hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Her condition is unknown.

Her airbag deployed and she was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

State police said her car was towed to Marvins Midway Towing.

The road was closed for at least an hour and has since reopened.

State police didn't release information on the possible cause of the crash.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woman, 61, Reported Missing From Assisted Living Facility


State police have issued a Silver Alert for a 61-year-old woman with schizophrenia who was reported missing from a West Hartford assisted living facility Thursday.

The Fernwood West assisted living facility called police at 11:30 p.m. on Thursday after one of the residents, Cheryl Pierce left and never came back, according to a Fernwood West employee. She was last seen getting into a yellow taxi cab between 6 and 6:15 p.m. on Thursday to go to Walmart, which the employee said is normal for her if she needs to go to appointments or the store. She has no history of running away.

Pierce has schizophrenia and doesn't socialize much with other people, according to Fernwood West.

The cab company doesn't have record of dispatching a taxi to the assisted living facility, so it's possible that the driver picked Pierce up for a private fare, according to Fernwood West. Police are investigating that detail.

Pierce receives a certain amount of money each week, so she doesn't likely have much money on her, according to the assisted living facility. Staff at Fernwood West said they are worried about her.

State police said Pierce is 5-foot-10 and weighs about 150 pounds. She has brown hair and eyes. They believe she is in the Hartford area.

West Hartford police ask anyone with information to call the department at 860-523-5203.

Her disappearance remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: Silver Alert

Man Sexually Abuses 2 Girls, Both 9


Police arrested a Danbury man, 37, on sexual assault charges stemming from a few years of sexually abusing two 9-year-old girls he knew, according to police.

Reports to police said that Juan Garcia-Perales sexually abused the two children between February 2012 and 2015.

Police arrested him on Saturday at 3:45 p.m. following a Danbury Police Special Victims Unit investigation and charged him with two counts of first-degree sexual assault and five counts of risk of injury to a minor.

It's unclear how Garcia-Perales knew the victims.

Further details on the sex assault incidents were not immediately available.

Photo Credit: Danbury Police Department

Crews to Repair Second Wesport Sewer Collapse


While crews worked to repair a sewer collapse the past few days in Westport, another smaller section also collapsed, which will cause lane closures and possible delays on Monday.

Crews will work on repairing the section near 468 Post Road East in Westport on Monday at 9 a.m. as traffic subsides on the morning commute. Only one eastbound and westbound lane will be open once the repairs begin.

Police recommend seeking alternate routes to navigate around the affected area, including South Compo Road to Greens Farms Road to Hills Point Road, the Sherwood Island Connector or North Compo Road to Cross Highway to Roseville Road.

Repairs are expected to last until Monday night.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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