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Man Treated for Hypothermia After Trying to Rescue Dog


A man is being treated for hypothermia after trying to rescue his dog after it fell into icy water in North Stonington on Friday morning.

The North Stonington Volunteer Fire Company was responding to Hyde Mill Pentway to help the dog around 8:40 a.m. when another call came in that a person who was trying to rescue the dog fell into the water. The man was able to swim to shore and he was semi-conscious when his friends got to him.

The man’s friends went out in a kayak and were able to save the dog.

Emergency crews provided medical attention to the man and pulled him from the woods. He was brought to William W. Backus Hospital for treatment.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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Thick Fog and Heavy Rain Tonight


Scattered showers are moving through the state and thick fog is rolling in, reducing visibility on the roads.

Dense fog advisories have been issued for seven of the state's eight counties until 6 a.m. Saturday.

Rain will also pick up, with the heaviest, steadiest rain coming down between 3 and 6 a.m., according to Chief First Alert Meteorologist Brad Field. Flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder are also possible. A flood watch is in effect for Litchfield County.

We'll see temperatures in the 40s overnight and it won't warm up much during the day Saturday.

Strong winds are also moving in from the northwest, where the air is cold. Winds gusting between 25 and 50 mph Saturday will create the potential for some scattered power outages.

Wind advisories are in effect for the northern part of the state – in Hartford, Litchfield, Tolland and Windham counties – from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Scattered showers and even some snow is possible Sunday afternoon and into the evening. We could see some accumulation in the northern hills.

Next week will be chilly and wet.

Send your weather photos to shareit@nbcconnecticut.com.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Woman Gives Birth on the Highway During Presidential Traffic Jam


A Kentucky woman gave birth on the highway while stuck in traffic caused by President Obama’s motorcade.

Officials received a call at 5:25 p.m. Thursday saying there was a woman who was in labor in the backseat of her car on Interstate 65, outside Louisville.

A nurse, who happened to be stuck in traffic nearby, delivered the baby boy with the help of an emergency worker, according to NBC affiliate WAVE 3 News.

Courtney Maloney, the Louisville Metro EMS worker, said she transported the mother and newborn to the University of Louisville Hospital.

“I pretty much had to ride the emergency lane all the way down,” Maloney told WAVE 3.

The presidential motorcade had arrived during rush hour, blocking traffic both on the highway and downtown. Obama was in town to highlight a jobs training program at a Louisville-based technology company.

EMS reported that the mother and her baby were doing well.

"She did say it was a story she would never forget," Maloney told WAVE 3.

Cop in Viral Uber Rant Video Sorry


The NYPD detective seen on video screaming and cursing at an Uber driver in a roadside tirade earlier this week apologized Friday for his actions, telling NBC 4 New York in an exclusive interview that he hopes to buy the driver dinner.

"I apologize. I sincerely apologize," said detective Patrick Cherry, whose tirade was captured by one of the car’s passengers and posted on YouTube, where it has been viewed more than 3 million times.

Cherry’s apology comes after the detective was stripped of his badge and gun and transferred out of the FBI's elite Joint Terrorism Task Force. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton also admonished Cherry after the video went viral online, saying “No good cop can watch that without a wince”, and the NYPD and independent Civilian Complaint Review Board have been investigating the exchange.

"People shouldn’t be treated that way. I let my emotions get the better of me and I was angry," Cherry said. "My intention was to be courteous and then we got into an argument. There was no intention to berate or hurt deeply the driver."

Cherry told NBC4 New York that the video, which shows him cursing at the driver and screaming, “How long have you been in this country?” misses what prompted the confrontation. He said the driver pulled up fast behind him as he was trying to park his unmarked patrol car on a West Village street Monday. The driver was honking and gesturing angrily, Cherry said.

That was when he turned his emergency lights on to “clarify the problem.” He said the driver then refused to turn over his license and registration, and that’s when Cherry lost his temper.

"When I walked up, I was uptight. I wanted to know what the problem was," Cherry said. "I felt his driving actions were discourteous and impolite and when he stopped he said, 'I'm not going to give you anything."'

Sanjay Seth, the Uber passenger who filmed the incident from the back seat, responded to Cherry's account of the altercation in the NBC 4 New York interview, tweeting: "I question part of Detective Cherry's interpretation of the incident in his recent apology."

"CCRB needs to sort out the facts," Seth said, referring to the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

Taxi drivers rallied Thursday to call for Cherry to apologize; they said they didn't want him to lose his job, but hope the fall-out from the altercation would spur better treatment for cab drivers from the NYPD. Another rally was planned outside New York Penn Station Friday.

The police union has defended Cherry, saying the reaction to the confrontation overstates its significance.

On the video, Cherry can be seen apparently imitating the driver’s accent and asking how many years he’s lived in this country. Asked about that, Cherry said race and ethnicity had "nothing to do with it."

“There’s no reasonable way to determine who is driving facing away from me,” he said. “No reasonable way to determine in a few short seconds where someone skin color race or religion is going to play a factor in something that short.”

Cherry said that he is willing to take the department’s punishment, and is willing to do whatever is asked of him in his new role. He also says that the three-minute video doesn’t reflect the way he or his fellow men and women in blue carry themselves on a day-to-day basis.

The incident comes as New York Police officers are being trained in how to engage courteously with the public. Cherry said he feels badly that his behavior will reflect on a department that is working hard on its public image.

“You can’t judge three minutes of tape that that is the common practice of the New York Police Department,” he said. “At the end of the day it’s simply one individual who got angry."

How to Transform from Couch Potato to 5K Runner


If you’re new to running, training alone can be challenging, but a local program will help get you started, whether you want to do some laps around a track, a 5K or something more ambitious.

The No Boundaries program at Fleet Feet West Hartford is a 10-week course that takes new runners from “couch to 5K” in a motivational group setting, which helps hold runners accountable to their own goals.

“It’s a lot easier to talk yourself out of things by yourself than it is if you’re doing it in a group environment,” Rich Dillon, head coach of No Boundaries, said.

Michelle Kurnik, the training director, said the program starts with the basics, including proper warming up and cooling down. Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t hold static stretches before running. Instead, pre-run preps should be dynamic, like jumping jacks.

“If you think about what happens if you put taffy in the refrigerator, then you take it out and try to stretch it, what does it do? It snaps,” Kurnik said. “Same thing with your muscles. So you want to make sure they're warmed up and pliable before you do those static stretches. Those are good for after your run.”

Other tips:

  • Start with interval training, which combines running and walking. Increase your weekly mileage gradually to avoid injury. Kurnik recommends no more than a quarter mile weekly increase.
  • Know the rules of the road. Run against traffic, use sidewalks whenever possible, and avoid using earphones when running outside because music can drown out the sound of approaching vehicles.
  • If running at night, “see and be seen.” Wear reflective gear so drivers can see you, and consider purchasing an illuminating headlamp to light your path.
  • Don’t do all your training on a treadmill. When you’re running outside, you have to propel your own body weight forward, which changes your stride, according to Kurnik. Get used to running outside, since that’s where your 5K will most likely take place!
  • Lastly, realize that putting one foot in front of the other… starts in your head.

“The hardest part of training is believing that you can,” Kurnik said. “And that's one of the most exciting things to see in our runners, is realizing that, I really can do this.”

Lace up and join Heidi Voight and Bob Maxon on Sunday April 26 at the March of Dimes Run for Babies 5K at Rentschler Field. Click here to register and join the NBC Connecticut team!

Photo Credit: clipart.com

LifeStar Transports Patient After Moped Crash in Mansfield


LifeStar airlifted a moped driver who crashed into a guardrail in Mansfield on Friday afternoon, according to state police.

Police said Marvin Smith, 22, of Mansfield, lost control going around a curve on Pleasant Valley Road around 1:30 p.m. and slid into a guardrail.

He was taken by ambulance to Windham Hospital and airlifted by LifeStar as a precaution. Police said Smith suffered a facial laceration and was listed in stable condition at the hospital.

Smith will be issued an infraction for driving without a license and traveling too fast for conditions, police said.

Man Charged in Case of Badly Abused Pit Bull


A Middletown man accused of throwing his girlfriend's dog against a wall and causing injuries that required the pup to undergo thousands of dollars in surgery has turned himself in to police.

Quamane Cherry, 25, of Middletown, was arrested Friday on animal cruelty charges, two days after his girlfriend, Angela Caffrey, was taken into custody in New Britain.

Their arrests stem from an anonymous call reporting the young dog was constant crying and appeared to be walking with a limp, according to police.

Animal control found the dog, renamed "Hope," bleeding from the mouth and nose, her face swollen and her breathing heavy. A veterinarian said the pup also suffered lung contusions and broken bones in her face, leg and hip.

Hope underwent her first round of surgery March 30 and her second was scheduled for April 2.

A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the procedures brought in $5,855, far surpassing the goal of $4,500.

"Any additional donations made will go towards Hope's food, medication, toys and unexpected medical expenses," representatives from the animal hospital wrote on GoFundMe. "Beyond that, we will give any extgra funding to a dog in similar need."

The animal hospital says Hope is "recovering beautifully" and will start physical therapy in two weeks. Potential adopters are already lined up for when Hope is ready to go home.

Cherry and Caffrey have both been charged with cruelty to animals. Cherry posted $5,000 bond and is due in court April 16.

Photo Credit: GoFundMe/New Britain Police Department

Chatting Courtside with an NCAA Player


Manhattan College's Emmy Andujar talks about what it's like to play in the NCAA tournament, his favorite teammate and getting pedicures.

No Gas Leak at Hartford Public Safety Complex: Cops


Emergency crews responded to the public safety complex on High Street in Hartford after a gas odor was reported in the building Friday afternoon.

The complex is down the street from a historic structure ravaged by fire Thursday morning and currently undergoing demolition.

Hartford police said crews searched the building and did not find a gas leak. No one was evacuated from the building and the emergency response is wrapping up.

It comes as demolition gets underway on a historic building at 1363 Main Street, which went up in flames Thursday morning and was all but destroyed. Officials deemed the building structurally unsound and began tearing it down Friday.

The public safety complex at 253 High Street is right around the corner from the building being demolished.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hundreds of CT Bridges Are Structurally Deficient: Report


Almost 400 of the more than 4,000 bridges in Connecticut are structurally deficient, according to a new report.

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association went through data from Federal Highway Administration 2014 National Bridge Inventory and found that 9 percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient, meaning one of more “key bridge elements,” are in poor condition or worse.

See the Connecticut report here for the full list to see how the bridges in your community rank.

The report goes on to say that 1,079 bridges are considered “functionally obsolete.”

Following are the 10 most traveled structurally deficient bridges in the state:

  • Fairfield: I-95 over Metro North Railroad and City Street South
  • Fairfield: I-95 over the Norwalk River and Hendricks Avenue (Yankee Doodle Bridge)
  • Fairfield: I-95 over Route 33
  • Fairfield: I-95 over US-1 SB
  • Fairfield: I-95 over the Byram River and South Water Street
  • Fairfield: I-95 & I-95 ramps over the Metro North Railroad & local roads
  • Fairfield: I-95 over the Housatonic River and Naugatuck Avenue
  • New Haven: I-95 over the West River and SR 745 (West River Bridge)
  • New Haven: I-95 over the Wepawaug River
  • New Haven: I-91 over N Front St and the Quinn River

It's important to note that "structurally deficient" bridges are not necessarily unsafe.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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New Haven Resident Finds Bullet Hole in Bedroom Wall


Police are investigating after a resident of 108 Shelton Avenue in New Haven found a bullet hole in a bedroom wall over the weekend.

Neighbors called 911 around 5 p.m. March 29 to report hearing gunfire in the area. Police said they searched the area and discovered that someone had apparently opened fire on the house.

One bullet hole was found in a second-floor bedroom. Police said the the home's exterior was also struck.

No one was hurt and no suspects have been identified.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Missing Woman Last Seen With Bridgeport Employee


Fifty-seven-year-old Minnie Lincoln often spends her free time playing pool at the Old Timers Club in Bridgeport. It's where she went last Friday, the night she went missing.

Authorities said the great-grandmother was last seen leaving the Stratford Avenue bar around 11 p.m. with the man who owns the building, a city employee who is wanted for questioning in connection with her disappearance.

He's also missing now.

Detectives interviewed Marcus Jackson, 36, of Stratford, on Thursday afternoon and called him back for a second interview. Police said he never showed up.

Clarence Powell, who runs the Old Timers Club, is also wondering where Jackson went.

"I talked to him yesterday at 5:08, because I checked my phone when I talked to him," Powell explained. "He said he would be here in 10 minutes and he just never showed."

He described Jackson as a "fun-loving guy" who "doesn't bother anybody" and said there's no way his disappearance could be linked to Lincoln's.

"Those two can't be combined. I don't believe that," he said.

Powell was there the night Lincoln disappeared. He said she had gotten into some kind of argument before Jackson stepped in to help.

"Marcus was in the yard talking with her because she had a dispute with somebody, so Marcus was calming her down and then walked her down the street, up the street," Powell said. "They parted separate ways. Marcus went one way, she went the other."

Lincoln was last seen walking with Jackson on Wilmot Avenue toward his parked Ford F150, according to police. Investigators have taken that truck into custody.

They're also searching Lincoln's home and cellphone records.

Family and friends just want her home safe.

"She's a kind and concerned person about what goes on around her. She's very sociable," said David Heard, who described himself as a close friend of the Lincoln family. "She has a routine that she keeps and that's why it's very unusual that this situation has occurred."

Heard said Lincoln is a great-grandmother and a cancer survivor. It's not like her to be out of touch.

"She speaks to her family all the time. We're just basically concerned. We would like some answers," Heard said.

Anyone with information on either of their whereabouts or who knows what may have happened is urged to call Bridgeport police as soon as possible at 203-258-2545.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department

Bristol Condemns Apartment Building, Evicts Tenants


The city of Bristol has condemned a 12-unit apartment building on High Street and is asking residents to move out by Wednesday.

Bristol Councilwoman Ellen Zoppo-Sassu said the city handed over a list of abatements in August, only some of which have been fixed. She detailed unsanitary conditions, electrical problems and fire escapes that are all but falling apart.

"They are pulling away from the wall and if you actually step on the fire escape in the southeast corner of this building, the wall moves," Zoppo-Sassu described.

Tenant Brenda Rivera showed NBC Connecticut nails protruding from the floor, holes and cracks in her wall and a sink that's falling off.

"It's really hard. It happened unexpectedly," she said of the eviction. "I just hope I can find somewhere to go and everyone else."

City officials said it's not the first time property manager Anthony Cammariere has given them problems. Mayor Ken Cockayne said Cammariere has not paid proper taxes on many of his buildings and also has outstanding water bills.

"We have given Anthony Cammariere not only an inch but a mile in the lat 10 years, and I'm not willing to give him another millisecond," Zoppo-Sassu said. "He's hidden behind the facade of trying to rent to people who are in need of a place to be when in fact, his only concern is his own and his own pocketbook."

Cammariere said he already has the money to do the work and estimates he could have it done within the next 30 days since the weather is improving.

"I already have the financing in place. I have the manpower and the right people to do the job that are qualified to do it," he said. "So hopefully the judge will see that and realize that it will probably be a lot easier to make some improvements to the building. I think it would be a lot easier than actually displacing 11 or 12 families."

He disagrees that the building is unsafe and said the problems are with the structure itself rather than the individual units. Cammariere claims an engineer deemed the fire escape safe and said the front staircases have already been repaired.

"Everyone is so quick to hop on a bandwagon and speak of me as if I'm the devil," he said. "I think the whole point here with the city is to kind of smear my name and make me a bad landlord. I don’t believe I am. I’ve been in the business over 20 years. I don’t think I would be in this business last this long if I was such a bad landlord."

According to Cockayne, city officials are helping to relocate the 10 or 11 residents of 116-122 High Street. The tenants are searching for new apartments and will be put up in motels if need be.

Cockayne said the condemned building is a safety hazard and the city's priority is to get the tenants into safe housing.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

How to Maximize College Financial Aid


As if college applications weren't stressful enough, students readying for college face another nerve-wracking challenge: finding financial aid.

Paying for a college education can be daunting: A four-year public university can cost $19,000 a year on average, while the priciest private nonprofit schools can cost near $70,000, according to The College Board.

But even if students and their families are disappointed by paltry financial aid packages, there are still numerous sources of financial aid that can help students pay for an education.

And with more scholarships available from an assortment of sources, “families and students need to be proactive in looking for them,” said Rachelle Feldman, the assistant vice chancellor and director of financial aid and scholarships at the University of California, Berkeley.

Here are a few ways that prospective students and their families can get a slice of the financial aid that is available:

Fill Out the FAFSA, No Matter What

Most universities required applicants to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by early or mid-March, but the federal deadline isn't until June 30. That means applicants still have a chance to claim some federal grants, even if they don't think they qualify.

“Families who aren’t the poorest of the poor sometimes think, ‘Well, I shouldn’t even bother filling this out,’” she said. “The truth is, there’s a wider range of financial aid available — from institutions, from the state, from the federal government — for people at a variety of income levels.”

And while the FAFSA form can seem daunting, completing the form only takes about 20 to 30 minutes, said Feldman.

It's time well spent: Justin Draeger, the president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, cited a recent analysis from financial site Nerdwallet that indicated high school seniors who graduated in 2013 missed out on $2.9 billion in federal grants simply because they didn’t complete the FAFSA.

Look Outside Universities, Too

A number of professional societies, corporations and foundations offer scholarships for students from particular backgrounds or who are planning on pursuing certain subjects in school. The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), for example, last year awarded 230 scholarships collectively worth more than $700,000 to students pursuing engineering degrees, according to Karen Horting, the society's executive director and CEO.

“We know that for women and underrepresented minorities, financial barriers are a larger hurdle,” Horting said. “For us, it’s a natural fit with our mission to offer scholarships and help more women into the engineering field."

Students can rely on scholarship search engines to sort through the options based on subject, grades, location and applicant background. Available search tools include NerdScholar, BestColleges.com's scholarship database and the College Board's Scholarship Search. Some, like College Scholarships Foundation and Niche, even offer their own scholarships.

But be careful of services that charge for scholarship searches, Draeger said. The FAFSA is free, as are almost all scholarship applications.

Search In-State

Many states offer both need-based and merit-based financial aid, although those grants are often limited to in-state universities. Florida residents, for example, can apply for the non-need-based William L. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant or one of three scholarships in the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; both grants can only be used at Florida universities.

One notable exception is the DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DC TAG) program, which provides up to $10,000 to cover the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition at public four-year colleges across the U.S.

There’s Help for Undocumented Students

Some states and several private universities offer financial aid to undocumented U.S. residents. California Dream Act grants, for example, help fund in-state college tuition for students who meet eligibility requirements.

Get in Touch With the Financial Aid Office

Even though the financial aid process can seem daunting, applicants shouldn’t be afraid to ask for guidance. Some private universities even negotiate — within reason — on financial aid packages, Feldman said.

“You can always call the institution you’re applying to and ask for help,” Feldman said. “Financial aid officers are often happy to help prospective students with the application process, even if they’re not full-time students yet.”

Look Around the University

Not all financial aid is offered by the financial aid office. Departments outside the financial aid office may offer money in the form of prizes, honors scholarships or special stipends — especially for students in their sophomore, junior or senior years. Prospective students and current students need to be especially proactive in seeking out these sorts of opportunities, Feldman said.

Keep Applying

Even if students don’t receive scholarships as freshmen, they can keep applying for financial aid. And universities sometimes offer grants or stipends that may help defray the cost of tuition or special studies, like research projects or foreign travel.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

PD: Parents Locked Kids in Room


A Spotsylvania County, Virginia, couple admitted locking their three small children in a room 24 hours a day and feeding them through a homemade gate.

Scott Suggs, 28, and Brandy Kangas, 36, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three counts of felony child neglect.

In December, authorities found the couple's children -- a 17-month-old boy, and girls ages 3 and 4 -- locked in a messy room stained with human waste after receiving an anonymous tip about child abuse and neglect. A television in the room was on all the time.

Authorities immediately removed the children with a key found in the home.

Suggs and Kangas were arrested at the scene.

"This was an abhorrent situation that the children were living in and it breaks my heart to see this kind of treatment of small children," Spotsylvania County Sheriff Roger L. Harris said in a release Friday. "Saving these kids from this type of neglect is why all of us are involved in public service."

The Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office says the children lacked social skills when found. They are now thriving with foster parents but are still afraid of closed doors.

Suggs and Kangas received a suspended sentence of six years, 10 years of good behavior and indefinite supervised probation. They were also ordered to comply with the foster care plan and may not have unsupervised contact with the children.

Safe Harbor Children's Advocacy Center is a program in which professionals determine and recommend the best services for victims of child abuse and neglect. To donate, click here. Donations cannot be made to specific children or families.

Photo Credit: Spotsylvania Co. Sheriff's Office
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Police, Firefighters Compete to Donate the Most Blood


On a typical day you can find them fighting fires or fighting crime, but on Friday you could find members of the Avon volunteer fire and police departments saving lives in a different way.

The town welcomed its sixth annual "Battle of the Badges" to benefit the American Red Cross.

"I am here to donate blood to the American red cross," said volunteer firefighter Jim Speich. "I am also here to make sure the department wins this competition."

The friendly back-and-forth gives the traditional blood drive a twist by attaching bragging rights to the team that can bring in the most blood.

While the coveted "Battle of the Badges" trophy is up for grabs again this year, organizers say it's less about the competition and more about the cause.

"Every 2 seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. The blood that is collected today helps in the case of emergencies so it is on the shelves whenever and wherever patients need [it]," said Christie Auletta with the American Red Cross.

Auletta says the goal of this drive is to collect upwards of 100 pints and the departments promise each one will go a long way.

"One pint of blood can save up to three lives and it only takes an hour of time, so it is a quick simple way to give back," said volunteer firefighter Jenn Resser.

As the saying goes, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone, and in the "Battle of the Badges," it might actually save someone instead.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Push to Pay Workers Who Take Extended Leaves of Absence


Connecticut lawmakers are debating a big change to the state’s Family Medical Leave Act. There’s a push to pay workers who take an extended leave of absence.

Right now, businesses are required to allow employees up to 16 weeks of unpaid leave. The new proposal would give workers 12 weeks of paid leave through an employee-funded system.

“A lot of small businesses want to offer the benefit and can’t really afford it. With our system they would be able to offer it at no cost to them,” explained Catherine Bailey, chairwoman of Connecticut Campaign for Paid Family Leave.

Matt Arciuolo isn’t waiting for the law to change. He runs Arciuolo Shoes, which has been in his family in downtown Milford for 95 years. Arciuolo only has half a dozen employees, which means he doesn’t have to give workers paid leave under current Connecticut law.

”I think it’s common sense for an employer to give its employees a sense of security,” explained Arciuolo.

Currently, only businesses with 50 or more employees are required to give unpaid leave. The new proposal would require paid leave for companies with two or more employees.

Supporters are quick to point out the employee-funded system wouldn’t negatively impact business. Instead, a percentage of workers' paychecks would be held back each week to cover the cost of future leave.

“The misperception that if anything is good for workers, it is therefore de facto, bad for business,” said State Rep. Peter Tercyak, a Democrat who represents New Britain and also serves as co-chair of the Labor Committee.

Sarah Orris hopes company executives will walk a mile in her shoes.

“It was terrifying to think that I would go without a paycheck,” said Orris.

The public school speech pathologist spent weeks away from work, caring for her daughter Natalie after surgery for a genetic disorder. She only got paid for five days.

“I was just floored because critical illness lasts longer than five days, and I absolutely had to take that time. I had really no options,” Orris said.

With medical bills mounting, she went back to work sooner than she wanted.

“I absolutely wasn’t going to lose my job. My job was supportive, and my boss would give me anything I needed, except for a paycheck,” she explained.

It’s stories like this that make Arciuolo glad to give his half dozen employees paid leave and he hopes others will follow, regardless of whether the law passes.

“It’s a business expense; same way as keeping the lights on, same way as paying payroll,” he explained.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Friday Marks First Day of Golf Season for Many


Cold wet weather has kept many driving ranges and golf courses closed, but some finally opened up Friday, marking the first day of the golf season, and golfers couldn't be happier.

“This is the first day of golf season. Full of promise, nothing but potential,” said Hamden resident George Platt.

The greens are still soggy and brown, but golfers are unfazed.

“Just to come out and be on the course beats a day at work,” said Dan Hamel, of Wilbraham, Massachusetts.

Hamel and his foursome came from Springfield to take a swing at the greens at New Haven's municipal golf course on opening day, where the first five hours of tee times were filled.

“It goes back a couple weeks, trying to find courses that were open,” Hamel added.

Finding a course that's dry enough to play on has been a challenge.

Looking for a place to practice, a steady stream of students have been lining up at Golf Quest's driving range in Southington all week.

"We are usually able to get out the first week we get back to school, but this is a pretty bad delay with all the snow,” said Owen McGowan, a senior on the Taft School’s golf team.

With the hometown course still closed, coach Jake Kenerson said the team's season would likely be delayed.

"That's two weeks of our golf season gone right there, so we're being impacted hugely by the weather and the winter for sure,” said Kenerson.

Golf's a game at the mercy of Mother Nature, and players know they've got to make the most of the short time they have to be out on the links.

"Happy swinging, happy season. Before you know it, it'll be December again,” pointed out Pat Paulson, of East Haven.

Rosol's Kielbasa in Demand Ahead of Easter Sunday


What Black Friday is to Christmas, Good Friday is to Easter at Martin Rosol’s Meats in New Britain.

“So worth it; the best kielbasa ever,” Jessica Zabbara of Wolcott summarized as she left with her holiday bundle. “It took us like 25 minutes to get here. This is our third year coming. We’ve got our Easter kielbasa and our kabanosy. Usually there’s a two-hour wait to get in here.”

Jessica and her mother Sharon were lucky during this year’s pilgrimage, getting in right away during a rare lull.

“It’s a tradition that we come and get their Easter kielbasa, and we get the kabanosy – that’s one of my husband’s favorites,” said Sharon. “And we have to get the beer mustard to go with it.”

That word, “tradition,” is mentioned often in the same sentence as “Rosol’s” and “Easter.”

“I came here for the Easter kielbasa. It’s been a family tradition to pick up a kielbasa a couple days before Easter,” Paul Melzen of Farmington echoed.

For those unfamiliar, Rosol’s has been meting out meats since 1928, now a fourth-generation family business. Although it offers a wide variety of delights for the carnivorous, Rosol’s is a kielbasa capital in the time leading to Easter.

“We go through about 100,000 pounds of the smoked kielbasa in the last four weeks, and probably about 50,000 pounds of the fresh kielbasa,” plant manager Teddy Rosol detailed, adding that he slightly prefers the fresh version to the smoked variety.

“It’s still the same recipes from 1928, you know, fresh ingredients, never frozen, fresh spices,” he said.

For workers, the hours are as long as the lines of legions who queue up early.

“Our Easter hours are Monday through Friday, 7 to 5,” Teddy Rosol said with only the slightest hint of weariness in his smile. “And then, tomorrow – on Saturday – it’s going to be 7 to 12 [noon].”

Even for employees not named Rosol, it’s easy to get swept up in the kielbasa craze.

“It’s really great coming to work at six, seeing a line out the door,” said Jason Monteleone, who does everything from preparing the seemingly endless links of kielbasa to helping customers directly. “Yesterday I came in to work at, like, 6:20, and there were already people at the gate begging to come in.”

Teddy Rosol explains that they all average about four hours of sleep during the final week of Lent, satisfying not just walk-up customers, but orders from much farther afield.

“We have people coming from New York and Massachusetts this morning, a big order from Long Island, Rhode Island,” said Rosol. “Sometimes it’s one, two, sometimes it’s 10. They wait for the fresh kielbasa and the smoked kielbasa, because that’s what they want this time of year.”

And, by all appearances, the Rosol family is poised to link together many future Easter seasons.

“Every year we get better with efficiency, and we’re producing more pounds every year.”

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Water Main Break Delays MBTA Green Line


A water main break left water rushing down onto the tracks of MBTA's Green Line, delaying traffic during the Friday evening commute in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Police say the break took place on the Cypress Street bridge, which is near the Brookline Hills station on the D Branch.

Shuttle buses replaced service on the branch.

The water was turned off and as of 6:45 p.m., service had returned to normal.

Stay with necn as this story develops.

Photo Credit: necn
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