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Icy Patches on Roads


Temperatures are in the 30s this morning and there are some slick spots in the roads.

Parts of Connecticut are below freezing this morning, including the northwest hills, Mansfield, Stafford Springs, Staffordville, Somers and parts of Enfield. Temperatures are also below freezing in northern Windham County.

Ice is problem in areas above 800 feet in elevation, according to NBC Connecticut meteorologist Bob Maxon.

In Norfolk, Department of Transportation crews were called out to treat the roads.

Temperatures will only reach the 40s today, which is 20 degrees below normal.

Friday, however, will reach 60 and temperatures will be near 70 on Tuesday.

Boston Bombing Survivor to Deliver SCSU Commencement Address


A Boston Marathon bombing survivor who has gone on to inspire many through her determination and resilience will deliver the commencement address at Southern Connecticut State University next month.

Heather Abbott, of Newport, Rhode Island, went to a Red Sox game with several friends on April 15, 2013, carrying out a tradition, then walked over to the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

What was supposed to be a day of fun in the city turned to horror as the bombs exploded at the finish line and Abbott was struck by shrapnel when the second bomb went off.

In the days that followed, Abbott went through several surgeries on her left foot, agonizing over whether to allow doctors to amputate. Ultimately, she decided to have her leg amputated below the knee.

Months after the bombings, Abbott was living on her own. In the nearly two years to follow, she has persevered and not allowed being an amputee to stop her from participating in the activities she loves.

Abbott has also become a motivational speaker and a National Amputee Coalition-certified peer counselor so she can help others.

SCSU’s 2015 Undergraduate Ceremony will be at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on May 15.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Larceny Led to Soft Lockdown at Rocky Hill School


A larceny caused a brief soft lockdown at Stevens School in Rocky Hill on Thursday morning.

The larceny was not on school property, police said.

A suspect is in custody and the lockdown has been lifted.

Strangers Fall in Love, Win Lotto


Two New Yorkers lost everything in Sandy, but three years later they're buying the house of their dreams thanks to a six-figure prize from the CT Lottery.

Dennis Klaus and Maryann Daino each left behind the rubble of their homes in separate boroughs in New York City after the storm swept through in 2013 and moved to New Milford, Connecticut, to start over. According to the New York Post, that's where they both joined the same church and fell in love. 

The CT lottery says the couple bought the winning ticket at a gas station in October and went to the organization's headquarters Monday to claim their $255,555 winnings. Klaus said the couple waited months to claim the prize because they were worried they could lose everything for a second time.

"We took our time claiming the prize,"” he said. "We lost everything before and we didn’t want to lose everything again. We wanted to be careful, so we talked to an accountant and a lawyer first."

Daino said Klaus didn't believe her when she first handed him the ticket and told him they had won.

"He thought I was kidding him," Daino said. "I said, 'No, Dennis, I'm not kidding. This is our new home.'"

The couple planned to go to the bank after claiming the prize to make an offer. 

"It’s the house of our dreams," Daino said. "It’s important that people know... you have to keep the faith because there is life afterwards, and there’s a wonderful life waiting."

Photo Credit: CT Lottery

Meet the Kentucky Derby's Top 10 Contenders


Step right up, American Pharoah. Final rehearsal's a few days away, and it's time to see whether you or your dance partner, Dortmund, will be the Kentucky Derby favorite.

Dortmund proved there's little doubt he's No. 1 again on the AP's latest Run to the Roses Top 10 Kentucky Derby list following a commanding 4 1/4 -length win in the Santa Anita Derby over the weekend. The imposing colt comes into the May 2 Derby with a 6 for 6 record, the same as Seattle Slew (1977) and Smarty Jones (2004) before their Derby wins.

American Pharoah, meanwhile, remains No. 3 and is all set for the Arkansas Derby following a six-furlong workout in 1:11.60 at his home base at Santa Anita Park on Sunday. He comes into the final major Derby prep with four wins in five starts, including a 6 1/4-length romp in the Rebel in the rain at Oaklawn Park.

Both 3-year-old colts are trained by three-time Derby winner Bob Baffert, who added a third Derby starter after One Lucky Dane ran second to Dortmund in the Santa Anita Derby.

Carpe Diem, trained by Todd Pletcher, retains the No. 2 spot after his impressive three-length win in the Blue Grass at Keeneland Race Course on Saturday. Sunland Derby winner Firing Line, who tested Dortmund twice before losing each time by a head, is No. 4.

Frosted soared into the rankings at No. 5 with a two-length win in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday while El Kabeir ran third and dropped out. He's still Derby bound.

The owner of American Pharoah says his 2-year-old champion is the real deal and is looking for a comfortable win in Arkansas.

"We're hoping that he would win it easy, with not too much effort taken out of him," Ahmed Zayat of Zayat Stables, which also owns El Kabeir, said Tuesday. "We're totally high on this horse."

The Arkansas Derby carries Derby-qualifying points of 100-40-20-10, and is a last chance for several Derby hopefuls. Among them is Far Right, No. 8 this week, but with a borderline 22 qualifying points.

Louisiana Derby winner International Star leads with 171 points; Dortmund is second with 170; and Carpe Diem third with 164. Bolo, third in the Santa Anita Derby, is 20th with 30 points.

The other Derby prep is the Lexington Stakes, with points scaled down to 10-4-2-1.


Here's our Top 10:

1. Dortmund (Bob Baffert, trainer; Martin Garcia, jockey): Can't see how unbeaten colt is not Derby favorite after win in Santa Anita Derby. ... His 6 for 6 record matches marks of Seattle Slew and Smarty Jones before their Derby wins in 1977, 2004. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs (May 2). ... Final Derby future odds (pool 4): 6-1.

2. Carpe Diem (Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez): Capped stellar Derby prep campaign with three-length win in Blue Grass at Keeneland. ... Comes into Derby with 4 for 5 mark, only loss a second-place finish in BC Juvenile. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 10-1.

3. American Pharoah (Baffert, Victor Espinoza): Expected heavy favorite for Arkansas Derby. ... 2-year-old champion romped in Rebel in 3-year-old debut. ... Worked 6 furlongs in 1:11.60 at Santa Anita on Sunday. ... Next start: Arkansas Derby (Saturday). ... Odds: 5-1.

4. Firing Line (Simon Callaghan, Gary Stevens): Finally, a workout for Sunland Derby winner (March 22). ... Went 4 furlongs in 48.00 at Santa Anita on April 3. ... Trainer says long layoff won't both horse. ... Two-time runner-up to Dortmund, losing both by a head. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 13-1.

5. Frosted (Kiaran McLaughlin, Joel Rosario): Finally struck Derby pay dirt with Wood Memorial win. ... Needed those 100 points to qualify for Run to the Roses. ... Hadn't won (0 for 3) since breaking maiden more than five months ago. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 40-1.

6. Materiality (Pletcher, Velazquez): Florida Derby winner heads to Churchill Downs with a 3 for 3 record. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 12-1.

7. International Star (Mike Maker, Miguel Mena): May not be among Derby favorites, but the resume is a good one: Swept Lecomte, Risen Star and Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 17-1.

8. Far Right (Ron Moquett, Mike Smith): With 22 points, horse needs to finish in money in Arkansas Derby to gain spot for Kentucky Derby. ... Comes into race with wins in Smarty Jones and Southwest. ... Next start: Arkansas Derby (Saturday). ... Odds: 39-1.

9. Mubtaahij (Mike De Kock, Christophe Soumillon): Biggest question is whether long trip from Dubai to Kentucky will affect UAE Derby winner. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 8-1.

10. Upstart (Rick Violette, Jr., Jose Ortiz): Remains in rankings despite runner-up finish in Florida Derby, and DQ to second after finishing first in Fountain of Youth. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 18-1.


Keep an eye on: Bolo, Danzig Moon, El Kabeir, Ocho Ocho Ocho, One Lucky Dane.

Photo Credit: AP

Hikers Find Man’s Body in Plainville


Hikers found a man’s body in Plainville on Thursday morning and police are investigating this as an untimely death.

Police said the hikers were walking on a trail on Pinnacle Mountain at 10:30 a.m. when they saw the body of a white middle-aged male.

Plainville Police officers and detectives, along with investigators at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, began investigating and Plainville firefighters helped to move the man’s body from the scene.

His name has not been released and police said they are withholding circumstances surrounding his death until the autopsy is held.

No additional information has been released.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Crash Closes Lanes of I-91 in New Haven


Two northbound lanes and one southbound lane of Interstate 91 are closed near exit 8 in New Haven, according to state police.

There is a two vehicle crash on the southbound side of the highway, according to police, who said a vehicle hit a disabled vehicle.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Part of Windsor Locks Trail Closed to Protect Eagles


If you use the Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail, you might need to change your route. The south end of the trail will be closed through June to protect a pair of nesting bald eagles.

“Although bald eagle numbers are increasing in the state, the birds are still a state threatened species and need our protection,” Susan Whalen, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said in a statement. “Because disturbance can cause the adult eagles to abandon their nest, causing the eggs or chicks to die, it is necessary to close the trail until the chicks can fly.”

State wildlife experts said the eagle pair is starting the season off at a slight disadvantage because the nest they used for the past two years was unusable because of winter storms.

“The birds have moved back to the nest site they used in 2011 and had to do some remodeling to make it suitable for nesting,” Jenny Dickson, a DEEP Wildlife Division Biologist, said.
These eagles first nested along the canal trail in 2011 and had two chicks. In 2014, they had another chick.

The trail was created from a historic towpath that was built to bypass the Enfield rapids in the Connecticut River and the rapids provide a shallow area that is ideal for bald eagles to find their preferred fish, according to DEEP, so it is no surprise that the eagles chose a nest site near a feeding area.

DEEP and Ahlstrom Nonwovens LLC, which has a lease agreement with the State of Connecticut to allow public access to the tow path, will keep the trail closed until the young eagles have reached flying stage, which is anticipated to be in late June 2015.

While the trail is closed, visitors can still walk or bike the trail from the northern section for about two miles until they come to a gate and are instructed to turn around. The southern end of the trail will remain closed, unless if the nest fails or the young can fly before the end of June, then the trail will be opened earlier.

Learn more from the DEEP Wildlife Division on bald eagles. http://www.ct.gov/deep/wildlife.

Photo Credit: Paul J. Fusco/CT DEEP Wildlife Division

PHOTOS: Reactions to Walter Scott's Death


Walter Scott was shot dead by a police officer in North Charleston, S.C. The office has been fired and charged with murder.

Photo Credit: AP

Wolcott Man Attacks School Bus That Woke Him Up: Cops


A 55-year-old man threw snow and ice at a school bus in Wolcott, Connecticut, pried open the driver's door and yelled at the driver because the bus idling on his street woke him up Thursday morning, according to police.

Police said the school bus was stopped on Woodward Drive in Wolcott around 7:30 a.m. waiting to pick up a student who attends Bristol Technical High School. It was the driver's first stop of the morning and she was alone on the bus.

While the bus was waiting, Keith Patzlaff, 55, stormed out of his nearby home and started yelling at the driver, according to police.

The driver closed her window, and Patzlaff began pounding on it and trying to force it open. When he couldn't, he started throwing snow and ice at the bus and pulling on the windshield wipers, according to police.

At that point, the driver called her supervisor, who contacted police.

Patzlaff then went around the back of the bus and tried to get inside through the rear emergency door. He couldn't, so he approached the driver's side door and forced it open. Police said they arrived to find Patzlaff and the driver yelling at each other.

According to police, Patzlaff told officers he'll do the same thing every day if the bus comes back onto his street.

Patzlaff, who police said is not a stranger to the department, was arrested and charged with breach of peace. His bond was set at $2,500.

"The Wolcott Police Department will not tolerate any negative, alarming conduct directed at Students, Schools or School Buses," Wolcott Police Chief Edward Stephens said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

Former Employee Brings Gun to Danbury Workplace: Police


Authorities were called to a Danbury business Thursday afternoon after a "disgruntled former employee" brought a gun to the building, according to police.

Police said they took the suspect into custody at Eastern Account System on Corporate Drive, the person's former workplace. No one was hurt during the incident and the gun did not go off.

Danbury police have not publicly identified the suspect. Authorities remain on scene investigating.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Driver Crashes After Hitting Gas Instead of Brakes


A driver trying to park outside a Dunkin Donuts store in Fairfield hit the gas instead of the brakes, accelerating into oncoming traffic and colliding with a van on Thursday, according to police.

Police said the woman was trying to park in the Dunkin Donuts lot at 1910 Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield around 1 p.m. Thursday when her foot hit the gas pedal by accident.

Surveillance video shows her sedan speeding over the sidewalk and into oncoming traffic, hitting a painting van that was traveling northbound on Black Rock Turnpike and causing it to flip over. The van slid across the two northbound lanes and the sedan that struck it started smoking.

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Fairfield police spokesman Lt. James Perez said the surveillance footage "highlights the danger while driving."

"Everyone should always be aware of their surroundings at all times," Perez said in a statement Thursday.

Photo Credit: Fairfield Police Department

3 Deadly Heroin Overdoses Over 4 Days in Bristol


Police in Bristol are investigating after three people in the city died of heroin overdoses over a period of four days.

Bristol police said it's possible the deaths resulted from a "bad batch" of heroin but they haven't tied them together at this point.

Investigators found heroin packaging at one location labeled "Regan" and stamped with a picture of the former president. Police said it's possible that other packages from the same batch could be labeled differently.

The police department launched a program this month to use Narcan, which counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose. The state approved a measure allowing first responders to use Narcan last year.

Minnesota Teen Accepted to All 8 Ivy League Schools


A Minnesota teen was reportedly accepted to all eight Ivy League schools, becoming one of few teens to receive the prestigious honor.

Munira Khalif, a senior at Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul, told NBC affiliate KARE that she was “humbled” by her acceptance to all eight Ivy League schools along with a number of other prestigious universities.

The Ivy League schools include Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania. She was also accepted to Stanford, Georgetown, and the University of Minnesota.

"I was very surprised. The best part for me was being able to call family members on the phone and to hear their excitement," she told KARE. "This was truly a blessing from God. To me this news is reflective of the support and encouragement of my family, my school and my community."

Khalif, who is the daughter of Somali immigrants, is also a state speech champion and founder of her school’s Social Consciousness Club. She hopes to major in political science and plans to work on making positive changes to society through public service.

She said she has not yet made her decision, but hopes to visit a few more college campuses before picking her final choice May 1.  

Earlier this week, a Long Island high school senior who moved to New York from Nigeria was also accepted to all eight Ivy League schools. 

Photo Credit: KARE

Veterans Services Bookkeeper Stole $800K: Feds


The former bookkeeper for a veterans services organization in Darien has been indicted on federal charges after allegedly embezzling $800,000 between 2009 and 2014.

Cynthia Tanner, 53, of Darien, was indicted Thursday on five counts of wire fraud and five counts of tax evasion. She’s accused of stealing nearly $800,000 from the National Veterans Services Fund between January 2009 and June 2014 and using the money toward her own personal expenses and those of her family.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Tanner changed the organization’s records to give the impression that the stolen money was going to veterans in need.

The National Veterans Services Fund provides social services and medical support to veterans of the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars and their families and focuses specifically on children with disabilities.

Federal prosecutors said Tanner also failed to report the embezzled funds to the IRS, depriving the federal government of $270,026 in tax revenue.

If convicted on all 10 counts, Tanner could be sentenced to up to 125 years in prison.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Police Respond to Manchester Crash


Authorities are responding to a crash at 79 East Center Street in Manchester, according to police.

Police said injuries have reported.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Dash Cam Shows Traffic Stop of Walter Scott


Officials have released the dash cam video of officer Michael Slager stopping Walter Scott in a traffic stop, minutes before the office shot and killed Scott.

West Haven Rental Car Business Robbed at Gunpoint


Police in West Haven are investigating after two men held up a rental car business at gunpoint, then led police on a car chase into New Haven on Thursday afternoon.

West Haven police said they were called to Cap Auto Rentals at 560 Forest Road just before 4 p.m. Thursday.

They tracked down two men suspected of stealing money from the business and tried to stop the car they were driving. The suspects drove off and led police on a chase into New Haven, where officers stopped them, police said.

Police continue to investigate and said they have not made any arrests in connection with the case.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

“Jug Handle” Closed Near Bradley Airport


The “ jug handle” near Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks is closed because of a tractor-trailer crash.

No injuries are reported, but the road will be closed for a while, according to state police.

Crews from the state Department of Transportation and the state Department of Consumer Protection have been called to the scene.

The airport terminal access road connects to Schoephoester Road, about half a mile east of the end of the expressway at a jug handle intersection.

This is not affecting airport traffic.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Nursing Home Employees Threaten to Strike


More than 3,500 nursing home workers will walk off the job on April 24 if their union, the SEIU, doesn't reach a deal with a group of three nursing home operators.

The union voted to strike earlier this week for higher wages in the range of $15 per hour. Many workers currently make $12 per hour. The union's contract expired last month.

The Connecticut Association of Health Care Workers represents Genesis Healthcare, iCare and Paradigm Healthcare, the companies that operate the 27 facilities that would be affected by a strike. The group opposes such a drastic move by workers.

Matthew Barrett, the group's vice president, said in a statement that difficult Medicaid funding issues create an unlikely environment for higher wages.

"The math just doesn’t work," Barrett said. "While Connecticut nursing homes want to meet the public's reasonable expectation for high quality care, the current state policy of paying Medicaid reimbursement below costs makes this an ongoing challenge for Connecticut operators."

Gov. Dannel Malloy has urged the union and the nursing homes to keep hammering out a deal.

Nicole Jefferson works at an East Windsor nursing home and said she's ready to leave her job to strike if it means higher wages later.

"I see it as short term," Jefferson said during an interview. "Living long-term on $12 an hour will not do. To be able to struggle to go on strike short term, I know I’m doing it for good reason."

Jefferson commutes to East Windsor from Hartford. She said she thinks she's worth $17 per hour but concedes that $15 would lead to niceties in her life she currently doesn't enjoy.

"It would change my life because I would be able to buy my daughter a birthday present. I’ll be able to buy a cake for my daughter. I’ll be able to buy a decent uniform for my daughter," she said.

Both sides will continue to negotiate a new agreement until the April 24 deadline.

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