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Power Out for Most of Old Saybrook


Power is out for 72 percent of Old Saybrook, according to the website for the utility company Eversource and the Fire Department.

Power was out for 75 percent as of 7 a.m., but some power was restored. 

A Tweet from the Old Saybrook Police Department says they are aware of sporadic power outages around town and urges drivers to use caution.

They have also put out temporary stop signs at intersections where traffic lights are not working. 

The cause of the outage is not clear, but officials from Eversource said power expected power to be restored by 9:15 a.m., but power is still out for almost 5,000 customers.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com
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Boy Missing After Kayak Capsized in Norwich


A kayaker who disappeared in the waters of the Shetucket River in Norwich late Sunday night is a child, according to police and officials are searching for him.

Police received an emergency call at 10:09 p.m. reporting a male went into the water in a kayak near 751 North Main Street and capsized about 30 feet from shore, police said.

Bystanders tried to rescue the kayaker, but couldn't find him and crews found the empty kayak 100 yards north of the Greenville Dam overnight.

The kayaker's name has not been released. 

Crews are concentrating the search effort on the section of the river north of the 8th Street bridge, near the dam and are also searching the riverbanks. 

Norwich resident Pat Buchert, who has lived in the area for many years, says she is shaken up knowing the boy is still missing and is wondering why he was on the water.

"If you don’t know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t be out there," Buchert said. "But there’s no way of stopping people from doing what they want to do, no more than anything else."

State police are assisting Norwich officers with the search. Norwich, Yantic and Taftville dive teams are also involved in the search.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

4 High School Students Injured in Boating Accident


Four E.O. Smith students were injured on Sunday when the rowing shell they were in was hit by another boat on Coventry Lake, according to officials from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

DEEP says the students, all members of the E.O. Smith girls crew team, were in a 56-foot rowing shell when they were struck by a 14-foot SeaDoo driven a 45-year-old Tolland man.

Several departments responded to the Coventry Lake boat launch off Cross Street around 3:15 p.m., according to emergency dispatchers and found nine students were thrown from the shell.

Four female students were transported to Windham Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

The SeeDoo driver was not injured and is cooperating with police.

Sgt. Chris Dwyer, of the State Environmental Police, said this could have been far worse.

"It's a miracle that no one was seriously injured or killed," he said. "This time of year, we have warm air and we have very cold water temperatures. So, we urge everyone that if they need to go out on the water at all for any water sports to please wear the life jackets."

The cause of the crash is under investigation at this time and no charges have been filed. Police said drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor.

Ambulances from Coventry, Mansfield, Andover and Columbia all responded as well as crews from North Coventry Fire, Coventry police, and DEEP.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Video: Bears in Bristol


Bears were spotted on Longview Avenue in Bristol and Vikki Girourd shared this video, which shows them trying to get a meal from a bird feeder.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection keeps track of black bear activity in Connecticut and there have been 102 reports in Bristol over the last year.

Over the last year, there have been a total of 4,323 bear sightings in the state, with the most in Avon.
To avoid bears, DEEP recommends removing bird feeders from late March through November and waiting until the morning your trash is being collected to bring it out.

They also recommend adding a few capfuls of ammonia to trash bags and garbage cans to mask food odors and to keep trash bags in a container with a tight lid and stores in a garage or shed.

Avoid leaving pet food outside overnight and store livestock food in airtight containers and do not put meats or sweet-smelling fruit rinds in compost piles. To discourage bears, sprinkle lime on the compost pile to reduce the smell and thoroughly clean grills after using them.

You can report bear sightings online or by calling the DEEP's 24-hour hotline at 860-424-3333.

Photo Credit: Vikki Girourd
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Fire Danger Is Very High Today


The forest fire danger for today is listed as very high, according to officials from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The state does not allow open burning when the fire danger is elevated.

Permits residents obtained from a local open burning official to burn brush on personal property are not valid if the forest fire danger is rated high, very high or extreme and you are burning within 100 feet of a grassland or woodland.

The National Weather Service has issued a special statement for most of Connecticut, indicating that there is an elevated threat for fire to spread because of wind gusts of 20 to 25 miles per hour.

The state can experience high fire danger between mid-March and May and there have been several brush fires this season, including one in Ledyard over the weekend.

If you spot a forest fire, DEEP urges you to remain calm and call 911 to report the fire as quickly as possible to the local fire department.

Photo Credit: Ledyard Fire Department

And the Royal Baby's Name Is...


Britain's newborn princess has been named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana — seen as a tribute to Prince William's parents and grandmother.

The princess is the second child of Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. The baby will be known as Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, royal officials said Monday.

Charlotte, the feminine form of Charles, appears to be a nod to the newborn's grandfather, Prince Charles. The middle names honor Queen Elizabeth II, the infant's 89-year-old great-grandmother, and the late Princess Diana, William's mother.

The princess is fourth in line to the throne after Charles, William and her older brother Prince George.

William and Kate introduced the baby princess to the world Saturday evening, just 12 hours after Kate checked into a London hospital to give birth. The baby weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces (3.7 kilograms).

The couple had kept the world guessing about the name until after both sets of grandparents got a chance to visit Kensington Palace on Sunday to meet their granddaughter.

Bookmakers had taken huge amounts of bets on the name, and Charlotte had been a favorite choice, a front-runner alongside other guesses like Alice and Victoria.

Earlier Monday, Westminster Abbey's bells pealed and gun salutes were fired across London in honor of the newborn princess. In a display of traditional pageantry, dozens of deafening volleys were fired from Hyde Park and the Tower of London to mark the occasion.

Royals traditionally look to their family tree for name ideas, and Britain's royal history has seen several Charlottes. Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III, was a keen botanist and founded London's Kew Gardens. Born in 1744, the queen had 15 children.

George IV also named his only child Charlotte in 1796, but she died in childbirth at the age of 21 in 1817, leading to a mass outpouring of grief in Britain.

Photo Credit: AP

Truck Crash Spills Spools of Steel on I-95


Two lanes of Interstate 95 South are closed after a tractor-trailer crash on the Milford-Orange line.

The truck was carrying big pools of steel, which spilled on the road, according to state police, and a payloader has responded.

The spill should be cleaned soon, according to police.

The right lane is getting by, but the center and left lanes are closed and there are delays from exit 43.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Woman Smashed Ex’s Door Over Threat to Post Nude Photos: Cops


A woman accused of smashing the door of her ex-boyfriend’s Middletown home on Sunday morning told police she did it because he threatened to post nude photos of her online, according to police.

When police responded to a home on Congdon Street at 10:10 a.m., they met with the victim, who said his ex-girlfriend, Rene Wallace, 19, of Middletown, smashed the door of his home and got inside.

He told police she showed up at his house speak to him and he told her to go away. Instead, she grabbed a baseball bat from his pickup and started banging on the front door of his home.

Then, she went to the back sliding glass door, smashed it with the bat and got inside, where she started kicking the locked basement door before turning around and leaving, according to police.

When police spoke with Wallace, she said she went to her ex-boyfriend’s house to confront him about deleting nude photos of her on his cell phone.

She told police he said he was going to post them online and she was so upset that she broke the sliding glass door with the bat and kicked in the basement door, according to the arraignment report.

Wallace was taken to police headquarters and charged with one count of home invasion and disorderly conducts and three counts of criminal mischief.

Bond was set at $25,000 and she is due in court on Monday.

Photo Credit: Middletown Police

Man Fired Shots in Attempted ATM Robbery: PD


Police are seeking a man who fired shots at woman's car after he tried to rob her while she was using an ATM at a Waterbury bank and she fled, police said.

A man wielding a gun approached her while she was using an ATM at Webster Bank at 5 Wigwam Ave. close to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

She got into her car and he shot at her vehicle as she drove off, police said. The man ran from the scene.

Police described the suspected robber as having a thin build and dark clothing.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Fire, Propane, Led to Collapse of Newtown Home


A Newtown home collapsed after a fire on Monday morning and officials said two propane tanks outside made the fire tougher to fight and led to the collapse.

Firefighters were sent to 4 Aunt Park Lane in Newtown around 4 a.m. on Monday and the propane outside has caused the flames to shoot up into the sky

Three or four adults were in the house at  when the fire broke out, officials said, and none were injured. As flames were spreading, they rushed outside.

"That was probably 50- or 60- foot flames. They were whizzing like a jet engine," Newtown Asst. Chief Joseph Masso said. 

One of the neighbors said she woke up and heard screaming from the home that caught fire. The residents then ran to her home, where they called 911, and she gave them clothes and blankets.

Another neighbor, Kevin McNally, said that "it sounded like a Roman candle was being ignited." He wasn't expecting the flames he saw when he looked out his window Monday morning.

"It's funny how you look at it for awhile, you don't move, you just 'oo,'" McNally said.

There isn't much left of the house and officials are waiting for an excavator so they can put out hot spots.

The road was closed as Bethel and Monroe firefighters helped Newtown shuttle in water using tankers and the fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Brush Fire in Harwinton


Firefighters are responding to a brush fire in Harwinton.

Crews are on scene at 30 Blueberry Hill Road.

East Litchfield firefighters are also responding as mutual aid.

Macy’s at Westfarms Evacuated


Macy’s at Westfarms mall has been evacuated as a precaution after a fire alarm went off.

West Hartford police and firefighters have responded.

No additional information was immediately available.

Driver Dead After Crash on I-691


The driver of a car that was wedged under a tractor-trailer on Interstate 691 on Monday morning has died, according to state police.

LifeStar medical transport helicopter responded to the crash, which happened on I-691 east on the Southington-Meriden line near exit 4.

The highway was temporarily shut down, but has reopened.

As of 10:45 a.m., two lanes were still blocked.

State police are not releasing the name of the driver until they notify the family.

No additional information was available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

24 Years in "2 Drunk 2 Care" Crash


The young Florida woman who tweeted "2 Drunk 2 Care" just minutes before a deadly head-on collision that killed two on the Sawgrass Expressway was sentenced to 24 years in prison Monday.

Kayla Mendoza pleaded guilty in February to two charges of DUI manslaughter in the November 2013 deaths of Kaitlyn Ferrante and her best friend Marisa Catronio, both 21 at the time.

She had been facing a maximum of 30 years in prison. The 22-year-old will also serve six years of probation after her prison sentence and will have a lifetime driving ban.

Before she was sentenced, a tearful Mendoza read a letter in court to ask for forgiveness.

"I know that I have made mistakes and the outcome is so much more than I could ever imagine," she said.

Mendoza also spoke about Ferrante and Catronio.

"No matter how much time passes they will never leave my heart. I think about them everyday and I regret my choices everyday," she said. "I don't remember deciding to drive that night so I can't even tell you what was going through my mind when I made that decision. I have no excuses for anything I've done, I just ask for forgiveness."

The families of Ferrante and Catronio begged the judge for the maximum of 30 years and addressed Mendoza.

"Kayla, you changed all that, you took all those dreams away," mother Christine Ferrante said. "And then I had to make the choice to pull her off of life support, that's something a mother should never have to do."

"How do you forgive someone who's ruined your life and family's lives forever?" brother Justin Catronio said.

Authorities said Mendoza, who was 20 years old at the time, had gone out to a Coral Springs bar after work where she drank two large fish bowl-sized margaritas.

After the infamous tweet, Mendoza drove her white Hyundai the wrong way on the Sawgrass Expressway and slammed into a red car driven by Ferrante.

It was later discovered that Mendoza was driving with a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit, according to police.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com

Train Crash Driver's Family Suing


The family of Ellen Brody, the New York woman who died when her SUV got trapped in a railroad crossing and was hit by an oncoming Metro-North train, sparking an explosion that also killed five train passengers, says they're suing the railroad and the MTA for her death.

Lawyers for the family filed a notice of claim Monday, initiating the process for filing a wrongful death law suit.

"This horrific accident was not the fault of Ellen Brody," lawyer Philip Russotti said. "All of these deaths could have been avoided if this hazardous, redundant and unnecessary crossing had been closed or if the entities had followed federal guidelines establishing standards for safe signage and lights."

The Feb. 3 crash in the Westchester County community of Valhalla sparked an explosion and fire that burned out the first car of the train and sent pieces of the third rail stabbing through the passenger area.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Brody's SUV was stuck inside the railroad crossing gates moments before the train hit, but instead of backing up, she drove forward onto the tracks.

"I know who my mom was," Brody's daughter Alexa Brody said in an interview with NBC last March. "I know that she would never, never intentionally hurt people."

The crossing where the crash occurred in the Westchester County community of Valhalla has no barrier between the street and the tracks, and such crossings present safety issues, MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast has said in the past.

On Monday, the MTA said they could not confirm receipt of a notice of claim.

Photo Credit: AP

Glastonbury-Rocky Hill Ferry Closed


The Glastonbury-Rocky Hill Ferry is closed until further notice due to mechanical problems, according to the state Department of Transportation.

The DOT said the issue was reported shortly after 5 p.m. Monday and will likely keep the ferry closed for about 24 hours.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Mystery Marathon Kiss: Man's Wife Responds With Letter


Barbara Tatge successfully finished her first ever Boston Marathon this year. If that was not exciting enough, she also snagged a surprise kiss from a spectator in Wellesley, Massachusetts, following a dare from her daughter, Paige. After seeing the photo of the kiss, her daughter began a quest to find the man her mother smooched, reaching out to the Townsman last week.

According to Wicked Local Wellesley, the mystery man's wife was also running the marathon for the first time and saw the media attention the story has been receiving. She wrote a letter to Tatge via the Townsman saying the story has been fun, but she and her husband would like to stay anonymous.

"When the story aired on the news we were pretty surprised," said the kisser's wife. "I'm not mad. Believe me, our friends have gotten a lot of mileage out of this story and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them give my husband grief!"

The Townsman verified the woman's claims by asking for photos of the man's outfit from the original kiss picture.

"I accepted my daughter's good-hearted dare of reversing the Wellesley tradition" said Tatge, in reference to the women of Wellesley College who traditionally smooch passing runners. "And a good natured man accepted my request for a photo. Moving forward i will revert to only kissing single men."

Tatge also apologized to the man for any unwanted media attention it has caused him and his wife. Tatge has been contacted by various talk shows and television stations in her hometown of Memphis.

Although Tatge did not find her prince charming, she said, "I am touched by the outpouring of support of strangers that wanted a fairytale ending."

"While this may not be the ending that you had hoped for, the spontaneous, silly moment in Wellesley captured the fun, energy and spirit of the Boston Marathon," the man's wife said in her letter to Tatge. "I greatly admire your spunk and courage and wish you many happy races in the future. Congratulations on your Boston finish!"

Tatge, who began running after surviving a rare form of cancer, said she is not done with running.

She hopes to qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2017 but won't be accepting any more dares to kiss strangers again.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Hartford Baseball Stadium Could Be Financed by State


The $1.8 billion revenue generation package unveiled last week by Democrats in the General Assembly's Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee includes state-issued bonds to help finance Hartford's minor league baseball stadium.

The stadium comes with a price tag of $56 million that city officials have said will be paid for with bonds. The proposal that came from the tax-writing committee includes flexible language that could clear the way for the state to cover some or all of the project's cost.

"Now, this is the second attempt to get the state to fund part of the stadium and it’s wrong," said State Sen. Len Fasano, who has been the most vocal critic of any proposal that sends state aid to the capital city to pay for the stadium.

The new stadium is slated to be up and running by opening day in April 2016.

Last month, lawmakers heard testimony on a proposal to take money from the state's admission tax and send it back to Hartford to finance the stadium. It was estimated that the state would provide about $400,000 in revenues from the tax.

The new proposal scraps that plan and paves the way for potentially millions more.

"They’re saying to the legislature, 'Look, you’re not going to get to review it; we’re not even sure we’re going to do the analysis. We’re not even required to do the analysis,'" explained Fasano, a Republican from North Haven. "They’re saying, 'Just give us the money.'"

State Sen. John Fonfara, a Democrat from Hartford who sponsored the bill, didn't respond to requests for comment.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra wasn't available for an interview Monday, but has said previously that state funding was always a part of the plan to fund the stadium. The stadium will be the centerpiece of a multi-use development in the Downtown North section of Hartford, which will comprise apartments, a grocery store and a brewery.

Lawmakers will consider the stadium financing plan along with several other tax hikes over the next few weeks. The deadline to produce a budget is June 3.

Power Out for 95 Percent of Chaplin


Ninety-five percent of the town of Chaplin is without power after a tree came down and took out a power line across Route 6, according to a spokesperson for Eversource.

Neighbors said the wire caught fire and cut power to traffic lights. According to Eversource, more than 1,200 people are without power in the area.

Crews from the power company are heading to the scene to make repairs. They expect to have the lights back on around 10 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

State Police in New England to Crack Down on Speeders


State police in the six states throughout the region announced a partnership Monday aimed at keeping interstate highways safer during the late spring and summer months as travel increases.

The program is called "New England Drive to Save Lives."

"This is the first time that states within one region from several states are working several interstates about specifically speed and belts which kill people," explained Kenneth Morkel with the International Chiefs of Police Association.

Gov. Dannel Malloy helped launch the event and said above all else, common sense is what should guide decision-making when drivers are behind the wheel.

"If you’re driving on Connecticut’s roads, buckle up, put the cellphone down and make sure your children are strapped in," Malloy advised.

According to federal statistics and crash data, more than 43,000 people died in speed-related crashes in 2005. By 2012, the most recent year with available data, the number had decreased to 33,561.

Connecticut State Police Col. Brian Meraviglia said no matter where drivers are headed this summer, they will see troopers along the highways.

"State troopers from six states will work together to concentrate on interstates 91 and 95, roads heavily traveled upon in New England," he said. "The message is clear. Going over the speed limit? Be prepared to be stopped by a trooper."

State officials also told drivers to be very cautious of work zones along highways because several workers have been struck and killed in the past few months.

Finally, when asked about what would happen if a driver being chased by Connecticut Police ends up over the border in another state, Malloy said candidly, "I would prefer that we catch him in Connecticut so we can fine him here."

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