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Surveillance Video Shows Possible Sex Assault Suspect: PD


Stamford police are seeking the public's help in identifying a man caught on surveillance camera who they believe sexually assaulted a woman last week.

A man "accosted" a woman in the area of East Main Street by Grove Street in Stamford at about 7:40 p.m. on May 12.

Police said the man was described as in his 20s and 5-foot-7 with medium build and had a close-cropped beard. He was wearing checkered shorts, a dark T-shirt that had a design on the front side and a baseball hat backward on his head, police said.

He was caught on surveillance camera cutting behind the Sheraton hotel in the area and through a parking lot behind the Eagles Club to get to Grove Street, so he was likely familiar with the area, according to police.

Police released surveillance footage on YouTube and while they acknowledged that the resolution is low, "anyone knowing this suspect may recognize him from his movement and clothing," police said.

Photo Credit: Stamford Police Department
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Man Charged With Child Sex Assault in New Britain


New Britain police have arrested a 22-year-old Fall River, Massachusetts man accused of sexually assaulting a child.

Little information is available about the case and the warrant is sealed, but Joshua Rodriguez, 22, of Fall River, has been charged with first-degree sexual assault, illegal sexual conduct with a victim under the age of 16 and risk of injury to a minor.

The incident happened around June 21, 2010 and he was arrested in New Bedford, Massachusetts, according to the court file.

Rodriguez was arraigned on Friday, May 15 and is being held on $100,000 bond.

He is due back in court on June 1.

Police Investigate Children's Reports of Suspicious Man


Police believe they have located a vehicle connected to an investigation that stems from reports from children of a suspicious person lurking near a Wethersfield school and church who started to follow one student in early May, police said.

A bald man in a yellow shirt who drove a black car may have followed a Webb School student along Willow Street on May 7, children told police.

Police also received another report that a man of a similar description without a vehicle was standing just outside a wooded area by the Wethersfield United Methodist Church and Mill Woods park on May 8. Children reported that he was acting suspiciously, but police said the man didn't say or do anything that "would clearly indicate his intentions one way or the other."

While police said they believe they found the black car described by the students, the driver doesn't "closely match the description of the suspicious person" and the driver had a legitimate reason to be in that area, police said. There is no information at this time that the driver of the car in question was "involved in any nefarious activity," police said.

Police are investigating whether someone else may have been driving the car, however said that is unlikely.

Police and school board security continue to investigate the reported suspicious incidents.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Bristol Palin, Marine Fiance Cancel Wedding Plans


Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol's wedding plans have been called off days before she and her fiance were supposed to get married, her mother said Monday on Facebook.

The change of plans for Bristol Palin and her fiance Dakota Meyer, who had planned on a Saturday ceremony in Kentucky, came after reports last week that Meyer had been previously married as a teen.

"Regarding salacious headlines in recent days about 'secret wives,' Dakota and I discussed our past relationships prior to our engagement. Dakota was legally divorced years ago, as any good reporter could and should have disclosed to readers," the former "Dancing With the Stars" contestant wrote in a message her mother posted to Facebook. 

Her mother, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee, said that the two families would gather in Kentucky anyway Saturday for a barbecue "to celebrate life, in general!"

It wasn't clear what the couple's wedding plans were, or whether the couple themselves would be at the barbecue.

Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
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Shelton Man Killed in Hang Gliding Accident


 A Shelton man was killed when he hit a mountain while hang gliding in New York on Sunday.

New York State Police said Scott Trueblood, 44 of Shelton, was hang gliding near the State Route 52 overlook in the Town of Wawarsing when he hit the mountainside just after 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Trueblood, a newly license pilot with the Ellenville Flight School, a privately owned hang gliding and paragliding operation, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Man Critically Injured in New Haven Motorcycle Crash


A 42-year-old suffered critical injuries when he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into a bush in New Haven on Sunday night, according to police.

Police said Sean Scales, 42, was driving southbound on Townsend Avenue when he lost control in the area of Tuttle Street just prior to 10 p.m. Sunday. Scales was ejected from the bike and landed in the road.

He suffered injuries to his brain, spine and arm, according to police.

New Haven police are investigating the crash.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Texas Cop Not Indicted for Shooting


A Tarrant County grand jury declined to indict a Grapevine police officer Monday who fatally shot an unarmed Mexican man after a high-speed chase earlier this year.

The decision by the grand jury means officer Robert Clark will not face charges in the death of 31-year-old Ruben Garcia Villalpando, an undocumented immigrant who died Feb. 20 after being shot twice in the chest during a traffic stop.

Police said Villalpando led Clark on a high-speed chase, "weaving through and around the heavy traffic and driving on the shoulder of the highway attempting to evade officer Clark."

Villalpando eventually stopped along Texas 121 near Glade Road in Euless and exited his car with his hands up. Then, contrary to the officer's instructions, he walked slowly toward the officer while holding his hands on his head, according to police.

As he continued to approach the officer, Villalpando disappeared from the view of the camera as Clark continued to order the man back to his car. Moments later, two shots could be heard, followed by the officer radioing "shots fired."

“The grand jurors were given complete and open access to all the evidence in this case, included cellphone videos, the dash cam video from officer Clark’s vehicle, witness statements, police records and reports, and any additional information that they requested,” said Larry Moore, Chief of the CDA’s Criminal Division, who led the state’s presentation. “They heard testimony from witnesses representing both Mr. Villalpando and officer Clark. The attorneys representing officer Clark and the Villalpando family were also given the opportunity to directly address the grand jury, should they wish to do so.”

The Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the fatal shooting in February and, in a letter to the police departments of Grapevine and Euless and to the Tarrant County district attorney, said the shooting was a "disproportionate use of lethal force that results in the unnecessary loss of life and erodes the trust that should exist between the authorities and the communities in which they operate."

An attorney representing the family, Domingo Garcia, viewed the officer's dashcam video with Villalpando's family and activist Carlos Quintanilla. Both Garcia and Quintanilla agreed Villalpando was intoxicated and ran from police, but added that he did not deserve to die.

"You do not shoot an unarmed man with his hands on his head," Garcia told NBC 5 in February. "This is an absolute coldblooded murder by a man wearing a badge and a uniform."

"We are deeply disappointed that the Tarrant County DA did not act as they should have in indicting officer Clark and as equally disappointed in Domingo Garcia who lost public momentum in forcing a public outcry on the matter; it now becomes a money game for him and his client and once again we all lose, because really justice has not been served for the Immigrant community," Quintanilla said Monday.

During a news conference with Villalpando's family Monday afternoon, Garcia questioned the integrity of the dashcam video released by authorities earlier in the day and said he would be hiring an expert to determine if it had been edited. Garcia raised questions about where Villalpando was when the shooting took place; according to the dashcam footage Villalpando was shot off-camera but video recorded by passers by showed his body in front of the police car.

Garcia also said the family, who remain heartbroken over their loss, said they plan to file a federal lawsuit.

Grapevine Chief of Police Eddie Salame released a statement about the dashcam footage after the grand jury's decision was made public Monday.

“It has been very frustrating to listen to people mischaracterize this incident while our department honored the request of the Tarrant County District Attorney not to release the video until it could be presented to the grand jury,” said Salame. “The dashcam video tells a very different story from the one the public has been hearing.”

The Grapevine police cited Urey Patrick, formerly with the FBI and an expert on the use of force, who said Villalpando’s actions in the video are consistent with the intent to attack: “He proceeds to make an approach on the officer — at a steady pace, unwavering and obstinate, eyes averted — despite being at gunpoint and subjected to a constant battery of orders to stop. Such behavior is consistent with the intent to close the range by moving slowly and inexorably and avoiding eye contact, in order to dispel suspicions until close enough to suddenly attack.”

Salame said police aren't sure why Villalpando acted the way he did, but speculated that his actions may have been due to concerns over facing a second arrest for drunken driving.

“There is no question that the loss of any life is a source of sadness and we understand the concerns expressed by many regarding this incident before all the facts were known. Sadly, this is not the first instance where someone whose judgment was impaired by alcohol has created a situation that led to their death," Salame said.

Villalpando is survived by his wife, Martha, and four young children.

The Next Generation Action Network and LULAC are planning to protest the grand jury's decision and the Grapevine Police Department outside Grapevine City Hall at 7 p.m. Monday night. They are asking that the department fire officer Clark.

NBC 5's Josh Ault, Todd Davis, Ben Russell and Amanda Guerra contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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Police Respond to Crash on Route 9 in Farmington


State police are responding to a crash on Route 9 northbound in Farmington.

Police said two cars collided Monday afternoon. Both northbound lanes are blocked but traffic is getting by using the shoulder.

There has been no word on injuries.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

East Hartford Fights Mosquito Infestation


The town of East Hartford's Mosquito Management Program is in full swing as this month's burst of warm weather ushers in an early start to the pest problem.

Mosquito experts say East Hartford is one of several towns along the Connecticut River dealing with an early hatch.

The mayor's office announced Monday that the health department has begun spraying larvicide on town-owned property in an effort to keep the infestation at bay, first targeting areas where mosquitoes are most problematic.

Town officials are also larviciding storm drains and applying fog and spray buffers on town-owned waterfront properties to prevent mosquitoes from moving inland and entering neighborhoods and parks.

"I have continued with our program because of our commitment to the health and safety of our residents," East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc said in a statement Monday. "We believe that having a mosquito management program is crucial to controlling and preventing the spread of disease."

East Hartford officials suggest residents get rid of standing water on their properties to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there.

The town health department is also selling packs of "Mosquito Dunks," which break down when placed in standing water and release pesticide over a period of 30 days. Residents can purchase a three-pack for $3 at the East Hartford Health Department.

Anyone with questions or concerns is encouraged to reach out to the mayor's office at 860-291-7200 or the health department at 860-291-7324.

Body of 34-Year-Old Man Pulled From River in Bridgeport


Firefighters pulled the body of a 34-year-old man from the Pequonnock River in Bridgeport in front of dozens of people late Sunday afternoon, including families with children, according to a spokesperson for the mayor's office.

Bridgeport officials said someone spotted the body in the water near Knowlton Street and Arctic Street and alerted police around 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Firefighters were called in to retrieve the body.

Authorities have identified the man as Walter Ridot, 34, according to the mayor's office. Ridot was wearing an orange shirt, blue jeans, boxers, tan belt and baseball cap when his body was found.

Police said Ridot's body did not show any signs of trauma. His cause of death has not yet been determined.

The Bridgeport Police Department is investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 203-581-5100.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Manhattan DA Intends to Re-try Etan Patz Murder Case


Manhattan's top prosecutor said Monday he plans to re-try the Etan Patz murder case, which ended in mistrial earlier this month after the 12-person jury told a judge for the third time they could not reach a unanimous decision on whether 54-year-old Pedro Hernandez killed the 6-year-old boy in 1979.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance made the comments on MSNBC's "The Cycle." He said he intended to officially announce plans to re-try the case at a court date in June.

At the time of the final deadlock, 11 of the jurors in the recent trial believed Hernandez had kidnapped and killed Patz in SoHo as the boy headed to school. Only one juror said he couldn't overcome reasonable doubt, citing Hernandez's documented mental health issues, the bizarre nature of Hernandez's confession to police and concerns about how that confession was attained.

"I think the evidence put in by our prosecutors was compelling and was clear," Vance said Monday on MNSBC. "It's a challenging case, I've never said otherwise, but it's a case we believe should be prosecuted. That's why we did, and in our system it happens from time to time that jurors cannot be unanimous and this was one of those cases."

Harvey Fishbein, Hernandez's defense attorney, told NBC 4 New York Monday, "I have not received any official notification but if the D.A.'s office elects to retry the case, I assure you we will be ready." 

The jury of five men and seven women labored over their deliberations for more than two weeks and 115 hours, asking for reviews of exhibits and hours of testimony from key witnesses in what became the longest New York City criminal trial deliberations in decades.

The judge granted a mistrial May 8 after jurors said for the third time they could not agree on a verdict. Twice before the jurors had said they were deadlocked but were ordered to keep deliberating.

Hernandez was a teenage stock clerk at a convenience store in Patz's neighborhood at the time he disappeared. After having never been a suspect in the case, he confessed to the crime in 2012 in a case that galvanized the missing-children's movement and confounded law enforcement for decades.

The little boy's body was never found, nor was any trace of clothing or his belongings. No physical evidence tied Hernandez to the boy's disappearance or death.

Speaking to the media after the mistrial was granted, Etan Patz's father, Stanley Patz, said the evidence and testimony presented over the months-long trial convinced his family Hernandez was "guilty of the crimes to which he has confessed beyond any reasonable doubt."

"The family of Etan Patz has waited 36 years for a resolution as to what happened to our sweet little boy in 1979," the father said. "Let me make very clear that we are frustrated and very disappointed that the jury has been unable to come to decision. Our long ordeal is not over."

He said in a statement Monday, "We are pleased that the D.A.'s office is willing to expend the time and energy to retry Pedro Hernandez." 

In a statement after the mistrial, Vance said the challenges in the Patz case were "exacerbated by the passage of time," but he said he firmly believes "there is clear and corroborated evidence of the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

Speaking to MSNBC Monday, Vance said the passage of time, while sometimes difficult to manager in a courtroom, should not deter the prosecution from helping get families closure.

"Victims should not believe that law enforcement forgets about them or their families simply because of the passage of time," Vance said.

Jurors heard from 56 witnesses -- just nine of those for the defense -- during the 10-week trial, but the key issue was statements from the alleged killer himself. Police learned that he'd told people years before on three occasions that he'd killed a child in New York. Then he confessed to police he'd choked Patz and left his body in a box in an alley.

Prosecutors argued an alleged confession to a prayer group Hernandez made shortly after the boy's 1979 disappearance trumped the other accounts.

The defense said the admissions were the fictional ravings of a mentally ill man with a low IQ; they also pointed the finger at another potential suspect.

Patz's photo was one of the first on milk cartons. The day he went missing, May 25, was later named National Missing Children's Day.  

Photo Credit: AP

Governor Proclaims Officer Wellness Day


The state will recognize Officer Wellness Day on Tuesday, May 19 "in light of recent negativity directed toward law enforcement nationally," the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association announced Monday afternoon.

The association said Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a proclamation recognizing Officer Wellness Day "to show law enforcement officers that our citizens recognize the difficult and sometimes impossible career they have chosen."

State officials will hold a seminar called "Law Enforcement Wellness Training" from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Connecticut Police Academy at 285 Preston Avenue in Meriden.

It comes after protests over Freddie Gray's death in Baltimore prompted threats against law enforcement nationwide.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Elderly Woman Dies in Crash on Route 8 in Harwinton


A 75-year-old woman died Monday morning when she was thrown from her Ford Focus in a crash on Route 8 southbound in Harwinton, according to state police.

Police said Veronica Dobos, 75, of Winsted, was driving southbound on Route 8 near exit 42 when her car drifted into the rumble strips on the side of the highway around 11 a.m. and she lost control.

Dobos' car then veered left across the highway and crashed into the center median, traveling under the guard rail and hitting a cement bridge. The car then began to spin and Dobos was ejected from the vehicle, according to state police. She was not wearing a seat belt.

Dobos was rushed to Waterbury Hospital and was later pronounced dead. Police said a passenger in her car, Monica Adorno, 59, of Torrington, suffered a possible injury.

Part of Route 8 southbound was closed for several hours.

The crash remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: Heather Matthews Arel

Connecticut House Votes to Ban Powdered Alcohol


The state House of Representatives has voted to ban a powdered form of freeze-dried alcohol from store shelves in Connecticut.

The Connecticut House passed the measure overwelmingly with a vote of 143 to 2, with six representatives absent, according to the House clerk. The bill, previously approved by the state Senate, now goes to Gov. Dannel Malloy for his signature.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has also called for a federal ban on powdered alcohol.

The product, Palcohol, is a powdered version of vodka, rum, and three cocktails, according to the company website. Powdered alcohol is designed to be mixed with liquid such as water or juice.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved Palcohol in March, but Blumenthal said it should never have received federal approval.

The manufacturer, Lipsmark, has suggested in the past that the product can be snorted to get drunk "almost instantly" or be added to foods or snuck into events, according to a news release from Blumenthal’s office, which said the suggestions have since been scrubbed from the company’s site.

New Haven Parents Push for New Strong School Facility


Parents and staffers at the Strong Elementary School are pushing the New Haven Board of Alders to preserve funding for a new school in the city to replace the current, older building.

They hope board will approve plans to build a new school on the campus of Southern Connecticut State University, but at this point, some of the alders wonder if the move would be in the best financial interest of the city.

Those who use the school’s current building on Orchard Street in New Haven say the facility is outdated and that students and teachers deserve better.

"Why should they have to settle with ceilings leaking, roofs leaking?" wondered Sherina Baker, whose daughter attends the school. "These are the babies."

A new 455-student school for students in pre-K through fourth grade would operate in conjunction with SCSU’s education school.

According to the superintendent, the state would 79 percent of the cost of the $45 million project. The remaining cost to the city would be just shy of $9.5 million.

"We do understand that the budget is tight. We know that," said Strong School Principal Susan Denicola. "But we do feel that we should be able to get what other people have in the district."

The Strong School was not on the agenda at Monday's Board of Alders meeting, but parents and school officials say now is the time to get the board's attention.

They hope hopes plans for the new school are approved as part of the board’s final budget down the line.

"Being in a building that is not up to code and not up to par is just not OK," said Denicola.

If all is approved, the new Strong School would open in 2017.

"I just want to see Strong School get stronger and get everything they need and get everything they deserve," said Baker.

Malloy Takes "Second Chance" Message to Hartford


Gov. Dannel Malloy met with religious leaders and resident of Hartford's North End neighborhood to strike up more support for his legislative proposal that would remove mandatory minimum sentences for minor drug possession.

"I think the whole idea is to make people uncomfortable that you can be treated one way in Avon and a totally different way in Hartford," Malloy said outside the Cozy Spot, a local breakfast and lunch staple in one of the city's roughest neighborhoods.

Marcus Brown now owns the barber shop down the street where he worked for his father years ago. He says the North End is a shell of its old self and doesn't resemble thriving cities and towns in other parts of the country.

"You go to other states and you see right off the highway lots of other businesses and companies and manufacturing," Brown said. "Down here in the North End, in the Meadows, you don’t have that."

Last week, Malloy took strong criticism from Republicans who accused the governor of inappropriately injecting race into the conversation by saying that opposition to the Second Chance proposal was "if not racist in its intent, racist in its outcome."

On Monday, State Sen. Len Fasano, a Republican from North Haven, criticized the governor for not discussing the specifics of his proposal with members of the General Assembly.

"I don’t get it. He thinks he’s in a totally different role," said Fasano. "This is the legislature. We know what the issues are. We should be sitting down. We have 13 days left. He should be saying, 'Hey, let’s sit down, let’s talk.'"

Fasano also said of the governor's comments last week, "I think the governor’s name calling was just unnecessary. That’s sixth grade."

Malloy took the opportunity to snipe at Republicans, on the notion that Democrats are concerned a vote for Second Chance could become a campaign issue.

"Republicans want to oppose a package that will lower crime so that they can score cheap political points, that’s what they’re trying to do," Malloy said.

Family, Housekeeper Found Dead in Burning D.C. Home Likely Held Overnight: Sources


Investigators believe more than one person was likely involved in the shocking murders of a married couple, their 10-year-old son and their housekeeper, whose bodies were found after a fire was set at the family's upscale D.C. home last week, sources say.

It's likely that the killers had knowledge of the family and how they lived their day-to-day lives, sources said. There was no sign of forced entry at the home.

Savvas Savopoulos, 46; his wife, Amy Savopoulos, 47; their son, Philip, and housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa, 57, were found dead Thursday.

Investigators believe it's likely that the killers gained access to the home Wednesday and kept the victims bound and threatened through Thursday afternoon, when Savvas Savopoulos gave them what they were looking for, sources said.

A longtime housekeeper for the Savopoulos family said she was a good friend of Veralicia "Vera" Figueroa. 

Nelly, who didn't want her full name used, owns her own cleaning company and worked for the family for more than two decades. Nelly allowed Figueroa to work with her at the Savopoulos family's home.

On Wednesday, Figueroa texted Nelly to say she wanted to work at the home, and planned to finish by 3 p.m. 

That evening, Nelly missed a call from Savvas Savopoulos, saying Figueroa was spending the night at the family's home.

Nelly said Figueroa was hard-working and loved life. She'd come to the United States from El Salvador to earn money before planning to retire next year.

On Monday, ATF agents and D.C. police continued to gather evidence at the Woodley Park home.

In a Maryland suburb, authorities used a bloodhound in an effort to track down the person who torched a 2008 blue Porsche 911 stolen from the Woodland Drive NW home on the day of the fire.

The Porsche was burned in the parking lot of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Lanham, the the last known location of a suspect in the case. Investigators are working to learn why that person chose that location, and where he or she went after that.

Over the weekend, D.C. police released surveillance video of a person of interest in the case, captured on a camera at a banquet hall near the scene of the car fire. The person is shown dressed in dark clothing.

Firefighters arrived at the large home Thursday afternoon to find smoke and fire coming from the roof, and the four victims inside.

They said one of the victims was bleeding from the head and had a heavy smell of gasoline when he or she was transported to Georgetown University Hospital. There's also evidence that points to arson.

Neighbors who have been in the home said the family had an extensive and valuable art collection, which was on display a couple of years ago during the Christmas house tour put on by St. Albans School, where Phillip was a student.

A GoFundMe page was created to help with Vera Figueroa's funeral.

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White House: Less Military Gear for Local Police


President Barack Obama announced Monday that police departments around the country will receive less "military style" equipment.

Federal agencies have provided some gear to police departments over the past 20 years or so that closely resemble the types of weapons, protective equipment and vehicles used by armed forces.

"Certain kinds of equipment just don’t make sense," said Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. "You don’t need camouflage gear in a city, for example."

Southern Connecticut State University Police Chief Joseph Dooley is the president of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association and said the action by the White House is consistent with what he's seen across the country and around Connecticut.

"Some of the things that have come up have to do with a vehicle looking like a military vehicle, which is something I completely understand," said Dooley.

He said armored vehicles all double as all-terrain vehicles during severe weather issues like floods and snow storms. Dooley said they are useful for rescue operations that regular trucks and police cruisers just can't handle.

Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley said the department does have an armored vehicle but conceded, "I've never even seen it."

Foley said the goal of the Hartford Police Department is to actually look like police officers in the community and not to be decked out in military-style armor.

"If you look at how we approach everything, we don’t want people to think that we’re military officers," Foley said.

He added that the police have a vital role which does require some extra equipment.

"We are the last line of defense and the first responders to a terrorist attack or a major weather event in the city here," Foley said.

Officials with the White House said it will implement a more stringent review process to determine what police departments need when it comes to extra gear and make sure training processes are in place for how to use the equipment.

"You do need other kinds of gear in certain circumstances, but the local police should describe what those circumstances are, and they should have training procedures in place to make sure they know how to use that equipment safely," Munoz said.

West Hartford Students Tackle SBAC Test


Talking about the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium is one thing. Actually taking the test is another.

For juniors at Conard High in West Hartford, it's SBAC literacy this week, SBAC math next week.

"Some of the questions are really easy," student Angel Serrano said after the first day of testing. "But then some are super hard. So I'm taking it, getting the questions wrong or getting them right in like two seconds."

Because the SBAC is taken on a computer, the questions adapt to students' answers.

"It definitely is different," said Charlie Grabber. "This is sort of adjusting, so I'm getting more out of it."

The test is intended to show how well students are grasping the new curricular standards called Common Core. Connecticut is one of 18 states using SBAC. In Seattle, one high school's entire junior class opted out of the test.

Grabber said he knew many students who would have opted out if not for what he called "pressure."

The teachers' unions in Connecticut have condemned the SBAC, urging the state legislature to let teachers tell parents how to opt their students out of the test and whether they should.

But the chairman of the legislature's education committee called the SBAC a "necessary evil."

"In terms of following the federal law, the SBAC is the best option we have currently," said Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, a Democrat from West Hartford.

Fleischmann explained that the federal government requires states to test students' skills from third grade through eighth grade, then once in high school.

The state Department of Education won't know how many students opted out until testing has concluded. Calls to West Hartford Public Schools have not been returned.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Random Stabbing at New Haven Dunkin’ Donuts


A man went through surgery after being stabbed in the back inside the Dunkin’ Donuts on Derby Avenue in New Haven on Monday morning during a random attack and police said they are questioning a man who confessed to the crime. 

Just before 6 a.m., a regular customer of the shop was stabbed in the back as he was waiting in line at the counter, according to witnesses and the store manager. 

People at the scene said no words were exchanged, there was no apparent provocation and the assailant left the store after the stabbing. 

The manager reported seeing one man stab another and pointed out the person believed to be responsible, according to police, who said the suspect remained at the scene. 

The victim, who was conscious and alert when he was taken to the hospital and told police he doesn’t know the person who attacked him and could not offer any reason for why he was stabbed. The victim has gone through surgery, police said.

Police have arrested Holger Ojeda, 34, of West Haven, and said he confessed to the stabbing. He is in custody and is being interviewed. 

Dunkin' Donuts released a statement about the stabbing. 

"We are aware of the incident that occurred this morning at the Dunkin' Donuts restaurant at 105 Derby Avenue in New Haven. Our thoughts go out to the victim and his family. The franchise owner is cooperating fully with the local authorities in their investigation. As this is a pending police matter, it is inappropriate for us to comment further." a statement from the company says.

The doughnut shop was closed for several hours as police investigated, but it has since reopened. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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