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Caught on Camera: Young Sisters Inside Stolen Car Jump to Safety

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A 10-year-old girl and her 2-year-old sister left alone in their family's car escaped from the moving vehicle Sunday as a thief climbed inside and made his getaway from a Southern California parking lot.

The mother had left her daughters inside the car at a 7-Eleven gas station at 1161 Lugonia Avenue Sunday afternoon while she went inside to pay, according to a Redlands Police Department news release.

Surveillance video showed a man getting into the car, which the mother had left with the motor running. As the mother ran toward the car, the man began to drive off. The passenger side door opened and the two girls tumbled out of the car while still in the parking lot.

The girls suffered minor scrapes.

The 2002 Acura TL, with California license plate 4UWT026, was last seen on San Bernardino Avenue entering the westbound 210 Freeway, police said.

The suspect, who police say had made a purchase at the store prior to the car theft, was identified by investigators as 24-year-old Cory Michael Ahumada of Highland.

Police released the surveillance video in hopes the public can help find him.

Anyone with information regarding the incident or Ahumada's whereabouts was asked to call Redlands Det. Mike Merriman at 909-389-6675.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Redlands Police Department

Heidi to Appear on "Today" Show, Thanks to Viewers

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NBC Connecticut’s Heidi Voight will be live on the "Today" show on Friday, thanks to the many viewers who participated in the Run for Today Run event, Run for Babies, in April at Rentchler Field.

Several NBC stations participated in Run for Today to promote women's health and more viewers from NBC Connecticut got involved than at any other station.

Because of that, Heidi will be on the "Today" show plaza tomorrow during the Imagine Dragons concert.

Then, you will see her during Al Roker’s weather report at 8:30 a.m. 

Run for Babies benefits March of Dimes.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Charged With Murder of Norwich Woman

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Norwich police have arrested a suspect in the murder of a Norwich woman last week.

Jean Jacques, 40, of Crossway Street in Norwich, was arrested on Thursday and charged with murder.

Police found the body of 25-year-old Casey Chadwick when they responded to 16 Spaulding Street on June 15 to investigate a suspicious death.

She died of sharp forced injuries to the head and neck and she also suffered from vascular injuries, Norwich police said. Her death was determined to be a homicide.

"She was beautiful. She was an absolutely beautiful girl," said Chadwick’s mother, Wendy Hartling, in a previous interview.

Court documents revealed 40-year-old Jacques had been coming to the victim’s house unannounced and that they are acquaintances. The affidavit said the victim’s boyfriend told investigators drugs he stored were missing from Chadwick’s apartment.

Last Friday, state police and Norwich investigators were on scene at a home on Crossway Street, which contains several apartments. According to court documents, Jacques had moved into one of the apartments about a week before Chadwick’s murder. His apartment was located several blocks away from Chadwick’s.

Video shows state police in hazmat suits carrying evidence out of the apartment. Police collected evidence including counterfeit money, a cell phone, and blood on his clothing.

Neighbors are relieved someone was caught.

"I couldn’t even let my granddaughter come over here because I was too afraid," said one of Chadwick’s neighbors, Debbie, who chose not to reveal her last name. "She has friends around here I couldn’t even let her walk the street."

A state police record check revealed Jacques had a prior attempted murder conviction. He was arrested in 1996 and charged with murder. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison and was released on parole on January 16, 2015.

Jacques has been charged with murder in connection with Chadwick's death and is being held on a $1 million court-set bond.

Police continue to investigate and ask anyone with information to call
Detective Anthony Gomes at 860-892-2892.



Photo Credit: Norwich Police

Drug Dealer Had Customers Lined Up Around Corner: Feds

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Federal authorities say customers lined up around a corner on Chicago's West Side in broad daylight in hopes of a getting heroin. 

Now, 42 people now face state or federal narcotics charges for their alleged roles in supplying and distributing heroin around West Grenshaw Street and Independence Boulevard in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side.

Authorities allege 33-year-old James Triplett, also known as “Trell,” was a wholesale supplier of heroin and ran the heroin trade in the area. 

A photo included in a more than 200-page federal criminal complaint shows a line of people waiting on June 16 in the 3700 block of West Grenshaw to get heroin from Triplett's organization.

The area where the photo was taken, south of the Eisenhower Expressway corridor, has been referred to as “Heroin Highway” because of the accessibility it provides to city and suburban heroin customers. 

Authorities claim Triplett’s suppliers, who authorities identified as 34-year-old Levaughn Collins, also known as "Sweet Bobby," and Collins' associates, would use clear bags or ones with logos of green playboy bunnies, brown Hershey kisses, orange basketballs, Batman, black pandas or purple ladies stamped on them.  

Sixteen people now face federal charges, including Triplett, who was charged with drug conspiracy and faces at least a 10-year sentence if convicted. Twenty-six other people face state charges.

Authorities said 32 people were arrested Wednesday morning and police confiscated 12 firearms, $50,000 in cash, nearly a half-kilogram of heroin and more than a half-kilogram of cocaine. They also searched several homes, three alleged stash houses and seized two vehicles, including a 2014 Maserati GranTurismo.

Chicago police and Drug Enforcement Administration agents on the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force led the investigation.

"Too many lives in Chicagoland are forever lost due to heroin use," Dennis Wichern, special agent in charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration said in a statement. "I'm proud of the work done by these agents, officers and prosecutors, who worked tirelessly to achieve these results and I’m confident that with our continued partnership, we will have increasing success."



Photo Credit: Photo in federal complaint
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7-Alarm Blaze Consumes Mill

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Four firefighters were injured fighting a massive 7-alarm fire at the Anglo Mill Complex in Webster, Massachusetts, on Thursday afternoon.

The fire tore through the abandoned mills at 103 N. Main St. and spread to some nearby homes, fire officials confirmed.

Webster Fire Chief Brian Hickey said four firefighters were taken to the hospital; however, two of the firefighters have since returned.

There are no active businesses in the Anglo complex, which was scheduled to be demolished.

"Right now we've got the upper hand on the fire," Hickey said at a 4 p.m. news conference. "There's still a lot of smoke, a lot of embers."

Because of the products in the building, which include building and roofing materials, he said some small explosions occurred as the fire burned, but they were nothing to be concerned about.

Hickey said the fire spread to the roofs of some nearby homes, but did not cause any major damage. Some homes were evacuated, and he said those residents will be allowed to return as soon as things calm down a bit.

"We're into our mop up right now," he said. "We've got it contained to the main building. The secondary building's still got quite a bit of fire."

Acting Webster Town Administrator Pamela Regis said the fire involved several buildings at the old mill complex. She said no one was inside the building, but there is severe property damage.

The towns of Auburn, Douglas, and Oxford, among others, responded to the scene to provide mutual aid.

Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said the mutual aid provided by nearby departments were critical to controlling the fire.

"We're in a very dense neighborhood here, and if not for the aggressive nature of the fire departments it could have been much worse," he said.

Coan said it is too early to say what the cause of the fire might be or whether it was intentionally set. He urged anyone with information about the fire to call 1-800-682-9229.

National Grid said it had a crew nearby and was able to quickly turn off gas and electricity in the area.



Photo Credit: necn
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10-Year-Old Girl Missing From Naugatuck Found Safe

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Carley Cianflone has been found safe, according to police.

Naugatuck police are asking for the public's help in finding a 10-year-old girl who was reported missing Thursday.

Carley Cianflone, 10, was last seen around 12:45 p.m. Thursday walking past her home on May Street toward City Hill Street. Police said she was alone at the time.

Carley was wearing black shorts, a white tank top and pink flip-flops at the time.

She stands 4 feet 8 inches tall and has brown hair and green eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to call Naugatuck police right away at 203-729-5221.
 

"The Watcher" Forces Family Out of Dream Home

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A New Jersey couple’s dream house quickly turned to a nightmare after a stalker’s letters forced them to desert their $1.3 million Westfield home.

Just three days after they bought the house last June, the family received a letter from a man known as “The Watcher,” who claimed his family owns the property and has been watching the home for nearly a century, according to NJ.com.

“Why are you here?” the letter read. “I will find out.”

The letter also asked, "Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested?"

A second letter reportedly arrived two weeks later and then a third, a month after that one.

“Have they found what is in the walls yet?” one letter asked. Another asked “who has the bedrooms facing the street? I’ll know as soon as you move in.”

The family never moved into the home and is now trying to sell the property, but the suspicious "Watcher" is scaring away potential buyers.

A stalker was certainly not what the family expected when they moved to Westfield. The township was ranked 30th on Neighborhood Scout’s list of Safest Cities in America when they bought the home in 2014 and currently ranks 24th.

“Our police department conducted an exhaustive investigation based on the factual circumstances and evidence available,” Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky said at a Town Council meeting Tuesday night.

The couple believes the previous owners received a letter from “The Watcher” shortly before they sold the house and have sued, claiming that the previous owners withheld information that would have potentially hurt the home’s value or possibly eliminate the sale altogether. 



Photo Credit: Realtor.com

Newtown Parents Concerned About Proposed School Closure

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Hawley Elementary School will remain open for the time being.

At Wednesday night's Newtown Board of Education meeting, members voted unanimously to not close the school for the 2016-17 school year and continue researching the use of facilities. Along with that, the BOE says it will invite more members of the community to join the discussion.

For Hawley parents, the idea of their school shutting down was out of the question. At the BOE meeting, dozens spoke out against it.

"I don't believe we should be opening a school the same exact year we're closing a school," said Hawley parent Jodie Adolfson.

At the same time it was proposed Hawley would close, Sandy Hook Elementary school would open. Parents said it was unacceptable to close a school to save town money while taking state money to build another.

"It would definitely give a bad image, and Newtown is such a great town to live in. And that's why we're all here," said Hawley parent Casey Ragan.

A recent report predicted a continuing decline in school enrollment and that shutting down Hawley would save millions of dollars. If the building is used by the town, opponents say the savings would be considerably less because repairs would still need to be made.

Parents also said that losing Hawley would increase bus ride times and decrease property values.

"They say when you close a school, property values in the district can go down," said Adolfson.

If the elementary school closed, most students would transfer to Sandy Hook Elementary School. Some argued that Hawley students are not emotionally ready for the move, and that many might feel less secure. Some Hawley parents felt their school was being pitted against Sandy Hook.

"We took that $50 million as a way to bring our community together and keep us together, and it's just really tearing us apart at this point," said Adolfson.

While the BOE says the school will not close during the 2016-17 school year, Hawley could still close after that.
 



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bristol-Myers Squibb to Close Wallingford Site

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The Bristol-Myers Squibb Company will close its Wallingford site in early 2018, according to a statement from the company.

The company said it is building a research site in Cambridge, Massachusetts and will relocate up to 200 employees from Wallingford and Waltham, Massachusetts sites, as well as a limited number from its central New Jersey locations.

Up to 500 employees will also be relocating to a new location in Connecticut, according to the news release.

The Wallingford facility has been dedicated to drug discovery and drug development activities within the Research and Development. It included applied biotechnology, applied genomics, chemistry, clinical research, metabolism & pharmacokinetics, neuroscience and virology departments.

"I am deeply troubled by today’s announcement and what it means for the hundreds of Bristol-Myers Squibb employees in Wallingford. This facility’s closure will devastate these workers' lives and those of their families, while hurting the Town of Wallingford. I stand ready to help the affected workers and urge those in need of assistance to contact my office," U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro said in a statement.

In the announcement, the company also said it plans to discontinue “discovery research efforts in virology,” but this does not impact the “company’s promising ongoing clinical development program in virology, nor does it impact the company’s marketed products in virology.”

“In addition to investments in central New Jersey, our new location in Cambridge and our expanding presence in the San Francisco Bay area positions the company and our scientists in the heart of vibrant ecosystems of world class science, innovation and business opportunities, which offer ideal environments for fostering external collaboration,” Francis Cuss, executive vice president and chief scientific officer for Bristol-Myers Squibb, said in a statement. “Ultimately, our goal is to continue to accelerate the translation of scientific knowledge and insights into the next wave of potentially transformational medicines for patients with serious diseases.”

Toddler's Remains Found on Massachusetts Coast

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Officials in Winthrop, Massachusetts, have discovered the remains of a female toddler, according to state police.

Massachusetts State Police and the Suffolk District Attorney's Office are investigating the incident on Winthrop's Deer Island. They say a woman walking her dog discovered the remains around 1 p.m. on Thursday.

The child has not been identified. The circumstances of her death are under investigation and an autopsy is scheduled for Friday, according to the Suffolk DA.

Investigators are seeking help from the public. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit at 617-727-8817.

Stay with necn and necn.com as this story develops. 



Photo Credit: necn

Tsarnaev Sent to Colo. Prison

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Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is out of Massachusetts, a U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokesperson confirmed.

Tsarnaev, 21, has been flown to a federal prison in Florence, Colorado. He was formally sentenced to death on Wednesday for the 2013 attack.

He is expected to be moved at a later time to the death row unit at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Judy Clarke, Tsarnaev's lead defense attorney, requested on Wednesday that the execution be carried out in New Hampshire, but U.S. District Court Judge George O'Toole Jr. ruled that out and ordered Tsarnaev to be put to death in Terre Haute, Indiana.

It wasn't immediately known when Tsarnaev would be transferred to the facility, and his execution will no doubt be delayed several years by appeals.

Check back for more on this developing story.



Photo Credit: Art Lien via NBC

Luxury Apartments to Open Along Amtrak Line in Windsor

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Windsor Station Apartments, the $22 million apartment complex under construction in Windsor, is rising between the Farmington River and the center of town.

"We want people in the center of town, we want our shops being frequented, our restaurants, our stores," Mayor Don Trinks said during a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday afternoon.

Windsor Station is a stop from Hartford on the Amtrak line. The developer, Lexington Partners, hopes that will be part of the attraction. But Martin Kenny told a crowd it's also been part of a problem the state government loaned $1 million to him to clean up.

"There were traditional industrial uses so we had to do a lot of soil remediation, which is very expensive. That's the price you pay for the right location," he said.

The actual groundbreaking on the site was in April, as soon as the weather warmed. The idea of 130 luxury apartments warms Windsor Center merchants.

"To have all these residents add to our community is only going to help drive business for not only myself but others in town so it's a really, really exciting thing to be happening here," said Dan Gasparino, of Metacomet Crossfit & Yoga.

The fences should be down at Windsor Station Apartments when it opens in September of 2016.

7th Annual Women's Day at Travelers Championship

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Fans and volunteers keep going to watch PGA Tour Golf in Cromwell year after year no matter what the tournament is called.

"We've come since it was the GHO," said Michelle Queen. "Just love golf; it's a great time of year and the players are awesome. Right after the U.S. Open; I mean, you can't beat it."

Thursday marked the seventh annual Women's Day.

Women crowded into a tent to hear from the celebrities for the day, Chef Cat Cora and Martha Stewart. They don't need to be told that when it's very hot, as it is here, it's very important to have something to drink.

"We only really shared three," said Gayle Breen, displaying her bag of empty juice and water bottles. "You definitely have to have something to drink. We didn't drink enough and that's why we're leaving."

Hartford Supt. Announces 5-Year Strategic Plan

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Hartford Public Schools Supt. Beth Schiavino-Narvaez announced a five-year plan that, if fully implemented, should result in a 90-percent graduation rate and a 100-percent college acceptance rate by 2020.

“It will match what is happening in the suburbs,” said Schiavino-Narvaez. “That’s one of the reasons we designed it that way. It was designed to level the playing field.”

In order to get there, Schiavino-Narvaez will focus on three key points:

  • Creating a K-2 literacy curriculum that aims to have every child reading proficiently by third grade
  • Expand High School Centers of Innovation to combine blended, project-based learning between magnet and neighborhood schools.
  • Establish an “Accelerated Agenda,” an effort to give more resources to the schools that need more, rather than dividing resources evenly throughout the district.

“They are ambitious [goals], and that’s by design,” said Schiavino-Narvaez. “We wanted to set the highest expectations and we also want them to be doable.”

In order for her incentive to find success, she admits, the district needs financial help. Right now, they fall a few million dollars short.

“What we’ve had to do is break things into bite-sized chunks and say, look, we’ll work with a smaller number of schools or phase this in over time,” said Schiavino-Narvaez.

That’s enough for parents like Cynthia Jennings. Her kids already graduated from Hartford schools, but she hopes her grandchildren will have resources their parents did not.

“It does a lot for the integrity of a child to know that they can graduate from high school, and that they should,” said Jennings. “They need to see their neighbors are graduating, their friends are graduating and that their parents are back into educational programs.”

Right now, 71 percent of Hartford Public Schools students graduate and 72 percent get accepted into college.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Lululemon Recalls 318,000 Tops With Elastic Drawcords

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Athletic apparel company Lululemon has recalled 318,000 tops with elastic drawcords in the U.S. and Canada, due to injury hazard.

The company issued a safety notice on Thursday stating that elastic drawcords with hard metal or plastic tips could snap back if accidentally stretched or pulled, potentially causing injury to the face area. 

Seven eye and face injuries due to faulty drawstrings have been reported, but a company spokesperson said in a statement none of the injuries was serious and no lawsuits have been filed.

“Our main priority is ensuring our product works for our guests, and we believe this is the necessary proactive action,” the spokesperson said in the statement. “We are committed to making our product right for our guests and regret any inconvenience this may have caused them.”

 Recalled tops come in a variety of colors and styles, including Carry and Go Hoodie; Cool Down Jacket; Course-ette Jacket; Cozy Up Jacket; Dance Studio Jacket; Dance Sweat Shirt; Don’t Hurry Be Happy Pullover; Gratitude Wrap; Necessity Jacket; Proactive Jacket; Refresh Snap Up; Run Sun Blocker Pullover; Run Track N Field Jacket; Run With It Jacket; Sanctuary Jacket; Savasana Tunic; Sing, Floss, Travel Jacket; Stow ’N Go Jacket; Stride Jacket; Summertime Tunic; Varsity Hoodie; Victory Jacket and Wear With All Jacket. Lululemon said the tops affected by the recall were primarily sold prior to 2014.

Customers are advised to remove the drawcord or contact the company's Guest Education Center to receive a non-elastic replacement drawcord.

This marks the second major recall for Lululemon since 2013. That year, the company had to recall about 17 percent of its stock of stretchy black “Wunder Under” yoga bottoms because they were too sheer. That recall cost the Vancouver-based company about $67 million in sales, according to Forbes. 



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Massive Vortex on Lake Texoma

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Boaters on Lake Texoma are being advised to steer clear of a large intake vortex created when officials decided to lower the water level on the reservoir along the Texas-Oklahoma border.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Tulsa posted the video to their YouTube channel on June 5, and marked the area near the Denison Dam spillway with buoys to help keep boaters away.

The vortex, which fluctuates in size depending on the volume of water being released downstream, has been estimated to be as wide as 8 feet and could pull under a full-sized recreational boat.

"The vortex changes shape and width depending upon flood gate settings and lake elevations. If the gates are fully open it's a larger vortex. The vortex has shrunk considerably because we have adjusted our gate settings from the original video due to changing of flood gate settings. As long as the gates are open there is a vortex of some size," said the USACE Tulsa in a statement to NBC 5.

Vortexes, or whirlpools, are naturally occurring and common when water is moved from one location to another -- much like when water is drained from a sink or bathtub.

The spillway's floodgates are expected to remain open, to some degree, through July, according to a report from The Weather Channel.

The USACE said the vortex is located on the Red River at river mile 725.9, five miles northwest of Denison in Grayson County, Texas.



Photo Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Tulsa
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Cuts Could Mean Fewer Mammograms for Poor

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If lawmakers approve Medicaid reimbursement cuts during next week's Special Session, potentially thousands of poor women could go without mammograms.

“For women across the state – whether they’re insured, or Medicare, or Medicaid – there will be decreased access to a life-saving tool," said Dr. Kristen Zarfos, surgical director of the Hospital of Central Connecticut.

Medicaid acts as a contract with the federal government. As long as the state reimburses hospitals and funds Medicaid at certain levels, the state receives its adequate share of federal funds. If the state levels of funding decrease, then so too does the amount of federal matching funds.

Zarfos says the cut to reimbursement could lead to fewer doctors and radiologists who could treat patients.

“What that means is that it’s going to limit access. That’s just not access for the Medicaid patient. That’s access for the Medicare patient and women with insurance because if you have facilities with fewer hours available,” she said

Lawmakers will meet next week during a Special Session when they will consider funding for all state programs and how to fund them.
 



Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com

Fake Dentist Pulls 5 Teeth During House Call: Police

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A Honduran man and an accomplice are facing felony charges after police say they passed themselves off as a dentist and a dental assistant and charged a woman $1,500 to pull five teeth from her mouth during a procedure in her home, Dallas police say.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Erika Martinez had no dental insurance and was suffering from toothaches when a friend on Facebook referred her to Mario Sabillon-Mejia, a man she was told was a dentist from Honduras who would be able to help her.

Sabillon-Mejia, 33, and woman claiming to be his dental assistant, identified by police as 41-year-old Tiffany Gonzalez, met Martinez at her home for a consultation on May 18 where he agreed to treat her for $1,500.

On May 25, Sabillon-Mejia and Gonzalez returned to Martinez's home and she paid him $500 of the $1,500 fee, according to the affidavit.

Sabillon-Mejia asked Martinez to lie down on her couch where he began the procedure by injecting an unknown medicine into her gums, the affidavit said. Sabillon-Mejia then proceeded to remove the woman's teeth. Martinez said she complained of pain, but was then forcibly held down on her couch as he pulled four more teeth from her mouth.

Martinez said after the procedure Sabillon-Mejia and Gonzalez then cleaned his instruments in her bathroom.

On June 3, Sabillon-Mejia gave Martinez a tooth mold and was paid an another $500, according to the affidavit.

After suffering from a severe infection since the procedure, the woman filed a report with the Dallas Police Department who initiated an investigation on June 4. Martinez's mother, who was present when the procedure was done, is considered a police witness in the investigation.

"Anytime you practice medicine without a license, not knowing what you're doing, you're going to cause people irreparable harm, even death," said Lt. Tony Crawford, with the Financial Crimes Unit of the Dallas Police Department.

On June 8, Sabillon-Mejia and Gonzalez were identified by Martinez in a Dallas police lineup. On June 24 they were both arrested and charged with felony practicing medicine without a license and misdemeanor possession of dangerous drugs. Police said Sabillon-Mejia and Gonzalez also had several alias warrants.

Police said several instruments and equipment commonly used by dentists to treat patients and to fabricate dentures were seized after Sabillon-Mejia and Gonzalez were arrested.

Crawford said as many as 50 people in North Texas may have been treated by Sabillon-Mejia and Gonzalez and that they believe he had also treated an unknown number of people in Houston.

Police would like to speak with anyone who may have had any dental work done by the pair and ask them to call Sgt. Richard Santiesteban at 214-671-3517.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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Fla. Governor Visits Conn. Amid Ominous Economic Reports

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott arrived in Connecticut Thursday for meetings with business owners and corporate leaders in an effort to recruit them to move to the Sunshine State.

He spoke Thursday Night in Hartford and will speak Friday morning in Norwalk.

His appearance comes in the same week that the state purchased radio ads in Connecticut, and fresh off a UConn report that Connecticut's economy has hit a slump.

"We’ve recommended they hit a reset button," said Fred Carstensen, who heads the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis.

Carstensen contends that the state has simply not made consistent decisions to grow the state's GDP and workforce.

When it comes to the new state budget, Carstensen says hospital and business taxes that lawmakers want to pass are counterproductive.

"It looks like the choices that were made, that look good from a bookkeeping point of view, are bad from the point of view of the performance of the state economy," Carstensen said.

Connecticut's business climate has come under national scrutiny over the past month with lawmakers mulling higher taxes for companies, but a recent ranking from CNBC actually gave Connecticut overall higher marks for its business climate.

Overall, Connecticut jumped 13 spots from 2014 to 33rd overall. The state ranks near dead last in categories which have either been major topics during the session or have led to harsh criticism: infrastructure and the cost of doing business.

The governor scored a major victory for his $100-billion 30-year transportation overhaul initiative when lawmakers approved a half percent of the sales tax revenue the state receives will be dedicated to infrastructure spending.

On the issue of the cost of doing business however, business leaders in Connecticut say that needs to change at some point.

"The costs on a job in Connecticut are higher than on jobs in other states but those costs are driven by inefficient spending," said Brian Flaherty, a former lawmaker and current vice president with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, which boasts 10,000 businesses among its members.

CBIA has been the loudest voice for business tax rollbacks and spending reform.

Flaherty says he doesn't put much stock in the politically motivated by Rick Scott to Connecticut, but he does say that state lawmakers have to get their fiscal house in order which will benefit the business community.

"The legislature needs to anything in its power to keep jobs in Connecticut and the way they’re going to do that is to stop over-steering it in the short term planning that goes into the budgeting. To take a look at restructuring the delivery of state service and to take a look at the way the state spends its money," Flaherty said.

Carstensen with UConn says the state has to figure out a way to make more tax credit deals and incentive package available to even more companies. He says the agreements struck with United Technologies and Jackson Labs are good examples of what the legislature could accomplish to improve relations with private employers who drive the state's economy.

"Other companies have stranded tax credits," Carstensen said. "Why aren’t we saying to them if you’re ready to make a capital investment that will anchor you here in the state. We’ll let you cash those in at 100 percent value."

Lawmakers will meet next week to hammer out the final details of the state budget.

70-Year-Old Woman With Dementia Missing From Shelton

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Police are asking for help in bringing home a 70-year-old woman who wandered away from her home in Shelton on Wednesday.

Kathleen Komlos was last seen in her backyard on Maple Street Extension around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Police said Komlos, who has dementia, was gone when her husband went to check on her.

Police and family members are searching the area and have brought in K-9s to help track her down. A Silver Alert has been issued.

Komlos stands 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 182 pounds and has salt-and-pepper hair. She was last seen wearing a gray shirt with animals printed on it, blue jeans and blue sneakers.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Shelton police at 203-924-1544.



Photo Credit: Shelton Police Department
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