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CT National Guardsmen Say Farewell as They Leave for Deployment

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Sacrifice doesn’t just hang on the shoulders of soldiers, but on the ones who wrap their arms around them.

“This is his first deployment,” a wife of a National guardsman said.

“We’ve never been separated for so long before,” she added.

She and her young children are one of dozens of Connecticut families saying goodbye for now to their loved ones, members of the Connecticut National Guard Military Police company.

“They been working together as a team to get to this point, it’s almost a whole year of train up that we have to do in order to prepare,” the company’s commander said.

The Niantic based company will  spend several weeks training at an active duty post in Texas before heading overseas where they will provide mission command, planning, security, personnel and logistical support to Military Police units in support of Joint Task Force Guantanamo and Operation Enduring Freedom.

There’s no word yet on how long exactly the mission will last, but the guard members are expected to return to Connecticut later on this year.

Mixmaster Construction Means More Delays on Route 8, I-84 in Waterbury

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Be prepared to sit in more traffic if your commute takes you through Waterbury. Another construction project is about to get underway, and it won’t be finished for two years.

“I don’t like the highways because it’s too much, too aggravating, too stressful, and it’s too crowded,” said Diedra Patterson of Waterbury.

Patterson has another reason to avoid them. The Connecticut Department of Transportation has announced that it will close one southbound lane of Route 8 starting Sunday, January 5. CTDOT said that, combined with the closure of the Exit 19 ramp from I-84 to Route 8, is likely to cause a significant impact to traffic.

“It’ll just be like what we’ve been doing for the past few years is dealing with the traffic and the backup,” said Fran Barton of Middlebury.

This latest closure will take place between exits 31 and 30.  It’s part of a longer four-year project to replace and repair all 10 bridges on I-84 and Route 8, the area known as the Mixmaster.

“If they weren’t fixed they would just continue to deteriorate and be at a point where they weren’t safe to drive on anymore,” explained CTDOT Construction Project Engineer David Ferraro.  “The existing structural steel needs to be repaired and strengthened because of corrosion.”

The bridges were built in the 1960s and have reached the end of their lifespan.  Ferraro said once complete, the bridges should be able to safely carry traffic another 20-25 years. 

One northbound lane is already closed. Ferrarro said that the lane closures are necessary to serve as a staging area for construction crews because Route 8 is narrow.

When repairs to the Exit 19 ramp are completed in a year, crews will move on to Exit 20.

“There’s extra volume currently on southbound because of that ramp closure and that’ll happen throughout the duration of the project with ramp closures and extra traffic being forced onto other roadways,” Ferraro explained.  “It’ll probably be somewhere around half a mile of backup in the morning during the morning rush.”

“I think there will be quite a few backups going all the way through the connector back up to Route 8 North,” said Richard Bernier of Waterbury .“I’d rather that then the bridges fall down, I suppose.”

“I know it’s gonna be good for us once it’s finally closed and everything is getting worked on,” added Anthony Taggett of Waterbury.

Ferraro said that for the first couple weeks the lane closures will switch back and forth between the left and right lanes before the DOT permanently closes the left lane for a year.    The last half of the project they’ll close the right lane.

The southbound on-ramp from Riverside Street will also be closed during construction. For more information, click here.

Steamboat Sabino in Mystic May Be Going Green

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The Mystic Seaport Museum is looking to add an electric motor to Sabino, a historic steamboat that has been in Mystic since the 1970s and one of the last coal fired steamboats in the country.

“While we love her steam propulsion and we want to fully maintain that as operational, we want more people to experience the Sabino as she goes up and down the river,” said Chris Gasiorek, the vice president of Watercraft Preservation and Programs at the Mystic Seaport Museum.

According to Gasiorek, when the Sabino is operational, the museum burns about a ton of coal per day. He said that the coal leads to carbon in the atmosphere and added pollution.

“By no means is it approaching something that could be considered clean coal,” said Gasiorek. “It is iconic, the smoke coming out of Sabino, but that smoke turns into emails and phone calls and complaints that we get often about, for one, the environmental impact.”

In addition to addressing environmental concerns, adding an electric power option would allow the boat to run more often, according to the museum.

“We can only, because of personnel, run the boat only four days a week under steam propulsion just because there are not enough steam engineers,” said Gasiorek.

Gasiorek stressed that while they are hoping to install an electric motor, they would still run the boat on the original steam engine as well.

“She is a national historic landmark. We are not making any changes to the fabric of the vessel,” said Gasiorek. “We are consulting with folks and government officials who have given grants and such in the past.”

The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce said that the Sabino draws people to the area and has an important tourism impact.

“The Sabino will be more accessible to people now. It will be more eco-friendly,” said Peggy Roberts, President of the chamber. “It will just be able to make sure it has a longer life.”

Gasiorek said that the museum is in the very early stages of this process. They are working with engineers on drawing up plans. The plans will eventually be submitted to the Coast Guard.

Even With Funding Increase, Blumenthal Wants More Money for Opioid Crisis

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Backed by a panel of substance abuse recovery experts he called “warriors against addiction,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal addressed the fight against opioid addiction Thursday.

“The opioid crisis is an equal opportunity nationwide killer,” said Blumenthal as he discussed federal funding in place to fight addiction in 2020.

In the closing days of 2019, Congress approved a budgetary increase of $500 million dedicated to substance abuse and addiction programs. The federal money increases from $1 billion to $1.5 billion nationwide. Blumenthal said this is not enough and is advocating for a much greater increase over the next decade.

“That $500 million as a nation as a whole is literally a pittance,” he said. “It’s a fraction of what’s needed.”

Addiction recovery experts attending agree and say the death toll due to opioids is staggering.

“We’re losing the equivalent of Americans lost in 9/11 every two to three weeks in America to the opioid crisis,” said Sarah Howroyd, the director of Mental Health and Addiction Services for iCare Health Network.

The 2020 budget increase means $5.8 million additional for Connecticut programs. Hartford Healthcare’s Dr. J Craig Allen feels even more is needed.

“Unfortunately we are in a corridor here in the northeast where our rates of overdose deaths far exceed many different parts of the country. So I would’ve liked to have seen more money coming our way,” he said.

Federal money is used in Connecticut to fund programs that include access to medication-assisted treatment, on-call recovery coaches in hospital emergency rooms, and the purchase of 10,000 Narcan doses distributed around the state. Experts who spoke Thursday said the state has made gains in the area of treatment.

“What I’m concerned about now is those gains could be potentially lost if we don’t have an ongoing commitment that resources are sustained,” said Maria Coutant Skinner, executive director at the McCall Center.

Over the past two years, Connecticut has received $27.8 million in federal funding to fight addiction. That includes $11 million for 2018-2019 and $11 million plus the $5.8 million supplemental grant for 2019-2020 projects. Allen said the money is much needed.

“For the size of our state our rate of deaths, unfortunately is within the top 10 highest rates,” said Allen.

Burlington Family Surprised With a Bill for a Pre-Paid Funeral

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Lawrence Keller of Burlington said his parents Frederick and Helen Keller prepared well for their final resting place, but the family received a surprise bill after discovering the headstone engraving for their mother was not included in the pre-paid funeral package.

“It’s always tough to see a parent decline,” said Lawrence Keller. 

A debilitating condition took the lives of Frederick and Helen Keller. They died years apart. 

Keller said his parents pre-paid for their funeral arrangements decades ago so the family won’t have to carry that burden. 

“That was just typical of my mom and dad,” said Keller. 

The process went smoothly until the family learned Helen’s headstone engraving wasn’t covered. 

Keller showed NBC Connecticut Responds a copy of the $250 bill paid by the family to get it done.  The family didn’t dispute the charge and paid what they owed to the funeral home.

But that engraving didn’t happen quickly. 

“Unfortunately, I just simply got a variety of excuses,” said Lawrence. “Weather conditions or being too cold outside or a staff member at the funeral parlor doing this no longer employed there.”

Keller’s persistence paid off. After going back and forth with the funeral home for two years, the issue was finally resolved. 

Experts encourage families to keep copies of pre-paid funeral agreements.

“Family members are thinking it’s an automatic part of the funeral process or they think it’s automatic process of purchasing graves at the cemetery,” said Edward Sheehy, Jr., president of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association. 

Sheehy stresses that families need to know what they’re paying for, such as:

  • Flowers
  • Engraving
  • Death certificates
  • Clergy
  • Obituary costs

Sheehy told NBC Connecticut Responds that funeral homes should be providing annual itemized statements.

“If the funeral home went out of business that money is sitting in that escrow account in their name and social security number so it is protected,” said Sheehy.

He pointed out that pre-paid funerals can be a good option for people wanting to plan. 

Out of the 300 funerals Sheehy’s performed yearly, he said nearly half of them were pre-paid. 

The Federal Trade Commission requires funeral directors to give family members itemized statements in exchange for funds.  

More Federal Funds Available to Protect Houses of Worship

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An extra $30 million in federal grants are now available to protect houses of worship. It follows last week’s attacks in New York during Hanukah.

“This horrifying surge of anti-Semitism is deeply rooted and historic, maybe as old as our faith,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal. He released details on the increased federal grants Thursday at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven.

“Knowing that we’re not alone and, at least in our case, a statewide effort in keeping all of us safe, that’s a very comforting thought,” said Rabbi Michael Farbman, chair of the New Haven Board of Rabbis.

The increase brings the total in available federal grants to $90 million, shared among smaller states including Connecticut. It also allows religious centers to make staffing upgrades, unlike with state grants.

“What we really need here is a security director, someone who is an expert in this topic,” said Judy Alperin of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven.

Staffing was a topic of discussion among the group of lawmakers and leaders in the Jewish Community, all assembled to hear details on the grants. Some detailed how they’ve had to cut staff and programs, and how they’ve had to make building changes to fund security efforts.

“After Pittsburgh we had to make some even tougher decisions like keeping our doors closed during services which we never wanted to agree to in the past,” said Farbman.

The federal grant funds are available to all houses of worship. Other religious leaders said they’ll also apply.

“It’s very much needed because many of our churches are not mega churches and we have tight budgets,” said Pastor Kelcy G. L. Steele of Varick Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church.

Steels said his church has been vandalized in the past. And in another case, its security equipment wasn’t helpful when it mattered.

“The New Haven Police Department had to come and look at our security footage only to find out the resolution was not as clear so it really didn’t help them in the situation,” said Steele.

Thursday’s announcement was the beginning of what many said is a comprehensive plan to fight all forms of hate.

“Whether you worship Jesus, Allah or whoever, we should have the right and the safety to feel comfortable in our places of worship,” said Steele.

Some said coming together is the only way to end hate.

“We all have to say we want to live in a free, just, peaceful society where we say we care about each other, we don’t want to hurt one another,” said Alperin.

Suspicious Item Investigation Delays Trains in New Haven

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Trains were delayed and part of State Street closed in New Haven Thursday while police investigated a suspicious item.

Police said a “suspicious and potentially hazardous” item was found in a vehicle on State Street between Court and Chapel. The Hazardous Devices Unit was called in to investigate.

The item was cleared and the area has since reopened to the public.

Amtrak said trains were temporarily delayed in the area due to the investigation. Minor delays are expected as trains get back on schedule.

No other details were immediately available.

Fire Safety: Take Care Using Space Heaters

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With high tech devices, Manchester firefighters showed how portable space heaters can dangerously and quickly heat up as well as the improper extension cords they were plugged into for a demonstration.

“We want to keep people safe. We want to keep people warm. But we want to do it right,” said James Jennings, Manchester’s fire marshal.

Every winter Manchester firefighters respond to problems caused by portable space heaters.

A deadly house fire in Coventry was caused by the failure of an extension cord that was plugged into a space heater, according to fire officials in that town.

Jennings said the one of the first things you should do before starting the heater it to inspect its power cord.

“Make sure the cord hasn’t been pinched. Make sure the cord hasn’t been frayed. There are not cuts in the cord. You want to look at your plugs to make sure there is no sparking or arching,” said Jennings.

Next, plug the machine directly into the power outlet.

Many extension cords aren’t up to the task and will actually degrade as they heat up potentially leading to problems.

And while the heater is running keep it at least three feet away from anything that could easily catch on fire.

“Papers, cotton, any type of fabrics, blankets, afghans, things like that,” said Jennings.

Finally, don’t leave it unattended, even just for a minute.

“That’s something as simple as dropping your newspaper next to your chair and going to get a drink of water from the refrigerator and by the time you get back this paper could be on fire,” said Jennings.

The fire marshal urges people to read the heater’s instruction manual carefully.

And if a fire does break out, get out of your home and call for help.

Police Investigating on Tyler Street in New Haven

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A police investigation is underway on Tyler Street in New Haven.

Local and state police are investigating.

No additional information was immediately available.

Connecticut Still Seeking to Merge Colleges Despite Concerns

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Plans are still moving ahead to consolidate Connecticut’s 12 community colleges into a single accredited school by 2023, despite escalating resistance from faculty unions who question whether the complicated proposed merger will work or even makes sense.

Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark Ojakian said he’s optimistic that a regional accreditation organization will embrace a progress report that’s due in late April. It will update how Connecticut’s current system of independently operated and accredited state-run community colleges — with individual presidents, curricula and administrations — will be consolidated into one accredited school with 12 campuses and three regional presidents.

“I’m very hopeful that this is going to be a great year to move this forward,” Ojakian said in an interview last week with The Associated Press.

The consolidation concept was originally proposed in 2017 as a way to financially help a system serving 55,000 students that faced a $100 million budget deficit.

“Rather than go down a path of looking at reducing the number of institutions, I chose to go down this path, which would keep all of the locations open, including the satellites,” Ojakian said. He added the plan also calls for fewer administration and management positions and more “student-facing services,” such as advisers and faculty to help improve student success, including graduation rates.

CSCU’s latest submission will come two years after the accreditation body, now called the New England Commission on Higher Education, sent Ojakian and his staff back to the drawing board, suggesting a different approach. The group argued it was unrealistic to have a single statewide community college in place by July 2019. The commission’s chairman said in 2018 that the potential for “a disorderly environment for students” under the consolidation proposal was too high.

Today, that argument and others are being made by unionized faculty, who contend there are still many unanswered questions.

“They’re a total mess. They’ve addressed no concerns,” said Lois Aime, director of educational technology at Norwalk Community College and a delegate to the Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges union or 4Cs. “They’re just moving forward. I don’t even know at this point why they’re moving forward and what it is they think they’re going to gain.”

Last month, for the first time, faculty and professional unions in the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities system issued a “statement of unity,” expressing their opposition to the latest version of the proposed consolidation, known as Students First. The five unions, which include members who work at the community colleges and other institutions, argued the plan “will not realize the projected savings, will be disruptive for students, will have negative consequences on critical student outcomes, and will erode the value of the community colleges for students and for the state of Connecticut for years to come.”

At last month’s meeting of the Board of Regents for Higher Education, a faculty advisory committee member read off a laundry list of outstanding questions, such as whether students’ access to federal financial aid could be at risk and what will happen to programs with similar content at different community colleges.

Aime contends lingering, unanswered questions, coupled with an unwillingness to listen to faculty, has expanded opposition to Students First. She noted close to 1,500 people signed a petition last year opposing the consolidation plan, including faculty, staff, students, retired community college presidents and former board of trustees members.

But Ojakian said many of the concerns that have been raised stem from “misinformation that’s been refuted time and time again.”

He contends there is quiet support for Students First. He noted how many faculty have been working on committees to hammer out the details of the plan, such as basic requirements for majors that could ultimately make it easier for students to take classes at different campuses.

“I think if you did a secret ballot on campuses, I think we would win,” he said. “But it’s not about winning or losing. It’s about making sure that we have a system in place into the future where students can succeed, where the equity gap is closed and where the finances are in a place that allows us to continue to operate well into the future.”

5 Dead, 60 Hurt as Bus, Trucks Crash on Pa. Turnpike Near Pittsburgh

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A deadly crash involving a passenger bus and multiple other vehicles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike killed five people, including a 9-year-old girl, and left dozens injured early Sunday, shutting down a large portion of the highway.

Officials identified the five victims as Shuang Qing Feng, a 58-year-old bus driver from Flushing, New York, Eileen Zelis Aria, a 35-year-old passenger on the bus from the Bronx, New York, Jaremy Vazquez, a 9-year-old passenger on the bus from Brooklyn, New York, Dennis L. Kehler, a 48-year-old UPS driver from Lebanon, Pennsylvania and Daniel J. Kepner, a 53-year-old UPS driver from Lewistown, Pennsylvania.

“Daniel Kepner, age 53, had 5 years of service, and, Dennis Kehler, age 48, had 28 years of service,” a spokesperson for UPS wrote. “Both were driving together in a tractor trailer vehicle out of our Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, operating center. Our drivers will be missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.”

Officials said at least 60 people were hospitalized after the crash that happened at 3:40 a.m. in Westmoreland County, around 30 miles east of Pittsburgh.

The injured victims, ranging from 7 to 67 years old, are all expected to survive, though two patients remain in critical condition, authorities and hospital officials said Sunday afternoon. The crash shut down the highway in both directions for several hours before it reopened Sunday evening.

Pennsylvania State Police spokesman Stephen Limani described the incident as an “extremely serious crash.” The people were traveling on a bus from a company named Z & D Tours, Limani said. The company did not immediately return requests seeking comment.

While traveling downhill, the bus lost control as it tried to negotiate a corner, Limani said. The bus went up an embankment, rolled over and was hit by two tractor-trailers, the spokesman said. A car then crashed into the wreck, he added.

“It was kind of a chain-reaction crash,” Limani said.

Limani said the bus was traveling out of Rockaway, New Jersey, en route to Cincinnati, Ohio. Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Holly Reber-Billings said the trip appeared to have originated from New York, confirming a tweet from New York City’s emergency management team.

Most of the people on the bus were foreign nationals who did not speak English, Limani said.

Photos from the scene show a mangled collision of multiple vehicles including an overturned bus, two tractor-trailers, passenger cars and a smashed FedEx truck that left packages sprawled along the highway.

FedEx did not provide any other details besides that they are cooperating with authorities.

There were 25 victims transported to Excela Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant, Excela Health spokeswoman Robin Jennings said. Nine of those patients are under the age of 18.

At least one of the 25 victims initially sent to Excela was transported to a nearby trauma center, Jennings said.

Those hospitalized suffered non-life threatening injuries, though two were listed in critical condition, Limani said.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Sunday that it dispatched a team of more than a dozen to investigate.

The National Weather Service forecast for Westmoreland County early Sunday listed light unknown precipitation and an air temperature just below freezing.

Angela Maynard, a tractor-trailer driver from Kentucky, said the roads were wet from snow but not especially icy. Maynard was traveling eastbound on the turnpike when she came upon the crash site and called 911.

“It was horrible,” she told The Tribune-Review. She saw lots of smoke but no fire. She and her co-driver found one person trapped in their truck and another lying on the ground.

“I tried to keep him occupied, keep talking, until medical help arrived,” Maynard said. “He was in bad shape. He was floating in and out of consciousness.”

Pennsylvania Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo said it was “premature” to say if weather was a factor in the crash.

The highway was closed in both directions for several hours before it reopened Sunday evening. Local fire and emergency medical crews were on scene, along with a hazardous material company cleaning up fuel and other materials. A towing company also separated the vehicles and got them cleared.

“It’s a very extensive crash so a lot of work has to be done to get the roadway reconditioned and ready to handle traffic again,” said Craig Shuey, the turnpike’s chief operating officer.

NBC10 Philadelphia and NBC4 New York contributed to this story.

Water Main Break in Milford to Cause Detours, Delays

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Crews are responding to a water main break in Milford on Monday morning and police said drivers should expect detours and delays.

Authorities said the water main break is on Wayne Road at Cora Place.

Crews from the Regional Water Authority are being sent to the scene.

Drivers are urged to expect detours and delays. If you can, you should avoid the area or use alternate routes.

It’s unclear how many people are affected by the break.

Kids, Teen Bust Out Dance Moves for Yard Goats Dance Team Try-Outs

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Kids and teens busted out all their dance moves on Sunday in hopes of being part of the Yard Goats Dance Team.

The auditions were for kids aged 10 through 18 inside Dunkin Donuts Park in Hartford.

The Hartford Yard Goats Dance Team is a part of the Yard Goats Foundation. The non-profit initiative provides different educational, scholarship and social opportunities for kids.

The dance team practices every Friday before the season to make sure their moves are sharp before the first home game of the season.

“This is an opportunity to boost self-esteem for the kids,” said Young. “It not only makes them feel better about themselves, but feel better about each other,” said Executive Director of the Hartford Yard Goats Foundation Tiffany Young.

Those selected will learn different choreography and routines to perform in front of the crowd on Friday night home games.

The Yard Goats begin the 2020 season on April 9 at 7:10 p.m.

‘1917,’‘Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood’ Big Winners at Golden Globes

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The 77th Golden Globes were meant to be a coronation for Netflix. Instead, a pair of big-screen epics took top honors Sunday, as Sam Mendes’ technically dazzling World War I tale “1917” won best picture, drama, and Quentin Tarantino’s radiant Los Angeles fable “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” won best film, comedy or musical.

The wins for “1917” were a surprise, besting such favorites as Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” (the leading nominee with six nods) and Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.” Both are acclaimed Netflix releases but they collectively took home just one award, for Laura Dern’s supporting performance as a divorce attorney in “Marriage Story.” “The Irishman” was entirely shut out.

“1917” also won best director for Mendes. The film was made in long takes, giving the impression of it unfolding in one lengthy shot.

“I hope this means that people will turn up and see this on the big screen, the way it was intended,” said Mendes, whose film expands nationwide Friday.

Though set around the 1969 Manson murders “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” was classified a comedy and thus had an easier path to victory than the more competitive drama category. Brad Pitt won for best supporting actor, his first acting Globe since winning in 1996 for “12 Monkeys,” padding his front-runner status for the Oscars. Tarantino also won best screenplay.

“I wanted to bring my mom, but I couldn’t because any woman I stand next to they say I am dating so it’d just be awkward,” said Pitt.

Throughout the night, those who took the stage used the moment to speak about current events including the wildfires raging in Australia, rising tensions with Iran, women’s rights, the importance of LGBT trailblazers, even the importance of being on time.

Patricia Arquette, a winner for her performance in Hulu’s “The Act,” referenced the United States’ targeted killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, saying history wouldn’t remember the day for the Globes but will see “a country on the brink of war.” She urged all to vote in November’s presidential election.

Ricky Gervais, hosting the NBC-telecast ceremony for the fifth time, opened the show by stating that Netflix had taken over Hollywood, a fair appraisal given the streaming service’s commanding 34 nominations coming into the Globes. “This show should just be me coming out going: ‘Well done, Netflix. You win everything tonight,'” he said.

As it turned out, he was wrong. Netflix won only two awards: Dern’s win plus one for Olivia Colman’s performance in “The Crown.” It was a definite hiccup for the streaming service, which is aiming for its first best-picture win at the Academy Awards next month.

Instead, the awards were widely spread out among traditional Hollywood studios, indie labels like A24, cable heavyweights like HBO and relative newcomers like Hulu.

Renee Zelleweger (“Judy”) took home best actress in a drama, as expected, notching her fourth Globe. But, as always at the Globes, there were surprises. Taron Egerton, a regular presence on the awards circuit this year, won best actor in a comedy or musical for his Elton John in “Rocketman” — an honor many had pegged for Eddie Murphy (“Dolemite Is My Name”).

Awkwafina, the star of the hit indie family drama “The Farewell,” became the first woman of Asian descent to win best actress in a comedy or musical. “If anything, if I fall upon hard times, I can sell this,” said Awkwafina, holding the award.

The winners were otherwise largely white, something the Globes have been criticized for before — including even in Gervais’ opening monologue, in which he called the Hollywood Foreign Press Association “racist.”

No other category has been more competitive this year than that for best actor. Joaquin Phoenix won for his loose-limbed performance in the divisive but hugely popular “Joker” in a category that included Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”) and Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”). Phoenix gave a rambling speech that began with crediting the HFPA with the vegan meal served at the ceremony.

Michelle Williams, who won best actress in a limited series for “Fosse/Verdon,” stood up for women’s rights in her acceptance speech.

“When it’s time to vote, please do so in your self interest,” Williams said. “It’s what men have been doing for years, which is why the world looks so much like them.”

Dern’s best supporting actress award for her performance as a divorce attorney in “Marriage Story,” was her fifth Globe. Her win denied Jennifer Lopez, the “Hustlers” star, her first major acting award.

The first award of the night went to a streaming service series. Ramy Youssef won best actor in a TV series comedy or musical for his Hulu show “Ramy.” Best actor in a limited series went to Russell Crowe for the Showtime series “The Loudest Voice.” He wasn’t in attendance because of raging wildfires in his native Australia.

“Make no mistake, the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate-changed based,” Crowe said in a statement read by presenters Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge followed up her Emmy haul by winning best comedy series and best actress in a comedy series. She thanked former President Barack Obama for putting “Fleabag” on his best-of-2019 list. With a grin, she added: “As some of you may know, he’s always been on mine.”

Waller-Bridge’s co-star Andrew Scott (of “hot priest” fame) missed out on the category’s supporting actor award, which Stellan Skarsgård took for HBO’s “Chernobyl.”

HBO was also triumphant in best TV drama, where the second season of “Succession” bested Netflix’s “The Crown” and Apple TV Plus’ first Globe nominee, “The Morning Show.” Brian Cox, the Rupert Murdoch-like patriarch of “Succession,” also won best actor in a drama series. “The Crown” took some hardware home, too, with Olivia Colman winning best actress in a drama series, a year after winning for her performance in “The Favourite.”

Best foreign language film went to Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite,” the Cannes Palme d’Or winning sensation from South Korea. Despite being an organization of foreign journalists, the HFPA doesn’t include foreign films in its top categories, thus ruling out “Parasite,” a likely best picture nominee at next month’s Oscars.

“Once you overcome the inch-tall-barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” Bong said, speaking through a translator.

Tom Hanks, also a nominee for his supporting turn as Fred Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” received the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award. The Carol Burnett Award, a similar honorary award given for television accomplishment, was given to Ellen DeGeneres. She was movingly introduced by Kate McKinnon who said DeGeneres’ example guided her in her own coming out.

“The only thing that made it less scary was seeing Ellen on TV,” said McKinnon.

Hanks’ speech had its own emotional moment when he caught sight of his wife and four children at a table near the stage and choked up.

“A man is blessed with the family’s sitting down front like that,” Hanks said.

Elton John and Bernie Taupin won the evening’s most heavyweight battle, besting Beyonce and Taylor Swift. Their “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” won best song. “It’s the first time I’ve ever won an award with him,” Elton said of his song-writing partner. “Ever.”

The Golden Globes, Hollywood’s most freewheeling televised award show, could be unusually influential this year. The roughly 90 voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have traditionally had little in common with the nearly 9,000 industry professionals that make up the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The HFPA is known for calculatingly packing its show with as much star power as possible, occasionally rewarding even the likes of “The Tourist” and “Burlesque.”

Sunday’s show may have added to that history with an unexpected award for “Missing Link” for best animated feature film over films like “Toy Story 4” and “Frozen 2.” No one was more surprised than its director, Chris Butler. “I’m flabbergasted,” he said.

But the condensed time frame of this year’s award season (the Oscars are Feb. 9) brings the Globes and the Academy Awards closer. Balloting for Oscar nominations began Thursday. Voters were sure to be watching.

Man in Milford Police Custody Found Unresponsive is Pronounced Dead: PD

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A man in Milford police custody who was found unresponsive on Sunday morning has been pronounced dead.

Officers said they took a 31-year-old man into custody on Saturday. During the traffic stop, they learned he was the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant.

While the man was being processed, authorities said he was displaying signs of medical distress and paramedics were immediately summoned to evalute his condition. The man was transported to Milford Emergency Room, where he remained under observation for several hours.

At approximately 11 p.m., he was released and taken back to the police department holding facility.

Police said they closely monitored him after the man was returned to his cell.

Around 5 a.m., he was found to be unresponsive, according to authorities. Officers performed live-saving rescuscitation measures and immediately called paramedics.

Experts said that when paramedics arrived, they continued the life-saving measures and transported the man to Milford Emergency Room. He was later pronounced dead.

The man’s name has not been released.

The Central District Major Crimes Squad responded to investigate the circumstances of the man’s untimely death, police added.

Some Snow Today, Another Chance Coming

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Our First Alert Meteorologists are tracking an active weather pattern for the first full week of January.

A quick-hitting round of light snow showers early Monday morning left a coating in some areas, including in Torrington.

While not everyone was impacted, some towns had a coating during the morning drive.

Our next chance for a few flurries or light scattered showers arrives Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, though the storm looks to stay well to our south and any impacts would be very minimal.

Top Looks from the 2020 Golden Globes Red Carpet

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Take a look at some of the best red carpet looks from the 77th Golden Globe awards.

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Jeannie Mai arrives at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California.(Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)


“Harriet” actor Cynthia Erivo arrives at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California. (Steve Granitz/WireImage)


Gwyneth Paltrow arrives at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California. (Daniele Venturelli/WireImage)


“Pose” actor Billy Porter arrives at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


Model Winnie Harlow arrives at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Daniele Venturelli/WireImage)


“Les Misérables” actor Djibril Zonga and director Ladj Ly arrive at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)


Andrew Scott arrives at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)


Nicole Kidman arrives for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 5, 2020, at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)


Taylor Swift attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)


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Scarlett Johansson arrives for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 5, 2020, at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)


Awkwafina attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)


Brad Pitt arrives to the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)


Renée Zellweger attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


Reese Witherspoon attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)


Daniel Craig attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


Charlize Theron arrives for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 5, 2020, at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)


Actress Kerry Washington arrives for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 5, 2020, at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)


Jennifer Lopez attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


Lucy Boynton and Rami Malek attend the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)


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Phoebe Waller-Bridge attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)


Cate Blanchett attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan.5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)


Kirsten Dunst attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Daniele Venturelli/WireImage)


Joanne Tucker and Adam Driver attend the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


Margot Robbie arrives for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 5, 2020, at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)


Jennifer Aniston attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan.5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)


Wesley Snipes arrives to the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020. — (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)


Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres attend the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


Helen Mirren attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)


Elton John and David Furnish attend the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan.5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)


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Sofía Vergara attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)


Actress Joey King arrives for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 5, 2020, at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)


(From left) South Korean actors Jeong-eun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo and Kang-ho Song arrive for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 5, 2020, at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)


Bel Powley attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)


Barry Jenkins attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan.5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


Greta Gerwig attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Cost of Parking in West Hartford To Go Up Due to New Laws

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The amount of money that people visiting West Hartford will pay for parking will go up next month because of new state laws.

The town released a statement on Monday, saying that as of Feb. 1, people parking in town will be paying an additional 10 cents per hour. There will also be an additional fee for people paying by credit card.

This is due to new state legislation that went into effect on Jan. 1 that requires the addition of a 6.35 percent sales tax on parking services, including self-service metered parking facilities, according to West Hartford officials.

To be clear, parking rates in Town have not increased; the 10-cents per hour increase is for the State-mandated sales tax.

West Hartford town manager Matt Hart

”The Town has determined that the most efficient way to collect this tax is to add 10-cents to the base hourly parking rate. To be clear, parking rates in Town have not increased; the 10-cents per hour increase is for the State-mandated sales tax. Posted parking rates will now read $1.60 per hour, as opposed to the prior charge of $1.50 per hour,” town manager Matt Hart said in a statement.

The town will collect the sales tax, which goes to the state, and they said the town won’t receive a share of the tax proceeds.

West Hartford is working with vendors to adjust the kiosks and signage.

CREDIT CARD CONVENIENCE FEE

The town will begin to charge a convenience fee of 25-cents per credit card transaction.

Anyone who pays with cash won’t be charged a convenience fee.

West Hartford officials said they previously absorbed merchant service fees and each time a consumer pays with a credit card, the town must pay the bank fees, which impacts the town’s parking fund.

A news release says that in the fiscal year 2019, the Municipal Parking Division paid $298,000 in bank fees and staff expects those fees to increase.

PASSPORTPARKING APP

Anyone who uses the PassportParking app will pay $2.10 per hour, which includes the $1.60 base hourly rate, plus a 25-cent app fee and the new 25-cent convenience fee.

MONTHLY PERMIT HOLDERS

Monthly permit holders will now pay $117.24; a $110 base rate plus $6.99 sales tax and 25-cents for the convenience fee.

Hartford Closes Historic Firehouse

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Hartford Firehouse, Engine Co. 4, Ladder Co. 1, has served the city of Hartford for over a century. Monday was its final day in operation.

While firefighters were at the ready Monday morning, most activity at 275 Pearl St. involved those moving heavy equipment. Clearing out the 64,000-square-foot building was easier than clearing the memories built there.

Retired Hartford Fire Chief Charles Teale began his career in the building during the early 1980s. He served as chief there from 2000 to 2010.

“Very sad experience for me, personally but I understand from a professional experience, how it’s necessary,” said Teale.

Teale provided a tour of the building, walking to his former third-floor office. The stairs alone told a story, worn down, with noticeable indentation on every step. Evidence of millions of footsteps taken on this truly well-worn path.

Inside the century-old building are antique fixtures including a stove, safe and elevator. It’s switchboard where the cities alarms are wired, is massive.

The Fire House, built in 1918 and expanded in 1926, is included in the National Register of Historic Places and is part of Hartford’s historical legacy.

“This is not just the closing of a firehouse,” added Teale, “It’s the end of the Pearl Street presence of the Hartford Fire Department.”

Teale’s memories there are many but none more so than when the city’s firefighters collected donations to help the families of firefighters lost on 9/11.

“After they collected as much as they thought they could, I remember them coming in here and taking the money and pouring it out on the table. It was full, added Teale.

As Teale walked the halls one final time, he reminisced while reacquainting with former colleagues. He said his feelings are divided, spilt between sadness and understanding what is right for the department and the community.

“You have to make an assessment of the trajectory of the area. Where’s it going in terms of its need for fire protection,” he said.

The 16 firefighters who serve in the department’s tactical unit will be relocated to Sisson Avenue firehouse, a decision that has been in the works since 2013 when Hartford opened a new public safety complex, housing both police and fire headquarters.

Waterford Police Asking Residents to Share Videos on Ring Surveillance App

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There are a growing number of police departments in Connecticut that have partnered with Ring, the video surveillance company. According to law enforcement, the partnerships are designed to make it easier for police to monitor and request videos of crimes in neighborhoods.

“As technology has emerged and changed, home surveillance has become big and there has been no easy way for law enforcement to reach out to the community to do it,” said Lt. Tim Silva with the Waterford Police Department. “This app was the first thing we came across that is free to the user, free to the agency and allowed us to reach a larger group of people.”

The Waterford Police Department is one of 15 police departments in Connecticut that has partnered with Ring. Waterford partnered with the company about one year ago. They have not received any videos yet that have led to arrests, but they are hoping that more people will use the tool to help solve and fight crime in the area.

“Car break-ins, maybe the vandalism across the neighborhoods is where I think this is going to be the most beneficial to us,” said Silva.

Ring has a neighborhood watch app called “Neighbors.” Anyone, involving people who do not own Ring devices, is able to upload video to the Neighbors app. The app sends alerts if any fellow neighbors have reported crime in your general vicinity.

Through the partnership, police are able to add comments and ask questions about the videos. If the user consents, the police department is able to have access to the video for an investigation.

The police department is also able to put out a request for videos after a certain crime. For example, the Waterford Police Department wrote a post Monday informing users of the app that there has been an increase in car break-ins, requesting anyone with video to add the video to the public app or privately message the video to the department.

“Everything falls on the user. It is the user’s base to say ‘I want to share it’ or ‘I don’t want to share it’,” said Silva.

The new technology is raising privacy concerns among some groups. The American Civil Liberties Union in Connecticut is asking residents to do their homework before handing video over.

“It is a technology that has proliferated very quickly. A lot of people are taking these on in the holiday season without thinking of the privacy consequences,” said David McGuire, the director of ACLU CT.   “We are urging people to be aware, to ask questions. Have a full sense of awareness about what they are turning over and what it is going to be used for.”

Silva stressed that any video-use is entirely dependent upon the user’s consent. He said it is anonymous, the officers only see the users listed as “neighbor 1, neighbor 2,” etc. Silva said the app also does not give any exact locations. He compared it to an officer knocking on someone’s door.

“Somebody wants to tell us they saw something, they can tell us at the door or they can send it in the app,” said Silva. “For us, it is just the next evolutionary step in the social media platform.”

Silva also said that if someone gives them permission to use a video it will be treated as evidence and discarded after it is used in court.

Ring sent NBC Connecticut a statement Monday writing, in part, “Ring has designed the Neighbors app in a way that upholds our user standards and keeps residents in control. We’ve seen many positive examples of residents and local police engaging on the Neighbors app and believe open communication is an important step in building safer, stronger communities.”

Region 14 Trying Out Farm-to-Table Menu for Student Meals

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One of the best parts of living in Connecticut is the fresh produce you can get at your local farm stand. Now, one school district is bringing the farm-to-table concept to its cafeterias.

“How can we not only give our kids better food but also help the local farmers,” asked Dr. Joseph Olzacki, superintendent of the Region 14 school district.

The answer came during a recent trip to Indianapolis.  At a conference for Future Farmers of America Olzacki learned that school districts are adopting a farm-to-table mentality, buying fresh, locally grown produce in place of canned or frozen fruits and vegetables.  Now, Olzacki wants to implement the plan in Woodbury and Bethlehem.

“This area, all these farms, I’ve been to almost every one of them and eaten something that they’ve had.  I mean they have the sweetest apples around,” he said.

“They’ll have strawberries, they’ll have corn, blueberries,” added Mary Ellen Latganzio, the cafeteria manager at Bethlehem Elementary School.

She said 60 to 70 percent of students at the school chose to buy lunch instead of bringing it from home. She’ll run the pilot program this spring.

“Of course, fresh is better,” she pointed out.

Olzachi shared that his goal is to give students more variety during the lunch hour. 

“In Woodbury and in Bethlehem we have many farms and everyone has their specialty,” he said.

One of those farms sits just a few 100 feet up the road from Bethlehem Elementary School: March Farms, which provided apples to students on Monday and plans to have tomatoes ready by May.

“I think it’s great,” said owner Tom March.

Besides tomatoes, the farm grows broccoli and much more.

“Beets, carrots, corn. We can keep them going until December,” he said.

Olzachi hopes his idea is appetizing to other area farmers.  He plans to send out a survey to 18 of them later this month. 

“We thought, what a win-win for everyone,” said Michael Berecz, owner of The Farm in Woodbury.

Berecz sends his daughter to school in the district.  While he said he’s excited to participate he questioned how the program will work in the wintertime.

“The seasons are definitely kind of against us in some regard,” said Berecz.

He pointed out that the prime time for produce like beans and berries is when students are out of school.

“You’re not going to get green beans this time of year or summer squash,” Berecz explained.  “We have about 500 bushels of butternut squash.  Now, that could totally be on a plate in a school system.”

Olzacki said the seasonal local produce will serve as a supplement to the federal program that provides fruits and vegetables year-round.

“When we don’t need the California or Florida fruit we can get it right here,” said Olzacki.

He believes the plan could save the school district money.

“We’re asked every day to do more and stretch these dollars,” he pointed out.

“The savings should come from the fact that transportation will no longer exist,” explained Finance Director Wayne McCalister.

Right now, some produce is trucked in from out of state.

“We get things from New Jersey, I know we get things from New York state. I know there’s other places.  We certainly don’t get pineapple from Connecticut,” Olzacki explained.

Now, it will just have to be driven down the road to get on the children’s plates.

McCalister said he’s going to compare the prices he receives from area farmers with what the school district has paid for produce the last three years to make sure the district doesn’t go over budget.

“We operate on thin margins,” said McCalister. “A one-percent differential on food costs could mean profit or loss for the year.”

New Tariffs Could Raise Cost of Wine

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A new year could mean a tax on your favorite bottle of French wine, cheese, even products like olives and dried pasta. 

Federal regulators are contemplating whether or not to impose a tariff on imported wines among other European products.

“It limits choices, if you want the perfect bottle of wine with the perfect dinner.  This kind of sets things back  a little,” said Eric Colby

Colby is a French wine lover, but he’s not a fan of a proposed tariff.

“Maybe, at a certain price point I might stop buying it and look for alternatives,” said Colby. 

For 20 years, Greg Nemergut has owned West Side Wines and Spirits.  He caters to customers who enjoy imported wines. 

“We are very European centric, that’s where the best quality and value resides,” said Gregory Nemergut.            

He’s concerned over the proposed tariffs increasing from 25 to 100 percent on many imported food products including wines. 

“The majority of our wines, the average bottle prices is between $15 and $25 and that’s where you’re going to see the most impact,” said Nemergut.             

Those prices could double if the tariff is imposed. 

“As a small businessman, I just kind of learn to roll with the punches and figure out ways to work around it,” said Nemergut.

Across town at Dom’s cheese shop in Avon, the talk of tariffs has owner Asta Plankiene a little worried.

“Seventy-five percent of our produce are imported from Europe,” said Plankiene.  “We’re sure this is going to affect our business.”

It will mean passing the increase on to the consumer.

“We don’t want to close this corner because we will be disappointed.  People will be disappointed.  It’s part of our life, part of our business,” said Plankiene.      

You can voice your concerns about the proposed tariffs by going to regulations.gov and leaving a comment.

Macy’s Store in Meriden to Close

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Macy’s is closing its store at the Westfield Meriden mall in Meriden.

A statement from the company says a clearance sale will start this month and continue for two to three months.

Around 85 people work in the store and might be eligible to be placed at a nearby Macy’s location, according to the company.

Following is the statement Macy’s released.

“After careful consideration, Macy’s has decided to close Macy’s Westfield Meriden in Meriden, CT.  A clearance sale will begin in January 2020 and run for approximately 8-12 weeks.

“Macy’s previously shared this information with our valued colleagues. Regular, non-seasonal colleagues who we are unable to place at nearby Macy’s locations will be eligible for severance, including outplacement resources. 

“The decision to close a store is always a difficult one, but Macy’s is proud to have served the Meriden community over the past 49 years, and we look forward to continuing to do so at nearby Macy’s stores including Macy’s Brass Mill Center, Macy’s Westfarms Mall and Macy’s Pavilions at Buckland Hills as well as online at macys.com.  In addition, Macy’s Backstage customers may continue to enjoy the Backstage selection at Macy’s Brass Mill Center and Macy’s Pavilions at Buckland Hills.”

Regular, non-seasonal employees who cannot be placed at nearby Macy’s stores will be eligible for severance, including outplacement resources. the company said.

Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati released the following statement in response to the news.

“I was formally notified from Macy’s Corporate Office late this afternoon that they will be closing the Meriden Westfield location. The rationale provided was not based on the individual store performance, rather the overall corporate view and strategy of Macy’s management. We are committed to working with Macy’s and Westfield Meriden to ensure the development of this property will benefit our City in the near future.”

State Police Release Body Cam Footage From Deadly Ansonia Police Shooting

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Connecticut State Police have released body camera footage from a police-involved shooting in Ansonia earlier this month.

Police shot and killed 30-year-old Michael Gregory after what started as a domestic incident on January 2.

According to Ansonia police, the situation started when a woman arrived at the police department that morning and said her boyfriend, who had become physically aggressive, was violating a protective order.

Officers responded to the home at 81 Myrtle Avenue to speak to Gregory and take him into custody for violating the protective order and they found him with a knife.   

An officer at the scene fired at least one gunshot and struck Gregory, police said. He died of his injuries.

The video released Monday is from three separate body-worn cameras from the officers involved in the incident – Patrol Sergeant Christopher Flynn, Officer Brendon Nelson and Officer Wojciech Podgorski.

The video starts with the officers knocking on the door of a home, trying to speak with the man inside. When Gregory does not open the door, officers eventually enter and try to talk to Gregory. In the video, Gregory is seen holding a knife and telling officers repeatedly “You’re gonna have to shoot me.”

Officers tell him to put the knife down, but he refuses. The video then shows officers kick in doors to reach Gregory and use a stun gun on him. In the video, Gregory keeps moving despite the stun gun and runs toward officers with the knife, at which point at least one officer fired his gun.

The Connecticut State Police – Western District Major Crime Squad unit and Danbury State’s Attorney’s Office were called in to investigate.

The officers have been placed on administrative leave amid the investigation, which is standard procedure.

Myrtle Avenue is the same street where the mother of a missing baby, Vanessa Morales, was found dead in their home on Dec. 2, but police said this case is not connected to that one.

Vanessa Morales is still missing and an Amber Alert is in effect for information on her.

Anyone with information on where Vanessa is can call the FBI at 203-503-5555, the Ansonia Police Department at 203-735-1885 or through Tip411.whereabouts.

Westport Stabbing Appears to be Random Attack: Police

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A stabbing that seriously injured a woman in Westport Monday appears to be a random attack, according to police.

Police said were called to the parking lot of 1137 Post Road East for the stabbing around 1:06 p.m. When they arrived they found the 33-year-old victim with multiple stab wounds. She was taken to Norwalk Hospital for further treatment where she is currently in stable condition.

Callers described the suspect and his vehicle. Police said he was spotted on the Sherwood Island Connector and stopped. He was taken into custody without incident.

The suspect was identified as 18-year-old Ellis Tibere of Guilford. He was charged with criminal attempt at murder, first-degree assault and possession of a deadly weapon.

Police said there is no known relationship between Tibere and the victim and that he appears to have attacked her at random.

According to witness statements, Tibere opened the victim’s door, brandishing a knife and wearing a mask while she was sitting in her vehicle waiting for an appointment. The victim fought back, trying to kick the suspect, who stabbed her multiple times in her leg.

Tibere confessed to the attack, police said, and had a knife and a mask when he was found.

 Tibere remains in custody and police said there is no further threat to the public. He was held on a $1 million bond and is due in court on Tuesday.

I-395 North in Griswold Reopens After Crash

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Interstate 395 north in Griswold has reopened after a crash on Tuesday morning.

A tractor-trailer and another vehicle were involved in the crash that closed the right lane of I-395 north between exits 21 and 22, according to state Department of Transportation officials.

At one point, all of the lanes of I-395 north were closed. The entire highway has since reopened.

It’s unclear if anyone was injured in the crash.

Yard Goats Announce Southington Native Chris Denorfia as New Manager

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The Hartford Yard Goats announced Chris Denorfia as the team’s manager for the 2020 season, the team announced Tuesday.

Denorfia, a former player in the major leagues, is a Connecticut native. He grew up in Southington and graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford.

Most recently, Denorfia was a member of Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon’s staff as Quality Assurance Coach.

This will be Denorfia’s first season as a manager.

Denorfia, 39, played 10 years in the Major League’s with Cincinnati (2005-06), Oakland (2008-09), San Diego (2010-14), Seattle (2014) and the Cubs (2015). The former outfielder finished his playing career in the Rockies system at Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017.

“We are excited to welcome Chris back to Connecticut and to our Yard Goats family.”

Yard Goats General Manager Mike Abramson

“We are excited to welcome Chris back to Connecticut and to our Yard Goats family,” Yard Goats General Manager Mike Abramson said. “I look forward to working with Chris and having him part of our wonderful community which he knows well. He will love the energy that our fans bring to each game at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.”

Denorfia will be the fourth manager in Yard Goats history. The team’s last manager, Warren Schaeffer, managed the team for two seasons before being promoting to the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque.

“Chris brings a unique set of experiences to our organization having recently played several years of Major League Baseball and working this past season as a Major League staff member in another organization,” Colorado Rockies Assistant GM, Player Development Zach Wilson said. “These experiences, along with his passion for the game, eagerness to grow, local upbringing, and strong character, combine to make him a great fit for the Colorado Rockies as manager of the Hartford Yard Goats.”

The Yard Goats open the 2020 season on April 9th (7:10 PM) against the Red Sox affiliate, the Portland Sea Dogs. Yard Goats season tickets are available by calling 860-246-GOAT (4628), or in person by visiting the Click It or Ticket Box Office at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

NBC Connecticut and Telemundo Connecticut are proud to be the official media partners of the Hartford Yard Goats.

Fotis Dulos, Michelle Troconis, Lawyer Arrested on Murder-Related Charges

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What to Know

  • Fotis Dulos has been arrested and charged with murder, his attorney Norm Pattis, said. Dulos was booked into the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield on Tuesday afternoon. He is expected in Stamford Superior Court Wednesday morning.
  • Michelle Troconis, the girlfriend of Fotis Dulos, and a local attorney, Kent Mawhinney were arrested on “murder-related charges.”
  • Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five, has been missing since May 24 and police said they found bloodstains in the garage of her New Canaan home.

Fotis Dulos, the 52-year-old estranged husband of Jennifer Dulos, a New Canaan woman who has been missing for more than seven months, is due in court on Wednesday. He has been arrested and charged with murder, felony murder and kidnapping in connection with the disappearance of his wife.

Fotis Dulos’ bond has been set at $6 million and he will be arraigned Wednesday in Stamford, according to his attorney, Norm Pattis.

Fotis Dulos’ girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, and a local attorney, Kent Mawhinney, were also both arrested on murder-related charges. They are expected to appear in court on Wednesday to face conspiracy to commit murder charges.

The warrant released on Tuesday includes detailed lists of the physical evidence investigators have collected at Jennifer’s New Canaan home and from garbage bags recovered from Albany Avenue in Hartford. That evidence, according to the warrant, includes bloodstains that match Jennifer’s DNA at her home, in her car and on clothing found in the trash in Hartford, and zip ties with Jennifer’s DNA on them.

The warrant also details multiple interviews with Fotis’ girlfriend, 45-year-old Michelle Troconis.

Investigators said Troconis offered contradictory information about the events of May 24.

Read the Latest Fotis Dulos Arrest Warrant

Carrie Luft released a statement on Tuesday afternoon on behalf of the family and friends of Jennifer Dulos.

“Above all we thank the Connecticut State Police and the New Canaan Police Department, as well as the assisting local departments, for their tireless commitment and diligent, painstaking work that have led to these arrests. Although we are relieved that the wait for these charges is over, for us there is no sense of closure. Nothing can bring Jennifer back. We miss her every day and will forever mourn her loss.

“We believe the arrest warrants will speak for themselves, and we ask that you please respect our privacy during this time. Thank you.”

“Although we are relieved that the wait for these charges is over, for us there is no sense of closure. Nothing can bring Jennifer back.”

Carrie Luft, statement on behalf of the family and friends of Jennifer Dulos

After state police took Fotis Dulos into custody, New Canaan police sent out the following Tweet.

Pattis spoke with the media outside his client’s home on Tuesday morning.

“I haven’t seen the warrant. I’ll be surprised if they can win it.  Mr. Dulos contends he was not involved and I don’t think the evidence will show that he was,” Pattis said.

When asked about his conversation with Fotis Dulos today upon arriving at his house, Pattis said he could not talk about attorney-client privilege.

“But you can imagine what it’s like to say to someone, ‘prepare for the bottom to fall out of your world,'” Pattis said.

“But you can imagine what it’s like to say to someone, ‘prepare for the bottom to fall out of your world,'” Pattis said.

Norm Pattis, defense attorney for Fotis Dulos

Fotis Dulos was sitting in the front of a state police cruiser when he arrived at Troop G in Bridgeport Tuesday afternoon.

Fotis Dulos was booked into the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield on Tuesday afternoon. He is expected in Stamford Superior Court Wednesday morning.

Fotis Dulos was previously charged with two counts of tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution in the first degree. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A warrant issued for Fotis Dulos in September says the arrest was in connection with the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos.

Two months earlier, in July, Fotis sat down for an exclusive interview with NBC New York, his first after Jennifer disappeared, and said he has to stand and fight and “hope the truth is going to come out.

JENNIFER DULOS REPORTED MISSING

Jennifer Dulos was living at 69 Welles Lane in New Canaan when she disappeared on May 24, 2019. The last report of anyone seeing her was when she dropped her children off at school that morning.

The missing person report came in just before 7 p.m. that day.

Friends and family members told police that they hadn’t been able to reach her, and she’d missed several doctor’s appointments in New York City.

While officers were in Jennifer’s home, they found no sign of her, but investigators found bloodstains on the garage floor and on a vehicle located in the garage, according to the arrest warrant.

That led police to believe the home was a crime scene and they said there was evidence of attempts to clean it up.

INFORMATION FROM PREVIOUS ARREST WARRANT

Also missing from Jennifer’s home was a 2017 Chevrolet Suburban, which police located around 7 p.m. on May 24 near Waveny Park in New Canaan, the arrest warrant states. They found blood both inside and outside the vehicle.

POLICE SPEAK WITH FOTIS DULOS

Around 9 a.m. on May 25, police contacted Fotis Dulos to speak with him about his missing estranged wife.

He and his attorney arrived at police headquarters that afternoon, but left without providing an interview, according to the arrest warrant.

When police searched Fotis’ cellphone, they found evidence that it had been used on Albany Avenue in Hartford from around 7:10 p.m. to 7:40 p.m. on the night of May 24, the day Jennifer disappeared, according to police.

Investigators also looked at surveillance cameras from the area, which they said showed a man resembling Fotis driving a black pickup and tossing garbage bags in trashcans, the arrest warrant says.

One of the stops was at a storm drain, where police found a set of altered license plates that linked back to Dulos, according to court paperwork.

A woman resembling Fotis’ then live-in girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 45, was with him while the vehicle was on Albany Avenue, according to police.

On June 1, police obtained warrants charging Fotis Dulos and Troconis with tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution — charges for which both have pleaded not guilty.

When police spoke with Troconis the next day, she told them that she couldn’t account for Fotis’ whereabouts between 8 a.m. and 1 or 2 p.m. on May 24, according to the arrest warrant, and she told them she had no idea what Fotis was doing while dumping garbage bags.

During another interview in August, Troconis would tell police that she hadn’t seen Fotis on May 24 from the time she woke up, around 6:40 a.m., until after noon when he came home for lunch.

SEARCH OF FOTIS’ FARMINGTON HOME

On June 3, police searched Fotis’ home on Jefferson Crossing in Farmington and located what they referred to as the “Alibi Scripts” — notes with information that never happened and alibi witnesses who “were later determined to be false,” according to the arrest warrant.

While investigating, police spoke with one of Fotis Dulos’ employees who told them his boss had instructed him to remove seats from his Toyota Tacoma, which he was going to replace with seats from a Porsche Cayenne registered to Jennifer Dulos, court paperwork says. 

According to police, Fotis had access to the employee’s vehicle and a truck matching the description was seen near where Jennifer’s Suburban was found abandoned.

LAST SIGHTING OF JENNIFER DULOS

The last known sighting of Jennifer Dulos was at 8:05 a.m. on May 24 after she dropped her children off at school and the arrest warrant for Fotis Dulos says police believe he was “lying in wait” for his wife to return home.

Just before 10:30 a.m. that morning, surveillance cameras on Jennifer’s street show her Suburban heading west.

The arrest warrant says police believe Dulos was driving and Jennifer’s body and items used to clean up the garage were inside.

EVIDENCE FROM FOTIS’ EMPLOYEE’S TRUCK

One piece of evidence police documented in court paperwork is the employee’s truck. Police said seats removed from it had Jennifer’s DNA.

The employee went on to tell police that Fotis had taken his Toyota Tacoma to the car wash, which was unusual, and told him to change the seats in his truck or sell it, then offered seats from a damaged Porsche. 

When police spoke with Troconis about the truck, she said she’d seen Fotis cleaning what he described as “spilled coffee” out of it. Then he handed her a stained towel to throw away, but the towel didn’t smell like coffee, according to the arrest warrant,

She went on to tell them that the truck was cleaned and detailed without the employee’s knowledge or permission.

When asked why she thought Fotis would be washing the Tacoma, she told police, “Well obviously … all the evidence says because … you showed me the picture of the blood in the door it’s because the body of Jennifer at some point was in there,” the arrest warrant says.

The arrest warrant for Fotis Dulos says the office of the chief medical examiner, based on lab results and information presented about the case, indicated that due to the degree of blood loss and other factors, “he was prepared to state that Jennifer Dulos had sustained injury (or multiple injuries) which he would consider ‘non-survivable’ without medical intervention.”

RESPONSE FROM DEFENSE TEAM

After the second charges were filed, Fotis Dulos’ attorney, Norm Pattis, said he questioned the wisdom of the charges.

A gag order has been issued in the case and Pattis is fighting to lift it so Dulos can be free to “criticize his accusers” and “defend himself in the court of law and in the court of public opinion,” according to court filings

“We hope that the Supreme Court gives us the opportunity to speak the truth as we know it,” Pattis has said, adding, “Mr. Dulos is not guilty of the crime of murder.”

THE CHILDREN

Jennifer and Fotis’ five children have been living with Jennifer’s mother, Gloria Farber, since their mother disappeared and Fotis has been trying to get custody.

THE CASE

Police have a dedicated website on the search for Jennifer Dulos. They have set up a tipline at 203-594-3544 as well as a dedicated email address, findjenniferdulos@newcanaanct.gov.

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New Britain Group Accepting Donations to Help Victims of Puerto Rico Earthquakes

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In Puerto Rico, families are still reeling after a series of earthquakes rocked the island. The natural disaster destroyed homes and caused families to live inside tints.

Vincent Placeres, the owner of Mofongo Restaurant, has relatives who were on the island when the earthquakes hit.

“Earthquakes are powerful, and they can cause a lot of damage,” said Placeres. “I touched base with my family and they tell me they don’t have any water or power.”

On Tuesday, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico, killing at least one person and causing widespread power outages across the island.

Damaged roads and bridges could be seen throughout the southwestern region.

“I think anytime that a country or family goes through a tragedy like (an) earthquake or a natural fire, it can be devastating,” said Placeres. “A lot of people are living outside their homes and they’re scared about what could happen next.”

Inside the New Britain restaurant, workers prepare meals for hungry customers while thinking of love ones.

Amir Commodore’s grandmother, aunt and cousins tell him they’re working to overcome the natural disaster.

“It’s difficult not being able to do anything from such a far distance and knowing that they want and need help,” said Commodore. “I know that God is on my side and my number one priority is to always make sure everyone is OK.”

The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain is accepting monetary donations to help families who are still recovering. If you would like to donate, click here.

Fire Destroys Home in Burlington

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Burlington Fire Department are on scene battling a fire at 67 Lyon Road, Wednesday morning.

Officials say they believe the fire started in a garage just before 6 a.m. and extended to the house. Crews from surrounding towns came to assist with additional water supply and manpower.

According to fire officials, there are no hydrants in the area and they were shuttling water from the hydrant of a school down the street.

The owner of the home was not at the residence, fire officials said, and no injuries were reported.

Lyon Road is closed between Myra Lane and Nepaug Road until further notice.

Crews on scene at a home in Burlington after early morning fire.

The fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire.

Norwich Leaders Working to Address Blighted Properties

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Norwich city leaders are expected to address concerns with blighted properties in the city.

Mayor Peter Nystrom emphasized blight in the annual state of the city address Monday night.

“I do not think we are in a position to ignore them any further,” Nystrom said of the blighted properties.

According to Nystrom, there are more than 100 blighted properties across the city. The blight is handled on a complaint basis by the city’s sole blight officer, but what constitutes blight is wide-ranging. Nystrom said that there is no sweeping code or definition for blight in Norwich.

“I want to create a policy that covers the whole city so that everyone clearly understands what is expected,” said Nystrom. “We need to ask more of some of our people who have bought properties in this community and simply sit on them because the others are investing, are working hard to maintain.”

Jean Tardif lives in the Greenville section of Norwich. She is the captain of the Neighborhood Watch, a role she also uses as an opportunity to let the blight officer know of any problem areas in the neighborhood.

“I care because I love my neighborhood,” said Tardif. “It is very hard because you cannot ask somebody to buy a place.”

Tardif said the blight varies from abandoned homes to trash piles left out for extended periods of time. Her neighbor, Debra Torres, struggles with the same sights.

“It brings the value of your house down,” said Torres. “I don’t want to be in this neighborhood anymore unless something is really getting done.”

Nystrom said that he is hoping to spend the next year with council members looking at ways to create policies, potentially open the door to grants that help address the properties and examining whether new state legislation applies.

A new law authorizes a superior court judge to appoint a “receiver,” an entity or a person, to take over rehabilitating or disposing of abandoned properties — industrial, residential or commercial — in communities with at least 35,000 inhabitants. Interested parties can petition the court to take over a property that has been abandoned for at least a year. The legislation is considered to be another tool for municipalities to address blight. Nystrom said they will look to see if it applies to the city.

Nystrom stressed that as the council holds these discussions, it will be crucial for the public to weigh in.

“This is about setting the table so people understand what is expected, but they can also understand how the city can help at the same time,” said Nystrom.  

Man Accused of Stealing Nearly $17K From South Windsor Soccer Club

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South Windsor police have arrested a man accused of stealing nearly $17,000 from a local soccer club.

Police said Robert Malloy, 45, of South Windsor, was hired by the South Windsor Soccer Club in May 2019 to install an indoor turf field. The club paid $16,671 for the field, but Malloy never started the work.

According to police, the club canceled their contract with Malloy in August, expecting Malloy to return the money, but he never did.

Malloy was charged with larceny and embezzlement. He was released on $5,000 bond and is due in court on Jan. 22.

Tom Brady Hints at Return in Instagram Post

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Tom Brady on Wednesday hinted at a return to the NFL in an Instagram post, four days after the Patriots’ disappointing exit from the playoffs.

In the post, Brady thanked Patriots fans while praising “teammates who go to battle with me” and “an organization that believes in me.”

Brady said the best way to bounce back from adversity was to learn from mistakes and try again, subtly hinting at his return.

“In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again,” he wrote.

“And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove.”

After the Patriots’ season-ending 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Brady said that he had no plans to retire, putting owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick on the clock to either re-sign him or watch the franchise’s greatest player suit up somewhere else.

A six-time Super Bowl champion, four-time Most Valuable Player of the NFL title game and three-time winner of the league MVP, Brady is not under contract for next season. Although he has said he wants to play until he is 45, he is coming off perhaps the worst (non-injury) season of his career.

“Who knows what the future holds? We’ll leave it at that,” Brady said. “I love the Patriots. It’s the greatest organization. Playing for Mr. Kraft all these years, and for coach Belichick, there’s nobody who’s had a better career than me, just being with them. So I’m very blessed.”

Brady threw for 4,057 yards and 24 touchdowns this season, with eight interceptions. But he completed fewer than 56% of his passes six times in the final eight games of the year, including a season-ending loss to a four-win Miami team that cost the Patriots a first-round bye and then the wild-card loss to the Titans.

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Mawhinney Arrest Warrant Details Strange Find at Gun Club

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A Bloomfield attorney is facing murder-related charges in connection with Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance.

 Up until his arrest Tuesday, few knew about the alleged involvement of Kent Mawhinney in the Dulos investigation. His arrest warrant identifies him as a friend and attorney to Fotis Dulos.

The warrant says there is evidence that Mawhinney may have spoken via phone with Dulos on the day Jennifer Dulos went missing. Also in that warrant, there is mention of what appeared to be a shallow grave on the property of a hunting club he founded more than a decade ago – the Windsor Rod and Gun Club in East Granby.

The warrant details that:

  • “Mawhinney had reached out to another club member in March/April 2019.”
  • “He had said he wanted to get back into the club and had inquired how to get back onto the property.”

According to neighbors, the gun club is quiet during the week.

“Usually on Saturdays we’ll wake up to hear hunters in the field over there.  There’s usually just some guns going off and every once and a while you’ll see some game,” neighbor Nikola Dokmanovic said.

According to the warrant,

  • “On 5/18/19 [Two members] went hunting on [the] Windsor Rod & Gun Club…”
  • “they uncovered two barbeque grill grates which had been placed over a hole dug into the ground. Small branches and leaves had been placed on the grill grates to hide the pit beneath.” 
  • “…described the hole as, ‘One hundred percent a human grave.’ Inside the hole, [he] found a blue tarp and two unopened bags of Lime.”

Lime, according to the arrest warrant affidavit, could be used to dispose of remains. No trace of any human remains was ever found on the property after State Police were contacted to investigate.

Dokmanovic said he never noticed any major police activity at the club.

“I mean as far as police presence all I’ve ever seen was just a couple of, road pickups if you will,” he said.

He added that his mother told him there was a great deal of activity on the property recently, including several pickup trucks at night, though the family is unclear if that was police activity.

Bristol Man Stabbed Wife to Death: Police

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A man walked into the Bristol Police Department Tuesday night and told officers he had just stabbed his wife, according to police.

Eddie Torres, 37, of Bristol arrived at the police department just before 9:30 p.m., just as dispatchers received a 911 call about a woman suffering from multiple stab wounds at an apartment on Pardee Street.

Officers found a 39-year-old woman suffering from life-threatening stab wounds at the apartment, police said.

She was rushed to the hospital where she died from her injuries. Police did not name the woman.

Investigators said Torres and the woman were staying at the apartment of a relative when the stabbing occurred. The victim ran to another apartment for help, according to police.

Torres is charged with murder. He was held on $1 million bond and was scheduled to be in court on Wednesday.

CCSU Club Cancels Puerto Rico Trip Over Earthquake Concerns

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No water or electricity for two days. That’s what Central Connecticut State University President Dr. Zulma R. Turo said she experienced while visiting family in Puerto Rico last week.

 The island has experienced multiple earthquakes since December 28, the strongest of which came Tuesday, a 6.4 magnitude quake the leveled homes a created widespread power outages.

“The main concern now is the lack of power and the uncertainty associated with when they will be able to get power back,” said Toro. “There’s no idea.”

At CCSU, the Political Science Club was set to leave for Puerto Rico morning to attend a political science conference in San Juan. Instead, Toro advised them not to go and the students agreed.

“Obviously it would be really dangerous to go there right now considering there are so many earthquakes happening every day,” said CCSU student Angela Fortuna of Fairfield.

Looking ahead, the Political Science Club said they are already identifying a new conference to attend this spring, potentially Los Angeles in April.

“We’re going to think about the next thing,” said CCSU Political Science Club President Kristina DeVivo. “We’re going to think about the next conference and really focus on helping in Puerto Rico and giving our thoughts and prayers to them.”

The immediate priority is finding ways to help the people of Puerto Rico.

“Whatever we can do to help them,” said DeVivo, explaining they are planning a meeting soon. “No decisions as of right now but we’ll do something.”

As for the school itself, Toro said she is having meetings internally to see how the CCSU Foundation can contribute to relief efforts.

“As an institution I think we need to start thinking, what can be done to help the people of Puerto Rico,” she said.

100 Crumbling Foundations Replaced Through State Insurance Program

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One hundred homes with crumbling concrete have had their foundations replaced with help from the state insurance company created in response to the crisis.

Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Company, Inc. (CFSIC), the state insurance company providing money to homeowners announced that milestone Wednesday, nearly a year after it launched.

The insurer said it hopes to have an additional 150 families back in their homes by this time next year.

NBC Connecticut investigates has been covering the crumbling foundations crisis for years.

To learn more about CFSIC and to see eligibility requirements to file a claim, visit their website at https://crumblingfoundations.org/

‘No Body’ Murder Cases: Expert Weighs in on Dulos Investigation

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The arrest warrant for murder charges against Fotis Dulos includes a list of evidence from police, but that list does not include the body of Jennifer Dulos.

Dr. Henry Lee is a renowned forensic scientist at the University of New Haven. He said in nearly 60 years of investigations, he’s worked on a little more than 100 murder cases where there was no body.

“Most of the time eventually the body shows up. But still have a lot of cases the body even today, still don’t know,” said Lee.

Lee is not involved in the death investigation of Jennifer Dulos, or the upcoming murder trial of Fotis Dulos.

He said cases like this one are no different than others, and it’s up to the prosecution to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. There are three things he believes the prosecution must establish.

“First the person is missing, second the missing person is murdered, the third, the accused is somehow involved in such a murder,” said Lee.

Lee said one of those elements might be in place, according to the medical examiner’s statements included in the Dulos arrest warrant.

“She suffered one or multiple injuries and because of the amount of blood was found,” said Lee. “An individual cannot survive, that shows a murder taking place.”

But he reiterated that it’s up to the prosecution to convince a jury of the crime. It has happened in the past.

On Jan. 8, 1990, exactly 30 years ago, Richard Crafts was sentenced to 50 years in the murder of his wife. It’s known as the infamous “Wood Chipper” case in Newtown.

In June 2010, George Leniart was sentenced to life in prison in the 1996 death of April Pennington.

Both convictions were without a body. The Leniart conviction was overturned in 2016 by the state Appellate Court, which ordered a new trial.

Lee said investigators, attorneys and forensic scientists need to work together closely to build these cases.  

“Just like writing a historical book to reconstruct the pieces together,” he said.

Animal Hospital Collecting Items to Help Australian Wildlife Displaced by Fires

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Wildfires raging across Australia have taken a devastating toll on the nation. At least 24 people are dead and more than 32,000-square-miles burned.

Scientists estimate more than a billion animals have been killed, and they worry the wildfires may wipe out entire species.

The devastating images are motivating many across the US to give, and an animal hospital in Berlin is looking to help too.

“If somebody is crafty, knows how to knit, crochet, sew, any kind of talent like that, even one pouch per person would be huge. It really would be,” said Kensington Bird & Animal Hospital Wildlife rehabber and receptionist Alex Dumas.

On Tuesday, Kensington Bird & Animal Hospital posted on their Facebook asking for crafted items like blankets, animal beds, animal sweaters, and pillowcases. Dumas said something as simple as a fleece or cotton pouch can mean a lot for a displaced animal.

“It creates a warm, safe, dark, quiet environment,” said Dumas. “They’re washable. They’re simple to make, and they make all the difference in the world.”

Since the post, Dumas said people in and out of the state have contacted her offering to sew and knit items. She said even if people just donate fleece or light blankets or sheets, that would be a huge help. Employees hope what they’re able to collect helps the wildlife and countless volunteers half a world away.

“I just hope that every little bit we can contribute with this fundraiser can help and make some sort of positive impact,” said Kensington Bird & Animal Hospital Boarding Specialist Cote Derota.

Donations will be accepted at Kensington Bird & Animal Hospital at 977 Farmington Ave, Berlin, CT.

For more on the items being accepted along with crafting patterns, head to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kensingtonbird/

For other ways you can help victims and volunteers working the Australian wildfires, click here: http://nbcct.co/Z71IKDb

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UConn Student Gets Probation in Racial Slur Case

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One of the two University of Connecticut students caught on video shouting a racial slur outside a campus apartment complex has been granted a special form of probation that could result in dismissal of the charge.

A judge on Tuesday accepted Jarred Karal’s application for accelerated rehabilitation. Karal, 21, of Plainville, was placed on six months of probation and ordered to complete 20 hours of community service and undergo diversity and bias training, the Hartford Courant reported.

Accelerated rehabilitation is generally for first-time offenders charged with nonviolent offenses. A charge of ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race will be dismissed after a successful probation period.

Karal and another student, Ryan Mucaj, 21, of Granby, faced 30 days in jail. Mucaj’s case is pending, according to court records.

Prosecutor Thadius Bochain was in favor of Karal’s admission to the program, saying that while his words were “serious and concerning,” alcohol and immaturity played a role and the student has taken responsibility.

Karal’s lawyer, T.R. Paulding, said his client’s conduct “was very out of character.” Karal is scheduled to graduate this spring, Paulding said.

Police said the men said the racial slur several times while walking with a third student through the parking lot of UConn’s Charter Oak Apartments complex on Oct. 11. Karal and Mucaj are white. The third student was not charged.

The slur was recorded on video by a black student and led to campus protests against racism. Free speech advocates said that while the slur is offensive, uttering it is not criminal.

Karal told police the group was playing a game in which they would yell an offensive word, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. The first person who refuses to say the word loses, he said. They decided to change the game to shouting the racial epithet, he said.

Weinstein Judge Won’t Step Aside as Jury Selection Resumes

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The judge in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial declined the defense’s request that he step aside as jury selection dipped into a third day Thursday.

Judge James Burke announced his decision Thursday, a day after Weinstein’s lawyers sent him a letter asking that he remove himself from the case. They objected to comments Burke made when he threatened to jail Weinstein for ignoring a court order barring texting in the courtroom.

Weinstein’s lawyers blasted the judge’s comments as “prejudicial and inflammatory,” and raised questions about his impartiality.

Burke said Thursday there was nothing improper about “scolding a recalcitrant defendant” over violating an order to use his cell phone in court.

“I never meant that I was going to put your client in jail for life,” he told defense attorneys.

Judges seldom step aside from cases over such requests, but Weinstein’s lawyers could be also making a play to make an issue of Burke’s comments and rulings for a possible appeal.

The defense had further argued that Burke failed to adequately safeguard Weinstein’s right to a fair and impartial jury, in part by rejecting a request to halt jury selection for a “cooling off” period after prosecutors in Los Angeles filed new sex crimes charges against him Monday.

“There is no time like the present,” Burke said Thursday. “All sides are ready.”

Weinstein is charged in New York with raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting another woman, Mimi Haleyi, in 2006. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison. The 67-year-old ex-studio boss has pleaded not guilty and maintains that any sexual activity was consensual.

Killingly School Board Votes to Reinstate Redmen Mascot

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The Killingly Board of Education has voted to reinstate the controversial Redmen mascot for the high school.

The issue has divided the community for months.

Wednesday’s meeting grew heated as board members debated the mascot issue. Last year the board voted to change the mascot to the Red Hawks. But that decision was struck down in December, leaving Killingly High School with no mascot at all.

Wednesday the school board voted to restore the Redmen mascot for Killingly High School. The board is also calling for an update to the logo design so that it does not portray Native Americans in a negative stereotype.  There are also ideas to develop classes to teach students about Native American heritage.

Some board members defended the use of the Redmen, pointing out the history of the term and arguing its use was a way to honor, not insult.

But others believed Redmen was outdated and the opinions of some Native Americans and students were not listened before the vote.

“We stopped letting it be about the students and doing what’s right. And people can be mad about the process and people can be mad about losing whatever it is they think they’re losing. But the people who are directly impacted have spoken and we chose to not listen to them,” said Hoween Flexer, a school board member.

Flexer is also raising questions about if the vote was done correctly.

Crash Closed Berlin Turnpike in Berlin

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Part of the Berlin Turnpike was closed in Berlin after a crash Thursday morning.

Police said a car and a tractor-trailer crashed near 2253 Berlin Turnpike and extrication is taking place.

The Berlin Turnpike was closed in the area.

Two Additional Flu Deaths in Connecticut

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Another two flu deaths have been reported in Connecticut and the people who died were between the ages of 25 and 49, according to state Department of Health statistics.

There have been seven flu-related deaths in Connecticut this season and the most recent two were during the week of Dec. 29 to Jan. 4.

The other five flu-related deaths were people 65 years old or older.

The state Department of Health classifies flu as widespread and said there have been 472 flu-related hospitalizations since the start of the 2019-2020 season. Nearly 200 were reported this week.   

The department has received reports of 1,613 positive flu tests this season.

Get more data on flu in Connecticut online here.

Helping Men Get to the Doctor

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 The following content is created in partnership with Hartford HealthCare. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC Owned Television Stations Group editorial staff. Click here to learn more about Hartford HealthCare.

Men are 1.4 times more likely than women to die from almost any chronic medical condition, according to national statistics reported by Hartford HealthCare. Yet men are 80 percent less likely than women to seek preventive healthcare. The very fact that men also live shorter lives means that male attitudes about prevention need to change.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) the difficulty or inability to achieve and maintain an erection can affect men of any age, with 52 percent of men ages 40-70 experiencing some degree of ED. Medical conditions such as atherosclerosis, diabetes and obesity can contribute to ED. Surgery, medications or psychological issues can be factors as well, ED is treatable.

The first and perhaps the most difficult step for some men is to confide in their primary care physician, who may send them to a specialist. A board-licensed urologist will explain all possible options and FDA-approved treatments available.

Hartford HealthCare’s Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute has an on-site behavioral expert who can help with any underlying emotional problems such as performance anxiety, depression, loss of interest and low self-esteem.

Many men don’t realize that there are ED treatments, including a penile implant. The surgery is about a 90-minute procedure, often outpatient or a one-night stay. The implant looks natural and creates an erection whenever desired.

Doug J., 74, of New London County, had the implant procedure in November 2017 and never looked back. He had recovered from cancer surgery that removed his prostate but unfortunately caused ED. Even after he was deemed cancer-free, he still wasn’t completely happy because of ED.

Doug’s oncologist referred him to Jared Bieniek, M.D., a board-certified urologist with Hartford HealthCare’s Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute. Though Doug chose first to try less invasive treatments, such as medication and injections, those were unsuccessful or uncomfortable. When Dr. Bieniek advised Doug he was a candidate for an implant, Doug at first was reluctant.

“I was scared to death,” Doug recalls. “But Dr. Bieniek made me comfortable. After it was all over, I was fine. I had discomfort, but I can’t remember pain.”

The implant surgery involved inserting two chambers in the penis, a saline-filled reservoir behind the abdominal muscles, and a pump in the scrotum. By manually activating this pump, an erection occurs on demand.

“For something that you thought you would never have again, and there it was,“ he says. “It doesn’t feel fake at all. It feels like you’re a 20-year-old guy again. I would recommend it to anybody.”

Reflecting on his experience, Doug offers advice to any man with ED: “Go talk to your doctor about it. Make sure you get the best doctor possible. I was lucky. I got an amazing doctor. Don’t be afraid to do it.”

Dr. Bieniek and the Tallwood team of specialists perform implants weekly, making it a high volume center. After the procedure, he says patients respond with “a sigh of relief to have that part of their lives back.”

For more information, log on to Tallwood Kidney and Urology Institute.

US Officials: ‘Highly Likely’ Iran Downed Ukrainian Jetliner

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Two U.S. officials said Thursday it was “highly likely” that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed a Ukrainian jetliner late Tuesday, killing all 176 people on board.

The crash came just a few hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack against Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops amid a confrontation with Washington over the U.S. drone strike that killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general last week. The officials, citing U.S. intelligence, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information. They said they had no certain knowledge of Iranian intent. But they said it could very well have been a mistake, and that the airliner was mistaken for a threat.

President Donald Trump suggested that he believes Iran was responsible and wouldn’t directly lay the blame on Iran, but dismissed Iran’s initial claim that it was a mechanical issue.

“Somebody could have made a mistake on the other side,” Trump said, noting the plane was flying in a “pretty rough neighborhood.”

“Some people say it was mechanical,” Trump added. “I personally don’t think that’s even a question.”

The U.S. officials wouldn’t say what intelligence they have that points to an Iranian missile. But they acknowledged the existence of satellites and other sensors in the region, as well as the likelihood of communications intercepts and other similar intelligence.

The U.S. assessment comes after a preliminary Iranian investigative report released Thursday said the pilots never made a radio call for help and claimed the aircraft was trying to turn back for the airport when the burning plane went down. Ukraine, meanwhile, said it considered a missile strike as one of several possible theories for the crash, despite Iran’s denials.

The Iranian report suggests that a sudden emergency struck the Boeing 737 operated by Ukrainian International Airlines late Tuesday, when it crashed, just minutes after taking off from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran.

Investigators from Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization offered no immediate explanation for the disaster, however. Iranian officials initially blamed a technical malfunction for the crash, something initially backed by Ukrainian officials before they said they wouldn’t speculate amid an ongoing investigation.

The Ukrainian International Airlines took off at 6:12 a.m. Wednesday, Tehran time, after nearly an hour’s delay at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport, the main airport for travelers in Iran. It gained altitude heading west, reaching nearly 8,000 feet, according to both the report and flight-tracking data.

Then something went wrong, though “no radio messages were received from the pilot regarding unusual situations,” the report said. In emergencies, pilots reach out to air-traffic controllers to warn them and to clear the runway for their arrival, though their first priority is to keep the aircraft flying.

Eyewitnesses, including the crew of another flight passing above it, described seeing the plane engulfed in flames before crashing at 6:18 a.m., the report said. Flight-tracking data for the plane stopped before the crash, which occurred in the town of Shahedshahr to the northeast of the plane’s last reported position. That’s the wrong direction of the flight plan, bolstering the report’s claim that the pilots tried to turn the aircraft back to the airport.

The crash caused a massive explosion when the plane hit the ground, likely because the aircraft had been fully loaded with fuel for the flight to Kyiv, Ukraine.

The report also confirmed that both of the so-called “black boxes” that contain data and cockpit communications from the plane had been recovered, though they sustained damage and some parts of their memory was lost. It also said that investigators have initially ruled out laser or electromagnetic interference as causing the crash.

Hours before the plane crash the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration had issued an emergency flight restriction barring U.S. carriers and pilots from flying over areas of Iraqi, Iranian and some Persian Gulf airspace warning of the “potential for miscalculation or mis-identification” for civilian aircraft due to heightened political and military tensions.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s Security Council, told Ukrainian media that officials had several working theories regarding the crash, including a missile strike.

“A strike by a missile, possibly a Tor missile system, is among the main (theories), as information has surfaced on the internet about elements of a missile being found near the site of the crash,” Danilov said. He did not elaborate on where he saw the information on the internet.

Ukrainian investigators that arrived in Iran earlier on Thursday currently await permission from Iranian authorities to examine the crash site and look for missile fragments, Danilov said.

The Tor is a Russian-made missile system. Russia delivered 29 Tor-M1s to Iran in 2007 as part of a $700 million contract signed in December 2005. Iran has displayed the missiles in military parades as well.

Iran did not immediately respond to the Ukrainian comments. However, Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, the spokesman of the Iranian armed forces, denied a missile hit the airplane in a comments reported Wednesday by the semiofficial Fars news agency. He dismissed the allegation as “psychological warfare” by foreign-based Iranian opposition groups.

Ukraine has a grim history with missile attacks, including in July 2014 when one such strike downed a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard.

Danilov also said other possible causes under consideration included a drone or another flying object crashing into the plane, a terrorist attack or an engine malfunction causing an explosion. However, no terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack and the plane was only 3½ years old.

Oleksandr Zaporozhchenko, a mechanic with the Ukraine International Airlines in 2016-2018, said he knew one of the crew members of the plane and had never heard any complaints about the aircraft.

“It is one the most reliable planes out there,” Zaporozhchenko told The Associated Press.

The manufacturer of the plane’s engines, U.S.-French firm CFM, declined to comment. French air accident investigators have not been asked to take part in the investigation so far.

The plane was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, at least 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians, according to officials. Many of the passengers were believed to be international students attending universities in Canada; they were making their way back to Toronto by way of Kyiv after visiting with family during the winter break.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he planned to call Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about the crash and the investigation.

“Undoubtedly, the priority for Ukraine is to identify the causes of the plane crash,” Zelenskiy said. “We will surely find out the truth.”

The crash ranked among the worst losses of life for Canadians in an aviation disaster. The flag over Parliament in Ottawa was lowered to half-staff, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to get to the bottom of the disaster.

While the cause of the tragedy remained unknown, the disaster could further damage Boeing’s reputation, which has been battered by the furor over two deadly crashes involving a different model of the Boeing jet, the much-newer 737 Max, which has been grounded for nearly 10 months. The uproar led to the firing of the company’s CEO last month.

Boeing extended condolences to the victims’ families and said it stands ready to assist. However, it remains unclear if Iran will allow that amid tensions with Washington, given Boeing is a U.S.-based firm.

Cold Today, Warm Weather This Weekend

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We will have windy and cold weather this morning before the milder weather comes in. This weekend, record-breaking temperatures are possible.

The high temperature for today will be around 30 degrees and there will be plenty of sunshine.

On Friday, we’ll have some clouds and temperatures will be milder, with a high of 45 to 50.

The warmer temperature begins Saturday with high temperatures near 60, which would match the record for the Hartford area that was set in 1983.

The record for the Bridgeport area is 58, which was set in 1975. It could get close to that on Saturday.

The high temperature on Sunday will be in the 50s.

Get the forecast anytime here.

Read the Fotis Dulos Arrest Warrant

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Fotis Dulos, the 52-year-old estranged husband of Jennifer Dulos, a New Canaan woman who has been missing for more than seven months, has been arrested and charged with murder, felony murder and kidnapping in connection with the disappearance of his wife.

His bond has been set at $6 million and he will be arraigned Wednesday in Stamford, according to his attorney, Norm Pattis.

After reviewing the arrest warrant, Pattis said they were relieved they had something concrete to fight back against and that his client denies the charges against him.

“We are obviously chastened by the fact that the state thinks there is sufficient evidence to pursue Mr. Dulos for such serious crimes but frankly we are very encouraged by our preliminary review of the warrants,” Pattis said.

The warrant released Tuesday includes detailed lists of the physical evidence investigators have collected at Jennifer’s New Canaan home and from garbage bags recovered from Albany Avenue in Hartford.

The physical evidence recovered along Albany Avenue was a big factor in the investigation. Over the summer, police said a man who appeared to be Fotis along with a woman who appeared to be his girlfriend, Michele Troconis, were recorded disposing of trash along the street the night Jennifer disappeared.

Those bags included bloody paper towels, a sponge, clothes, duct tape, and blood-stained zip ties that contained Jennifer’s DNA.

We categorically deny that Mr. Dulos had any involvement in the disappearance of his wife Jennifer and we defy the state to prove that she is, in fact, dead.

Norm Pattis, Fotis’ Dulos attorney

Police believe the zip ties were used to hold Jennifer at some point.

Additionally, the warrant outlines what police said is Fotis removing what appears to be the rear cargo liner of Jennifer’s Suburban, which was missing from her vehicle when it was found near Waveny Park in New Canaan.

The warrant also provided statements from Jennifer’s nanny which contradict Fotis’ original claims as to why his DNA may be inside her home. The nanny told investigators that Jennifer didn’t want Fotis in the home at any time, and that the two of them went to great lengths to make sure he was never inside the house.

The document also offers a timeline, backed by surveillance footage and other evidence, that explains how investigators believe Fotis traveled from his Farmington home to Jennifer’s New Canaan home on the morning of May 24.

Police have previously said that based on the evidence found at Jennifer’s home they were concerned she had come to serious physical harm.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner was asked to weigh in on the evidence. According to the warrant, “Dr. Gill indicated that based upon the facts of the investigation, the degree of blood loss, as well as other factors, he was prepared to state that Jennifer Dulos had sustained an injury (or multiple injuries) which he would consider ‘non-survivable’ without medical intervention.”

He called such an event a “‘homicide of violence’ to likely include some combination of traumatic, blunt-force injuries such as a bludgeoning/beating, and/or sharp-force injuries such as a stabbing/slashing.”

Investigators also looked into Fotis Dulos’ financial situation, showing that Dulos had $4.5 million due on lines of credit and another possible $2.5 million due in a civil lawsuit.

“It appears that Dulos was failing to make even minimal interest due payments on multiple loans,” the warrant reads.

The document goes on to explain that each of the five Dulos children had trust funds set up by Jennifer’s parents and that, were Jennifer to disappear, Fotis would have expected to have some level of access to those funds.

The warrant also details multiple interviews with Fotis’ girlfriend, 45-year-old Michelle Troconis. Troconis has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and bond was set at $2 million.

Investigators said that Troconis gave multiple interviews that often contradicted each other. Those inconsistencies included her statements about Fotis’ whereabouts on the morning of May 24 and other key details about the day.

Troconis’ interviews also offered insight on the state of her relationship with Fotis. In one interview when asked if the divorce caused tension between Fotis and herself, Troconis said “we fight all the time.” She also told investigators that Fotis once said of Jennifer “Sometimes I hope she disappears.”

The details in the latest warrant come in addition to the details in documents from previous arrests.

Pattis questioned the state’s choice of charges and said it suggested a lack of confidence in their case.

“The charges against Mr. Dulos suggest the state can’t decide what happened.  They’ve charged him with murder, felony murder and kidnapping in the first degree.  So what these charges tell us is the state has evidence and doesn’t know what to make of it and what it intends to do is throw as much against the wall and let the jury decide what happened.  Our position is that’s not good enough for Fotis Dulos,” Pattis told reporters outside Connecticut State Police Troop G’s barracks in Bridgeport Tuesday.

A gag order remains in effect on the case, limiting what investigators and attorneys can discuss.

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Fotis Dulos Released on Bond

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What to Know

  • Fotis Dulos was arrested Tuesday and charged with the murder of his missing, estranged wife, Jennifer Dulos. Bond was set at $6 million.
  • Michelle Troconis, the girlfriend of Fotis Dulos, and a local attorney, Kent Mawhinney, were arrested on murder-related charges. Neither was able to post bail and both remain in custody.
  • Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five, has been missing since May 24 and police said they found bloodstains in the garage of her New Canaan home.

Fotis Dulos has been released on bond Thursday and one of his attorneys said he will be going home today, two days after being arrested of murder charges in the death of his estranged wife, Jennifer Dulos.

His girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, is also expected to post bond and her attorney said she will be released today.

Fotis Dulos intended to post the bond Wednesday after a court appearance, but was unable to because of a paperwork issue, according to an attorney.

Fotis Dulos, Troconis and a local attorney appeared in court Wednesday morning for murder-related charges in connection with the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five who has been missing since May.

The 52-year-old has been ordered to house arrest.

The court appearance came a day after Fotis was arrested Tuesday and charged with felony murder, murder and kidnapping in connection with his wife’s disappearance.

His attorney, Norm Pattis, previously said he was “cautiously optimistic” about Fotis Dulos making bail, however, he did say it is very expensive.

In court Wednesday, the judge kept bond the same as what prosecutors were asking for upon his arrest. The judge also ordered house arrest and said Fotis must not leave his home without permission. He will be refitted with a GPS monitoring device.

Pattis has said that he plans to file a motion to dismiss Fotis Dulos’ charges.

Troconis, and local attorney, Kent Mawhinney, have each been arrested on murder-related charges and both appeared in court Wednesday to face conspiracy to commit murder charges.

FOTIS DULOS APPEARS IN COURT

Fotis Dulos was the last of the three to appear in court, arriving in a sport coat, a dress shirt and jeans.

The judge set Dulos’ bond at $6 million.

Jennifer and Fotis’ five children have been living with Jennifer’s mother, Gloria Farber, since their mother disappeared and Fotis has been trying to get custody.

On Wednesday, the judge issued a protective order for the Dulos children and Jennifer’s family.

Fotis was also ordered not to have contact with the children’s nanny.

Pattis said they “very much want to try this case.”

Mr. Dulos wants to clear his name.

Norm Pattis, attorney for Fotis Dulos

“Mr. Dulos wants to clear his name,” Pattis said outside court on Wednesday.

He said there is no body, there does not appear to be a crime scene weapon.

“What we have is a suspicious disappearance and an entirely circumstantial case,” Pattis said.

The next court date, Pattis said, is Feb. 28.

AX REMOVED FROM FOTIS DULOS’ HOME

On Tuesday, police took an ax from the garage of Fotis’ home, according to Pattis.

“We’s heard for weeks they were looking for an ax and there was a discussion about whether we should give it to them,” Pattis said. “My opinion was, no, you don’t walk into the police saying, ‘here’s an ax.’ In this case, what are they going to say? ‘It’s Lizzie Borden’s murder weapon.”

He said he does not think there is any significance to it.

“If there was going to be significance to it, I doubt it would have been sitting in plain view for them to see when they came into the house,” Pattis said.

KENT MAWHINNEY APPEARS IN COURT

Mawhinney was the first of the three to make a court appearance Wednesday. The state prosecutor asked for house arrest, saying the suspect evaded police when he knew an arrest warrant was out and asked for the $2 million bond to stand.

The judge said that Mawhinney has a pending violation of a court order, kept the bond at $2 million, ordered GPS monitoring and for Mawhinney to hand over his passport.

The warrant issued for Mawhinney says there is evidence that he might have spoken via phone with Fotis Dulos on the day Jennifer Dulos went missing.

Also in that warrant, there is mention of what appeared to be a shallow grave on the property of a hunting club he founded more than a decade ago – the Windsor Rod and Gun Club in East Granby.

MICHELLE TROCONIS APPEARS IN COURT

Troconis appeared second, blowing a kiss to family and loved ones in the courtroom.

Her attorney asked for the $2 million bond to be lowered to $500,000 and the judge decided to lower it to $1.5 million.

Her attorney, Andrew Bowman, said Troconis did not make bond on Wednesday, but will make bond Thursday.

She will also be fitted with a new GPS monitor, according to her attorney.

ARREST WARRANT

The warrant released on Tuesday includes the case police are laying out, including detailed lists of the physical evidence that investigators have collected at Jennifer’s New Canaan home and from garbage bags recovered from Albany Avenue in Hartford. That evidence, according to the warrant, includes bloodstains that match Jennifer’s DNA at her home, in her car and on clothing found in the trash in Hartford, and zip ties with Jennifer’s DNA on them.

The warrant also details multiple interviews with Michelle Troconis.

Investigators said she offered contradictory information about the events of May 24.

Troconis was previously charged with first-degree hindering of prosecution and two counts of tampering with physical evidence. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Read the Latest Fotis Dulos Arrest Warrant

STATEMENT FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF JENNIFER DULOS

After police announced the charges, the family and friends of Jennifer Dulos released a statement.

Carrie Luft released the following statement on Tuesday afternoon on behalf of the family and friends of Jennifer Dulos.

“Above all we thank the Connecticut State Police and the New Canaan Police Department, as well as the assisting local departments, for their tireless commitment and diligent, painstaking work that have led to these arrests. Although we are relieved that the wait for these charges is over, for us there is no sense of closure. Nothing can bring Jennifer back. We miss her every day and will forever mourn her loss.

“We believe the arrest warrants will speak for themselves, and we ask that you please respect our privacy during this time. Thank you.”

“Although we are relieved that the wait for these charges is over, for us there is no sense of closure. Nothing can bring Jennifer back.”

Carrie Luft, statement on behalf of the family and friends of Jennifer Dulos

After state police took Fotis Dulos into custody Tuesday, New Canaan police sent out the following Tweet.

Pattis spoke with the media outside his client’s home on Tuesday morning.

“I haven’t seen the warrant. I’ll be surprised if they can win it.  Mr. Dulos contends he was not involved and I don’t think the evidence will show that he was,” Pattis said.

When asked about his conversation with Fotis Dulos today upon arriving at his house, Pattis said he could not talk about attorney-client privilege.

“But you can imagine what it’s like to say to someone, ‘prepare for the bottom to fall out of your world,'” Pattis said.

“But you can imagine what it’s like to say to someone, ‘prepare for the bottom to fall out of your world,'” Pattis said.

Norm Pattis, defense attorney for Fotis Dulos

Fotis Dulos was sitting in the front of a state police cruiser when he arrived at Troop G in Bridgeport Tuesday afternoon.

Fotis Dulos was booked into the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield on Tuesday afternoon. He is expected in Stamford Superior Court on Wednesday.

Fotis Dulos was previously charged with two counts of tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution in the first degree. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A warrant issued for Fotis Dulos in September says the arrest was in connection with the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos.

Two months earlier, in July, Fotis sat down for an exclusive interview with NBC New York, his first after Jennifer disappeared, and said he has to stand and fight and “hope the truth is going to come out.

JENNIFER DULOS REPORTED MISSING

Jennifer Dulos was living at 69 Welles Lane in New Canaan when she disappeared on May 24, 2019. The last report of anyone seeing her was when she dropped her children off at school that morning.

The missing person report came in just before 7 p.m. that day.

Friends and family members told police that they hadn’t been able to reach her, and she’d missed several doctor’s appointments in New York City.

While officers were in Jennifer’s home, they found no sign of her, but they did find bloodstains on the garage floor and on a vehicle located in the garage, according to the arrest warrant.

That led police to believe the home was a crime scene and they said there was evidence of attempts to clean it up.

The arrest warrant for Fotis Dulos says the office of the chief medical examiner, based on lab results and information presented about the case, indicated that due to the degree of blood loss and other factors, “he was prepared to state that Jennifer Dulos had sustained injury (or multiple injuries) which he would consider ‘non-survivable’ without medical intervention.”

INFORMATION FROM PREVIOUS ARREST WARRANT

Also missing from Jennifer’s home was a 2017 Chevrolet Suburban, which police located around 7 p.m. on May 24 near Waveny Park in New Canaan, the arrest warrant states. They found blood both inside and outside the vehicle.

POLICE SPEAK WITH FOTIS DULOS

Around 9 a.m. on May 25, police contacted Fotis Dulos to speak with him about his missing estranged wife.

He and his attorney arrived at police headquarters that afternoon, but left without providing an interview, according to the arrest warrant.

When police searched Fotis’ cellphone, they found evidence that it had been used on Albany Avenue in Hartford from around 7:10 p.m. to 7:40 p.m. on the night of May 24, the day Jennifer disappeared, according to police.

Investigators also looked at surveillance cameras from the area, which they said showed a man resembling Fotis driving a black pickup and tossing garbage bags in trashcans, the arrest warrant says.

One of the stops was at a storm drain, where police found a set of altered license plates that linked back to Dulos, according to court paperwork.

A woman resembling Fotis’ then live-in girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 45, was with him while the vehicle was on Albany Avenue, according to police.

On June 1, police obtained warrants charging Fotis Dulos and Troconis with tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution — charges for which both have pleaded not guilty.

When police spoke with Troconis the next day, she told them that she couldn’t account for Fotis’ whereabouts between 8 a.m. and 1 or 2 p.m. on May 24, according to the arrest warrant, and she told them she had no idea what Fotis was doing while dumping garbage bags.

During another interview in August, Troconis would tell police that she hadn’t seen Fotis on May 24 from the time she woke up, around 6:40 a.m., until after noon when he came home for lunch.

SEARCH OF FOTIS’ FARMINGTON HOME

On June 3, police searched Fotis’ home on Jefferson Crossing in Farmington and located what they referred to as the “Alibi Scripts” — notes with information that never happened and alibi witnesses who “were later determined to be false,” according to the arrest warrant.

While investigating, police spoke with one of Fotis Dulos’ employees who told them his boss had instructed him to remove seats from his Toyota Tacoma, which he was going to replace with seats from a Porsche Cayenne registered to Jennifer Dulos, court paperwork says. 

According to police, Fotis had access to the employee’s vehicle and a truck matching the description was seen near where Jennifer’s Suburban was found abandoned.

LAST SIGHTING OF JENNIFER DULOS

The last known sighting of Jennifer Dulos was at 8:05 a.m. on May 24 after she dropped her children off at school and the arrest warrant for Fotis Dulos says police believe he was “lying in wait” for his wife to return home.

Just before 10:30 a.m. that morning, surveillance cameras on Jennifer’s street show her Suburban heading west.

The arrest warrant says police believe Dulos was driving and Jennifer’s body and items used to clean up the garage were inside.

EVIDENCE FROM FOTIS’ EMPLOYEE’S TRUCK

One piece of evidence police documented in court paperwork is the employee’s truck. Police said seats removed from it had Jennifer’s DNA.

The employee went on to tell police that Fotis had taken his Toyota Tacoma to the car wash, which was unusual, and told him to change the seats in his truck or sell it, then offered seats from a damaged Porsche. 

When police spoke with Troconis about the truck, she said she’d seen Fotis cleaning what he described as “spilled coffee” out of it. Then he handed her a stained towel to throw away, but the towel didn’t smell like coffee, according to the arrest warrant,

She went on to tell them that the truck was cleaned and detailed without the employee’s knowledge or permission.

When asked why she thought Fotis would be washing the Tacoma, she told police, “Well obviously … all the evidence says because … you showed me the picture of the blood in the door it’s because the body of Jennifer at some point was in there,” the arrest warrant says.

RESPONSE FROM DEFENSE TEAM

After the second charges were filed, Fotis Dulos’ attorney, Norm Pattis, said he questioned the wisdom of the charges.

A gag order has been issued in the case and Pattis is fighting to lift it so Dulos can be free to “criticize his accusers” and “defend himself in the court of law and in the court of public opinion,” according to court filings

“We hope that the Supreme Court gives us the opportunity to speak the truth as we know it,” Pattis has said, adding, “Mr. Dulos is not guilty of the crime of murder.”

THE CASE

Police have a dedicated website on the search for Jennifer Dulos. They have set up a tipline at 203-594-3544 as well as a dedicated email address, findjenniferdulos@newcanaanct.gov.

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Fotis Dulos, Michelle Troconis Released on Bond

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What to Know

  • Fotis Dulos was arrested Tuesday and charged with the murder of his missing, estranged wife, Jennifer Dulos. Bond was set at $6 million.
  • Michelle Troconis, the girlfriend of Fotis Dulos, and a local attorney, Kent Mawhinney, were arrested on murder-related charges.
  • Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five, has been missing since May 24 and police said they found bloodstains in the garage of her New Canaan home.

Fotis Dulos has been released on bond and is heading home two days after he was arrested on murder charges in the death of his estranged wife, Jennifer Dulos.

His girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, was also released and a source with direct knowledge of the case told NBC New York that she was transported to an area medical facility.

Fotis Dulos intended to post the bond Wednesday after a court appearance but was unable to because of a paperwork issue, according to an attorney. He was released shortly before 1 p.m. on Thursday and did not say anything while leaving.

Fotis was arrested on Tuesday and charged with felony murder, murder and kidnapping in connection with his wife’s disappearance.

He was booked into the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield on Tuesday afternoon and appeared in Stamford Superior Court on Wednesday, where a judge ordered the 52-year-old to house arrest as a condition of being released on bond, which was set at $6 million.

The judge said Fotis must not leave his home without permission. He has been refitted with a GPS monitoring device.

Jennifer and Fotis’ five children have been living with Jennifer’s mother, Gloria Farber, since their mother disappeared and Fotis has been trying to get custody. On Wednesday, the judge issued a protective order for the Dulos children and Jennifer’s family. Fotis was also ordered not to have contact with the children’s nanny.

Dulos’ attorney, Norm Pattis, previously said he was “cautiously optimistic” about Fotis Dulos making bail, however, he did say it is very expensive.

Pattis has said that he plans to file a motion to dismiss Fotis Dulos’ charges.

Pattis said they “very much want to try this case.”

Mr. Dulos wants to clear his name.

Norm Pattis, attorney for Fotis Dulos

“Mr. Dulos wants to clear his name,” Pattis said outside court on Wednesday.

He said there is no body, there does not appear to be a crime scene weapon.

“What we have is a suspicious disappearance and an entirely circumstantial case,” Pattis said.

The next court date, Pattis said, is Feb. 28.

AX REMOVED FROM FOTIS DULOS’ HOME

On Tuesday, police took an ax from the garage of Fotis’ home, according to Pattis.

“We’s heard for weeks they were looking for an ax and there was a discussion about whether we should give it to them,” Pattis said. “My opinion was, no, you don’t walk into the police saying, ‘here’s an ax.’ In this case, what are they going to say? ‘It’s Lizzie Borden’s murder weapon.”

He said he does not think there is any significance to it.

“If there was going to be significance to it, I doubt it would have been sitting in plain view for them to see when they came into the house,” Pattis said.

Dulos’ girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, and a local attorney, Kent Mawhinney , also appeared in court Wednesday morning for murder-related charges in connection with the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five who has been missing since May. Both appeared to face conspiracy to commit murder charges.

Troconis’ attorney said she will be released today as well.

MICHELLE TROCONIS APPEARS IN COURT

Troconis appeared in court second Wednesday, blowing a kiss to family and loved ones in the courtroom.

Her attorney asked for the $2 million bonds to be lowered to $500,000 and the judge decided to lower it to $1.5 million.

She will also be fitted with a new GPS monitor, according to her attorney.

Troconis did not make bond on Wednesday, but did make bond on Thursday.

One source with direct knowledge about the case told NBC New York that she was “transported to an area medical facility for an unknown medical condition after she was released on bond.”

KENT MAWHINNEY APPEARS IN COURT

Mawhinney was the first of the three suspects to make a court appearance Wednesday. The state prosecutor asked for house arrest, saying Mawinney evaded police when he knew an arrest warrant was out and asked for the $2 million bond to stand.

The judge said that Mawhinney has a pending violation of a court order, kept the bond at $2 million, ordered GPS monitoring and for Mawhinney to hand over his passport.

ARREST WARRANT

The warrants released on Tuesday includes the case police are laying out, including detailed lists of the physical evidence that investigators have collected at Jennifer’s New Canaan home and from garbage bags recovered from Albany Avenue in Hartford. That evidence, according to the warrant, includes bloodstains that match Jennifer’s DNA at her home, in her car and on clothing found in the trash in Hartford, and zip ties with Jennifer’s DNA on them.

The warrant also details multiple interviews with Michelle Troconis.

Investigators said she offered contradictory information about the events of May 24.

Troconis was previously charged with first-degree hindering of prosecution and two counts of tampering with physical evidence. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Read the Latest Fotis Dulos Arrest Warrant

STATEMENT FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF JENNIFER DULOS

After police announced the charges, the family and friends of Jennifer Dulos released a statement.

Carrie Luft released the following statement on Tuesday afternoon on behalf of the family and friends of Jennifer Dulos.

“Above all we thank the Connecticut State Police and the New Canaan Police Department, as well as the assisting local departments, for their tireless commitment and diligent, painstaking work that have led to these arrests. Although we are relieved that the wait for these charges is over, for us there is no sense of closure. Nothing can bring Jennifer back. We miss her every day and will forever mourn her loss.

“We believe the arrest warrants will speak for themselves, and we ask that you please respect our privacy during this time. Thank you.”

“Although we are relieved that the wait for these charges is over, for us there is no sense of closure. Nothing can bring Jennifer back.”

Carrie Luft, statement on behalf of the family and friends of Jennifer Dulos

Fotis Dulos was previously charged with two counts of tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution in the first degree. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A warrant issued for Fotis Dulos in September says the arrest was in connection with the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos.

Two months earlier, in July, Fotis sat down for an exclusive interview with NBC New York, his first after Jennifer disappeared, and said he has to stand and fight and “hope the truth is going to come out.

JENNIFER DULOS REPORTED MISSING

Jennifer Dulos was living at 69 Welles Lane in New Canaan when she disappeared on May 24, 2019. The last report of anyone seeing her was when she dropped her children off at school that morning.

The missing person report came in just before 7 p.m. that day.

Friends and family members told police that they hadn’t been able to reach her, and she’d missed several doctor’s appointments in New York City.

While officers were in Jennifer’s home, they found no sign of her, but they did find bloodstains on the garage floor and on a vehicle located in the garage, according to the arrest warrant.

That led police to believe the home was a crime scene and they said there was evidence of attempts to clean it up.

The arrest warrant for Fotis Dulos says the office of the chief medical examiner, based on lab results and information presented about the case, indicated that due to the degree of blood loss and other factors, “he was prepared to state that Jennifer Dulos had sustained injury (or multiple injuries) which he would consider ‘non-survivable’ without medical intervention.”

INFORMATION FROM PREVIOUS ARREST WARRANT

Also missing from Jennifer’s home was a 2017 Chevrolet Suburban, which police located around 7 p.m. on May 24 near Waveny Park in New Canaan, the arrest warrant states. They found blood both inside and outside the vehicle.

POLICE SPEAK WITH FOTIS DULOS

Around 9 a.m. on May 25, police contacted Fotis Dulos to speak with him about his missing estranged wife.

He and his attorney arrived at police headquarters that afternoon, but left without providing an interview, according to the arrest warrant.

When police searched Fotis’ cellphone, they found evidence that it had been used on Albany Avenue in Hartford from around 7:10 p.m. to 7:40 p.m. on the night of May 24, the day Jennifer disappeared, according to police.

Investigators also looked at surveillance cameras from the area, which they said showed a man resembling Fotis driving a black pickup and tossing garbage bags in trashcans, the arrest warrant says.

One of the stops was at a storm drain, where police found a set of altered license plates that linked back to Dulos, according to court paperwork.

A woman resembling Fotis’ then live-in girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 45, was with him while the vehicle was on Albany Avenue, according to police.

On June 1, police obtained warrants charging Fotis Dulos and Troconis with tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution — charges for which both have pleaded not guilty.

When police spoke with Troconis the next day, she told them that she couldn’t account for Fotis’ whereabouts between 8 a.m. and 1 or 2 p.m. on May 24, according to the arrest warrant, and she told them she had no idea what Fotis was doing while dumping garbage bags.

During another interview in August, Troconis would tell police that she hadn’t seen Fotis on May 24 from the time she woke up, around 6:40 a.m., until after noon when he came home for lunch.

SEARCH OF FOTIS’ FARMINGTON HOME

On June 3, police searched Fotis’ home on Jefferson Crossing in Farmington and located what they referred to as the “Alibi Scripts” — notes with information that never happened and alibi witnesses who “were later determined to be false,” according to the arrest warrant.

While investigating, police spoke with one of Fotis Dulos’ employees who told them his boss had instructed him to remove seats from his Toyota Tacoma, which he was going to replace with seats from a Porsche Cayenne registered to Jennifer Dulos, court paperwork says. 

According to police, Fotis had access to the employee’s vehicle and a truck matching the description was seen near where Jennifer’s Suburban was found abandoned.

LAST SIGHTING OF JENNIFER DULOS

The last known sighting of Jennifer Dulos was at 8:05 a.m. on May 24 after she dropped her children off at school and the arrest warrant for Fotis Dulos says police believe he was “lying in wait” for his wife to return home.

Just before 10:30 a.m. that morning, surveillance cameras on Jennifer’s street show her Suburban heading west.

The arrest warrant says police believe Dulos was driving and Jennifer’s body and items used to clean up the garage were inside.

EVIDENCE FROM FOTIS’ EMPLOYEE’S TRUCK

One piece of evidence police documented in court paperwork is the employee’s truck. Police said seats removed from it had Jennifer’s DNA.

The employee went on to tell police that Fotis had taken his Toyota Tacoma to the car wash, which was unusual, and told him to change the seats in his truck or sell it, then offered seats from a damaged Porsche. 

When police spoke with Troconis about the truck, she said she’d seen Fotis cleaning what he described as “spilled coffee” out of it. Then he handed her a stained towel to throw away, but the towel didn’t smell like coffee, according to the arrest warrant,

She went on to tell them that the truck was cleaned and detailed without the employee’s knowledge or permission.

When asked why she thought Fotis would be washing the Tacoma, she told police, “Well obviously … all the evidence says because … you showed me the picture of the blood in the door it’s because the body of Jennifer at some point was in there,” the arrest warrant says.

RESPONSE FROM DEFENSE TEAM

After the second charges were filed, Fotis Dulos’ attorney, Norm Pattis, said he questioned the wisdom of the charges.

A gag order has been issued in the case and Pattis is fighting to lift it so Dulos can be free to “criticize his accusers” and “defend himself in the court of law and in the court of public opinion,” according to court filings

“We hope that the Supreme Court gives us the opportunity to speak the truth as we know it,” Pattis has said, adding, “Mr. Dulos is not guilty of the crime of murder.”

THE CASE

Police have a dedicated website on the search for Jennifer Dulos. They have set up a tipline at 203-594-3544 as well as a dedicated email address, findjenniferdulos@newcanaanct.gov.

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