WFSB - Eyewitness News

Money Monday: Saving money while heating the homeHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- Now that we are in the thick of winter, many are turning up the heat, which can cause you to burn through cold hard cash quickly. Experts say the average American spends $1,500 a year to keep their home warm. However, the folks from Real Simple Magazine have some advice when it comes to saving money. First, have your furnace serviced. It typically costs about $100, but if can save money in the long run to get ahead of potentially costly repairs. Second, insulate the home and check for drafts. People can buy inexpensive draft blockers or even put plastic on windows. While it’s not pretty, it works to keep the heat in and the cold out. Another tip is to lower your thermostat. Experts suggest setting it at 68 degrees during the day and 60 degrees at night. They also say smart thermostats, which can help you regulate that temp, can save 20 percent on your monthly bill. A fourth tip is don’t be fooled by alternative heating sources. Fireplaces and space heaters aren’t that efficient when it comes to heating the whole home, and chimneys can allow a lot of cold air to sneak in. Number five – a humidifier can help. Experts said that’s because moist air feels warmer than dry air. Lastly, see if your provider offers budget billing. This won’t help people save money but will help you budget and plan accordingly.
Yale researchers outlines findings of ketogenic dietNEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -- A new study done by Yale University is taking a closer look at the popular ketogenic diet, which has become popular in recent years. The “keto” diet provides 99 percent of calories from fat and only 1 percent from carbohydrates. According to the study, Yale says the diet does produce short-term health benefits, but negative effects after about one week. It goes on to say that results indicate that, over limited time periods, the diet could improve human health by lowering the risk for diabetes and inflammation. Vishwa Deep Dixit, of the Yale School of Medicine, the keto diet tricks the body into burning fat. “When the body’s glucose level is reduced due to the diet’s low carbohydrate content, the body acts as if it is in a starvation state — although it is not — and begins burning fats instead of carbohydrates. This process in turn yields chemicals called ketone bodies as an alternative source of fuel. When the body burns ketone bodies, tissue-protective gamma delta T-cells expand throughout the body,” researchers found. This is what reduces the diabetes risk and inflammation, and improves the body’s metabolism. However, when the body is in a “starving-not-starving” mode, researchers said fat storage is also happening at the same time with fat breakdown. The study was conducted on mice, so researchers did say long-term clinical studies in humans are still necessary to validate the anecdotal claims of keto’s health benefits. Researchers said with the latest findings they now better understand how the diet works and why it may bring health benefits over limited time periods. For a complete look at the study, <a href="" target="_blank">click here</a>.
Judge denies venue change for Ellington murder trial, allows Fitbit dataROCKVILLE, CT (WFSB) - A man accused of killing his wife was back in court on Monday. Richard Dabate was charged with killing Connie Dabate in Dec. 2015. On Monday, a judge denied the request to change the venue for the upcoming trial. The judge also will allow data that was collected from Connie's FitBit, for the prosecutors' expert, and will also allow most of the statement Richard made at the hospital following Connie's death. Monday's appearance in Rockville court came following last week's hearing where prosecutors and the defense agreed that at least some of Richard Dabate's statement to police hours after his wife's murder should be admitted at his trial. <a href="" target="_blank">RELATED: Attorneys make cases about using Dabate statement at trial</a> The case gained national attention when information from Connie Dabate's Fitbit was used as evidence. Richard Dabate told police he left for work around 8:20 a.m. on Dec. 23, 2013, the day his wife died. However, his timeline then fluctuated. He told police he returned home because an alarm went off and he forget a laptop. He said he got back home sometime between 8:35 and 9. While home, an intruder attacked him and shot his wife. Police estimate the incident took 10 minutes. However, data from Connie’s Fitbit shows she was active at 8:53 a.m. and again at 9:08 a.m. Video shows her arriving and leaving a gym around those times. She was active again at 9:18, when police believe she arrived home. Police say her last activity was tracked at 10:10 a.m. State police were called to the Dabate’s Birch View home around 10:16 a.m., first by a panic alarm and then six minutes later when Richard Dabate called 9-1-1. Dabate's lawyers had claimed the Fitbit devices are not scientifically valid. Prosecutors called on a Columbia University professor who had to test the accuracy of Fitbits for a research grant, but Dabate's lawyers say Fitbits have higher error rates in the real world. The next court date is Feb. 18. The defense is working on motions to challenge Facebook records and information from the home security system. The case is on pace for a March 2 jury selection.
DMV announces non-binary gender markers for driver's licensesHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Something new is taking place at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Starting on Monday, Connecticut drivers’ licenses and ID cards are available to those who don’t identify themselves as male or female. The non-binary licenses are also being processed at AAA. Connecticut residents now have the option to select “X” on their application for a driver’s license. That X is a gender designation as Connecticut now joins a dozen other states to offer these non-binary licenses. Individuals who consider themselves non-binary, meaning they don’t identify themselves as male or female, now have a new option. “We have to respect people’s identity and who are we to say no,” said Tony Guerrera, DMV Deputy Commissioner. Tony Guerrera, the Deputy Commissioner with the DMV, says this is important for people. If someone wants a driver’s license, there are new applications for gender designation. There are three options, female, male, and X, which is non-binary. If a person is a minor, under the age of 16, they must have a parent or guardian present. These licenses and ID cards are also being processed at AAA. Guerrera says the DMV spoke to law enforcement and they don’t see many problems, but traveling could be different. “You can go under Gender X in Connecticut, but if [someone] has Gender X on a license and goes to Bradley and travels to Florida, and the ticket says male or female, there could be an issue,” Guerrera said. Once the application is complete, there is a $30 fee. The policy also applies to a learner’s permit. The law that passed last year only applies to driver’s licenses and ID cards. This year, some would like all state agencies to update their forms.
2 students in CT monitored for coronavirus, school releases results for 1(WFSB) - Schools and universities in Connecticut are on high alert due to the coronavirus. Two students in the state were monitored and tested for the virus. The first student who was monitored was at Wesleyan University in Middletown. However, school officials said on Monday that the college student tested negative for the coronavirus. "The student is doing well," said Lauren Rubenstein, director of media &amp; public relations, Wesleyan University. <a href="" target="_blank">RELATED: Student at Wesleyan being monitored for coronavirus</a> The student traveled through an airport in Asia and simply came down with the flu. The other monitored case was on the campus of Yale University in New Haven. The high school student, who is from China, became ill and tested positive for the flu. Symptoms included a cough and fever. Channel 3 was told by city officials that the student was also tested for the coronavirus by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The results are expected either Tuesday or Wednesday. However, city officials said the student did not exhibit severe symptoms and was released from the hospital. The Yale Model United Nations conference was shut down for a day due to concerns. These reports come at the height of respiratory virus season. Connecticut health officials said the flu is widespread across the state. Statistics released last week by the Department of Public Health showed 20 flu-related deaths and nearly 800 hospitalizations this season. <a href="" target="_blank">RELATED: Flu-related deaths now up to 20 this season</a> New Haven Mayor Justin Eliker, along with other city and university officials, held a conference call to talk about the potentially deadly virus. “While the two cases in Connecticut are influenza cases we are in the midst of flu season, we want to take all precautions to make absolutely sure they do not also [have] coronavirus so as to ensure the health and safety of all residents," Eliker said. “There’s a number of procedures in place to make sure we’re monitoring where that person has been, who that person may have been in contact with so that we communicate with other people who were in that location, that they might have been exposed. We’d work with other health providers to ensure we’re identifying other new people, but again, that scenario, we’re not facing that scenario right now.” Health officials are urging people to wash hands, avoid close contact with anyone who's sick and clean surfaces. They said the threat for the coronavirus in Connecticut remains low. However, they're telling people to contact their health care providers if they feel sick. A Yale New Haven Hospital spokesperson issued a statement on Monday saying "Yale New Haven Hospital is not currently treating any patients with confirmed 2019 novel Coronavirus. However, we have seen an exceptionally high number of patients with of influenza this winter. Each patient presenting with flu-like symptoms is evaluated thoroughly to prescribe a care plan. Yale New Haven Health also encourages those with respiratory infections to use any of the walk-in clinics listed on our website as an alternative to our emergency department. If you have traveled in China during the past two weeks and are now ill with a possible respiratory tract infection, please call your doctor, or the clinic, first so that you can be cared for in a safe manner.” More information about the flu in the state can be found on the DPH's website <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.
State trooper and wife both arrested for disorderly conductHAMDEN, CT (WFSB) -- A state trooper and his wife faced a judge on Monday after being arrested in Hamden on Sunday. Trooper Dimitrie Bogiatzopoulos, 35, was booked by Hamden police on a disorderly conduct charge. His wife, 36-year-old Norah Bogiatzopoulos, was charged with the same. They appeared in court together on Monday where a judge ordered a partial protective order for both. State police said he was involved in a verbal dispute with his wife that escalated into a physical altercation. Dimitrie Bogiatzopoulos' badge, firearm, identification, and state issued cruiser were seized by a state police supervisor. The police powers of Dimitrie Bogiatzopoulos were suspended and an internal affairs investigation got underway. Bogiatzopoulos has been employed by state police since 2007.
Police searching for man accused of robbing a bank in Windsor LocksWINDSOR LOCKS, CT (WFSB) – Windsor Locks Police are searching for a suspect accused of robbing a bank on Monday afternoon. Police said just after 1:30 p.m. a male suspect entered the People’s United Bank on Main Street and displayed a note demanding cash. The suspect is described as a while male with a scarf around his face. He was wearing grey sweatpants, a blue jacket, baseball cap, wearing socks over his pant legs and walked with a limp. Police said the suspect was seen in a silver-colored Pontiac Grand Prix GT Coupe with a sun roof. No license plate was seen. No one was injured during the robbery and there is no word on how much cash the suspect got away with.
Hundreds expected at Bristol meeting for proposed apartment complexBRISTOL, CT (WFSB) – Hundreds of homeowners in Bristol are expected to push back on a plan to build apartments in town. A special zoning commission meeting will be held on Monday night to hear from the developer and from neighbors who are against the plan. People who live by Redstone Hill Road said they don’t want the neighborhood to change. Homeowners concerns with the proposed complex are increased traffic, possible flooding, even overcrowded schools. The developer claims the apartment complex would attract and retain young professionals. Monday night’s meeting will be at 7 p.m. at Bristol Central High School. A meeting was held two weeks ago, but due to a large crowd of people, it was postponed so it could be moved to the high school. Channel 3 will continue to follow this story.
State police sergeant arrested for second time in a yearSOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) -- A Connecticut State Police sergeant was arrested on Friday for the second time in less than a year. Sgt. Gregory Smith was booked by Southington police for violating a protective order and scheduled to face a judge on Monday in New Britain. Southington police said Smith turned himself in after learning about a warrant for his arrest. It charged him with two counts of violation of a protective order. According to Southington police, Smith went to the victim's apartment complex on Dec. 24, 2019. At the time, the order was in place to prohibit Smith from speaking to the victim. Then on Jan. 11, 2020, police said Smith sent a text message to the victim, which was also a violation of the order. The incidents were then reported to Southington police on Jan. 21. The victim told police he showed up to her apartment 12 times and that she had been documenting it saying "I was consistently taking photos of his vehicle parked in the lot but he has gained access to my phone and deleted them from a secured application by deleting the application." He was released on a $10,000 bond and is required to wear a GPS monitoring device. Smith's first arrest happened over the summer. In July of 2019, Smith was arrested by state police for domestic violence following a complaint by his wife. He was charged with assault, threatening, and reckless endangerment. According to state police, Smith has been on administrative suspension without police powers since his first arrest. Following his arrest last week, Smith was put on a leave of absence, state police said. A separate internal affairs investigation was initiated.
Mother accuses man in South Windsor of trying to take dressing room pictures of her daughterSOUTH WINDSOR, CT (WFSB) - A man was arrested after a mother accused him of trying to take pictures of her daughter in a dressing room. According to police, they had probable cause to arrest Epifanio Mendez of Hartford on Sunday. They said the incident happened at Plato's Closet in South Windsor around 2 p.m. Police said the mother reported that the man was trying to look at her daughter by using his cellphone. They said he used his phone as a mirror to go underneath the dressing room dividers. When officers arrived, the mother was able to identify Mendez, who was in his car. Police admitted that they found no pictures or video on the phone, but said there will be a forensic investigation on the phone. Still, they said they had probable cause to arrest him. He posted his $5,000 surety bond. Mendez is due in court on Feb. 19.