WFSB - Eyewitness News

UConn students dance for 18 hours straight to raise money for children's hospitalSTORRS, CT (WFSB) -- University of Connecticut students are working up a sweat and dancing for 18 hours straight this weekend for a good cause. More than 3,000 students are strutting their best dance moves at HuskyTHON Dance Marathon in Storrs to raise money for the Connecticut Children's Medical Center. The event started Saturday night at 6 p.m. and runs until Sunday at 12 p.m. at Hugh S. Greer Field House. Last year, students raised over $1.3 million dollars to help children and families at Connecticut Children's on Washington Street in Hartford. Students organize dance teams and sponsor a child who attends HuskyTHON to take part in the fun. The money helps give local kids a fight chance against life-threatening illnesses. For more information about the event, click <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.
Delays clear on I-84 Eastbound in Southington following rolloverSOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) - Multiple lanes on I-84 Eastbound in Southington are back open after a rollover crash has cleared, officials said. The Connecticut Department of Transportation said the left and center lanes were closed between Exits 32 and 33. The crash was first reported around 9:13 p.m. State police said one vehicle was involved. Nobody was injured in the crash, police said.
Family members and officials stand together after brothers gunned down at Bloomfield restaurantBLOOMFIELD, CT (WFSB) -- Family members and Bloomfield officials stood together during a press conference on Saturday to condemn a restaurant shooting that left two brothers dead. Police identified the brothers as 43-year-old Aaron Walker of Windsor and 42-year-old Franklin Spencer of East Hartford. "They say it’s senseless, but it’s not, because there’s a reason why it happens," said family member, Eddie Glass. A preliminary investigation determined the two brothers had a verbal confrontation with another person inside Elizabeth's Bar &amp; Restaurant on Park Avenue. According to police, the incident "spilled" into the parking lot, where the two men were shot around 1 a.m. "They appeared to know one another," said Police Chief Paul Hammick. One of the brothers had a gunshot wound to the chest and the second brother was shot in the head. The family wants the killer to know not only is the family hurt, but so is the community. "You can't bring them back. But we can stop this, one step at a time," said Glass. The police department shared its latest findings. “We are interviewing witnesses. We’re going through a lot of electronic video of the incident. Identifying who was there, who we need to continue to talk to,” said Hammick. As officers canvassed the parking lot Saturday morning, discarded medical equipment was visible on the pavement near the entrance to the restaurant. Both men were pronounced dead at the St. Francis Hospital emergency room, according to police. "That's not who we are as a community," said Mayor Suzette DeBeatham Brown. "That is not the fabric of Bloomfield." Detectives, State Police, and the State's Attorney's Office are conducting the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Bloomfield Police at 860-242-5501.
Bridgeport officer injured in on-duty crashBRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) - A Bridgeport officer suffered minor injuries in an on-duty crash early Saturday, police said. Officer Ovelize Elena was released from St. Vincent's hospital after she was treated for non-life threatening injuries, according to police. Elena was called to assist a fellow officer when she was hit by a black Honda that ran a stop sign at the intersection of Park Avenue and Olive Street around 12:45 a.m. The driver of the vehicle that ran the stop sign, 18-year-old Luis Perez, was transported to St. Vincent's Hospital with non-life threatening, minor injuries. One of the three passengers in Perez's vehicle suffered non-life threatening, serious injuries. The crash is under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Bridgeport police at 203-576-7640.
Your Saturday morning Alexa video briefingYour Feb. 22 morning headlines from Channel 3 Eyewitness News.
Teachers tasked to deal with students' emotional issuesWETHERSFIELD, CT (WFSB) – All week, Channel 3 has been giving you a look inside Connecticut classrooms. A one-of-a-kind survey was sent to Connecticut public school teachers on a variety of topics. <a href="" target="_blank">RELATED: Teachers weigh in on how technology helps, hurts in the classroom</a> In our last report, teachers say they’re tasked to deal with emotional issues on a higher level than ever before. If a teacher’s job isn’t hard enough with teaching academics, many teachers are sharing they need more training in students’ emotional issues. Channel 3 asked a professional why emotions are running so high in schools. “I think we are living in changed times. Stress levels are the highest they’ve been among adolescents and teenagers,” said Dr. Marc Brackett, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Because of that, Dr. Marc Brackett has been working with a few hundred Connecticut school districts, training educators and leaders on emotional learning. Some districts include Newington, Southington, and Bridgeport. “Some kids are anxious with math, some kids are confused in chemistry, and some students, if they have a learning difference like dyslexia, they’ll have challenges with writing and reading. Just acknowledging that and supporting students is what education is all about,” Dr. Brackett said. Channel 3 teamed up with two teachers’ unions in the state, American Federation of Teachers Connecticut and Connecticut Education Association (CEA). A survey was sent to Connecticut’s 50,000 public school teachers, with close to 1,500 responses. <a href="" target="_blank">RELATED: Teachers explain how standardized testing causes stress on students </a> One of the questions asked teachers, “What are the biggest challenges students of this generation are facing?” From the 1,500 response, 71 percent of teacher say anxiety, some teacher chimed in to say, “Lack of discipline. Administration isn’t strict enough,” and “Lack of a structured home environment.” Channel 3 also asked, “What do you think is causing the increasing number of disruptive student behaviors in today’s classrooms?” Seventy-nine percent responded saying no consequences. “I think what’s frustrating is when the teachers feel they have no backup. They don’t have support. There aren’t enough social workers or counselors, or school psychologists, paraprofessionals. If we don’t provide the type of support that students need, then the consequences may be that those needs go unmet and that’s a real problem for the students and the rest of the class,” said Don Williams, CEA Executive Director. <a href="" target="_blank">RELATED: Teachers describe classroom conditions, say they're falling apart</a> Some teachers say, “Students learn very quickly that there are no consequences. Whether it be retaking assessments, handing in outstanding work (months later), being tardy, absent, cutting class. Students know the school will find a way form them to ‘pass’ no matter what.” For Dr. Brackett, he teaches educators how to deal with these emotions. “Teaching people the skills of emotional intelligence. We used an acronym called RULER: Recognizing our own and others emotions, Understanding the causes and consequences of our emotions, Labeling our emotions accurately, knowing how and when to Express our feelings, and the big one is Regulating emotions and the strategies we can use to help ourselves and other people,” Dr. Brackett said. Dr. Brackett is finding it works on many levels. “Schools that take our RULER approach seriously have students who are more engaged, less stressed, less depressed, teachers who are less stressed and less burnt out and students who perform better academically and a more positive climate,” Dr. Brackett said. He also believes parents need to be involved. “The most helpful way to get parents involved is to have the students be the teachers of their parents. ‘Hey mom, hey dad, I learned this new word… alienated or elated, this is what is means, tell me a time when you felt that way,’” Dr. Brackett said. Teachers agree with Dr. Brackett. “Parental involvement doesn’t mean going into the school volunteering and giving back, but just being involved in your child’s education. Reading, doing work at home, helping them value education and see themselves as a student and honoring what the education system does for your child,” said Amy Farrior, Kindergarten teacher. <a href="" target="_blank">RELATED: Teacher survey looks into if standardized testing impacts vocational training</a> To see the results of the teacher survey, click <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.
Fire engulfs Waterbury homeless centerWATERBURY (WFSB) - A massive fire has engulfed a building that houses the Waterbury Hospitality Center Friday night. Firefighters were called to the scene at 693 East Main Street prior to 8 p.m. on a report of a structure fire. Officials said no one was in the building at the time. Firefighters continue to battle the flames and we expect an update from officials shortly. Stay with Eyewitness News for more information as soon as it comes into the newsroom.
Brother of blind man located by police drone thanks first respondersENFIELD, CT (WFSB) – A blind man from Enfield was brought to safety after he was spotted by police from their drone. Now, his brother is speaking to Channel 3 about the rescue. John Doty was planning to spend his Saturday morning running errands with his brother, Richard, but when he got to his brother’s Enfield apartment, he quickly realized something was wrong. “I was banging on his door, asking ‘Richard, Richard, Rick, Rick.’ There was no response,” Doty said. Doty called police hoping to get inside to see if his brother was in there. “I was really worried, I thought maybe something terrible had happened to my brother,” Doty said. When there was no sign of Richard, Enfield police started their search. “At that point, it really created a major concern,” Doty said. Police worked every angle, from bringing in a police dog to <a href="" target="_blank">tapping into resources at the Vernon Police Department</a>. Vernon Police Sergeant Todd Thiel flew a drone above the area. “It’s a little big like looking for a needle in a haystack,” Thiel said. “There was a wooded area directly behind the property and I kind of did like a grid patter search and see what I could find.” Thiel used the drone’s thermal sensors trying to detect any heat signatures. “I was kind of searching a swampy area, when I noticed something, kind of started investigating it, zooming in," Thiel said. “I was pretty sure this was the guy we were looking for.” It turns out that it was Richard. He was found in the woods and down an embankment, spending more than 30 hours outside in freezing temperatures. The drone technology is really a game-changer for police departments, with more and more departments relying on drones to give them a birds-eye view of what’s happening below. “This is going to show not only our town, but other towns the benefits of having a drone program,” Thiel said. The use of the high-tech tool is becoming all the more common. “Our Public Works Department uses drone aircraft to do roof inspections, our schools use it to enhance teaching and learning, and our police and fire departments use it for search and rescue operations,” said Michael Purcaro, Vernon Town Administrator. Doty says he’s grateful for the technology and efforts shown by the first responders. “He wouldn’t have made it much longer. There’s no doubt in my mind. He has made a comeback and so, he’s recovering well and hopefully he’ll get more intensive care,” Doty said. Richard is alive because they jumped into action when seconds count. “They’re heroes and these folks don’t get the credit they do for the word they do every day,” Doty said.
Legislation to take up statute of limitations in civil cases put on holdHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- There's disappointment for those who trying to help sexual assault victims come forward. Legislation to extend the statute of limitations in civil cases will not be taken up this session. Connecticut lawmakers did extend the statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault 15 years ago, but supporters say it doesn't go far enough. "This was not an easy thing to do but I did it because I want to help victims and survivors,” said Lynn Laperle, who is a survivor of abuse. She was abused by a family member, and when she learned that family member was abusing others, she spoke up. However, the statute of limitations had run out. “These are people, many of whom are trusted in our lives. People are trying to stop survivors from getting the help they need to move on with their lives,” said Lucy Nolan, of Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence. The statute of limitations in Connecticut ends at age 51, 30 years past a person's 21st birthday. That change was made 13 years ago, largely as a result of Dr. George Reardon, a doctor at St. Francis Hospital charged with abusing hundreds, if not thousands, of children. Reardon died in 1998, but time had run out for many of his victims to file a lawsuit. Some feel there should be no limits. "We've been hearing on the judiciary committee for year how difficult it is for people to come forward, the fear, the shame of coming forward,” said Democratic State Senator Mae Flexer. The chairman of the Judiciary Committee made the decision Friday to stop this legislation from going forward. State Rep. Steven Stafstrom said the proposals are controversial, and given this is a short legislative session, he said “not every worthwhile or important topic can get a full airing. We hope to discuss further changes to the statute of limitations in a future legislative session.” "When we are not able to address certain issues because of time constraints, that has to change,” said State Senator Gennaro Bizzarro, who was abused by a staff member at a Catholic school. Twelve states have legislation that eliminates the statute of limitations on civil cases. Fourteen states have offered a window to allow people to revisit their cases if time has run out.
Connecticut Flower and Garden Show taking place this weekendThe Connecticut Flower and Garden Show is taking place at the CT Convention Center in Hartford this weekend.