WFSB - Eyewitness News

State parks brace for a busy Memorial DayMADISON, CT (WFSB) - Memorial Day weekend is widely considered to be the unofficial start to summer. The <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/weather/technical_discussion/" target="_blank">forecast for Memorial Day</a> itself is not expected to disappoint. That means a lot of people will be heading to the state's beaches and state parks. Several of them filled to capacity on Sunday. More of the same was possible for Monday. Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison was sold out to campers all weekend. Officials said the campground started getting booked up 11 months ago. Though the holiday weekend is coming to an end, people still planned to enjoy the final day. For most, however, it came down to what the day is all about. "Obviously getting to the root of it," said Ilona Slivca of Massachusetts. "It’s about the people who served our country, but it’s a good day to be with family." It's free to visit any of Connecticut's state parks as long as people have a valid state driver's license. For more on parades and ceremonies happening across the state, head <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/parades-ceremonies-held-across-ct-throughout-memorial-day-weekend/article_d048b68c-7ca0-11e9-ba6f-cff84bb9853b.html" target="_blank">here</a>.
Memorial Day parades, events held across the state today(WFSB) - Cities and towns across the state are holding parades, ceremonies, and events for Memorial Day to honor those who died serving our country. The holiday is meant to reflect and remember. Dozens of ceremonies and parades are planned to help honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Places like Wethersfield, Enfield, and Waterbury already held events over the weekend. In the Brass City, bands, school groups, sports teams and veterans were all part of the parade, with many community members coming out. “We have so much freedom in this country, it’s not perfect, but we have a lot of freedom in this country, and I’m glad to be a part of it," said Joyce Mackey of Waterbury. Lt. Gov. Susan Byseiwicz said she will be attending the Memorial Day parade in Rocky Hill that starts at 9:30 a.m. She will also be in Middletown. Gov. Ned Lamont will attend the Ridgefield parade. He will also be in Norwalk. He posted a Memorial Day message <a href="https://twitter.com/GovNedLamont/status/1132953340650893312" target="_blank">to his Twitter feed</a>. "The decision to join the U.S. military is one of the most selfless acts anyone can make," Lamont wrote. "On Memorial Day, we pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. They will forever have our respect and our gratitude, and we will always honor their service to our country." The decision to join the U.S. military is one of the most selfless acts anyone can make. On <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MemorialDay?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MemorialDay</a>, we pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. They will forever have our respect and our gratitude, and we will always honor their service to our country. <a href="https://t.co/2letEkmeT0">pic.twitter.com/2letEkmeT0</a>&mdash; Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) <a href="https://twitter.com/GovNedLamont/status/1132953340650893312?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 27, 2019</a> Rep. Jahana Hayes announced that she will be in Meriden. For a full list of parades happening across the state today, <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/parades-ceremonies-held-across-ct-throughout-memorial-day-weekend/article_d048b68c-7ca0-11e9-ba6f-cff84bb9853b.html" target="_blank">click here</a>.
TRENDING NOW: Vet's national anthem, former president visits children, grown man grabs foul ballA WWII vet sings the national anthem, former President Barack Obama visits some children and a grown man grabs a foul ball before a child. Those are the stories trending on May 27.
Discipline or treatment? Schools rethinking vaping responseHARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A glimpse of student athletes in peak physical condition vaping just moments after competing in a football game led Stamford High School Principal Raymond Manka to reconsider his approach to the epidemic. His school traditionally has emphasized discipline for those caught with e-cigarettes. Punishments become increasingly severe with each offense, from in-school suspensions to out-of-school suspensions and, eventually, notification of law enforcement. But Manka began thinking about it more as an addiction problem, and less of a behavior issue, after seeing the two players from another school vaping near their bus. "It broke my heart," said Manka, whose school is now exploring how to offer cessation programs for students caught vaping or with vaping paraphernalia. "We've got to figure out how we can help these kids wean away from bad habits that might hurt their body or their mind or otherwise create behaviors that can create habits that will be harmful for the remainder of their lives," he said. Schools elsewhere have been wrestling with how to balance discipline with prevention and treatment in their response to the soaring numbers of vaping students. Using e-cigarettes, often called vaping, has now overtaken smoking traditional cigarettes in popularity among students, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last year, one in five U.S. high school students reported vaping the previous month, according to a CDC <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6745a5.htm?s%E2%80%94cid=mm6745a5%E2%80%94w" target="&mdash;blank">survey</a> . E-cigarettes produce an aerosol by heating a liquid that usually contains high levels of nicotine — the addictive drug in regular cigarettes and other tobacco products — flavorings and other chemicals. Users inhale this aerosol into their lungs; when they exhale, bystanders often breathe it in too. Compared with regular cigarettes, the research on the health effects of e-cigarettes is painfully thin. Experts say that although using e-cigarettes appears less harmful over the long run than smoking regular cigarettes, that doesn't mean they're safe — particularly for youth, young adults, pregnant women or adults who do not currently use tobacco products. "Studies have shown that e-cigarette use among young people is potentially associated with an increased risk of progressing on to cigarette use and to vaping cannabis, which has become increasingly common in recent years," said Dr. Renee Goodwin, a researcher and professor of epidemiology at the City University of New York and Columbia University who studies tobacco and cannabis use. Besides nicotine, e-cigarettes can include other harmful substances, including heavy metals like lead and cancer-causing agents. The vaping liquid is often offered in a variety of flavors that appeal to youth and is packaged in a way that makes them attractive to children. And the long-term health effects, Goodwin noted, are unknown. Experts say the CDC classifies e-cigarettes as a tobacco product, and many schools lump vaping in with tobacco use in applying codes of conduct, treating offenses similarly. In Connecticut alone, administrators dealt with 2,160 incidents in which students were caught vaping or with vaping paraphernalia in violation of school policies during the 2017-18 school year, up from 349 two years earlier. The schools issued 1,465 in-school suspensions and 334 out-of-school suspensions, according to the state Education Department. Nationwide, some schools have removed bathroom stall doors or placed monitors outside of restrooms to check students in and out. Others have installed humidity detectors that sound an alarm when vapor clouds are detected. Lawmakers are beginning to show similar concerns. Oklahoma has passed legislation to ban vaping on school property, and a dozen states have passed legislation to increase the age for smoking and vaping to 21. Nevertheless, some school districts have begun taking a more comprehensive approach by emphasizing treatment and prevention. The Conejo Valley Unified School District in southern California recently shifted from suspending students for a first offense to sending them to a four-hour Saturday class on the marketing and health dangers of vaping. A second offense results in a one-or-two-day suspension coupled with several weeks of a more intensive six-week counseling program that includes parents. "I think we are seeing quite a bit of success, basing it on the reduction this year in both the number of incidents reported on campus and the number of suspensions," said Luis Lichtl, the district's assistant superintendent. "The schools that seem to be most effective are those that are of course enforcing their disciplinary code — they can't do otherwise — but are using that as the floor and not the ceiling," said Bob Farrace, a spokesman for the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Linda Richter, an expert on vaping and adolescent substance use who works at the New York-based Center on Addiction, suggests that schools provide information about the health consequences and how companies have manipulated students to use vaping products by making it appear fun and cool. She said that two-pronged approach led to a successful decrease in the use of traditional cigarettes. "To expect a 13, 14 or 15-year-old to break an addiction by yelling at them or suspending them, it's just not going to happen," she said. "They need help, treatment, counseling, support, education and understanding." Dr. J. Craig Allen, medical director at Rushford, a mental health treatment center in Meriden, said suspending teens for vaping may be counterproductive. "If your solution is to send these kids home, what do you think they are going to be doing at home," he said. "They are going to be taking rips off their Juul all day long to kill the time." Thomas Aberli, the principal at Atherton High School in Louisville, Kentucky, said it began an intensive anti-vaping education program this year with the help of the American Association of Pediatrics. Teaching teens about how vaping companies have been courting them with flavored products seems to be having an effect. "You could tell how angry they were getting with this sense of manipulation," he said. "That was really a turning point for us in knowing the best way to approach this problem." Other schools have continued to emphasize discipline in crackdowns on teen vaping. At the Mattawan Consolidated School District just outside of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Principal Tim Eastman recently wrote to parents that students found congregating in bathrooms or parking lots will be taken to the office and searched. "Anyone found with vaping equipment will face suspensions," Eastman wrote. "Although this may seem extreme, the health and safety of our students is too important to ignore." Eastman said the school is not currently providing those caught vaping with any additional education or medical intervention, but is considering it.
Bill banning sales of shark fins awaits Senate voteHARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Legislation prohibiting the sale or distribution of shark fins in Connecticut is awaiting final legislative action. The bill awaits a Senate vote after clearing the House of Representatives last week, 110-28. The legislation had originally banned the possession of shark fins. Democratic Rep. David Michel of Stamford says lawmakers introduced the bill to protect vulnerable shark populations, which have been declining due to overfishing. He says once the fin is removed, the shark is thrown back into the ocean and dies from suffocation or blood loss. Violators face a $500 fine, up to three months in prison, or both. The Humane Society of the United States predicts the bill will have minimal impact on Connecticut fisheries, where sharks accounted for less than 1% of all landed species in 2017.
Trump breaks with Abe, says not bothered by NK missile testsTOKYO (AP) — President Donald Trump said Monday he is not "personally" bothered by <a href="https://apnews.com/3fd9ee2da3054e7487903e5e3d98f6b6" target="&mdash;blank">recent short-range missile tests</a> that North Korea conducted this month, breaking with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is hosting the president on four-day state visit full of pageantry. Standing beside Trump at a news conference after hours of talks, Abe disagreed with the U.S. president, saying the missile tests violated U.N. Security Council resolutions and were "of great regret." Abe, who has forged a strong friendship with Trump and agrees with him on many issues, is concerned because the short-range missiles pose a threat to Japan's security. Trump was invited to Japan to be the first world leader to meet with <a href="https://apnews.com/91f38d332643464dad8daa47a30ccec8" target="&mdash;blank">its new emperor</a> . Despite being far from Washington, he didn't miss the chance to lob another broadside against former Vice President Joe Biden, one of <a href="https://apnews.com/1ba6733225424f0e834ab65af23de0a0" target="&mdash;blank">the Democrats seeking to challenge Trump</a> in next year's presidential election. North Korea's <a href="https://apnews.com/a17e2c56bcdf4e389bdc65b320e8c075" target="&mdash;blank">Kim Jong Un recently criticized Biden</a> as having a low IQ, and Trump told the world he agreed with the authoritarian leader's assessment. The visit was designed to highlight the U.S.-Japan alliance and showcase the warm relations between the leaders. Trump said he and Abe deliberated over economic issues, including trade and Iran, during hours of talks at the Akasaka Palace, but North Korea's recent firing of short-range missiles emerged as an area of disagreement. When asked if he was bothered by the missile tests, Trump said: "No, I'm not. I am personally not." The Republican president has sought to downplay the significance of the missile tests, even though his own national security adviser, John Bolton, said over the weekend that they violated U.N. resolutions. Trump continues to hold out hope of getting Kim to agree to give up his nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, despite two summits he's had with the North Korean leader that produced no concrete pledge to denuclearize the peninsula. Trump praised Kim, calling him a "smart man" who might have launched the missiles earlier this month to "get attention." "All I know is there have been no nuclear tests, no ballistic missiles going out, no long-range missiles going out and I think that someday we'll have a deal," Trump said, adding that he is in "no rush." Trump is correct that North Korea has not recently tested a long-range missile that could reach the U.S. But earlier this month, North Korea fired off a series of short-range missiles that alarmed U.S. allies in closer proximity to North Korea, including Japan. The tests broke a pause in North Korea's ballistic missile launches that began in late 2017. Abe reiterated his previous statement that the tests were conducted in defiance of the U.N. "This is violating the Security Council resolution," Abe said, adding that, as North Korea's neighbor, Japan feels threatened. "It is of great regret. But at the same time between Kim Jong Un and President Trump a certain new approach was taken and that is something that I pay tribute to." Earlier Monday, Trump said he backed Abe's interest in leveraging his country's good relations with Iran to help broker a possible dialogue between the U.S. and its nemesis in the Middle East. Abe said he is willing to do whatever he can to help to reduce escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Trump and Abe discussed the issue earlier Monday. Abe could visit Iran next month. "Peace and stability of (the) Middle East is very important for Japan and the United States and also for the international community as a whole," Abe said. The leaders held hours of talks after the U.S. president — at Abe's invitation — became the first world leader to meet Japan's new emperor, Naruhito, who ascended to the throne May 1. The meeting with Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako, was preceded by a grand outdoor welcome ceremony at Japan's Imperial Palace, where Trump walked solo across red carpets, reviewing Japanese troops as the guest of honor. Trump's official visit also included golf with Abe, presenting a trophy to a sumo wrestling champion and a black-tie banquet at the palace. The visit included hours of one-on-one time for Trump and Abe, who has been trying to remain on Trump's good side despite disagreements between them on trade and other issues. Trump didn't hold back at the news conference when he was asked about Biden, declaring himself "not a fan." "Kim Jong Un made a statement that Joe Biden is a low-I.Q. individual," Trump said, adding that Kim probably based his assessment on Biden's record and "I probably agree with him on that." U.S. officeholders usually avoid engaging in politics while on foreign soil, hewing to the adage that politics stops at the water's edge. But Trump's sharp attack on Biden, through his declaration of agreement with Kim, set aside that long-standing norm. Trump and Abe largely glossed over their difference on trade, despite the potentially crippling tariffs on foreign autos that Trump is threatening to impose on Japan and the European Union. Trump declined to say what Japan would have to do to avoid those tariffs, but complained of an "unbelievably large" trade imbalance with the nation. Still, he said he expects to reach trade deals at some point with both Japan and China, but wouldn't rush it. "I think we will have a deal with Japan. Likewise, I think we will have a deal with China sometime into the future," he said. Trump has tried to pressure China by slapping tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods. "I don't believe that China can continue to pay these really hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs," he said. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet during a world leaders' summit next month in Osaka, Japan. ——— Follow Superville and Colvin on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/dsupervilleap" target="&mdash;blank">https://twitter.com/dsupervilleap</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/colvinj" target="&mdash;blank">https://twitter.com/colvinj</a> .
What you need to know about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier<a href="https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Explore/Tomb-of-the-Unknown-Soldier" target="_blank">The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier</a> is at Arlington National Cemetery. It stands on the top of a hill overlooking Washington DC. Congress approved the burial of an unidentified World War I soldier in the plaza of the then-new Memorial Amphitheater in 1921. The white marble sarcophagus has three Greek figures sculpted on the side representing Peace, Victory, and Valor. There are also six wreaths, three sculpted on each side, that represent the six major campaigns of World War I. On the back on the tomb, there is an inscription that reads: Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God. Who is buried there? Memorial Day marks the day in 1921 when four unknowns were exhumed from four World War I American cemeteries in France. Army Sgt. Edward F. Younger chose the Unknown Soldier of World War I, who now lies in the tomb. President Warren G. Harding officiated at the interment ceremonies at the Memorial Amphitheater on November 11, 1921. There are three other soldiers buried at the tomb. In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill to select and pay tribute to the unknowns of World War II and Korea. The selection ceremonies and the interment of those unknowns took place in 1958. The Unknown of Vietnam was only unknown for a short time. After being placed into the tomb in 1984, the Unknown was exhumed in 1988. Thanks to mitochondrial DNA testing, Department of Defense scientists were able to identify the remains as Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie. It was decided that the crypt that contained the remains of the Vietnam Unknown will remain vacant. The crypt cover was replaced with a new inscription that now reads: Honoring and Keeping Faith with America's Missing Servicemen, 1958-1975. Who are the Tomb Guards? The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in any weather by <a href="https://tombguard.org/tomb-of-the-unknown-soldier/the-tomb-guard/" target="_blank">Tomb Guard</a> sentinels. Tomb Guards are volunteers -- part of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as "The Old Guard." It is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army, serving the US since 1784. The honor of Tomb Guard is incredibly rare. The badge is the least awarded in the Army. It takes a high level of dedication to be a Tomb Guard. They work in 24-hour shift and when they aren't walking the mat, they are living in the quarters beneath it. During that time, they complete training and prepare their uniforms, which can take up to eight hours. What is the Changing of the Guard? <a href="https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Explore/Changing-of-the-Guard" target="_blank">Changing of the Guard</a> is an elaborate ritual that happens every hour on the hour October 1 to March 31 and every half hour from April 1 to September 30. Visitors are welcome to watch the ceremony, but must stand and remain silent. The ceremony starts with the relief commander announcing the Changing of the Guard on the plaza. The Tomb Guard marches 21 steps behind the Tomb, turns, faces east for 21 seconds, turns and faces north for 21 seconds, then takes 21 steps down the mat and repeats the process. After the turn, the sentinel executes a sharp "shoulder-arms" movement to place the weapon on the shoulder closest to visitors watching the ceremony. This signifies that the sentinel stands between the Tomb and any potential threat. Doing things in increments of 21 symbolizes the 21-gun salute, which is the highest military honor that can be bestowed.
FBI joins search for missing 5-year-old Utah girl; uncle in custody(CNN) -- The FBI and local authorities in Utah are searching for a 5-year-old girl who disappeared from her family's home over the weekend. Elizabeth Shelley was last seen at home by her mother on Saturday at 2 a.m., according to Logan City Police Captain Tyson Budge. Eight hours later, police were alerted that the girl was missing. Also missing from the home that morning was 21-year-old Alexander Whipple, Elizabeth's uncle, who police say is the main suspect in the case. He had come to the family's home for a visit on Friday night and was last seen around the same time as his niece. Whipple was located Saturday and arrested on a warrant for a probation violation. Police said he is not being cooperative. He was booked into Cache County jail and was being held Sunday on $25,000 bond. Elizabeth was not with him when he was found, police said. Budge, the police captain, told CNN the case is "not going to end well." In a post on Facebook, Logan City Police called Whipple "uncooperative" and said that FBI and local agencies had been working to finish search warrants and follow up on leads. They said they could not release all details relevant to the investigation but that the search for Elizabeth was ongoing. "We know there are many who want to help and there are some who think they are helping by posting their concern about the perceived lack of details of this investigation," the post reads. "They do not have all the information because we cannot release everything pertinent to this investigation," police added. "There are many agencies in a coordinated effort working around the clock and will continue to work until she is found. We will update Facebook as information becomes available." Logan is about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City, near the Idaho border
Youth groups lead anti-violence rally in New Haven on SundayNEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -- Two youth groups, and dozens of people, joined in to rally against gun violence in New Haven on Sunday afternoon. Youth activists with the anti-violence missions led the charge in New Haven to “End the Gun Violence” rally. Teens and students with the activism group, “Ice the Beef,” told Channel 3 they are the next generation to create positive change. “When it’s from the youth, and about the youth, it reaches our people too, not just the adults in our community, but it also reaches our peers, our classmates, our friends all on a deeper level,” said “Ice the Beef” activist, Eliza Vargas. Channel 3 spoke with New Haven mother, Demethra Telford who said her son lost his life to gun violence just days after his 14th birthday in 2017. “I have a whole in my heart. I cry every day. I struggle every day with losing my son,” said Telford. “Losing a son, it’s like you lost everything.” Telford said she comes out to rallies like Sunday’s in New Haven to support the need to end violence. “We need to all stand up, stop the violence, don’t wait until anything happens to your child,” said Telford. The student activists told Channel 3 they are determined to create safe and strong communities. “We need to make more youth programs for our youth,” said “Ice the Beef” activist, Ronisha Moore. “And we need to have more adults help youth.” Joining the students with “Ice the Beef,” was Guilford group, “Guilford Students Demand Action.” “I think everything that we’re doing, every little protest, every march, it does something to raise awareness,” said “Guilford Students Demand Action,” activist Julia Gangemi. Students with “Guilford Students Demand Action,” told Channel 3 they’re working closely on legislation with the family of Ethan Song to require gun owners across the nation to store firearms safely. “We’re going to be the next generation, we are the future of America, so I think that’s its imperative we have a hand in what’s going on,” said Gangemi.
Crews knock down fire in Putnam homePUTNAM, CT (WFSB) -- Putnam fire crews knocked down a fire in a multi-family home on Sunday. Both Putnam and East Putnam Fire Department were called to a multifamily home on George Street just before 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Firefighters told Channel 3 the fire originated on the third-floor apartment. All occupants of the home safely evacuated, and no one was injured, firefighters said. The Putnam Fire Marshal is investigating.