WFSB - Eyewitness News

Police investigating former Diocese of Norwich church officials after sexual abuse claimsNORWICH, CT (WFSB) – The Norwich Police Department has confirmed they are now investigating two former Diocese of Norwich church officials. The targets of the investigation are both accused of sexually abusing young boys in the 1960s. Because some of the alleged abuse took place outside the town of Norwich and one of the targets is dead, it is unclear what will come of the investigation. The alleged victims remain hopeful that the police will be able to shine a light on some of their darkest days. “I try to avoid people at all costs. I’m a reclusive. I stay in the house because I’m ashamed. To me, I feel that I’m taking up space, I don’t deserve to be breathing the air that everybody else is,” said Bob Kowal. Bob Kowal says his life was forever changed when he was 6-years-old in 1963 when he was sexually abused by a nun at Saint Joseph’s School in Norwich in a building that was now a soup kitchen. “She took away my life. She took away my heart. She took away my spirit,” Kowal said. Kowal, who is now 62-years-old, says after he told his parents and the parish priest about the abused he transferred to a different school for decades and suffered in silence. But now, Kowal feels his prayers for justice may be closer to being answered. “It’s beautiful. I said, ‘it’s finally forthcoming,’” Kowal said. Last week, a Norwich police detective told Kowal they are investigating his accusations. “I was on the phone, I couldn’t even speak to him anymore. I hung up the phone and I sat on the floor in the fetal position, rocking back and forth,” Kowal said. Norwich police began looking into Kowal’s allegations after they launched a separate investigation into another former Diocese of Norwich church official accused of sexually assaulting a child. That is the case of Tim McGuire. The New London man <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/exclusive-local-church-abuse-victim-protesting-against-diocese-of-norwich/article_9bcfe5f6-a9b4-11e9-b585-b3ae2337e715.html" target="_blank">spoke with Channel 3 last month</a> and said he was molested by Father James Curry in the 60s at Noank Church when McGuire was just 8-years-old. “He raped my soul. Where do you have left to go,” McGuire said. Curry’s name appears on a list that was published by the diocese of 43 priests accused of sexually abusing children. While investigating McGuire’s claims, police learned about Bob Kowal’s allegations. Now, a Norwich detective confirms that McGuire and Kowal’s claims against two separate former Diocese of Norwich officials have been rolled into one investigation. After all these years, Kowal remains skeptical, but hopes that the investigation will lead to some form of closure. “That maybe everybody, myself and others who was victimized, will get some justice,” Kowal said. Police have not released the full name of the nun who allegedly raped Kowal, so Channel 3 is not identifying her. In the past, Norwich Bishop Michael Cote has refused to turn over secret church files on sexual abuse to law enforcement, but a Norwich detective says he will not hesitate to obtain a search warrant to get information if that is where the investigation leads him. The Diocese of Norwich has repeatedly declined Channel 3’s requests for comment on the investigation.
Police identify man killed in tractor-trailer crash on I-395 in NorwichNORWICH, CT (WFSB) - Interstate 395 southbound in Norwich was closed for several hours after a deadly tractor-trailer crash The highway was closed between exits 13 and 11. One lane on the northbound side of the highway was also closed as crews work to put the fire out. State police said Route 2 eastbound to I-395 south is also closed. All areas have since reopened. According to state police, the driver of the tractor-trailer was hauling an over height trailer, which struck an overpass causing it to lose control. The truck then turned on its side and caught on fire. The driver of the truck was not injured, but the passenger, identified as 61-year-old Robert Neubig of Wallingford, was killed in the crash. No additional information was released at this time. Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Thunderstorms move out of state, more heat in the forecastHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Channel 3 issued an Early Warning Weather Alert on Monday not only for a dangerous combination of heat and humidity, but a potential for severe isolated storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was issued for Hartford County until 8 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for Windham and Tolland counties until 4 p.m., but have since expired. A heat advisory was in place for for most of the state, with the exception of Litchfield and Windham counties, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday's temperatures were in the 90s away from Long Island Sound. Since 90 degrees was achieved at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks on Monday, it marked the 25th day of 90 degree or above temperatures in the state this year. Another potentially sticky 90-degree day is forecasted for Tuesday. "Thanks to an area of high pressure, the sky will be partly to mostly sunny and the risk of a shower or thunderstorm will be very low," said Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest. The middle of the week is also expected to be warm and exceedingly humid. "Scattered showers and thunderstorms are likely, some of which could produce heavy downpours and gusty winds," DePrest said. The showers and thunderstorms return Thursday afternoon and evening as a cold front pushes into the region. "In the afternoon, a cold front will push its way into the region, bringing along a few scattered showers and thunderstorms," DePrest said. Read the complete technical discussion <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/weather/technical_discussion/" target="_blank">here</a>. For weather updates on smartphones and tablets, head <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/site/station_info/apps" target="_blank">here</a> or text "WFSB" to 23765 to download the Channel 3 app.
Man accused of giving underage caddy alcohol, resulting in DUI crashDARIEN, CT (WFSB) – A Darien man has turned himself into police after being accused of providing alcohol to an underage caddy. Darien police responded to a crash on June 25 where one of the drivers, a 20-year-old Stamford man, was arrested and charged with DUI. When police interviewed the driver, he stated he had consumed alcohol while at work as a caddy at Wee Burn Country Club. It was determined the man had caddied for Blaine Hurty earlier in the day and throughout the day, Hurty had provided several drinks to the suspect and another caddy. Both were under the age of 21-years-old. According to police, Hurty urged the caddies to drink alcohol by having small contests on the course, which the loser would have to drink alcohol. At the end of the round of golf, Hurty invited the two caddies to the club bar, where he provided them with an additional drink of straight vodka. The caddies both left Hurty, which is when the suspect got into his car and was involved in the DUI crash. An arrest warrant was applied for and granted. Hurty turned himself into police for charges of providing alcohol to minors and second-degree reckless endangerment. He was released on a $10,000 bond and is due in court next week.
Wires, tress down in several towns after storm(WFSB) – Damage is being reported across the state after strong storms rolled through on Monday afternoon. Several towns are reporting trees and wires down as well as power outages. A tree fell onto a home on Crescent Street in Middletown. There is no word on the extent of the damage to the house. Hamden Fire Department posted on social media that they are responding to seven events with power lines down. United Illuminating is reported 1,400 residents without power in Hamden due to the lines down. The fire department is reminding residents to stay clear of power lines on the ground or low-hanging lines. Darien Police posted on Twitter there was flooding on Tokeneke Road. In Coventry, police reported numerous roads blocked off due to wires and trees down. The following roads are closed in Coventry: Parker Bridge Road at the town line - trees down on both sides of the bridgeDepot Road at the town line - live wires in treeJudd Road in front of Number 136 - tree leaning across the road on wiresLakeview Drive at Hilltop Road - live wires in treeFlanders Road in front of Number 799 - live wires in treeCarson Drive in front of Number 27 - live wire The East Haven Fire Department reported the short beach area had several trees down, which knocked out the power to several homes. Follow updates on the weather <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/severe-thunderstorm-watch-issued-for-part-of-the-state/article_f104ff46-c26b-11e9-b4e5-cb92c81a1ff6.html" target="_blank">here</a>.
Doctors advise parents on dealing with back to school anxiety in childrenHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- The start of the school year can be very exciting for most kids, but for some it can be a little tougher. Channel 3 spoke with doctors on how parents can best help their child cope with the nerves. Questions that may arise in a young child’s mind include, will I fit in? Will I make friends? Will I do well in class? Channel 3 spoke with Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Dr. Robert Keder who encourages parents look for warning signs in children and learn the best strategies to help children work through it. “Anxiety doesn’t always pop up as a child saying, ‘I’m feeling anxious.’ So, anxiety can look a lot like irritability. If a child’s mood starts changing, that’s a sign to look out for,” explained Dr. Keder. “Anxiety can take the form of complaining of headaches or stomach aches in the morning before going to school in what we call school refusal, not wanting to go.” Other signs can include changes in sleep and in appetite, said Dr. Keder. Dr. Keder recommends talking to your child on how he or she is feeling. He said getting a child to ‘talk it out’ can allow parents an opportunity to ease their fears. If your child is afraid he or she might get lost in school, Dr. Keder recommends role playing. Role play a scenario of who your student may go to ask for help. Dr. Keder said avoid overcompensating for your student. For instance, if your child said he or she feels ill, it is acceptable to stay home one day, but allowing the child to maintain control, feeds the cycle of anxiety. Channel 3 spoke with parents and students in Newington on Monday about their experiences. “Are you concerned that 6th grade will be a lot harder than 5th grade?” asked reporter Patricia Del Rio of Newington 6th grade student, MacKenzie Perzanowski. “Yeah, I’m actually really worried that it will be a little difficult.” Although MacKenzie’s parents told Channel 3 she does not have anxiety about returning to school, they said she is experiencing the back-to-school jitters about popularity in school. “Yeah, I do have friends who do that a lot. They like always worry about their looks and like how they look on their social media. And I just always tell them like be yourself and people will like you for who you are,” said MacKenzie. Dr. Keder said parents can help their child by teaching that when it comes to friendships, sometimes less is more. “I think it’s hard with school and especially now with social media there’s this constant perception of what is popular,” said Dr. Keder. “I think helping every child realize the only we need one or two really good friendships.” Dr. Keder said how parents cope with anxiety is important, too. Children are perceptive and if they see their parents handling stress manageably, it will show positive coping habits.
Farmington-based company closes unexpectedly leaving dozens without jobsFARMINGTON, CT (WFSB) – Dozens of employees for a Farmington-based company found out they were out of a job after signs were posted outside of their work. Ultimate Nutrition develops sports nutrition products. Their workers reached out to Channel 3 looking for answers after they found out their jobs were terminated. The employees found out they were let go without a human resources director sitting them down. Lee Steel was an IT Director and on Monday morning found out that his job, along with many others, had been terminated effective August 17. The sign which told him this on the front of the Ultimate Nutrition building also said to get off the private property to avoid trespassing charges. “I reached out by email to both the owners yesterday and the email has been shut off,” Steel said. He said he also reached out to the HR director on Monday morning and heard nothing back. Ultimate Nutrition is based in Farmington and produces body building products and other health nutritional supplements. It has facilities in Farmington, New Britain, and Florida. Joseph McKenna, another employee, says shocked is an understatement. “I was promoted Tuesday to quality manager and here I am without a job,” McKenna said. Employees tell Channel 3 no signs pointed to the business being in trouble. There were no missed paychecks and its business, primarily overseas, remained steady. Some of the employees said they felt the owners were unapproachable. In 2014, Channel 3 discovered the company filed for bankruptcy chapter 11. Channel 3 reached out to the company, but the voicemail box says its full. The emails that were sent also bounced back. It’s unclear how many employees worked at Ultimate Nutrition. Channel 3 also reached out to the Farmington Town Manager’s officer, which responded by saying it was not aware of plans for a shutdown and knew nothing about it. Employees said they’re unable to retrieve their items as they now are forced to look for new jobs to provide for their families. “I just like to know what the story is here,” McKenna said. The State’s Department of Labor said they could not reach Ultimate Nutrition when they reached out. They said companies are only required to notify the state if they employ more than 100 full-time employees and terminate a minimum of 50 percent of their workers.
New Haven police officers agree on union contract after three years of negotiationsNEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – After more than three years, New Haven’s police officers finally have a new contract. It comes after a bitter battle and uncertainty that saw dozens of officers leave over the last few years. The union voted overwhelmingly for this new contract, with the big issues being addressed, including pay, pension and benefits. Both sides are happy to have this contract behind them and feel going forward, it’s good for the officers and the city. Officer Florencio Cotto, the President of Elm City Local, and the police officers he represents, finally have a new deal. “Sentiment is one of joy, and we look forward to inking this deal, getting it done, and moving forward,” Cotto said. Working without a contract for more than three years and in binding arbitration for month, both sides continued to talk, coming to an agreement with the police union voting 259 to 13 for a new six-year contract. The city said its goal was simple. “To retain young officers, attract officers, maintain seasoned officers, but above most, show the respect the men and women of the department deserve,” said Sean Matteson, Chief Administrative Officer. As part of the deal, officers will get retro pay, spread out over three years. Also, the city is putting a cap on the number of officers that can retire each year at 20. When it comes to pension payout, the minimum age to collect will now be 25 years in the department or 52 years of age. “For example, if this rule had already been in effect over the last five years, the police and fire fund would have saved more than 20 million dollars in payments,” Matteson said. Chief Tony Reyes says without a contract for the last three years, the department saw dozens of veteran officers leave. “We had a lot of people leave as a result of the uncertainties of this contract, understandably so. People have to make decisions, tough decisions, and they have to prioritize their families,” Reyes said. This is only the first step. The ratified contract will now go to the Board of Alders, who must sign off on it before it can become official.
Police investigating possible tainted dog treats left in Bristol backyardBRISTOL, CT (WFSB) – Police in Bristol are investigating possible tainted dog treats left in a backyard. Officers responded to a home on Council Ring Drive on Monday morning after a homeowner stated someone may have intentionally left tainted milk bones in their yard. Ashley Liistro says her two dogs, 6-year-old Buddy and 1-year-old Luna, are a little under the weather after eating dog treats in her yard. Liistro reported the animal control officer on Saturday that they had found partially consumed milk bones in their yard and their dog had become ill shortly after eating them. "They both have been throwing up profusely since Saturday," Liistro said. She says the treats the dogs ate are not the ones she buys. "I thought I got to them before they did, but they must have ingested some of them because they've been throwing up ever since," Liistro said. The bones had a toxic odor and were discarded by Liistro before contacting police. "I found six dog bones and they were mushy, so I thought they had gotten wet and after smelling them they smelled like chemical, almost like bleach," Liistro said. Liistro said Buddy was hit the worst and had to be taken to the vet again. Now, she's in a few hundred dollars of vet bills. "I'm absolutely devastated. As you can see, he's been a little lethargic for the past few days. She's been more resilient, but just the way he's been mopping around I know he's not feeling well," Liistro said. Police said the animal control officer inspected the dog and it appeared healthy. No similar incidents have been reported in the area. Police said there are no suspects at this time. Anyone with information is asked to contact Bristol police 860-584-3011.
East Hartford extends days for 2 of its public poolsEAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The Town of East Hartford extended the days for two of its pools. Officials said the Lord Pool at Gorman Park and Martin Pool at Martin Park will now close on Tuesday. The pools had been slated to shut down on Sunday. However, <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/heat-advisory-chance-for-storms-today/article_f104ff46-c26b-11e9-b4e5-cb92c81a1ff6.html" target="_blank">the hot forecast</a> prompted the town to reconsider and keep them open through Tuesday. They'll be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. both Monday and Tuesday. "It's really nice today. I hope the weather stays like this," said Kenya Perez. The town said the East Hartford High School indoor pool is also open to the public. Admission to the pools is free if you live in East Hartford. There is a $5 fee if you live out of town. There will be lifeguards working to keep the pools safe. More information can be found on the East Hartford Parks and Recreation Department website <a href="https://www.easthartfordct.gov/parks-recreation" target="_blank">here</a>.