WFSB - Eyewitness News

Man recovering after car goes into water in Deep RiverDEEP RIVER, CT (WFSB) – A person is recovering after their truck went into a body of water in Deep River Wednesday evening. The incident happened at the intersection of Union and Elm Streets. Police said the man had an apparent medical incident when he drove into the water. He was able to get out of the truck himself and is expected to survive. No other details were provided.
Suspect killed in officer-involved shooting, police chase identifiedNORWICH, CT (WFSB) -- A suspect involved in a police chase that led to an officer-involved shooting has died. According to police, the chase happened around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, and started in Norwich. Police were called to the report of a break-in at a home on Broad Street, Norwich police said. When officers responded, the male suspect fired a gun at Norwich officers and then got into a stolen car and fled the scene. The suspect has been identified as 39-year-old Kyron Marcell Sands of Hartford. Officers chased Sands onto I-395 and into Willimantic. During the pursuit, Sands fired several shots at officers, and at civilians, and tried to carjack multiple vehicles. "During the course of the pursuit, the suspect attempted to carjack multiple vehicles and fired shots at several civilians," said Trooper Joe Dorelus, CT State Police. The chase ended in the area of Route 32 and Old Plains Road where police caught up to Sands. That's when Sands tried to flee on foot, and then started firing a weapon again, police said. He was shot at least one time and later died. "Its unspeakable. The fact that an individual caused so much harm, so much chaos to civilians, which is why state police, Willimantic, Norwich police responded in the manner in which we did," said Dorelus. Connecticut State Police said north and south of the intersection of Route 32 and Plains Road in Windham is closed. Police said I-395 southbound was closed between exits 21 and 18, but it reopened as of about 5:45 p.m. No other injuries were reported.
VIDEO: Snow beginning to coat roads in WaterburySnow was starting to fall in Waterbury and coat the roadways
Snow moves across state, will change to wintry mix and rain overnightHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A storm that's bringing a mixed bag of precipitation started moving into the state Wednesday afternoon. A winter weather advisory goes into effect Wednesday night and runs into Thursday morning. Snow started falling across the state on Wednesday afternoon, but it will become more widespread during the evening hours. Track the storm with our interactive radar <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/weather/radar/" target="_blank">here</a>. Snow was moving from southwest to northeast. A number of schools canceled after-school activities. Community organizations also canceled evening events. See the lists <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/weather/closings/" target="_blank">here</a>. The snow is expected to change to sleet, freezing rain and plain rain overnight. "The total accumulation of snow and sleet will range from a coating to 2”. A thin layer of ice will form on top when the precipitation changes to freezing rain," Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest said. Temperatures during the storm's duration should range between 25 and 30 degrees. After midnight the icy mix will change to plain rain for most of the state, but pockets of freezing rain will linger. Channel 3 will go on the air early at 4 a.m. to report on road conditions. Temperatures will rise overnight, and most of the precipitation will end by dawn. There could be some lingering showers and pockets of freezing rain during the morning commute. Temperatures during the day on Thursday may reach well into the 50s. A northwesterly breeze will strengthen as the day progresses and we’ll probably have gusts to 30 mph during the afternoon and early evening. Thursday night looks clear, but breezy and chilly with lows in the 20s to near 30. "The week will end on a pleasant note. High pressure will be the dominant weather feature Friday and that means we’ll enjoy plenty of sunshine," DePrest said. Rain and sleet will develop Saturday night, but accumulation of sleet should be minimal. There will be rain and areas of fog by Sunday morning, and rain will taper off to showers during the afternoon. Another chance for wintry weather comes next Wednesday. 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.
Website serves as resource when looking for nursing homesHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- We want the best for our loved ones and settling on the right nursing home is a process that can be complicated and confusing. Days upon days can be spent researching and comparing, but there’s a website that can help be a huge time saver. Last year, Christine Lombardo was looking at nursing homes for her husband. Living in Newington, she wanted something nearby and had a hard time choosing between Bel-Air Manor and Jefferson House. “I wanted to find out how the staff was, if it was clean,” Lombardo said. She solicited help from a Facebook group, went to Yelp and Google and found reviews, but didn't know if she could trust them. “Going on word of mouth and trying to sort out the good from bad. The other sites, just don't always work,” Lombardo said. After choosing a nursing home, she was still unsure if she made the right decision. “Our person, going in there, I want to make sure it's good enough to get them better or make them comfortable,” Lombardo said. She wishes she knew about the site Medicare.gov. The nursing home compare tool is a comprehensive database of thousands of facilities across the country. Updated monthly, users can search nursing homes by state, city or by name. The site covers health inspection, staff and quality measure ratings, all graded on a five-star scale. “They're doing it from a professional standpoint, they know what to look for,” Lombardo said. A click further and users can look at detailed investigations and learn, even the homes with five stars aren't perfect. One was even cited for not giving a resident enough food or fluids. “You got everything right there about every one of them,” Lombardo said. The Medicare site is thorough and is the one the state Department of Public Health recommends. Connecticut does offer quarterly updates on fines and disciplinary actions against nursing homes and nurses, but they're not as detailed as the information on the Medicare site. “There's a lot of people today, out there that could use that. It would make the search a lot easier,” Lombardo said. By the end of the year, you'll see more transparency from the state too. Survey inspection findings with plans of correction will be available for review by December of this year. For more information, <a href="https://www.medicare.gov/" target="_blank">click here</a>.
Feds: Coast Guard lieutenant compiled hit list of lawmakersWASHINGTON (AP/WFSB) — Prosecutors say a Coast Guard lieutenant is a "domestic terrorist" who wrote about biological attacks and had a hit list that included prominent Democrats and media figures. Christopher Paul Hasson is due in court on Thursday in Maryland. He was arrested on gun and drug charges last week. Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal was one of the Democratic figures that was on the hit list. "Senator Blumenthal is grateful to the FBI and federal prosecutors for their work on this case and their ongoing efforts to combat violet and hateful extremism," said Maria McElwain, a spokeswoman for Blumenthal. Prosecutors say Hasson espoused extremist views for years. Court papers detail a June 2017 draft email in which Hasson described an "interesting idea" that included "biological attacks followed by attack on food supply." Federal agents found 15 firearms and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition when Hasson was arrested. Prosecutors say he also had compiled a list of prominent congressional Democrats, activists, journalists and media commentators. Hasson's attorney declined to comment on Wednesday. His arrest was first noted by researchers from George Washington University.
Lamont's budget address focuses on expanding state sales tax, fixing state pensions, tollsHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut's governor took center stage Wednesday to make his first budget address. The full text of the address is available <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/governor-s-full-budget-address/article_751695aa-352d-11e9-a9c3-cb9f196e7fce.html" target="_blank">here</a>. Among the topics Gov. Ned Lamont discussed, many residents watched for he said about tolls. "By now, you’ve heard the budget I’m submitting [Wednesday] models two options for tolling – truck-only or electronic tolling on cars and trucks," Lamont said. "I would only consider this option if we maximized the discount for Connecticut EZ-Pass users and/or offered a “frequent driver” discount for those who are required to frequently travel our major roadways. It’s estimated that out-of-state drivers could provide over 40% of tolling revenue for Connecticut. We foot the bill when we travel through neighboring states, it’s time out-of-state drivers do the same for Connecticut." During his campaign, he said he only wanted to toll tractor trailers. This past weekend, he said <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/governor-s-tolls-flip-flop-ruffles-feathers/article_385953c0-33af-11e9-a0e1-6b6837a15285.html" target="_blank">he was open to expanding it</a>. "I know this idea of tolling just sounds like one more damn tax I am going to have to pay, and I cannot fix this state unless I fix our transportation system," Lamont said during his budget address. Trucks would generate $200 million per year, not enough to modernize transportation. All vehicles would generate $800 million. Lamont has made adjustments on the number of gantries, 53 for cars and up to 100 for trucks. "I don't think taxpayers want to spend 50 cents, $1, $3 every day they are on the road. I think they're tired of people being in their wallets," said Republican Minority Leader and State Senator Len Fasano. "Governing is hard. Making these decisions is very difficult, which is why many governors in the past did not do it," said Democratic Majority Leader and State Senator Bob Duff. The much talked about grocery tax is out, but Lamont wants to expand the state sales tax to include legal services, haircuts, dry cleaning, and veterinary services as another way to generate revenue. Also, fees on plastic bags and deposits added to wine and liquor bottles. However, revenue will not be enough to balance the state's budget and fix its fiscal problems. "Under our budget proposal, consumer-oriented services will no longer be tax exempt," Lamont said. "For example, why do you have to pay a tax on manicures but not when you get a haircut?" Lamont said he wanted to make the tax code fairer by taxing digital services, such as Netflix. He wants to tax streaming and downloads on items such as movies. He's also proposing taxes on not only the materials used to renovate a home, but also the services rendered by the architect, engineer or contractor. Cities and towns are also being asked to pay more. "We are making a commitment to education. While some towns are losing population will receive a little less, other towns with growing populations will receive a little more," Lamont said. Lamont ran through a number of proposals aimed at generating revenue for the state, and healthcare and pension changes were all touched upon. When it comes to healthcare, Lamont's proposal tackles its rising costs. He wants to expand wellness and cost-saving programs such as health enhancement and smart shopper. Lamont also wants to restructure the teachers retirement system and adjust the payscale. He said if nothing is done, the annual teacher pension costs could increase by more than $2 billion. "It is badly underfunded and doesn’t keep faith with our current teachers, especially the younger ones," Lamont said. "The state compounded the problem by layering on a pension obligation bond, which, let me put this gently, did not work out the way we hoped." To fix it, he wants to reduce the assumed rate of return from 8 percent to 6.9 percent and restructure the retirement system payment schedule from 12 years to 30 years. "Similarly, the state employee plan still represents a large share of the overall budget and accelerates state payments by $100 million dollars a year - an unacceptably high cost which would either force draconian cuts to needed services, or large tax increases," Lamont said. "Working with the Treasurer and our friends in labor, we hope to smooth out the payments in both pension systems, so our annual contribution is a lower percentage of our budget over the next generation. This is similar to what you would do on your own home mortgage." He wants to have some municipalities pay 25 percent of teacher pensions. "A town like Greenwich, they pay their teachers much more than anybody else. They also have smaller class sizes, but the state pays the entire cost of their pensions," said Democratic State Senator Martin Looney. Wealthier towns would pay more, distressed towns would pay less. Lamont also said he wants state workers to pitch in by renegotiating raises. SEBAC, which represents 40,000 union employees, said they agreed to nearly $2 billion in concessions and "we will not be part of still asking for more sacrifices." Lamont also supports raising minimum wage and paid family leave. "It's really problematic as it's currently drafted. We would rather have these things worked out in a private public partnership not through a mandate," said Joe Brennan, of CBIA. Following Lamont's speech, lawmakers issued statements. “Governor Lamont put forth a responsible budget that addresses our deficit and invests in our economy,” said Senate president pro tempore Martin Looney, a Democrat representing New Haven. “[Wednesday] was the beginning of the General Assembly’s budget process and I look forward to working together with him in crafting a final product. I want to thank the Governor for including critical policy proposals for Connecticut families including raising the minimum wage to $15 and a paid family and medical leave program.” Senate majority Leader Bob Duff of Norwalk applauded the governor's plans. “The Governor’s budget is a first step in the legislature’s budget process," Duff said. "Senate Democrats and myself will be evaluating and debating his proposals and many others in the months to come. I am particularly supportive of the Governor’s ideas to streamline state government by modernizing our IT infrastructure and moving more state functions online. However we move forward we need to ensure Connecticut’s budget works for middle class families, improves education, and invests in our economic future.” Channel 3 will break down Lamont's address even further starting at 5 p.m.
Six pet rabbits died in Milford apartment fireMILFORD, CT (WFSB) -- Six pet rabbits died following a fire at an apartment building in Milford on Wednesday. The fire broke out around noon at the building at 51 Broadway. Upon arrival, fire officials said smoke was billowing from the second-floor. Crews were able to extinguish the fire in less than 15 minutes. A second-floor unit suffered severe damage. Occupants of the remaining units were displaced due to smoke and water damage. The pet rabbits were pulled from the apartment having suffered smoke inhalation. Firefighters tried to resuscitate the animals but were not successful. No injuries were reported to firefighters or occupants. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Sunken sailboat in Hamburg Cove removed by Coast GuardLYME, CT (WFSB) – A sunken 53’ sailboat in Hamburg Cove was removed by the Coast Guard on Wednesday morning. The Coast Guard was on scene Wednesday morning between 8 and 9 a.m. to remove the sailboat from the water. Eyewitness News' Drone 3 was there for a bird's eye view. "The salvage company using inflatable bags. The diver's going to attach the bags to the boat, inflate them with air, raise the boat, remove water from the boat," said Lt. Rodion Mazin, United States Coast Guard. The boat has been under water since the end of January. The town's harbormaster suspects a frozen bilge pump could have failed, causing the boat to sink. While a boom was placed around the sunken boat, it's not believed any of the 50 gallons of diesel fuel leaked. Several local officials confirmed the vessel owned locally was not insured. According to the Coast Guard, the boat is not discharging oil at this time. Once Seatow Salvage pumped the water out of the boat, they started towing it up river to Chester Point Marina. After inspection, marine experts said restoring the Mazu will cost a lot of money. "The interior and all, it would be $50,000," said Chad Zawisza. After this incident, Lyme's Harbor Commission doesn't want more harbor problems. They are now considering establish a calendar deadline for removing vessels form the environmentally sensitive Hamburg Cove.
Taxpayers weigh in on Gov. Lamont's budget proposalsHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- In Gov. Ned Lamont’s budget address, he said he would not increase the sales tax. He did, however, emphasize how the state’s tax code needs to be brought into the 21st century. Gov. Lamont <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/governor-s-budget-address-focuses-on-fixing-state-pensions-transportation/article_6e273bba-3504-11e9-b63f-2f97a90f37ca.html" target="_blank">delivered his budget address</a> on Wednesday afternoon. The budget will not increase the sales tax but would be extended to certain services and goods. This idea has small businesses and people talking. When Donald Carrozella heard about how a sales tax could affect hair salon services, he felt like his business had been gutted. “I think it’s another item that’s going to hurt small business,” Carrozella said. In recent years, the co-owner of Platinum Hair Studio has seen customers look for slashed prices online for services and products. If they’re faced with a sales tax, he fears for his stylists. “The employees count on gratuities, people are going to get taxed, gratuities are going to get smaller,” Carrozella said. Lamont is proposing goods and services be taxed equally, eliminating exemptions, including e-commerce. It wouldn’t apply to certain items like food, prescription and business to business deals. Following the address, people shared how they felt about the budget address. “I really don’t think we need more taxes on things,” said Donna Grover, of Rocky Hill. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing. He made a good point, things like movie theaters and all are taxed so why shouldn’t Netflix be taxed,” said Warren Weigel. If lawmakers can get behind this sales tax expansion, it’s projected to bring in more than $500 million a year by 2021. Read the full budget address <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/governor-s-full-budget-address/article_751695aa-352d-11e9-a9c3-cb9f196e7fce.html" target="_blank">here</a>.