WFSB - Eyewitness News

Gov. Malloy holds final bond commission meeting, highlights transportationHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Governor Malloy held his last bond commission meeting on Tuesday. Some of the highlights were more money for transportation and incentives for companies to create more jobs. Malloy says despite criticism, he leaves office at the end of the month, having created more private sector jobs than any other administration. Malloy has been in office almost 8 years and in that time, a lot of money has been spent, many on projects approved by state lawmakers. He leaves office proud he says of what's been done to move connecticut forward. In the new year, the commission will have a new governor and mostly new members. Malloy has consistently made transportation a top priority. In this meeting, 91 million was approved for new exit and entrance lanes on I-84 at exits 40, 41, and 42 in West Hartford. There is also grant money for towns that want bike and walking trails. Malloy says we must continue to make improvements. “Other states have tolls. Gas taxes are disappearing, none of us are ostriches but some are ostrich like and want to hide from problem than address the problem,” said Malloy. While CT has still not recovered all the jobs lost from the recession, Malloy says under his leadership, 100 thousand private sector jobs have been created, the most ever under any governor. State government is now 13 percent smaller. "I am proud CT has fewer municipal employees than it did when I became governor,” said Malloy. Improvements will also be made to the state pier in New London. Needed repairs will be made, making the area better for cargo and more business opportunities, including off shore wind power generation. This is something governor elect, Ned Lamont is pushing for, saying it will create many new jobs. Republican state representative Chris Davis has been a strong critic of some of Malloy’s proposals, he questions some of the transportation spending. “In that item mentioned 91 million, but 13 million went to bike trails and walkways. Is that truly the necessity of the state of Connecticut right now when we have bridges and highways crumbling, or is something of a want rather than a need,” said Davis.
Folks head out to enjoy Holiday Light FantasiaFolks headed out to Hartford on Tuesday to enjoy Holiday Light Fantasia.
Top Cromwell administrators placed on leave over 'misconduct' claimCROMWELL, CT (WFSB) - Cromwell's superintendent has been placed on paid administrative leave following a claim of misconduct. The Cromwell Board of Education said it recently received an anonymous complaint about Superintendent John Maloney and Assistant Superintendent Krista Karch. The board did not release the nature of the complaint; however, it said it expects an investigation to be completed before the holidays. "In order to ensure the investigation is handled with the utmost integrity, the Board, in consultation with legal counsel, feels it is most appropriate to place Superintendent Maloney, and possibly others including Dr. Karch, on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation," the Board announced to the community. "The status of paid administrative leave is not an adverse job consequence and should not be perceived as such at this time." The law firm Shipman & Goodwin, LLP will conduct an independent review of this matter, the Board said. The Board thanked Maloney for his professionalism over the course of the investigation. Maloney has been the superintendent since the spring of 2017. Previously he was an assistant superintendent and a principal. Karch was also hired in 2017 and was a teacher in Portland. After approval from the Board is granted, Ms. Fran DiFiore, Cromwell High School's principal, will serve as interim superintendent. In a statement on Tuesday, the Cromwell PTO said "We support our Board of Education members and know that they will complete a thorough investigation. Based on the outcome of the investigation, we trust that they will make decisions in the best interests of our schools, students and community." The public will get an opportunity to comment on the situation during a Board of Education meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. It's happening at the Cromwell High School Library.
Nest cam captures burglar snatching Christmas gifts, jewelry in HebronHEBRON, CT (WFSB) - A man ransacked a woman's home in Hebron and state police hope the public can help identify him. According the Hebron resident trooper's office, the man burglarized the home on Senate Brook Drive last week. Maria McKeown told investigators that the man stole all of her Christmas presents that had been delivered to her home by Amazon. She said the jewelry box from her bedroom was also taken. "It was heartbreaking to think that someone could be so callous to do that to a family right at Christmastime," she said. The suspect was caught on camera inside the home by way of the victim's Nest surveillance system. The camera caught a pretty good glimpse of the suspect, and police are trying to identify him. "We are just hoping that someone would be able to identify him so that he doesn't do it to other people," McKeown said. She added that even though she lost a great deal, the biggest thing she lost is her peace of mind. "I've lived in this neighborhood for 25 years and had never had any reason to have anything but complete security," she said. She added that she's seen an outpouring of love and support from her neighbors that has warmed her heart this holiday season. "The caring that has come out of this has been the really good thing that has come out. To see how much a community cares about every member of their community," she said. Anyone with information about the suspect is urged to call state police at 860-465-5400. Tips can remain anonymous.
Short film being shot in MysticMYSTIC, CT (WSFB) - Big screen action being shot today in Mystic. It may be a low budget flick, but it’s big time for those involved. Even though the director calls “action” there’s not a lot of action in this low budget movie being shot On Tuesday in Mystic. Director Chris Annino also wrote the screenplay, which he calls a dark mafia comedy that’s sought by film festivals. “It’s very much of an indie film. The great thing with indie films is technology has become more affordable for independent film makers,” said Annino. It’s a short film about two mob guys selling bibles. One mobster actor is no stranger to the music stage. Cliff Goodwin was a guitarist for decades with rocker Joe Cocker. “It’s exciting. Absolutely exciting, but as we said, it’s counter to when you’re playing live music there’s nothing then there is everything then nothing,” said Goodwin. Playing the part of the homeowner is queen of the paranormal herself, with a popular show seen around the globe, Koarolsha Ona Carole. “I love doing the work. I’m very serious about it. I like to become the person in the tail or the role,” said Carole. The production doesn’t have a lot of equipment or a big crew or cast, yet it still introduces new faces to the popular tourist region. “It brings a lot of out of town people here just for the fact that it’s something different,” said Robert Bell, actor. The Spicer Mansion is one of several locations for this production throughout Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. So, when will it be released? Probably early spring.
Man accused of stabbing woman to death at East Lyme innEAST LYME, CT (WFSB) -- A young woman is dead after having been stabbed Monday night in a motel on the shoreline. Officers were called to the Starlight Inn just after 10 p.m. on Monday for the report of a woman having been stabbed several times. She was rushed to the hospital where she died. Police have identified her as 25-year-old Corina Zukowski, of East Lyme. After several hours of investigating, East Lyme Police said Tuesday afternoon that they had made an arrest in the case. They arrested 28-year-old Avery Hallbrooks and charged him with murder. He's being held on a $1 million bond. Members of the State Police Major Crime Unit were seen going in and out of a second-floor room at the Starlight Inn motel Tuesday, gathering evidence. Meanwhile, local police interviewed guests who said they heard arguing between a couple around the time the stabbing happened. The motel sits right on Route 161 in a commercial district near I-95. Asem Majzoub’s family owns the business next door. “You don’t hear stuff like this happening and like when you hear a stabbing it’s just sad, it’s really sad,” Majzoub said. Hallbrooks is set to appear in court on Wednesday.
Staffing shortage impacting school resource officers in shoreline townWEST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - A staffing shortage at one shoreline police department means doing more with less and that includes impacting the number of school resource officers. When it comes to the total number of officers in the department, the deputy chief says, they’re down roughly 20 percent. He says, in order to make sure the city is covered, they might have to make other changes. Officers make the rounds outside of one of West Haven’s six elementary schools, but now there will be one fewer school resource officer. “God forbid if something happens, what’s going to be the time response to get across town,” said Carrie Malangone. Carrie Malangone is the president of the West haven parent teacher association council. She understands the decision, but says it’s a tough one. “They know their job, they do their job well. Their best interest is for the children, for the families and the school system itself,” said Malangone. To help with staffing, the police department recently moved one of the two school resource officers at Bailey Middle School, back to patrol. They replaced that officer with one of the two that’s been roving between the six elementary schools, now there will only be one. “We are supplementing with patrol, stopping in at the schools during the day,” said Deputy Chief Joseph Perno, West Haven Police Department. According to Perno, he says it’s as if the department is trying to play chess, without all the pieces. “We have several officers that are out on extended military leave, several officers out on injury leave and it hurts. It hurts the department and the services we can provide,” Perno said. Budgeted for 120 officers, Perno says right now they have about 100. He says part of the reason they’re having trouble attracting and retaining officers, is the fact the city moved from a pension to a 401k nine years ago. He says with short staff when it comes to covering the city, they need to make the best with what they’ve got. “As I’ve said in the past, I’d rather have 8 SROs than 5 or 6, we could use a lot more of them. They’re a good asset to the community, to the children, I like the availability of having them in the school, interacting with the kids,” Perno said. Something parents wholeheartedly agree with. “It is concerning, but I know our people in blue will protect the city,” Malangone said. Perno says they could have to make additional changes to get more officers back out on the streets, but he says, further reducing the number of school resource officers is not something he wants to do.
Wreaths Across America organization stopping in CTBRANFORD, CT (WFSB) - A national organization that honors the service and sacrifice of the country's veterans is making a stop in Connecticut. Wreaths Across America is heading down to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia for a special ceremony on Saturday. First, it will make a visit to the Branford Fire Department. The group organizes wreath-laying ceremonies across the country. Saturday, 1,400 of them will happen, including in Connecticut. The wreaths are put together in Maine and then shipped across the country. This weekend, for National Wreaths Across America Day, the organization will be leading a big ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery as well as other locations in all 50 states. Roughly 800 wreaths will be laid at veterans state cemetery in Middletown. "This is unbelievable. The people coming out for this, I cannot say enough," said Brian Miniter. Dressed in his Army uniform, Brian Miniter served more than 35 years, retiring as a Sergeant Major. "Being a Vietnam veteran and everything like that, I think their people deserve this. I'm sorry, I'm kind of emotional," said Miniter. Since 1992, Wreaths Across America has been supporting fallen military men and women and their families. Chevrolet is also a big sponsor. "Chevrolet has donated 4,000 wreaths to Wreaths Across America as well as 12 vehicles to be used in their escort to Arlington," said Jenna Jones, Chevrolet field manager for northeast region. "As they make their way down, we will have 12 vehicles in their convoy, headed to Arlington to National Wreaths Across America Day on Saturday." Tuesday, in addition to Branford, the group will stop in Norwalk. For more on Wreaths Across America, head <a href="https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/" target="_blank">here</a>.
Hamilton's first Hartford performance is TuesdayHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The first performance of the Broadway smash hit Hamilton happens Tuesday night in Hartford. The 2 hour and 45 minute show is running at The Bushnell's William H. Mortensen Hall. The first show starts at 7:30 p.m. However, <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/hamilton-at-the-bushnell-boosts-business-for-theater/article_a5023224-f4e6-11e8-88a7-bfb45dd0c839.html" target="_blank">tickets have been sold</a> out since the Hartford shows were announced. A lottery remains available. To enter it, head to the musical's website <a href="https://hamiltonmusical.com/lottery/" target="_blank">here</a>. The show will be in Hartford until Dec. 30. On Tuesday, Tre Frazier, one of the actors who grew up in CT and attended a school in Hartford, visited some local students. "Being part of the show is a fantastic experience for me and being back in Hartford is wonderful as well. I saw my very first musical at the Bushnell and I'm going to rehearsal this entire week, it's insane," said Frazier, a Bloomfield native. He's an understudy in the show, and is an alum of CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, and graduated in 2014. He said he owe's much of his success to the school he attended. "I owe the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts a lot because before I came here, I didn't know musical theater was something you could actually pursue as a career. I didn't know it could be a college major," Frazier said. After showing the students some choreography on Tuesday, he reminded them to stay humble and dream big. "This is where I belong, I'm going to work hard and make that happen and here I am," Frazier said. A number of restaurants in the city are offering specials for ticket holders while the show is running. Firebox Restaurant is offering a series of themed specials and cocktails, as well as Porron &amp; Pina. At Peppercorns, Dish Bar &amp; Grill, and Sorella Restaurant, ticket holders will get 20 percent off meals. Owner and chef of Peppercorn's, Dino Cialfi, saw the play and immediately became a huge fan. "When it came to Hartford, I was like, 'I have to make some food that would be popular in those days,'" said Cialfi. He came up with a menu with what our forefathers ate. "They used to eat steak at fancy parties, so there's a Hamilton steak on the menu. Hamilton was born in West Indies so the soup will be a West Indian influence," said Cialfi. Republic at the Linden is offering 10 percent off for ticket holders.
CT to start collecting data for Census 2020HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- Connecticut kicked off Census 2020 on Tuesday. The Census collects data on things like population, race, housing, and income, but there is a lot at stake for this upcoming Census. The population count will be used to determine the distribution of congressional seats and electoral college votes among the states through 2030. Plus, how an estimated $800 billion a year in federal funds are allocated for Medicare, local schools, roads and other public institutions and services. “Just to give you an idea there are 40 Census tracks in Hartford. In 2010, 36 of those Census trackers were identified as hard to count. Meaning less than 73 percent of people failed to return their form,” said Michelle Riordan-Nold, executive director of the Connecticut Data Collaborative. Census 2020 will start on April 1 of that year. Documents go out through the United States Postal Service.