WFSB - Eyewitness News

Hartford and New Haven host “gun buy back” events on SaturdayMore than 250 guns were turned in to the Hartford and New Haven Police Departments on Saturday for the annual “gun buy back” events. Four assault rifles, dozens of revolvers, pistols, rifles, and shotgun were brought in to be exchanged for Stop & Shop gift cards. Portland resident, Sue Wacht told Channel 3 she was relieved to get the gun off her hands. “I had a shotgun,” said Wacht. “It was loaded one time, but never shot.” In exchange, Wacht and others who turned in their weapon received gift cards ranging from $25 to $200. “As the years have gone by with all the mass shootings and everything, I got to get this out of the house,” said Wacht. Police said a total of 137 weapons were collected at the 10th annual Gun Buy Back in the Capital region at the Community Renewal Team, more than double of that collected last year. “It is an anonymous opportunity to turn in a gun,” said Community Renewal Team representative, Jason Black. “It helps to make our streets and our homes a safer place.” Hartford Police will catalogue the guns and make sure they’re disposed of properly. Hartford Police Department Paul Cicero told Channel 3 they want dangerous weapons off the streets. “There’s a lot of violence in the city in regard to unwanted firearms, unsecured firearms that are being placed in the wrong hands,” said Lt. Cicero. The Gun Buy Back event is also in collaboration with the hospitals in each city. St. Francis Hospital Chair of Emergency Management, Steven Wolf said the event puts just as much emphasis on education the public on gun safety. “It’s an uphill battle and there are so many guns here and there are so many ways to keep things safer and that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Wolf. All in all, Wacht said she is glad to have the weapon off her hands. “I’m glad to be rid of it.” In New Haven, police said 125 guns were collected on Saturday, and over than years, police said nearly 800 guns have been collected.
Early Warning Weather Alert: Icy conditions possible Sunday night and Monday morningThe Meteorologists at Channel 3 are issuing An Early Warning Weather Alert as the state is expected to see a minor accumulation of ice and snow late tomorrow and Monday morning. Meteorologist Mike Cameron is forecasting a wintry mix on Sunday morning around 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. as a storm system makes its way into the state. Cameron said the temperature will remain at or below freezing and will dictate the precipitation. By Sunday afternoon, Cameron said above-freezing air will quickly overtake the state and turn any passing showers into plain rain. Track the rain with the interactive radar <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/weather/radar/" target="_blank">here</a>. Channel 3 is launching the Early Warning Weather Alert ahead of cold air predicted to arrive late Sunday night into Monday morning resulting in the possibility for patchy black ice, light snow, rain showers, and wind. “With the below-freezing temperatures returning wile roads are wet, there may be icy travel in some parts of the state Sunday night and during the Monday morning commute,” said Cameron. Although Cameron said the passing storms will not result in much accumulation, the cold temps merit the Alert. Monday is expected to partly to mostly cloudy with highs in the 40s. Cameron said there is a chance for a snow or rain shower in the afternoon as cold air sweeps across the Northeast region. Cameron is predicting a partly sunny, wind and cold Tuesday as wind gust could reach upwards of 40 mph. Wednesday won’t be as windy as Tuesday, Cameron said, but is expected to be mostly sunny and chilly. 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.
Access Health CT extends open enrollment period to JanuaryAccess Health CT announced on Saturday that the insurer will extend its Open Enrollment period to January. The insurer said the extension adds another month for residents to acquire health insurance following the original deadline of December 15th to ensure coverage starting February 1st. Representatives with Access Health CT said the decision came after a Texas federal district court judge ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional because of the changes to the “individual mandate” clause by Congress. Representatives said the ruling would not affect Connecticut residents who choose to enroll and receive health insurance coverage through Access Health CT. “Access Health CT is the official marketplace under the Affordable Care Act in Connecticut and we are committed to upholding the ACA and the support it provides to the residents of our state,” said Access Health CT Chief Executive Officer, James Michel. Access Health CT customers who are enrolled for plans lasting until January, but are interested in changing coverage, still owe their January premiums, representatives said. More Open Enrollment Fairs will be held throughout January. In Hamden, residents can enroll at the Keene Community Center Gym on Pine Street from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8th, 2019. In East Hartford, customers, residents can enroll at the East Hartford Community Cultural Center Gym on Chapman Place form 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 12th. In Bridgeport, residents can enroll at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Cancer Center 4th floor Conference Room on Main Street from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 15th. For more information, visit: <a href="http://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/RzDHC4x2xGsBBJ4D6UXDEgl?domain=email.prnewswire.com" target="_blank">www.AccessHealthCT.com</a>
Police investigate bank robbery in VernonVERNON, CT (WFSB)- Police are currently investigating a robbery that took place Saturday morning in Vernon. A suspect took an undisclosed amount of money from Berkshire Bank, located at 435 Hartford Turnpike. Police are still working to identify the suspect. He is described as a white male between the ages of 35 and 40. The robbery occurred around 9:10 a.m. this morning. There were no customers in the building during the robbery. Two employees were working when the man entered the bank. The drive thru and inside of the bank will be closed for the next few hours as police investigate. Vernon Police urges anyone with information to call them at 860-872-9126. Stay with Channel 3 for updates.
Wreaths Across America makes its way to ConnecticutMIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB)- More than a million wreaths will be placed across the country today, including in Connecticut. The annual Wreaths Across America event is being held today at the State Veterans Cemetery in Middletown. The tradition started in the early 1990s as a way to pay tribute to fallen soldiers and their families. Wreaths Across America travels a 700-mile route in a 2-mile-long fleet along the eastern seaboard. The fleet of buses and SUVs starts in Maine and goes to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The annual event started in 1992. A business man from Maine donated the first wreaths, about five thousand. Over time, the mission grew to honor more soldiers. There are more than 1400 locations across the country, at sea, and abroad that are taking part in Wreaths Across America Day. The idea that powers Wreaths Across America is: “A person dies twice, once when he stops breathing, and a second time when someone mentions his or her name for the last time.” For more information on Wreaths Across America visit https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/
New streetlights causing a problem in AnsoniaANSONIA (WFSB) - Some Ansonia residents say the glare from new street lights are keeping them up at night by sneaking through their blinds. But city leaders are already taking steps to nip the problem in the bulb. Wakelee Avenue was replaced, new curbs were installed, even the sidewalks were re-done. But some folks say there is a big bright problem with the new street lamps. "That's my Christmas spirit." The lights outside Luccita Herrera's home on Wakelee Avenue in Ansonia create countless smiles this holiday season. But no one loves them more than Luccita. "They make me happy, they make me feel together with my family," Herrera said. But right now, a very different set of lights are getting attention on Wakelee: the brand new street lamps that were installed as part of the road’s $5 million renovation plan. Luccita loves them-she says the make Wakelee way safer than it used to be. "It was terrible you can’t even see it you cant even see it there was a lot of accidents on this road because it’s very dark," Herrera said. But many people have complained that now the lights are too bright. Christopher Waugh says the street lamps shine right into his window. "I wake up and it's like I had a phone light in my eye basically," Waugh said. And Waugh is not alone. The city received so many complaints that leaders are now taking steps to dim the lights. Now every other street lamp is lit and soon the city will install shields on the lights to control the brightness. Waugh is happy leaders are listening. "It’s a good way our town is looking at ways how to help out those citizens," Waugh said.
Dumpster fire spreads to vehicles at scrap yardEAST HAMPTON (WFSB) - A dumpster fire spread to several cars at a scrap yard in East Hampton Friday night. According to officials, the fire began in a dumpster at Fowler's Auto Wrecking Inc. at 24 Old Coach Road. Officials said the fire spread to some vehicles on the property. Several other towns were called in for mutual aid with tankers. The business was closed at the time and there are no reported injuries. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has been notified and is also responding. Stay with Eyewitness News for more information as soon as it becomes available.
Vigil held for Waterford mother killed by boyfriendWATERFORD, CT (WFSB) - The Waterford family who lost a daughter to domestic violence this week is holding a vigil Friday night. They want to shed light on the problem and to let other victims living in silence know there is help. This candlelight vigil was put together by Corina Zukowski’s family, along with organizations that offer help and refuge to those living with a violent domestic partner. Zukowski, 25, was stabbed to death Monday night in an East Lyme motel room she shared with her boyfriend, Avery Hallbrooks. Zukowski has three boys including a one-year-old boy with Hallbrooks, who was charged with her murder by East Lyme police. Her family told Eyewitness News that Zukowski wanted to distance herself from Hallbrooks and improve her life. The director at Safe Futures, Katherine Verano says the most dangerous moment is when an abused partner decides to leave. “The most critical time when a victim decides to leave an abuser because the abuser is controlling wants to control their life, isolate them,” said Verano. Zukowski was the 17th domestic violence homicide victim this year. Since 2000, last year Connecticut had 246 domestic violence homicides, 213 of those were women, according to the CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence. If you’d like more information about the Safe Futures program and the hotline, click <a href="http://Www.safefuturesct.org" target="_blank">here</a>.
Liberty Bank Surprise squad arranges the gift of sight for family in needThe Liberty Bank Surprise Squad helped a family with eyesight needs before Christmas
Holiday village featuring local crafts opens in downtown New HavenNEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - If you’re still looking for that one of a kind Christmas gift, you might want to head to New Haven. That’s where, thanks to a new holiday village, you can support a number of local, small businesses. It’s got the Christmas look and feel in downtown New Haven. They’ve set up lights and trees, along with kiosks, turning the Temple Plaza into a holiday village. Handmade and locally crafted, from pottery and jewelry to even toys. “I think this is really a great idea. It’s that time of the year when people are buying presents,” said Thommye Shaw. These 16 greenhouse style kiosks set up throughout downtown New Haven’s Temple Plaza are turning this little sliver of the Elm City into a holiday village. “I was looking for this. I looked all over and I’m so glad it came together, because I was looking in Boston and NYC and all over the place and couldn’t find anything that I could get into and all of a sudden I got a phone call to do this and I was thrilled it was happening in my own town,” said Amanda Bartel, White Lotus Pottery. New haven’s holiday village kicked off Thursday, with the Hillhouse High marching band drumming up some excitement. The city says it’s a perfect way to shop while supporting local businesses and artists. “It’s expensive to be in a bricks and mortar store so this way, they get to share what they’ve made, their art with our region and we have a mini mall made a unique items that are made by people in our community,” said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp. To showcase her bedding, scarves and shawls, Sheila Ayerswright, says she travels from Greenwich to Enfield and everywhere in between, but adds, this festive feel, makes all the difference. “We’ve done this every year, different locations, and it’s really fun and excited to be around the community,” said Ayerswright. As shoppers check out all the goods, for Shaw, the holiday village might be new, but its already reminding her of Christmas pasts. “They have tea towels made from flour snacks. It reminds me of my grandmother, she used to make her dresses from flour sacks, so it brings back memories. I’ll probably be back for that,” said Shaw. The holiday village kicked off yesterday. It opens at noon each day and goes until 7 tonight and tomorrow. It’s open until 6 on Sunday.