WFSB - Eyewitness News

3 taken to hospital after serious crash in TorringtonTORRINGTON, CT (WFSB) -- A serious crash has closed part of Route 4, also known as Goshen Road, in Torrington. The crash was reported around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, in the area of University Drive. According to police, three people were injured in a two-car head-on crash. The female driver and male occupant of one car were brought to Waterbury Hospital for their injuries. The female driver of the other car was brought to Saint Mary's Hospital in Waterbury for serious injuries. She is reported in critical, but stable condition. No charges have been filed. The names of the people involved in the crash are not being released at this time. Anyone with information is asked to call Torrington police.
Report regarding Guilford teen's death releasedGUILFORD, CT (WFSB) -- A new report from the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Waterbury was released regarding the death of a Guilford teen. In January of this year, 15-year-old Ethan Song died after having been shot in the head. He was a freshman at Guilford High School. According to the report, Song accidentally shot himself in the head with a handgun that was stored in a master bedroom closet. Song did not live at the home and was not related to the gun owner. The report said the handgun was one of three that was owned by an adult male who lived at the home. “On the date in question, it appears that all three weapons had been stored in a cardboard box inside of a large Tupperware container in this closet. Each weapon was secured with an operable gun lock. There is no evidence that the gun used was loaded at the time it was stored within the closet,” the report said. The report went on to say “ammunition for the gun was located within the same small cardboard box next to the weapon used, inside of the Tupperware container.” No charges are being filed at this time. Read the full report <a href="https://www.ct.gov/csao/cwp/view.asp?a=1801&amp;q=606566" target="_blank">here</a>. Song’s parents <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/family-files-lawsuit-after-guilford-teen-killed-by-gunshot-wound/article_7e163931-8aab-577d-a921-a2fcfe0a9bc9.html" target="_blank">filed a lawsuit against the male</a> whose home it was. The family also filed a lawsuit against the man's business. The lawsuit says on Jan. 31 there was a loaded gun on the premises, but the man reportedly did not store the gun safely “when he should have known that a minor was likely to gain access to the gun without the permission of his parent.” The lawsuit also claims he was negligent and reckless, adding that he failed to teach his son about gun safety and didn’t warn Ethan’s parents that there was a gun in the house their son would be visiting. According to the state's attorney's report, "The death of Ethan Song was a horrific and preventable tragedy. However, existing law does not support a prosecution of the gun owner under any applicable statute."
West Haven schools, church donating Thanksgiving mealsWEST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - Along the shoreline, a school community and a church are doing their best to make sure no one goes without this Thanksgiving. It’s all possible, thanks to countless donations. Inside West Haven’s Vertical Church, a handful of parishioners spent the morning, stuffing these reusable shopping bags with all the makings of a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal. “We can make a difference. We gave these red food bags, with a list on it, so they could bring back stuff, so it grew from 250 to 400. Last year we did 459 families and this year we’ll do over 750,” said Pastor Ken Vance, Vertical Church. Pastor Ken Vance says parishioners stepped up and that’s good, because he says the need keeps on growing. Businesses chipped in, donating turkeys and students with the University of New Haven students brought in food they collected. The church even partnered with West Haven schools, dropping off bags for families in need and delivering these bags to a senior center in New Haven. “For our congregation, it’s very fulfilling because we challenge people not to just listen to something, but to live their faith in meaningful ways, action,” said Vance. “What’s a Thanksgiving dinner without a turkey? And while the church is delivering meals, across town, the school district’s parent teacher association is actually hosting a meal on Thanksgiving Day.” We’ll be able to feed approximately 100 families. Everything that will be provided on Thanksgiving Day has been straight up donated by the community, by businesses,” said Carrie Malangone, West Haven Parent Teacher Association Council. Carrie Malangone, with the West Haven Parent Teacher Association Council, reached out to the superintendent and worked with the district’s food services director to pull this off. People have been dropping off food at the high school, they’ve already cooked 20 turkeys for Thursday. There are more donations, the Elks Lodge is hosting it for free, and Winkle Bus we be going around, picking up people and bringing them to dinner which runs Thursday from 12 to 3 p.m. “During the holidays, it becomes tougher, bills are due, people want to celebrate the holidays in the right way, and what’s the best way, but to help these people, help these families, children have a good meal for Thanksgiving,” said Malangone.
Doctor breaks down pros, cons of urgent care centersROCKY HILL, CT (WFSB) -- There has been a surge of urgent care centers across the state of Connecticut. With 131 in operation, there's a chance one may have opened in your town. This week, Channel 3 dug deeper to learn more about the pros and cons of the popular emergency room alternatives. “You come in and go really quick, you don't spend much time here,” said Alhassan Van Dyck, a live-in caregiver. While tending to his elderly patients, emergency room visits were common. Van Dyck is one of the estimated 88 million patients who now visit urgent care centers annually. He said hours-long waits at the emergency room have been cut down to mere minutes. Others are taking notice. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows a dramatic shift. Forty-five percent of 18-29 year olds surveyed did not have a primary care provider. Meanwhile, the Urgent Care Association of America reports there are more than 7,600 centers in the country right now and 4,500 new ones are expected to be built each year. The most popular age group visiting are those 18-34. Velocity in Rocky Hill is one of the 131 urgent care centers in Connecticut. “The advantage over the doctor's office is mainly convenience,” said Dr. John Yaylagul, owner of Velocity Care. Yaylagul said the majority of patients are seeking quick and convenient care. The cold and flu are the most common cases, but there's much more that can be treated here. “It's probably somewhere between a walk-in clinic and an emergency department,” Yaylagul said. One room in the center is equipped with many things found in an emergency room, like EKGs, oxygen, and other equipment used to rescue and stabilize patients. “We can probably take care of 80% of what goes through an emergency department. We do laceration repair, abscess drainages, orthopedic injuries,” Yaylagul said. However, Yaylagul said there are things centers just can’t do, and there are times when patients need to go straight to the emergency room. Life-threatening incidents like heart attacks, collapsed lungs, and severe cases of pneumonia should be handled in an emergency room. So, in comparing centers to a doctor's office visit, patients say wait times are reduced dramatically. “My doctor wasn't open, so I was able to get an x-ray, able to be treated and I went home,” said Patty Whitten, of Enfield. But the convenience comes at a price. “The amount of out of pocket that comes out may be a little bit more than a doctor's office,” Yaylagul said. When comparing clinics to emergency room visits, Dr. Yaylagul says he has emergency rooms beat, not only in the waiting rooms, but also when it comes to the final bill. He compares prices for a fractured wrist. “If you were to pay out of pocket here, without insurance, it would cost you $275, but in an emergency department, you'd pay $2,500,” Yaylagul said. Not all centers are created equal. Yaylagul said walk-in clinics usually can't give as much treatment as an urgent care center. They all answer to the state Department of Public Health and all professional staff need to be licensed and those licenses are renewed every three years. When it comes to asking if urgent care centers are a good alternative to those who don’t have a primary care provider, Yaylagul said he warns his own patients that these centers are for those one-time issues. Lingering problems or chronic diseases shouldn't be treated by urgent care and he'll always refer a patient with those issues to a physician.
WCSU classes canceled, lockdown lifted after false report of gunman on campusDANBURY, CT (WFSB) -- All classes and activities for the rest of Tuesday at Western CT State University have been canceled as police investigate a report of a man on campus with a gun. The report of a man with a long gun inside the Visual and Performing Arts Center was made at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, police said. The school alerted students on the Westside campus to shelter in place. At this time no person with a gun has been found, and there are no reports of shots having been fired. Just before 5 p.m., school officials said it is believed there was no gunman on campus. The shelter in place has since been lifted. Police went through various campus buildings checking each room, but nothing was found. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said Westside Middle School and Mill Ridge Elementary were released under police supervision as a precaution. All shuttle buses between WCSU campuses have been stopped until further notice. Police have deemed the campus safe and said there is no threat at this time. The investigation is ongoing.
Record cold possible on Thanksgiving DayHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - While Wednesday will start out in the 30s and 40s, an Arctic blast is on the way just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest said a front approaches southern New England by Wednesday afternoon. "The front will arrive by late in the afternoon. That is when snow showers and a few snow squalls will move across the state," DePrest said. Some towns may not get any snow, but other towns could get a quick burst of moderate to heavy snow that could coat the ground. The showers and squalls could linger into Wednesday evening. They'll be followed by a strong wind that will usher in the coldest air of the season. Temperatures will drop into the teens by late Wednesday night and perhaps the upper single digits in the Litchfield Hills. The wind chill will drop to zero or below. By dawn on Thursday, the wind chill could range from 10 below to 5 above zero. Towns started posting about warming centers that will be available for people who need to get out of the cold. <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/warming-centers-opening-ahead-of-thursday-s-arctic-air/article_1c31f2ee-ed08-11e8-a492-77086a101b6e.html" target="_blank">See them here</a>. It could may be the coldest Thanksgiving Day and Nov. 22 on record for greater Hartford. Records date back to 1905. "Despite plenty of bright sunshine, we are forecasting highs in the teens in the Litchfield Hills and 20-25 elsewhere," DePrest said. The northwest wind will be brutal with gusts to 40 mph or higher. Several high school football games had to be rescheduled because of the forecast. See the list <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/thanksgiving-cold-forces-rescheduling-of-high-school-football-games/article_3d2363d2-ecdd-11e8-99ee-5372cc2c02a1.html" target="_blank">here</a>. The record low for Nov. 22 is 14 degrees, which was set in 1969. The coldest high temperature for the day is 27, set in 1978. For Thanksgiving Day in general, the record low is 12 degrees, which was set on Nov. 28, 2002. The coldest high is 27 from Nov. 23, 1989. As of Tuesday's forecast, DePrest forecasted a low of 12 degrees on Thursday and a daytime high of 20 degrees for the greater Hartford area. Both of those temperatures would be new records. Record cold may last into Friday morning. However, it may ease up a bit during the afternoon with highs in the low- and mid-30s. "Plus, with high pressure drifting across New England, the wind will be light throughout the day. You will need to bundle up, but the weather will be good for holiday shoppers," DePrest said. Relief from the cold weather this weekend is on the way. 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, <a href="http://marketplace-redirect.doapps.com/3167" target="_blank">head here</a> or text "WFSB" to 23765 to download the Channel 3 app.
Screws found on several streets in PlainvillePLAINVILLE, CT (WFSB) - Drivers beware! If you drive through Plainville, you might want to take some precautions. Police are now investigating after screws were found on a few main roads causing dozens of drivers to get flat tires. Nothing is worse than driving through a snow storm. Well, what about driving through a snow storm and having a flat tire. It happened to a driver last week and she isn't the only one to find something in her tire. There were two screws lodged inside Kelly Bouchard's back tire. “They’re nice, shiny, brand new screws,” said Bouchard. She noticed it last week while driving on Northwest Drive, an area with two schools and many businesses. “We’ve had a lot of people coming into work claiming they have flat tires and after a while, you get suspicious especially when 15 people in the company have a flat tire,” said Bouchard. The Public Works Department was notified and town officials said about 130 people had to get tires repaired at two tire businesses in town. Now police are looking into it. “It’s the frustration of now I have a car I barely put 5,000 miles on it and these tires are brand new and they're custom to the car so now I have spend that out of pocket,” Bouchard said. Bouchard says she's out 200 dollars. Along with Northwest Drive, police say they also received reports of screws on Stillwell Drive, which is on the other side of town. They just learned about this earlier this week. This victim has some advice for other drivers. “Unless you work here I would try to avoid it,” said Bouchard. If this happened to you, you are urged to contact Plainville Police. If someone is caught, it would be up to the courts to decide if victims will be reimbursed.
Hartford Winterfest starting Friday thanks to large donationHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - In danger of closing earlier this year, Hartford's Winterfest announced they are opening at the end of the week. The winter wonderland will go on thanks to United Bank Foundation donating $30,000. This is their second year sponsoring the event and making sure the free ice skating continues. “I want to say thank you to the corporate and foundation sponsors who supported Winterfest and make it possible as well as the many, many individuals who supported though the GoFundMe page. This is really a community coming together to keep a great tradition alive,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. Some of the big highlights for Winterfest include the carousel Bushnell Park will also have a free ice skating rink! Winterfest starts on Friday.
Study says HUD is giving passing grades to unsafe buildingsHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- A new investigation reveals unsafe and unsanitary buildings are getting "passing" inspection grades from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The investigation was done by independent investigative journalists at ProPublica. One of the buildings that got a "passing" grade was in Connecticut. The Clay Arsenal Renaissance apartments in Hartford passed an inspection in 2017. Channel 3 has covered stories with families there who were dealing with rat problems, infestations and windows screwed shut. A spokesperson from HUD said they are making major changes to the inspection process. HUD no longer has a contract with the Clay Arsenal apartments, and gave residents vouchers to move. To read the full report and search HUD inspection reports, <a href="https://projects.propublica.org/hud/" target="_blank">click here</a>.
Gov. Malloy submits disaster declaration for September floodingHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – A request has been submitted to FEMA for a presidential major disaster declaration from the severe rainstorms in September. Governor Dannel P. Malloy submitted the <a href="https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Office-of-the-Governor/Press-Room/20181120-Gov-Malloy-FEMA-major-disaster-declaration-request.pdf?la=en" target="_blank">request</a> for the rainstorms and flooding that resulted in severe damage from September 25 and 26. The request follows several weeks of data collection across the state by state and local officials. According to the governor’s office, a joint FEMA-state preliminary damage assessment estimated that towns experienced more than $<a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/flash-flooding-causes-dangerous-conditions-water-rescues/article_8f3854b4-c0ac-11e8-b406-53c2ba1b0609.html" target="_blank">6.3 million in damage</a> from the storms. Most of the damage was to roads, bridges, and culverts. “The heavy rain our state experienced came with little warning and hit fast, causing severe damage to roads and bridges throughout areas of Connecticut, and that is why we are asking the federal government to declare a disaster declaration that would help these towns recover,” Governor Malloy said. “If granted, this declaration would provide much needed assistance to those communities.” If the request is approved, towns in Middlesex and New London counties would be eligible for assistance.