WFSB - Eyewitness News

Norwich woman explains lawsuit filed against Harvard professorHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- A Norwich families legal fight with Harvard over ancient photographs of enslaved ancestor known as “Pappa Renty,” may take years to settle. On Monday, descendant Tamara Lanier explained the 1850 photo, taken on a South Carolina plantation, has become an international symbol of racism. The picture, and others, were commissioned by Harvard Professor Louis Agassiz, who Tamara said used to attempt to prove his theory that Africans were inferior to Europeans. Tamara <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/lawsuit-harvard-shamelessly-profits-from-photos-of-slaves/article_a644cbfe-ba65-5114-8409-7b65ff9c021c.html" target="_blank">hopes the lawsuit filed last week</a> exposes Harvard’s role in slavery. “There are many things I hope to accomplish with this suit. One certainly is to restore dignity to Renty and tell the true story as to who he was, and to dispel the myth about Agassiz and his science,” Lanier said. Renty’s photo and that of 16 other slaves were rediscovered in a Harvard museum attic in 1976 and used last year for a cover of a program on U.S. universities past relationship with slavery.
Father of Sandy Hook shooting victim found deadNEWTOWN, CT (WFSB) - The body of a man whose child was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was found in Newtown. According to police, 49-year-old Jeremy Richman died of an apparent suicide at Edmond Town Hall, which is a theater and banquet venue on Main Street. The Newtown Police Department confirmed the death on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2261013713958766&amp;id=138620906198068&amp;__xts__[0]=68.ARB1CPbnELpfzQueASNBiajywIsYO2V1eGr1ghbLMgXN2-XrwX-NVzlOsJ-yVevK-OuyuncRbOPwwiIkbG1h8yvFr-yLq-qxBManQQKu5AE5Q4LtpUcdpBNdJdYQ1pWYAfx4EJ9Ya5nq5hIg-taWODx83Ui5RDKRX_KkoY8VBU98qmWOs2YDtOzBxVGJg2vnZrIsC60C89zAkchJUaM_Jmk17hP5f6MLHRy3gf38c1lndo8HVEjUHigc7BY6P1Sd3MwvIL9tcAXsXg-uvdTG5UVqCnzSzWFJZyZ0ZPBkbJFl6VoZA8IL9EFmeAvKRx_RocAC5hEnVFfb7WGjYaURsQ&amp;__tn__=-R" target="_blank">its Facebook page</a>. The cause was not released. Police only mentioned that Richman's death did not appear to be suspicious. His body was transported to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy, which is expected to be completed by later in the day on Monday. Police said Richman has an office in the Edmond Town Hall and is the founder of the Avielle Foundation. The Foundation released a statement on Monday saying "Our hearts are shattered, and our heads are struggling to comprehend. Jeremy was a champion father, husband, neuroscientist and, for the past seven years, a crusader on a mission to help uncover the neurological underpinnings of violence through the Avielle Foundation, which he and his wife, Jennifer Hensel, founded after the death of their daughter, Avielle, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Jeremy was deeply devoted to supporting research into brain abnormalities that are linked to abnormal behavior and to promoting brain health. Tragically, his death speaks to how insidious and formidable a challenge brain health can be and how critical it is for all of us to seek help for ourselves, our loved ones and anyone who we suspect may be in need. Jeremy’s mission will be carried on by the many who love him, including many who share the heartache and trauma that he has suffered since December 14, 2012. We are crushed to pieces, but this important work will continue, because, as Jeremy would say, we have to. As we did six years ago and now must do again today, we ask both the media and the public to give the family the privacy anyone would deserve to begin to process this tragic development." Avielle Richman was among the 26 students and staff who were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. “This is a heart breaking event for the Richman family and the Newtown Community as a whole, the police department’s prayers are with the Richman family right now, and we ask that the family be given privacy in this most difficult time," said Lt. Aaron Bahamonde, Newtown police. Sen. Chris Murphy took to Twitter where he called Richman's death horrible and devastating news. "Jeremy was a good friend and an unceasing advocate for better research into the brain’s violence triggers," Murphy wrote. "He was with me in my office two weeks ago, excited as could be about the Avielle Foundation’s latest amazing work." Gov. Ned Lamont "Annie and I are heartbroken for the Richman family. Thoughts and prayers just don't feel like enough in times like these. Words cannot even begin to express our sorrow." Senator Richard Blumenthal also released a statement, saying "Jeremy Richman's passing is simply devastating. I was proud to call Jeremy a good friend, a dedicated father, an esteemed researcher &amp; an outstanding human being. He will be deeply missed by all that knew him." This is the third suicide with a mass shooting-related connection to be reported in the last week. Sydney Aiello, 19, <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/parkland-school-shooting-survivor-takes-her-own-life-mom-says/article_936ec50b-d0d7-5c22-970e-bfbbe616e0c3.html" target="_blank">took her own life on March 17</a>, according to her mother. Aiello was a close friend of Meadow Pollack, who was one of 17 people killed in the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL last year. Aiello's mother blamed post traumatic stress disorder and survivor's guilt. <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/second-parkland-school-shooting-survivor-commits-suicide-this-week-police/article_62811dbe-5305-50b0-8772-cfa969ed0861.html" target="_blank">A second student also committed suicide</a>. The student's name was not released, but police said he was a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Anyone looking for help can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. It's available 24 hours a day. Another resource is Prevent Suicide CT. More information can be found <a href="https://www.preventsuicidect.org/" target="_blank">here</a> or by calling 2-1-1 and pressing 1. If outside of CT, dial 1-800-273 8255.
Recreational marijuana passes first hurdleHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Recreational marijuana passed its first hurdle on Monday afternoon. A bill that was up for a vote was one of several pot-related bills under consideration. The one taken up on Monday spelled out details of a legalized system, including who could buy it and even grow it. The General Law Committee passed it. The Judiciary Committee votes on its bills on Thursday. The bill establishes a new cannabis control commission within the Department of Consumer Protection. It allows people ages 21 and older to buy marijuana. It also studies whether or not consumers can grow it themselves. However, some local police departments claim the science and technology are not there yet to detect impairment. They argue training for officers to recognize impaired drivers is comprehensive and long. They described it as far from a basic academy class. On the other hand, supporters of legalizing pot said lawmakers should pass the legislation and work out the details afterward. The committee voted inside the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
Michael Avenatti charged with trying to extort more than $20 million from NikeFederal prosecutors in Manhattan on Monday charged lawyer Michael Avenatti for attempting to extort more than $20 million from Nike. According to the criminal complaint, Avenatti met in March 2019 with attorney for Nike and threatened to release damaging information about the company if Nike didn't make millions in payment to himself and an unnamed co-conspirator. Avenatti also allegedly demanded that Nike pay $1.5 million to an individual he claimed to represent. "I'll go take $10 billion dollars off your client's market cap...I'm not f***ing around," Avenatti said, according to the complaint. Until recently, Avenatti represented adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, a central figure in the hush-money scandal that resulted in Manhattan federal prosecutors charging President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Cohen pleaded guilty and is set to report to prison in May. Avenatti didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Earlier Monday, he tweeted: "Tmrw at 11 am ET, we will be holding a press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball." The Manhattan US Attorney's office said it would hold a press conference to discuss the charges on Monday afternoon Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles will also announce separate charges of wire fraud and bank fraud against Avenatti Monday afternoon. This story is breaking and will be updated. CNN's Kara Scannell contributed to this report.
Lawmakers host gun violence discussion in New BritainNEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) - Lawmakers held a discussion about gun violence on Monday morning in New Britain. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal joined Rep. Jahana Hayes for a discussion with teachers, students and school administrators. The focus was about keeping guns out of classrooms. Students argued that more guns in school could stifle the teacher pipeline. "I don’t think I would be able to be a teacher. That’s very difficult for me because it’s a goal. I want to teach, I want to be able to impact the next generation, I want to make a difference," said Shanika Leon, a senior at New Britain High School. Instead, students said they want lawmakers to focus on background check and mental health programs. The lawmakers said they would gather feedback and provide an update on their work in Washington to reduce gun violence. Next week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing on gun violence. For more information, <a href="https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/" target="_blank">click here</a>. However, Murphy, Blumenthal and Hayes said Senate Republicans continue to refuse to consider background checks legislation. Earlier this month, Murphy and Hayes introduced legislation to prevent U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos from using federal funds to arm teachers. In January, Murphy said he reintroduced the Background Check Expansion Act, co-sponsored by Blumenthal, to expand federal background checks to all gun sales. Hayes voted for the House background checks bill, which passed earlier this month. Blumenthal has co-sponsored, with Republican Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, bipartisan legislation that would allow courts to issue Extreme Risk Protection Orders removing firearms from individuals who are a danger to themselves or others.
Tanker rollover closes portion of Route 34 in DerbyDERBY, CT (WFSB) - Part of Route 34 at Main Street in Derby remains closed due to a tanker rollover. According to police, traffic was being diverted to Derby Avenue and into Division Street in Ansonia. As if 11:15 a.m., police said Route 8 exit 15 ramps had reopened. Police also said two-way traffic is flowing on the southside of the Route 34 bridge. Drivers are still urged to avoid the area if possible. There's no word on injuries or a cause. For real-time traffic updates, check the Channel 3 traffic map <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/traffic/" target="_blank">here</a>.
Yale rescinds admission of student in bribery scandalNEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Yale University says it has rescinded the admission of a student linked to national bribery scandal. School spokesman Tom Conroy said in an email Monday that an investigation resulted in the decision to rescind the admission of a single student. He did not provide additional details. Fifty people have been charged in a scheme that prosecutors say involved millions of dollars in bribes paid to athletic coaches and others who helped secure students' admission to top schools. Former Yale women's soccer coach Rudy Meredith has been charged with taking $400,000 in exchange for facilitating the admission of a student under the guise that she was a soccer recruit, even though he knew she had never played the sport. He has not responded to requests for comment.
Powerball jackpot reaches $750M after no winner SaturdayHARTFORD, CT (AP) -- Lottery officials say the Powerball jackpot has ballooned to $750 million after no ticket matched all six numbers in the most recent drawing. The numbers drawn Saturday night were 24, 25, 52, 60 and 66, with a Powerball of 5. The next drawing for what would be the fourth-largest jackpot in U.S. history is Wednesday. The odds of winning are roughly 1 in 292.2 million. No one has won the Powerball jackpot since the day after Christmas. Twenty-four drawings since then have failed to produce a winner. The buyers of three tickets shared the country's largest jackpot. It was a nearly $1.59 billion Powerball prize drawn on Jan. 13, 2016. A South Carolina purchaser won a $1.54 billion Mega Millions jackpot. That was the nation's second-largest lottery prize ever.
Woman dies in Windham house fireWINDHAM, CT (WFSB) - A woman was pronounced dead after she was pulled from a house fire in Windham Monday morning. According to dispatchers, the fire broke out on Bass Road around 4:15 a.m. Bass Road was closed but has since reopened. Dispatchers said the fire was knocked down, but its cause has not yet been determined. Crews on the scene told Channel 3 that the fire started in the front entrance of the home. A family of three lives there. Firefighters said they found the female victim in the home and pulled her out. However, she died at Windham Hospital shortly after she arrived there. The Scotland, Chaplin, Mansfield and Yantic fire departments provided mutual aid to the scene.
CT gets no clean bill of financial health from doctorsHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Doctors may be among the highest-paid and most educated professionals in the country, but Connecticut is far from the best state for them. The personal finance website WalletHub.com released its list on Monday of 2019's Best &amp; Worst States for Doctors. On it, Connecticut was the third worst state. WalletHub said it compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 18 metrics, including average annual wage of physicians, hospitals per capita and quality of public hospital system. Connecticut was: 43rd in average annual wage42nd in average monthly starting salary44th in hospitals per capita45th in projected physicians per capita by 202648th in malpractice award payout per capita37th in annual malpractice liability insurance rate Only New Jersey, Rhode Island, the District of Columbia and New York ranked lower than Connecticut. The study said Montana, Wisconsin and Idaho were the top three states. Source: <a href="https://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-states-for-doctors/11376/">WalletHub</a> See the complete results of the study <a href="https://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-states-for-doctors/11376/" target="_blank">here</a>.