WFSB - Eyewitness News

12-year-old charged with murder in stabbing death of sisterWEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A community is mourning as police continue to look for a motive after a boy allegedly stabbed his sister to death and wounded his mother. <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/boy-accused-of-killing-sister-injuring-mother-during-west-hartford/article_59a37ca2-0242-11e9-9d56-3f8769395836.html" target="_blank">It happened on Monday at a home</a> on Stoner Drive in West Hartford. Police have not released the names of those involved, however, Mayor Shari Cantor identified the family as the Murphy-Curtin family. The mother of the children called police to report what had happened on Monday afternoon. The 12-year-old boy, police said, allegedly attacked his 12-year-old sister and mother. The sister died at St. Francis Hospital. The boy was taken to Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford for a minor injury. Channel 3 was told that he remained there on Tuesday. Late Tuesday afternoon, West Hartford police said the 12-year-old was arraigned and charged with murder with special circumstances, and first-degree assault. The mother remains in stable condition at St. Francis Hospital. Both the parents of the children and school officials said they attended Sedgwick Middle School. At this time, the chief state's attorney's office is determining whether or not the suspect will be charged as an adult. The family released a statement after Monday's incident in which they said their family, friends and community are all suffering. “An unspeakable tragedy and if folks are looking for a way that they can be of service, I’d encourage them to pray for them," said Chuck Coursey, who is representing the family. The school district and the town are providing grief counselors for those affected. According to state laws, a suspect that is younger than 14-years-old will not be treated as an adult no matter the crime. Since the suspect is 12-years-old, he could likely face a less severe punishment. Police remained on the scene into Tuesday afternoon, including a West Hartford police evidence truck. Those who know the family said they're trying to grapple with the news. “At the schools [Tuesday] morning, all the moms were chatting about it," said Molly Manix, a nanny to a family in town. “It’s so shocking to see it right in your own background, in the town.” In a message from the superintendent to the district, families were told that mental health professionals would be on site Tuesday and in the coming days, particularly over the holiday break. "In difficult times, we do all that we can to support our families, students and staff members in dealing with crises," said Thomas Moore, superintendent, West Hartford Schools. "Please keep this family, their friends, and all of our children in your thoughts and prayers." In times of tragedy like this one, a <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/doctor-gives-tips-on-dealing-with-tragedy-following-west-hartford/article_3770474e-0276-11e9-ba43-ef8b5d73f5de.html" target="_blank">local doctor recommended</a> that parents get involved as well. "It might be good to check in with your kids and say 'you know this happened, how are you? Are you ok?'" said Dr. Laura Sanders, psychologist at the Institute of Living, Hartford Hospital. "To do sort of a check in, but if your child really gives you an indication that they’re fine they don’t need to talk about it then I would sort of let that lie." On Tuesday, school officials sent a five-page letter to parents offering tips about supporting one another and how to help children cope with such a loss. Read the full letter <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/west-hartford-letter-to-parents/pdf_6cd5596e-0303-11e9-8f92-efe973b6d407.html" target="_blank">here</a>. The West Hartford superintendent said there will be town-wide counselors available for families, parents, and staff members from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the Town Hall. The Westminster Presbyterian Church released a statement about the death of the young girl. "Like many in the West Hartford community, we are deeply anguished over the recent tragedy that took place in our town yesterday. Our prayers are with the family affected, with the young people and parents in our community who are struggling to make sense of it all, and the emergency response workers, teachers and counselors who are working to find words of comfort and offer safe space for all of us. We know also that this event is not the only tragedy that has happened in our town in recent days and weeks. And so our prayers go out to all who are grieving and hurting during this time." The church will be holding a vigil on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. for the girl and the family. There will also be a Longest Night Service on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Cantor and other town leaders held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the services being offered for those grieving. "We're praying for the health of the injured and we are here to provide whatever support we can to anyone going through it, and especially those who are closest to the family," Cantor said. She also released a statement on Tuesday. Today we are mourning the loss of a beautiful young lady and praying for the recovery of her mother. Our special community of West Hartford is in pain.Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers. Let us give them the space, privacy, and time to grieve and heal.We will do all we can to provide support and help for the family, our students, teachers, neighbors, friends and the entire community.I have received many calls and texts asking how people can help. Thank you. Hug your loved ones and friends a little tighter. Be generous with your time and your heart. If you are moved to make a donation, please consider giving to organizations that have as their mission to help families in crisis including the Bridge Family Center, Town That Cares, as well as faith and community organizations.With a heavy heart, I wish our whole community peace and love. Police said the investigation is ongoing.
Santa Claus visits Channel 3With just a week before Christmas, Santa made time out of his busy schedule to visit Channel 3
Judge tells mother that people 'take better care of their pets than you took care of your kids'(CNN) -- As he handed down his sentence, a Texas judge scolded a young mother whose two daughters died after she intentionally left them in a car overnight. "People in our community take better care of their pets than you took care of your kids," Judge N. Keith Williams told Amanda Hawkins last week, according to the Hill Country Breaking News. More than a year after the death of her children, Williams on December 12 sentenced Hawkins, who turns 21 on Wednesday, to 40 years in prison, according to the Kerr County Clerk's Office. Hawkins pleaded guilty earlier this year to child abandonment and endangerment and injury to a child, according to CNN affiliate Spectrum News San Antonio. "Those precious little girls would still be here today if this had not happened," the judge said during the sentencing, Hill County Breaking News reported. In June 2017, Hawkins, then 19, left 1-year-old Brynn Hawkins and Addyson Overgard-Eddy, 2, in her car for more than 15 hours while she and a male friend hung out with friends inside a home, the Kerr County Sheriff's Office said. The children were left in the vehicle from the night of June 6 until noon the next day, according to the sheriff's office. "They were in the house all night. The male friend, for a little bit, went out, slept in the car a little while, but then went back in the house," Kerr County Sheriff W.R. Hierholzer told CNN affiliate KABB. People in the house reported hearing the children crying but nobody went to check, the sheriff told KABB. Hawkins found the children unconscious in the car after temperatures reached into the 90s, KABB reported. Hawkins tried to bathe the unconscious children before a friend prompted her to take them to Peterson Regional Medical Center in Kerrville, according to CNN affiliate KSAT. Hawkins didn't immediately take the children to the hospital because she "did not want to get into trouble," the sheriff's office said. When Hawkins and a 16-year-old male friend arrived at the hospital with the girls, they were found to be in "grave condition," the sheriff's office said. Authorities became suspicious after Hawkins told hospital personnel she and the 16-year-old friend and the children has been at a nearby lake, where the girls smelled flowers before collapsing, according to authorities. Her story quickly unraveled under questioning, authorities said. "This is by far the most horrific case of child endangerment that I have seen in the 37 years that I have been in law enforcement," the sheriff said in a news release.
Heavy rain Friday brings flooding concernsHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - After a cold and windy Tuesday, an alert is being issued for Friday for a storm that is expected to bring heavy rain. An Early Warning Weather Alert is being issued for Friday due to the high winds and heavy rain that is expected to hit the state. Rain will begin to develop Thursday night, but the temperatures will remain above freezing. Heavy rain will start on Friday and last throughout the day. Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest said the primary issue will be the rain, which could reduce visibility and bring between 1 to 3 inches of rain. Track the rain with the interactive radar <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/weather/radar/" target="_blank">here</a>. There is also a concern for poor drainage flooding in localized areas. The secondary issue is strong winds as well as a possibility for coastal flooding. “There is no chance for snow since the main storm center will track far to the west of New England. This is what meteorologists call and ‘inside runner,’” said DePrest. The alert will last through Friday. Rain will begin to taper off Friday night. “Rainfall totals are expected to range from 1-2”, but there could be even more in some locations. The heavy rain could result in localized poor drainage flooding,” DePrest said. Temperatures on Friday are forecasted to be in the low and middle 50s. “However, if the wind is more east or northeasterly, temperatures could stay in the 40s especially in northern and western portions of the state,” said DePrest. A few showers will linger on Saturday, but conditions will improve. Temperatures will be in highs between 45 and 50. Sunday will be mostly sunny and breezy. 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.
Police end search for missing elderly man in BurlingtonBURLINGTON, CT (WFSB) -- After looking for several hours, state police ended the search for a 79-year-old man who went missing in the Burlington area on Tuesday morning. Police said they were looking for Eugene Wilchusky, who walked away from his home on Wood Creek Road in Burlington. According to state police, Wichulsky was found dead around 6 p.m. State police said there is nothing suspicious about his death. Wilchusky is believed to have gone for a walk around 9:30 a.m. but never returned home. Police said he does have Alzheimer's. On Tuesday evening, the search ended however police did not release any further details of Wilchusky's condition. Stay with Channel 3 as more information becomes available.
Kevin Ollie files lawsuit against UConn for alleged discriminationSTORRS, CT (WFSB) – Former UConn head coach Kevin Ollie has filed a lawsuit against the university claiming discrimination. This lawsuit comes after Ollie was <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/investigation-into-kevin-ollie-reveals-some-players-participated-in-impermissible/article_619d4b68-526e-5948-a311-10d47db05cb2.html" target="_blank">fired for allegedly violating NCAA rules</a>. The termination began in March 2018. The lawsuit was filed on Monday claiming that UConn is attempting to stop Ollie from filing a racial complaint against the school. In the lawsuit, it cites that Ollie was treated much differently than other similarly situated Caucasian employees. It cites that former head coach Jim Calhoun was found to have engaged in conduct in violation of NCAA rules, but remains as the head coach. ”For instance, the previous Head Coach of Defendant’s Men’s Basketball Program, Jim Calhoun, was found to have engaged in conduct in violation of NCAA rules and regulations following in an investigation conducted by the NCAA and Defendant in 2011 and 2012 that was more severe than the conduct which Defendant has identified as the basis for its decision to terminate Plaintiff’s employment, but Defendant never terminated the employment of Jim Calhoun.” Ollie has appealed the firing. UConn spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz released a statement following the lawsuit, which reads, “As UConn has stated from the outset, the university terminated Kevin Ollie’s employment due to violations of NCAA rules, pursuant to his employment agreement. Any claim to the contrary is without merit.” Read the full lawsuit below.
Report outlines 9 childcare-based child deaths in two yearsHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A report released on Tuesday examined the deaths of nine children who were in unlicensed and licensed child care settings. The Office of the Child Advocate, along with the Office of Early Childhood, looked into the infant and toddler deaths that happened between Mar. 2016 and Nov. 2017. The investigation was sparked after the Office of the Child Advocate told legislators the nine deaths during a two-year period "appears to be a marked increase in childcare-based child fatalities." “Since joining OEC as commissioner in April, 2017 all of these tragic deaths have occurred in unlicensed, unlawful settings outside of the reach of the OEC," said David Wilkinson, Commissioner, OEC. "In each case it was an infant or toddler who died. We are taking action to prevent these tragedies." While there were no reports of deaths at licensed centers, six of the nine deaths were at unlicensed/illegal child care facilities, which are not subject to state inspections. The others were in licensed homes, but not traditional daycare centers. It detailed a number of concerns, including the ability of low-income families to access high-quality licensed child care. The report strongly recommended improving access to such care. "We have made expanding access to care for infants and toddlers our highest priority and our plan we are now launching, has been cited as a national model," Wilkinson said. "We have are also taking other steps, including our new Trusted Licensed Care campaign so parents know the importance using legal care to their child’s safety." The child advocate reported that sleep-related deaths were the leading cause of preventable deaths in 2017. "With this knowledge, OEC has launched a safe sleep education campaign that also includes a new state rules to increase sleep safety and the distribution safe-sleep sacks to providers," Wilkinson said. "We are proud to join the Office of the Child Advocate in this sorrowful and urgent call to action.” "Sleep related deaths are the number one cause of infant deaths in our state. You want to make sure there’s no pillows, no blankets, that the baby is on their back to sleep and not on their stomach," said Faith VosWinkel, of the Office of the Child Advocate. Read the complete report <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/fatality-review-investigative-report/pdf_9b1ebd34-02e9-11e9-bd43-131e932c63e7.html" target="_blank">here</a>. In a statement, CT Early Childhood Alliance Executive Director Merrill Gay said "These child deaths that took place while Care4Kids was closed are a horrible reminder of what happens when parents can't access quality care so they can work. It is essential there be enough funding to keep Care4Kids open and to increase the obscenely-low payment rates that effectively keep low-income infants and toddlers out of licensed child care centers. Rates have gone up once, by 3 percent, since 2001, and Care4Kids is currently paying $135 a week less than the federal government's recommended rate."
Frontier Airlines to fly out of Bradley AirportWINDSOR LOCKS, CT (WFSB) - Frontier Airlines will fly out of Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks. Gov. Dannel Malloy made the announcement on Tuesday during a news conference at the airport. “Bradley International Airport is a major economic driver for Connecticut and it continues to be a key player in our efforts to grow our economy, boost tourism, and improve our transportation system,” Malloy said. “Frontier Airlines is a welcomed addition to Bradley Airport. This announcement is proof of the airport’s growing strength, and it underscores the importance of continuing efforts to utilize Bradley as a magnet for economic activity.” Frontier said it is proud to bring its low fares to Hartford. “Frontier’s new service to Denver will make air travel more accessible and affordable for everyone in the greater Hartford area," said Josh Flyr, Frontier Airlines vice president of network and revenue. "We look forward to making it easier for people to fly, and for people to fly more often.” Frontier first launched a Denver to Bradley route in 2007, but pulled service the following year due to a sluggish economy from the recession. Spirit Airlines moved in last April. The no-frills airline flies to more than 60 destinations, with non-stops to several Florida locations. Aer Lingus is having a pretty good run. The carrier has been at Bradley for two years and has committed to another four. This time with no financial incentives. "Conde Nast names it one of the top five, in fact customers names it one of the top five in the country,” Malloy said on Tuesday. With more carriers and flights there are more choices at Bradley, which also has a number of new places to eat and shop. Many new jobs have been created along with $19 million in visitor spending. Flights from Bradley to Denver will begin on March 28, Malloy said. One will arrive from Denver at 7 a.m. at arrive at Bradley around 12:50 p.m. It will then depart Bradley at 1:40 p.m. to arrive at Denver International Airport at 4:07 p.m. More information about bookings and be found at <a href="http://www.flyfrontier.com" target="_blank">www.flyfrontier.com</a>.
Experts provide tips on dealing with tragedy following West Hartford stabbingWEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A lot of families are grieving following the deadly stabbing that happened Monday in West Hartford. Mental health professionals say the first step towards getting through this is often a conversation. Mental health experts warn the <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/boy-accused-of-killing-sister-injuring-mother-during-west-hartford/article_59a37ca2-0242-11e9-9d56-3f8769395836.html" target="_blank">tragedy in West Hartford</a> will have multiple levels of impact. “It has obviously a terrible impact on the individuals involved or the people directly related to the people involved. It also has an impact to people that live in the neighborhood the community that go to the same school system. So, it really has a ripple effect,” said Dr. Laura Saunders. Psychologist Laura Saunders says in the days ahead many parents in Connecticut will face difficult conversations with their children about what happened. Children will want answers, but Saunders urges parents to stick with facts. “This is reality sometimes bad things do happen we need to address the bad thing that happened and find a way to contain it and find a way to kind of move on from there,” said Saunders. Hours after the stabbing, West Hartford Superintendent Tom Moore recorded a voice mail for district families stressing that local schools will have grief counselors on hand in the days for anyone who needs help. “In difficult times, we do all that we can to support our families, students, and staff members in dealing with crises,” Moore said. On Tuesday morning, school officials sent a five-page letter to parents offering tips about supporting one another and how to help children cope with such a loss. Read the full letter <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/west-hartford-letter-to-parents/pdf_6cd5596e-0303-11e9-8f92-efe973b6d407.html" target="_blank">here</a>. Saunders appreciates Moore's message. She believes families should try not to dwell on why this happened but instead focus on how people can rely on each other to get through their grief. “We really need to lend support and look at situations and tragedies like this as an opportunity to share more kindness and caring. With the people around you,” said Saunders. Saunders says if you know this family, check in with your kids and ask how they are holding up, but don't push too hard if they don't want to talk about it. Give them space unless you notice major shifts in their personality over an extended period of time. The letter sent to parents suggests if anyone needs immediate assistance to call the school's counseling office or the 2-1-1 helpline.
Local organization creates safe house that accepts petsNEW LONDON, CT (WFSB) - A shelter for abused women on the shoreline is the first in the state to shelter family pets too. It’s a unique idea that’s already growing to homeless shelters. The thinking is if your pet is considered part of the family and that family is broken up either because of an abusive household, where does the pet dog or cat go? In New London, Safe Futures has the answer, where a woman named Jill and her housemate Jack were checking out their new home on Tuesday. It’s an undisclosed house in New London for women who’ve escaped an abusive relationship. Thanks to a $15,000 grant from RedRover, Red Rover and GreaterGood are making the shelter more comfortable and pet friendly for the pets of residents. “So, putting together a lovely cat bridge over here, also installing a dog run, putting up a chain link fence,” said Katie Campbell, Red Rover Organization. In a matter of days, Greater Good and Red Rover volunteers installed fencing outside as well as a dog house. They also installed another site near the Safe Futures main office, so when a family experiences domestic violence, the family pet doesn’t have to suffer too. “We want to remove every barrier for a victim to leave. We want every opportunity for the family stay intact and that’s children and pets in a safe place,” said Katherine Verano, Executive Director of Safe Futures. According to Safe Futures, 71 percent of survivors report a pet being threatened, abused, or killed as part of the abuse. Now the pet can be safe too. Soon, New London’s Homeless Hospitality Center will also be able to accommodate pets thanks to the Arizona based non-profit. The Greater Good Organization travels all over the country, creating pet friendly housing in domestic violence shelters in every state. “This is just a place for them to play get some fresh air and if residents need to go on a job interview or seek any other kind of service the pet can stay here for a short while in a heated dog house and be safe and secure,” said Bryan Donnelly, Rescue Rebuild. If you want to learn more about Safe Futures, click <a href="http://Safefuturesct.org" target="_blank">here</a>. To learn more about Greater Good, click <a href="http://Www.GreaterGood.org" target="_blank">here</a> and to learn more about Red Rover, click <a href="https://redrover.org/" target="_blank">here</a>.