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Topics - Connecticut

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Connecticut / Fire captain charged with embezzlement
« on: August 20, 2019, 11:26:06 PM »
Fire captain charged with embezzlement

BRIDGEPORT - The head of the city Fire Department’s minority organization has been charged with embezzling more than $15,000 from the organization.


Capt. Darrien L. Penix, 43, was charged with second-degree larceny. He was released after posting $50,000 bond.


“We are disappointed to hear of these allegations and will take any further appropriate actions if these charges are found to be true,” said Fire Chief Richard Thode. “While we await the outcome of an investigation being conducted by the Fire Department’s executive officer, Captain Darrien Penix has been placed on Administrative Leave with pay, per union contract.”


Penix is head of the Bridgeport Firebird Society.


According to Police Det. Frank Podpolucha, Penix embezzled $15,230 by using the society's credit card and checking account for his personal use.


After being notified that he was under investigation, Podpolucha said Penix paid back everything but $600.

Source: Fire captain charged with embezzlement

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Bridgeport cop pleads not guilty to sex assault, threatening

MILFORD — A suspended Bridgeport cop accused of sexually assaulting a woman and threatening to kill her if she told anyone pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday.

Steven Figueroa appeared briefly before Judge Peter Brown, where his lawyer, Christian Young, entered not guilty pleas on his behalf to charges of first-degree sexual assault, second-degree threatening, third-degree assault, risk of injury to a child, unlawful restraint and disorderly conduct.

The judge continued the case to Oct. 7. Figueroa has posted bonds totaling $225,000 on the charges.

Figueroa, who is currently suspended without pay, has been arrested six times. Mayor Joe Ganim has said that if the allegations are true, Figueroa should be fired.

According to an arrest warrant, the victim and Figueroa had been in an “on and off again relationship.”

The sexual assault allegedly took place after Figueroa texted the victim June 29 to tell her he found her phone at his apartment. The victim was able to receive the text message on her Apple watch.

She said she went to Figueroa’s apartment after he refused to bring the phone to her. She said he smelled of alcohol and they got into an argument.

While looking for her phone in the apartment, she said Figueroa, who was watching his 2-month-old child, pushed her and assaulted her.

The warrant said the victim and Figueroa got into a struggle and he allegedly “dragged her into his bedroom,” where the baby was, and wouldn’t let the woman leave.

“The victim stated at one point there was a knock on the door and Figueroa put his hands over her mouth and...

Source: Bridgeport cop pleads not guilty to sex assault, threatening

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Connecticut / Bridgeport man pulled from Fairfield’s Lake Mohegan dies
« on: August 20, 2019, 10:06:24 AM »
Bridgeport man pulled from Fairfield’s Lake Mohegan dies

FAIRFIELD — A Bridgeport man pulled by first responders from Lake Mohegan on Sunday night has died.

Police identified the victim as Geovanny Tapia-Zuniga, 33, of Bronx Avenue, who was swimming at the lake when, witnesses said, he went under and did not resurface, Tapia-Zuniga unresponsive after being found in the water and was pronounced dead at S. Vincents Medical Center in Bridgeport.

Fairfield Police said witnesses told them Geovanny Tapia-Zuniga was outside the lake’s designated swimming area — which is marked with a buoy and warning signs — when he submerged. Beyond the buoy, the lake’s depth drops quickly from 4 feet to about 20 feet.

“For those people who are not strong swimmers, it often creates a difficulty for them to get back in towards the beach,” Fairfield Police Captain Robert Kalamaras said.

According to Kalamaras, Tapia-Zuniga’s apparent drowning was the third such death Lake Mohegan in about eight years. A 39-year-old Shelton man drowned there in 2011, and a 10-year-old Bridgeport girl died in 2012.

Since 2013, the Fairfield Parks and Recreation Department has kept a watercraft parked the side of the lake to assist swimmers in distress. The lake is manned with lifeguards until 6 p.m., when the swimming area is closed. Sunday’s incident occurred after closing time.

“We’re encouraging people to only swim when there are lifeguards on duty, to only swim where they are authorized to swim,” Kalamaras said. “In addition to that, if you’re going to go swimming, swim with a buddy or take measures like personal flotation devices if...

Source: Bridgeport man pulled from Fairfield’s Lake Mohegan dies

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Connecticut / Heat, humidity will make it feel like 99 degrees
« on: August 20, 2019, 01:28:04 AM »
Heat, humidity will make it feel like 99 degrees

The National Weather Service says hot and humid conditions will push the heat index well into the 90s on Monday.

And, it says, showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop today into early this evening as a cold front moves in.

On Sunday, sections of Connecticut has thunderstorm and heavy rain that took down trees and caused scattered power outages.

Goshen had the most rain - .79 of an inch - according to the Community Collaborative, Rain, Hail and Snow Network. Other totals included .31 of an inch in Ridgefield and .15 of an inch in Southington.

High temperatures will be in the upper 80s to low 90s.

The NWS has issued a Heat Advisory until 8 p.m. because heat indexes will make it feel between 95 and 100 degrees.

On Sunday, high temperatures hit 88 degrees in Danbury and Tweed-New Haven and White Plains airports, 86 at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford.

Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks had a high of 92 degrees. It was its seventeenth day of temperatures of 90 and above.

“The air mass will be a little less hot and humid Tuesday, but highs are still expected to reach mid 80s to near 90 with heat indices into the lower 90s,” the NWS says. “Mainly dry conditions are anticipated, but there could be a shower or thunderstorm along a developing sea breeze with a greater chance of showers and thunderstorms heading into Tuesday night with the approach of a wave of low pressure. The showers and thunderstorms remain in the forecast for midweek along with an increase in humidity with highs in the mid 80s...

Source: Heat, humidity will make it feel like 99 degrees

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Connecticut / Police: Woman stabbed by daughter in Bridgeport
« on: August 19, 2019, 10:43:06 AM »
Police: Woman stabbed by daughter in Bridgeport

BRIDGEPORT — A woman was taken to the hospital Sunday afternoon after her daughter allegedly stabbed her.


According to the Bridgeport Police Department, a stabbing was reported at the PT Barnum complex around 3:30 p.m. Police said a woman was stabbed by her daughter, who was still at the scene. Medics were at the scene and were transporting the victim to the hospital. Her condition wasn’t immediately given.


The Bridgeport detective bureau is investigating, and was expected to provide an update later on Sunday

Source: Police: Woman stabbed by daughter in Bridgeport

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Connecticut / Swimmer pulled from the water in Fairfield
« on: August 19, 2019, 04:14:57 AM »
Swimmer pulled from the water in Fairfield

FAIRFIELD — Firefighters pulled a man from Lake Mohegan Sunday evening after receiving reports of a swimmer in distress.


According to a release from the Fairfield Fire Department, at 6:47 p.m. Sunday, the Fairfield Emergency Communications Center received numerous calls reporting a swimmer in distress in the swimming at Lake Mohegan.


Multiple fire and police units responded to the scene. Once there, first responders received reports of a man, about 34 years old, in the water and having difficulty getting back to shore. Many civilians and family members reportedly tried to assist the swimmer back to shore, but were unable to keep him above the water line.


Firefighters entered the water and tried to rescue the swimmer. Police divers arrived and entered the water as well.


At 7:20 p.m. divers found the swimmer below the water line and brought him up to the surface. He was unresponsive and advanced livesaving efforts were performed by American Medical Response. The man was transported to an area hospital for further treatment.


The release stated that a family member of the swimmer was overcome as the events unfolded and was also treated and transported to an area hospital for treatment.

Source: Swimmer pulled from the water in Fairfield

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Connecticut / CT Audubon launches Rare Bird Alert
« on: August 18, 2019, 10:24:39 PM »
CT Audubon launches Rare Bird Alert

Want to know every time a rare bird is spotted in the state? Who wouldn’t?


To appease this need, the Connecticut Audubon launched its Rare Bird Alert, a new free service that lets users know when a rarity is seen. When people sign up for the service, they will receive alerts via text message (the Audubon estimates there will be one or two a month on average). Interested bird lovers can also text BIRD ALERT to 52886 to sign up.


“Our members and supporters are out looking for birds year-round. Our staff experts are in almost constant touch with the best birders in the region,” read a news release from the Audubon. “When they find something, or get word of a great find, you'll hear about it.”


The service launched on Sunday and seemed to be an early success. According to the Connecticut Audubon Twitter page, more than 180 people in its first hour.

Source: CT Audubon launches Rare Bird Alert

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Connecticut / Ganim pushes transfer to restore school busing cuts
« on: August 18, 2019, 05:50:05 PM »
Ganim pushes transfer to restore school busing cuts

BRIDGEPORT — Mayor Joseph Ganim took to social media on Friday afternoon with a video showing him signing a requested budget transfer to restore school buses cut because of the school district’s ongoing financial problems.

“This will be going to the city council,” Ganim said in the video. “Hopefully the board of education itself will ... reverse what they have done by cutting the funding from bus routes.”

The request will be forwarded to the city clerk on Monday, his office said.

Earlier this week, Ganim and Acting Schools Superintendent Michael Testani announced a deal to give the school district an additional $1.2 million.

Ganim called it a new partnership with the school system. It comes as he faces a primary battle in his bid for re-election and after parents started receiving letters telling them their children were no longer eligible for school bus transportation.

A city council committee, meeting on Wednesday, expressed a willingness to help, as long as the school board voted to reverse a decision to extend walking distances to 1.5 mile for elementary and middle schools and 2.25 miles for high school students.

The change would impact an estimate 1,200 students, Testani said this week. School starts on Aug. 29.

As part of the deal, We Transport, the bus company, has agreed to reduce its bill to the district by $200,000, according to city officials.

The school board will meet in special session on Monday to consider reversing its new transportation policy and a “balanced” 2019-20 budget.

As of June, the gap between expenses and income stood at $5.5 million.

On Wednesday, Testani told members of the city council there was no longer a...

Source: Ganim pushes transfer to restore school busing cuts

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75-year-old in critical condition after Bridgeport stabbing

BRIDGEPORT — A 75-year-old man is in critical condition Friday after an early morning stabbing on William Street, according to police.


It was about 5:30 a.m. when Bridgeport police were dispatched to a call of a person stabbed in the 500 block of William Street. Officers arrived at the address to find a 75-year-old man, who lived at the residence, covered in blood, according to Lt. Christopher LaMaine.


Medics transported him to Bridgeport Hospital, where he is listed in critical condition. Police found a crime scene at Noble Avenue and Stillman Street, LaMaine said. Detectives continue to investigate.


Anyone with information is asked to call 203-576-8477.

Source: 75-year-old in critical condition after Bridgeport stabbing

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Milford PD: ‘Minor’ crash involving Stratford police cruiser, motorcycle

MILFORD — Injuries were minimal in a crash involving a motorcycle and a Stratford police cruiser in Milford on Friday morning, according to police.


The “minor accident” happened on Bridgeport Avenue and Rivercliff Drive, Milford police said. The area is just over the Washington Bridge on the Devon side.


Despite initial witness reports indicated that the motorcycle rider was seriously injured, Milford police said “injuries were very minimal.”


Milford police said the Stratford police had driven into Milford while following a vehicle and were in the process of turning around on Rivercliff Drive when the crash happened.

Source: Milford PD: ‘Minor’ crash involving Stratford police cruiser, motorcycle

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Asian longhorned beetle poses potential ‘economic disaster’ for CT

Experts in Connecticut are warning residents to be on the lookout for the Asian longhorned beetle and report any potential sightings of the insect, which could be devastating to trees and to the state’s economy.

The ALB is one of several pests that could affect Connecticut trees in the coming years, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. To protect the state’s trees, DEEP said, residents have be careful and watchful since spotting potentially harmful insects early can help limit the damage.

If the Asian longhorned beetle, which is an insect of federal regulatory concern, is found in Connecticut a process is put in place to contain it so it doesn’t spread from the site of infestation, as well as to eradicate it within the affected area. That process can take years.

ALB joins a list of non-native insects that pose a threat to trees in Connecticut. Other insects on the list are the gypsy moth, the Japanese beetle, the hemlock woolly adelgid and the European elm bark beetle.

The ALB is a large, shiny, mostly black insect. It tends to spread slowly and prefers the tops of trees — at least initially. Despite its size, it can be difficult to spot.

Similarly, the damage the ALB does to trees is not very noticeable at first.

“There is no one...

Source: Asian longhorned beetle poses potential ‘economic disaster’ for CT

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Connecticut / Bridgeport stab victim ‘expected to live’
« on: August 17, 2019, 04:16:25 PM »
Bridgeport stab victim ‘expected to live’

BRIDGEPORT — A man stabbed in the city Friday night is expected to survive, according to officials.


Police spokesman Terron Jones said a stab wound victim arrived at a city hospital shortly after 8 p.m. The victim said the stabbing happened near Hart and Lindley streets, though Jones said the victim “would not share the exact location.”


Jones identified the victim as a 38-year-old man. He said the man is expected to survive.


This is the second stabbing in the city in less than 24 hours.


Around 5:30 a.m. Friday, a 75-year-old man was stabbed near the intersection of Noble Avenue and Stillman Street, police Lt. Christopher LaMaine said. The man was listed in critical condition.


Both investigations remain active. Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call 203-576-8477.

Source: Bridgeport stab victim ‘expected to live’

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Connecticut / Harding to host all-class reunion
« on: August 17, 2019, 10:16:39 AM »
Harding to host all-class reunion

HARDING — It matters not when you graduated from Warren Harding High School.


If you did, you are invited to the Harding High School's Great Alumni Reunion of 2019.


The three day event is scheduled from Friday, September 13 through Sunday, Sept 19.


In addition to alumni that stretch back to the 1940’s, the event is meant to honor former teachers, staff and students who have impacted the community in a positive way.


Alexis R Young, a member of the committee said there will be a tour of the new Harding High School on Bond Street, a banquet at Vazzano's on Kenyon Rd in Stratford, a cookout at Seaside Park near the arches and a Sunday morning worship service at East End Baptist Church on Central Avenue.


The cost for the weekend is $110, but events can purchased separately. The fee also includes a souvenir bag (t-shirt, lunch bag and pocket flashlight).


Other committee members include Katrina Mebane-Stoogenke, Patricia Ann Howard, Gloria Reese, John Bagley, Melida McKenzie-Alford, and Geraldine Harper.


For more information, contact Young at or Katrina Membane-Stoogenke, the chair at (203) 692-5261.

Source: Harding to host all-class reunion

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Connecticut / Trumbull police chief gives back-to-school safety tips
« on: August 17, 2019, 04:35:49 AM »
Trumbull police chief gives back-to-school safety tips

TRUMBULL — As town children and their families prepare for school to start back up in Trumbull, the town’s police chief issued a letter Thursday, refreshing residents on some back-to-school safety tips.

“Now that schools are about to open in Trumbull I would like to remind drivers of some tips for safety since more cars and now buses will be on the roads,” said Police Chief Michael Lombardo. “Not only do we expect additional traffic, we will also see an increase in pedestrians on the roads, as students wait for buses and walk to and from school.”

The chief said drivers have to remember there might be frequent bus stops along the bus routes with students boarding and getting off, sometimes crossing the road.

“You must stop for a school bus that is stopped with red lights flashing and a stop sign extended,” Lombardo said.

Those who don’t obey the law will pay a $470 fine, the chief said, adding that it applies to drivers regardless of their direction of travel.

“If you are approaching a bus with such signals you need to stop,” he said.

“I also ask motorists to refrain from being distracted by their phone or other means and that they understand the risks they put others in when they are distracted,” Lombardo said.

He said pedestrian should also be aware of their surroundings when walking or crossing the street. Before crossing, pedestrians should always be sure traffic is stopped and that drivers are aware of their presence.

The chief also reminded parents to talk to their children about their safety, including explaining the dangers of being on the roadway.

He urged parents to remind their children to stay far away from the road as they wait for the...

Source: Trumbull police chief gives back-to-school safety tips

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Connecticut / Crash causes delays on I-95 North
« on: August 16, 2019, 10:09:47 PM »
Crash causes delays on I-95 North

BRIDGEPORT - A crash involving a semi-truck is causing delays on I-95 North Thursday morning.


The crash happened near Exit 27a around 9 a.m. Thursday. There are no injuries or reports of entrapment, according to initial reports.


Two lanes are closed as a result of the crash, and traffic is backed up just over the Fairfield line as of 9:15 a.m.

Source: Crash causes delays on I-95 North

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