Column: Slaying of Yale student Suzanne Jovin still bringing in tips
By Randall Beach
Who killed Suzanne Jovin?
Will we ever find out?
Ever since Jovin was stabbed to death and found lying on East Rock Road in my
neighborhood 16 years ago, I have written dozens of stories about this case and thought about
it almost every day.
It haunts a lot of people besides, first and foremost, her family. Police
investigators, citizen activists and others are still looking into the unsolved
slaying of this 21-year-old Yale student.
During the 16 years I’ve been writing about this crime for the New Haven
Register, many people have called me with tips about it. Some are worth looking
into; some are completely off the wall. But I have always passed on all
information to the police or cold case investigators, and I continue to do so.
Investigators in ’98 slaying of Yale student Suzanne Jovin appeal for public’s help
By Randall Beach
NEW HAVEN >> On the 16th anniversary of the night Suzanne Jovin was
murdered, cold case investigators Thursday appealed to the public for help in
putting together “a jigsaw puzzle” with a “mystery gap” of 20-30 minutes.
The unusual forum drew about 50 residents, many of them from the East Rock
neighborhood where Jovin was found mortally wounded. They walked into the Wilbur
Cross High School auditorium and stared up at a giant photo of a young woman
with a radiant smile.
Family of Branford DUI crash victim upset with plea agreement
By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
NEW HAVEN >> The family of a Branford woman who was killed in a car
crash objected Monday to the driver’s recent plea bargain agreement, as they
said no one notified them beforehand.
Vincent Mauro, 32, of Branford, appeared in Superior Court in New Haven on
Monday in a hearing before Judge Maureen Keegan.
Mauro crashed a Mercedes Aug. 18, 2013 in Branford while driving under the
influence of alcohol, killing his wife and passenger, Megan McAuliffe, 29. Mauro
went off the road and struck a tree on Brushy Plain Road in Branford.
Mauro recently entered a no contest plea to second-degree manslaughter with a
Read the full story here.
Read about Mauro's plea and civil litigation in the case here.
DEC. 9 UPDATE: Plea deal in Branford fatal DUI crash thrown out.
With the holiday shopping season in gear, a public interest advocacy group is
warning consumers about potentially hazardous toys.
The Connecticut Public Interest Research Group discussed its 29th annual
Trouble in Toyland report at a press conference Monday at the Connecticut
Children’s Medical Center in Hartford.
A sheriff’s badge playset had high levels of lead, while a Jake and the
Neverland Pirates Tambourine had high levels of chromium, according to the
report. The organization found high levels of phthalates in items such as a
Hello Kitty bracelet and hair clip set, a rubber duck and Dora the Explorer
backpack, the report shows.
Plight of Branford resident inspires push for nationwide newborn screening
By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
A Branford family that successfully campaigned to require newborn screening for a rare but potentially fatal
disease in Connecticut is hoping to repeat its success on the national
Brian Kelley, 26, of Branford has adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD, which caused him to lose his
sight, speech and ability to move around when he was 7 years old.
Last year, Connecticut lawmakers passed legislation requiring health care
institutions to screen newborns in their care for the disease, and the state is
in the process of implementing the program.
In a letter dated Nov. 26, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., wrote to
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, asking
for ALD to be added to the department’s list of recommended newborn
Police re-examine Yale student Suzanne Jovin’s murder; New Haven forum set for Dec. 4
By Register Staff
NEW HAVEN >> Nearly 16 years after she was viciously stabbed to death
and found crumpled near the corner of Edgehill and East Rock roads, the memory
of Suzanne Jovin’s death is still fresh in the minds of New Haven police and
investigators, and they are hoping some miniscule detail or memory from that
night is still fresh in the minds of prospective witnesses.
The Jovin Investigation Team will meet with members of the public on Dec. 4
at 6 p.m. at Wilbur Cross High School to release more details in its
investigation and is asking the public to come out and discuss, re-examine, or
provide information that may help lead to the arrest of the person who stabbed
Jovin 17 times. It will be the 16th anniversary of the brutal murder that sent
shock waves through New Haven and captured headlines around the nation.
Connecticut U.S. senators continue call for better mental health services
By Mary O'Leary
NEW HAVEN >> The failure to coordinate care for Adam Lanza and provide intervention early in his life are viewed as important lessons that should help drive future federal mental
health policies and resource decisions.
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., in his latest roundtable discussion with
experts on behavior health funding, used the report prepared by the Office of the Child Advocate to drive
the discussion on Monday.
Almost two years ago, Lanza, whose serious mental health issues were not
dealt with over his lifetime, combined with an easy access to firearms, killed
20 first-graders, six educators and his mother before he committed suicide at
Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Report: Yale’s recommendations for support of Newtown shooter largely unheeded
By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
The gunman in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings showed an early
preoccupation with violence, became increasingly isolated, and had been
diagnosed with autism, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder — but he
received minimal treatment, according to a report released Friday.
On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother, then shot his way into
the school, where he killed 20 children and six adults. Lanza killed himself
when police arrived.
Hundreds of kids harmed by detergent ‘pods’ mistaken for toys, candy
By Lindsey Tanner
AP Medical Writer
Accidental poisonings from squishy laundry detergent packets sometimes
mistaken for toys or candy landed more than 700 U.S. children in the hospital in
just two years, researchers report. Coma and seizures were among the most
The cases stem from the more than 17,000 poison center calls about the
products received in the past two years. The calls involved children younger
than 6 and most weren’t seriously harmed. But one child died last year and the
potential risks highlight a need for even safer packaging, the researchers said.
Seymour teen who touched the lives of many dies at 17 of cancer
By Keldy Ortiz
SEYMOUR >> Nina Poeta, a Seymour High School senior who touched the lives of many in the community as she battled cancer, has died,
according to her school.
She was 17.
Rich Kearns, director of security for Seymour Public Schools, said Poeta
passed during the overnight hours Saturday. Kearns said grief counseling will be
made available at the high school both Sunday and Monday.
“Our Valley Community has all joined together as one community over the past
year to offer support and comfort as Seymour High School student Nina Poeta
fought “strong” through her battle with cancer,” Kearns said in a release.
Survivors of Homicide plans holiday event/fundraiser
It’s time to start thinking about holiday decorations. Spruce up your home with a fresh evergreen bough, while supporting Survivors of Homicide, Inc. They also make a great gift for family, friends, and neighbors. Each bough is made with a red velvet bow. The boughs are hand-made and unique. The price is $15 cash or check. Checks can be made out to Survivors of Homicide, c/o Art Jensen, 4 Windwood Drive, Windsor Locks, CT 06096. Payment can also be made through PayPal through the organization's web site. To order visit http://www.survivorsofhomicide.com/Website/Events.htm The organization will be making the boughs on November 22 at 12 p.m. at its Wethersfield office. If anyone would like to help please contact Art. This is always a fun event. The group's headquarters is located at: Survivors of Homicide, Inc., 530 Silas Deane Highway, Suite 380 Wethersfield, CT 06109
For more information, call the group at 860-257-7388
Seymour teen battling brain tumor receives handicapped-accessible van
By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
SEYMOUR >> The young woman battling a brain tumor, Nina Poeta, received
a brand new handicapped-accessible van Wednesday, courtesy of Harte Family
The custom MV-1 edition van, emblazoned with pink decals boasting “Keep Calm
& Nina Strong” and a “No One Fights Alone” across the bumper, was donated by
the car dealership for use by the Poeta family for as long as they need it.
Shooting violence decried at New Haven vigil celebrating life of Erika Robinson
By Shahid Abdul-Karim
NEW HAVEN >> A candlelight vigil in honor of Erika Robinson was
held in front of the former Key Club Cabaret Sunday, marking the
one-year anniversary of her shooting death.
More than 100 friends, family members, community activists, law
enforcement officials and political leaders gathered to pay homage to
the life of the 26-year-old.
Robinson, of West Haven, was shot and killed Oct. 26 inside the club.
Connecticut releases third deck of cold case playing cards for inmates
ROCKY HILL >> A third deck of cold case playing cards is now available
to inmates in the Connecticut correctional system.
State authorities have received more than 470 tips from inmates since the first deck was sold in 2010, the Division of Criminal Justice said Tuesday.
Nine arrests have been made in homicide cases featured on the cards, according
to the release.
The deck of 52 cards features photos of victims and information about
unsolved homicides and missing person cases. The cards list telephone, email and
snail mail contacts inmates can use to supply information about the cases.
HARTFORD - The Victims’ Rights Enforcement Advisory Commission, established by Governor Dannel Malloy, has released a survey soliciting input from victims of crime in Connecticut.
“As part of our charge, VREAC is evaluating the current state of crime victims’ rights and services in Connecticut, and we believe it is of the utmost importance to hear from those with firsthand experience”, said Hakima Bey-Coon, acting chair of the commission.
The Commission asks that all surveys be returned to the Office of the Victim Advocate no later than November 28, 2014.
Copies of the survey can be found in both English and Spanish on the OVA’s website: http://www.ct.gov/ova
BRANFORD >> Federal prosecutors in the arson murder case of a
local mother slain nearly a decade ago have proposed a court schedule,
with a potential jury trial date set for June 2015.
A telephone conference between prosecutors, attorneys
representing John Vailette and Steven Martone, and U.S. District Court
Judge Robert N. Chatigny is scheduled for Oct. 2. Vailette and Martone were in March, more than eight years after allegedly setting the fire that killed Short Beach resident Kathy Hardy.
As Connecticut’s population ages, a disturbing statistic is emerging in the
state: Abuse of the elderly is on the rise and nationwide, millions of seniors
are at risk every year.
Many seniors are not reporting the abuse because the vast majority of abusers
are family members, most often adult children, spouses, partners and others,
according to to the National Center on Elder Abuse.
Connecticut’s population is the seventh oldest in the nation, with 14 percent
of state residents over 65, and 27 percent turning 65 during the next 15 years.
And as Connecticut goes gray, an increase in the rate of abuse and neglect of
elderly and disabled state residents is following, social services and health
care professionals say.
NAUGATUCK - An annual vigil devoted to all state
missing person cases will take place at 6 p.m. on Aug. 24 on the Green, on Church Street in Naugatuck.
The day marks both the 10-year anniversary of the disappearance of Waterbury man William Smolinski Jr. and Missing
Persons Day in Connecticut.
Families with missing loved ones may set up tables with information. There
will also be a butterfly release.
By Luther Turmelle
NEW HAVEN >> For a few hours Tuesday might, a block-and-a-half of
Orchard Street took on a festive atmosphere as residents held a celebration they
said was a going away party for crime.
Neighbors danced in the street to the music of a disc jockey or enjoyed the
cool evening breeze as Orchard Street Block Watch celebrated National Night Out.
The national promotion to help prevent crime through community awareness began
in 1984, but members of the Orchard Street Block Watch have been celebrating it
since 2006, said Lenore Moore-Turner, one of the organizers of the event.
“You need to talk to your neighbor, because you never know, one day you’re
going to need them,” Moore-Turner told those who had gathered for the
Family of slain Shelton teen Kristjan Ndoj still without answers in shooting
By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
and Patricia Villers
SHELTON >> Franga Ndoj, whose grandson Kristjan was fatally shot in
March, took a framed color photograph of him down from a shelf in the home they
shared and kissed it, with tears in her eyes.
“I’m not doing well; the past few months have been hard,” she said. “I think
they know who did it, but they aren’t saying anything. It would be better if
they knew what actually happened.”
She remembered how Kristjan would leave for school and give her hugs and
kisses, then do it again when he returned.
“He was my life,” she said, speaking in Albanian.
After almost four months with no arrest in the fatal shooting of the popular
Shelton High School sophomore, his grieving loved ones are frustrated and hoping
anyone with information will come forward and tell police.
25 years after Torrington crash, family reflects on death caused by drunk driver and new, tougher laws
By Isaac Avilucea
TORRINGTON >> Twenty-five years later, pain has given way to
forgiveness, but sisters Susan Suhanovsky and Honoria Williams still haven’t
forgotten the day their father, Herman Marine, died in a horrific two-car
accident in Torrington.
About 5 feet 11 inches tall with salt-and-pepper hair, an imposing beard and
“smiling eyes,” Marine was set to retire from the Burrville Fire Department July
1 and had purchased a home with his wife, Margaret, in Venice, Florida, in the
same retirement community as the couple’s friends, when he was killed by a drunk
driver on June 21, 1989.
Last week marked 25 years to the day. Family gathered at Herman’s grave at
St. Peter’s Cemetery, as a pastor said words in remembrance.
New Haven man who saw mom slain as child works to turn life around
By Shahid Abdul-Karim
NEW HAVEN >> Larry Davis watched as his mother, Nakia Arrington, was
strangled to death.
He was 4 at the time.
Moments later, Davis witnessed his mother’s killer, Kevin Jackson, hang
himself from a beam in their home’s garage.
Eighteen years later, Davis, 22, is still haunted by the traumatic scene,
which he describes as setting him on “a rocky road to normalcy.”
That road thus far has been paved with pitfalls of addiction and stained by
But with help from city support services, Davis has acquired a resilient
Human trafficking conference examines resources, process
By Rachel Chinapen
NEW HAVEN >> A health care provider may easily identify a patient as a
victim of human trafficking but may not know how to intervene when the
trafficker is pacing around the waiting room right outside, said Barbara
“You can do the resources in the community ... you can do all of that ... but
what do we do at the moment we know it’s happened to her or him?” asked
Moynihan, co-founder of anti-trafficking group The Starfish Project.
Friends, family of victims come together for New Haven prayer vigil
People who lost loved ones to violence in the city came together to pray
and support one another at a prayer vigil at Beulah Heights First
Pentecostal Church Thursday night./
Rich Scinto — New Haven Register
By Rich Scinto
NEW HAVEN >> Dozens of people affected by violence came
together for a prayer vigil at Beulah Heights First Pentecostal Church
Bishop Theodore L. Brooks Sr., who himself lost a nephew to
violence in the Newhallville neighborhood years ago, led many of the
The focus of the event in the Dixwell neighborhood Thursday was
for those who had lost loved ones to come together in prayer for healing
and comfort. Images of several homicide victims were flashed from a
projector at the beginning of the vigil.
DCF social worker: Demand driving supply in human trafficking
By Rachel Chinapen
HARTFORD >> The first time Audrey Morrissey was picked up by a “John,”
she got in the car to find a white male flashing his police badge in her face.
Morrissey, then 16, wasn’t arrested. Instead, the officer requested a sexual
favor in exchange for her freedom.
The next 14 years of Morrissey’s life were spent in and out of the “combat
zone” of Boston, Mass., as she worked for different pimps and strip clubs, gave
birth to her three children and battled her addiction to heroin.
About 200 social workers, law enforcement workers, hospital administrators
and others listened to Morrissey, 51, describe how she became a survivor of
domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) at the state’s first full-day forum on the
CT State Police to step up DUI patrols for Superbowl Sunday
From CT State Police press release:
This Sunday, Feb. 2, friends and families will gather to watch the big game and to enjoy festivities surrounding the Super Bowl.
The parties and gatherings can make Super Bowl Sunday one of the year’s most dangerous days on the roads and highways of our state due to impaired, driving-related accidents.
The Connecticut State Police offer some life-saving suggestions to keep everyone safe:
* Act responsibly by designating a sober, non-drinking driver before the game even starts. The game tends to be an all-day event—remember friends never let friends drive drunk! Be prepared to call a cab for a friend or find a sober driver for that friend. Connecticut State Police Colonel Danny R. Stebbins noted, “The designation of a sober driver is the best way to avoid a tragedy or injury caused by a drunk driver. Remember: jail time, fines, loss of license, and other penalties can ruin a day meant for being with friends and celebrating.” Troopers will be attentive to all roads and highways across the state for the possibility of drunk drivers during and after the big game. Troopers will aggressively enforce all motor vehicle laws. During Super Bowl Sunday 2013, Troopers arrested drivers for DUI and issued numerous tickets for speeding and for tickets for unsafe lane changes and distracted driving.
Shelley Merrill of Norwich poses next to an X-ray of her neck, showing some of
the injuries she suffered after a drunk driver crashed into the vehicle in which
she was a passenger in 2007.
By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
Shelley Merrill said she had a near-death experience after a drunken driver
crashed into her, but she survived with a new purpose — to share her ordeal to
try to keep people from driving under the influence.
Merrill, of Norwich, is known professionally as “Shelly Martinez” a co-host
on a WCTY radio morning show based in her hometown.
Merrill was a passenger in a truck on May 11, 2007, on Route 2 near the
Preston and Norwich town lines, when a drunken driver who was trying to pass
them clipped the left side of their vehicle. The impact sent their truck out of
control, and it rolled over about five times.
“I remember being tossed, and I was in and out of consciousness,” Merrill
said. “It happened so quickly. I felt bones break and my neck snap. I thought I
was going to die.”
Repeat DUI offender leaves Trumbull man in daily pain
Vincent Ramaglia at his home in Trumbull by a photograph of the crumpled
remains of a 1992 Honda Civic he was driving on June 1, 2011, when a
drunken driver hit him.
Arnold Gold — New Haven Register
By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
TRUMBULL >> Vincent Ramaglia was a typical teenager, just going
out with friends for ice cream, when a drunken driver crashed into him,
inflicting injuries that cause him pain even today.
Ramaglia, now 21 and a senior at Sacred Heart University in
Fairfield, was 18 at the time of the June 1, 2011, crash in Trumbull.
Ramaglia had just enjoyed dinner with friends. On the way to a
Trumbull ice cream shop, Ramaglia pulled over and parked to talk with
one of his friends.
Seconds later, he heard a noise, turned and saw a car speeding
over a median toward the woods. The car crashed into another vehicle,
then ricocheted toward Ramaglia’s car, where he sat in the driver’s
Body of New Haven airman missing in Vietnam since 1968 to be laid to rest at Arlington
Contributed photograph/ U.S. Air Force Col. Francis J. McGouldrick Jr. grew up in New Haven. The U.S. government recently identified his remains from a crash site in Laos, 45 years after he went missing during the Vietnam War.
By Jim Shelton
NEW HAVEN >> When U.S. Air Force Col. Francis J. McGouldrick Jr. is buried in Arlington National Cemetery Friday, 45 years to the day after his plane went down over Laos, family from Greater New Haven and around the country will be there to honor his memory.
“He was my Uncle Jay,” said Debbie Shanley of Milford, who will attend the burial with her husband and four children. “He was extremely outgoing and happy, always in command and great at sports. He was very dedicated to his country and to his family.”
MADD launches Connecticut red ribbon campaign for drunken driving awareness
Colleen Sheehey’s son, Dustin Church, was killed by a drunk driver in 2004. A portrait of Dustin lays at the foot of the podium. Catherine Avalone - The Middletown Press
By Kaitlyn Schroyer
MIDDLETOWN >> For Skip Church and Colleen Sheehey, the holiday season serves as a reminder of the hole in their hearts. Their son, Dustin Church, died in a drunken driving crash in 2004.
“I had no chance to say goodbye,” Sheehey said. “I couldn’t be there and hold his hand and that is something I’ll regret the rest of my life.”
When Dustin and his friends planned a night out that July evening, they didn’t designate a sober driver, the parents said. The group of friends ended up in a car with a drunk driver behind the wheel. They were going 75 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone when the driver lost control of the car, the vehicle flipped over, ricocheted off signs and trees, and plunged into the Housatonic River.
With Yale student’s slaying still unsolved, cold case investigators reach out to public
By Randall Beach Register Staff New Haven >> Fifteen years after Suzanne Jovin was stabbed to death on East Rock Road, state cold case investigators still are trying to figure out how she got there, who killed her and the timetable of those events. Jovin, a 21-year-old Yale University student, was found lying on the sidewalk, near the intersection of Edgehill Road, the night of Dec. 4, 1998. She had been stabbed 17 times. “It’s a jigsaw puzzle in very small pieces,” said Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane as he sat in his Rocky Hill office last week.
Toys considered dangerous, according to U.S. PIRG’s 28th annual
Trouble in Toyland report, are displayed during a news conference in Washington
Tuesday. / Manuel Balce Ceneta — The Associated
By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
With the holiday shopping season here, parents need to know there are still
seemingly benign, but hazardous toys for sale on store shelves, according to the
Connecticut Public Interest Research Group.
ConnPIRG unveiled the 28th annual Trouble in Toyland report Tuesday at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in
“We need to protect our littlest consumers from unsafe toys,” said Sean
Doyle, an associate with ConnPIRG. “When our researchers went out, they found
dangerous toys at retailers from dollar stores to national chains.”
The nonprofit organization sent toys for laboratory testing, according to
Doyle. Testing was done for chemicals such as lead, cadmium and phthalates,
which can negatively impact child development.
Newtown parents trying to make the dialogue more civil
By Ed Stannard
NEW HAVEN >> Several of the families of the Dec. 14, 2012, Sandy Hook
victims and others from Newtown are ready to take a stand against the
bittnerness and partisanship that has stained the gun-control debate in the last
It’s time, they say, to come together and talk, from every point of view, and
find a sensible way through to ending gun violence.
Members of Sandy Hook Promise met with the New Haven Register’s editorial board Friday to talk about their new
initiative, Parent Together.
While they are not opposed to people owning guns and they respect the Second
Amendment, Promise members would like the conversation to shift, almost
radically, to one of understanding and genuine communication.
Daniel Bagley, who owns the Village Marina in Milford, said his business sustained significant damage during Superstorm Sandy, with several docks broken and ruined.
This was on top of damage from Tropical Storm Irene. Bagley estimates the damages at about $200,000. He originally had 87 docks, but is now down to 60.
“I lost 27 docks, which means lost revenue,” Bagley said.
Bagley put in an insurance claim, but he said this covered a small percentage of the damage.
“At the end of the day, you don’t get paid for what you thought would be covered,” he said.
15th Annual Daniel B. Ormsby Memorial Blood Drive this weekend
MERIDEN - The Ormsby family of Meriden invites the community to participate in the 15th annual Daniel B. Ormsby Memorial Blood Drive this Sunday at Francis T. Maloney High School, 121 Gravel Street, Meriden, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in memory of their a loving son, grandson, and brother, Daniel.
At the age of five, Daniel required blood following open heart surgery. Thanks to the generosity of volunteer donors, blood was available to help ensure Daniel survived his ordeal. Tragedy struck the Ormsby family again in October 1990 when Daniel was killed following a shooting during an armed robbery at the pizza parlor where he worked. During emergency surgery, Daniel received blood transfusions to help sustain his life as doctors tried to save him.
“Dan’s family remains passionate and committed to helping save lives in Dan’s memory,” said Margie Butkiewicz, Dan’s sister. “We hope to collect at least 125 units of blood this year and ask the community to please roll up their sleeves to help ensure blood is available for patients and their families when needed.”
Since the first memorial blood drive in 1999, the Daniel B. Ormsby Memorial Blood Drive has helped collect over 1420 pints of blood to help accident victims, trauma patients, transplant recipients, and those receiving treatment for life-threatening illnesses.
Since one unit of blood can help up to three patients, up to 4,260 patients may have been helped in honor of Daniel.
“We appreciate the extraordinary dedication of the Ormsby family to help Connecticut patients and are grateful for the tremendous generosity of those who remember Daniel by donating blood,” said Michelle Kelch, Interim Chief Executive Officer for the American Red Cross Connecticut Blood Services Region. “This year, the Red Cross as added additional blood drive staff to help the Ormsby family achieve their goal.”Individuals who are 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds of more depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to give blood.
Please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment to donate.
Benefit to honor memory of woman killed by drunk driver
NEW HAVEN - It has been two decades since a drunk driver killed Julia Coppola, and this week, Mothers Against Drunk Driving will be honoring her memory. Coppola’s daughter, Michelle Lettieri, is the director of victim services for MADD Connecticut, which is based in East Haven. To mark the 20th anniversary of the fatal crash, the public is invited to a fundraiser and dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. at Anthony’s Ocean View, 450 Lighthouse Road, New Haven. “It is a way to keep her memory alive and remind people of the devastation caused by drunk driving,” Lettieri said. The state dedicated Townsend Avenue the “Julia (Nana) Coppola Memorial Highway,” years ago in Coppola’s memory. “We have had memorial dinners before, but not since the naming of the road, which was about five years ago,” Lettieri said. “My mom was caring, loving, a friend to all, a mother to all, and an all-around special person.” Money raised will go toward victim services, youth education and public awareness, according to Lettieri. The crash happened on Oct. 20, 1993 on Townsend Avenue in New Haven. Coppola, 75, was the front seat passenger in a car driven by Lettieri. A 17-year-old girl, Danielle McMorrow, was driving under the influence and crashed head-on into their vehicle. Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased by calling MADD at 203-764-2566 in advance of the event.
Branford 5K walk to honor crash victims, raise money for MADD
By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
BRANFORD >> This weekend’s 5K walk to benefit Mothers Against Drunk Driving will be in honor of a Shelton mother and daughter who were killed by a drunken driver 12 years ago.
The “Walk like MADD” event on Saturday starts outside Branford Town Hall, 1019 Main St., with registration at 8:30 a.m.It is dedicated to the memory of Kathy Wills, 48, and her daughter, Brittany, 14, who died after their vehicle was struck by a truck on Route 110 in Shelton Dec. 13, 2001. Read more here.
Rwandan Genocide Survivor and LGBT Advocate Holding Guilford Fundraiser
By Douglas P. Clement
Among Daniel U. Ndamwizeye's memories is one from a dozen years ago. Then, the West
Haven resident was 11 and getting on a plane to leave his native Rwanda for
Zambia, the first leg of a journey from pain to salvation, from tragedy to
opportunity and freedom.
That freedom means the Southern Connecticut State University graduate
and TD Bank employee can live openly, and comfortably, as a gay man, a status
that parts of the world and some of its cultures still struggle to understand,
and to accept as simply another shade of normal.
But Ndamwizeye, who goes by the Americanized name Daniel Trust (Ndamwizeye
means “I Trust Him” in Kinyarwanda), is not content to rest on the acceptance
that has followed his “coming out story.” Instead, he has world-altering
Read more on Connecticut Magazine's web site here.
1,300 New Haven shootings in decade leave more than physical scars
By Rich Scinto
NEW HAVEN >> More than 1,300 people have been shot in the city in the last 10 years.
And that is just the number of victims who did not die.
But bullets tear through more than flesh and bone; they also leave their terrible marks on a person’s mind and the entire community.
RANDALL BEACH COLUMN: Roman Polanski rape victim pens a memoir, expresses forgiveness
By Randall Beach
She wanted to be famous, maybe even a movie star, and so 13-year-old
Samantha Geimer decided she couldn’t say “no” when acclaimed film
director Roman Polanski, 43, asked her to come along with him for a
“It’s a lovely day for my big break,” she thought to herself.
Polanski did make her famous, but in a nightmarish way that the young girl could never have imagined.
For 36 years, she endured lies and media misinformation about
what happened on that day in 1977 when Polanski plied her with champagne
and a Quaalude, then raped her in Jack Nicholson’s mansion. (Nicholson
Now, at last, it’s her turn to tell her story.
Motorcycle event to raise money for Survivors of Homicide
4th Annual Roly's Run In Memory of Roland "Roly" Lagasse
Celebrating His Life Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013
Tickets: Driver: $15.00 Passenger: $10.00
proceeds to benefit Survivors of Homicide, Inc.
Registration will be at 11
a.m. at Roxy's, located at 24 Greenwoods Rd. in Torrington. Kick stands up at
Stops will include: Brass
Horse in Barkhamsted and the ride will end at McGillicuddys in Unionville.
Please see Emily at Roxy's or
Kim at the Brass Horse for advanced tickets. Registration will also be available
the morning of the ride.Visit the organization's web site at www.survivorsofhomicide.com for more information.
Regulations counter mission of domestic violence shelters
By Neal McNamara
MILFORD >> The saga of a planned domestic violence shelter here has demonstrated that zoning regulations in many localities may not be favorable toward such uses in residential neighborhoods.
On Tuesday, an attorney representing neighbors of a planned shelter successfully argued in front of the zoning board of appeals that a shelter was an inappropriate use in a residential neighborhood.
The caused the zoning board of appeals to rescind a letter written by a city planner that allowed a shelter in a residential neighborhood without further zoning approvals.
The upcoming Ride for Justice starts off in Bristol, winds through several towns and culminates in Cheshire.
The event is planned for Sept. 29 and will benefit the Petit Family Foundation, in honor of three Cheshire residents who were murdered in a home invasion.
The foundation funds programs in the areas of education, chronic illness, and helping those whose lives have been impacted by violence.
Read more about the event at the foundation's web site, www.petitfamilyfoundation.org, and find sign up information here.
SOUTHINGTON - The Survivors of Homicide organization is planning a lantern release vigil this month.
The event will be on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Southington Care Center, 45 Meriden Ave., Southington.
It will be an evening of bonding and remembrance.
All are welcome to attend. The group will be providing the lanterns for the event. Those planning to attend are asked to contact the organization in advance, so they know how many lanterns are needed.
Contact the Wethersfield-based organization at 860-257-7388. Visit their web site at www.survivorsofhomicide.com.
MADD to host upcoming event to raise awareness about perils of drunken driving
Walk Like MADD Branford
Saturday, Oct. 12
Event starts by Branford Town Hall, 1019 Main St., Branford
Registration begins at at 8:30 a.m., followed by a walk beginning at 10 a.m.
Register online today here, and get more information at www.walklikemadd.org
Stephanie Cabral, of West Haven, walks her dogs, Morgan and Misha, past a fallen tree with a hanging branch at Sleeping Giant State Park Friday. Melanie Stengel — Register
By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
A Colchester woman went with her family to the Salmon River State Forest in May to have a picnic while enjoying the natural beauty there, with picturesque views of the river and fragrant flowers.
Instead, a large oak tree fell, killing Barbara Young, 45, who died at the scene, and seriously injuring her daughter, Jessica Surratt, 18. Young’s son, Kevin Surratt, 22, escaped unharmed.
The tree had been alive, but it was infested with carpenter ants and was rotting on one side, according to a state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection environmental conservation police report on the accident.
The incident calls into question how well the state is inspecting and maintaining the trees in the state’s parks, where thousands of visitors go annually to hike, swim and enjoy the scenery.
Six unsolved homicides cases remain open in Milford
By Neal McNamara
MILFORD >> Six people died here in the last 40 years whose killers got away. The six were a Bridgeport politician, a car salesman, a dismembered Asian male wrapped in a rug, a dismembered Hispanic man in a canvas bag, a 34-year-old from East Haven, and a 22-year-old from East Hartford. These six killings are the only ones too vexing to solve among the approximately 50 slayings in Milford since the 1950s. But law enforcement officials say a case is never too old, and that detectives are constantly working on open homicides.
Survivors of Homicide support group announces meetings
Survivors of Homicide announced the following upcoming support group meetings:
Southington: Tuesday, July 16 at 7 p.m. at the Southington Care Center located at 45 Meriden Ave. This month we will be discussing allowing yourself to express your grief without remorse or embarrassment. We often never think twice about providing support to a stranger to allow them to freely express their grief, but do we allow ourselves to do the same? Please feel free to share your own thoughts or ideas.
New London: Tuesday, July 16 at 7 p.m. at the L&M Hospital in Conference Room 3.
New Haven: Wednesday, July 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the NH Adult Education Center located at 580 Ella Grasso Blvd. We will be discussing taking grief one day at a time.
Newtown: Thursday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Newtown Congregational Church located at 14 West St. We will be discussing accepting our grief and ways to help us during our darkest moments.