Thursday, April 23, 2015

Police work to help drug endangered youth

STATE- Governor Dannel P. Malloy has proclaimed April 22, 2015, as Drug Endangered Children Awareness Day.
The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of State Police, and its community partners recognize drug-endangered children as youth who are at risk of suffering physical or emotional harm as a result of illegal drug use, possession, manufacturing, cultivation or distribution by their caretakers.  They may also be children whose caretaker's substance misuse interferes with his/her ability to parent and provide a safe and nurturing environment.  
 The State Police, working in a collaborative effort with other state and local agencies, is committed to identifying children at risk and ensuring services are made available to these families to break the intergenerational cycle of abuse.
 The State Police accomplishes this in part through its participation in the Connecticut Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, a collaborative of nine state agencies and the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, which strives to improve the outcomes of drug-endangered children and youth. 
A recognition that “Children + Drugs = Risk” is the keystone of the collaborative approach to the work with drug-endangered children that includes families, community providers, DCF, law enforcement, other state agencies, faith-based organizations and other entities, providing services and support to those children at risk. If you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected please contact the DCF Careline at 1-800-842-2288.   Visit the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children's web site at http://www.nationaldec.org

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Guilford-based Kids HUGS helps children cope with having a sick parent



Nola Lai with her mom, Julie Cron, both of Guilford, doing a collage project with Kids HUGS. contributed photo



By Akaya McElveen
Register Staff

GUILFORD >> Amy Fenollosa is a parent who understands the importance of having resources available for her young children who lost their father to cancer. So when there weren’t any resources available, she created her own.
When Fenollosa’s two sons were young, their father, Nathaniel, was diagnosed with cancer.
Fenollosa said she and her husband tried their best to explain their situation to the two boys and even tried searching for resources, but came up short. After Fenollosa’s husband died in 2011, she knew her children needed support.

Read more here

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

USS Oklahoma Pearl Harbor vet coming home to family

By Luther Turmelle
Register Staff
GUILFORD >> A Pearl Harbor veteran whose remains have laid comingled in four or five caskets with 22 other sailors will be disinterred and returned home after more than 70 years, according to U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
Third Class Fireman Edwin Hopkins, who in 1943 originally was buried in Halawa Naval Cemetery, Plot K, Grave 1048, and then transferred to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific — called the “Punchbowl” — in 1949 was among those designated as “unknown.”

Read more here

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Celebration, fundraiser set to honor slain Milford girl a year later



By Pam McLoughlin
MILFORD >> Not a day goes by that Elena Garet doesn’t think about slaying victim Maren Sanchez and how the Jonathan Law student made the world a much brighter place.
And Garet, who thought of Maren like a daughter, is not alone.
“The kids (at Law) are suffering. This is a life-changing event for them. A life-changing event for this town,” Garet said. “I look around and see her pictures (in the house) and it’s hard to wrap our arms around it a year later.”
The one-year anniversary of Maren’s death, April 25, is fast approaching and while it will be a sad day, the community will use it to honor Maren’s memory with a day of activities that Maren would have loved.

Read more here

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Events planned for National Crime Victims' Rights Week

HARTFORD - State Victim Advocate Natasha M. Pierre has announced several upcoming events for National Crime Victims' Rights Week, which is observed nationwide from April 19 to 25.
This years’ theme is “Engaging Communities – Empowering Victims.”
“It is important to recognize this national celebration” Pierre said. “This is the perfect opportunity to unite and bring awareness to our communities surrounding the services available to crime victims in the state of Connecticut."
On Monday, April 20, in Berlin, a free Prot-tekt self-defense workshop is open to anyone 16 years of age or older. Pro-tekt is a personal protection program which adopts multiple strategies to fight violence and crime. It is not a course on fighting techniques, rather a program that teaches defensive skills. For more information and registration visit www.ct.gov/ova.
On Sat., April 25, the Office of The Victim Advocate is hosting a 5k Run/Walk to engage our communities and empower victims at The Bushnell Park in Hartford.
Runners, walkers, family and friends are encouraged to attend.
Take part in the walk, visit the vendors and informational booths or share in the activities for the family. For registration information please visit www.ct.gov/ova.
If you wish to participate in any of the planned events please contact the Office of The Victim Advocate at 860-550-6632. 

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Instagram page requesting Branford students’ photos reminds parents to stay vigilant

By Esteban Hernandez
Register Staff
BRANFORD >> An Instagram account found earlier this month requesting photos of middle school girls has reignited a conversation about how parents and school officials help students stay safe online.
According to the website Branford Seven, the Instagram page, which since has been taken down, was called “BranfordWhores” and was sharing and requesting images of girls attending Walsh Intermediate School during the first week of March.
Branford Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez said that the district isn’t actively doing anything with the page since it has been deleted, but he added that the matter is being “monitored” by school faculty. The page didn’t contain any nudity, Hernandez said, as it appeared problematic because of its language.

Read more here

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Parents briefed on internet, social media dangers

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR >> Sexting, cyber-bullying, video chats, geo-tagging, talking to strangers online….what’s a parent to do these days to keep their kids safe while using the Internet?
Well, Scott Driscoll, a retired police officer and owner of Internet Safety Concepts, showed about 50 parents Wednesday that while the Internet is an amazing information tool, it can also be a very scary and dangerous place for kids when improperly used.
Driscoll boasts 20+ years in law enforcement, and was tapped by the FBI in 2003 to head-up a task force aimed at catching online predators. Posing as a 13-year-old girl, Driscoll assisted in the arrests of numerous “bad guys” out to harm unassuming children.

Read more here

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Monday, March 9, 2015

North Haven boy, 9, spearheads ‘Hunter’s Heroes’ and a message of hope

 Hunter Pageau. Register photo - Kate Ramunni

By Kate Ramunni
Register Staff
NORTH HAVEN >> There are no foundations, no telethons, no support groups for Spinal Muscular Atrophy with Respiratory Distress.
That’s because there’s only about seven dozen people in the world who have it. But 9-year-old Hunter Pageau isn’t letting that stop him from spreading the word about his incredibly rare condition.
It affects less than 10 people in the country and about 80 worldwide, his mother Sharon said, and Hunter is the only person in Connecticut who has it. But from his attitude, you would never think there’s anything wrong with him.
“I’m not hopeless and helpless. I’m hopeful and helpful,” the articulate fourth-grader says. Because of paralysis, he zips around in an electric wheelchair he operates himself, and he’s also connected to a ventilator, but that hasn’t dampened his spirits or decreased his desire to spread his message: never give up.

Read more here

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Branford man accepts 2 years in plea deal for DUI crash that killed his wife

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
NEW HAVEN >> A Branford man who drove drunk and crashed his vehicle, killing his wife, has decided to accept a new plea offer which would mean more time behind bars — two years — rather than go to trial.
Vincent Mauro, 32, appeared before Superior Court Judge Patrick Clifford Wednesday and entered a no contest plea to second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle.
Under the latest plea agreement, Mauro will be sentenced April 17 to serve two years. This would be followed by five years of probation, and if Mauro were to violate the conditions, he would then risk having to serve another six years, for a total of eight years, in prison.

Read more here

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

New Haven police: Waterbury man allegedly raped woman he met through ‘Tagged’ dating app

By Register Staff
NEW HAVEN >> A Waterbury man was arrested early Monday, accused of raping a woman at gunpoint after meeting her through a dating app, police said.
City police spokesman Officer David Hartman said officers were dispatched to a home in the 100 block of Edgewood Avenue at 1:50 a.m. Monday after a 22-year-old woman reported that she had been assaulted by a man she met through a dating app called “Tagged.”
The woman, who lives in Massachusetts, told police that Timothy Turner Jr., 26, had invited her to the home after the two had corresponded through the app. She told police that she went inside with Turner and as she was being led upstairs, he pulled out a gun and assaulted her on the second-floor landing, Hartman said in a release.

Read more here

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New Haven man gets life in prison for arson fire that killed two adults and a boy

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
NEW HAVEN >> After the man who set fire to a Wolcott Street home in 2011, killing three people, was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison, the victims’ loved ones stood outside the courthouse and said, “We got justice.”
U.S. District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton imposed the sentence on Hector “Boom Boom” Natal, 29, of New Haven. A jury in 2013 convicted Natal of setting the fire, allegedly in retaliation for another tenant’s failure to pay a drug debt.

Read more here

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Support sought for Middletown fire victims

By Viktoria Sundqvist
Middletown Press
MIDDLETOWN >> A local service organization is looking to help the family whose home was destroyed by fire over the weekend.

Two women died early Saturday when fire broke out in a Barbara Road home, but the husband of one of the women escaped and their son, about 7, happened to be out at a sleepover and also survived, said Middletown Fire Chief Robert Kronenberger.
The Fraternal Order of Eagles in Middletown is now seeking to help Brent Micale and his family, president Janet Martin said.

Read more here

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Cheshire police investigate alleged ‘sextortion’ against boy, 15

By Luther Turmelle
Register Staff
CHESHIRE >> Police are investigating what appears to be an attempt to extort money from a local juvenile, using social media.
Detective Sgt. Thomas Bobok Thursday said a 15-year-old boy reported that during a Skype online video phone conversation last month, the person with whom he was chatting convinced him to masturbate on camera. The two subsequently contacted each other via social media platforms, at which point Bobok said the individual, who appeared to be a woman, threatened to release the video of the teen masturbating if he didn’t pay her an undisclosed sum of money.
“All of the social media accounts the individual had have been closed, so now we’re trying to track down the information about who may have created them,” he said.

Read more here

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Connecticut Child Advocate Sarah Eagan to speak at event March 24

ORANGE - The Parent Child Resource Center is hosting its Annual Awards Dinner from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24 at the Grassy Hill Country Club, 441 Clark Lane in Orange, with proceeds supporting diverse programs and services vital to the health of our community.
The evening will include cocktails, dinner, award presentations, and a guest speaker.
Each year, the organization presents the Mary Lou Cook Award for Outstanding Service to Children and Families, and the Joseph A. Pagliaro, Sr. Award for Distinguished Service to Children and Families.
Award recipients will be announced soon.
The keynote speaker, Sarah Eagan, will be touching on her professional experience with mental health and the recent report “Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School” by The Office of the Child Advocate, released November 21, 2014.
Eagan was appointed to serve as Connecticut’s Child Advocate on August 1, 2013 by Governor Dannel Malloy. She sets priority reviews for the office, manages operations and publishes information, and recommendations for system reform, regarding the well-being of children.

Each year, the center serves serve more than 1,200 children, many who suffer from serious behavioral and emotional problems, including trauma, abuse and neglect.
The cost is $50 per person, including dinner. Please RSVP by March 13 with your dinner selection and any guest numbers at 203-954-0543 x100 or Vparsloe@LNVPCRC.org.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Man convicted of sex trafficking underage girls at Milford hotel


By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo

HARTFORD >> A jury found a New York man guilty in U.S. District Court Monday of sex trafficking two minors, who were 16- and 17 years old at the time.
Edward “Fire” Thomas, 40, recruited the girls and brought them to hotels in Connecticut, including in Milford, where the teens performed sex acts in exchange for money, which they would then turn over to Thomas.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Thomas answered an Internet prostitution advertisement for a 17-year-old girl in Oregon, then enticed her to travel to New York to work for him. She eventually agreed and traveled to New York with a second girl, who was 16 years old, using bus tickets Thomas purchased.
U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly said Thomas “preyed on the vulnerabilities of two girls whom he lured 3,000 miles away from their homes.”

Read more here

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Man charged in Milford sex trafficking case on trial in Hartford


By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo

HARTFORD >> A tip about an online escort advertisement featuring a young-looking female prompted investigators to set up a sting that ultimately led them to Edward "Fire" Thomas, according to testimony in federal court Tuesday.
Thomas, 40, of New York, is on trial before U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny in Hartford. Thomas faces two counts of sex trafficking of a minor and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, the two minors were 16 and 17-years-old at the time.

Read more here

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Column: Many trying to solve the mystery of who killed Suzanne Jovin

By Randall Beach
Register Staff
Jeff Mitchell and I met for our interview last Wednesday morning at Yale’s Phelps Gate, a place with special meaning for this man, who has spent 16 years trying to find out who killed Yale student Suzanne Jovin.

Mitchell took me inside Yale’s “Old Campus” quad and pointed to a spot in the middle of the courtyard.
“That’s where she spoke with Peter Stein,” Mitchell noted.
Stein, a classmate of Jovin’s, later would tell police that she told him she was going to the Yale Police substation at Phelps Gate to turn in the keys to a university car. She had used the vehicle that night to help out at a Best Buddies charity party.
Jovin, a 21-year-old senior, dropped off the keys at about 9:20 p.m. on her last night, Dec. 4, 1998.

Read more here

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Getaway driver in triple fatal New Haven arson gets 14½ years in prison

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
NEW HAVEN >> After hearing from the relatives of the victims of a New Haven fatal arson, a judge on Thursday sentenced the man convicted of acting as the getaway driver to 174 months — which amounts to 14½ years — in prison.
Three people died in the March 9, 2011, Wolcott Street fire, including Wanda Roberson, 42, her 8-year-old son Quayshaun Roberson, and her 21-year-old niece Jaqueeta Roberson.
Lynn Roberson, Wanda’s sister, told U.S. District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton the family has had to seek professional help to deal with grief.
“My sister was my best friend — she was always smiling and laughing,” she said. “She loved her family and would do anything for you. All we have is our memories and pictures. Today, we are finally here to receive justice for our loved ones.”

Read more here.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Column: Slaying of Yale student Suzanne Jovin still bringing in tips

By Randall Beach
Register Staff

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.

Read more here

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Investigators in ’98 slaying of Yale student Suzanne Jovin appeal for public’s help

By Randall Beach
Register Staff
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.

Read more here

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

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 motor vehicle.

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.


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Connecticut PIRG report warns of dangerous toys





Sean Doyle, campaign organizer with ConnPIRG, discusses the annual Trouble in Toyland report Monday. MICHELLE TUCCITTO SULLO — NEW HAVEN REGISTER

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo

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.

Read more here

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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 level.
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 screenings.

Read more here

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Friday, November 28, 2014

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.

Read more here

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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.

Read more here.  


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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.

Read more here

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Monday, November 10, 2014

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 serious complications.
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.

Read more here

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Seymour teen who touched the lives of many dies at 17 of cancer

By Keldy Ortiz
Register Staff
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.

Read more here

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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

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Seymour teen battling brain tumor receives handicapped-accessible van

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

SEYMOUR >> The young woman battling a brain tumor, Nina Poeta, received a brand new handicapped-accessible van Wednesday, courtesy of Harte Family Motors.
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.

Read more here

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

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.

Read the full story here.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

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.

Read more here

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On the Road to Remember ....

Check out this blog post by Donna Gore, on the recent On the Road to Remember Tour, which stopped in Connecticut to bring attention to missing person cases.


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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Panel seeks input from crime victims

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 

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Monday, September 22, 2014

June 2015 eyed for Kathy Hardy arson murder trial

By Evan Lips
Register Staff

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.

Read more here

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Monday, September 8, 2014

As Connecticut population ages, elder abuse rises

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff

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.

Read the full story here

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Vigil planned for missing persons

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.

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New Haven neighbors join together to combat crime

By Luther Turmelle
Register Staff
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 celebration.

Read more here

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Monday, July 14, 2014

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.

Read the full story here

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Monday, June 30, 2014

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.

Read the full story here

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Monday, June 2, 2014

New Haven man who saw mom slain as child works to turn life around

By Shahid Abdul-Karim
Register Staff

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 internal anger.
But with help from city support services, Davis has acquired a resilient spirit.

Read the full story here.

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Human trafficking conference examines resources, process

By Rachel Chinapen
Register Staff
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 Moynihan.
“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.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

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
Register Staff
NEW HAVEN >> Dozens of people affected by violence came together for a prayer vigil at Beulah Heights First Pentecostal Church Thursday night.
Bishop Theodore L. Brooks Sr., who himself lost a nephew to violence in the Newhallville neighborhood years ago, led many of the prayers.
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.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

DCF social worker: Demand driving supply in human trafficking


Audrey Morrissey tells her story of surviving sex trafficking at a state Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in Connecticut conference at the CT Convention Center in Hartford Wednesday. Mara Lavitt — New Haven Register

By Rachel Chinapen
Register Staff

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 issue.

Read more here.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Connecticut DUI victim turns injuries into action

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
Investigations Editor

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.”

Read more here.

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

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
Investigations Editor
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 seat.

Read more here.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

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
Register Staff
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.”

Read the full story here.

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

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 Press
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.

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

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.

Read the full story here.

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