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.

Read the full story here

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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.

Read more here

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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.

Read the full story here.

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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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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Be wary of hazardous toys, ConnPIRG warns


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 Press

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
Investigations Editor
 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 Hartford.
“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.

Read more here

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Newtown parents trying to make the dialogue more civil

By Ed Stannard
Register Staff
 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 year.
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.

Read more here

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Victims of storm damage decry runaround, red tape

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo

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.

Read the full story here.
 
Dan Bagley, owner of Village Marina in Milford, stands in front of an empty space where docks used to be before being destroyed in Superstorm Sandy. Peter Hvizdak — New Haven Register

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

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.

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

New Haven organization assists families touched by violence


Front, from left, Aleisha Lytle, Nakia Dawson and Crystal Beard-Morton of the Bereavement Care Network, with the family of homicide victim Marquise Eaddy. Melanie Stengel — New Haven Register
By Shahid Abdul-Karim

NEW HAVEN >> For Lauren Pittman, a 10 p.m. knock at her mother’s door led to her family rushing to the hospital to find her brother fighting for his life.

Pittman, 29, said her brother left the house riding his bicycle on Dixwell Avenue, where he was gunned downed last December.

Christopher Fain, 19, was shot once. He was pronounced dead at the St. Raphael campus of Yale-New Haven Hospital two days later.

Pittman said a piece of her slipped away when she stood at his bedside and watched her brother take his last breath in the early morning hours that day.

Read more here.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

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.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

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.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

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 aspirations.

Read more on Connecticut Magazine's web site here

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

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.

Read the full story here.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

RANDALL BEACH COLUMN: Roman Polanski rape victim pens a memoir, expresses forgiveness

By Randall Beach
Register Staff
 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 “photo shoot.”
“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 wasn’t home.)
Now, at last, it’s her turn to tell her story.

Read more here.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

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

All 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 noon.
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.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Regulations counter mission of domestic violence shelters

By Neal McNamara
Register Staff
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.

Read more here.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Ride for Justice to benefit Petit Foundation

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


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Survivors of Homicide plan lantern release vigil



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.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

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

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dead trees along park trails pose hazard

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
Investigations Editor

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.

Read more here.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Six unsolved homicides cases remain open in Milford

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.

Read more here.

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

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.

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