WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY
A mixed bag of sleet, freezing rain, and plain rain has arrived in Connecticut this morning, plus, a white Christmas is still possible. A winter weather advisory has been issued for the entire state, including the shoreline. A few slick spots on roads not well treated with salt or other melting agents are also possible. Gradually, a change to all rain will occur statewide by the time the mid-afternoon is here. With slippery road conditions possible for this morning, drivers are advised to keep their distance from larger vehicles. And be sure to call ahead to make sure your activity of function hasn’t been canceled or postponed.
SALVATION ARMY BELL-RINGERS MAKING FINAL PUSH FOR DONATION
Norwich, Ct. – The Norwich Salvation Army is hoping a last-minute push of donations this weekend, will help bring the local organization closer to its fundraising goal for the year. The traditional red kettles and their Bell-ringers will be out until around 8:30, tonight. The Red Kettle drive is the nonprofit’s major fundraiser for the year. The goal this year is between $50,000 and $55,000, and they’ve currently collected $30,000. The organization got a bit of a late start this year and also is a little short-handed.
NEW LONDON DRUG ARRESTS
Two New London people were arrested on multiple drug charges Friday. 37-year-old Kerry Barnum was charged with having over 2.2 grams of cocaine and over 9.7 grams of crack cocaine and 26-year-old Fabian Hernandez was charged with having nearly 50 bags of K-2 synthetic marijuana. Both were charged with two counts of possession of narcotics with intent to sell. Court dates were not released.
POLICE: TWO ARRESTED IN WOODSTOCK HOME INVASION WITH MACHETE
State police in Danielson responded to a report of two men armed with a “large knife” breaking into a home on Pond Factory Road in Woodstock around 8:30 on Thursday night. Troopers learned the two suspects had fled into nearby woods on foot. The two suspects were located with the use of K9 in woods between Pond Factory Road and Dodge Road. The two men were found to be in possession of a machete, two box cutters and a black bag containing duct tape, zip ties, masks and gloves. Police arrested Benjamin Bellavance, of Thompson and Adrian Flores, of Putnam for home invasion, criminal mischief, unlawful restraint and breach of peace. Police said the two were held on $100,000 bonds and were scheduled to appear in Danielson Superior Court yesterday.
WATERFORD POLICE HAVE SUSPECT IN COOKIE FUNDRAISER
Waterford Police say the woman who conned her way into multiple homes saying she was a volunteer for a local cookie fundraiser has been arrested. Residents who let the woman into their homes around Dec 11th or 12th noticed items missing after she left. In one home the woman asked to use their bathroom after which the homeowner found items missing from the medicine cabinet and money missing from the kitchen counter. A total of four incidents happened between the intersection of routes 156 and 213 and the New London line on Route 1. Authorities are waiting for evidence to come back from the state lab before they complete their arrest warrant applications. Anyone with information about the incidents can contact (The Waterford Police Dept) Investigator Matthew Fedor or Officer Todd O’Connell at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively.
JEWETT CITY MAN CHARGED WITH VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER IN JUNE CRASH
A Jewett City man has been arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter in a one-car rollover crash back in June on I-395 that left a Canterbury woman dead. Gary Roode is facing charges of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, failure to wear a seatbelt in the front seat, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and failure to drive in the proper lane on a multiple lane highway. Lab results showed Roode’s blood to have an alcohol content level of .21 the night of the crash. Roode is being held on a $250,000 bond and was scheduled to appear in Norwich Superior Court December 21st.
GROTON HUMAN SERVICES DISTRIBUTES 500 FOOD BASKETS, TOYS FOR NEARLY 250 FAMILIES
When her father died on Dec. 5th Julia Caban couldn’t afford to pay for his funeral and she is raising four grandchildren. She’s in emotional pain, she needed help for the holidays and….she found some. The Groton Human Services collected and distributed 500 food baskets on Friday, the most it can manage, along with 242 bags of toys for families with children. Caban said her grandchildren ages 11 through 5, didn’t ask for anything in particular for the holidays. They just wanted to find presents under the tree and open them. “They’re pieces of love.“
UNFUNDED PENSION LIABILITY FOR STATE GROWS TO $5.33 BILLION
WARWICK, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island’s pension liability for state workers grew to over $5.33 billion this fiscal year. The larger deficit between the assets in the state’s $8.3 billion pension fund and the future retirement benefits promised current and former employees was the result of a number of factors. The Providence Journal reports the unfunded liability grew by a combined $699 million this year. The figures were released Friday by the state’s actuary to the state Retirement Board in Warwick, noting the unfunded liability for both state workers and teachers is expected to continue to grow until the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The pension for state employees is expected to be fully funded by 2038.
RHODE ISLAND ROAD DEATHS UP 76 PERCENT THIS YEAR
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island transportation officials say driving deaths are up 76 percent this year, and are urging drivers to be safe during the holiday season.The Rhode Island Department of Transportation held an event with state Attorney General Peter Kilmartin Thursday to ask people to pledge not to drive while drunk. WPRI-TV reports Kilmartin’s office says more than 80 people have died on the state’s roadways – 30 more people than all of 2016. RIDOT Director Peter Alviti urges people to do whatever they can to keep people from driving impaired. He also says police patrols will be increased during the holidays to crack down on drunken driving. Officials are asking people to plan ahead by either designating a driver or calling a taxi or car service.
WORKERS REMOVE 200 YEAR OLD DAM BLOCKING PAWCATUCK RIVER
HOPKINTON, R.I. (AP) – Workers have removed a 200-year-old dam in Rhode Island, allowing fish to swim upriver for the first time since the dam was built. The Westerly Sun reports the Pawcatuck River was rerouted back to its natural channel in Hopkinton on Friday. Migratory fish such as American eels and blueback herring will now be able to breed upstream and the dam removal allows canoes and kayaks to pass through the area. Scott Comings, associate state director of The Nature Conservancy, says the dam removal will have a positive impact on the entire river system. Work to remove the dam started two years ago. The $2 million project was partially funded with federal Superstorm Sandy recovery money and various donations. The project contractor will return next week to fill the bypass channel.