Woman gets 25 years in prison for motel slaying
NEW HAVEN — Lashanda Gregory, who told a judge, “If I could take it back, I would,” was sentenced Thursday to serve 25 years in prison for strangling to death and robbing Byron McDade at the Branford Motel on the July 4 holiday weekend three years ago.
Gregory, 30, of Middletown, had pleaded guilty three months ago to reduced charges of first-degree manslaughter and third-degree robbery. Prosecutors dropped the murder charge in exchange for her guilty plea to the lesser charges. The plea agreement specified she would receive a sentence of 20 years for manslaughter and five years for robbery.
Guilford woman dies in I-95 crash in Old Lyme
OLD LYME — Police identified two women who died Wednesday afternoon in a fiery multi-vehicle crash.
A premlimary investigation indicated Eleanor Mccarthy, 71, of Guilford, and Iris Cooper, 71, of Joel Drive, Ambler, Pennsylvania, were stopped in the right lane behind a tractor trailer due to a traffic backup. Meanwhile, a dump truck was traveling in the right lane on Interstate 95 northbound approaching Mccarthy’s vehicle, police said in a report.
Tire marks at the scene indicate the dump truck was heavily breaking and unable to stop prior to striking the rear of the Mccarthy’s vehicle. Her car spun during the impact and hit the rear of the tractor trailer before bursting into flames, fatally injuring the two women.
Nick Capone opens Capone’s Pizza Bar Route 80 on North Branford/Guilford townline
NORTH BRANFORD — While Nick Capone’s friends were spending their afternoons playing high school football or hockey or baseball, the owner of the recently opened Capone’s Pizza Bar Route 80 was washing dishes and prepping food at Annex Pizza on the border of Guilford and North Branford.
At minimum wage. For countless hours.
While his friends were out on weekend nights, Capone was absorbing every detail of making pizza. On off nights, he traveled to Wooster Square, learning from some of the greatest old-time pizzaioli in the trade.
“I wouldn’t change a thing,” the sturdy, intense 34-year-old said on a recent afternoon, seated on a stool at the bar on the very site where he got his start.
Police make arrest in Westbrook armed robbery
Connecticut State Police arrested a man in connection with an armed robbery in the parking lot of Denny’s in Westbrook.
Around 11:30 a.m. on Friday, troopers from Troop F responded to a report of an armed robbery at 28 Flat Rock Place in Westbrook. The suspects fled in a vehicle and were located at the I-95 southbound rest area in Madison a short time later.
One suspect fled on foot from the rest area into a wooded area behind the rest area while the other fled in a vehicle. The accused who fled on foot was located about an hour later and taken into custody.
Shadrach Ferguson, 23, of 13 Sable St., Norwalk, was charged with interfering with an officer and issued a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court in Middletown on Oct.
Branford resident competes in Ironman World Championships for Brian’s Hope
BRANFORD — Imagine being accidentally kicked in the gut, grabbed and slapped while swimming 2.4 miles amid fickle currents and choppy waters. Then climb onto your bike for a 112-mile ride through barren lava fields against unforgiving crosswinds. Finally, run a marathon. Yes, the 26.2-mile kind.
That’s Ed Vescovi’s plan for Saturday when he competes in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
And yet, a mere five days before pushing through 11 or 12 hours of what is arguably the world’s most physically demanding single-day sporting event, the Branford resident seemed as calm as his resting pulse of 39.
Old Saybrook man pleads guilty to federal tax offenses
HARTFORD — A man pleaded guilty Tuesday to a six-count superseding indictment charging him with various tax offenses instead of proceeding with a trial scheduled to start Wednesday, according to a release from the U.S. attorney’s office.
David Adams, 56, of Old Saybrook, was previously charged with two counts of tax evasion, three counts of making and subscribing a false tax return and one count of attempting to interfere with the administration of the Internal Revenue Service laws, the release stated.
In the early 1980s, and then continuing from 1996 onward, Adams was substantially delinquent in filing his tax returns and paying amounts owed to the IRS.
Branford Rotary holding event for potential new members
BRANFORD — The Branford Rotary is holdng an event for potential new members from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25, at Thimble Island Brewery, 16 Business Park Drive.
The evening of camaraderie and appetizers will help potential members learn about Rotary, what the Branford Rotary does for the town and how to become a member of a “great team and give support to the residents of Branford,” organizers said.
For more infomration, contact: Traci Knapp at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Milt Baisley at email@example.com.
Middlesex Hospital expands cancer center to Westbrook
WESTBROOK — Cancer patients from the shoreline area being treated by doctors affiliated with Middlesex Hospital currently have to travel to Middletown to receive their treatments.
But that is about to change as the Middletown-based medical center opens a new cancer treatment facility on Flat Rock Place in Westbrook. Shoreline area patients currently being treated in the Middletown location of the Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center will see their treatments moved to the new location at 250 Flat Rock Place over the remainder of October and into early November, said Amanda Falcone, a spokeswoman for the hospital.
“At least 40 percent of the people the hospital is treating for cancer come from the shoreline,” Falcone said.
Saybrook High student leads fundraisers to fight pediatric cancer
OLD SAYBROOK - Luke Duffy was too young to remember much of the community support after being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at 18 months old, but knew the town helped his family through a tough time.
“I want to pull that community back in,” he said, “because I know they’ve done it once, and I know they’ll do it again.”
The high school junior and cancer survivor has coordinated a trio of fundraising events taking place Oct. 13 and 21, under the name of “Lose Your Locks with Luke.”
“I’m just raising funds and awareness for Camp Rising Sun and pediatric cancer, that’s my main goal,” Duffy said while at Old Saybrook High School, taking a break from his classes to elaborate on the fundraiser.
Shore Line East trains resume service after Guilford mishap
GUILFORD — Shore Line East train service has resumed today after a tree fell onto an electrical wire over the tracks here, temporarily suspending operations, officials said.
Kevin Nursick, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said the power had to be shut off, the tree had to be removed, the electrical wire had to be repaired and the tracks had to be checked before commuter rail service could be reopened.
Buses were operating between New Haven and Guilford, using the normal train schedule until the issue was resolved, according to Sean Scanlon, state representative for the 98th District.
The rail service, which runs from New London to New Haven, apologized for the inconvenience on its Twitter account Wednesday.
Old Saybrook emergency personnel look for potential missing boater
OLD SAYBROOK - Officials initiated a search Tuesday for a potential missing boater after a yellow kayak was found without a name or phone number inside of it.
Fire personnel, police officers and the U.S. Coast Guard are searching Long Island Sound by boat and helicopter in an attempt to locate the owner.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the fire department at 860-395-3142.
Fire officials encourage boat owners to always write their name and number inside the boat, even if it is just used on lakes and streams.
Madison voters reject new school plan
MADISON — Voters in Madison on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a plan to build a new $34.28 million Ryerson School.
The unofficial results had 2,615 no votes and 1,423 who voted in favor of the new school. There were 157 absentee ballots still uncounted as of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Prior to Tuesday's vote, plans called for two more referendums. One involved appropriating money to cover the cost of renovating Madison's Jeffrey School, scheduled for spring 2019.
Renovations for the Jeffrey School came with a price tag of $33.7 million. The third vote in the multi-phase process called for voters deciding whether to close the Island Avenue School.
Guilford WWII vet receives 10 medals 72 years later
Charles “Art” Heidtman waited 72 years to receive the medals he earned while serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. They were all delivered within the last year and are now prominently displayed in a shadow box.
While serving in The 8th Armored Division, Company A, the 92-year-old vet received 10 medals, yet on the day the war ended he was sent home empty handed.
“I was in England in the hospital, when I got shot, and they wanted me to fall out for my medals,” he recalls. “I looked at the weather, pouring rain, everything was lousy and I said, ‘To hell with the medals,’ I didn’t go out.
“I was a little thick headed then,” he admits.
Heidtman’s son-in-law, Bob Wilson, was instrumental in obtaining the medals.
Officials investigate cause of fatal explosion at trailer park in Clinton
CLINTON — An investigation continues into what caused a propane explosion that killed a man and critically injured his wife, destroying their home in Evergreen Springs mobile home park on Thursday, Sept. 21. Leo Hinkley, 64, died Friday, Sept. 22, while his wife, Candace, 61, remains in serious condition, according police. On Thursday, they were airlifted to the burn unit by two separate LIFE STAR helicopters that took off from the Indian River Recreation Complex, south of Evergreen Springs on Route 81. Preliminary results of the investigation indicate “that the explosion, most likely, did not result from equipment or mechanical malfunctions,” according to Clinton Police Sgt. Jeremiah Dunn.
Guilford police: Bridgeport trio were stealing from unlocked cars
GUILFORD - Three Bridgeport teens were arrested Thursday after officers saw a suspicious vehicle in the area of Route 1 at Brookridge Lane.
The vehicle was seen driving through a cul-de-sac neighborhood and due to recent burglaries in the area, the patrolling officer investigated the area, according to a press release.
The officer found a laptop bag and other personal items thrown into the road that weren’t there before.
The officer stopped the vehicle and determined the three occupants had been entering unlocked cars as they were in possession of electronics, tools and other personal items that belonged to residents on Brookridge Lane and Jefferson Drive in Guilford, police said.