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Banking Commissioner Warns of Bank Fraud

HARTFORD — State Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez has become aware of a text scam targeting customers of Webster Bank.


Banking officials said the fraudulent text appears to be a genuine notice from Webster Bank indicating that they are currently performing maintenance of their system and asking the recipient to click on a link to renew personal details. While this particular text targets Webster customers, other text scams have targeted many other banks and businesses, they said.


“This is a cautionary tale,” Perez said, “a reminder to be especially vigilant as we head into the busiest season of the year when we are bombarded by emails, text and telephone calls.”


Commissioner Jonathan Harris of the Department of Consumer Protection said that if residents receive a text, they should reach out to the bank or business to verify that it’s not a scam.


The growth of electronic communications and social media continues to provide new ways for scammers to reach their targets. Connecticut consumers should stay vigilant when receiving electronic business communications.


The high-tech scammer sends highly accurate emails or texts that contain links to what appear to be genuine websites, but instead are fraudulent sites that will steal personal information.


“Unfortunately, the holiday season is one of the busiest times for scammers,” said AARP Fraud Watch Volunteer Byron Peterson. “Each year ID theft and fraud steal millions of hard-earned dollars from unsuspecting residents.”


Any consumers who did click the link should contact the Department of Bankin by calling 1-800-831-7225.


In Connecticut, the Fraud Watch Network – in collaboration with other organizations and is working to educate the public and prevent consumer fraud.


Get tips and information and free fraud alerts at<

Posted in Business, East Hartford, HartfordComments (0)


Troopers Ramp Up for Holiday Weekend

MIDDLETOWN — On Thursday, Connecticut State Police will begin efforts to ramp up plans to keep drivers safe during the busy holiday weekend.

With tens of thousands of travelers driving through Connecticut during the Thanksgiving weekend, State Police began supplementing normal routine patrol personnel.

Now through Nov. 29 State police will patrol roads and highways across Connecticut. Officials said they will focus on aggressive drivers unsafe dricers and drunk drivers.

Troopers are committed to reducing crashes through preventive enforcement initiatives such as roving DUI patrols.

Troopers will also be looking for violators who cause accidents on Connecticut roads and highways. Every effort to reduce accidents will be taken, they said; however, Connecticut residents are asked to be a part of the public safety solution by obeying traffic laws: don’t follow too close, drive the speed limit, stay off your cell phone while driving and, if you drink, then please do not drive.

Trooper Kelly Grant said residents should remind all young people, especially college students returning home the first time this semester, of the laws regarding alcohol consumption and drinking and driving.

Uniformed Troopers will use traditional and non-traditional patrol cars to observe traffic and issue tickets to reckless and distracted drivers. A reminder to all drivers: anyone who is consuming alcohol should never get behind the wheel. If you see a suspected drunk driver, call 911, this is a true emergency.

Last week, State Troopers made 1,410 speeding arrests, including 314 seat belt arrests. Additionally, there were 52 drunk driving arrests and 3,538 arrests. There was only one fatal accident noted in the 2014 report.


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The Refugee Hypocrisy of President Obama and Hillary Clinton

Editor’s Note: In criticizing Republicans’ stance against Syrian refugees, Obama and Clinton seem to have forgotten their own treatment of other nonwhite refugees. This piece was first published on Nov. 18 at
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have seized upon the Paris terrorist attacks to launch political attacks against Republicans in response to their xenophobic statements on admitting Syrian refugees.When speaking in the Philippines, President Obama stated, “When candidates say we shouldn’t admit three-year-old orphans, that’s political posturing,” adding, “these are the same folks oftentimes that say they’re so tough that just talking to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin or staring down ISIL or using some additional rhetoric will solve the problem, and they’re scared of widows and three-year-old orphans.”Hillary Clinton piled on, stating that “We have always welcomed immigrants and refugees. … We have made people feel that if they did their part, they sent their kids to school, they worked hard, there would be a place for them in America.”

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionIt appears that both President Obama and former State Secretary Clinton have very short memories, or at the very least they hope that we do. Recent history reminds that the president has been jailing “three-year-old orphans” in deportation internment camps for well over a year now, where they are subjected to abuse, neglect and torture.

Immigration lawyer Dree Collopy, a partner of the Washington, D.C. firm of Banach Ragland, spoke about the abuses she witnessed while representing refugees in one of Obama’s family deportation jails in Artesia, New Mexico. Ms. Collopy encountered dehydrated, listless and malnourished children “clinging to their mothers, while their mothers’ pleas for medical care were met with degrading and abusive treatment.” As she said:

“I can say without a doubt that these women and their children are refugees. They have come here seeking protection from the horrific violence they have suffered — beatings, rape, human trafficking — all at the hands of actors whom their governments fail and refuse to control. They have come here trying to survive, and they have come here to save their children’s lives.

“Yet, unlike the refugees who preceded them, they have arrived here in the United States and been thrown in jail, where they have been kept for months in inhumane conditions and where they are refused meaningful access to counsel and interpreters, witnesses and evidence, family and emotional support, mental health care, and other tools that are essential to seeking protection in any meaningful way.”

Thankfully, a federal judge has put her foot down, ordering the prompt release of refugee children while calling Obama’s family deportation jails “deplorable,” and finding that they fail to pass minimal standards for safe and sanitary conditions. Predictably, the Obama administration appealed the decision.

If only the hypocrisy stopped there. To add constitutional violation to injury, not only is the Obama administration abusing refugee children, they are circumventing due process by expeditiously deporting them without a lawyer.

As for political posturing, prior to launching her presidential campaign, Clinton was abundantly clear that refugee children “should be sent back” as soon as possible, mirroring the positions of the Obama administration. These positions were articulated during the height of the refugee crisis by the assistant to the president and director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz.

In an interview with NPR, Ms. Muñoz explained: “That’s the intention here, again, is to make sure that for those kids who end up being removable — and we think that’s probably going to be a majority of the kids in this situation — that they don’t remain in the United States for years and that we cut down the amount of time that it takes.”

Contrary to these assertions, nearly 50 percent of the refugee children represented by counsel have been granted relief from removal.

After announcing her candidacy, Clinton doubled down, maintaining her position on the deportation of refugee children, and has recently touted her “numerous” votes to build a wall on the southern border, while dehumanizing the undocumented population with incendiary and racist language, even raising the eyebrows of some Democrats.

The point being, maybe President Obama and former Secretary Clinton should gain the moral high ground before throwing stones at their Republican counterparts. But I guess that really doesn’t matter when there are Republicans to demagogue, and three-year-olds to deport.

Matthew Kolken is an immigration lawyer and the managing partner of Kolken & Kolken, located in Buffalo, New York. His legal opinions and analysis are regularly solicited by various news sources, including MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, The Washington Post, Forbes Magazine, and The Los Angeles Times, among others. You can follow him @mkolken.

Posted in Business, Featured, NeighborhoodComments (0)


Hartford Police Arrest Bank Robbery Suspects

By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

Hartford Police is investigating a recent bank robbery on Franklin Avenue

The first suspect, Eric Jimenez, 35, of Hartford was arrested for first degree robbery and third degree larceny.

The second suspect, Carlos Salgado, 47, of Hartford was arrested for third degree larceny, for engaging police in a pursuit, reckless driving and interfering with police.

According to police, officers responded to reports of a silent hold up at to rob People’s Bank at 290 Franklin Ave.

On Nov. 6, the first suspect entered the bank and passed a note to the teller demanding money and implying that he was armed with a firearm and a bomb, police said.

Hartford Detectives are still trying to locate Jimenez. Also, Wethersfield PD Detectives were in Hartford investigating a different bank robbery in their jurisdiction with a similar suspect description and M.O.

While in Manchester the suspect’s car was spotted and police pursued him after he drove away. Officers pursued the suspect and vehicle, which abruptly stopped and they fled on foot. Police then pursued and apprehended the suspects in the area of Capitol Avenue and Laurel Street.

The suspect vehicle, a 2003 Cadillac CTS, had previously been stolen vehicle from East Hartford, police said.

Posted in HartfordComments (0)

CPBN Airs Documentary About Veterans : “11 of Us”

HARTFORD  – WNPR/Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN), is still airing the documentary, “11 of Us”, a salute to service.

Now through Veteran’s Day, WNPR will air one compelling story of an individual connected to the veteran community each weekday, as told in his or her own words.

The stories will air each day at 12:04 p.m. on WNPR, now through Nov. 11, and can also be found online at .

Through the “11 of Us”, CPBN will shine a light on Connecticut veterans and their communities. Listeners will hear stories of triumph, hardship, and how these military experiences shaped each of their lives.

From a World War II Army Medic, to a gold star mother who lost her son, the “11 of Us” campaign will recount the sacrifices made by veterans, their families, and others who have dedicated their professional lives to veterans’ organizations throughout Connecticut.

CPBN’s Institute for Advanced Media (IAM), a private vocational training school for adults and the home of the Veterans Vocational Training Program, has teamed up with WNPR to honor these heroes through this campaign.

“Veterans and veteran service organizations often go about their work without much recognition, and yet they provide excellent care and support to our country,” says IAM Manager Mike Komrosky. “The 11of Us campaign is an opportunity for us to bring awareness to the countless veterans and veteran service organizations in Connecticut that continue to go above and beyond the call of duty and serve our country and our communities.”

In addition to the on-air stories, CPBN is hosting a clothing drive for veterans and their families in need in the Connecticut community. The goal is to collect over 1,111 pounds of warm weather clothing for adults in all sizes. The clothing drive will end Tuesday, November 17.

Donations of new with tags on clothing only will be accepted at CPBN’s offices – 1049 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105; Attn: Mike Komrosky.

Posted in HartfordComments (0)

Congressman Honors Malta House of Care

HARTFORD — Rep. John B. Larson recently honored Malta House of Care with the Nancy Pilver Breast Cancer Awareness Award.

Malta House provides no-cost mammograms in partnership with Hartford Hospital and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center as well as education and follow-up care for women across Connecticut.

“Each year, hundreds of thousands of women are diagnosed with breast cancer. It can be a frightening diagnosis for anyone, especially the uninsured or those living below the poverty level,” said Larson (CT-01). “For nearly a decade, Malta House has provided women across Hartford with access to the care they need.”
Nancy was my patient for 20 years when I was in private practice,” states Dr. Theresa Caputo, Medical Director for the Malta House of Care. “She was very dedicated to raising awareness of breast cancer. I am doubly honored to accept this award on behalf of the thousands of women who come to the Malta House of Care because they have nowhere else to go for life-saving preventative care.”

The Nancy Pilver Breast Cancer Award is named for former Manchester resident and longtime breast cancer activist, Nancy Pilver.

Nancy served as the State Legislative Chair of the Connecticut Breast Cancer Coalition Foundation, and was the first recipient of the award in 1999. She passed away from breast cancer in 2003.

Posted in Business, NeighborhoodComments (0)


School Fair for Magnet Schools Begins Nov. 14

HARTFORD — Want to explore the many great opportunities for your child’s education within the Greater Hartford region?

The Department of Education is inviting you to its second regional school choice fair of the 2016-17 lottery application season on Nov. 14, 2015. The informational event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Metropolitan Learning Center, 1551 Blue Hills Ave. in Bloomfield.

Families planning to attend may sign up in advance online for this fair at RSCO’s web site ( Look for the ‘Sign Up In Advance!’ link under ‘News & Events’ on the main page.

The 2016-17 on-time lottery application period opened Oct. 15, 2015 and closes on Jan. 29, 2016. Officials said that there are approximately 43 magnet school options with specialized themes available; Hartford and suburban students may apply.

Students can apply to attend a non-magnet public school outside of their hometown. Once enrolled, Hartford residents may attend school in their Open Choice district through high school graduation.The largest numbers of available seats tend to be in transition grades, particularly prekindergarten, kindergarten, grade 6 and grade 9.

The fair will feature information about the wide array of options available to Hartford and suburban students entering pre-kindergarten through grade 12. RSCO partners include: the Capitol Region Education Council; Hartford Public Schools’ Host Magnet Program; the Hartford Region Open Choice Program; Goodwin College’s Early Childhood Magnet School and CT River Academy; the Connecticut Technical High School System; Bloomfield Public Schools’ Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School and The Global Experience Magnet School; and East Hartford Public Schools’ Connecticut IB Academy.

The lottery is not first-come, first-served and families are encouraged to make an informed decision.

For more information on school fairs, information sessions and open houses, please visit RSCO’s web site at or call RSCO’s Parent Information Center at 860-713-6990 weekdays (excluding state holidays) between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Metropolitan Learning Center

1551 Blue Hills Avenue

Bloomfield, CT 06002

Snow Date & Time: Sunday, November 15, 2015 from 1-4 p.m.

This fair will feature RSCO programming for Grades PK-12

Saturday, December 5, 2015

9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Connecticut River Academy

9 Riverside Drive

East Hartford, CT 06118

Snow Date & Time: Sunday, December 6, 2015 from 1-4 p.m.

This fair will feature RSCO programming for Grades PK-12

Saturday, January 9, 2016

9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Conard High School

110 Beechwood Road

West Hartford, CT 06107

Snow Date & Time: Saturday, January 16, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This fair will feature RSCO programming for Grades PK-12

Posted in Bloomfield, Business, Hartford, West Hartford, YouthComments (0)


Fourth GOP Presidential Debate Unveils Candidates’ Strengths and Weaknesses

By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

MILWAUKEE — The fourth Republican presidential debate on Tuesday unveiled strengths and weaknesses of the top eight candidates vying to win their party’s nomination to be the next president of the United States.

With no clear winner evident, the Fox Business Network and the Wall Street Journal GOP live debates produced a few zingers and many memorable one-liners from most candidates.

Going into the debate with a one-point lead was political newcomer Ben Carson, who defended himself after a barrage of questions about his resume and his biography, including a claim Carson made that he stabbed someone as a youth. Carson shrugged off questions from Trump, saying: “People who love me know that I am an honest person.”

Some pundits predicted Carson will eventually decline in the polls with his lukewarm performance in a forum designed to let others know more about him and his platform.

Donald Trump, the boisterous candidate known for his candid views on immigration and gender equality, tried to be statesmanlike instead of being like a court jester. But that strategy was halted when he criticized the only woman in the field of GOP candidates, Carly Fiorina, who made an indirect critique at his TV persona.

A moderator asked Trump about his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal under consideration by Congress. He said the deal would harm U.S. workers and stressed the danger in allowing China to continue to manipulate its currency and enter the US market through the backdoor. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) corrected Trump by highlighting his ignorance on the deal. Paul spoke through the moderator to Trump: “Gerard, you might want to point out China is not part of this deal.”

Most of the candidates gave practically the same answers for creating jobs, cutting taxes and curtailing government policies on businesses.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), the young mentee sidestep additional criticism of his former mentor Jeb Bush and delivered a few substantive answers on foreign policy,  tax issues and job creation. He called for more vocational training and criticized liberal arts majors:

“You’re going to make people more expensive than a machine,” Rubio said. “We need more welders and less philosophers.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is competing with Rubio to be a formidable candidate in the general election, was more lively but cautious with his answers, aiming for accuracy rather than comedic moments with memorable lines.

The other candidates aimed to move from the margins in the poll and insert themselves into the middle of the media spotlight.  This approach made Paul or Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas) seen as a possible breakout candidate.

The debate centered on mostly economic issues, which at times lead to a dry  discussion about economic issues that resonated with middle-class voters.


Posted in Business, Featured, Hartford, Nation/WorldComments (0)


ProChoice to Hold Awards Celebration

MERIDEN — NARAL ProChoice Connecticut is holding their annual Catherine Roraback awards celebration on  Nov. 19, 2015 at the Augusta Curtis Cultural Center in Meriden.

This year’s honorees are Carolyn Treiss, Executive Director, Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, and Matthew Lesser, State Representative, 100th Assembly District, Middletown. Both Treiss and Lesser are unwavering supporters of reproductive rights in Connecticut, and NARAL is proud to
honor them.

Griswold v Connecticut was a landmark Supreme Court case, ruling that a state’s ban on the use of contraception violated the right to marital
privacy. Prior to that decision, Connecticut law criminalized both the use of and encouragement to use birth control. Catherine Roraback represented
Estelle Griswold and Dr. C. Lee Buxton in their successful challenge to the anti-birth control statute.

Each year, NARAL ProChoice Connecticut honors two state leaders who exemplify the spirit and dedication of  Roraback.

Posted in HartfordComments (2)

End Hunger Connecticut! Adds Three New Board Members

HARTFORD — End Hunger Connecticut!, a statewide anti-hunger and food security organization, with headquarters in Hartford recently announced the addition of three new Board members: Renee DiNino, Joel Kalinowski and Arvia D. Walker.

Renee DiNino, a resident of Wethersfield, is the mid-day host on the River 105.9 and the Director of Community Affairs for iHeartMedia Communities Connecticut. DiNino is actively involved in her community, serves on multiple nonprofit boards and committees, and has received numerous accolades for her humanitarian efforts. She has been an avid supporter of the Connecticut No Kid Hungry campaign and important community partner for End Hunger Connecticut! in recent years.

Joel Kalinowski, a resident of Berlin, is Director of Social Media for the Connecticut Lottery Corporation. Kalinowski is pursuing his Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Connecticut. He is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University.

Arvia D. Walker, a resident of Hartford, is the Community Outreach Coordinator for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. Walker has rich experience working within the social services landscape and works daily to strengthen her community. “We are thrilled to have Renee, Joel and Arvia join us in our fight to end hunger in Connecticut,” said Lucy Nolan, Executive Director, End Hunger Connecticut!.

“Their skills, experience and passion will be an asset to our organization as we continue working towards finding a solution to food insecurity, child nutrition and obesity as it relates to poverty and hunger in Connecticut.”

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