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    Two men have been taken to the hospital after their canoe overturned in Milford.

    Police said the men went out fishing late Sunday night or early this morning and their boss called police when they did arrive at work this morning.

    Around the time police received the call reporting the men missing, someone who was in a vessel saw two people stranded on Charles Island, so the Milford Fire Department sent a rescue boat to Charles Island and brought the two men back to shore.

    The two men told emergency crews their canoe overturned and they made their way to nearby Charles Island. 

    They were taken to Milford Hospital as a precaution for hypothermia, but should be fine.



    Photo Credit: AP

    File photoFile photo

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    West Haven police have arrested a man accused of assaulting a police officer after police responded for a domestic dispute.

    Garrett Stearns, 31, was charged with assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct, carrying a weapon, inferring with police and interfering with an emergency call.

    Police said they were called to 114 Elizabeth Street around 4 p.m. Sunday. When they arrived they found a man, identified as Stearns, who had punched several holes in the walls and broken windows in the apartment. Police handcuffed the suspect, but then removed the restraints so the fire department could treat his injuries.

    Police allege that when they removed the handcuffs, Stearns became combative and struggled with officers, injuring one officer in the leg. Officers also found a steak knife in the suspect’s pants.

    The injured officer was treated at an area hospital and released.

    Stearns was held on a $100,000 bond.



    Photo Credit: West Haven Police Department

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    Bristol police have arrested a man in connection with a fatal pedestrian accident in July.

    Police said Gary DeFilippe was driving the car that struck 77-year-old John Levesque on North Main Street on July 7. Levesque was trying to cross the street. He died of his injuries.

    DeFilippe is charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, failure to grant right of way to pedestrian in crosswalk, failure to exercise due care to avoid a pedestrian, traveling too fast for conditions, and failure to have lights lit.

    DeFilippe turned himself in to the Bristol Police Department on Friday. He was released on a $10,000 bond and scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 14.



    Photo Credit: Bristol Police Department

    Gary DeFilippeGary DeFilippe

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    A woman is dead after fire broke out in a mobile home in East Windsor, according to police.

    An officer spotted smoke coming from behind Sofia’s Restaurant at the corner of Route 140 and Prospect Hill Road around 10:25 p.m. Sunday and crews found heavy smoke and flames coming from a mobile home behind the restaurant.

    Police and the Warehouse Point Fire Department and Broad Brook Fire Department all responded.

    Rescuers tried to enter the home to check for occupants but were pushed back by the smoke and residents in neighboring trailers were evacuated.

    Firefighters knocked down the blaze and when they got inside they found one person dead.

    The victim’s has not been released pending notification of next of kin.

    Neighbors said the woman killed in the fire lived there for at least 10 years and just celebrated a birthday.

    "She was very sickly. She just came home from the hospital last week and from what I understand, she was supposed to have gone out last night to celebrate her birthday," Lorraine Gawronski, a neighbor, said.

    There was significant damage to the trailer.

    “These things are tough once they get going, the trailers, they just go. Trailer fires are difficult just because of their structure,” said Warehouse Point Fire Department Chief James Barton.

    There is also some damage to two trailers next door and those families are temporarily displaced.

    "These things are tough. Once they get going, the trailers, they just go," Chief James Barton, of the Warehouse Point Fire Department, said.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.

    An autopsy is scheduled for today.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Firefighters working at a trailer off Route 140 in East Windsor.Firefighters working at a trailer off Route 140 in East Windsor.

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    High pressure will be quite dominate over Connecticut over the next week, with only a few exceptions.

    Today will be sunny with highs in the middle 50s.

    Another sunny day is on tap for Tuesday, when it will be warmer, with temperatures in the 60s.

    A cold front sweeps through on Wednesday and a weak area of low pressure will likely form along it.

    That means clouds and a few showers are expected, with temperatures in the 50s.

    [[400234401, C]

    Thursday and Friday both look dry with abundant sunshine. Temperatures will be seasonable, in the middle 50s.

    Over the weekend, high pressure will be nearby, but an injection of cloud air could result in a respectable amount of clouds on one of the weekend days.

    The Great Lakes are still quite warm, so even the smallest amount of relative cold over the lakes results in lake-effect clouds.


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    The South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority is asking all customers to continue to conserve water and cut water use by 15 percent because of ongoing drought conditions. 

    This is an increase since Oct. 11, when the company asked customers voluntarily reduce their water use by 10 percent.

    “We are joining Governor Malloy’s call to conserve water by 15% in response to the recent decision made by the Connecticut Interagency Drought Workgroup to issue the state’s first-ever Drought Watch,” Regional Water Authority vice president of asset management, Ted Norris, said in a statement. “This reduction will continue to enable the RWA to meet the public water supply needs for customers, fire protection, and protect the environment.”

    At the end of October, the RWA’s reservoirs were at approximately 53 percent of their capacity, which is less than the long-term average of 66 percent for October.

    “Connecticut’s water supply availability varies by community,” Norris said. “While supplies in RWA reservoirs are lower than normal, we also have groundwater sources that provide some operational flexibility in certain areas of our system.”

    A typical RWA residential household uses approximately 205 gallons of water per day. Assuming there are four people living in the household, a 15 percent household reduction would be seven to eight gallons per person, per day.

    Here are some things customers can do:

    • Shower to save water. A bath typically uses up to 70 gallons of water, whereas a five-minute shower will use only 10 to 25 gallons depending on the efficiency of your showerhead.
    • Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until cool. A running faucet can use about two gallons of water per minute.
    • Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth and you can save as much as four gallons of water. If you brush your teeth in the morning and at night, that adds up to saving 200 gallons of water a month. The same is true when you wash your hands and shave.
    • Scrape rather than rinse dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. The average dishwasher uses six gallons of water per cycle; more efficient dishwashers use four gallons per cycle. A running faucet uses about two gallons per minute.
    • Wash only full loads of clothes. Older top-loading machines use 40 gallons of water to wash a full load. Today’s newer standard models use 27 gallons, and more efficient ENERGY STAR washers use 14 gallons per wash.
    • Pick the appropriate water level setting – often small, medium, large – for the load, if that’s how your machine works. Front-loaders and most high-efficiency top loaders have auto-load sensing, and a few of the latest agitator top-loaders have it, too.
    • Repair dripping faucets and showers. If your faucet is dripping at the rate of one drop per second, you can expect to waste 27,000 gallons of water per year.

     “The RWA’s customers have already demonstrated that water use can be reduced when you commit to conservation,” Norris said in the statement. “We thank our customers who have committed to lowering their water use, but we need to do more to ensure we will continue to have enough water for all our customers’ needs should the drought continue.”



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

    File photoFile photo

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    The rainfall deficit since the beginning of 2015 is now over 19 inches in the Hartford area.

    Most of the state is in a severe drought, though eastern Connecticut is now considered to be in a lesser, moderate drought.

    In the Bridgeport area, the rainfall deficit since January 1, 2015 is 12.72 inches.

    The winter months in the Hartford area are historically the driest, with December, January and February each averaging less than 3.5 inches of rainfall.

    That, coupled with a predominately dry forecast over the next week, means the drought is likely to get worse.


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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be interviewed next week over a six-year-old rape investigation at Assange's residence, Ecuador's Embassy in London, Swedish authorities said Monday.

    NBC News reported the step forward in the investigation into accusations of rape and sexual assault. Assange, who denies the allegations, has been holed up in the embassy since 2012 to avoid Sweden extraditing him to the United States, where he fears he'll be prosecuted for releasing a trove of secret diplomatic cables.

    Two accusations of sexual assault against Assange have been dropped, but prosecutors continue to investigate the rape allegation.

    An Ecuadorian prosecutor is set to interview Assange for the rape investigation, with Swedish authorities present, according to the Swedish Prosecution Authority.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

    In this February 5, 2016, file photo, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he continues to seek asylum following an extradition request from Sweden.In this February 5, 2016, file photo, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he continues to seek asylum following an extradition request from Sweden.

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    Norwalk police are looking for a man wanted for escaping from a halfway house in the Waterbury area and said he’s a person of interest in several car burglaries in Norwalk.

    Police are looking for 30-year-old Edwin Sanchez and they are asking for help to find him.

    Anyone with information on Sanchez is asked to call the tip line at 203-854-3111 or text a tip to 274637 (Crimes.) Type NPD into the text field.



    Photo Credit: Norwalk Police

    Edwin SanchezEdwin Sanchez

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    Wallingford police have arrested two people accused of selling heroin around town.

    Nathanael May, 25, of Wallingford and Jacqueline Gambardella, 18, of Wallingford, both face narcotics charges.

    Police allege that May was supplying numerous people with heroin and that Gambardella was helping him.

    Police said they arranged to purchase heroin from the pair in two separate incidents and that some of the drug tested positive for fentanyl.

    On Thursday, Nov. 3 Gambardella was arrested following a traffic stop. She was charged with conspiracy to sell narcotics. She was released on a $1,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 17.

    On Friday, Nov. 4, police approached May. According to police, May attempted to escape detectives and after a short pursuit he was taken into custody. Police said they found 40 bags of heroin on him at the time.

    May was charged with sale of narcotics, possession of narcotics, and interfering with an officer. He was held on a $20,000 bond and is scheduled for arraignment on Nov. 7.



    Photo Credit: Wallingford Police Department

    Jacqueline Gambardella and Nathanael MayJacqueline Gambardella and Nathanael May

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    A North Texas woman battling cancer is now facing another challenge: getting used to her local celebrity status.

    Ana-Alecia Ayala, who’s battling a rare form of uterine sarcoma, has become an internet sensation after a dance video she posted on social media last month went viral. 

    "Being recognized, especially when I'm here at the hospital, as that 'dancing chemo girl,' it's just been a lot of fun," she said.

    In a post shared last month, Ayala, in her hospital gown with medical tubes attached to her, dances to "JuJu On That Beat" with her friend Danielle Andrus during a chemotherapy session at Baylor T. Boone Pickens Cancer Hospital in Dallas.

    The video, shared with the hashtag "#JuJuOnThatChemo," has been viewed more than 8 million times. Ayala's phone was flooded with calls, texts, and emails from friends and family.

    "I couldnt keep up with them and so I just put my phone down," she said.

    The video caught the eye of a producer on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." After a quick interview Ayala was told she would be coming on as a guest. She can't help but smile when she recalls meeting Ellen and speaking to a nationwide audience.

    "It was just amazing," she said. "My heart was pumping, which is probably a good thing because my blood counts had been low."

    Ayala did not disappoint in her TV debut last week, bringing her inspirational message to the masses.

    "There is life after diagnosis. Making the most of the good days and taking this diagnosis and running with it is what I've tried to accomplish," she said.

    Ayala's nurses said she's achieved her goal, spreading positivity to fellow patients and staff.

    "Seeing somebody like her, who passes the positive on from one person to the next and encourages you as much as we encouraged her, really makes a difference," said Deseree Cook, a nurse at the hospital.

    During her appearance on Ellen, Ayala received a $20,000 donation from Shutterfly to help cover her medical costs. With her newfound fame, Ayala hopes the encouragement and support she's received will have her dancing all the way to a clean bill of health.

    "My faith in god and my trust in my doctors has gotten me this far," she said. "We're going to beat this."



    Photo Credit: Ana-Alecia Ayala
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Ana-Alecia Ayala, left, and Danielle Andrus dance to Ana-Alecia Ayala, left, and Danielle Andrus dance to "JuJu On That Beat" during Ayala's chemo session at a Texas hospital.

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    Norwalk police are looking for a man who they said is wanted on assault and breach of peace charges.

    Police said they have two warrants for Mykell Mitchell and they are asking for help to find him.

    One warrant is for first-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace and the second is for violation of a protective order.

    Anyone with information on where he is should call the tip line at 203-854-311 or text-a-tip to 274637. Type NPD in the text field.



    Photo Credit: Norwalk Police

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    A recent study by the American Psychological Association found more than half of all Americans have experienced some sort of stress in connection with the 2016 election. That political anxiety has even been given a name—Election Stress Disorder.

    With one day to go before Americans cast their ballots to choose the nation’s next president, NBC Connecticut spoke to voters in the Nutmeg State about how they feel about the election, and they agreed that it’s been an election like none other.

    “It seems like everyone is more stressed about this one” said New Haven voter Samantha Watkins. “People are voicing their opinions and getting into fights and deleting people that they’re friends with,” she said.

    Many say conflicts online, among families and at the workplace seem to have increased during Decision 2016. The APA reports approximately 52 percent of Americans feel some sort of stress about the election. That stress comes from things like negativity surrounding the campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and anxiety about what may happen to the nation if their chosen candidate doesn’t come out on top.

    Elm City voter Gordon Washington says he is not surprised by the tense nature of this particular election.

    “The heat is because of the passion and what the people feel. You can’t get around that because it’s a passionate election” he said.

    This election will be the first time that William Bryant casts a ballot for president. He is 21 years old and says he can feel a difference between the tone of this campaign cycle and others.

    “I think that sense, that fear of the other party is really the most damaging part of it” he said.

    Claudia Kay plans to vote for Hillary Clinton as soon as the polls open on election day. She says she’s aware of the tense nature surrounding the campaigns, but has managed to avoid any election anxiety by staying off of the internet.

    “I think it’s been a lot more negative. I’m not involved with social media” she said.

    With just a day left until the nation elects a new president, psychologists say avoiding the allure of online conflict can in fact help ease election stress, along with focusing on things outside of politics and knowing one’s vote does make a difference.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    A moose was spotted in a parking lot at Bradley Airport this morning and it was captured on video. 

    The moose got trapped in the parking lot of Enterprise Rent-A-Car at Bradley International Airport and Route 20 was briefly shut down while a team of Troopers, East Granby police and a crew from Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection corralled it back to open woods and swamp land.

    Moose are the largest members of the deer family.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police
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    New London police are investigating after a pedestrian was hit by a Southeast Area Transit District bus Monday morning.

    Police said the accident happened at the intersection of Hempstead Street and Broad Street around 9:53 a.m.

    The victim was taken to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital for treatment of what appear to be non-life threatening injuries.

    Police are investigating. The driver, SEAT officials and witnesses have been interviewed by police.

    Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call New London police at 860-447-5269 or text the anonymous tip line by texting NLPDTip to 847411.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Fire crews are responding to 25 Wells Road in Ellington for a working fire, according to Tolland County dispatch.

    Dispatchers said the call came in as a garage fire with extension into the house. Ellington fire and Ellington ambulance are responding.

    No other information was immediately available.

    This is a developing story. Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

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    The Woodridge Lake Property Owners Association in Goshen has granted an emergency request from the Department of Health to release water from Woodridge Lake to refill the Waterbury reservoir.

    The Woodridge Lake Sewer District said that 269 million gallons of water will be released from Woodridge Lake for the reservoir. The reservoir was down to 44 percent capacity amid the statewide drought.

    Woodridge Lake is part of the Waterbury watershed. The release will drop the lake by about three feet, sewer district officials said.

    Most of Connecticut is in a severe drought, though parts of eastern Connecticut are only suffering moderate drought conditions.



    Photo Credit: AP

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    Even as a college senior nearly 50 years ago, Hillary Rodham Clinton was willing to be confrontational when it came to her political passions, challenging a U.S. senator about the urgency to alleviate poverty and earning herself a rebuke from the Chicago Tribune, which called her "discourtesy" unjustified.

    As Wellesley College's first ever student commencement speaker, Clinton put aside her prepared remarks to address comments made by U.S. Sen. Edward Brooke, who had preceded her on the stage at the graduation. A moderate Republican representing Massachusetts, Brooke had urged the students not to overlook the progress already made.

    Though concerned that she not be seen as attacking Brooke, she responded, "What does it mean to hear that 13.3 percent of the people in this country are below the poverty line? That's a percentage. We're not interested in social reconstruction; it's human reconstruction."

    The 21-year-old offered an early preview of how she viewed politics, saying, "We feel that for too long our leaders have viewed politics as the art of the possible. And the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible possible."

    Nearly 100 years after American women got the right to vote, Clinton could be about to make another achievement possible for women by becoming the first woman elected president. She has been up against an opponent who tailored his message primarily to disaffected white men in a tight and intensely fought race rife with misogyny.

    Clinton was chosen the Democratic presidential nominee after a lifetime of firsts, among them the first first lady to be elected a U.S. senator, but also after years of repeated investigations by her political enemies who even before she might ascend to the White House are threatening to impeach her.

    "It's historic and not just for women and women's participation but it's historic for our democracy in the same way that electing Barack Obama was historic," said Debbie Walsh, the director of the Center for American Women and Politics at New Jersey’s Rutgers University. "It is a breakthrough."

    Clinton, who lost her first try for the nomination to Barack Obama in 2008, initially made a name for herself for her work on behalf of women and children, joining Marian Wright Edelman's Children’s Defense Fund out of Yale Law School. Among her jobs: going undercover to collect data on school segregation. She went on to become the first female partner at the Rose Law Firm in Arkansas, the first lady of Arkansas and the first lady of the United States.

    But she has had considerable defeats too, failing to overhaul the country's health care system while she was first lady for example and earning widespread censure for her clumsy approach. "I now come from the school of small steps," she said later while campaigning for the U.S. Senate.

    Many of her opponents have criticized her policies or what they see as unethical or illegal behavior — though none has been proven — but others have attacked her as a woman.

    At a rally for Donald Trump in New Hampshire on Friday, former Gov. John Sununu asked if Bill Clinton was referring to Hillary Clinton when he said, "I never had sex with that woman," (Bill Clinton was talking about Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern with whom he had an affair, when he said "I never had sexual relations with that woman.")

    A tweet sent last week from the account of the Texas agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller called her a sexually explicit and derogatory term for a woman. His office later said had been sent inadvertently. 

    That hostility has made it even more urgent to elect a woman, say activists and some of Clinton's Wellesley College classmates, who believe she is the best qualified for the job.

    Terry O'Neill, the president of the National Organization of Women, said the election was important because Clinton is an "unapologetic feminist."

    "She is a practical progressive politician who likes to get things done," O'Neill said. "But she has spent her entire career working to empower women."

    During her tenure as secretary of state under Obama, she met not only with elite women around the world but also those working to advance women's position in society, O'Neill said. She expects Clinton would make priorities of closing the gender wage gap and ensuring that lower-income women have access to health care.

    "All the ways in which women are currently discriminated against, they all circle back to keeping women economically insecure," O'Neill said. "And when women are not economically secure, their whole families suffer, including the men in their households."

    Kris Olson, the U.S. attorney for Oregon during the Bill Clinton administration, knew Clinton both at Wellesley and at Yale University Law School and said that even then she was building bridges among different groups. As president, Clinton would not only be tough on international issues, but would focus on the critical issues affecting women and children, she said.

    "We need somebody to set the tone," Olson said.

    A CNN/ORC poll done early this year, before Clinton was picked as the Democratic nominee, found that three quarters of registered women voters thought that United States was ready for a female president. But only a third said it was very important to elect one in their lifetime — a finding that Walsh believed could be a result of younger women already used to women in powerful positions.

    A poll conducted of Wellesley College’s seniors found that 65 percent supported Clinton, 14 percent backed Sanders and 2 percent favored Trump. At the same time, 51 percent said that gender mattered only a little and 31 percent said not at all.

    Olson, like many of her contemporaries, said some younger women failed to appreciate the battles her generation fought, over reproductive rights for example, and how easily they could be turned back. And the misogyny that Clinton has encountered, the opposition to her that runs so deep in the country, likely will continue, she said.

    "The slurs over the years have been remarkable and they've intensified in the election and I don't see them abating," she said.

    Sharvari Johari, a co-editor of the college's newspaper, The Wellesley News, and a current senior, agreed it was important to elect a woman as president, as a role model for younger women in politics and as someone who might influence the focus of legislation.

    "With a woman president we might not have the same battles over women's reproductive rights, and we might have more support for single mothers and families," she said. "These are all issues that tend to be more important for women."

    But women at Wellesley are choosing Clinton because she is the best candidate on the ballot, she said.

    "Even though gender is incredibly important and it's important to support your fellow women, that comes with the asterisk — that you're going to support a fellow woman who deserves it, hard working women who are qualified and intelligent," she said. "Clinton is a woman but she is also incredibly qualified and incredibly intelligent and has political savvy. So my vote for her is both as a woman and as an educated voter."

    After leaving Wellesley College with Clinton in 1969, Dr. Lonny Higgins, a obstetrician and gynecologist, founded women's health centers in Hawaii and cofounded the MariMed Foundation for Hawaii's young people and families. Electing a woman would show how much women's and men's roles have evolved and broadened, and allow the country to tap into everyone's skills, she said. The entire culture would benefit, she said.

    "Why not a woman?" Higgins asked.

    Nancy Wanderer, another former classmate who was the director of the legal research and writing program at the University of Maine Law School, said the world had already seen the effects of having men in power.

    "We need to try the other half of the talent, really not just in the country but in the world," she said.

    A woman would bring a different perspective to such decisions as whether to send people to war or how to take care of children and help women work without worrying about whether their children were safe, she said.

    "I just think men haven't been able to do that so far," she said.

    And although many female leaders have not focused on issues important to women, Clinton would, her supporters say.

    A gender gap has been evident throughout the race. An NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll of Florida last month, for example, found Clinton ahead of Trump by 9 percentage points among women who are likely to vote — 51 percent for Clinton to 42 percent for Trump. An even larger gap was found in North Carolina, 14 points among women, where Clinton led Trump, 52 percent to 38 percent.

    The reverse is also true in Florida. Trump led Clinton by 11 points among men likely to cast a ballot in Florida, 48 percent to 37 percent. But in North Carolina they were competitive among men, with Trump at 44 percent and Clinton at 42 percent.

    Plenty of successful women have supported Trump, notably his campaign manager Kelleyanne Conway, the first woman to run a Republican presidential campaign. But other prominent Republican women, among them U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Meg Whitman, the chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, fled the Republican candidate after he was heard on a videotape bragging about groping women.

    As historic as Clinton's win would be, Walsh pointed to the dearth of women in many other positions and she worries that the push to elect more women could falter if voters think the job is done. Women make up only 19.4 percent of Congress as a whole — 20 percent of the U.S. Senate and 19.3 percent of the U.S. House of Representatives — and 25 percent of state legislatures.

    "We're behind many other countries when it comes to electing women as head of state," she said. "We're behind many countries frankly when it comes to electing women to our national legislature."

    Sarah B. Larrabee, another member of Clinton's class, now with a real estate company in Boulder, Colorado, recalled watching women push their daughters forward to see Clinton at a Democratic forum for women leaders. The girls were energized, she said, and some of their mothers were in tears.

    "I've been wishing I could contact my grandmother who didn't have the right to vote until she had already raised half of her family," she said.

    And classmate Susan Doull, whose company, Commendable Tours, organizes privates tours in Africa, Italy and France, has lived abroad for more of her life than in the United States. Clinton would be both capable and caring, able to work across the political aisle and resilient after many years of attacks, she said.

    "It's definitely time that the U.S. catches up with the rest of the world, which is much more comfortable with the role of women in politics," she said. "Not that it's perfect anywhere but we're behind."



    Photo Credit: Boston Globe via Getty Images
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    Hillary Rodham Clinton as a Wellesley College senior, May 31, 1969.Hillary Rodham Clinton as a Wellesley College senior, May 31, 1969.

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    Firefighters are responding to Edgewood Road in Berlin for reports of a brush fire, according to the Berlin Volunteer Fire Department’s Facebook page.

    They said Southington is also trying to locate a definite location from their side as well.

    The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection list the fire danger for today as "moderate."

    No additional information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    File photo.File photo.

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    After a year and a half of campaigning, it's almost time to settle a slugfest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump that's been anything but normal presidential politics. Accusations are flying, election officials are prepping for cyberattacks and the electorate is disgusted. How did we get here?

    Previous elections have turned on inspiring moments as well as major gaffes — think Barack Obama's defining speech on race in 2008 or Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" ad in 1984. But this year the election has been driven almost exclusively by the drip, drip, drip of scandal, controversy and intrigue.

    "Clinton's email scandal, Trump's controversial comments on a number of things. It's been about the candidates to a degree, perhaps, that it's never been," said Geoffrey Skelley, a political analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

    It's been dark, it's been dirty but it's finally almost over. Let's go to the videotape.

    July 5: Clinton's Emails Catch Fire

    Clinton was running fairly strong by the summer. She had locked up her party’s nomination and the support of Bernie Sanders, who gave her a tough challenge in the primary but said by the end of June that he would vote for Clinton. Then came the surprise announcement from FBI Director James Comey.

    He recommended no charges for Clinton putting State Department emails onto a private email server while she was secretary of state. The decision would have been good news for Clinton if Comey didn't go on to rip how her team handled the emails as recklessly sloppy, vulnerable to hacking.

    Clinton should have known better, according to Comey, even if no reasonable prosecutor would charge her for it.

    The announcement gave Trump a powerful attack line. Two weeks later, when his poll numbers began to shoot up, the crowd at the Republican National Convention roared with a chant of "lock her up." It became a staple of Trump's rallies across the country.

    "It clearly played right into the narrative of Clinton not being honest or trustworthy," Skelley said. "It obviously set the table for it to be a major campaign discussion."

    Swing in the polls: +0.1 to Trump after one week, as measured by the change in the Real Clear Politics head-to-head polling average, bringing him to 40.9 percent vs. Clinton's 45.4
    Key quote:
    "There is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information." –Comey
    Read more

    July 22: Clinton's First Hacking Problem — the DNC Emails

    Weeks later, the secret-publishing website Wikileaks made it even harder for Clinton to unite her party at the Democratic National Convention. It published a trove of emails from top Democratic officials, appearing to show them backing Clinton over Sanders.

    The leak came not only ahead of the Democrats' convention, but as the Republicans were riding high from the close of their own convention. Democratic party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to abruptly step down, and Sanders supporters who felt betrayed caused noticeable discord on the floor of the convention.

    It may have been more damaging in the long term. The revelation compounded Clinton's State Department email problem, reinforcing the perception that Clinton — and the Democrats — weren't transparent.

    Swing in the polls: +2.6 to Trump after one week, bringing him to 43.3 percent vs. Clinton's 43.3 percent
    Key quote: "This really does not come as a shock to me or my supporters. There is no question but the DNC was on Secretary Clinton's side from day one." –Sanders
    Read more

    July 28: Trump's Gold Star Showdown

    But Trump's troubles weren't far behind Clinton's. Two unlikely stars came out of the final day of the Democratic convention: Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the Muslim parents of an American Army captain killed in Iraq.

    They stood in front of an increasingly thunderous crowd in Philadelphia, as Khizr Khan attacked Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country (it has since been modified) as un-American, and mocked his lack of sacrifice for the country compared to that of Gold Star families. He capped the speech off by pulling out a copy of the Constitution and offering to lend it to Trump.

    The speech was a hit for Democrats and derailed Trump's momentum. He spent the next week defending his Muslim policy as being about "radical Islamic terror" while attacking the Khans. His unwillingness to apologize to the family earned a rebuke from some top Republicans, who wanted him to simply thank them for their sacrifice.

    Swing in the polls: +7.7 to Clinton after one week, bringing her to 47.4 vs. Trump's 40.6
    Key quote: "Go look at the graves of brave Americans who died defending United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing." –Khizr Khan
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    Sept. 9, 11: 'Deplorables,' Pneumonia Trip Up Clinton

    A new problem arose for Clinton when a recording surfaced of her telling a group at an LGBT fundraiser that half of Trump's supporters belonged in a "basket of deplorables," for being racist, sexist, homophobic and more. The remark galvanized Trump, who railed against the insult despite Clinton saying she regretted using the word "half."

    Two days later, Clinton was videotaped stumbling as she got into a car at the Sept. 11 memorial in lower Manhattan, yet her campaign hadn't disclosed she was ill. Staffers revealed hours later that she had pneumonia, and it kept Clinton off the campaign trail. "I just didn't think it was going to be that big a deal," she explained the next day.

    The pair of gaffes created the impression that Clinton acted one way in public and another in private — feeding into the narrative that she's secretive. "The story became about, 'Well, Clinton's hiding something again,'" Skelley said.

    Swing in the polls: +2.2 for Trump after one week, bringing him to 44 vs. Clinton's 44.9
    Key quote: "Wow, Hillary Clinton was SO INSULTING to my supporters, millions of amazing, hard-working people. I think it will cost her at the polls!" –@realDonaldTrump
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    Sept. 26: Trump's Debate Damage

    The most-hyped moment of any presidential campaign is the first debate, and this year's provided the requisite fireworks — a lot of them. The candidates battled over Trump's unreleased tax returns, Clinton's unreleased emails, the "birther" movement and much more.

    But two storylines dominated the coverage afterward: Trump continually interrupting the first woman to lead a major party ticket and Trump having once belittled the 1996 Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, whom Clinton said Trump called "Miss Piggy" when she gained weight.

    As with the Khans, Trump spent several days defending himself over the Machado claim rather than apologize or move on. For days, he insisted that Machado's weight gain was a "real problem" for him.

    Scientific polls showed Clinton won the debate, and much more damage came from Trump's refusal to back down, keeping a negative story in the news cycle.

    Swing in the polls: +0.9 to Clinton after one week, bringing her to 47.8 vs. Trump's 44.6
    Key quote: "This is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs." –Clinton
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    Oct. 8: Trump's "Access Hollywood" Crisis

    Possibly the biggest bombshell of the campaign was the release of a decade-old "Access Hollywood" tape that kept Trump's relationship with women in the spotlight. In it, the then-"Apprentice" host is heard bragging with Billy Bush about being able to do anything he wants to women, including grabbing them by the private parts, because he's famous. 

    Trump apologized twice for what many Democrats called an admission of sexual assault, but the remarks nevertheless brought denunciations from top Republicans, including Trump's vice presidential nominee. A few even said they could no longer support him.

    His cavalier attitude about sexual conquests was damning in its own right, but Skelley said it fed into the pre-existing narrative about Trump that the Machado news had already set up: "There's plenty of evidence that he has been a misogynist at times and has made plenty of sexist comments."

    Within a few weeks, 11 women came forward to accuse Trump of past sexual misconduct, including sexual assault and unwanted kissing and groping. He has denied all the allegations, which have not been verified by NBC News.

    Bush, for his part, was suspended at his new job on NBC's "Today" then left the show. ("Access Hollywood" is owned and distributed by NBCUniversal, the parent company of this station.)

    Swing in the polls: +2.1 to Clinton after one week, bringing her to 48.1 vs. Trump's 41.4
    Key quote: "Anyone that knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apologize." –Trump
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    Oct. 13: First Lady Joins the Fray
     

    As women were still coming forward with accusations against Trump, Michelle Obama summed up the scandal in a speech at a New Hampshire university.

    "Enough is enough, this has got to stop right now," she said.

    Arguing that even little boys know that men shouldn't take advantage of women, Obama said the country needs a leader who can unite the country, and that Clinton was the person to do it.

    She spoke directly to one of Clinton's key constituencys: "Women's votes were the difference between Barack winning and losing in key swing states, including right here in New Hampshire," she said, urging them to make the difference in 2016 once again. Even if it didn't swing the polls more than they already had, Obama made the campaign's strongest and most passionate argument against electing a man who has admitted sexual misconduct.

    And the speech was a political coming out party for the first lady as well. Her only other campaign appearance to that point was a similarly acclaimed speech at the Democrats' convention, but she became a powerful surrogate in the final stretch.

    Swing in the polls: +0.3 to Trump, bringing him to 42.1 vs. Clinton's 48.5 (just down from her 2016 high) 
    Key quote: "I can't believe that I'm saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women. And I have to tell you that I can't stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn't have predicted." -Michelle Obama
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    Oct. 28: Clinton's 2nd Email Surprise

    Clinton's lead started to look insurmountable to many in the media, as Trump began insisting that he was trailing because the race was being rigged by the media and political class. Then Comey sent a short letter to a congressional oversight committee saying the FBI had discovered new emails related to the investigation into Clinton's email server.

    Worse, the emails were discovered on the computer of disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin. The FBI is investigating him for allegedly sexting with a minor — linking Clinton's scandal to his, despite any evidence from the FBI that classified information was stored on Weiner's server.

    The announcement came despite a Department of Justice rule against such actions coming soon before elections, so it doesn't look like the government is meddling in them. Democrats and even some Republicans certainly saw the move that way, while Trump started telling crowds the system might not be so rigged against him after all.

    "The race was already tightening a bit, probably because Republicans were coming home, but now [it looks like] Trump's pulling within 2 points," Skelley said late last week. He added that such a close race mirrored "what a lot of the fundamental models" analyzing the race initially showed.

    When the Comey letter dropped, Clinton's campaign had just indicated it was making a play for the reliably Republican state of Arizona, a way to run up the score on Election Day. Afterward, her victory no longer assured, she and her surrogates added last-minute stops to states she once thought were reliably blue, like Michigan and Wisconsin.

    The FBI review of the emails ended nine days later, just as suddenly as it began. In a second letter sent the Sunday before the election, Comey informed lawmakers the review was over and had not changed his original determination. Clinton didn't mention the saga at a rally in Cleveland later that day, as she made a play for Trump-leaning Ohio by appearing on stage with hometown hero LeBron James.

    Swing in the polls: +4 to Trump within one week, bringing him to 44.8 vs. Clinton's 46.4 
    Key quote: "In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation." –Comey's letter
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    Photo Credit: AP

    Presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump shake hands after the opening presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, Sept. 26, 2016.Presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump shake hands after the opening presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, Sept. 26, 2016.

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