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    An East Bay family is shocked and unsettled after someone cut electricity to their home and planted 56 American flags, seven of which were defaced with handwritten pro-Donald Trump messages, on their front lawn early Saturday morning.

    Concord police are investigating the incident, reported by Jay and Denisen Hartlove, who live on Montana Drive in Concord. 

    The couple was preparing for bed just after midnight when Jay heard someone fiddling with their screen door. When he went to check out the noise, he says he found scores of plastic American flags staked into his front lawn, and a man — believed to be a neighbor with whom the family has had previous issues  — skulking away from the house.

    Some of the flags had "Build The Damn Wall" and "I Luv The Donald" written on them in black ink. The Hartloves say they are one of the more liberal families on the block, and believe they may have been targeted because of it.

    "Why would someone do that?" Jay wondered. "I mean, (the vandal) must have spent 20 minutes out there putting the flags in. This is not some drive-by prank….I mean, where do you get 56 flags in November?"

    Upon finding the flags, the couple was irked but not worried.

    "We tried to brush it off – Trump flags aren’t going to hurt anyone," Denisen said. "We sort of made light of the situation, like ha ha ha." The couple confronted the neighbor who they think is responsible, but neither Jay nor Denisen got a response.

    A short time later, at about 1:30 a.m., the situation became more serious. The Hartloves heard a huge bang and were plunged into complete darkness.

    At first, they thought the abrupt loss of electricity could be related to the fireworks going off in the street hours earlier, but they soon discovered that the metering box connecting power to their property had been ripped off. It was then that they became worried and frightened for their safety, and the safety of their two daughters, who were asleep in bed.

    "At that point, I thought we were under attack," Denisen said.

    The couple called the Concord Police Department and filed a police report with two officers, both of whom the Hartloves describe as being "very unhelpful."

    "They basically said that because (the neighbor) denied doing it, they couldn’t do anything," Jay said.

    The entire experience, from the vandalism to the Concord police "not taking the situation seriously," has left the family reeling, according to Denisen.

    "This is our home," she said. "We should be able to feel safe in our home."

    Chris Blakely, a public information officer with the Concord Police Department, said that officers are investigating, and noted that a detective has already been assigned to the case. A follow-up is scheduled for Monday, he said.

    "For us to do our job efficiently, we have to make sure that we get all the information," Blakely said. "That includes taking photographs, talking to neighbors, seeing if anyone has surveillance footage. It’s not as quick as some people want, but we do take it seriously."

    Throughout the Bay Area and the nation, politically-motivated instances of harassment are being reported at an alarming rate, according to hate-tracking groups. As of Monday, the Southern Poverty Law Center had noted 701 reports of harassment since election day.

    Many critics have pointed to President-elect Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric as fueling the incidents. In a sit-down interview with 60 Minutes, Trump told any of his supporters engaging in the behavior to "stop it."

    Meanwhile, the Hartloves, who have lived on Montana street for 20 years, are in the process of installing surveillance cameras around their home — a security measure they never thought they would need in their safe, suburban neighborhood.

    "We like our house. We like the street. We like our neighbors. With very few exceptions, it’s a wonderful place to be," Denisen said. "But, at this stage, I don’t know that I’m not going to wake up with the house burning down around me."

    For her, the silver lining on a dark cloud has been the neighbors — Republican and Democrat — who have stepped up to condemn the vandalism.

    "We had quite a few neighbors offer support and say ‘You know what, that’s not okay. It doesn’t matter who you voted for, that’s not an okay thing to do,’" she recalled. "They offered us help, and that was really nice to see. It was just really nice to see people step forward from our community."

    Gillian Edevane covers Contra Costa County for NBC Bay Area. Contact her at Gillian.Edevane@NBCuni.com or through text or call at (669) 263-2895.



    Photo Credit: Gillian Edevane
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    A Concord family found 56 flags planted on their home, seven of which contained pro-Trump messages, and their power was cut off. (Nov. 26, 2016).A Concord family found 56 flags planted on their home, seven of which contained pro-Trump messages, and their power was cut off. (Nov. 26, 2016).

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    A rowdy group of juveniles leaving a party caused $4,000 worth of damage to a Hartford convenience store Saturday night, according to police.

    Police said the group of between 30 to 40 kids entered the Shell Gas Station at 335 Capital Avenue and began to damage and loot the store. The group took off and the owner closed.

    Afterward, an adult and juvenile came in and began taking items and causing further damage. According to police, when officers arrived the adult, identified as Travon Shirly, 21, of Hartford, began fighting with officers.

    Shirly was arrested and his juvenile companion was processed and released on scene.

    One police officer was treated for minor injuries.

    Hartford police continue to investigate based off surveillance footage.


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    Middletown police are searching for a man who robbed a liquor store Saturday night.

    Police said the suspect pictured above entered Sal’s Package Store at 326 East Main Street around 9 p.m., told employees he had a gun and demanded a large amount of money.

    He then fled the store on foot running north toward the intersection of Saybrook Road and East Main Street.

    He is described as having a slender build, goatee, and dreadlocks. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, black and white sneakers, red gloves and prescription glasses at the time of the crime.

    Anyone with information or who recognizes the subject pictured above is asked to contact the Middletown Police Department Detective Bureau at 860-638-4000.



    Photo Credit: Middletown Police Department

    Middletown police said the suspect pictured above robbed Sal's Package Store on East Main Street Saturday night.Middletown police said the suspect pictured above robbed Sal's Package Store on East Main Street Saturday night.

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    Connecticut State police arrested a man after finding drug-laced rice crispy treats in his vehicle, police said.

    Troopers said they pulled over Nicholas Joren, 19, on Route 190 in Stafford after witnessing Joren’s vehicle swerve over a center line. Joren admitted to police that he had marijuana during the traffic stop.

    Police searched Joren’s car and found 5.6 ounces of suspected marijuana packaged for sale and 10 THC-laced rice crispy treats. They also seized $4,000 in cash.

    Joren was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of over four ounces of marijuana, failure to illuminate rear registration plates and failure to drive right.

    Joren was issued a $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 12.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    Connecticut State police said they seized 5.6 ounces of suspected marijuana packaged for sale, 10 THC-laced rice crispy treats, and $4,000 in cash during a traffic stop in Stafford.Connecticut State police said they seized 5.6 ounces of suspected marijuana packaged for sale, 10 THC-laced rice crispy treats, and $4,000 in cash during a traffic stop in Stafford.

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    Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday criticized Republican objections to the Wisconsin recount effort, arguing that the move is within legal rights and fairly common after elections.

    "We have recounts, probably almost every election there's a recount," Sanders, I-Vt., said on CNN. "No one expects there to be profound change but there's nothing wrong with going through the process."

    Wisconsin election officials accepted Green Party candidate Jill Stein's petition for a statewide recount, which is slated to begin late next week. The recount plan has drawn scorn from President-elect Donald Trump and his surrogates.

    When asked about senior adviser Kellyanne Conway's tweets that decried Hillary Clinton supporters for challenging the results after pressuring Trump to do the same during the general election, Sanders replied that "nobody cares."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

    Sen. Bernie Sanders is pictured in this stock photo.Sen. Bernie Sanders is pictured in this stock photo.

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    South Windsor police are searching for a man who robbed a local 7-11 Saturday night.

    Police said that around 8 p.m. a male suspect entered the store at 700 Ellington Road then left without buying anything. A few minutes later he returned, came up to the counter like he was going to make a purchase, then told the clerk he had a gun and asked for money.

    No weapon was actually shown during the robbery.

    The suspect left and got into a red Subaru style vehicle.

    The suspect is described as around 6 feet tall, with a mustache, wearing dark gray coat and an army style camo hat. Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact Det. Dave Gesualdi at 860-644-2551.



    Photo Credit: South Windsor Police Department

    South Windsor police said the subject pictured above robbed the 7-11 at 700 Ellington Road Saturday night.South Windsor police said the subject pictured above robbed the 7-11 at 700 Ellington Road Saturday night.

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    Donald Trump talks "regularly" with President Barack Obama and "very much enjoys" their conversations, a top Trump aide said Sunday.

    Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said Trump's consulted the president on his Cuba policy and the two spoke this weekend.

    "He's even been talking to President Obama. You know, beyond the sit-down they had 30 hours or so after President-elect Trump won the election, they've been talking regularly on any number of issues. They talked just yesterday," she said.

    The latest conversation went on about 40-45 minutes, she said, though she wouldn't offer details on what was discussed. But the two "get along nicely," Conway added, despite their differences.

    A Trump transition team official later told NBC News that the president-elect and his predecessor have spoken several times since they met in the Oval Office two weeks ago.



    Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    President-elect Donald Trump waves as he arrives at Trump International Golf Club for a day of meetings on Nov. 20, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.President-elect Donald Trump waves as he arrives at Trump International Golf Club for a day of meetings on Nov. 20, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.

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    Looking to get out and about in the community for the holidays? We’ve compiled a list of spirited activities across the state.

    Bethlehem:

    Christmas Town Festival
    Friday, December 2, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    The Bethlehem Green at Route 132 and Route 61

    Bridgeport:

    Christmas Tree Lighting
    Thursday, Dec. 1, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    The McLevy Green

    Bristol:

    Lights on Rosewood
    Saturday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Dec, 25 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    111 Rosewood Drive

    East Windsor:

    Winterfest at the CT Trolley Museum
    Friday Nov. 25 through Friday, Dec. 23 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 26 - Sunday Dec. 30 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

    Groton:

    Holiday Lights Parade
    Saturday, December 3, at 5 p.m.
    Starts at Route 1 and South Road

    Guilford:

    Annual Tree Lighting
    Friday, Dec. 2, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    The Guilford Green

    Hamden:

    Silverbells Celebration
    Saturday, Dec. 3, at 2:30 p.m.
    Free events at 2761 Dixwell Ave.

    Breakfast with Santa
    Saturday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. *Requires reservation
    480 Sherman Ave.

    Hartford:

    Winterfest
    Friday, Nov. 25, to Sunday, Jan. 8, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. *Times may vary for holidays
    Bushnell Park

    Madison:

    Annual Tree Lighting
    Friday, Dec. 2, at 5:30 p.m.
    26 Meeting House Road

    Meriden:

    Winter Wonderland Celebration
    Friday, Dec. 2, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    133 Parker Avenue

    Christmas in the Village
    Saturday, Dec. 3, from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    Main Street

    Middletown:

    Holiday on Main Street
    Saturdays from Nov. 26 through Dec. 17, From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    Downtown Middletown

    Mystic:

    Holiday Carnival
    Saturday, Dec. 3, at 5 p.m.
    27 Coogan Boulevard (Olde Mystick Village)

    Olde Mistick Village Festival of Lights
    Friday, Dec. 9, at 5:30 p.m.
    27 Coogan Boulevard (Olde Mystick Village)

    New Britain:

    New Britain Downtown City Christmas Tree Lighting Event
    Thursday, Dec. 1, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Central Park

    New Haven:

    New Haven Tree Lighting
    Thursday, Dec. 1, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    The New Haven Green

    Winter Festival on the Green
    Saturdays Dec. 3, through Dec. 17, noon to 4 p.m.
    The New Haven Green

    Easter Seals Goodwill Industries' 22nd Annual Fantasy of Lights
    Friday Nov. 18 through Sunday Jan 1. Open Sunday through Thursday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    Lighthouse Point Park

    North Haven:

    Tree Lighting
    Sunday, Dec. 4, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    North Haven Town Green

    Southington:

    White Christmas in the Community
    Friday, Dec. 2, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    Downtown Southington and Plantsville

    Stratford:

    Holiday Tree Lighting Festival
    Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 5:30 p.m.
    Stratford Town Hall, 2725 Main St.

    Torrington:

    The Christmas House
    Friday, Nov. 25 through Sunday, Dec. 25. Open inside 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and outside 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
    85 Main St.

    West Hartford:

    Holiday Stroll
    Thursday, Dec. 1, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square

    Fire on Ice
    Sunday, Dec. 25, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Blue Back Square

    If you know of a great winter event or display that’s not on the list, let us know by emailing the information to news@nbcconnecticut.com.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Fantasy of Light at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven.Fantasy of Light at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven.

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    The holiday weekend is coming to a close and that means millions of Americans are returning home.

    Some two million people in New England were expected to travel for Thanksgiving and roads were expected to be busy Sunday.

    And with some rain in parts of Connecticut, it was slow going on the major highways.

    “It’s been a little rainy. There’s been a few accidents on the way. So travel has been a little slower,” said Justin Yu of New Jersey.

    Sunday evening traffic was heavy but flowing through I-84 in Hartford and Waterbury. It was also busy on I-95 in New Haven and Milford.

    “Really, really slow. A lot of cars on the road. It’s taken, a four hour drive is taking us six hours,” said Anastassia Schlussel of Lawrence, New York.

    Connecticut State police were out in force for the holiday weekend, cracking down on traffic violations.

    Troopers handed out 896 speeding tickets, arrested 51 people for DUI, and investigated 392 crashes, one which was fatal.

    Police also caught thousands of people breaking rules of the road including tailgating, texting, and talking on their cellphones.

    But drivers dealing with the travel headaches it was all worth it to get away and spend time with family.

    “Absolutely, it’s all in good fun to have a break from life for bit,” said Jarod Wasserman of Mansfield, Mass.

    State police continue their extra patrols until midnight. They’re focusing on aggressive or drunk drivers.


    Traffic on I-84 in Hartford Sunday afternoon.Traffic on I-84 in Hartford Sunday afternoon.

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    President-elect Donald Trump claimed without evidence Sunday that "millions" voted illegally in the national election, scoffing at Hillary Clinton's nearly 2 million edge in the popular vote and returning to his campaign mantra of a rigged race even as he prepares to enter the White House in less than two months.

    Trump and his lieutenants assailed an effort — now joined by Clinton — to recount votes in up to three battleground states, calling the push fraudulent, the work of "crybabies" and, in Trump's estimation, "sad."

    The president-elect went on to cast a shadow over the legitimacy of an election that he actually won, tweeting that "I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." He further contended that if the popular vote determined the presidency, "It would have been much easier for me to win" it because he would have altered his campaign to pile up overall vote totals, not Electoral College votes.

    There's been no indication of widespread vote manipulation, illegal voting or hacking that materially affected the outcome one way or the other. It's that very lack of evidence that suggests Trump is likely to prevail in recounts.

    As Trump worked to fill foreign policy and national security posts in his Cabinet, a top adviser expressed astonishment that 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney remained under consideration for secretary of state after his campaign-long questioning of Trump's character, intellect and integrity.

    Trump on Sunday tweeted part of Clinton's concession speech, when she told supporters they must accept that "Donald Trump is going to be our president," and snippets from her debate remarks, when she denounced the Republican nominee for refusing to say in advance that he would accept the Election Day verdict.

    This came on top of his saying it was a "scam" that Green Party nominee Jill Stein was revisiting the vote count in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump won Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and as of Wednesday, held a lead of almost 11,000 votes in Michigan, with the results awaiting state certification Monday. His Michigan margin was a hair's breadth 0.22 percent of the state's votes.

    Clinton leads the national popular vote by close to 2 million votes, but Trump won 290 electoral votes to Clinton's 232, not counting Michigan. She could conceivably tip the electoral balance in the remote event that all flipped to her in recounts.

    Trump planned to return to New York on Sunday after spending Thanksgiving weekend at his West Palm Beach estate. His transition team said the president-elect had scheduled a series of meetings Monday with prospective administration hires.

    Among the jobs Trump has still yet to fill: secretary of state. Internal division over the position again spilled out into the open on Sunday as Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway voiced her concerns with the possibility of Romney landing such a significant position.

    Trump supporters "feel a bit betrayed that you can get a Romney back in there after everything he did," Conway said. "We don't even know if he voted for Donald Trump. He and his consultants were nothing but awful to Donald Trump for a year." She added that she was "reflecting what the grassroots are saying."

    Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker are among other prospects to serve as the country's top diplomat.

    "I'm all for party unity, but I'm not sure we have to pay for that with the secretary of state position," Conway said.

    Trump's incoming chief of staff, national party Chairman Reince Priebus, acknowledged that Romney would represent "a team of rivals concept."

    Trump was mostly silent on the brewing recount effort until it became known that Clinton would join it, at least in Wisconsin. On Saturday, a day after Wisconsin officials said they would conduct the first presidential recount in the state's history, Clinton campaign attorney Marc Elias said: "We intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides."

    Elias said Clinton would take the same approach in Pennsylvania and Michigan if Stein were to follow through with recount requests in those states.

    That loosened Trump's tongue.

    "Hillary Clinton conceded the election when she called me just prior to the victory speech and after the results were in," Trump tweeted Sunday. "Nothing will change."

    He quoted from her concession speech — "We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead" — and he concluded: "So much time and money will be spent - same result! Sad."

    On NBC's "Meet the Press," Conway said Stein, "the Hillary people" and others supporting recounts have to decide whether they are going to back a peaceful transition "or if they're going to be a bunch of crybabies and sore losers about an election that they can't turn around."

    Priebus, on "Fox News Sunday," called the effort a "total and complete distraction and a fraud and something that they should drop."

    Clinton's lawyer said her team has been combing through the results since the election in search of anomalies that would suggest hacking by Russians or others and found "no actionable evidence" of an altered outcome. Moreover, Elias said, Trump has a vote lead even in the closest states that well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount.

    But "we feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process itself," he said.

    Trump beat Clinton in Wisconsin by fewer than 22,200 votes, less than 1 percent of votes cast. He won Pennsylvania by some 70,600 votes, just more than 1 percentage point over Clinton.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    President-elect Donald Trump stands outside the clubhouse following his meeting with Peter Kirsanow, attorney and member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, at Trump International Golf Club, November 20, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.President-elect Donald Trump stands outside the clubhouse following his meeting with Peter Kirsanow, attorney and member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, at Trump International Golf Club, November 20, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.

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    Hartford police are searching for a suspect in a reported hate crime Sunday morning.

    Police said around 2 a.m. Sunday, they responded to 1 Union Place where the victim reported she was assaulted because of her sexual orientation. She was complaining of arm and leg pain and was taken to Saint Francis Hospital.

    Police searched the area but did not find any witnesses or suspects.

    The suspect is described as male, between 30 and 35 years old, 230 pounds and bald. Anyone with information on this incident should contact Hartford police.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    One man is dead after his motorcycle collided with an SUV Sunday morning in Bristol.

    Police said the 34-year-old victim, identified as Corey Cuvelier, of Bristol, was driving on Route 6 around 6:30 a.m. when an SUV driven by a 20-year-old female, identified as Crystaly Acevedo, of Southington, tried to turn onto King Street in front of him.

    Lifestar was called to transport Cuvelier but he died before he was transported, officials said. Police said he was not wearing a helmet.

    Acevedo was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

    Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor in this crash and it appears the SUV driver did not see the motorcyclist when she turned, police said.

    No charges have been filed at this time. King Street was closed for several hours but has since reopened. The Bristol Police Department Serious Accident Reconstruction Team continues to investigate.


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  • 11/28/16--03:54: Cubans Mourn Fidel Castro

  • The normal liveliness found in Havana's streets was notably absent Sunday afternoon as Cubans prepare to nationally memorialize the late Fidel Castro. 

    Sounds of afro-Cuban music wafting from the trumpets and drums of sidewalk bands were gone. There were no dancers shimmying on sidewalks. The hustle and bustle of Havana is always present, but at this moment, it is a city paying its respects.

    "The Cuban people love Fidel," said Yhosvani "Yuri" Mazola. "We love Fidel, always we love Fidel."

    Yuri Mazola spent seven years restoring a pink 1951 Pontiac, complete with its original engine and gear box. It's as if the country went back in time; streets were uncharacteristically silent Sunday afternoon while the automobile rolled through the famed Malecon. A banner hung in front of Plaza 13 de Marzo waved in the air; it said "thank you for everything, Fidel" in Spanish.

    The somber atmosphere marks the beginning of an eight-day period of mourning for Fidel Castro, the polarizing, yet revolutionary former Cuban leader.

    Even those who were oppressed under Castro's regime are showing respect, such as Berta Soler, the leader of "Damas de Blanco", or the Ladies in White, an opposition movement founded in 2003. The women and relatives of jailed dissidents typically march every Sunday after church; today, they remained inside for fear of retribution.

    "Nothing will change the dictator. The dictator Raul Castro will continue his war," Soler said. "More than dictators, they are like a mafia family: they can do whatever they want and they are still in charge of everything."

    Regardless of the feelings Cubans have toward the late ruler, the historical and cultural significance of his death is undeniable. 

    "We're all very aware that it is a historical moment," said Luis Duno-Gottberg, professor of Caribbean-American studies at Rice University in Houston. "I was telling my students 'yesterday the 20th century came to an end.' It is that significant."

    On Monday, Havana will prepare to eulogize Fidel Castro in a large ceremony at Plaza de la Revolución, which thousands are expected to attend. But with his passing comes uncertainty of how relations between the U.S. and Cuba will progress.

    New non-stop airline flights to the U.S. from Cuba will begin the same day as the ceremony — the first in more than 50 years. This means good news for American tourism in Cuba, which is up 80 percent this year.

    Thawing relations is a good sign for baseball fanatics like Yuri, who told News 4 New York he hopes one day he can see his New York Yankees play in the Bronx. 



    Photo Credit: AP

    An image of the late Fidel Castro stands on a chair in a government building in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Cuba is observing nine days of mourning for the former president who ruled Cuba for half a century.An image of the late Fidel Castro stands on a chair in a government building in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. Cuba is observing nine days of mourning for the former president who ruled Cuba for half a century.

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  • 11/28/16--04:00: Tx. School Rejects 'Racism'

  • A Dallas preparatory school for boys denounced actions by one of its graduates, releasing a statement on Friday that said it rejects "racism and bigotry in all of its forms and expressions."

    The message from St. Mark's School of Texas did not name the graduate but referenced a video of the alumnus "leading a white nationalist meeting in Washington, D.C."

    White nationalist Richard Spencer, an alumnus of St. Mark's, lead a conference in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 19, drawing Nazi-style salutes from people in the audience.

    In a video released on YouTube by The Atlantic, Spencer praised the election of Donald Trump as president by saying, "Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!"

    “America was, until this past generation, a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity,” Spencer said. “It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.” 

    St. Mark's statement, from headmaster David W. Dini, read in part:

    On Friday, November 18th in our annual Thanksgiving message to alumni,
    parents, and faculty, we referenced recent news stories that connect St. Mark’s to ideas
    expressed by one of our graduates that conflict directly with our core values and
    principles. Just one day later, video footage emerged of this alumnus leading a white
    nationalist meeting in Washington, D.C., bringing even greater attention to these hateful,
    divisive, racist, and anti-Semitic views. This has been deeply troubling and terribly
    upsetting to our whole school community. At St. Mark’s, we reject racism and bigotry in
    all its forms and expressions. Our mission, values, and programs stand in direct
    opposition to these vulgar ideas. In light of such comments, our mission to develop boys
    of strong character, compassion, empathy, and courage has increasing relevance and
    importance.

    "On Friday, November 18th in our annual Thanksgiving message to alumni,parents, and faculty, we referenced recent news stories that connect St. Mark’s to ideas expressed by one of our graduates that conflict directly with our core values and principles. Just one day later, video footage emerged of this alumnus leading a white nationalist meeting in Washington, D.C., bringing even greater attention to these hateful, divisive, racist, and anti-Semitic views. This has been deeply troubling and terribly upsetting to our whole school community. At St. Mark’s, we reject racism and bigotry in all its forms and expressions. Our mission, values, and programs stand in direct opposition to these vulgar ideas. In light of such comments, our mission to develop boys of strong character, compassion, empathy, and courage has increasing relevance and importance."

    It continued:

    "We remain deeply committed to including and valuing all students of different backgrounds, races, religions, beliefs, and experiences, and our commitment to those ideals is paramount and immutable."

    Spencer is scheduled to address students at Texas A&M University on Dec. 6. The school said it did not invite Spencer but cannot stop the speech because people can reserve campus space available to the public.

    The Dallas Morning News reported that some of Spencer's former classmates at St. Mark's began an online fundraising campaign to repudiate his ideas. The goal is to raise money for the International Rescue Committee, a nonprofit group that helps refugees and asylum-seekers, including in the United States.

    Last December, the state of Texas tried to bar the International Rescue Committee from resettling Syrian refugees in Texas. But in June, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Texas had no legal standing to bring a suit.



    Photo Credit: Linda Davidson / The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Richard Spencer, president of the National Policy InstituteRichard Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute

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    Turkish authorities detained two reporters working for foreign news organizations in southeast Turkey, the latest journalists taken into custody as part of the government's sweeping crackdown following a failed coup in July, NBC News reported.

    BBC Turkish correspondent Hatice Kamer was detained Saturday in the town of Sirvan while covering a recent copper mine collapse that killed at least 11 workers, the broadcaster said. Voice of America said its freelance reporter, Khajijan Farqin, was detained the same day in Diyarbakir.

    Kamer was released on Sunday, BBC Turkish said. She told German broadcaster WDR by phone after being freed that she was told she would face charges of having supported the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, through her reporting. Kamer said there was no evidence for that.

    Voice of America later reported Sunday that Farqin had also been released. The details of her arrest are still unclear, the outlet said.



    Photo Credit: AP

    In this Nov. 26, 2015, photo, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting of local administrators at his palace in Ankara, Turkey.In this Nov. 26, 2015, photo, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting of local administrators at his palace in Ankara, Turkey.

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    Six people were hurt in an accident involving two cars and a tow truck Sunday in Westport.

    The Westport fire department said the crash happened on the Merritt Parkway northbound between exits 41 and 42 around 7:42 p.m. When firefighters arrived they found three people seriously injured and three others with non-life threatening injuries. All of the injured were outside the vehicles.

    The victims were taken to Norwalk Hospital for treatment. There was no immediate word on their identities or conditions.

    The highway was closed for about an hour while crews worked to clear up the crash.

    The Westport Fire Department issued a reminder to wear seat belts.

    Connecticut State Police are investigating the crash.



    Photo Credit: Westport Fire Department

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    Counselors will be on hand at the CREC River School in Bloomfield Monday to help students and staff cope with the loss of a 9-year-old student.

    Marcus McGhee was found dead in a pond Saturday after wandering away from a relative’s home in Pearland, Texas on Thanksgiving. McGhee was autistic and non-verbal.

    Texas authorities and volunteers from the community launched a massive search effort that ended when McGhee was found around 7 a.m. Saturday.

    CREC released a statement that read in part:

    "The CREC community is saddened by the loss of Marcus McGhee, a student at CREC River Street School. He was a very special person to our staff, and he will be missed dearly by all who knew him.”



    Photo Credit: Pearland Police Department
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    Marcus McGheeMarcus McGhee

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    Connecticut State police arrested a driver they said was driving over 100 miles per hour with three children in the car.

    State police said troopers conducting traffic enforcement Saturday night clocked a 2005 Infiniti G35 driving 123 miles per hour on I-84 west near exit 58, where the speed limit is 55 miles per hour.

    When police caught up with the vehicle they discovered the 41-year-old driver had three young passengers in the backseat – a 5-year-old, a 9-year-old and a 12-year-old. There was also a 34-year-old woman in the passenger seat.

    The driver, Ricardo Torres of Terryville, was arrested and charged with reckless driving, risk of injury to a child and reckless endangerment. He was released on a $5,000 bond and is expected in court on Dec. 13.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    Ricardo TorresRicardo Torres

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    For the first time in over half a century, United States airlines are making commercial flights into Havana, Cuba — just days after the death of that country's former leader, Fidel Castro.

    American Airlines, which scheduled flights to several cities in the country, had a plane take off for Cuba for the first time from Miami International Airport shortly after 7:30 a.m. Monday. It is the first commercial flight from any U.S. carrier to the capital city since Castro cut off relations with the country shortly after taking power.

    The first return flight from the capital city, now in mourning for the man who led the country's communist revolution, was scheduled to return around 10:30 a.m.

    "We were the last country with the embargo. I think it's time to normalize things," said Daniel Lewis, one of the passengers on the first flight.

    Just before the historic flight took off, a water cannon salute bid farewell to the passengers - and then it was up and away to the skies for a historic journey.

    Also, Monday, a Havana-bound JetBlue flight departed from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City. Delta plans its first flights to Havana on December 1.

    Flights have resumed between the countries — part of President Barack Obama's plans to renew relations between the counties just 90 miles apart – with the first ones taking off in August from both MIA and Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport.

    A JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara was the first U.S. commercial flight to any Cuban city.

    Despite the thaw in relations that allowed new flights, people may only fly to Cuba for 12 reasons, including family visits, official U.S. business and humanitarian projects, but not tourism.

    President-elect Donald Trump and his team haven't indicated if his administration will keep Obama's policy, though Trump tweeted Monday morning, "If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate deal." He didn't offer specifics.

    It was announced Monday that neither President Obama or Vice President Biden would be attending Castro's funeral.

    American Airlines plans on having four daily flights between Havana and Miami under the new plans. 


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    Ansonia police are investigating a robbery after arranging to meet someone to buy a cell phone and said this robbery is similar to one reported in Fairfield. 

    Police received a 911 call at 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 22 about a robbery on Rockwood Avenue at Granite Terrace and the victim told officers that he and a friend had gone to Rockwood Avenue to buy a cell phone that was listed on LetGo. 

    When they arrived, a man showed them a phone, then a man with a handgun showed up and took the victims’ cell phones and cash, police said. 

    The robbers fled in a small dark small SUV. 

    Police said the robbery is similar to one that took place in Fairfield on Nov. 15. 

    Ansonia police urge residents to meet in a public place when buying items listed online, such as the lobby of the police department.


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