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    Russian Miners have discovered some very rare gemstones. The two beryl crystals and emerald could be worth up to $32,000. The mining company says it will reward the workers who unearthed the gemstones with four percent of the value of the find.

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    The American Red Cross is assisting 14 families after fire broke out in an apartment on Woodland Street in Hartford around 2 a.m. on Monday. 

    Officials said the fire was contained to one apartment, but there was some water damage to at least one other apartment on the floor below the fire so there will be “a few” people displaced. 

    No one was injured. 

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    The city of Hartford has reached a four-year agreement with Hartford firefighters union, according to the mayor’s office, and it will go to the city council for approval. 

    The new contract is significant because of the savings it will provide. It's estimated by the mayor's administration and the union that savings will first be noticed toward the end of the current fiscal year to the tune of $1.5 million.

    Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said the four-year agreement with Hartford Fire Fighters Association, Local 706 will save the city more than $3.5 million in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017 and larger amounts in the years that follow. 

    The union ratified the agreement on Friday, which will replace the current contract, which expired on June 30, 2016, and will extend until June 30, 2020. 

    “I commend the Hartford Fire Union for recognizing the severity and the urgency of our fiscal crisis, and for doing their part to help put Hartford on the path to fiscal health. This agreement will save the City of Hartford millions of dollars in each of the next four years, and makes some very significant structural changes to reduce long-term liabilities. At a time when Hartford faces intense fiscal pressure, I’m proud that we were able to work together to sign a serious, responsible agreement for Hartford and its taxpayers,” Mayor Bronin said in a statement. 

    The mayor’s office said the four-year agreement includes no wage increases for four years, a 70 percent increase in annual employee contributions into the pension fund, substantial changes to health care plan design, an increase from a 20-year to a 25-year service requirement to retire for current employees with less than 10 years of service, substantial increases in employee share of health care premium costs and a reduction in the city’s exposure for funding retiree healthcare after age 65. 

    For new hires the agreement caps future pensions at 70 percent of employees’ base pay, with overtime pay not factoring into earnings for pension, a nearly 10 percent salary reduction across the board and the elimination of the city’s liability for funding retiree health care. 

    Vincent Fusco, the union's president knew going in that this contract year was one for concessions.

    Even if he wanted higher wages, increased health benefits, or something similar, Fusco knew those weren't possible given the city's fiscal crisis. Fusco ruled out allowing negotiations to go to arbitration

    "We had to look at what's the best solution for today. I don't think the best solution was to drag this out. The finances aren't going to get better any time soon and structural change was needed. We understood that."

    The city faces a $20 million shortfall to end the current fiscal year and a $50 million shortfall in the next fiscal year.

    Fusco said he won't predict whether other unions will take the same tactic he did, knowing the union would have to provide givebacks.

    "I did what I thought was best for our membership and the city. I can't speak for other unions," he said.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, 62, was assassinated by an Ankara police officer in front of a stunned crowd attending an embassy-sponsored photo exhibit in Ankara, Turkey, on Dec. 19, 2016.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov gives a speech as he visits an art fair at Modern Art Center in Ankara, Turkey, on December 19, 2016. He was shot at the exhibition while delivering a speech, according to reports from the scene. (Photo by Ecenur Colak/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov gives a speech as he visits an art fair at Modern Art Center in Ankara, Turkey, on December 19, 2016. He was shot at the exhibition while delivering a speech, according to reports from the scene. (Photo by Ecenur Colak/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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    A Suffield police used Narcan to revive the victim of a drug overdose Sunday morning.

    Police said early Sunday morning they received a 911 call from someone in Arizona who said he was chatting online with a Suffield woman when she had what he thought was a drug overdose. Officers used the potential victim’s cellphone number to confirm her location and responded.

    When officers arrived the 18-year-old victim was unresponsive and not breathing. Suffield Police Sgt. Nelson used Narcan to revive the victim, who as then taken to the hospital for further treatment. She has not been identified.

    Suffield police officers were trained on how to properly use Narcan by Suffield Volunteer Ambulance in October. Police remind the community of the dangers of opioid use and encourage anyone in need of support to contact the Suffield Local Prevention Council or Leslie Offenbach at Suffield Youth Services at 860-668-3329 or LOffenbach@SuffieldCT.gov.



    Photo Credit: NBC10

    File photoFile photo

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    A festive Christmas market in the heart of Berlin, Germany became a scene of confusion and agony after a truck ran over a sidewalk and into the stalls, killing nine and injuring many.

    Photo Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Rescue workers arrive to the area after a lorry truck plowed through a Christmas market on Dec. 19, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. Several people died while dozens were injured as police investigate the attack at a market outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on the Kurfuerstendamm and whether it is linked to a terrorist plot.Rescue workers arrive to the area after a lorry truck plowed through a Christmas market on Dec. 19, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. Several people died while dozens were injured as police investigate the attack at a market outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on the Kurfuerstendamm and whether it is linked to a terrorist plot.

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    Protesters held a dramatic last stand against a Donald Trump presidency as electoral colleges across the country tallied their votes. Texas put Trump over the 270-vote mark, formally confirming his president-elect title.

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    One person is dead and another injured when their car rolled off Interstate 91 to the road below in Enfield Monday afternoon.

    State police said around 2:15 p.m. troopers responded to I-91 north between exits 46 and 47 for a reported rollover. According to police, the car crossed over all the lanes and struck the barrier on the right shoulder before going off the highway and falling 20 to 30 feet onto Oliver Road below.

    Police said the passenger, identified as Marie Parks, 22, of Springfield, Mass., was taken to Baystate Medical Center where she died of her injuries.

    The driver, John Gallucci, 32, of Windsor, was taken to St. Francis Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

    The cause of the crash is under investigation. Any witnesses are asked to contact Tpr. Valente at 860-534-1000.



    Photo Credit: @PJJanuszewski

    State police and the Enfield fire department responded after a car rolled off I-91 north and onto the road below.State police and the Enfield fire department responded after a car rolled off I-91 north and onto the road below.

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    State police have arrested a man accused of dealing marijuana from his home in Eastford.

    Police said through investigation the Troop D Quality of Life Task Force believed Kenneth Botting, 37, was selling marijuana from his home on Ashford Road.

    According to police, when officers executed a search warrant at Botting’s address they found about 3.4 pounds of marijuana packaged for sale, over 500 grams of THC, a rifle, shotgun, pistols, and a digital scale.

    Botting was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, and operating a drug factory. He was released on a $15,000 bond and expected to appear in court on Jan. 3.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    Kenneth BottingKenneth Botting

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    The Rosado family helped stuff the back of a New Haven police cruiser with toy donations Monday at the Wal-Mart on Foxon Boulevard.

    "I get a lot for Christmas and I just hope other kids can get the same as me," Giada Rosado said.

    The drop off site is part of the 2016 KIEDC Holiday Toy, Coat, Hat and Food Drive which carries on the legacy of the late New Haven Alderwoman Mae Ola Riddick. Since she passed away in 2013, Kingdom International Economic Development, New Haven police and the Mae Ola Riddick Foundation have teamed up to organize the toy drive.

    “Due to the economy, the need is getting greater," organizer Janice Parker said.

    “The sign-up is closed,” Captain Patricia Helliger said, “but we never turn anyone away."

    Last December, someone swiped hundreds of donated gifts and coats just days before they were to be distributed to less fortunate children.

    “Then we had gotten a second donation that also suffered the same fate," New Haven Police Capt. Helliger told NBC Connecticut.

    From the overflow of last minute donations a year, organizers were hoping to save some of them for this holiday season, but Helliger said a second Grinch struck and stole them, too.

    “We wouldn't have to be doing this now because we had such an overwhelming response from the community about the first theft," she said.

    Thanks a steady flow of donations Monday, the police cruiser trunk outside Wal-Mart filled up nicely.

    “Your children are blessed so you want to share that with all the children you possibly can," Miguel Rosado said.

    Police will be back at that Wal-Mart on Foxon Blvd. Tuesday again stuffing a cruiser from 10 a.m. to3 p.m. Other drop off locations through Wednesday are the police substation at 26 Charles St. and police headquarters on Union Avenue.

    Helliger said they are still in need of more toys and coats for toddlers and teens. 


    A cruiser stuffed full of toys for the 2016 KIEDC Holiday Toy, Coat, Hat and Food DriveA cruiser stuffed full of toys for the 2016 KIEDC Holiday Toy, Coat, Hat and Food Drive

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    The owner of a Montville marijuana dispensary said there's a growing need and a growing number of patients she sees every day, and she’s outgrown her space.

    "Space is getting tight. We're tripping over each other behind the counter. The lobby is not big enough for the patients who are waiting to come in," said Thames Valley Alternative Relief owner Laurie Zrenda. She and her niece opened the facility just over two years ago.

    Zrenda said when she first opened, she'd see six to eight patients a day. Now 200 can flow through her lobby daily.

    As of this week, more than 14,862 people are registered medical marijuana patients in Connecticut, according to the State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. About 1,600 of them are registered in New London County.

    Thames Valley Alternative Relief has more than 2,300 approved customers, according to Zrenda.

    She said more medical conditions have been added to the state list that qualifies people for a medical marijuana certificate, which leads to a higher demand.

    The dispensary is moving to an old bank building down the block on Norwich-New London Turnpike in Uncasville. But it should be able to accommodate more parking and more visitors, Zrenda said.

    Montville Mayor Ronald McDaniel said it could mean more money for the town.

    "Certainly people might stop to get gas, or stop to get lunch at the diner, or certainly something like that. It certainly can't hurt. Any traffic is good traffic," McDaniel said.

    McDaniel said it's good to see business grow. Montville has recently lost a power plant and paper mill in town.

    Zrenda said she plans on staying local.

    "Word of mouth gets out and other people with the same condition want to try it," she said.

    Depending on building permits, Zrenda said she would like to open in the new facility as early as March or April.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    The Thames Valley Alternative Relief dispensary is moving to an old bank building down the block on Norwich-New London Turnpike in Uncasville.The Thames Valley Alternative Relief dispensary is moving to an old bank building down the block on Norwich-New London Turnpike in Uncasville.

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    A New Haven mother is concerned the school bus isn’t getting her son to and from school safely.

    Tania Bermudez’s son Daniel is a freshman at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven.

    “It’s getting harder and harder for him to walk up the hill that they’re dropping him off at the bottom of,” Bermudez said.

    Her son has weakened bone density and muscle tone from cerebral palsy.

    “He’s losing both in both legs pretty badly, pretty fast,” she added.

    Bermudez shared with NBC Connecticut a copy of her son’s individual education plan from New Haven Public Schools.

    “That states that his van should be door-to-door and not dropped off at any old stop,” Bermudez said.

    Even after alerting school officials and the bus company, Bermudez said the problem has persisted.

    “I’ve tried speaking with the bus driver herself, tear at the heart strings a little bit, got me nowhere,” she said.

    NBC Connecticut’s camera was rolling when Daniel got dropped off after 2:15 p.m. Monday.

    “I can tell in the look on his face the way he walks that it is causing him a lot of pain,” Bermudez said.

    Last year in middle school, Daniel said his bus driver dropped him off up the hill and outside his front door.

    “That was a lot easier especially in the winter time because there are stairs,” he said.

    “He almost slipped last week,” Bermudez said, “and there was really nothing but frost on the ground, so it got a little more worrisome.”

    A New Haven school district spokesperson told NBC Connecticut transportation officials are looking into the matter and they are working on a response for Tuesday.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Tania Bermudez’s son Daniel is a freshman at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven and she's concerned the school bus drop-off isn't safe with his cerebral palsy.Tania Bermudez’s son Daniel is a freshman at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven and she's concerned the school bus drop-off isn't safe with his cerebral palsy.

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    A truck crashed into an outdoor Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, killing at least a dozen people and injuring 50 on Dec. 19, 2016.

    Photo Credit: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

    Security and rescue workers inspect a lorry truck after it was crashed through a Christmas market. Authorities have not yet confirmed the nature of the incident.Security and rescue workers inspect a lorry truck after it was crashed through a Christmas market. Authorities have not yet confirmed the nature of the incident.

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    As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to be sworn in as the country's commander-in-chief, a majority of Americans say they are either uncertain or pessimistic about his presidency, even as the country is sounding a more optimistic tone about the future of the economy and Trump's ability to bring positive change to Washington D.C.

    A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds 54 percent of adults saying that they are either uncertain (25 percent) or pessimistic and worried (29 percent) about how Trump will perform during his presidency, compared with 45 percent with either an optimistic and confident view (22 percent) or a satisfied and hopeful view (23 percent).

    That's a significantly worse outlook than Americans expressed after the elections of both Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

    A combined 66 percent were either optimistic or hopeful about Obama in January 2009, according to the same poll, while 59 percent were optimistic or hopeful about George W. Bush in January 2001.



    Photo Credit: AP

    File - President-elect Donald Trump pauses while speaking at a rally at Hy-Vee Hall, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa.File - President-elect Donald Trump pauses while speaking at a rally at Hy-Vee Hall, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa.

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    Connecticut State police have arrested three people accused of stealing personal information from veterans and using it to obtain monetary credits for vehicle sales.

    State police said the owner and two employees at Shark Cycle, an ATV/motorcycle shop and dealer, concocted a scheme to scam the company’s vehicle supplier out of thousands of dollars.

    The supplier, Polaris Industries in Minnesota, was running a rebate called the “Hero’s Metal” that allowed anyone with a valid military, police or firefighter id to receive $1,000 off the purchase of a Victory motorcycle.

    According to police, Robert Charland, 53, of Stafford Springs and owner of Shark Cycle, created fraudulent Department of Defense forms to make it appear that Shark Cycle customers were veterans, in order to obtain that rebate.

    The $1,000 credit would go into a Shark Cycle Parts Account and Shark Cycle and Shark Cycle would sell the Polaris brand vehicle to their customer for a profit. The scheme allowed Shark Cycle to pocket the $1,000 and boost sales, investigators said.

    According to the affidavit, Charland and two of his employees, identified as Risa Bazinet, 26, of Willington and Nicholas Wargo, 33, of Stafford, created 12 fraudulent US DOD DD-214 forms using personal information stole from actual veterans that they then submitted to Polaris to receive rebates. The forms were submitted in 2014 and 2015 and the investigation into their activities began in April 2016.

    On Monday, Charland, Bazinet and Wargo were all arrested and charged with larceny, identity theft, forgery and money laundering. Charland was released on a $100,000 bond. Bazinet and Wargo were both released on $5,000 bonds. All three are scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 4.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    Robert Charland (left), Risa Bazinet (middle), Nicholas Wargo (right)Robert Charland (left), Risa Bazinet (middle), Nicholas Wargo (right)

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    When the Connecticut minimum wage goes up to $10.10 on January 1, 2017, one group of restaurants will be going a big step further for its employees.

    Bear's Smokehouse BBQ, with multiple locations throughout Connecticut, said it is raising its wage to $15 for two reasons.

    The first is the ability to make its employees better off financially.

    "This is the best way to kind of spread that profit throughout the whole employee base," said Bear's owner Jamie McDonald.

    The second is the benefit to its business. Interviewing candidates and training them as a result of constant turnover is a huge cost for Bear's. That cost can be partially offset by retaining employees through paying them more.

    "All that results in a better customer experience so that at the end of the day, the customer comes in, they have a better experience, they are more likely to tell their friends," said McDonald.

    Still, one of the state's top voices for business says a $15 dollar minimum wage is not a one size fits all solution.

    "We certainly encourage businesses to pay employees more if they can afford to do that. But simply forcing businesses to do that, again, when we have experienced such high unemployment, I just don't think that's going to help the economy at all. In fact, it will hurt businesses and only lead to increased unemployment", said Eric Gjede of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.

    Gjede adds that Connecticut lost between 12,000 and 13,000 jobs over the last six months and that now is not the time for a mandatory $15 an hour.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Bear's Smokehouse BBQBear's Smokehouse BBQ

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    When Richard Toce was brought into a private room at the South Windsor Veterinary Clinic, it hit him just how seriously injured his beloved dog was.

    Toce’s 14-year-old dog Chalupa was outside their South Windsor home last Friday for just a few seconds before a bird swooped down and tried to carry the four and a half pound dog away.

    “I let him out the front door, literally right in front of me, at the front door, a large hawk or maybe even a juvenile eagle swooped –touched down onto him – got his talons into his neck and was pretty much choking him out,” said Toce.

    The bird dragged the tiny dog down four steps before Toce was able to pull it off. Toce realized how badly injured Chalupa was after getting him inside and seeing the trial of blood left by the dog’s injuries.

    “I looked and realized the dog has been injured really bad,” Toce said. “ The top of his head was bleeding. His nose was bleeding. His eye looked like it was all screwed up.”

    Toce rushed Chalupa to the South Windsor Veterinary Clinic, where he was faced with a choice.

    Put the dog down immediately, or get him triaged and rushed to an emergency hospital to fight for his life.

    Toce chose to fight.

    “In transit I thought he was already gone, I thought I was just going to get told the inevitable,” said Toce. “ But in that process of driving up there the dog started scratching around in the box and I heard him whimpering.”

    After a touch and go 48 hours and nearly $4,000 worth of vet bills, Chalupa is resting and recovering at home, just in time to spend the holidays with his family.

    “We could have lost the dog and it would have been a terrible Christmas for us and now it’s our little Christmas miracle,” said Toce.


    Chalupa is at home recovering just in time for the holidays.Chalupa is at home recovering just in time for the holidays.

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    Four people are displaced after a fire at an apartment complex in Hartford Monday afternoon.

    Hartford Fire Chief Reginald Freeman said firefighters responded around 4:09 p.m. to reports of a fire at the Dillon Place Apartments on Hendricxsen Avenue. Freeman said when crews arrived on scene there were flames and smoke showing from the side of the building.

    One person was inside the building at the time but she got out and was being evaluated on scene. No serious injuries were reported, Freeman confirmed.

    The building sustained fire and smoke damage and is uninhabitable for the time being. The fire department is working to relocate four people who live in the building.

    There was some light smoke damage and water damage to a neighboring unit.

    Freeman said the cold conditions were a concern but firefighters reported no issues and the fire was quickly extinguished.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Fire crews responded to the Dillon Place Apartments on Hendricxsen Avenue Monday night.Fire crews responded to the Dillon Place Apartments on Hendricxsen Avenue Monday night.

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    A Simsbury woman is hoping someone can identify the people who damaged her holiday decorations overnight Friday into Saturday.

    Liz Colopy said her family has been decorating their home on Sunset Hill Road for the past decade. Colopy said when she woke up Saturday morning she found her decorations vandalized.

    Accoridng to Colopy, several other displays in the neighborhood were also badly damaged, some unrepairable.

    Last year the family installed surveillance cameras, which captured footage of the vandals. In the video, you can see three people run into the yard and begin kicking and knocking over decorations before taking off.

    Colopy said she reported the incident to police and are hoping someone recognizes the suspects.

    The family is offering a $500 reward for information that helps them track down those responsible. Anyone with information should contact Simsbury police.



    Photo Credit: Liz Colopy

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    Naugatuck police want residents to be on alert after multiple reports of people posing as Eversource workers trying to get access to homes.

    Naugatuck police and Eversource officials warned of this very scam back in November and police were not surprised by the recent reports.

    One would-be victim who spoke to NBC Connecticut said a man wearing what looked like an Eversource badge came to his door and tried to gain access to the home to talk about a new billing system.

    “He was essentially just looking to get information about my account and he was very persistent about it,” said Derek, who lives on Spring Street and did not want to give his last name.

    Derek said the man showed up around 7 p.m. and went to neighbors as well. He said the man appeared official and the lines seemed rehearsed. But something felt off- so Derek reported the incident to police.

    Naugatuck Police Lt. Bryan Cammarta said their department has received several reports of this nature and that in all cases the suspects wanted to get inside the house and tried to have victims to log onto computers in full view, giving them access to personal information.

    “They’re going to try any way that they can to find those one or two people that will open up things for them to be able to obtain the information that they want,” Cammarata said.

    In Naugatuck, solicitors must register with the police department. The person who knocked on Derek’s door was not registered, which is one red flag. Police said they’ve received at least three reports of this activity in the last few days, all on Spring Street, which is the same street the police department is on.

    “If it’s right around the area of the police department that they’re able to do it, they’re going to do it. It’s not going to be a deterrent unfortunately,” Cammarata said.

    Police urge anyone who sees anything suspicious to report it to police by calling 203-729-5222. Eversource also encourages customers to report concerns by calling 1-800-286-2000. 



    Photo Credit: necn

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