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    New London won't see any upgrades to its city hall any time soon after a bid came in millions of dollars over budget.

    The bid was for more than $8 million, about $5 million more than the City of New London expected to pay for the renovation project.

    Mayor Michael Passero said the City Council approved $3 million for the project a couple of years ago. Now they're taking a look at the bidding process.

    "We think the process might have been flawed. There's too much of a discrepancy," according to Passero.

    Passero said he's disappointed, but the city still has its fingers crossed for what he's calling a "complete historic renovation of the building" that dates back to the mid-1800s.

    It would include mechanical upgrades and making the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    "The building is uncomfortable because of the heating system. We have steam leaks, we have deteriorating plaster," Passero said, adding those fixes could possibly save taxpayers money.

    The city is also looking to restore the marble, the flooring, move the elevator and open the original staircase, he said.

    The Mayor said he wants it to be a building the city is proud of. Some residents agree.

    "Just to keep the street historically accurate and also just for the pride of the city," said Dean Hantzopoulos of New London.

    Others said the money should go toward other city projects.

    "Any number of projects in town could definitely use that money more than the restoration of that particular building," said Charles King who lives and works in New London.

    Passero said the city will have to rebid the project. But first staff is looking for grants, historic tax credits and other ways to fill the money gap. They'll also consider doing the project in phases.

    The project was originally set to start this spring. Currently there's no timeline on when the renovation will begin.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A Meriden woman said the oil she paid for was delivered to the wrong house. 

    Brittney Fletcher said it was her first experience with home heating oil.

    In September, she noticed the tank was getting low. She went online and scheduled a delivery for the following month and paid with a credit card.

    Fletcher was not home the day of the service and assumed the tank had been filled. A few weeks later, she noticed it was nearly empty.

    Fletcher called the oil company and spoke to the owner, who said he delivered the oil himself and left the invoice in the mailbox. When he described the house to her, Fletcher realized the driver had mistakenly filled her neighbor’s tank.

    Fletcher’s neighbor ended up finding the invoice mixed in with a stack of mail.

    Fletcher said the owner was adamant that he delivered the oil to the correct address. 

    After NBC Connecticut's consumer team spoke with the owner, he admitted he may have made a mistake and agreed to refund Fletcher’s money.

    By that point, Fletcher had already disputed the charge with the credit card company and it was wiped out.

    Her experience is a good example of the protections a credit card offers over debit or cash. If you have a complaint that you are unable to resolve directly with the merchant, you can dispute the charge, as Fletcher did.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Two men attempted stealing copper popes from a home in Coventry on Thursday. 

    Police received a call about two men breaking into a house on Boston Turnpike. 

    Scott Brousseau, 29, and Kyle Geer, 23, were located attempting to steal pipng from inside the house, police said. 

    Brousseau and Geer were charged with burglary, criminal mischief and criminal attempt to commit larceny. Both were held on a $20,000 bond.



    Photo Credit: Coventry Police

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    A Massachusetts man is facing hate crime charges after he allegedly shouted slurs at and kicked a Muslim airline employee in the Delta Sky Lounge at Kennedy Airport Wednesday night, prosecutors say. 

    The suspect, 57-year-old Robin A. Rhodes of Worcester, landed at JFK Airport from Aruba Wednesday evening, where he was to take a connecting flight back to Massachusetts, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

    As he waited inside the Delta Sky Lounge at Terminal 2, he approached an employee in her office, according to the DA. She was wearing a hijab. 

    "Are you [expletive] sleeping? Are you praying? What are you doing?" Rhodes allegedly said to the employee before punching the door, which hit the back of the employee's chair. 

    When the employee asked what she'd done to Rhodes to make him angry, he allegedly responded: "You did nothing, but I am going to kick your [expletive]." 

    He then kicked her in the right leg, prosecutors said, and when she tried to get away from him by retreating to a corner of the office, he kicked the door, stepped into the office and blocked her from leaving. 

    When someone else came over to the office to try to calm Rhodes down, he moved away from the door, and the employee ran out of the office to the lounge's front desk.

    But Rhodes still followed her, then got down on his knees and began to bow down, mimicking a Muslim prayer, prosecutors said, and allegedly shouted, "[Expletive] Islam, [expletive] ISIS, Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you. You can ask Germany, Belgium and France about these kinds of people. You will see what happens." 

    As he was being arrested, Rhodes allegedly told police, "I guess I am going to jail for disorderly conduct. I couldn't tell if it was a man or woman because their back was to me and they had something covering their head." 

    Port Authority police and NYPD conducted the investigation. 

    Delta says the victim is employed by a contractor, not by Delta directly, but "what happened in this incident is totally unacceptable and Delta has and will continue to fully cooperate with authorities in this investigation." 

    Rhodes was waiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on hate crime, assault, harassment, unlawful imprisonment and menacing charges. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney who could comment on the charges.

    If convicted, Rhodes faces up to four years in prison. 



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

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    I-84 in West Hartford is closed following a five-car crash on Thursday night. 

    State police said the crash happened going westbound near exit 43. 

    The highway will be closed while police move the five cars involved.

    An ambulance is on the scene but it is not clear if anyone is being transported to the hospital. 

    No other details were immediately available on this developing story. 



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A motorcyclist died after getting into a crash with a car in Hamden on Thursday. 

    Hamden police responded to Fitch Street and Arch Street area for a motor vehicle accident at 6:30 p.m.

    The driver and motorcyclist both reside in New Haven.

    Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call (203) 230-4036.


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    In Connecticut, the number of people who have signed up for private health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act has increased compared to last year.

    So far, 108,000 people have signed up for coverage, and that includes 12,000 new customers, an increase of eleven percent compared to 2016 Open Enrollment.

    The numbers are significant as Open Enrollment will close on January 31.

    Access Health Connecticut CEO Jim Waldeigh does have concerns, however, because call centers have heard from customers who thought they don't need need insurance with a new presidential administration.

    “We are seeing a slowdown in enrollment and in the last four years that has never been the case so we think there is confusion out there right now over whether customers still need to purchase insurance to be covered for 2017," Wadleigh said following the Access Health CT Board of Directors meeting Thursday.

    Such questions segue into what the future holds for Access Health, and the insurance marketplaces nationwide.

    They were established under the Affordable Care Act to facilitate the sale of health insurance plans.

    Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, who was charged with implementing the law in Connecticut, said the future is uncertain.

    “We’ve got to make sure that as we go forward, no matter what happens in Washington, that those people have trust in us right now, those constituents that live in our state have trust in us and are taken care of," she said. "That’s our goal.”

    When asked whether she would endorse the state taking over functions that had been covered under the Affordable Care Act, in the event it gets repealed, she said all options need to be considered.

    “I think we have to look at everything. I can’t say exactly what we’re going to do at this point.”



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    The governor has taken every public chance to discuss the difference between the heroin of 20 years ago and the heroin of today. 

    "It's different," Gov. Dannel Malloy explained, Thursday. "The stuff of the past was 30 percent pure, and now some of it is close to 70 percent pure."

    The governor is referring to the drugs found on the street, but perhaps most importantly, from his standpoint, the opiate based painkillers prescribed by physicians every day.

    Proposals the governor laid out Thursday, are meant to address curbing the state's rising death and addiction tolls related to opioid abuse.

    "This is not a human failure. This is a public health crisis,” the governor said.

    The proposals include requiring all opiate prescriptions be filled out electronically, allow home health nurses to dispose of medications, provide patients the option not to receive a prescription for opiate based drugs, require that adults be provided information on the risks of opiates, and to encourage state agencies to share information when it comes to opiate addiction.

    One person who hopes more is done to prevent the abuse of opioids, is Jennifer Kelly.

    “I am a heroin addict. Those words are some of the devastating words I have ever heard come out of my daughter’s mouth. Those words hit me like a ton of bricks,” she said.

    Kelly's daughter, Justice battled with addiction and now sits in a wheelchair with a serious brain injury, after suffering cardiac arrest for the second time. IN and out of detox and rehab on two occasions, Justice, her mother says, has lost her battle with addiction.

    Kelly says she thinks Connecticut is in the right direction when it comes to addressing the problems, but more can always be done.

    "We need proper treatment beds and essential services to combat this epidemic. Maybe if we had those services and treatment beds, my daughter would have received the help she needed.”



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    While New Haven Police are still investigating the accident that killed 42-year-old Melissa Tancredi of Waterbury, Mayor Toni Harp told NBC Connecticut she is open to making changes to improve pedestrian safety at the busy South Frontage Road and York Street intersection by Yale-New Haven Hospital. 

    The mayor said the city is considering a reconfiguration of the intersection or the addition of sidewalk barriers.

    “If there’s anything that we can do to make that corner safe, by putting different types of barricades there so that if someone happens to not be paying attention and runs into the road that we’ll have an opportunity to save lives, hopefully,” Mayor Harp said.

    Multiple members of the YNHH staff have approached NBC Connecticut saying something needs to be done.

    Surveillance cameras captured the car on S. Frontage, that instead of turning left onto York Street, continued straight onto the sidewalk and fatally hit Tancredi on Jan. 17.

    “We are a whole wide family here I mean and when one person is lost to a tragedy like this it affects us all,” said Joe Ford, who works at the hospital.

    Ford walks through the busy New Haven intersection daily.

    “Sometimes these cars they don’t abide by the traffic signs, the traffic lights, they just blow right through it,” he said.

    Another hospital worker suggested police step up speed enforcement.

    “That they set up a radar trap on the corner on York and South Frontage Road,” Deborah Miller said.

    No charges have been filed yet against the 29-year-old driver from Hamden as the NHPD investigation continues.

    “We’ve got to make sure that people are not distracted for any reason while they’re driving,” Harp said.

    Ford said he hopes this latest loss of life at the intersection will prompt action.

    “There’s no ifs ands or buts about it,” he said, “because if not the same that thing that would happen not too long ago will happen again and again.”

    A Yale Traffic Safety Committee met Thursday to discuss ideas to improve pedestrian safety at the busy New Haven intersection.

    The meeting was not open to the press or public and NBC Connecticut is still waiting for an update form the Yale Office of Public Affairs.



    Photo Credit: NBC

    traffic light in downtown san diego red light stoplighttraffic light in downtown san diego red light stoplight

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    Refugee advocates in Connecticut are worried about President Donald Trump following through on the campaign promise to restrict the number of refugees who enter the United States.

    “It’s a very nice opportunity that we get the chance to come here,” a Syrian refugee named Osuma told NBC Connecticut.

    Osuma, his wife and 2-year-old son arrived in New Haven in August.

    “This country is stable,” he said, with the help of an Arabic interpreter. “IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services) helped us a lot for housing, to access the benefits and the important thing is this country is a safe country.”

    Osuma’s family and the majority of the 530 refugees who New Haven-based IRIS helped resettle in the state in 2016 are from Syria.

    One of IRIS’ community partners, the Jewish Community Alliance for Refugee Resettlement (JCARR), welcomed another family fleeing from wartorn Syria Thursday afternoon.

    “A lot of people are going to manifest what they believe in, what’s right, the right way to treat people in the world and I’ll stick with those people,” Jean Silk, from JCARR, said.

    With the objective of protecting Americans from potential terror attacks, President Trump is expected to sign executive orders that suspend the refugee program while the screening process is reviewed and block Syrian refugees from entering the country.

    “It will hurt us actually,” IRIS' executive director, Chris George, said. “It will tell the world we are against Muslims, we are against the rest of the world and that is only going to fuel the rhetoric and the propaganda of our enemies.”

    As for Osuma, he is unsure whether his mother and four brothers who are now in Jordan will be able to join him in America.

    “I’m hoping his policy will be wise to bring them here,” Osuma said of the president.

    At a rally Thursday evening outside New Haven City Hall in protest of the executive orders on immigration and cutting funding for sanctuary cities, a representative from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Connecticut spoke out against the president’s proposals on suspending the refugee program and denying visas from several Muslim-majority nations.

    "Such executive orders are un-American and stand in stark contrast to our nation's core values,” CAIR-CT chairperson, Farhan Memon, said, “It is our duty to welcome refugees and immigrants and to recognize the tremendous value that these individuals add to our nation. These orders do nothing more than further divide the people of the United States and reinforce bigotry, Islamophobia, xenophobia and hate."



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Refugees attend an English class at IRIS in New Haven.Refugees attend an English class at IRIS in New Haven.

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    Former President Barack Obama was the first commander-in-chief to ever send a tweet, but President Donald Trump is pioneering an approach to mass communication that may put Twitter at the center of his strategy, raising legal and security questions, NBC News reported.

    In his first week on the job, Trump has used an unsecured Android phone to post tweets from his personal Twitter account, and to delete them. His staff initially used a personal email to arrange his government Twitter account, which was updated to a government email on Thursday.

    Experts said these activities, while perfectly legal, create avoidable risks.

    Using an unsecured phone, or personal email registration, makes the president more susceptible to hacking.



    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew, File

    This Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, file photo, shows a Twitter app on an iPhone screen in New York.This Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, file photo, shows a Twitter app on an iPhone screen in New York.

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    There was an armed robbery at the Mobil Gas Station on Berlin Road in Cromwell and police are investigating. 

    The robbery happened at 123 Berlin Road and the robber fled the scene. 

    No additional information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Naugatuck police are asking for help to find a 17-year-old high school student who is missing. 

    Hannah Tynan was last seen at Kennedy High School in Waterbury, but did not attend an after school program held in the afternoon there, according to Naugatuck police. 

    Hannah lives with a foster family in Naugatuck and they reported her missing around 11 p.m. 

    They told police they don’t know where Hannah went or where she might be headed, but she might be somewhere in the Waterbury area. 

    Hannah is around 5-feet-6 and has brown hair and a bun. 

    Anyone with information on where Hannah is should call Naugatuck police at (203) 729-5221.



    Photo Credit: Naugatuck Police

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    Former Mexican President Vicente Fox said Mexico is ready to take on President Donald Trump's proposal to impose a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports to pay for the border wall.

    "Trump has brought back a very strong Mexican spirit and we’re ready for the trade war, and we’re ready, of course, for not paying (for) that wall," Fox said Friday in an interview on NBC's "Today" show. 

    In his first week in office, Trump signed executive orders to start construction on the wall, prompting Mexico’s leader, Enrique Pena Nieto, to cancel his scheduled trip next week to Washington.

    Trump hasn't put out a concrete plan describing how the U.S. would fund the wall, outside of saying he would make Mexico pick up the bill. On Thursday, his press secretary floated the idea of using a 20 percent import tax to pay for construction, but then later pulled back and said the tax was only one of numerous ideas the administration was considering.

    Trump tweeted shortly after Fox's interviewing, saying, "Mexico has taken advantage of the U.S. for long enough. Massive trade deficits & little help on the very weak border must change, NOW!"



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

    File photo: Mexico's President Vicente Fox, speaks during the G8 summit at the Gleneagles Hotel near Auchterarder, Scotland, Thursday July 7, 2005.File photo: Mexico's President Vicente Fox, speaks during the G8 summit at the Gleneagles Hotel near Auchterarder, Scotland, Thursday July 7, 2005.

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    A Hartford police officer sustained some minor injuries when a car fleeing the scene grazed him. 

    Police said the patrol officer responded to Bond Street for a drug investigation and the injury is minor. 

    No additional information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    File photoFile photo

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    Windsor Locks is one of two towns being considered for a $300 million, 200,000-square-foot casino to rival the new MGM casino being built in Springfield, Massachusetts and Native American tribal leaders met with Windsor Locks residents Thursday night to discuss bringing a third Connecticut casino to their town. 

    “We know those operators well,” Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council chairman Rodney Butler said of the MGM casino. “It is going to be fantastic, I’m sure, but it is not going to be fantastic for Connecticut.” 

    Butler, along with Mohegan Tribal Council chairman Kevin Brown, insists that if Connecticut is not willing to compete, it will lose in more ways than one and they pointed to problems that surfaced as neighboring states grew their own gaming. 

    “We stood flat-footed and we did nothing,” Brown said. “We watched money flow, we watched firsthand our employee base retract by a third and that's what is at stake.” 

    Windsor Locks residents would argue there is a lot more on the line. While some brought up concerns about crime and accountability, others believe more money would mean more success for their tiny town. 

    “I don’t know how anyone could turn down a check for $5 million,” one resident said. 

    Two potential locations are at play in Windsor Locks. 

    Space at Bradley International Airport had been part of the discussion, but it seems bets are being placed on the Thrall Tobacco Farm site on Route 20. 

    “Our hope is that you recognize that the good far outweighs the bad,” Brown said. “The bad isn't good for us as businessmen and we will do everything we can to minimize it.” 

    The other town being considered for the casino is East Windsor. 


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    Hundreds of people marched Thursday in New Haven in support of immigrants with hopes their words reach the new leader of the country.

    President Donald Trump wasted little time to embark on some of his campaign promises that targeted immigrants and the border with Mexico.

    Chanting “Whose country? Our country!” hundreds of people filled the streets of New Haven on Thursday.

    “We’re going to fight every day. We’re going to fight every single day,” Jenya Weinreb, of New Haven, said.

    They were there in a show of support for immigrants and refugees and said they are proud New Haven is considered a sanctuary city.

    “This is a resistance movement that’s coming together to stand up to the unjust, unconscionable, unmoral, and destructive policies of the Trump administration,” Stephen Tomczak, of Wallingford, said.

    The group was concerned with recent actions by President Trump, including his effort to crack down on sanctuary cities and to reinforce the southern border with Mexico.

    “You can see the hearts out there. You can see the beautiful minds together because people react. When you attack their communities, people are not willing to take more,” Fatima Rojas, of New Haven, said.

    Earlier they rallied on the steps of City Hall, holding signs including one that read “Safe Haven.”

    New Haven Mayor Toni Harp promised city workers – from police to the schools – would not enforce federal immigration laws.

    “Those who represent the city act in support of all residents,” Harp said.

    That message was reinforced by police, who credited better community relations for a recent drop in crime.

    “We won’t abandon you,“ Assistant Chief Lou Casanova, New Haven Police, said.

    The mayor and others are questioning whether it’s legal for President Trump to cut federal funds to sanctuary cities.

    New Haven appears to have $15 million to $20 million at risk each year.


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    A quick-thinking dispatcher texted a woman using his own phone after their initial call was disconnected. The woman said she was locked in a trunk by her jealous boyfriend.

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    Three people have been arrested after an armed robbery outside a New London bar early Friday morning.

    Officers were watching a large crowd leaving Cilantro's Cafe, at 639 Bank St., when they received a report of an armed robbery in the parking lot at 12:48 a.m., according to police, and they learned that a man held a knife to three victims and demanded their money.

    Officers quickly found Andrew Maynard, 24, of Uncasville; 21-year-old Merfy Rodriguez; and 40-year-old Maria Moreno as they were trying to leave the parking lot in a SUV, police said.

    Maynard was identified as the suspect who was holding a knife, according to police, and they said no injuries were reported.

    Maynard was charged with three counts of second-degree robbery, three counts of second-degree larceny, interfering with police, possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell and tampering with evidence.

    Rodriguez was charged with three counts of second-degree robbery, interfering with police, possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell and tampering with evidence.

    Moreno was charged with three counts of second-degree robbery, driving while under the influence of alcohol and, or drugs and operating under suspension.



    Photo Credit: New London Police

    From left to right, Andrew Maynard Merfy Rodriguez and Maria MorenoFrom left to right, Andrew Maynard Merfy Rodriguez and Maria Moreno

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    The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Coast Guard said they have discovered the source of an oil spill in the New Haven harbor.

    DEEP officials said they were called in last week to determine the cause and source of the oil spill after the US Coast Guard noticed a sheen on the water. The oil is No. 2 oil – typically used as home heating oil.

    The New Haven Terminal hired Alpine Environmental Co. to set up an oil containment boom to attempt to clean up the spill, DEEP said.

    DEEP officials said Sunday that the oil came from an underground transfer line.

    About 1,800 gallons of fuel has been recovered.

    Officials said work is ongoing to prevent further discharges.



    Photo Credit: Contributed Photo

    The US Coast Guard called in the Department of Energy and Environmental protection to investigate a sheen of oil in the New Haven harborThe US Coast Guard called in the Department of Energy and Environmental protection to investigate a sheen of oil in the New Haven harbor

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