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    On the bumpy road to North Korea's top ski resort, work gangs hack and shovel the fresh snowfall to clear the route for busloads of their fortunate fellow citizens, NBC News reported.

    There are thousands of them.

    Men, women and children, red-faced from the blizzard conditions and freezing cold, wrapped up in jackets, scarves and hats, smashing the snow like metronomes with pickaxes and sticks. They the push it aside with makeshift wooden shovels.

    Along the twisting mountain road, small groups of uniformed soldiers join the work, but this is overwhelmingly a civilian effort.



    Photo Credit: AP

    File Photo—In this Feb. 19, 2016, photo, people ride chairlifts while others ski at the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Wonsan, North Korea.File Photo—In this Feb. 19, 2016, photo, people ride chairlifts while others ski at the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Wonsan, North Korea.

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    A 74-year-old New Haven man who is accused of driving drunk during a crash that killed a motorcyclist in Hamden on Thursday has been arrested. 

    Police said 47-year-old Eric Techer was on a motorcycle, going south on Fitch Street at 6:30 p.m. and 74-year-old George Williams, was going north on Fitch Street when they collided.

    Techer was thrown from his motorcycle and later pronounced dead at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

    Police said further investigation revealed that Williams was intoxicated and he was arrested and taken to Hamden Police Headquarters. 

    Williams has been charged with operating under the influence and was released after posting a $1,500 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on Feb. 9. 

    Police said they are continuing to investigate. 



    Photo Credit: Hamden Police

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    After an unseasonably warm January the temperatures will finally feel more winter like beginning this weekend.

    Bradley International Airport which is where official weather records are kept for interior Connecticut has experienced 13 days with low temperatures above 32 degrees. Low temperatures in the middle of January should be near 18 degrees.

    Many woke up to a spectacular sunrise this morning, check out some of these See It Share It images that we're sent in. 

    The weather this weekend will be pleasant with mostly sunny skies and highs near 40 inland and in the low to middle 40s near the shore.

    Following the weekend we're keeping our eyes on a couple of disturbances that could bring some wintry weather to the state. 

    The first possibility for some light snow comes on Wednesday as a clipper system moves across the northeast.

    We're also monitoring a larger system for next weekend. We will have more details on that as we get a bit closer.


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    A 37-year-old New York man is in critical, but stable, condition after he was shot in the jaw and neck. 

    Police officers responded to Hall and Burr streets in New Haven at 10:48 p.m. Thursday to investigate after receiving reports that someone had been shot and EMTs transported the victim, Jose Valenzuela, to Yale-New Haven Hospital. 

    Police said it’s not clear where the shooting happened and Valenzuela has not yet spoken with police.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Extra security will greet concertgoers tonight at Hyperglow show at the Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford as concert goers attend the first show at the venue since a shooting in the parking lot last month that killed two people.  

    Wallingford police said the Oakdale Theatre has hired two police officers to make sure the concert run as safely as possible. 

    “Our administration has met with Oakdale management and we’ve had a few meetings and agreed to some additional security measures they’ve agreed to. They do still have their own security team. There are certain shows, it'll be on a show-by-show basis. They’ll bring some additional resources from our agency,” Lt. Cheryl Bradley, spokesperson with the Wallingford Police Department, said. 

    Lt Bradley also said there will also be extra ambulance crews the show as well.

    An Oakdale spokesperson told NBC Connecticut in a statement, “We don’t reveal our security measures, that those measures change show-to-show and at all of our venues we work closely with local law enforcement on security matters.”

    The Hyperglow concert tour is considered “America’s Largest Touring Glow Experience,” according to the Hyperglow Tour website, with performances illuminated in ultra violet glow.

    Tessa Shaw, of Columbia, said she plans to attend.

    “I’ve never been to a concert like this before so I’m really excited,” said Shaw, who plans to stay in contact with her family. "My mom definitely was like, ‘I don’t know if I still want you to go,’ but I was like, ‘I’ll be safe, I’ll call you. Ill text you.’”

    Police are investigating the shooting that happened last month.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Police are investigating a shooting on Winchester Avenue in New Haven, not far from Yale University, and they are searching for the shooter. 

    Police said there was a shooting today at 91 Winchester Ave. and the victim arrived at Yale-New Haven Hospital with a non-life-threatening leg wound. 

    Police said they found a vehicle on Eastern Street that’s believed to be connected, but they are looking for the shooter or shooters.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    File photoFile photo

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    Milford police have arrested a 14-year-old boy who is accused of hitting a Chinese food delivery person is the head and stealing his car and cell phone and they are searching for the other person who was involved.

    Police said they received a report of a fight on Noble Avenue, near Broad Street, at 9:30 p.m. and learned that a juvenile hit the delivery driver in the head with a blunt object and robbed him. The delivery driver needed to be taken to the hospital to treat his injuries, according to police.

    Police then tried to stop a car at Meadowside Road and Seaside Avenue. Two people ran from the scene and the car rolled into a utility pole, police said.

    During a search, police found a 14-year-old Bridgeport boy, who has been charged with carjacking, first-degree larceny, second-degree assault, second-degree robbery, interfering with arrest and conspiracy to commit. 

    The other person suspected of being involved in still at large.

    Anyone with information should call Milford Police Department at (203) 878-6551 or submit a tip online at www.milfordpd.org.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    File photoFile photo

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    Police are investigating an untimely death on Spring Street in Willimantic. 

    The criminal investigations division has been assigned to the case and the medical examiner is also heading to the scene. 

    No additional information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    File photoFile photo

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    In his continued effort to argue that massive voter fraud took place in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump gave a shout-out Friday to Gregg Phillips, who has asserted that more than three million votes have been cast by non-citizens.

    According to NBC News, Phillips is a vocal conservative who founded a health-care-data company. And he's unwilling to share his illegal-vote findings to the public - at least for now.

    When the fact-checking group PolitiFact looked into Phillips' claims, it said his inability to release the proof made his findings suspect.

    In an interview with NBC News, Phillips said he didn't care about complaints that he has offered no public evidence.



    Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    In this file photo, President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump cast their votes on Election Day at PS 59 November 8, 2016 in New York City.In this file photo, President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump cast their votes on Election Day at PS 59 November 8, 2016 in New York City.

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    When Laura LaPorta was 11-years-old she shattered her C5 vertebrae in a diving accident and became paralyzed. Seventeen years later, LaPorta's determination to lose weight has inspired her to take new steps.

    Doctors initially told LaPorta she was quadriplegic, something she couldn't quite grasp.

    “At 11 years old, you cannot understand what a spinal cord injury really entails,” the 28-year-old high school guidance counselor from Bergenfield, New Jersey, told "Today."

    While she worked hard to live independently, she gained weight from being confined to a wheelchair and relying on fast food. At her heaviest, the 5-foot-6-inch woman weighed 240 pounds and that gain made her realize she had to again walk.

    LaPorta began training last August and progressed from small tasks, like toe tapping, to eventually being able to walk on a treadmill. What's more, LaPorta has lost 40 pounds.



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

    After only six months of hitting the gym, Lauren LaPorta, who was paralyzed in a pool accident 17-years-ago, can walk on a treadmill for five minutes.After only six months of hitting the gym, Lauren LaPorta, who was paralyzed in a pool accident 17-years-ago, can walk on a treadmill for five minutes.

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    Several people in Farmington have called the animal control office claiming to have hear coyotes howling. 

    Animal welfare experts said this is no surprise at this time of year.

    “Coyotes are out and about plentiful in the state,” said Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) spokesperson Dennis Schain.

    Though generally nocturnal and seldom seen, Schain said during mating season coyotes are more likely to be heard and seen.

    Rodger Phillips, owner of Sub Edge Farm in Farmington, said he’s heard howls on a daily basis.

    "It’s actually kind of frightening sometimes," he said.  "There’s a bunch of them that we think are living on the hill across the street. Sometimes we’ll go out with a pot and a pan and make some noises and try to scare them away and then they’ll leave."

    "It’s been warmer out. So, are the animals a little more active because it’s warmer out, perhaps, but people are more active and outside more because there’s going to be more sightings of them," Schain explained.

    Schain said coyotes are unlikely to get aggressive around people.

    "Like any wild animal, be respectful of it. Observe it from a distance," Schain advised.

    He also suggested that pet owners keep a close eye on smaller dogs and cats because they can become victims of coyote attacks. 

    “You don’t want to leave them out unsupervised or even best to keep them on leash,” Schain said.

    At Sub Edge Farm, electronet fences are used to keep wildlife out and their own animals in, but they don’t always work.

    “Once in a while they’ll carry one off and we’ll find some feathers,” said Phillips.

    Experts recommend residents remove any food sources from their yard to keep coyotes at bay.

    That means cleaning up around the grill, putting garbage cans inside, and putting away bird feeders.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    The mild temperatures have put a damper on those trying to make money off the winter weather.

    “The only thing that keeps us going is snowstorms, and right now we’re not having them,” explains Larsen Ace Hardware Manager, Stephen Glynn.

    Glynn said January and February are typically the slowest months of the year for hardware stores.

    A full display of gloves and hand warmers hangs on store shelves of Larsen Ace Hardware, while electric warmers and ice melt sit untouched nearby.

    “Normally people when it gets really cold, they’ll use their fireplaces to keep stuff warm, and that’s not going too good either,” Glynn pointed out. 

    He said the store still has 85 percent of the ice melt they started with at the beginning of the season.

    “Last year, we didn’t sell a lot of ice melt. We had to store it for this year, and we got it for this year, we ordered more, but we haven’t even gotten into last year’s stuff yet,” he explained.

    This January has been 6.7 degrees above average and businesses that bank of bad weather are wishing for more snow and cold.

    Oil delivery man Mike Orlowski said he’s noticed that his customers aren’t buying as much this winter, finding savings for the second year in a row.

    “Percentage wise we’re probably somewhat close to last year, so it’s down a little,” Orlowski said.

    The price of oil is up 70 cents from this time last year, according to Barney Barker Oil. On Wednesday, they charged $2.19 a gallon. On this day in 2016, oil was $1.49, but in 2015 it was $2.35.

    Meanwhile, Birch Hill Landscape has had to park their plows longer than they’d like this winter.

    “We’re probably 20 percent down,” said owner Michael Niro.

    Before the season started, the company estimated more winter weather than we’ve experienced.

    “One storm a week at least, whether it be just a dusting whether it’s a six inch storm, you predict we get something once a week,” Niro said .

    Niro said it’s not too late to make up for the losses so far this season.

    “I’m looking for more sizeable storms: six inches, eight inches, hopefully something 10 to 12,” he said. “It could snow twice a week from now until April, we had snow April 4th." 



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A suspicious  package with a threatening message was left at a West Haven home. 

    Police said the woman noticed the package on her front porch at approximately 2:30 p.m.

    West Haven Police Department requested the assistance of the Connecticut State Police to determine the contents of the package. Officials said the package was empty.

    Two juveniles are being questioned. 

    No other details were immediately available. 


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    One person has been transported to the hospital after a scissor lift fell on power lines in Gales Ferry. 

    Gales Ferry Volunteer Fire Company said they were alerted about people trapped after a machinery accident on Avery Hill Road at 3 p.m.

    LifeStar helicopter also responded and transported one person to the hospital.

    No other details were immediately available. 



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    If you're heading north for the weekend there will be plenty of snow for winter activities.

    Northern New England can expect high temperatures in the middle 20s with partly cloudy skies and scattered snow showers.

    While southern New England has experienced a rather quiet January, much of northern New England has a healthy snow pack.

    Mountains like Jay Peak in Vermont and Bretton Woods in New Hampshire have over 40 inches of snow at the summit.

    Higher elevations of northern New England can expect even more snow this weekend. The forecast calls for as much as 10" for areas along the northern Green Mountains. 

    Snow will fall in the White Mountains as well. Higher elevations of the Whites can expect 2 to 6 inches this weekend. 

    Snowmobiling conditions are ideal as well with a current base of 4-6 inches from northern Vermont to northern New Hampshire.


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    Most presidents decide in their first week whether to keep or scrap the so-called Mexico City Policy that bans U.S. aid from going to groups abroad that provide access or information about abortion.

    President Donald Trump’s executive action on Jan. 23 to bring back the policy was not itself surprising for a Republican president. But reproductive health advocates are alarmed by the rule's expansion, with some claiming that it goes against American values.

    “We’re telling organizations that they can’t use their own money to advocate for supportive and more liberalized policies,” said Jonathan Rucks, director of advocacy at reproductive health champion PAI. “This is an incredible overreach on the part of the U.S. government.” 

    The Mexico City Policy originated with Ronald Reagan in 1984 and has been called a political football. Whether it is enforced depends on the party controlling the White House. It was last applied under George W. Bush, before Barack Obama rescinded it in 2009. Dubbed the “global gag rule” by critics, the policy not only restricts foreign U.S. aid recipients from providing abortions, but also prohibits their staff from educating clients about abortion as a reproductive health option or publicly advocating for or against the medical operation.

    Under past administrations, the policy has only impacted U.S. family planning funds abroad, which totals about $575 million, according to PAI. But under Trump’s version of the rule the revision extends the gag rule to also affect NGOs that primarily combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, Zika, cancer, tuberculosis, and other dangerous or life-threatening diseases that attack both genders and all ages.

    It could influence the distribution of up to $9.5 billion if groups don't agree to change their abortion stance in return for U.S. aid, experts say. 

    Françoise Girard, president of the International Women’s Health Coalition, thinks even the earlier rule was a violation of American values.

    “We’re exporting our abortion madness to these countries with the intent of stifling democratic speech,” she said.

    In a recent Marist poll, 83 percent of those surveyed opposed subsidizing abortions in other countries, which the U.S. has not done for decades. Previous regulations from the 1970s and '80s already forbid the allocation of foreign aid to abortion services, and the reason for the executive action is not to ban American-funded abortions abroad, but to impede discussion about the practice.  

    For anti-abortion organizations, Trump’s move came as welcome news. “We’re very happy with it,” said Stephen Phelan, director of missions communications at Human Life International. “By reinstating the Mexico City Policy, a lot of lives will be saved.” 

    Vice President Mike Pence addressed a crowd of tens of thousands of abortion opponents Friday at the annual March for Life in Washington, reassuring them "life is winning" because of Trump's election.

    But the practical results of the rule may actually lead to more abortions. In a bulletin published by the World Health Organization in 2011, researchers at Stanford University concluded that under the Bush administration, abortion increased in sub-Saharan African regions that were affected by the Mexico City Policy. Because some international organizations refused to comply, they lost funding that had gone toward condoms and other methods of contraception. When locals could no longer prevent pregnancy, they aborted unwanted fetuses.

    Sub-Saharan Africa is a big place, said Grant Miller, co-author of the bulletin. From 30 surveys in 20 countries, Miller and his team deduced that abortion rates rose from 10.4 induced abortions per 10,000 women between 1994 and 2001 to 14.5 between 2001 and 2008, when Bush instituted the Mexico City Policy. The rate in regions that were comparatively unexposed to the rule stayed stable between 1994-2008, while locations that were heavily impacted saw a significant increase in abortions.

    The study may point to larger trends. In 2016, Miller collaborated on another project that studied abortion legalization in Nepal, where he found that modern contraception and abortion were used interchangeably. By giving women access to preventative forms of birth control, like those provided by most NGOs that face ramifications from the Mexico City Policy, abortion rates decrease.

    Regardless of political affiliation, few Americans want there to be more abortions, said Miller. “This really shouldn’t be a partisan debate. It’s about a policy that has perverse, unintended consequences,” he added. “A policy that is having exactly the unintended effect... just seems like an unambiguously bad thing." 

    Esther Vicente, president of International Planned Parenthood Federation’s western hemisphere region, started volunteering at IPPF in 2003. Unlike Trump, Bush modified his version of the Mexico City Policy to protect AIDS relief funds, but it still wreaked havoc on family planning groups like IPPF and its member organizations that relied on American grants. Because of financial strains, clinics closed on a national level.

    “Though we did receive additional funding from other sources at that time, it was not enough to substitute the amount that we lost,” Vicente said. “It takes time for the other governments to commit to provide more funding.”

    Now, when foreign aid is overstretched by the refugee crisis in Europe, it will be especially challenging for global health programs to survive financially. The Netherlands has announced an international safe abortion fund to counter the effects of Trump’s executive action, but their assistance may not be able to refill the void left by the United States.

    When Bush was in office, Marie Stopes International ran a much smaller operation. During the Obama presidency, it has expanded to in-need areas like West Africa. MSI now receives 17 percent of its aid from the U.S. Agency for International Development, about $30 million annually.

    “It’s going to be very tough to find that level of replacement,” said Maaike van Min, MSI director of strategy & development. “We’re talking to a lot of existing and new partners to see if we can manage to fill the gap.” 

    “It’s probably not going to be easy to raise amounts of money that would even come close to what organization are going to lose,” echoed Girard.

    Through its impact calculator, MSI has estimated that because of Trump's memorandum, there will be 6.5 million more unintentional pregnancies, 2.2 million more abortions, and 21,700 more deaths of women who would have been protected by MSI's services. 

    Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, noted that with the Mexico City Policy in place, foreign NGOs are forced to choose between private and European donors, who require full access to reproductive care that includes abortion, and American aid. This cuts the overall resources at their disposal.

    “You are asking them to make a choice about, ‘Are we going to let some of our clients die?’” he said. “It’s a moral conundrum that I think is horrible.”

    Kenny also recognized that restricting abortions usually doesn’t stem demand. Young women without legal options tend to seek illegal, unsafe, or traditional alternatives that often lead to health complications, he said. 

    “It seems a policy without any kind of empirical justification and with all sorts of terrible effects,” Kenny said. “Just google stick abortions. It’s not pleasant.”

    A spokesperson for the World Health Organization told NBC the group was concerned about the policy's "potential impact on the ability of NGOs to support family planning needs globally.” When women can't access safe abortion providers, that "can lead to disability and death.”

    In the past, the Mexico City Policy has made exceptions for victims of rape or incest. It's unclear whether that's still the case. 

    “I do not see any mention of this provision remaining in, so those are always concerns,” said Wendy Grube, interim director of the Center for Global Women’s Health at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Phelan, with Human Life International, said he hoped those provisions were no longer included. “How that person came into existence doesn’t in our case allow that person to be killed,” he explained, referring to a rape victim’s fetus.

    For most NGOs influenced by the policy, abortion is not their main priority. In Vicente’s IPPF region, only one percent of non-U.S. funding went toward abortions in Latin America and the Caribbean. But after the election in November, the IPPF governing council came together and decided that it would not adhere to the Mexico City Policy because it goes against IPPF’s core values to provide women with all the healthcare they need.

    “I think the United States is a democratic country,” Vicente said. “It’s a country that advocates for human rights globally. And I hope the people in power in the United States will review these policies, and take into consideration the effects that they’re having globally, and change. I hope they will change their position.”

    Legislative efforts in Congress to get rid of the Mexico City Policy have failed. 

    When asked whether it would follow the rule, a USAID spokesperson told NBC that the agency is “currently reviewing the presidential memorandum, and we are consulting with the Departments of State and other agencies regarding its implementation.”



    Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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    Demonstrators gather at Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado, during the Women's March on January 21, 2017.Demonstrators gather at Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado, during the Women's March on January 21, 2017.

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    Ikea has issued a recall for about 33,400 units of its MYSINGSÖ beach chairs. The chairs are foldable with a wood base and an attached polyester fabric seat.

    According to Consumer Product Saftey Commission (CPSC), the Swedish furniture maker has received 13 reports worldwide of incidents, including 10 reports of injuries, six of which resulted in fingertip amputations. Three of the incidents, including one amputation, were reported in the U.S.

    CPSC advises consumers to immediately stop using the recalled chairs and return them to any Ikea store for a free replacement or full refund. 

    The beach chairs were sold at Ikea stores nationwide and online from February 2013 through December 2016 for about $25.

    The following article numbers are included in this recall. The article numbers are on labels on the wooden frame and sewn into the fabric.

    Seat Fabric Color & Pattern Article Number
    Light Red/Blue Striped
    Light Red/Blue Striped
    902.280.08
    Red/Blue Striped
    302.580.79
    Solid White

    502.851.66

    Solid Red 802.873.95
    Solid Green 002.931.40
    Grey/White Chevron 303.120.24
    Light Blue/White Chevron 503.120.23
    Light Red/White Chevron 003.120.25

    Consumers can contact Ikea toll-free at 888-966-4532 anytime or online at www.Ikea-usa.com  



    Photo Credit: IKEA

    The beach chairs can collapse, posing fall and fingertip amputation hazards.The beach chairs can collapse, posing fall and fingertip amputation hazards.

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    One person has been transported to the hospital after a shooting in New Haven. 

    Police said they are investigating the incident that happened on County Street between Whalley Avenue and Goffe Street. 

    The victim was sent to Yale-New Haven Hosptial and is in critical condition. 

    There is no suspect or suspect vehicle description, police said. 

    No other details were immediately available. 



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Questions have swirled for years about the cause of a fire on Christmas Day in Stamford in 2011 that killed three children and their grandparents. Newly released court documents of depositions in a civil suit filed by Matthew Badger, the childrens’ father, call into question whether the house was demolished too soon.

    Nine-year-old Lilly Badger, 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah, and their grandparents, Lomer and Pauline Johnson, were killed in the fire at the Shippan Avenue home, which was under renovation.

    The girls’ mother, Madonna Badger, and Madonna’s former boyfriend, Michael Borcina -- the main contractor who was working on the home – were the only two survivors.

    The city of Stamford stands by its determination that hot fireplace ashes left in the mudroom of the home caused the blaze, but Madonna Badger and Borcina say the fire was electrical.

    Now, the recently filed lawsuit depositions reveal new information that could support that.

    “I mean it's so obvious that it started in the basement and that it was an electrical fire,” Madonna Badger said in an exclusive interview with NBC Connecticut in February 2016. “I want to really understand what happened in that house and what really caused that fire and, you know, I want to know. I want to know the truth.”

    Borcina insists he felt the ashes and they were cool, contradicting the city’s theory that fireplace ashes in the mudroom sparked the fire. In his deposition, he says he saw shooting sparks – about 20, 30 feet coming from the back of the home.

    In Stamford Chief Fire Marshal Barry Callahan’s deposition, he was asked if he agreed “it was a mistake for the City of Stamford to cart off and destroy the evidence related to the fire.” Callahan said, “It shouldn’t have been carted off until it was available,” referring that availability to Madonna and Matthew Badger and others. Callahan agreed it was a “spoliation of evidence.”

    A second fire marshal admitted in his deposition that “other examinations may have brought a different result” – referring to the cause of the fire.

    Matthew Badger’s attorney, Jon Whitcomb, said in a statement to NBC Connecticut, which reads in part:

    “It takes colossal nerve for the city to attempt to dismiss this case when it knew of the construction project, permitted it, failed to shut it down, knew the Badgers were living there, and then… after the fire, when the city knew it was responsible for the deaths of the little girls, conspired to conceal its responsibility, and destroyed the main evidence in this case… the Badger house and its contents.”

    He furthermore states: “It certainly begs the question as to what the city was trying to hide.”

    NBC Connecticut reached out to the city of Stamford. City spokesperson, Elizabeth Carlson, said in the city does not comment on pending litigation.

    NBC Connecticut also reached out to Madonna Badger and attorneys for Michael Borcina, but did not immediately hear back.

    Borcina settled his part of the civil suit with Matthew Badger. The case against the city moves forward. Jury selection could begin in April.



    Photo Credit: City of Stamford

    Photos from fire investigators after the fire that killed three girls and their grandparents on in Stamford, Christmas Day 2011.Photos from fire investigators after the fire that killed three girls and their grandparents on in Stamford, Christmas Day 2011.

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    Rhode Island towns are the latest to speak out against a proposed Amtrak route that would connect Old Saybrook to Rhode Island and shorten the train trip between Washington, D.C. and Boston by about 30 minutes.

    But that also means cutting through shoreline towns.

    Old Lyme is making sure federal railroad regulators know they're not on-board with the plan.

    "Whether the line goes up 500 feet or goes up a quarter-mile, you're going to be impacting significant things,” said Sam Gold, executive director of the Lower Connecticut River Velley Council of Governments.

    Gold said he’s concerned the possible new rail would destroy the environmental and cultural heritage of the town. Especially since there isn’t a definitive plan on exactly where that rail line would be.

    But now with Rhode Island residents openly opposing the plan at the State House, "we have other allies in this fight,” he said.

    Old Lyme's First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder said in this battle, they're on the offensive.

    "We've encouraged people to comment on this. In fact we've actually put together postcards,” Reemsnyder said, adding that she's encouraging those who live in town to mail or email their comments to the Federal Railroad Administration about environmental, tourism, historical preservation and economic concerns. The town’s Board of Selectmen is also sending in a letter.

    The Florence Griswold Museum sits just off of I-95 and could be affected by rail plans. It's also a National Historic Landmark.

    "We are concerned that it could be literally through eminent domain, or they're talking about a tunnel that would go under the Connecticut River, under Old Lyme, and it could be right through our property,” said Jeff Andersen, the Florence Griswold Museum’s director.

    Both Andersen and Gold said they don’t opposed the idea of a high-speed rail. But they don’t want to see it destroy the natural, historic and cultural attributes the town wants to preserve.

    Old Lyme residents also have strong opinions about the potential track.

    “We're all really very disturbed. This is a beautiful community,” Ann Primo said.

    “I think the way the plan is right now, it would definitely be very disruptive and destroy a lot of the elements of the town,” said Ramzi Dagher.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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